Courage: This is not really afib related... - AF Association

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Paulbounce profile image

This is not really afib related. However it makes me feel how luckly I am with the condition. We are the lucky one's. We know we have the condition and rate / rhythm / ablation can help. It's likely we can continue to live a fairly normal life - making some life stlyle changes of course.

I just want to put a positive spin on our afib.

I have to mention this man. He won't mind me giving his first name - Derick. I met him yesterday and we had a drink together. The guy is 75 and has teminal lung cancer. Maybe he has another 6 months if he's 'lucky'. In my time I have never come across such a brave man in my life. His courage is second to none. He accepts what's going to happen and is ready for the inevitable. He's happy and smiles all the time - personally I think he's hiding his true feelings a little.

So why do I post this ? Because it put's me to shame. I grumble about being back in afib - I should take this man's courage onboard.


27 Replies

I am begin. to feel like you. Two days ago I rang a friend I am in touch with 3/4/ times a year. We have been friends for c 40 years. She answered the phone with a choking voice and then i spoke to 'a carer'My friend will be gone in a month or so with multiple cancers and she knew nothing about it until 3 weeks ago.I agree. Enjoy what we have while we have it.

I’m so sorry to hear that. So very sad!

I can understand exactly how meeting that man made you feel Paul. Yes, we really should count our blessings that AF is all we have.

Over the last week, two deaths have upset me. I'm 70 and my old boss the same age has died with pneumonia, killed him in two weeks. An ex neighbour who was also a friend, again aged 70, was found dead in her house from a ruptured aorta. I can't stop thinking, poor Gill. I'd have said she was really fit.

Yes, we certainly have to live for today and make the most of every minute. We also need to put a smile on our faces and be kind to everyone we meet.


If only AF was all I had 😕

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to bantam12

Well said; and if only bravery was sold by the quarter pound like packets of tea...



Very true and I am also grateful to AF for pushing me into lifestyle changes that could be lifesaving and almost definitely secure a healthy later life. I would never have done it without my 'AF friend' - a love hate relationship!

Singwell profile image
Singwell in reply to secondtry

This is my experience too. One of those friends who tells you the truth and makes you feel uncomfortable.

Very true Paul,it's a matter of perspective. I think because it's a heart issue(s) we get an element of panic and doom,imagining the worst will inevitably happen.It's hard to ignore the shenanigans when we are in full throttle and I expect that adds to the experience through natural anxiety.

We are indeed in a far far better position than undiagnosed Afibbers and many of us would ,I think,have paid a price for lifestyle and stress management which is less likely now as most of us tackled/ are tackling this now.

I'm sorry for your friends sad news,indeed an inspiration.

Also to the other posters with their losses.

Count our blessings.💓

Singwell profile image
Singwell in reply to wilsond

That's the other side if it isn't it - the panic and sense of doom! Something to do with our heart's neurons. I've had to learn to chat with my heart when it kicks off - asking it what it needs today.

We once had a lady on here who said that, when in AF, she put her hand over where her heart is and told it nicely to calm down and it would.

Paul, I said it on here years ago; I don't live in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq etc and for that I am truly grateful. I would take what I have any day of the week if anyone ever said that is your choice - it really could be so much worse.

Absolutely Paul.

Hi Paul,Coming to acceptance is a process. We are all in different places in this process at any one given time. None of us get to where he is overnight. Thank you for your courage for sharing that with us. It takes courage to lay bare our own process in a public forum. It’s immensely helpful. Thank you.


Thank you Paul for your post.

Reminder to self:-

Live every day as if it was your last. Being thankful for what we have, rather than focus on we what we don’t. That’s really is not easy to do we you live in fear, which is what many with AF do. Focussing outwardly rather than inwardly helps. Do what you can, whilst you can.

Today I’m out to play bowls for the 1st time since Dec 2019. As I look across from my bedroom window to the Haldon Hills I can see the mist/rain coming our way - so I’d better take my rain-gear. I am appreciating and are thankful for this day. I think of others who can’t do what they want today with compassion and love and hope they can find some pleasure in this day - this is my antidote to fear.

I feel the fear of what might happen - but I’ll do it anyway.

When I was a little girl I had a great primary school teacher who often gave us memorable sayings....the one I say to myself the most is:"I grumbled because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet "

wilsond profile image
wilsond in reply to rothwell

I like that one ...x

Lovely thread Paul. It's a hard journey to acceptance I've found and I'm still on it but it's worth the effort and allows us to realise the humanity we share with all others. Compassion for ourselves rather than self pity is also something I'm learning.

Very well stated! you are exactly right.

You're absolutely right Paul. We know what's wrong and can live with it, live being the operative word. Life is ours to enjoy.

So true Paul, sometimes I find it hard to sympathise when someone is obsessed with their AF (even though I was the same once) because I am aware of so many other horrible conditions that cause suffering day after day. Two of my friends are dying of bone cancer at this time and their bravery is amazing though as you suspected with your friend I think they are putting a brave face on it because they know that sharing at length about their suffering would probably drive most people away.

One of the best things about a forum is that you should be able to share your feelings honestly and have them acknowledged but it doesn’t hurt to point people in the direction of other experiences occasionally 💜

We are all doing our best to handle AFib. My courage goes up and down all the time. Personally I think it's very important to have compassion for ourselves. I've had my fill of being shamed and self shaming. Time for self care and compassion. Yes I can imagine it's easy to compare oneself to someone in this man's situation. I worked in a palliative care unit for 11yrs. There can be a great peace and acceptance that comes over people when they can accept their situation. I've seen this especially in elderly people with cancer who have lived their lives. I agree we must count our blessings and be grateful for our lives even when the quality is low at times. But I also think we must cut ourselves some slack during the hard times.

Thank for sharing your story with us Paul.

Singwell profile image
Singwell in reply to RajaRua

I hear you! Everyone finds their own way through I think. I have friends who cope by saying to themselves 'I could have this or that illness/problem' but it never worked for me. This isn't selfishness or lack of compassion, it's just understanding that my experience isn't yours. Paul has been touched by his friend's experience and it has helped him to feel gratitude. And gratitude is one of the most healing emotions. That's my take anyway.

RajaRua profile image
RajaRua in reply to Singwell

Thanks for that Singwell. Unfortunately I drop into shame so easily. It's the ould catholic upbringing!! I also think that living alone and in fear with AFib for many years has taken it's toll on me. But I may need to work on cultivating gratitude a lot more. I also really appreciate having this special space to be real with people about how difficult this journey can be. Lovely to hear from you again. Biddy

Great post Paul....As others have said, at least we know what we have wrong with us with A Fib & can live/deal with it.The guy you met is very brave, & can relate to that as I lost my wife 10 years ago to lung cancer, 3 months after diagnosis at 59.

Life is so short, so we have to enjoy it while we can !!!

All the best....Barry

Couldn’t agree more Paul. Take care

Very true and one of my mantras is "there's always someone else worse off than I am" . However, a friend did point out to me, after my saying this for the umpteenth time, "that's true but don't let that diminish what you have had to go through this past 5 years" I brushed that off at first but she is right. There are folk who are suffering and in pain but don't feel guilty about the "why me?" days we have as you too have suffered, in whatever degree, yourself. Dont let empathy for others and their battles make you feel your battle is not important.

I’m thankful for every day I wake up and all the things in life I have, which is not a lot by some people’s expectations ( materialistic folk) I drive a old car, I’m on low wages, if I can’t afford something then I don’t have it. But I’m happy at end of day with my lot because there is folk having to live with far worse things than the afib I have and if afib is the only thing Iv got to worry about then I count myself lucky.

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