My brother died 14 months ago and I'm in pain

Greever

Super Anarchist
4,091
106
Rockford, MI
Well.............after a pretty rough run of an infected hip replacement (3 years after the replacement!) including another emergency surgery this past December to debride the hip then 3 months of big antibiotics via a PICC line at home some of my lab values just were not improving and my kidney numbers took a dangerous nose dive. After some investigation thinking it was sorta left over from the infection and surgery we discovered in March that I have developed Multiple Myeloma. It is a 100% fatal currently incurable bone marrow disease likely work exposure related. The 5 year survival rate is 50%. Hoping to beat that as I am pretty darn healthy before the series of infections this last year. The good news is I am just starting the 7th of 8 planned cycles of 3 week initial treatments, drugs for two weeks and one week off constitutes one cycle. I've had a very good response which is a good sign for longevity. I am tolerating the treatments quite well and golf a couple times a week and swim workout a couple times a week and some SUP, bike, and walking. After the initial treatments I will go onto a maintenance program of drugs and see how long before a relapse. That will also give some hints about longevity as well. There are some promising immune modulating treatments that might even be a "cure" in the pipeline that we've discussed with my Hemoc/Onc Doc.  

Anyway...........it causes one to contemplate mortality and what the end will look like. Especially when you know exactly what it will look like and the only variable is.....how long...... 

We are not promised tomorrow. We only have today.
I am pulling for you PB…….

 

Bus Driver

Bacon Quality Control Specialist
Well.............after a pretty rough run of an infected hip replacement (3 years after the replacement!) including another emergency surgery this past December to debride the hip then 3 months of big antibiotics via a PICC line at home some of my lab values just were not improving and my kidney numbers took a dangerous nose dive. After some investigation thinking it was sorta left over from the infection and surgery we discovered in March that I have developed Multiple Myeloma. It is a 100% fatal currently incurable bone marrow disease likely work exposure related. The 5 year survival rate is 50%. Hoping to beat that as I am pretty darn healthy before the series of infections this last year. The good news is I am just starting the 7th of 8 planned cycles of 3 week initial treatments, drugs for two weeks and one week off constitutes one cycle. I've had a very good response which is a good sign for longevity. I am tolerating the treatments quite well and golf a couple times a week and swim workout a couple times a week and some SUP, bike, and walking. After the initial treatments I will go onto a maintenance program of drugs and see how long before a relapse. That will also give some hints about longevity as well. There are some promising immune modulating treatments that might even be a "cure" in the pipeline that we've discussed with my Hemoc/Onc Doc.  

Anyway...........it causes one to contemplate mortality and what the end will look like. Especially when you know exactly what it will look like and the only variable is.....how long...... 

We are not promised tomorrow. We only have today.
Geez, PB.  You've had a bumpy road, of late.  Sending you healing vibes and positive energy.

 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
44,189
9,580
Eastern NC
You play the cards you’re dealt best you can. I don’t complain. I’ve known life is fragile and fleeting for a long long time. 
You need to write that book, man.

Life is fleeting and fragile, indeed, and those of us that are actually adults (I can't believe -I'm- saying this) know that we get to the end sooner or later. I hope you get longer instead of shorter. Seriously.

- DSK

 

warbird

Super Anarchist
16,594
1,342
lake michigan
You play the cards you’re dealt best you can. I don’t complain. I’ve known life is fragile and fleeting for a long long time. 
I recently developed Central Serous Chorioretinopathy. Seems to be static. I bought an old motorcycle online, I will ride a bit before I can't see anymore.

 

warbird

Super Anarchist
16,594
1,342
lake michigan
You play the cards you’re dealt best you can. I don’t complain. I’ve known life is fragile and fleeting for a long long time. 
As we approach these times we hope our kids will be alright, we hope our grandkids will have a decent chance.  I have my new granddaughter a couple time a week, 7 months old now. I always do the 1+1 =2, 2+2 =4, 3+3=6... to 10+10 as I hold her bottle.

 

Point Break

Super Anarchist
26,301
3,962
Long Beach, California
A kind of second childhood falls on so many men. They trade their violence for the promise of a small increase of life span. In effect, the head of the house becomes the youngest child. And I have searched myself for this possibility with a kind of horror. For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage. My wife married a man; I saw no reason why she should inherit a baby.

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

 

pbd

Super Anarchist
1,343
293
Ca
Well.............after a pretty rough run of an infected hip replacement (3 years after the replacement!) including another emergency surgery this past December to debride the hip then 3 months of big antibiotics via a PICC line at home some of my lab values just were not improving and my kidney numbers took a dangerous nose dive. After some investigation thinking it was sorta left over from the infection and surgery we discovered in March that I have developed Multiple Myeloma. It is a 100% fatal currently incurable bone marrow disease likely work exposure related. The 5 year survival rate is 50%. Hoping to beat that as I am pretty darn healthy before the series of infections this last year. The good news is I am just starting the 7th of 8 planned cycles of 3 week initial treatments, drugs for two weeks and one week off constitutes one cycle. I've had a very good response which is a good sign for longevity. I am tolerating the treatments quite well and golf a couple times a week and swim workout a couple times a week and some SUP, bike, and walking. After the initial treatments I will go onto a maintenance program of drugs and see how long before a relapse. That will also give some hints about longevity as well. There are some promising immune modulating treatments that might even be a "cure" in the pipeline that we've discussed with my Hemoc/Onc Doc.  

Anyway...........it causes one to contemplate mortality and what the end will look like. Especially when you know exactly what it will look like and the only variable is.....how long...... 

We are not promised tomorrow. We only have today.
Fuck

We'll all be pulling for you

 

Sean

Super Anarchist
15,396
2,546
Sag Harbor, NY
Cal, I feel your pain. I’ve lost a sister and a brother. Just returned from a memorial for my brother. 
My sister left us many years ago, and since, my grief has slowly morphed into fond memories. I no longer cry for her, I smile when she comes to mind. Such a beautiful human. 
I’m not there yet for my brother, but I believe time will bring a smile for his memory too. 
 

You too will get to that smile some day, but until then it hurts like hell. 
Hang in there. 

 

Ed Lada

Super Anarchist
19,327
4,882
Poland
I am not religious but I don't reject spiritual notions. I'm an agnostic. I have seen a few things at and near the moments of others passing  during my career and also a "dream" following my late wife's passing that leave me wondering and acknowledging the possibility of something afterwards. Still no proof sufficient to satisfy me but sufficient to have me wonder. Is it the product of a brain anomaly in the cases of near death and death and a fanciful dream in my own dream? I cannot say.......but I do not rule it out.....or in. By way of example.....

My partner and I are called early in the morning, I'm guessing 0300 or so, to a multigenerational home of Native Americans. They said grandfather had passed away. We arrive and while my partner is talking to the family I open the closed bedroom door to check on the grandfather and find him sitting up in bed looking at me quite peacefully. So I sit on the edge of the bed and after explaining who I was I say "I'm surprised to find you awake. its seems your family thought you had passed away." He looks at me and says "oh....I did." I'm a little confused but after years as a Firefighter/Paramedic I'm used to odd responses. I say "What do you mean?" He says "I left my body and after traveling saw my grandfather. He looked at me and he said its not time yet. Go back. I'll be back for you in the morning. So, I came back." Okay says I and after some pleasant conversation left the room and advised the family that grandfather was very much alive and told them the story. They nodded without surprise, went into his room and we left. At around 0600 the bells go off again....same address. This time grandfather is indeed gone. Brain fart? I don't know.

My own experience.....after a tough two year battle my late wife came home on hospice for 10 days. She wanted to pass at home. She did. I was crushed. After about a week I partially woke and was ABSOLUTELY sure she was standing at the edge of our bed smiling at me. No words.......just an impression upon waking that she had lingered...or some part of her had lingered and she was saying its okay and goodbye (she was unconscious when she passed). Fanciful dream? I don't know. Didn't seem/feel that way. After about 3 years I met a wonderful woman and remarried. Just last week she had a dream in which my late wife - who she never met but has seem pictures - was with her. They did have an exchange. My late wife said "just promise me you'll love and take care of him." My current wife said to her "Of course I will....I promise you." The she woke up. Fanciful dream? We don't know. 

It's all enough to make me wonder, especially with my recent diagnosis. I don't rule it out and occasionally ponder the question........with no answers.
I'll offer my opinion if I may.

I am an atheist and have been for a long, long time.  I don't believe in an after life if for no other reason that eternity or some other state, which most believe to be some kind of paradise would be no paradise because you need pain to have pleasure, you need ugly to have beauty, etc.  Eternity without anything negative would be boring and become hell.

As far as your 'dreams', look at it this way.  People think you can win the lottery at millions to one odds and play all the time.  Yet they can't accept that a dream is the subconscious speaking, not people dead or back from the dead, or whatever.  They just can't accept that it's just a coincidence and that the odds of such a coincidence are probably about the same odds of winning the lottery.  I hope that makes sense.

The bottom line is if your particular belief brings you comfort and it doesn't hurt anyone, then go for it.  There is no way to prove any particular belief or non belief either way.  

 

Ed Lada

Super Anarchist
19,327
4,882
Poland
Cal buddy, you know how to reach me.  

Actually I am currently in Erie.  I don't have a lot of time available to meet in Cleveland but I could meet you almost halfway in Conneaut if you want.  PM me and we can work it out maybe.  I fly back to Poland on 1 September.

Hang in there.

 

Ed Lada

Super Anarchist
19,327
4,882
Poland
I will add to the joyful news re PB and others.  First of all though, PB, that's a weak excuse not to write that book we all promised that you would write!

I have spoken here about my condition, some kind of degenerative neuro-muscular disease.  I decided to call it ALS light because i started slowly about 17 years or so ago.  It has progressed pretty slowly and steady a shallow descending graph line as it were.  Until the last six months where the shallow decline went over a cliff.  I have very little strength.  I can't walk more than 30 or 40 feet without stopping to regain my power and can't walk a half mile under any circumstance.  My arms get tired holding a book while reading in bed.  I have to chew thoroughly and force my throat to swallow and i often choke on my saliva.  Even while resting my extremities feel like useless weight and my posture is terrible.  In short every day is a struggle.  I have a lot of reserve or rather I did.  I had to stop pushing myself to keep on going because I get no benefit out of it anymore and I essentially have emptied my reserve tank.  Last week I was more exhausted than I have ever been in my life and that includes going to basic training 2 different times and other physically and mentally draining tasks.  I had no idea how I managed to even get in the bed to go to sleep that night.  Just typing this is a chore.  It isn't a brain tired, it's my body giving me the finger. 

In spite of that I am happy.  I have had a great life, I've seen and done more than many people and have had incredible experiences.  I have more good friends than ever and I have no regrets.  I am not afraid to die, I don't want to bargain a la Steinbeck or Kubler Ross. I don't mind that the end is approaching.  I am well and truly worn out.  I only feel bad for those I leave behind, especially my 3 1/2 year old grand twins, Will and Reese.  But not much I can do about that.  I can't say if it will be 6 months or  maybe even 2 years but I am pretty sure it will be in that range and most likely sooner rather than later.  I will not lie in bed and be taken care of, I am not afraid of dying and I won't be kept alive at all costs as a lump.  FFS, everybody dies sooner or later.

So that's that.  I am currently in the US, I came to see my daughter, my grand twins, other family and my friends.  I made the trip at great cost, not in money but in effort not only the trip itself but in trying to see people and do things.  It will be my last trip here.  I tried to come earlier and then COVID happened, I rebooked my trip 4 times and here I am.

I can't control what's happening to me but I can control my reaction to it.  Getting angry, upset, whatever isn't going to change anything and I will only feel even worse than I already do.  So I enjoy my time, I do what I can and I spend a lot of time reflecting on all that I did in my life.  That makes me happy.  And when I get back to Poland there is a young lady I have been talking to and when I get back perhaps I will have one last hurrah, going out with a bang as it were.  I think that's a fine plan.  I am hopelessly addicted to women and I make no apologies for that, I just shouldn't keep getting married.  

I have never had a career, I never made more than $38,000 a year gross salary and I never worked one job for more than 6 years, most of my jobs were much less time than that. Yet I have lived in 5 countries on 3 continents and have 2 or 3 lifetimes of memories and have met some incredible people in some incredible places.  I did it my way because I couldn't do it any other way and that's good enough for me.  

I know this song is almost a corny cliché but it sure does describe my life.




 

Point Break

Super Anarchist
26,301
3,962
Long Beach, California
I'll offer my opinion if I may.

I am an atheist and have been for a long, long time.  I don't believe in an after life if for no other reason that eternity or some other state, which most believe to be some kind of paradise would be no paradise because you need pain to have pleasure, you need ugly to have beauty, etc.  Eternity without anything negative would be boring and become hell.

As far as your 'dreams', look at it this way.  People think you can win the lottery at millions to one odds and play all the time.  Yet they can't accept that a dream is the subconscious speaking, not people dead or back from the dead, or whatever.  They just can't accept that it's just a coincidence and that the odds of such a coincidence are probably about the same odds of winning the lottery.  I hope that makes sense.

The bottom line is if your particular belief brings you comfort and it doesn't hurt anyone, then go for it.  There is no way to prove any particular belief or non belief either way.  
I’ve read a ton very early in my career about death and afterlife. I was already an agnostic by then having fully explored - to my satisfaction - notions of a deity…..no atheists in a foxhole sort of pondering. Anyway, very early on in my career seeing lots of death and near death it was important to me to try to sort through what people I took care of were experiencing. Sometime in my second year we resuscitated a runner in his 20’s on the side of the road. A few months later he came by the station to say thanks and we ended up chatting for an hour or so about his experience. Now understand, I intubated this guy, I started his IV, I defibrillated him, I pushed the drugs…..it was a very personal meeting for both of us. The details of his story are not important as they are not that different from any of the near death experiences one can read about. But it sent me on the journey - both spiritual and intellectual - to sort it out. Bottom line? Afterlife or anoxic brain or god……no way to know or prove. I accept that. It does not stop me from occasionally pondering…..

So……whatever conclusions others reach, religious or not, I have no basis or desire to argue or objection so long as their belief does not harm others. They might be right….or not. 

 

Ed Lada

Super Anarchist
19,327
4,882
Poland
So……whatever conclusions others reach, religious or not, I have no basis or desire to argue or objection so long as their belief does not harm others. They might be right….or not. 
It would be nice if someone could come back and tell us one way or the other!

 




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