Facing the end of my life.

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New Contributor

Facing the end of my life.

Hi everyone

 

my name is Trevor i am a 49 year old man living in Victoria. I once was the fighting fit chef who worked all over the globe as an Executive Chef until recently discovering that i was getting sinus pain a lot. I went on antibiotics went to many doctors telling me that its just sinusitis for which now i know it is not. I demanded a CT scan that revealed that i infact had a 5cm tumour growing inside my ethmoid and frontal sinus. The problem was this is not where it stopped. Finally my doctor said lets get a full body scan done and test etc with biopsies. After the scans and everything was told to me that i not only have ethmoid sinus squamous cell cancer but i also have 5 tumours on my lungs and rib cage from distant metastisis. My cancer is stage 4 and doctors giving me 6 months to live. I have gone from being a person who works all his life to the man i am now feeling like everything has collapsed around me. Financially emotionally everything.  Thought to join this site as i know i am not the only person going through this there must be others who can inspire me to help me get that lift i really need just now. Hope to hear from you all.

 

regards

chef Trevor

7 REPLIES
Occasional Contributor

Re: Facing the end of my life.

Hi Trevor, I’m sorry to hear of your cancer, especially that it took so long for you to get a diagnosis.  I have kidney cancer, also stage 4 when I found out.   The fact that your doc has given you 6 months to live, that is crushing, but try not to let that bring you down. You’re not dead yet!  If that was me I would be out to prove them wrong.  ATTITUDE!  It can be an amazing thing to give you strength.  I was never given a time frame, because everyone is different, and can handle treatment differently. Do get all your affairs in order, just in case.  Looking on the bright side (if there is one) - you can plan your funeral just the way that you want it.  That’s what I’ve done.  It might sound macabre to some, but I’m going out in the way that I want to.  My husband & I went coffin shopping.  We purchased something simple and plane, and he made another lid for it in the shape of an Egyptian sarcophagus, including a mould of my face.  I have since painted it in ancient Egyptian scenes and hieroglyphs.  That was quite therapeutic, and I really enjoyed doing it.   We have also fully planned my funeral, organised the songs I want playing etc.  The whole project has helped me come to terms, somewhat, that my death could happen pretty much at anytime.  I accept that.  But I don't let that stop me from living. Talking with my husband & family has helped too.  Talk to someone, whether that person is family, a counsellor, a priest, anyone.  But talking does help.  A lot of family & friends don’t want to talk about it because they find it too confronting.  I think everyone should talk more about death though, then perhaps it wouldn't be so confronting. One of my sons has given me a list of questions he would like me to answer about my life.  That is bringing back so many memories, good and bad, but it is fulfilling.  Maybe you could write about your travels as a chef.  Surely you must have had some fantastic experiences travelling the world. Anyway, Trevor, do take care of yourself, and remember there is always this community you can reach out to. Best wishes Sonia
New Contributor

Re: Facing the end of my life.

Hi Sonia

 

reading your message brought tears to my eyes. I never expected so many people out there are going through exactly what i am and its a pleasure to read such a honest view and how to move forward with confidence. You are correct we are not d ad yet and i will continue to fight. I will never give up until my last breath. I have kids and i have a sweetheart of a lady. I just am now trying to focus my energy on them just now to ensure they are secured when i leave to the other side.

 

thanks very much for your message as it meant so much to me.

 

god Bless

trevor

Occasional Contributor

Re: Facing the end of my life.

That's what we're here for Trevor - to help and support each other throughout a very testing time.  I'm glad I could help in some way.  Do take care & talk often. 😊 Sonia
Regular Contributor

Re: Facing the end of my life.

It is a very hard subject to communicate about ,if you have not been diagnosed terminal, it would be very hard to understand the intense mental struggle that people face especially when or if chronic intense pain is involved ,when diagnosed terminal and trying to keep a positive attitude happening with what lies ahead.

After surgery and during chemo I was diagnosed terminal I chatted with others who had the same cancer and we discussed matters between ourselves that we did not want our families to really worry more about, concerning our health and daily feelings ,I found nothing was off the table in these talks we helped each other when needed with encouragement,some discussions were confronting as life's frailties were faced but they helped at the time I became friends with the other people going through the same feelings and frustrations of the diagnosis

For me I was given some advice I really took note of ,I was told by a friend who was a doctor that we are all going to die some sooner and some later and it looked like I was in the sooner group,but for me the medical term terminal was wrong, I am here 7 years after diagnosis when given 12-18 months to live I have not forgotten my feelings from that time in my life nor my friends whom were not as fortunate as myself.My heart goes out to all involved with a cancer diagnosis,families and carers.

Occasional Contributor

Re: Facing the end of my life.

Hi Trevor, good on you for joining this community and reaching out. Your diagnostic journey sounds awful, it can be hard when we present with symptoms that don't fit the mold or that like something not serious like a runny nose and blocked sinuses.

 

About what the doctor said re 6 months - that is by no means a prescription. My advice would be to use that opinion to make some immediate decisions or put some systems in place and then try not to focus on the timeline. Medicine is imperfect and doctors don't have a crystal ball - there's no telling how long you will be around.

 

It sounds like you're taking each day at a time and trying to do things you enjoy and that make you and others around you happy - I think that's a grand plan mate.

 

B

New Contributor

Re: Facing the end of my life.

I can't thank everyone so much for the support I get from this site.  Having to deal with cancer knowing I may not be around much longer but getting support from everyone who drops a small or large supported message means so much to me.  I can't thank you all so much. 

 

I will continue my fight until my last breathe. 

 

God Bless 

Chef T

Re: Facing the end of my life.

Chef T, mate, I hope you're still with us - and if you are, I'd also urge you to push for clinical immunotherapy trials.


These days drugs like Interferon are keeping people with blood cancer alive indefinitely, which was back years ago pretty-much a death sentence.  My half-brother's father (no idea what word applies to that relationship, stepfather twice removed or something, heh) has a very similar cancer outlook to you, and was given <6 months to live, put into a palliative care facility.

 

Now, on some immunotherapy drug, he is still alive (and this is at least 2 years later - in the intervening time I was diagnosed, treated and limping along for a year after).  His tumours have not vanished but have shrunk by about 80% and they're cautiously using words like remission instead of palliative.

 

Just in case your doctor has given you "I'm sorry there's nothing we can do", even if your remaining life is measured in weeks and months, you sound like a FIGHTER and one thing I'd do is fight the system making sure that if there is an unexpected treatment path, or even new experimental treatments, you're on the list.

 

If it's a side-track, I'm sorry, I'm just remarking in case it's something that nobody else has mentioned and might be useful.  Good luck with your fight, as you say, make sure your last breath is exhaled from a body and mind that still has hope and love and strength intact.  All the best.

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