mainecoon Posted May 14, 2003 Share Posted May 14, 2003 My wife has recently been diagnosed with extensive SCLC. I say extensive, because there is pleural involvement. Fortunately it has not metastasized to her bones or other organs. She agreed to submit to a regimen of carboplatin and etoposide. She made this choice principally to improve the quality of the last few months remaining to her. We both know there's no cure for this, and the cancer is a very aggressive one. Actually, I'm the more optimistic of the two of us. When I tell my wife positive things she looks at me in a sort of pitying and indulgent fashion. Like the character in the movie "A Night to Remember", who tells the child he is clutching as the Titanic crashes into the dark, cold depths, "It'll be alright. Don't be afraid. It'll be alright." Anyway, we're not Christian folk. We don't ascribe to any common faith. If I gave it some thought I'd characterize my belief system as a cross between animist-Taoist-Hindu beliefs, with a touch of Zen. God knows what my wife believes in. All I know is that I'm the spiritual one. But make no mistake, we do not criticize anyone's beliefs. It is a good thing to have faith. This much we do know, life can be good. The smell of moist earth in Spring, the giggles of children at play, a warm fire as the wind howls outside driving the snow before it. These are the small pleasures we share. They are also the reasons why my wife agreed to the chemo, knowing it would probably only bring her a year more of life. Many of the posts on this board regard death and dying as a defeat, a shameful thing that can only be made right somehow through a monumental expenditure of misery that leaves the victims so prostrate that it would be unreasonable to ask them to do more. My wife and I have seen many people die of this miserable disease. None have been good. My own brother recently died from throat cancer which had metastasized to his cervical spine. He was on Quadramet when he died, peacefully, after a final unsuccessful bout with pneumonia. I say peacefully, because both he and his wife had made arrangements with Hospice to attend to him when the doctors said there was nothing more they could do. It was the closest they came to actually choosing to face the end, rather than waiting for some traumatic act like heart failure to intervene. I think it is important for a person to assert himself at the end of his days by choosing to face the end, rather than regarding it as a shameful defeat to be delayed at any cost. Birth is not shameful. Neither is death. as the koan asks "What was your face before you were born?" Whence we came, to where we go. Who knows? Only those who embark on the journey will know the answer to this Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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