Saturday, July 02, 2005

Being Told the End is Near...

How do you go to sleep at night after being told you have a year or less to live?

I suppose during the daytime it is possible to come up with random things to occupy your mind in efforts of refusing to acknowledge the news, but when it’s time for going to sleep, and you crawl between the sheets, there’s no ignoring the thoughts that will travel through your head.

What do you ask yourself? What do you tell yourself?

I’m willing to bet MOST of the readers of this blog have not been told personally news such as “you have a year left to live.” But, if you have, my blessings on you as you have chose to live some of your precious moments of life blog surfing.

However, I’m sure some, if not maybe even half of those reading have had a close loved one who has been given the traumatic news before. And while in your cases, processing this news is no walk in the park, it can’t compare with the process the individual receiving the news about them self must endure.

I’d think bedtime would be the worst of times, especially for someone like myself who can lay in bed at night and ponder thoughts for hours without feeling sleepy at all.

While it’s impossible to know exactly how you would behave in any given situation you haven’t experienced before, I would venture to imagine the initial nights following the news would be stricken with many tears.

Yes, there is the response that the news was brought forth by man, and man is never completely sure on one’s time of death, but with the advancements in science today, we can get closer and closer to estimating prolonged deaths.

So as you lay in bed, what could be crossing your mind?

So maybe the news isn’t correct. Is one going to let this thought cross his/her mind and live the next waking hours believing as if he/she had never gotten the news?

So maybe the news is correct. Maybe one’s allotted days has been revealed. Does one let this thought cross his/her mind and live the next waking hours in preparation for the ending ceremonies?

However, there are two other scenarios, and in statistics they are referred to as Type I Error and Type II Error. These would be as follows:

What if the news isn’t correct, but the individual chooses to believe it? What if science fails us in this situation and the body overcomes it’s obstacle allowing the man to live many years into the future. Has this man wasted his days in the initial year preparing for the end?

Or the other scenario…

What if the news is correct, but the individual refuses to believe it? What if our advances in the medical field are right on the money and within the next 365 days the family is saying goodbye to their loved one? Has this man missed out on preparing his farewell address?

I don’t think a right answer exists to most of these questions. I think most of us have our own ways of dealing with life, whether we are under the impression that we will live to the ripe old age of 95 or whether we are under the impression that life is fragile and the end could be tomorrow.

I know I’ve recently considered the idea of wanting to not be told I have a terminal illness, should one be present. I suppose I believe too much in the power of the mind over the body and I wouldn’t want to give my mind any reason to hit the downward spiral. However, if I was given the news, I would hope that I would be able to pull together my motivation and dedication to overcoming science. I would want to milk life for all it’s worth while at the same time looking toward the future!


I say all this just as random thoughts that have crossed my mind over the past 24 hours since I was informed that the paternal grandpa of my aunt’s kids has had his cancerous brain tumors return. He was given the news of a year left the other day and my cousins were just informed of the news today.

While I might be of no blood relation to this individual, he, as his wife, are good people I respect. And while that in itself is worthy, I feel for my cousins, especially the boys, whom I’ve grown very close to over the past year. While news like this is tough for anyone, it is taken differently by a kid.

I wish blessings on “the fam” as they learn to accept the news as it has been given and rise to the level of continuing to live a fruitful life filled with love and happiness.


Jennifer said...

Why does this news just have to be accepted? When we accept news of this nature, we're already admitting defeat. I know that man, and I know that he is a good Christian man who loves the Lord! What happened to hope? What happened to miracles? Are we so jaded by the horrors that we see around us that we don't even realize that this doesn't have to be? The Lord is working and moving TODAY! I have no doubt that he can be healed! Instead of giving up, let's have faith and pray in Jesus name that Byron will be COMPLETELY healed of every bit of cancer that may be in his brain! The Lord has empowered us that if we have faith and ask in his name, we can do even greater things than he did! (John 14:12-14) I'm sick of calling it quits before the battle has even begun! Who's ready to get on their knees and fight?

PS- So pretty much, I just don't want to see the Type I error scenario occur. I want you to know that this comment is in NO way directed toward what you had to say (because you didn't even say what my comment was about, really,) but for others who may read this. There is so much heartache around us that we tend to just give up. I know I've been guilty of it for many years. I'm sick of giving up, though! Lately, I've just been introduced to this power that we have, and I just wish that we would use it instead of just letting is slip away. It's hard to believe that the Lord is still working when we see so much crap around us, but I wish that we would all just step out in faith and believe the things he has told us! I know this is kind of a weird subject to many (and pretty much never touched on in the CofC,) but it's real. If we believe what the bible says is true, how can we not believe that the Lord has the power to heal, even today! I'm ready to start seeing some miracles!

FeedingYourMind said...

Jennifer: First, I want to thank you for your comment! In no way did I take it as an attack on what I said. I actually found it rather interesting to read and think about, so thanks!

Second, I feel I need to clarify the "accept" part in my post. Even when I reread my entry I was like, "you know, I know writing 'accept' there will not be taken as I meant it," so i should have went ahead and clarified more in the post, but instead I chose the lazy stick! ;)

When I said "accept the news", I meant that exactly--accept that they have been given that news. Don't fall into denial and act as if it was never told to him. What I don't mean by accept, which actually goes right along with what you were saying, is to not necessarily accept the MEANING behind the news.

If one accepts that they only have a year left to live, dependant on how mentally strong the individual is, he/she is most likely going to go into the "downward spiral" that I mentioned also in the post. Feeling sorry for him/herself, becoming depressed, basically ceasing to live past that moment. I do not recommend accepting the MEANING behind the "end is near" news, because being mentally strong enough to overcome that has got to be one of the toughest obstacles, I would imagine.

Once again, thanks for your comment and I hope that clarifies where I was coming from with the "accept the news" part.