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Hope and Grief--Please read


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I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Recently we had a discussion about this issue. A discussion that almost made me leave this board. I know all too well how important hope is. I saw first hand with Johnny how having hope attacked time and time again can affect the outcome of a persons survival. The last thing I would ever want to do it cause that to happen to anyone else.

The question is where do you draw the line? When do you step aside so your experience doesn't frighten someone or cause them to lose hope? The reality is that people do die from lung cancer. Everyone knows that. Granted the statistics make the numbers look a lot worse than they are. We know that just by seeing the long term survivers here on this board. Still there are those who lose their battle. Not seeing it everyday does not take the facts away nor does it stop people from knowing the posibility.

If the grieving forum takes hope away then I have to ask how does seeing someone we have grown so fond of face the end of their life affect people? What should those people do? Should they just stop posting so they don't take hope away from the new people or those who are survivers and don't want to face the posibilities?

When people first come to this board it is usually out of desperation. They have just had their world turned upside down by a diagnosis of lung cancer. They come seeking hope, information and support. They find those things in abundance here. Before long they find that they are not only taking but giving those same things that they came here seeking. Once here they no longer feel so alone. People here know what they are going through because they have been there.

How much would we have lost if the people who were losing their battle or those who have lost someone had just dropped out and not continued to post? So many people offered their advice and information that continued to help others dispite what they were going through. They also offered humor and a fighting spirit that taught us all something about dignity and determination. People like MO and Dean Carl and Tbone. Grumpy one lung and Fay. There was David A. and David C along with so many others. Then the people who stayed on after their loved one was gone. People like Ann and Ginny and Peggy and Paddy just to name a few.

What those people have contirbuted here is priceless. They offered information that could have been gained from no where else. What kind of support would we have been giving them in their deepest time of need if they could not come here and talk about their hopes fears and experiences?

Like it or not death and grieving are a part of life. They are also a part of lung cancer. A person comes here to the people they know and have grown to love and respect seeking support in their darkest hour. Katie continues to help Rick keep this board running long after dealing with her own loss. She has a lot to offer just like the rest of us do. There are a hundred issues to deal with after the loss of a loved one. Who better to help with those issues than someone who has been there, someone who has walked that road?

I don't believe that anyone should depend soley on this forum or this board to help them through the grieving process but I do believe it has a place in that process. Like it or not the stigma of lung cancer continues even after a persons death. Who hasn't had someone tell them "you should have expected it because he or she smoked" or "well he had lung cancer what did you expect"? Those people are not being as insensitive as it sounds. They are just ignorant to the disease because that is what they have always heard. Still that does nothing to help those of us who are grieving.

I joined an on line grief forum for partners who had died of cancer soon after Johnny's death. Even there I found that same attitude. Those people were kind and had lost someone they loved to cancer too but they didn't have a clue to the issues that lung cancer causes. Only here can we find people who know and understand. Only here can we get the support that we need to face those issues that are unique to lung cancer deaths. Only here in time can we get strong enough to start to give back some of what we have been given.

Maybe I don't have the right to say these things because I came here after Johnny died. Maybe having a grieving forum does frighten some people and maybe it does in some way attack their hope. Then again does not facing these facts make them go away? Don't those people have a need to know that if and when they need a place to share and get support it will be here waiting for them?

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It is nice to know it is available if needed but I don't read or use it every day. Glad it is here if I do need it. Personal thoughts.

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So much that lilyjohn says rings true.

In reply to her first questions; reading about all the trials we go through, the tests, the waiting, dealing with bad results & good docs, picking treatments, reading about people using new treatments, it all takes away an immense amount of fear. It gives me hope that the "statistics" can be beat.

It is just easier for me to understand and endure the difficult if I know others have done it too. Barb

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I think it is so important to have this part of cancer addressed as well. Having a grieving room isn't taking away someone's hope - even through the stories here in this room - a person can find hope. how many of us had partners who lived long past the doctors date? And it also gives hope to those of us who have lost loved ones. Through the veterans here, we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And through the newer members, we know we are not alone in the fresh pain of a recent loss.

In so many forums and online support groups, the hope is offered to those whoa re living as well as their loved ones. But once they have passed there is no place for the loved ones to post what they are going through. It's too hard for the ones who are still fighting to read. I found that so in Keiths group - when he passed it was a double edged sword. I didn't want to post about death in his forum.. 1) because I didn't want to take away others faith and hope of making it through.. 2) it was Keiths room, others were also trying to deal with his loss. I felt it wouldn't be fair for me to lay my griefs down, when I was there to be a support person for them. (Since I took over Keiths group).

It was just through luck that I found you all here. I don't post often, but just knowing that should I need to post, to have a place to lay my burdens down etc. You are here, thats given me hope and the strength to get through many a rough days.

Thank you -


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