Sunday, January 14, 2007

What if there were no future to plan?

As I was surfing through random blogs over at Blogspot, I discovered one called "What Are You Doing With The Rest of Your Life".

Upon reading a few entries, I realized the author of that blog has terminal cancer.  He recently started his journal at a friend's suggestion, to have a way to vent his feelings. 

Here in J-land, I have followed journals of some cancer survivors... and one I can think of who did not survive; but she still had hope, even knowing her chances weren't the best.  Hope means you can still plan a future.

This fellow has pancreatic cancer, which I believe is always fatal, and takes its victims rather rapidly.  Cliff's dad died of pancreatic cancer.

Why would I read something so sad?  I seldom leave comments there, because what can you say to a man with no future? 

I can benefit from what he writes, though.  For instance, here's something he had to say:

"How does one orient oneself, when there is no goal?

How does one know what to think or what to feel?

How does one know what to do or what to say?

I'm feeling a little adrift; nothing remarkable planned, indeed no real plans possible, in such a day to day existence in which I find myself.

I suppose it comes part 'n' parcel with the terminal illness thing; one is only expected to hold on, exist. While I've never been one for lofty goals, it seems to me that I should be able to do better than merely exist, yet that is where I find myself."

That got me thinking about how much I live in, and for, the future.  Planning what bills to pay off, planning what toys we might buy when those bills are paid.  Thinking what I'd do if something happened to Cliff, or what he'd do without me.  Making plans for vacation next summer.  You get the picture.

So what if I only had six months to live?  What would I do?

If the weather were nice, I'd spend lots of time hanging out at my cabin, or riding my horse.  But this time of year?  What can you do in Missouri in January, when your time is limited (and of course, a person wouldn't be feeling the best, with cancer invading her body). 

What I do now is read, surf the Internet, watch TV.  But none of that is really living.  It seems I waste a lot of time in winter just gritting my teeth and "getting by" till spring.

What would I do with the rest of my life?


rollinghillsides said...

Thanks for this, really makes one think, doesn't it?  Wishing you a relaxing Sunday.   Judy

pinkroseal said...

  I have had Hospice training in two different states, and the goal of the dieing  is either peaceful and accepting of going to a better place, OR the uncertian ness of not knowing where they are going and  what is ahead.  There is a difference in how one accepts the future according to their belief system.
 In volunteer work, the training of hospice is sooooo valuable all should take, clergy, medical people,  all, this is life, and we will all face......  It is home going, that is from a Christian view point.     IN the meantime, Important to be there for our friends and family. what ever their beliefs. that they are not alone......    PINK In Minnesota

lanurseprn said...

Food for thought, I'd say.

marainey1 said...

My Mom died of pancreatic cancer last March too.  She was still hopeful, even though she was so ill that she couldn't do anything.  One thing about being a Christain -- we know that life on earth for our human bodies may end, but the soul goes on. Hope doesn't have to end.  Each day no matter what we do or can't do,  life is worthwhile and everyday is a cause for celebration. 'On Ya' - ma

toonguykc said...

I love you, Mo -- but I think so very differently than you when it comes to topics like this.  If I only had six months left I would be very lazy and watch more TV and spend more time on the 'net (if that's even possible).  I'm not a fighter and I would not try to do things 'one last time'.  I WOULD let the bills go unpaid however.  I've learned that cancer is too tough a foe and I I've always known I'm not a strong person.


csandhollow said...

I think how one deal's with the news of terminal cancer depends on if they belive in Him or not and trust in where they will spend eternallity. I think I would spend as much time as possible with my family, my friends. In my case , yes I would be here a lot. Almost all of my friends are here. My funeral will have few physical bodies there.

lmitc89854 said...

I would see all my family and tell them I loved them.  they are scattered so it might take awhile!

bnanajm said...

Well, living or dying I think I have to have a goal, even if it's only taking a shower.  That's why I still work.  With nothing to do, I'd dry up and blow away.

If I was short on time (and who knows, I may be) I'd try to tell all of the important people in my life how much I love them and what they did to influence my life.


La Chiquita

boodotte said...

Well, from one who'se tended hundreds leaving this world I can tell you many still set goals.  Some were to get their affairs in order, while other goals were to bond with or mend family.  As cancer advanced, many kept goals as simple as grooming that day which dwindled down to a goal of simply being able to sit up.  I say all this to say that is exactly what I would do also.  Experience showed me nothing mattered more than what was in their hearts.  I only tended 3 people who did not believe in or know the Lord.  It was awful and after number 3 I told hospice never again.  But morbid as it sounds I treasure the lessons I've learned from the dying.  They truly know how to live!  Boo

stetsonsswtheart said...

One of my best friends has Multiple Sclerosis ~ for which there is no cure.  She doesn't think about where this disease is taking her... at least not outwardly, she feels that dwelling on it etc. gives it power and she is too positive of a person to allow that.  I think that's why she's done so well with the disease itself, the Dr's are always amazed at her capacity she still has even though she has had the m/s for years.  It's her attitude.  Unfortunately not everyone can be that positive about things like this.  I think I worry about it FOR her more than she does herself.  I know with Cindy, I don't know what I'd do without her.  Thanks for sharing!  Teresa