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Thread: Talking to a dying friend

  1. #26
    Sit Down, and Shut Up! Lavern08's Avatar
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    Lost one of my dearest and oldest friends last year.

    Just knowing you care, and that you're there, makes a huge difference to a dying friend.

    If you find it difficult to talk to him, just make your calls short, but meaningful - Tell some goofy jokes, reminisce about old times, say "I Love You, Dude," and then check back in on him in a couple days.

    It hurts like crazy to know that someone you love is slowly slipping away into eternity, but it's comforting to them to know that people care.

    Hugs to you my Friend.
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    I love you, Lavern. That is all.

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  2. #27
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    Thanks, it is hard. I've only talked to him once since I found out last week and he sounded pretty bad. Probably gonna talk to him again either tonight or tomorrow night. I won't bore you with the details, but we've been through a lot together.

    Sorry about your friend, too. Thanks , sweet Laverne.

  3. #28
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Lucky you, I refilled my hugs bucket just this morning. Take all you want.
    Pretending I'm a reasonable and pleasant person is utterly exhausting.

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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    Lucky you, I refilled my hugs bucket just this morning. Take all you want.
    You realize you're spoiling me, right? And I am a glutton for many things, hugs being on the very top of my list.

    Thanks, Maryn. I am constantly blown away by the generosity on this board. I think it's pretty clear by now that writers are pretty nice people.

  5. #30
    practical experience, FTW bombergirl69's Avatar
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    I'm really sorry to hear this and am totally with KTC - now is the time to let him know what he meant, share stories, ask what he needs (I'm doing a lot of talking here, what's on your mind?) It's fine and normal and totally okay to be really, really sad! He knows that! Fine with the jokes, I texted one friend jokes, which she loved, right up till the day she died-=just not jokes when they want to talk about something else--fear, regret, whatever. I'd say show up for all of it, no matter how hard, so many people don't and that's where some awful regrets come in.

    Is he a person of faith? does he want someone to pray with him? If not, that no need to go down that road!

    I'll be holding you in my thoughts.
    The fact that there's a highway to hell and only a stairway to heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers.

  6. #31
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    Ha, we were both raised Catholic, but despite that (or maybe because of it) neither of us is religious anymore. Not in a formal way, anyway.

    It's just difficult (or it was the last time we spoke) to know what he wants to talk about, whether lighthearted or solemn, because he can't speak very well. I will show up though, regardless, you're right. Thanks very much.

  7. #32
    Grand Duchess Ambrosia's Avatar
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    If he were not ill, would you hesitate to ask him what he wants to talk about? If not, don't do so now. His illness does not define him. It is just something that has happened to him.

    Sending you more hugs.
    ..
    "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
    If he were not ill, would you hesitate to ask him what he wants to talk about? If not, don't do so now. His illness does not define him. It is just something that has happened to him.

    Sending you more hugs.
    Well, if he weren't ill, our conversations would go as they always have. You know, just give and take. Roughly 50/50 talking and listening for each. But since he can't speak without difficulty then it will fall more on me. Which is fine. Just don't want to be frivolous when he's looking for truth. And I don't want to be serious and sad, when maybe all he needs at that moment is escape.

    Maybe it won't be as difficult as I'm imagining it will be. I think, I hope I'll be able to feel my way.

    Man, I am fat with hugs right now. I think I'm gonna owe a lot in return. But I'm thinkin' that will be a pleasure.

    Thanks very much.

  9. #34
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    So we've been talking, and he is a fighter. He's always been a positive thinker and he still is now. He told me about a drug that just got FDA approval, a Japanese drug that's supposed to be available in August.

    http://medcitynews.com/2017/05/als-d...ese-drug/?rf=1

    He also mentioned medical marijuana, which won't be available in his state till next year. This has affected his lungs, so he wouldn't want to smoke it, and I doubt he wants to be stoned all his waking hours, so he's talking about low THC edibles.

    Thanks again to everyone who's posted on this thread, and even to those who thought about posting but had no idea what to say. I'm uplifted after speaking with him, because as I say, he's not taking it lying down.
    Last edited by Maze Runner; 06-24-2017 at 04:09 AM. Reason: link didn't work

  10. #35
    practical experience, FTW bombergirl69's Avatar
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    That's awesome! And I bet one reason he's fighting is because he has such terrific support (from friends like you who show up!) That drug looks encouraging - 33% is 33% and maybe that will buy time for more research into making the effects last longer.

    I thought about your friend - could you do something like send him a care package - music you both like, a team jacket or a blanket from a team he likes, maybe a recording of you reading a short story or something (not War and Peace!), I got a package myself and was thinking how wonderful it was--someone thought of me! Of course, I'm pretty self involved, so, you know, I'm all about presents!!!
    The fact that there's a highway to hell and only a stairway to heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers.

  11. #36
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Good!

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  12. #37
    Contructicons AW Moderator regdog's Avatar
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    I'm sorry for you and your friend. I hope he can try the new medication and it works for him. I agree with telling him how you feel and saying how much you value his friendship.
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  13. #38
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    bombergirl, I'm thinking of sending him some DVDs of classic boxing matches. He's a big fan. I had a dream about him last night. We were out in my backyard, which he's never been, and he was helping me fix my car. Which of course was just parked right in the middle of the lawn. I think he knows even less about cars than I do, if that's possible. All of a sudden another car appeared in my yard, an unfamiliar car driven by someone I didn't recognize. He was speeding through my backyard (it was a lot bigger in my dream) and when he came to the gate to get out he saw that it was locked. I walked over and told him, "You realize this is private property, right? You're not supposed to be driving around in here." He just grinned at me, revving his engine. I told him I'd go in the house and look for the key to the gate so he could get out, and just more grinning and revving. But I couldn't find the key before I woke up.

    He's fighting, and I'm glad. I can't see how a positive attitude can hurt, even if this is a fatal disease, and even, as I said, if he has apparently skipped the early stages and may not have much time left. I hear his heartbreak, his fear, between the lines. That medication may be good for him, I honestly only hope he'll be around to take advantage of it. That sounds bad, I know, but I think it's his reality.

    He knows how I feel about him. I tell him, but he ignores it.

  14. #39
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    No, a positive attitude won't hurt, even if it's fatal. Because it's better to live upbeat in the time left to him (however long that is) than it is to live in despair.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  15. #40
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    It's all about hope, isn't it? For all of us. Even if it's closer to delusion.

  16. #41
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    I'm not sure it is a delusion.

    Let me tell you a story. My MIL and father were born in the same year. Both developed blood cancer in the 1990s.

    My father's was supposedly the most benign form, the one with the longest life expectancy. But my Dad used his cancer as an excuse to withdraw, and although he fought a little, he was convinced that science was always right. He was diagnosed in 1997, given a ten year life sentence, and died four years later in 2001.

    My MIL had a different and more aggressive form of cancer. She was diagnosed sometime early in the 1990s; we don't exactly know when because she kept everyone except her husband in the dark for a year or so. She was given -- we think -- a five year life sentence. She decided she was going to "live with cancer." (Note that verb "live.") She used her time as a lay chaplain, visiting the sick in hospitals and sending postcards (mostly unreadable, alas, due to her atrocious handwriting) to many people daily...when she wasn't in the hospital herself or traveling. She loved to travel and took several cruises, etc., during her illness. She lived fifteen or so years after her diagnosis in 2006.

    All coincidence? I don't think so.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  17. #42
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    I absolutely believe how determined you are to fight it and how optimistic you are makes a big difference. You hear many times of people on their death bed hanging on until a certain person comes, so they could say goodbye.

    I know a guy who passed away from cancer just last year. He was given a few years with chemo/radiation, but he opted not to do it, so he only ended up living another few months. But at the end he wouldn't die. It wasn't until his wife said they'd be okay, for him not to worry, did he finally pass.

    I also know a woman whose grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is one of the most aggressive types of cancers. Survival rate is very low, and death usually comes swiftly. That grandmother is still alive, and I think it's been like 10 years.
    Last edited by chompers; 06-26-2017 at 03:14 AM.

  18. #43
    Hand? What hand? AW Moderator Ol' Fashioned Girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maze Runner View Post
    ....
    ETA: This probably should have been in Conquering Challenges. Mods want to move, that's fine with me. Sorry.
    Maze Runner... I'm good with leaving the thread right here. There's an element to Conquering Challenges that lends itself to privacy (that whole 'password' thing) but that means, too, that participation would be more limited. Here, it seems to be helping - perhaps more than just you. Or I'm just as good with moving it to Conquering Challenges. I'm going to be guided by you on this. Leave it; move it; up to you. Just let me know.

    Back on the subject... I've walked this walk beside friends and family both over the years and my best advice has been given by those above me in the thread: Don't shy away from any subject; be guided by your friend (who's going through his own set of adjustments and whose desire to talk of issues will ebb and flow as the days march on).

    And all along... when all is said and done... don't leave yourself or your friend with any regrets.
    aka: OFG








  19. #44
    Contructicons AW Moderator regdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maze Runner View Post
    It's all about hope, isn't it? For all of us. Even if it's closer to delusion.
    My stepmother "inherited" one of her mother's friends after her mother passed. This woman is in her late 80s has had a myriad of health problems, can barely hear, walk and is now battling a large oral cancer. When my stepmother called her to check on her, her repsonse "Next time you take me out, I want to get Chinese food."

    It's not delusional if they believe they will be okay, and don't plan on stopping.
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  20. #45
    Ni. Peng. Neee-Wom. edutton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maze Runner View Post
    So I'm just wondering if any of you have ever been in a situation like this, and how you handled it. Not the least of the difficulties is I am truly brokenhearted about this--can hardly get him out of my mind--but I think the last thing I want to do is show that to him.
    First off, I'm so sorry. I've been through this a couple of times, and it's always hard... what I tried to do mostly, was just show up. Sometimes they wanted to talk about deep stuff, sometimes they wanted to shoot the shit and turn their mind off, and sometimes they just wanted to have somebody there, and not have to work at all. Silence is okay, it still means you're there.

    And take your cue from your friend, obviously, but yeah -- it's okay to tell him how much you love him, and that you'll miss him when he's gone.
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  21. #46
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    Thanks, everyone. He's actually making it easy on me--he's all about fighting and prolonging his life, so that's what I'm all about.

    I agree that positive thinking, embracing life, forward 'motion', etc--it's more powerful than we know.

    OFG, the only reason I thought this might have been better placed in CC, was because this is a party place, don't wanna rain on parades, etc. but if you think this thread could help others who may not be registered here, then maybe we should leave it here. Thanks!

    Boy, at times like these, Faith, in the afterlife, must come in handy. After all, what's a few years on Earth compared to an eternity in paradise?

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