Ashamed: I think about (and plan for) dying. Do you?

Posted by olgamarie @olgamarie, Feb 7 1:46pm

<p>Hi, did anyone, after there cancer and COPD diagnosis start to think about dying? After almost four years, I still do, all the time. Planning my funeral, how to leave my children, how it will be to be in a coffin. Bizarre, I know.</p>

Was told my cancer was Terminal that was 18 months ago. Living on borrowed time I guess. I did plan my funeral and got everything in order. The Lord was good and letting me get things in order not everyone has that chance. We all have that opportunity but postpone it as that’s admitting we are going to die.

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@richcolleen

Was told my cancer was Terminal that was 18 months ago. Living on borrowed time I guess. I did plan my funeral and got everything in order. The Lord was good and letting me get things in order not everyone has that chance. We all have that opportunity but postpone it as that’s admitting we are going to die.

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I would go for a second opinion on that diagnosis, and you are doing all you can. In that situation, we don’t want to feel helpless so we do things we have control over, like getting our affairs in order. Just enjoy everything and everyone and get a second opinion

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@olgamarie Hi Olgamarie. There is no shame in your feelings! Any time we get a diagnosis of cancer it’s perfectly human to have our first thoughts be of our mortality. That dreaded “C” word sparks fear in the bravest of souls. You said you were diagnosed 4 years ago with cancer and COPD. Have you had treatments for your cancer and follow-up appointments? What does your oncologist say about your recovery and remission? Do you feel ill? Four years is a very long time to have negative thoughts if they aren’t warranted.

Having gone through a very serious cancer journey myself, I admit there is a change in my mindset about having ‘affairs in order’ so that my daughter doesn’t have this Herculean job ahead of her taking care of things I have the ability to do now. It’s ok to preplan a funeral, rid the house of items no longer needed, have banking accounts, paperwork and information about bills and such organized. But it does sound as though you’re focusing more about death than is healthy for your daily happiness and positive outlook.

Do you have any hobbies or like to read, walk, exercise? Activities that create a good diversion would be important to refocus your mindset to a more positive place. Have you talked to your children about how you feel? Obviously this is troubling for you. It might be really beneficial to contact your physician and talk about your situation so that you can get some reassurance about your health. They may recommend a counselor to help you move past this so that you can enjoy your life to the fullest. Wishing you all the best! Lori.

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@loribmt

@olgamarie Hi Olgamarie. There is no shame in your feelings! Any time we get a diagnosis of cancer it’s perfectly human to have our first thoughts be of our mortality. That dreaded “C” word sparks fear in the bravest of souls. You said you were diagnosed 4 years ago with cancer and COPD. Have you had treatments for your cancer and follow-up appointments? What does your oncologist say about your recovery and remission? Do you feel ill? Four years is a very long time to have negative thoughts if they aren’t warranted.

Having gone through a very serious cancer journey myself, I admit there is a change in my mindset about having ‘affairs in order’ so that my daughter doesn’t have this Herculean job ahead of her taking care of things I have the ability to do now. It’s ok to preplan a funeral, rid the house of items no longer needed, have banking accounts, paperwork and information about bills and such organized. But it does sound as though you’re focusing more about death than is healthy for your daily happiness and positive outlook.

Do you have any hobbies or like to read, walk, exercise? Activities that create a good diversion would be important to refocus your mindset to a more positive place. Have you talked to your children about how you feel? Obviously this is troubling for you. It might be really beneficial to contact your physician and talk about your situation so that you can get some reassurance about your health. They may recommend a counselor to help you move past this so that you can enjoy your life to the fullest. Wishing you all the best! Lori.

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Sound advice!

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In reply to @miriam57 "Sound advice!" + (show)
@miriam57

Sound advice!

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Well said!

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I don't spend time planning my funeral; I spend time planning how my wife and I are going to do a walking marathon together this Fall. This is a game of life and death and I choose life. I will do everything in my power and utilize every resource available to me to make sure cancer loses. There are millions of cancer survivors out there and I have every intention of being one myself.

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@ta52

I don't spend time planning my funeral; I spend time planning how my wife and I are going to do a walking marathon together this Fall. This is a game of life and death and I choose life. I will do everything in my power and utilize every resource available to me to make sure cancer loses. There are millions of cancer survivors out there and I have every intention of being one myself.

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Like ta52@ta52 I choose life. The statics tell me people live and I plan on being one of them. Each day I walk 30 minutes, do deep breathing exercises and every evening think of all the things I’m thankful for that day. My husband finds cancer survivor stories to share with me whenever I feel discouraged. There continues to be breakthroughs in cancer research and treatments. Find ways to stay strong and positive!

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@ta52

I don't spend time planning my funeral; I spend time planning how my wife and I are going to do a walking marathon together this Fall. This is a game of life and death and I choose life. I will do everything in my power and utilize every resource available to me to make sure cancer loses. There are millions of cancer survivors out there and I have every intention of being one myself.

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@ta52@olgamarie@marshall8318 – Good morning. I think that there might be some confusion here. Making end-of-life decisions does not mean that you are choosing death. It means that you are living well, taking care of business. Some of this is similar to buying car insurance. It guarantees certain things. Now if you were a 20-year old I would really wonder why you would do this. I'm guessing that you aren't!

By making a will, even buying cemetery plots makes good sense. This way you make the decisions and there will be fewer confusing decisions for your heirs to make.

When my niece was killed I bought up all the plots around her that I could so that whoever wanted to be near her could. I am a 23+ lung cancer survivor from 2 different lung cancers, 2 open chest surgeries, 2 SBRT's, PTSD, COPD, and various other annoyances. Making end-life decisions, as difficult and morbid as they were, gave me peace of mind. It was a good day of living when I made my decisions.

There is no shame in thinking about dying. Survival is a natural instinct and for a healthy life, I think that those thoughts mature us. Sometimes it's difficult to know what our place is in the world. For me, I had to look at my whole life and that meant both ends.

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@merpreb This conversation is getting way off track. The original comment was they think about dying 'all the time' which I choose not to. But to somehow take my comment and assume I haven't planned and that lacks maturity is way off base. I've made those plans but hope they will be implemented years from now and in the meantime I don't think about it 'all the time'.

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@ta52

@merpreb This conversation is getting way off track. The original comment was they think about dying 'all the time' which I choose not to. But to somehow take my comment and assume I haven't planned and that lacks maturity is way off base. I've made those plans but hope they will be implemented years from now and in the meantime I don't think about it 'all the time'.

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@ta52– I hope that my plans are far into the future too. Sometimes when we write, without facial expressions and further comments people take what we write literally. It's not ideal for getting points across but it is what we have. I've had to really watch this myself and what I write.

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I am not in a position to judge your actions.
It is easy to say what is "right" yet why would I?
My thoughts are:
Talk over your thoughts with someone you trust who has training and background to be of assistance.
Life IS easier for some than others. That is just a fact, neither fair or unfair.
I support to the position of dealing only with what your can have an effect on not what you can't. That is not to say that you shouldn't be concerned about your condition/s, and take the proper steps, but over attention to what you can't control will likely have a total negative impact on you and those around you!, especially those that you love, and love you.
Make the appropriate plans, if you would like, for your funeral, etc, and move on.
I've walked the walk, and feel better for it. It is easier for my family knowing where I stand.
I don't feel sorry for myself, I remain active, and seek to keep and add meaning in my life.
I'm lucky to be here, and appreciate that fact.
I was, as was my family, told that i would pass, and yet it wasn't my time. I still face my challenges as I suggest that you do, with an appreciation for what you have and those that you care about you.
This is all easy to say, but it requires freedom of will on your part.
Give a fair try, and enjoy what is ahead; it's your choice, make it.

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@olgamarie Thinking about death is never shameful and it is actually healthy. I understand our culture places a taboo on death but it's an inevitable part of life.

Do your thoughts about death lead you to live a more fulfilling life and live in the hear and now, or are they a pattern of rumination that impedes connection and living a meaningful life?

Regardless of where you are in this broad spectrum, you may wish to look into the readings by Viktor Frankl. He is the father of Existential Therapy.

Viktor Frankl actually spent time in a concentration camp and lost most of his family members there during WWII. From this horrendous experience he learned that the people that accepted their unspeakable position, and the almost certainty of their death, were the individuals that were resilient and more likely to survive. After his escape Viktor Frankl went on to be one of the most inspiring people in psychology and modern philosophy.

If this is something that resonates with you, there are therapists that specialize in existential therapy. Psychology Today does have a nice search function that locates local therapists with any particular specialty. Online options are plentiful as well.

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