Thoughts on "What it's like to die fr... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer
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Thoughts on "What it's like to die from prostate cancer"


Since the question has been asked, I would like to share some of my thoughts on the subject.

We are "all in the same boat" here as they say, so we can speak from our own experience. I'm a newbie in all this is so I only have a small amount of experience. But I'll share what I've experienced and what I am learning so far. Thoughts about "dying" are new for me too so I've been thinking about this a lot myself. Still not sure why this is idea of dying is new. Last year, I most certainly had prostate cancer and was well on my way death, but was totally oblivious to the reality. I tried to live my life then as fully as I could, something that I have been working on for quite some time. But why did I suddenly feel like I was dying? Who told me I was dying? What is really different now?

What's different than last year for me is that I'm actually healthier and feel better now that I'm under treatment. I was more dying then than I am dying now. So how is that in my mind sometimes, I am now dying? The truth is that we are not dying, we are either fully alive or fully dead. Today I am fully alive, and more fully alive than I have ever been in fact, because only now have I really accepted the truth about life. Only now do I understand what it means to be fully alive. Only now can I fully live. I have been given a gift that many others may never receive. This may be the final lesson of my life, but it is one I intend on learning as completely as I can.

17 Replies

That is one excellent post Greg! TY. May you get many more years. Attitude and positve Thougght matter so much in Cancer.

gregg57 in reply to Dan59

Thanks! Trying to get as much as possible out of whatever is left. Nobody should wait to start doing that.

Dan59 in reply to gregg57

Had 6th chemo today , iced feet bottoms with gel cold pack , iced fiingers and sucked on ice cubes , to prevent nueropathy, finger nail issue and mouth sores and taste buds, all still good , alk phos came down a little get psa tmrw, Thursday night we drive to Newark and fly non stop to Lisbon and points North! Life be in it! will be back in 3 weeks for 7th chemo, than maybe to Alaska.

Great post, Gregg. From my own experience I can attest that the days when I feel like I am "living" well are certainly very much better than some of the down days when I've felt bad and had a sense that I was "dying" from my cancer. I'm also reminded of the nuanced difference between being "Cured" of my disease, as opposed to being "Healed", regardless of where I may be in my journey while living with the disease. Gratitude, Compassion, Acceptance, Mindfulness, and Hope are all on the "Healing" side of things, and can continue so long as I breathe, regardless of the changing prognosis.

gregg57 in reply to ctarleton

Nice perspective Charles. In a sense, life itself has no "cure". The attributes you share go beyond our physical body's experience and are as you point out, not dependent on our prognosis.

So you are a "glass half full" kind of guy......that'll get you far with this disease, but there are a lot of folks out there who are more "half empty" kind of guys who suffer from mental disorders or depression and there you have's your mind and how you look at life in general that determines how you will react to the diagnosis of cancer, not to mention that there are so many variables with prostate Cancer, it's not a one size fits all kind of disease. I'm happy for you that you feel like you feel "fully alive" but for me, my constant pain in all my bones (bone mets) my inability to walk to the mailbox without resting or bending over to tie my shoes.....and getting up to go to the bathroom a hundred times a day.....that's a biggie! Not to sound like a downer, I fight everyday to stay "up" and positive. But the reminders are constantly there! The way my life is now has made me not afraid of death. I'm not ready to quit the fight though......not yet!!

gregg57 in reply to Jashelby

Thanks for sharing your perspective. Your points are well taken. I wrote this post aware that there are basic, minimum requirements to have decent quality of life. Without those basic requirements, no amount of attitude or anything else can compensate. It must be difficult to keep a good attitude when you are suffering.

I have already tasted the kind of disabling pain that this disease can cause so it's too easy for me to imagine what the end could or might be like. I have already spent time mentally fast forwarding my life to that point unnecessarily. The important thing to remember is this: Thinking about how this is going to end and worrying about it does not in any way prepare us for what will come. Doing this can only rob us whatever quality of life we currently have. Live your life to the fullest you can, wherever you are in the process.

A really good attitude to have Greg, enjoy your life and live it to the full as best you can. As Spock would say "live long and prosper".

Greg, Great post and thanks! I too believe that there is gold in this experience we are all facing. I too have been given the gift of appreciation, awareness of whats important and to be completely me or fully alive. Our focus is sharper than most as we realize the preciousness of life.

However that all being said there are still days where the dark thoughts overwhelm. I wake up for no apparent reason dwelling n the end rather than on the life. I allow myself some time for these thoughts then start actively getting myself out of the darkness. I think about happy memories, things I'm looking forward to doing or just tell myself "cancel" three times to shift my thinking. Being in control of my own thoughts for me is the key. But giving in is sometimes all I can do so I have days where I wallow in my situation.

Thanks for sharing your optimism and outlook. Talking about "the end" is important. Its sometimes the elephant in the room we don't want to admit.

gregg57 in reply to charmander

Thanks for your thoughts. I think we all go back and forth between darkness and light. It's part of the struggle we deal with. It's still new for me. Some of this gloom just seems to come out of nowhere, but then just as suddenly, it can lift like the morning fog. For me, the intensity of everything has increased now that I am embracing my own mortality. It's the "final frontier" of life. Things have clarified and also intensified. Living life more fully seems to increase the contrast.

charmander in reply to gregg57

I too find the gloom just comes on its own and can lift as you say like the morning fog for no apparent reason.

"Don't count the days; make the days count" Muhammad Ali

I guess that says it all.

j-o-h-n Wednesday 05/24/2017 3:00 PM EST

well said, I am 62 and have bad case with original psa of 90,s. I am on lupron treatments now and my quality of life has sunk low.

I can't stop sweating, and it is followed by low grade fevers

I can't hardly go outside anymore which was a big part of life for me. No appetite, I can't think or remember what I was thinking. Disabling fatiuge keeps in bed too often

so I am considering getting of the treatments and accepting the end results. Due to my faith death has no fear for me tho the pain is frightening. Sorry for my half empty cup attitude but I have been a severe asthmatic from birth and developed severe osteoarthritis in my 30,s.

I am so tired of fighting!

gregg57 in reply to buddy0550

I can really appreciate your frustration with the side effects of Lupron, I'm going through it too.

But I don't think constant sweating and low grade fevers are from the Lupron as far as I know. You might want to run this by your doctor and see if there is something else going on there.

Wish the best for you. Hope you find a way to keep fighting and improve your QOL.

buddy0550 in reply to gregg57

thanks Gregg but have already done that and he offered to put me on some experimental treatment with MORE female hormones!

I turned it down since I'm already on those for sweating.

I looked up the fevers and it seems that a large percentage of men my age get them. There is 1posibility....i also have a dead gall bladder I have to get surgery for. It never seems to end!! Why this should start after my first Lupton injection in not sure.

oh well my friend that's life!

thanks for responding Gregg, Be Blessed

Well said. The first six months of this year were very difficult for me as I had acquired bone mets with pain. I continued to work on my ranch with end term thoughts on my mind. Mostly because I could see that I was no longer effective in daily tasks. Still I had the attitude that I was fully alive even though I was not living fully. I began Xtandi 1 July 2018 and after a couple of weeks of adjustment I could feel some physical changes. These were improvements in energy and decreased pain to the point now Oct 2018, psa has fallen from l65 to 34. I still must be realistic about being an 80 year old rancher. Throughout this year I retained the joy in working and now I have the added pleasure of doing it without pain. If there is a lesson here, perhaps it is that the present is not forever be that good or bad. Deal with the moment and count your blessings that continue with every breath even when your ribs cry out in the process.

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