This story is a guest post from a YLB reader who wanted to share their personal health story.  This story entails their struggle with being diagnosed with terminal cancer and how to come to terms with knowing death is imminent. Want to submit your own healthy story?  Contact us.  Your story could help inspire me or someone else.  

Is There A Best Way To Die?

About the author:  Andrew is 54 who was diagnosed with terminal cancer from malignant melanoma. He currently enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and wanted to share his thoughts on coming to terms with death. Death can be a sensitive subject for a lot of people but something we will all experience. This is Andrew’s story. 

LETTING GO… Is there really a best way to die?

Even in his seventies, my father Andrew Sr., lived by himself in the backwoods of northern Michigan. He was a self-machinist with a passion for fishing, hunting and an ice cold beer. Andrew Sr. was never about to let old age get in the way of living the life he chose. After all, hunting and fishing did not wear him out. Rather he felt rejuvenated by them somehow. I once predicted, he’ll die in his waders. On July 14, 2011, at the age of eighty one, Andrew was sitting at his round oak table, watching the river flow by, and he simply collapsed and sadly died.

Is there really a best way to die?

To lose a friend or family member unexpectedly is always a shock. Also true, is that death can be a blessing. Especially if he or she is elderly and has lived a fruitful life. Certainly most people, if they were to choose, would want to die as my father did which was happily and quickly. Unfortunately, few people go that way. For most of us, the end comes painfully and gradually. Dying almost always involves a hard and painful struggle. Part of it is fear, which is rooted in uncertainty of the unknown future.

Some out there say there is a best way to die because it gives people time to say goodbye to their loved ones. As for myself, I really am not sure on this one. I live in Stockbridge, Georgia and I was just diagnosed with cancer (Malignant Melanoma) for the 9th time.

My weakened body and mind is slowly dying from an incredible variety of diseases: Melanoma, Lupus, Malignant High Blood Pressure, Dementia, Heart Disease, Uncontrolled Diabetes, Ascending Aortic Anuerysm, Left Ventricular Hypertrophy, Peripheral Nerve Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and I am losing my sight rapidly from decades of uncontrolled ocular high blood pressure and severe Diabetes. I lost my right kidney to Renal Cell Cancer.

So, perhaps cancer is the best way to die? I looked a little deeper into this unusual question. One thought here is that a slower rate of death permits me to put my various affairs in order. I can also say my final goodbyes to friends and family. From what I understand, death from cancer might only be unbearable in my final days or weeks. Right now I find that very hard to believe based upon my current pain levels.

Getting The News

Initially I feared the reality that my cancers have spread. Next I briefly went into a period of denial thinking that my medical team must be wrong or made a misdiagnosis. I soon realized that there was no mistake. Now I am not able to sleep and cannot get these conditions and diseases to free my mind. Unbearable physical pain is my present and also in my future.

Alzheimer’s is simply cruel. People tell me things and when you have no recall, it makes you feel worthless and useless in life. I was honestly convinced after my sixth cancer surgery, I had yet again incredibly beaten ‘ The Big C’. But the minute I received the call from the Oncologist I knew better and down came the walls.  So, I have absolutely no idea if I’ll live two weeks, two months, or two years. BIG problem!

What To Do With The Time Remaining

How on earth am I going to plan my life? What to do? How to do it? This simply drives me crazy, and is a constant battle raging within. My costly medications are my only weapon for “buying more time”. Will my pain get worse? What will it be like when what few organs I have left, start shutting down?

At times I feel myself feeling guilty. If I by chance survive a couple more years, just how much pain, stress and strain will I cause for those around me? Crazy maybe but very true. As time moves along, I notice that I am much slower, the number and severity of my symptoms is rapidly increasing.

I fight hard every day for some quality time to do the things that are important to me. I manage my diet, I am careful how I use my energy reserves, and I try to keep my mind active. In essence, I’m doing everything I can to enhance the little time I have left.

BUT, there is never a single hour when I don’t reflect on the fact that I have very little time left.

Reminder: This is a story from one of your fellow readers. Please be respectful!. It can be a bit nerve-wrecking to put your story out for others to read for the first time. Keep in mind that this guest isn’t a professional writer; just a person with a passion for healthy living like you. Negative comments on reader stories will be removed.