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Facing a Diagnosis of Terminal Cancer

Science & Tech  (tags: death, disease, environment, family, Body-Mind-Spirit, ethics, health, healthcare, humans, illness, investigation, medicine, news, research, safety, science, society, study, treatment, warning, risks, cancer, abuse, activists, americans, corruption, crime )

- 3261 days ago -
Leonardo da Vinci once said, "While I thought I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die." While many people die unexpectedly with no clue that the end is coming, metastatic cancer patients and those with other terminal diseases often do

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Wolfweeps Pommawolf (251)
Sunday July 12, 2009, 8:07 pm
I submitted this article because I have had the opportunity to hold those that were leaving life through cancer, and heart failure...many other different types of disease and illness, and had the chance to hold,a few in my arms.
This does not ever discount the countless...("my heart is breaking with this"), but those I gave care to over the years as a professional caregiver.
This does not come without great personal pain.
I am not talking about those family, (recently my mother) I have lost through years, but those that had no family that either cared not enough, nor had not the time to spend with their lost, lonely and dying family members.

Yes. I was the caregiver that spent the minutes, hours and days with those that nobody wanted to. I gave the last basic care before and after death. I was the listener, the comforter and the hand holder. I was there when nobody wanted to be. Why?
Because no one wants to be left to die alone. No one wants to be left in their bed whether it be in a caregiving facility or hospital or even their own home..not alone. Never alone.
One wants to know that they matter to someone....anyone at that passing moment. Some one to comfort listen and not be afraid as they pass from living on to the dying.
Everyone that dies needs to know that they were loved, and are not left alone to die. They wish to know that they mattered to someone during their lifetime.

So as you go about your daily life, stop and think about those that have no one to hold their listen to them. Be a comfort to these individuals. For they do matter. Their life did have meaning.


A Story to live by

There was a blind girl who hated herself because

she was blind.
She Hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend.

He was always There for her.
She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see The

world, I will marry you.'
One day, Someone donated a pair of eyes to her.
When the bandages Came off, she was able to

see everything, including her Boyfriend.
He asked Her,'Now that you can see the world,

will you marry me?'
The Girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he

was blind.
The Sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She

hadn't expected That.
The thought of looking at them the rest of her

life Led her to refuse to marry him.
Her Boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote

a note to her Saying:
'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for

before They were yours, they were mine.'
This is How the human brain often works when

our status changes.

Only a very few remember what life was like

before, and who Was always by their side in the

most painful situations.
Life Is a Gift

Today Before you say an unkind word -
Think of someone who can't Speak.
Before You complain about the taste of your food

Think of someone Who has nothing to eat.
Before You complain about your husband or wife -
Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a

Today Before you complain about life -
Think of someone who died Too early on this

Before You complain about your children -
Think of someone who Desires children but

they're barren.
Before You argue about your dirty house someone

didn't clean or Sweep -
Think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before Whining about the distance you drive

Think of someone who Walks the same distance

with their feet.
And when You are tired and complain about your

job -
Think of the Unemployed, the disabled, and

those who wish they had your Job.
But Before you think of pointing the finger or

condemning Another -
Remember that not one of us is without sin.
And when Depressing thoughts seem to get you

down -
Put a smile on Your face and think:
you're alive and still Around.


Wolfweeps Pommawolf (251)
Sunday July 12, 2009, 8:08 pm

the above poems are a gift from a friend who passed them to me...but their meaning says so much....but never enough.

Wolfweeps Pommawolf (251)
Sunday July 12, 2009, 8:11 pm
Facing a Diagnosis of Terminal Cancer
Certain people have the skills to cope well and go gently into the night
By Deborah Kotz
Posted June 4, 2009
Leonardo da Vinci once said, "While I thought I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die." While many people die unexpectedly with no clue that the end is coming, metastatic cancer patients and those with other terminal diseases often do have the opportunity to prepare for the end. And how they deal may determine whether they go agonizingly or gently into the night.

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Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards, has been dealing with breast cancer that has spread to her bones by writing a new book called Resilience. (Here's her interview with U.S. News.) Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch gave his famous last lecture, which became popular on YouTube and was expanded into a book. "Several studies suggest that one way people cope with terminal cancer is by engaging in life projects that enhance connections with their loved ones and help them prepare to die in peace," says Joshua Fogel, an associate professor of behavioral science at Brooklyn College in New York.

How people respond to a diagnosis of incurable cancer is very individualized, says Holly Prigerson, director of the Center for Psycho-oncology and Palliative Care Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. In her research, she's found that about 20 percent of terminally ill patients are both cognitively aware and emotionally accepting of their deaths. "Those are the resilient types," she says. "They appreciate their time is limited and choose not to freak out about it." Of course, everyone goes through a grieving process, the initial shock and numbness, the denial, anger, despair. But more resilient folks move through that to a state of acceptance in which they take on those life projects and have conversations with their kids, friends, and spouses about dying. They are more likely to spend their final days in hospice, getting pain relief and saying goodbye.

Unfortunately, the majority of people don't fare so well, says Prigerson. They never come to terms with the fact that they're dying. Studies of terminally ill patients show that four months prior to their deaths, very few actually acknowledge that the end is near. The worst off, though, are the ones who understand that death is imminent but aren't emotionally accepting of it, fighting to stay alive at any cost. "They're at a much, much greater likelihood of spending their last days in pain, attached to a ventilator," says Prigerson.

That reaction, she adds, is why oncologists often fear preparing their patients for death. Far better to live in a state of blissful denial (aka hope), they figure, than a state of constant fear and anxiety. "We recognize that some individuals will neither want nor have the capacity to accept loss peacefully," she writes in a recent editorial in the British Journal of Psychiatry. "What we are suggesting is that enhanced degrees of acceptance, and reduced grief, appear associated with less suffering, implying there may be benefits to promoting acceptance."

More research needs to be done to determine which patients benefit from specific types of grief counseling. In the meantime, though, terminal cancer patients can turn to a palliative care specialist, psychotherapist, or social worker (most cancer centers now employ them), or they can check out this resource on palliative care.

Teresa del Castillo (1519)
Sunday July 12, 2009, 8:19 pm
Thanks for te beautiful poems my dear friend.

Wolfweeps Pommawolf (251)
Monday July 13, 2009, 9:50 pm
You are most welcome......facing death for so many years, losing those close, and being there fo rthose who did not a have anyone at all is a very hard check on reality. So to those who claim to be facing death have not come to the point of accepting it...they are just plain angry. They have the right to be angry....but not to be cruel to the innocent bystanders that pass through their life.
They need to address their grief, and stop taking it out on the world.

sue M (184)
Tuesday July 14, 2009, 1:31 am
Beautiful poems Weeps. The article however forgot to mention that all cancer, heart, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Autism - all major illnesses patient have very little or no VitD3 in their systems. Cancer rates skyrocketed after the sun causing cancer scare and people started to stay out of the sun thereby depleting their naturally made VitD3 levels. Lots of scientific data for cancer etc., patients recommending 10,000iu per day, if any one needs data I can supply some.

Winefred M (88)
Thursday July 16, 2009, 7:31 am
Thanks Wolfweeps.
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