Be present in the moment

When a loved one is getting closer to their time of departing from this world people just don't know what to say. I had such a hard time when family members would tell my husband "You are so brave", as if to cheer him on. He was not feeling brave at that time of his life. He was so scared of dying he would break down, and weep many times during the day, and would tell them how scared he was. Some people were telling him "You got to keep going, don't give up the fight, we are so proud of you." He knew, they knew, his time was remaining was very limited.

It enlightened me and brought to surface how as a society we really don't know how to deal with death. All those comments from those loved ones were words to comfort themselves or just clichés', something to say. To strip down everything, to leave self out of it, to embrace the rawness of the sorrow with a loved one who is facing such emotions is when you are truly making a deeper connection with the one you love.

When my husband first came down with cancer, and when it returned and metastasized, it took great "strength and will" for him to get out of bed and face the day. It is beautiful that we all have that with-in us, the will to survive. We unconsciously put it into practice every day. But, when you have cancer... it's like training your mind as an athlete, but there is no training. Full speed ahead! All those emotions, choices, information can catch up to you (PTS). If one does not allow themselves to feel the anger, the pain, the realization of this journey you are hurting yourself. There is no glamourizing, no romanticizing this journey like the movies. It is a very raw path of life. Loved one's with cancer, and their loved ones, allow yourself to feel all the emotions this journey has embedded with-in. If you allow the anger, acknowledge the anger, work through it, you will become whole, and will experience the joys as well, and when you able to embrace one another's emotions is when you make a connection on a whole new level within the journey.

There is no fairness right from the start of the cancer journey. There is you, the disease, and guides (Doctors, nurses, loved one's) that help you in making CHOICES, and in the end....life and how it unfolds. Sometimes choices had no determining effect on how the path would unfold. Be kind & loving to yourself.

Embrace ALL emotions and be present in the moment.

7 Replies

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  • Amanda to that JJJJ

  • How very true. My sympathies to you and your family.

  • Thank you. Our thoughts are with you. You might also try OPA Charlie's Circle (click on My Communities on the top bar, then browse other communities) as we have set that up for people who may be facing your situation.

  • Thank you for suggesting OPA Charlie's Circle. I didn't even think about looking into the other communities. That maybe more of an appropriate site. My husband and I had used and viewed this section while he was still living to deal, cope, get suggestions, and see how other's were coping with EC. Thank you.

  • I lost my husband to cancer and also have a terminal diagnosis myself. As a culture we don't really talk about death and yet it will happen to each of us. Everyone copes as best they can and the whole field seems one that most people find great difficulty with. I found Phillip Goulds book inspirational and very honest. Just as we prepare for a birth then we should, ideally, be able to prepare for death. I don't see this as defeatist, I see this as a way of maximising my time with my family, being able to share all our worries and concerns and being able to give and receive support at such a difficult time. We need as much information as we can cope with in order to make what limited choices are available to us and we often need practical support, which also seems to be bypassed nowadays, in order to manage our everyday lives. For me one of the most worrying attitudes is that which implies we somehow can have a major influence on our condition. Cancer is a disease and while we can make choices regarding treatment options, short of a miracle, it's often simply trying to manage the best quality of life we can, while we can. This can require a degree of honesty that can be unacceptable to some. We all have to try and find our own ways of coping and for me, acceptance of what was happening was the first step towards some sort of reality. I just wish us all strength to get through each precious day!

    Best wishes,

    Charlie

  • Bautifully said. I will look into the book you mentioned. Thank you! I think every hospital should have a social worker, as first point of contact, to sit with a family to help guide them through some of the hard topics/choices/decisions. It may be hard to do, but it is one of things that is in our control. I think it makes it a little easier when you have someone who specializes in this to guide you through. Once it is done, it can be set-a-side, and the family can relax, concentrate on more important things that come up, and enjoy quality time. Anyone going into a hospital even just for a simple procedure can be faced with it turning out to be life threatening.Take control of things in life you are able to.

  • PS I would stress that my comments on influence and cancer refer to after receiving a terminal diagnosis. Thankfully there are options prior to this.

    Charlie

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