Facing death?

I met a wonderful woman whilst going through treatment. We bonded almost instantly. Over the last few months we have found things to do together that really helped us. I knew from the start she had been given a very poor prognosis but she was determined to fight and focus on everything she could do to help herself. Now having been told she is losing that fight and only has weeks to live I am beside myself with sadness but also hit again by realisation that these are the very harsh realities of the disease. Now, I wonder how does someone deal with being told that? I know we all are told treatment might not work.. So the threat is always there.. I guess it's hard to face the reality when it comes close. Even though we face death, I don't know what to say or how to help?

15 Replies

  • I read your post Mitch and I would like to offer my emPATHY TO YOU AT THIS TIME. It is I think one of the harde thinks that we meet in life. It is some years ago now ut my memory of this particular afternoon is burnt for ever on my fore head. The day befoe my birthday - it was warm and sunny I remember bees were buzzing about in the pub garden where he took me to tell me.

    He lent across the table then with out furtherado he took my hand an said "I have terminal cancer they have given me a month!"

    Just like that every thing stops what do you say, joke it off. say No canot be true no none of it those you sit still the bees in back ground buzzig. I dont know how long it took me to find an answer but I did "When do we tell the children?" that was it practicalities take over what needs to be done. So my answer gently to you is offer help thats all compassion love and to be there!

    Sorry if I went on to long it just happened.


  • We all know one day this will happen, but some people go on a long time once treatment has ended, no more horrid chemo. That makes us feel so awful, life has ways of helping us through these very difficult times and we come to accept what lies ahead. I lost a good friend to breast cancer a few months ago and we always gave each other strength because we knew how we both felt, we used to play golf together and joked who ever went first we would be waiting on the other side golf clubs in hand ready to play in the next world, of which I believe having had many unexplained things happen to myself when I lost my parents., nothing can be done or said to alter the inevitable and I am so sorry for you.

    Sending love and hugs jenny xx

  • Reading your post made me very sad,and I fully understand how you must be feeling.The harsh reality of death is there for us all, as being the natural conclusion to our lives. However when that life is taken away prematurely, one can only feel desperately sad at the loss of all the wonderful things to look forward to. Who I wonder picks us out as candidates?On a daily basis my moods swing from totally optimism to the Slough of Despond.Whilst one has control over the physicality of our disease, the same does not apply to the mind games our brain plays on us, over which we have no control.

    Your friend I'm sure truly values your support, and I know you will find the strength for her, whilst having a heavy heart.Talk to her about the good times in her life, maybe try to arrange some aromatherapy or massage for her. I know this is what they often do in the hospices, trying to make the final days as comfortable as possible.I used tofund raise for one of the Sue Ryder hospices, and when visiting a terminally ill ward with trepidation, was amazed at the atmosphere, with much laughter and activity ongoing

    As difficult as it is, Life must go on and we must embrace the healthy times we have, and try to find the inner strenght to keep our spirits raised.

    Will be thinking of you and your dear friend xxxxxxxx

  • Hi mitch. I found myself in the same situation as you are in a few years ago in 2009 after I had been first diagnosed. I found a very good friend online through support network who sadly died.she was aware of the situation and just wanted support as a friend and not as a cancer sufferer or patient. At the end we celebrated her life and I thanked the universe at large for being able to get to know her. I still think of her and wish she was here, but she left me many memories in the 8 months we knew each other, and I have a little tin angel that I have called Jackie which I talk to.

    Be her friend and treasure the time you have.

    Any help I can offer let me know, this is a painful time for you both.



  • It's very difficult. In the same situation, I have tried to find little treats, if your friend can go out a champagne afternoon tea, that sort of thing. Beyond that, lots of sweet smelling flowers, magazines, books. But most of all, just spending time with her, doing what she wants to do, listening to her reminisce. So often the precise prognosis is wrong - weeks can be months, and months contract into weeks or days. Just be yourself, and do for her what you would like someone to do for you. My thoughts are with you both. Vxx

  • Hi Mitch, really feel for you right now as have been thinking the same as I face 3rd line Chemo after only short remissions. However having lost two good friends with cancer I take strength from how they coped and was glad I was there for them as you will be there for your friend. I can't really add anything to the excellent replies except Like Jenny I am off to play some golf and have a little word with my friend who I used to play with who I like to think is watching over me.

    Thinking of you in the weeks ahead.

    Love Sue

  • I really feel for you, I guess the only comfort is the knowing that you can say your goodbyes and can prepare for her leaving, when I lost my Dad I knew for a couple of weeks he was going to pass away and had a reminisce and a cuddle and a cry, compared to my Mum and my Son which were unexpected.

    We all have to leave this World and join the next, it's the how which is the difficult part.

    Sending you a virtual hug

    LA xx

  • Dear All, thank you for your kind words and helpful thoughts. Best wishes to you all.

  • I am so sorry Mitch all I can do is send my love and say I know how it feels after losing two of my friends to OC ,and also say that these people enter are lives and enrich them .xxxAnn

  • Take care m x

  • Hi Mitch

    I've not been in the same situation as you before but since I have been diagnosed with OC I have started to read up on how to face death, something that before I was diagnosed I never cared to do. Everyone has different ideas about

    the best ways to spend the last days of our lives but one thing I found and sounds quite comforting is maybe to encourage your friend to reach out to important people in her life, spend time together, chat about the wonderful things she did, how she had made the world a better place for others (like you). If she holds any grudges encourage her to let go, forgive and be grateful for the opportunity to address them. Help her find some peace of mind despite the inevitable. Sorry if this sounds way too theoretical... But hope it helps!

  • Hi Amanda, thank you. Could you recommend any books or info on facing death? Many thanks and best wishes

  • Hi Mitch

    I was hesitant about recommending books as most of them have some kind of religious basis and therefore quite personal. Two I have come across that I enjoyed reading are:

    Death and the Life After


    No Death, No Fear


    The first one is based on the Christian faith and the second one is Buddhist. I'm Catholic but I found it comforting to read about what other religion has to say too :-)

  • Dear Amanda, thank you. Yes it's a very personal topic but thanks for sharing. Best wishes

  • Hi Mitch11. That is a sad situation to find your self in.I have OC a good few years and have lost some of my chemo companions. It is sad but I think the other ladies have said it all. Be there for her when you can, do encourage her to go for light reflexology. This stupid cancer is what some one described in another blog ie living in Limbo from scan to scan, never free, except for three months at a time. It is like your oncologist is your jailer. We have no control over the scan results or ca 125s. And this is the thing, we have no control over our illness. Ok we can try to eat better walk etc etc but we still have to live with having it. On the other hand, one of our friends can die suddenly. Life doesnt make sense at times. Sending you and your friend hugs and prayers

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