What do you do when you are told it is terminal?

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What do you do when you are told it is terminal?

I can't really believe that I only have a limited life span, I feel relatively healthy and fit. Should I carry on as normal, drop everything and have lots of holidays, spend all my time at yoga and relaxation sessions. Try to put everything in order, plan a funeral, write a will, plan for the end. It is all so ridiculous, what if I beat the odds and live longer than they say have I done all this for nothing? What do others who have been told they only have a certain time to live do. I want to make the most of the time I have left. I suppose the answer is all of the above. Perhaps we are not supposed to know this sort of information. It is all too big for me to cope with.
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Super Contributor

Re: What do you do when you are told it is terminal?

Pim I am sorry to read that you have been given a terminal diagnosis,I was given 18 months to live after surgery it is now 4 years and three months since that diagnosis I am in remission. In that period of time there has been fluctuating emotions and health I have had friends die with the same diagnosis as I, sometimes the doctors get it wrong and we as patients get fortunate and continue to defy medical opinion either through skilled medical intervention ,luck or other reasons, we are all different individuals, I have been fortunate I have been spoiled by family and friends, in the early days I did think about dying but I eventually realized while I was living I would try and enjoy each day of my life which I am doing eventually the thought of dying was pushed out of my mind.To be faced again if it resurfaces in my life. That is how I faced a terminal diagnosis. I think you have answered your own question.Insert below I want to make the most of the time I have left. kj
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Occasional Contributor

Re: What do you do when you are told it is terminal?

My husband Erik was the same as you Pim in that when he got diagnosed in Sept last year - in that he was well and showing no symptoms whatsoever and felt like a fraud. Our initial response was to get ourselves into a panicked state at the 'not knowing' and 'uncertainty' of it all. Then we had some counselling through the Cancer Council. The Counsellor helped us to realise that everyone lives with uncertainty in their lives every day. Any one of us could get hit by a bus crossing the road at any time and die. The only difference is we happen to know what the time bomb inside us is thats ticking and perhaps we get given a heads up to make the most of what we have and an opportunity to live each day to the fullest that we possibly can. My husband may have 2 - 5 years (worst case scenario) or he may have 5 - 10 years and beyond (best case scenario) - we honestly have no idea. The cancer that Erik has is slow growing and stable right now but at the next scan it may have turned agressive and become fast growing - we just don't know. I initially wanted to spend all of our available funds on going on trips and travelling (like we had planned to do in our retirement). Erik in his infinite wisdom said to me - what if I live for 10 years or more and we blow all our money right now on trips and have nothing much to live on 10 years down the track. He is right - so we continue to work, plan trips and implement plans to simplify our life so that we can enjoy it to its fullest and live each day as if its our last. It is a huge headspin to think that you time is almost up or may be - and takes some coming to terms with - all of us in our own individual ways...Good luck
New Contributor

Re: What do you do when you are told it is terminal?

I know how you feel, im in the same pos, I feel ok too but told im not going to live long, Im going to take each day as it comes, I live alone so when I go I can be found and they can do what they want with me, until that dycomes for you too try not to worry about it, what will be will be so live while you can and dont think about it, I know its hard but keep busy if you can and cary on like normal, enjoy yourself now

See you in the place we all will be going soon, hope its as good as I want it to be 🙂 


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