Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dealing with Life....and Death

A long time friend of mine and Joe's passed away this week from cancer. He was a very strong man. When someone like that is taken by cancer it really makes a person think. He was 68 years old and still working. He always said that if he retired he would probably die within a month. Ironic huh? He had pancreatic and liver cancer. The chemo proved to be too much for him.

I could not bring myself to go to the funeral home last night. It was at the same funeral home where my Mom, Dad and stepmother's funerals were held in 1999. It is also the same funeral home that my beloved friend Mary's was held. Plus I had a large X on the end of my nose. I was probably being selfish by not going to pay my respects but my emotions could not handle it. When Joe came home last night from the visitation he had picked up a bulletin or whatever you would call it with Harold's information on it. Also it contained a cowboy's prayer. Harold was a farmer and a horse lover. After reading the prayer I cried, a lot. Joe said the funeral home was packed. Harold was loved my many and will be sorely missed.

When Joe got home he told me that he thought that if Harold had it to do over he would opt to not take the treatments. He also said that if he was told he had cancer he would not take treatments. Even if he had the same cancer as me. I know that seeing such a strong man being taken to his knees and then death in a matter of days has a strong impact. What Joe said about my cancer upset me a bit. But I realized it was just his way of trying to deal with what 'could' happen.

We never know when or why something like this might happen to us or a loved one. It is a frightening thought for sure but that is life. Death is a part of life.


Lou said...

I understand why Joe feels that way,and if I had pancreatic/liver cancer I also would not take treatment.Pancreatic/liver is always fatal,and chemo will only buy you a few painful months.
Your cancer is entirely different, and always treatable when caught in time.You're chances of it returning are slim.Hopefully Joe will undertand there are so many types of cancer, each person must weigh their options when the difficult choice comes.
So sorry about your friend.Sounds like he chose to live out every day he had. God Bless his soul.

Pony Girl said...

Tough choice. I think I would at least try some alternative naturpathic treatments, if it was for a cancer that was basically inoperable/incurable. But I wouldn't want to do anything that would make me so ill that it would prevent me from living out my final months doing what I wanted to do- spending it with family and friends, and enjoying the last days of my life.
Cancer is so common now and hits home with so many families. It has taken a few of my family members. I am sure this past week has been tough on you and Joe and I send many warm wishes and thoughts your way.

Scott W said...

I have heard stories of people that have those out of body experiences, where they leave during surgery or after an accident. They always say when they returned to their bodies the weight of them was enormous. I will be curious when it is my time to see what the other side is like.

MichelleSG said...

I'm sorry you guys are having to deal with these rough times right now. I know what your husband is talking about and where he is coming from but I'd bet if you got up and said yeah honey you're right I should just stop treatment right now, he'd think twice about what just he just said. They say we are living longer lately but I don't believe them. It seems as though all those in my parent's generation (60's and above) are dying quickly and no one is making it to their 70's. They are doing it in droves too, I can't believe it and it's making me very nervous. As you know I have not had the most robust of health lately. I'm not so sure how I'm supposed to make it out of my 30's much less how me and the rest of my generation are supposed to make it through to our 60's when all of our parents couldn't either!

Rising Rainbow said...

Death is a part of life and there are no guarantees how long you get to live before the death part comes. That's why it's important to live each day it's the last.

I'm sorry about your friend. Cancer is rough but some are rougher than others, that's for sure.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I'm sure your husband spoke without thinking and considering the type of cancer you have-it would be silly not to take the treatment.

My step-father lived with Chronic Leukemia for 2 years. He never would have survived the treatments considering he also had Emphasima. He passed away, at home, quietly and without pain a month ago. He never had to take a pain pill and other than getting progressively thinner, he always looked and felt pretty good.
He wouldn't have taken the treatments even if they had been an option.

I think it all depends on the type of cancer and your personal situation. How many people have someone who can and will take care of them 24/7-365? My step-dad was lucky my mom was willing and able to take on his full care. He certainly wouldn't have survived that long in a hospital. His leukemia was advanced by the time they figured out why his blood work was off. It had been off for years, but they never tested for leukemia until his son passed away from it.

Hugs and Sympathy for you and your husband's loss of a good friend though.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and that he had to suffer so. I was thinking of you this afternoon as I watched a fantastic show on PBS about this lady tracking wild horses in the Rockies. It was very interesting and beautiful scenery. it was on NATURE and I believe you can watch the entire show on-line at I think it was called "White Cloud, Wild Horse of the Rockies", or something similar. Thought I would pass it along, I think you and your daughter would enjoy it. {{Hugs}}

Bill said...

I'm sorry, honey.

Consider sharing the Cowboy Prayer when you feel up to it.

Train Wreck said...

My heart goes out to you and your friends family as well! What a difficult decision! The first comment was correct! There are so many different forms of cancer, unfortunatley some treatments just help to ease the pain. Thankfully some cancer is able to be treated with great results. It is a personal decision, one I am thankful I have'nt had to deal with personally.
My prayers are still with you.