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Self Doubt and Other Late Night Ramblings.


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I hate insomnia. I went to bed around 1am last night (this morning), woke up at 4am and could NOT get back to sleep. No apparent reason. Just could not fall asleep again.

Now, I don't get insomnia very often. But when I do my brain, being at times my worst enemy, takes the opportunity to try to beat the cr** out of me. It's favorite tactic seems to be to ambush me with a single, seemingly random thought that starts a whole train of events in my mind. This, if I don't catch it in time (and I didn't last night) leads, inevitably, to hours of questioning whatever is going on in my life at the moment. And, of course, what is going on in my life at THIS moment is my cancer and my decision not to seek aggressive treatment for it.

So I got to spend a lovely (he says sarcastically) 3 or 4 hours wondering and worrying if I'd made the right choice or not. Not that I hadn't taken hours and hours agonizing over what to do in the first place, now I get to do the whole thing over again. YUK!

And what, you ask, was that random thought that started this whole mess? (Oh .. you didn't ask? Oh well, gonna tell you anyway. :)). Just a little thought that said, "I sure hope the rainbow bridge is a real place". (For those that might not know what the rainbow bridge is go here: http://rainbowsbridge.com/Poem.htm)

And off my brain went. Did I make the right choice? What if I could have been cured of this cancer? Is what I'm doing fair to Gay (my wife) or Marsha (my 26 year old daughter)? Is there a heaven? And what is it like? What if THIS religion or THAT religion is right and I've been wrong all these years? And on and on and on and .... (well, ya get the picture (and it's not a pretty one, either. :))

And the ironic part of all this is I KNOW, deep in my heart, the rainbow bridge IS real! Just as I know there IS a God. It's not something I can explain to anyone in a logical manner. I just cannot conceive of a universe WITHOUT a rainbow bridge. And I know there's a very special little beagle waiting for me there. Got him when I was nine. Too smart for his own good and stubborn as an ox, he was my best friend until he died when I was twenty two.

I guess I know what's really happening here. I know my time here is now limited. I seem to be of two minds on this (some would say a LOT more than just two! :)). One part of me wants to make sure the rest of my life, no matter how long or short, is enjoyable and has meaning. The other part wants to spend it's time in the past, remembering what was good about my life and hoping that somehow I've made a difference to at least a few people as I've traveled along my way. I think I have ... a little, here and there.

Well, the title DID say "Ramblings" after all! :)

Anyway, I seem to be better now. Back to being comfortable with my decisions and back to my faith in what I know to be true.

Thanks for taking this little "wander" through my head with me this morning.


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wow, I read about the rainbow bridge. I didn't know about it. I hope too that it is really real and that when mom crossed over she met her little dog that went a few years before her.

Dean, you have affected and changed many many lives for the better here in this group. I am definitely one of them. The PHENOMINAL advice you wrote to me about how greedy some people were really helped me deep down inside to remember whats important. My moms memory and the love she gave me.

Dean If you ever feel the doubt again, KNOW, REALLY KNOW you affected one Shelly McNamara of Upstate NY with your wisdom, genuine care and unbeatable horse-sense.

most sincerely giving you my respect, admiration and thank-fullness.

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Thanks for putting into words what so many of us think about often. Your post showed the reason we all keep coming back to this site: we feel free to express, and need each other so desparately to hear our thoughts, because so much of the world doesn't get it.

I've learned throug the 10 years of this cancer stuff to finally let my brain ramble when it needs to. My favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie, and in it Mitch asked if he wasn't afraid. He answered that of course he was, and sometimes it was unbearable. He felt sorry for himself, sad and depressed as well. He knew he had to acknowledge the feelings, then he would put them away. My line I use now is "I've given this enough time".


PS tylenol PM and I are very good friends. :lol:

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I too questioned many of the same things you are questioning now. Still do. I spent till 3:00 am the other night searching the internet for answers, as if God had a web site! Ha! Dean, we will not know the answers to these questions until the time of our passing. So, we must operate on pure faith. That is part of the trial we go through here on earth. I agree with you about God...How could he not exist. Just take one good look around you. I see God in every rainbow, in each sunset, I feel him with the warmth of sunshine all over my face. I cannot imagine heaven being more awsome than earth!

Dean, one thing everyone does befor the end of life is review their past. Hopefuly we will have no regrets in life, and feel good about the choices we have made. I suppose it helps us to come to terms with death. You are not dying yet my friend. It sounds as though you have plenty of fight left in you. Dean I respect whatever decision you make, and will not question your choices. However, for me, I will leave this world kicking and screaming. I was told surgery would not increase my survival rate ( I too am 3A). However, I found an agressive, talented surgeon who was willing to take a risk, but only if the treatment shrunk the mediastinal lymph nodes. It worked, and I was declared cancer free after my surgery. I will not lie, the treatment was not fun. It really was not that bad though, especially compared to the alternative. Even if it only buys me more time, I would do it again. Dean, pm me if you need to talk. I may not have your answers, but will lend an ear.


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You mat be sure you helped me after the lost of my husband,

you helped a lot of people.

What you call your rambling I call my IF..IF..IF..

about treatments my husband had, those he did not have, about what I did or did not do, what more I could have done for him and it never stops and I think it never will.

All he wanted was a little more time and he did not have it, now I find

myself with all the time I do not want and never wanted, so where do

we find a peace ?.

So you are not alone in the rambling, we all do from time to time.

Keep well as long as you can, no hurry.

Thank you for helping.


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HI Dean

Your post really caught my eye but it has taken me a while to decide exactly how to reply to what you are going through. I like everyone will tell you that I too have my late night (and sometimes middle of the day) ramblings and sessions of what ifs and all of the other things that go with it. Unlike you I can not understand totaly because I have so far been fortunate enough not to know cancer from the same view that you do. Johnny on the other hand did. I saw what those doubts and yes fears did to him. It was not pleasant for either of us.

Johnny grew up during the deprsion in a family that was very much tied to church and religeon. It left a permanant mark on him. He was taught about Heaven and Hell and that a person stood little chance to achieve one or avoid the other. Because of that and a past that many would call I guess the word would be in some ways unsavory (LIke you wrote in one of your earlier posts he had his time of drinking, 000 and very lose women) he had a tremendous fear of death dispite his strong faith in God. Add the anxiety with no support from either the docters or his family and he lived in his own hell here on Earth. I was there for him but as much as I love him there was not a lot that I knew at the time about cancer and the fear and anxiety that can go with it. I was a novice.. A well meaning novice but one just the same. When he would waken at night and not go back to sleep I didn't understand. Now I do.

Often times I would watch him and in my heart I could imagine what he was going through but I had no support to help me better understand. This message board tho coming too late for Johnny has been a God send for me. This post of yours will do incredable things for anyone who finds themselves in the position I was in just a year and few months ago. You are an incredable and unselfish person. I hate to see you on this path as I do so many others. Still I can't help but think that there is a purpose for each of us being where we are. Life is not always fair but I believe there is a reason for everything. You are touching so many people. I have little doubt that the reason you are on the path that you are is so you can help others...

By the way I want to add that your paintings are incredable. Your talent is very great. You sound so much like my Johnny in many ways. I think the two of you could have been great friends. Believe me coming from me that is the highest compliment I could ever give.

God Bless you and keep you well. I don't think you can see the end of your road yet. You still have a lot more people to comfort and inspire with your loving spirit. My best to you and your wife during this Joyful yet painful season. Lillian

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