First off, this is a throwaway, since I don't want friends, family or co-workers to know.

I went to the doctor about six months ago complaining of abdominal pain and digestive tract problems. I had problems for several months before I finally went. Two months later I was confirmed to have early onset pancreatic cancer (stage II), which developed in the tail of my pancreas and has already begun to spread to nearby organs and tissue. The tumors are inoperable.

The abdominal pain can be pretty bad, and I do take pain killers frequently, but I have chosen not to proceed with chemo and radiation therapy. I was told that the success rates would be pretty low, that basically my oncologist would do everything to improve my quality of life, but that remission of my cancer was very slim. I decided I would try what I can with diet to improve my chances, but that I didn't want to be hairless and half-killed for very little chance of aiding me to remission.

I haven't told family or friends, and I even broke up with my girlfriend... I've resigned myself to the fact that I am going to die within the next few years (at best), and I don't want to be treated differently by everyone I know. I do miss my girlfriend, and I feel very lonely living with this secret. I do want to share it with someone, but I know that as soon as I tell them, that's all they see when they talk to me.

It also really sucks knowing that I will never accomplish many of the things I wanted to do, education, career, or family.

I went through the "stages" pretty quick, well, except depression -- I still get pretty depressed. I was angry and felt cheated, went through the worst of the depression, and I think the diet change is a bartering with the world and myself more than it is with "god." I suppose I have come to a kind of acceptance. I will die young, I will not accomplish the things I wanted, and I will die in pain. I do wish I had someone to hang out with or talk with this about without affecting the rest of my life anymore than I have to.

I've also been considering what things I want to do before I die -- I'm thinking that I did not experiment enough with drugs or sex, but I am desperately trying to finish writing at least one novel (I doubt it will ever get published, but I am trying to address my reasoning and logic to my friends and family in an abstract sense, give them a last parting gift).

Ask me what you would like, but I don't want to reveal too many specifics -- fear of co-workers, family, or friends finding me out.

edit: TL;DR I'm dying, I'm trying to hide it, but I have to tell someone.

edit2: A couple of the first people to comment mentioned dietary changes, herbal supplements, etc. I do appreciate people wanting to help and offer advice, but my survival rates are less than 20%. I'll try what I can, if it doesn't effect my quality of remaining life, but I am resigned to my fate as well. It is okay. It sucks, but it happens.

Also, I am not looking for any kind of hand outs, potential procedures, miracles. I just wanted to get it off my chest, maybe meet some cool people that can be understanding or offer a good time without the "Oh my God, I'm so sorry, Kenny [let's call me]" look in their eyes.

I'm trying to approach it with as much a sense a humor as I can, it makes it easier to deal with it. I have bad days, but this isn't one of them.

edit 3: I know reddit has downvote bots or something -- only thing that explains some of the downvotes in GW, heh. But, I can't help seeing them and wanting some kind of further explanation.

edit 4: Thanks to those that are trying to be understanding. I do appreciate the few virtual hugs I have gotten. I've been trying to respond to every comment, but I can't anymore. I've got to get out and go do something -- just not up for sitting around any more. I'll try to peruse and respond to questions and comments that are particularly meaningful or new (things not already addressed). Might try to go through everything again later, but I don't know if I can keep up.

edit 5: I came back and tried to respond to some of the interesting posts. I'm going to be going to sleep soon, but I noticed a couple of themes in the comments and wanted to address them:

1) I will not be taking chemo. The 20% chance of survival isn't based on taking chemo versus doing nothing, and chemo will wreck what life I have left. I've decided to pursue natural cures, and I have been told that modern medicine really can't do that much for me anyway. The cancer has already spread into my system, and it is pancreatic.

2) I really appreciate it more than you can know, but I don't want any gifts, money, books, or cures for myself. If you can invest that energy into helping someone else that has more time, a better diagnosis, or a greater need -- please, please do all you can for them. I'll be happy to correspond with you, and I would love to have some understanding friends, but I don't want anything else. Your money and your energy can go towards someone with more potential and better chances. I'm just being utilitarian, not altruistic -- the effort can go somewhere else better.

9/27/2010 at 9:45pm UPDATE 1: At a bit of goading from the Reddit community (you guys are awesome), I have been thinking pretty hard about some of my decisions. I do still think I am right in how I am handling things with my ex, but I also think that maybe I should reconsider giving friends and family a little more time. I had already planned to let my mother know, once I moved back a little closer to her in the coming weeks/close to a month (still same general geographic area, just a little closer to home), but I am considering telling some of my closer friends that have moved away and I have been out of touch with for the most part until recent phone calls. I'm not entirely sure if I should tell them or not, but I am considering it. They are the ones I can't really bullshit and say I want to spend meaningful time with them just because -- they are a little too far away for that. We've had some "reconnect" phone calls lately, but seeing them and letting them see me might be a good gesture.

A LITTLE RANTY 1: I'm still not going to do chemo -- some of you are pretty vocal in thinking that is a stupid or fearful decision, and while I am confident in my decision and don't really feel a big need to defend it, I did decide to jump in and do this, so I figure I owe a little more explanation. I've seen what chemo does in addition to the cancer, and I don't want that. Also, I do have my oncologist, who is a pretty supportive and awesome person, but I did see two other oncologists also (I went through a denial phase and hoped my original oncologist was mistaken, but he wasn't). The consensus was that chemo won't do much of anything for Pancreatic Cancer Stage II-B. I could have invasive surgeries, try chemo on a remote chance that it may help, be unable to use the next year or two how I would like, and still probably die. I was told the chance of medicine helping was pretty near nil, that a placebo would do me about as much good. I am resigned to death and no longer in denial, but that doesn't mean I'm too inhuman not to at least hope some random study on turmeric, vitamin c, tomatoes, cannabis, a low carb diet, etc. might offer a glimmer of hope -- I seriously doubt it with my logical mind, but there is little else I can do but try -- and those have the additional benefit of leaving me able to use some of the time in the near future the best I can. Well, that and try to spend as much time as I can with friends and family and doing what I think might have some value. Chemo and a series of surgeries to try and remove a few of the masses will rob me of what energy I do have to do what I can.

I appreciate those that offer a more genuine encouragement to fight, but I really doubt I can win this one directly. I can try to win it indirectly with going with a little dignity and concern for my loved ones, trying to use my time in a meaningful way, and appreciating life for what it does have. Call me a hippie if you want, hell, I would have thought similarly once upon a time about the chances of any natural medicines, but somethings can and do change your views and priorities. The instinct to survive isn't everything to me -- living meaningfully during what time I have left is. I'm a strategist in some ways, and the only strategy that gives odds I like for some kind of success is this one. /RANTYNESS

Comments: 1196 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

[deleted]1245 karma

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
-Dylan Thomas

Some people might think that you've given up, but I don't think you have. I think you've evaluated the paths laid out before you, and you have chosen the one you walk on now carefully. Your life may be cut short, but whatever time on Earth remains is yours - you are yours. For what it's worth, that is more than most men can claim, and for this I applaud you.

The only question I have for you is, if there were one thing you would like people to do in your memory, what would that be?

My body will collapse like a falling cherry blossom
but my soul will live and protect this land forever.
Farewell. I am a glorious wild cherry blossom.
I shall return to my mother's place and bloom.
-Yuzuru Ogata

[deleted]439 karma

For appropriate use of poetry, upvoted. For a great understanding, I wish I could upvote again -- perhaps someone could upvote you a second time for me as a small token in my memory (not dead yet, but hey).

I suppose, if I had to ask any one thing, it would be that the next time they are down, depressed, having a shitty day, they just take a moment to reflect and realize that they still have that day as their own. That for a day, a week, or however long they can, that they realize the opportunity available in life -- the opportunity to just appreciate life for what it is.

Having been told I am going to die sucks in many ways. I have tried to make my best calculated decisions and stick to them, which can be really tough sometimes, in those moments of weakness. But, it has also opened my vision to the world around me as a beautiful thing, even in some of its darker places.

Oh, and approaching life with a better sense of humor can really help too, so if I could ask two things, that would be the second.

[deleted]251 karma

I suppose, if I had to ask any one thing, it would be that the next time they are down, depressed, having a shitty day, they just take a moment to reflect and realize that they still have that day as their own. That for a day, a week, or however long they can, that they realize the opportunity available in life -- the opportunity to just appreciate life for what it is.

I will remember this. I promise.

[deleted]6 karma

This made me rethink how I felt about having a 'bad' day today. Thank you for your courage as well as inspiration.

cantsleepatall46 karma

Today is one of those down/depressed/shitty days, so thank you, I needed to hear that. I'd raise a glass to you if I were in any mood for alcohol. I owe you one.

[deleted]45 karma

Heh, I still do the glass of wine every now and then.

hoodatninja45 karma

Seriously I'm about to cry man...I wish there was something I could say or do but I know there isn't. I'll do my best to take at least a lesson from you. Many movies, books, etc. tell us how precious life is...but they often seem insincere or preachy. I don't know you, I won't ever meet you, but I can honestly say your posting here means a lot to me and many others.

Any other requests from your fellow redditors? I know it seems silly, especially since this is the internet and all, but honestly I feel the need to do or say something.

[deleted]9 karma

Just do something nice for someone. Whatever motivation you feel to do something nice, pay it forward to someone that can use it a little longer.

[deleted]7 karma

"They still have that day as their own" I wish I could have realized that earlier in life. Thank you.

foamed521 karma

Fuck everything about this! I'm totally serious!

This is beyond stupidity! I've had leukemia (here is the AMA) and was told I was going to die within two to three weeks. In my opinion the road your walking down now is totally stupid and wrong (to say the least).

If you just accept death you'll surely die. 20% survival rate is way more than what I ever had (what the doctors told me at least), so fuck this! I'm mad, sad and totally frustrated at the same time. It makes me so damn angry to hear these stories about people with cancer who just gives up (and I'm almost never angry).

I know the pain you're going through. It's a fucking horrible disease. An awful and painful disease which totally changes your life forever. I feel really sorry for you and I would've surely helped you if I could (in some way or another).

At least try do some drugs. I did a shit load of different drugs during the two weeks after I got diagnosed. It helped me a lot with the stress. It even made me more open minded and a better person in the long run. Also going through chemotherapy/radiation therapy ain't really that bad if you smoke/eat cannabis during the treatment. I had hair almost down to my ass. I still miss the feeling of long, flowing hair. But at least I got over it.

Here are four pictures of myself. Just to compare:

I don't know what else to say. I don't know why you would ever want to keep this to yourself. Your family, your ex, and your friends will be totally destroyed when they finally find out what really happened to you.

That is the only truth.

[deleted]3 karma

I can't believe nobody else commented that you're in a photo with Kirk Hammett..unless I am missing something haha. I very inspirational story and I hope serves as some motivation to the OP...cheers man :)

Logvin175 karma

My wife is in a very similar situation. Terminal cancer, treatment will likely fail, likely time is a few years.

We had a lot of talking about it when we first found out. We had been married 6 months. It was hard, and she is on a lot of pain killers to deal with the pain to this day.

We have gone with a "lets not let it win" strategy. I wake up and go to work, and we try and make the same decisions we would make if she was healthy. We had a baby, and have another one due within a few weeks. It kills me to know they might not remember their mother, but my goal is to make HER happy for as long as we have together.

I recommend you do the same thing. Try and enjoy yourself as long as you can. Take a vacation, buy some season tickets to a ballgame, have fun. I would recommend you take advantage of some financial institutions and borrow some money, and see the world.

Some will call you selfish. I wont agree. You are doing an incredibly honorable thing. They will find out eventually, there is no going around it... you are saving them months/years of worry and depression themselves. It will be incredibly hard on your family when you pass, but it would be just as hard if they knew about it for 2 years first.

My recommendation? 1. Big/multiple loans from bank 2. Vegas 3. ???? 4. Profit.

[deleted]62 karma

Heh, if I had the good credit or tons of money, I might go for a lot more in the way of wild adventures, but regrettably I went to college and took the student loans, maxed out my credit, then graduated into a not so great economy.

I am appreciating everything a lot more than I was. It was an eye opening event. Yeah, I get depressed and want to just go wild sometimes, but I'm also alright with appreciating what I have and doing what I can. It does suck that there's no way I'll have time to go back to school, get the the graduate degrees, etc., but I'm not looking to make tons of money any more.

MeThisGuy25 karma

well open some more credit cards and go see the world. They're not gonna haunt you when you've passed on.. just saying. Go live every day like it's your last and maybe you'll end up doing half the things you always wanted to. Be well

rironin43 karma

I'm not sure that I like this approach. His odds of survival may be less than 20%, but I'm pretty sure he wants to live. Getting heavily into debt is like rooting for the cancer to win, and guaranteeing that if he does survive, he'll be financially fucked.

noodlez2 karma

what are the odds that you'll be able to afford being able to take some time off and travel? have a job that'll let you telecommute? etc..

[deleted]12 karma

I've been earning time off, and I'll be fine. I have medical insurance, life insurance, and long term disability insurance. My medical bills are taken care of, and I will go on disability when I have to. I'll be taking some time off at undisclosed time.

noodlez4 karma

is seeing the world not on the list of things you want to try and do?

[deleted]26 karma

It's funny, it always was, but I've come to the realization that my existence very well may end soon. The knowledge I can store and experiences I can have don't have as much meaning to me as what I can give to others -- I don't always feel that way, sometimes I just want to jump on a plane, fly to China, smoke opium with a mystic, and go wild with living -- but I think those are the weaker moments.

noodlez6 karma

i'm not saying go nuts or anything, but i would say that you shouldn't put a lower value on your experiences just because the odds say you're going to have less time to sit on those experiences. seems like some enjoyment is in order, instead of brooding about stuff. like i said, if you have a job where you can telecommute, it seems to me like it might be worth trying to do that. go wander the globe with your laptop and work while traveling.

[deleted]17 karma

Oh no, I'm not brooding. Sometimes I get a little depressed, but that isn't very often. For the most part, I am enjoying my time. I stay at home very little. I go to the park to eat, work on the laptop, watch life progress. I'm not traveling, but I am still enjoying life.

TheGreatNinjaYuffie140 karma

Im sorry but my fiancee told me about this thread and I had to come on.

If you care for your friends and family at all you should tell them. My mother died of terminal brain cancer. The doctors said 1.5 years and she made it 2.5 years. Everyone knew and tried their hardest to support her. It took lots and lots of time but I eventually came to grips with the timespan on my beloved mothers life. My sister never did. After the first year and a half I realized that I had time and motivation to do everything with my mother i had ever wanted. I didnt realize it at the time but these things are the things that help me cope with not having her now. My fondest memory is crawling on her lap as a 19 year old woman and curling up to have her stroke my hair like she had done since I was little. This memory helps me get through every day and try to be the strong wonderful woman my mother was.

My sister never came to terms with this during my mothers life. She fought to "save" her till the day she died. She battled a death sentence and in never giving up sentenced herself to defeat. I dont think she has ever gotten over it. And it really saddens me. I dont know what would have happened to her if she had never known and not been at least able to try...even if she did fail.

tl;dr If you care about your family/friends at all, allow them to say goodbye to you while you are still alive. We all need memories to hang on to once our loved ones are gone. Give these to your family and friends.

[deleted]41 karma

I'll give them time to say goodbye, that's not an issue -- and they are having time to make those memories with me now. Sure, some of them might be angry that I didn't tell them sooner, but to me it seems like the best way to give them time with me that is good time.

My father died of lung cancer, he fought, he struggled. It went into remission, it came back. I tried to ignore and look at him the same, but I was young. When I saw him weak and feeble, I did my best to act like everything was alright and be supportive -- and I know it wasn't good enough.

Perhaps I am just stubborn, and I could be wrong in my approach, but if it makes you feel any better, I promise they are getting time with me and memories too -- and they will have a chance to say goodbye (assuming I don't get mugged and shot, ran over, random stroke, etc., granted, that wouldn't be my fault or theirs, and I don't think I can be held responsible for not telling them about a non-cancer related death).

[deleted]139 karma

My dad has pancreatic cancer. He did the opposite as you, he's fought it. It was almost three years ago he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. You can fight it.

[deleted]111 karma

Less than 20% honestly isn't that bad of odds. Mondays happen less than 20% of the week, and they sure do happen a lot.

Make sure you have a plan for life, just in case you live.

[deleted]14 karma

It's also important to understand how terribly bad the medical community is at these types of time estimates. I would put very little faith in any numbers they give you.

TotoTheDog64 karma

get off reddit and do something else

[deleted]33 karma

HA! I was just thinking something pretty similar. I wanted to share with people here, since reddit has been part of my life since well before any diagnosis, and I also wanted to talk to someone about this, but yeah -- I can't stay on reddit all day.

ScottyChrist15 karma

fuck that! Knowledge makes me happy, and reddit is a continuous supply of it. If i was dying I'd spend at least 3 hours a day on here.

You're already getting the "cancer boy" treatment from redditors, I guess my question is, does that annoy you or bother you? I know you don't want special treatment, so does hearing all these people compliment you solely because they know you're dying seem weird to you?

Also, if you have money, you and I should take a trip to another country, see the world. Experience things. Shit would be meaningful to both of us.

[deleted]31 karma


[deleted]6 karma

I don't want any kind of praise, but it is nice to be able to talk about it somewhere with anonymity. And, I think the majority of people are trying to be supportive, which is very nice. And some of the "cancer boy" treatment here does help prepare for the real world.

Your right though, it does seem a little weird being complimented for dying, though I am hoping it is more because of choosing a somewhat good route when not many good choices exist.

goober123 karma

You do realize that your lifespan is limited as well, right?

get off reddit and do something else

hascat61 karma

Don't pay taxes! You'll be gone before the IRS figures it out.

[deleted]27 karma

Heh, duly noted.

fleflahfloh51 karma

Good luck with life. But just remember, we are all dying :) That's what life is about, dying.

I have a friend who is in similar situation as you: Mid-twenties, oral cancer the past two years and after what I know, he's terminal. He was diagnosed the third time this summer and according to the information I have about it (my mom is dentist, she has connections and knowledge) the recommended treatment is just bunch of painkillers.

I understand why you want to have this year or two (if you're so lucky) just to have friends and family which act normal. I know my friend, has lost so much, even though he isn't dead yet. Friends don't talk to him in the same way, don't treat him the same way. It has had huge impact on his family and I know that his little brother is coping especially bad about it. He has pretty much given up all contact with his friends, including me, and the only person he really focuses on is his awesome girlfriend who supports him no matter what.

But I just want to say: You're not selfish, you actually care about those around you. I seriously encourage you to spend the time you can with your family and friends, and let them know when you know it's time to say goodbye. Please, take a week and celebrate your life with your beloved ones and say goodbye with style :)

Ok, enough ranting from my side, I've not really any questions. Just wanted to give you my support.

[deleted]28 karma

Yeah, I've had multiple family members get cancer, and I want to avoid that. I chose to break it off with my girlfriend because I didn't want her to be chained down or feel guilty for having feelings for someone else after I died -- I figured it would be a lot easier on her.

And thanks for the support.

sammyella77 karma

As a female who's had a significant other pass away - Let her make that decision. She may feel more guilt after you're gone for not being able to make your last days/months/years the happiest you've ever had than she would having feelings for someone else.

Edit: I'm not speaking without experience with cancer. My father currently has cancer (and has for 12 years) and my grandmother passed away from cancer almost 8 years ago, so I do know it's a very difficult situation to deal with and it can help to have loved ones support you.

[deleted]24 karma

I think you should also look at this from the opposite perspective too. I think what the OP is doing is brave/strong. I have a male friend whose gf has cervical cancer and he stays with her solely because he feels trapped/obligated now that he knows she has cancer. It's pretty shitty to witness.

[deleted]15 karma

Yes, this seems horribly unfair to her, to make the decision for her - in the end she's going to find out - and how will she feel then? I'd feel so hurt if someone did this to me - the relationship is going along fine, and then suddenly bad news comes along and you decide you can't trust me to deal with it alongside you? Why date me in the first place? Did you really think so little of me? And the worst part is, you're gone and there's no way to get any real closure on the problem. I say, talk to her - let her know what's going on and that you did what you did because of your fears - and let her make her own choices. Maybe she'll be afraid of seeing you die and leave you. Maybe she'll feel obligated and stay with you to the end. And maybe she'll forgive you for thinking so little of her, and be a strength and a support to you while you go through this. At least give her the choice of being who she wants to be in this story.

In the meantime - I'm really sorry. Our family is also quite prone to cancer, and it's a difficult fight.

[deleted]10 karma

This a THOUSAND times. Breaking it off seems noble but in the end, if they had feelings for you, they'll feel betrayed and short-changed.

Logvin19 karma

It is EXTREMELY hard to be dying of cancer. It is slightly less hard to have your significant other be dying. My wife and I are married, and she has said several times she wish she could just leave and not see us anymore so it would be easier for us. I have absolutely no issue with the "till death do us part" deal, and will be with her to the end.

I think since you were still in the girlfriend stage, you did her a favor. Others might say to let her make the decision... she would have two options. Stay with you, and watch you slowly wither away and waste her life falling more in love with someone who will be leaving. Leave, then have to wake up every day and think "I left a man because he is dying of cancer". You gave her the third option... being free without guilt.

[deleted]10 karma

Thanks for actually getting it.

ariellecyan8 karma

It's not going to be easier on her. She will wish mightily that she had those last moments with you.

selflessGene46 karma

See you on the other side.

[deleted]17 karma

haha, that might not have been meant very blunt or morbid, but I kind of took it that way.

[deleted]12 karma

and upvoted.

Tomasfoolery30 karma

Go with gusto, my friend. Make a bucket list - and go do it. Hell, take out credit cards, max em out, and go LIVE.

Oh, and don't cheat your family from saying goodbye, too, okay? You are basically going to do to them what suicide does. Just, make it fucking awesome when you tell them. Like, take em out on a cruise, and on the boat tell them it is to celebrate your life.

I knew a guy who's boyfriend did this. It was sad for all of an hour, then the stories came out, the laughing, the joking. Your mileage may vary.

But seriously. Do something amazing.

[deleted]21 karma

Heh, bucket lists... I thought I would try to avoid them, but it has been difficult to not at least have an abstract mental list of things to do.

Maxing out credit cards and spending a lot of cash doesn't really make it on the list, but I'm making progress, no worries.

And they will know, just I'm not up for telling them till I'm closer. I want more time with them and not with "cancer boy" stares.

frenchpear24 karma

As a mother to sons. Can I please please ask of you to at least tell your mother? Please? I cannot imagine the pain of not knowing that my time with my child was limited. I know this is a selfish perspective, but I couldn't read and not respond.

My husband lost his mother to cancer and said that he felt that the journey was easier as he could see it happening and knew what to expect.

Please tell your mom & best of luck to you with everything. xxx

[deleted]19 karma

I'm a mom and came here to post this... Please tell your mom.

glassuser20 karma

I watched my little brother make that same decision (with the help of parents and professional counseling) at sixteen. I doubt I'll ever be able to completely understand it unless (God forbid) I go through it myself, but I believe he made the right choice for him. That boy had balls, I'll tell you that. Sounds like you do too.

It sounds like you know you made the right choice for yourself too. I don't really have anything to ask or much else to add. But I hope you get to leave your friends and family with something to remember your life by. It's always a delight to see a picture of my brother happy, even when he was pretty sick, or his poetry or art. Whatever you do, leave something of yourself with them.

[deleted]10 karma

Nice comment. Sorry for your loss. Thanks for understanding.

fwuzzle18 karma

Live it up. Get the girlfriend back. For your own happiness, and for hers. Tell your friends you want "no regrets" and start doing crazy shit like other people suggest. By not doing anything so to not alert people to the condition, you're basically wasting the time you have left.

God bless.

[deleted]15 karma

I chose to break it off with my girlfriend because I didn't want her to be chained down or feel guilty for having feelings for someone else after I died -- I figured it would be a lot easier on her.


Basically, I do really love her and care about her, but she didn't sign up to be with a dying man. We'd had plans for a life together, kids, etc. She'll be eaten up with guilt if/when she finally tried to have a life. Yeah, it sucks, but it's how I'd rather do it for her sake.

And, I am appreciating a lot of the smaller things and living it up in my own way. Trust me, I am not wasting any time.

The-Cake31 karma

Put yourself in her shoes. Would you want your significant other to dump you and not tell you, just in order to the 'honorable thing'?

I am assuming you had been together for some time and were/are in love. You should hold onto the people you love, no matter what. The same goes for her. Get her back.

I have no idea what it is like to be in your position. Not a clue. But I know what it is like to be in love (cliché warning). Don't give that up. If she loves you, there is a good chance she wants to stick it out with you. Maybe even do crazy stuff with you. You have a chance of being remembered as a great person by her.

I upvoted every single comment you had written. I know reddit karma doesn't mean anything, but it's all i got.

Godspeed. I wish you all the best and please permit yourself to be happy. Don't go though this alone. Get her back.

[deleted]22 karma

I do understand where you are coming from, and I am a romantic myself (I also upvoted your comment, karma mattering or not).

But, it isn't just the honorable thing, I do love her, and I want to be pragmatic and make her suffer as little as possible. I'm going, going, soon to be gone -- she's not. She'll meet another guy, have a chance to have something happy. Sure, she'll think I screwed her over for breaking up with her after such a long time, but eventually she might realize why I did it. She might even hate me a little for not giving her a choice in it, for not giving her a chance to be beside me during this time -- if so, that's kind of good, it gives her a chance to make something else with someone else a little easier.

The-Cake9 karma

And she will just as likely find somebody else after you are gone. Sure, it might take some time to grief. But you say you love her, then she probably loves you too. And she will then grief you regardless of wherever you broke up with her or not. Maybe she might even feel betrayed because you broke up with her, instead of allowing her to spend the final years with you.

I don't want to come off as a douchebag, but you might be making a decision for her. I'm not a situation to tell though.

We all have a certain right to be selfish. Because at the end of the day, nobody is there to take care of your feelings or your happiness other then yourself.

She won't hate you for having cancer. She might hate you for breaking up with her. Be as happy as you possibly can - you might regret it yourself if you don't.

[deleted]12 karma

Hmm.. I've consider that I might regret it, and sometimes I genuinely do. I still have a good bit of life left in me, even though I don't have a good bit of time.

I don't expect that she would hate me for having cancer, and yes, she might hate me for breaking up with her or not giving her a chance to be there for me -- but that hate might just make it easier for her to move on without having any kind of guilt.

One of the first things that I thought of with all of this is that I wanted her to be happy and that her happiness no longer could be with me into old age. Her life will continue hopefully well into old age, and I would rather make her transition to someone else quicker and as guilt free for her as possible. I don't want her wasting up to five years with me (my best case scenario), be in her early thirties, and have a hard time finding a husband, getting pregnant, etc.

jjesusfreak014 karma

Lying to someone who loves you is never the honorable thing, don't even try to justify it. Tell her you're dying, tell her you won't hold it against her if she leaves, and that you can just be friends if thats what she wants. As other posters have said, you can be selfish if you wish, but remember that everything you do will affect other people, and its their memories of you that will live on when you are gone.

[deleted]16 karma

20% survival chance? OK, here's what you do.

Find 4 other cancer patients with a similar prognosis.

Kill them.

In this way you will have insured that you are the one of the five who lives.

WhiteWidow13 karma

Have you tried cannabis?

[deleted]9 karma

I actually get really bad headaches from cannabis, and if taken as smoke or haze, my airways tighten.

[deleted]8 karma

edibles, edibles, edibles. Or hemp oil, if you want to look into it:

[deleted]12 karma

Have you seen this TED video about effective anti-cancer diets?

latarian10 karma

I know you don't want any handouts, but maybe a brother or sister redditor could help you with your novel getting published if you finish it? is that something you would turn down? Also, I know this is kind of cheesy, but I think you're so brave to accept the fact that you are going to die, I can't even fathom it right now. You are an inspiration, and I hope the rest of your life is filled with as much happiness as possible.

[deleted]8 karma

Honestly, I have little regards for fame or fortune. I don't know if I will even be able to finish it in a way that has meaning or quality. I certainly wouldn't want it to be distributed to the masses if it didn't, especially not on the basis of me being a dying person. I don't know if I would turn it down or not.

And cheesy or not, it is an appreciated sentiment. And, despite the occasional bit of depression that accompanies this kind of thing, I think my life is filled with quite a bit of happiness -- I am making sure it is.

Writing this IAmA has helped too, even if it isn't face to face with people that can attempt to understand and not be overwhelmed with the cancer as sole focus, it is still a bit of understanding I haven't expected to find. I've been living alone with this for a few months, and that has been very hard.

latarian6 karma

I wish I could gave some more comforting words than I have, or offer you something, but I can't I can honestly just say again I have a lot of respect for you, I know we don't know eachother but if we did, you would know I don't just say that to anyone. Take care brother.

[deleted]6 karma

Thanks, latarian. Very kind of you. Take care yourself.

icky200010 karma

To the extent that you are able, and as long as you are able, live it up.

[deleted]9 karma

I'm trying the best I can, but I'm also trying not to alert friends. I've also realized that I have a much deeper appreciation for the little things, like what time I can spend with friends and family.

I'm always nervous though, because sometimes the stomach aches move from chronic dull ache to sharp pangs of agony. It's not that often yet, and I can mostly cope, but it does happen enough that I worry I'll suddenly crumple over violently enough that they won't believe the usual lies "I must have eaten something bad," "my stomach got cold last night," etc.

detsher779 karma

You're avoiding any dietary or other treatments because of a 20% survival rate? You know that's 1 in 5 right? Not 1 in 5,000,000.

[deleted]12 karma

No, I am doing dietary changes, exercising, seeking alternative medicine -- just not going with exploratory surgeries, chemo (that I was told won't really do anything), or radiation (same).

And 20% is based on prospective growth, but it's a juggernaut.

lozzobear8 karma

Am I right that you're saying there's a 20% chance you'd survive if you fought it? If so... You're cashing out on a 1 in 5 chance at living just for the sake of not wanting chemo? Coz dude, chemo is a bummer (I've had a taste of it) but a chance is a hope, and at least if you fight it you won't be fighting it alone. Are you dead sure you're not throwing your life away because you don't think you have the guts to stand and fight? You might surprise yourself.

[deleted]8 karma

I'm pretty sure I am not throwing it away. I am doing all that I can with diet, exercise, positive attitude, and natural medicine -- about the same chance of fighting off the cancer.

I was told my chances are around 10-20% of living the next three years. About 2% of living five years.

AliceA7 karma

I admire you and would like to think I would do the same in your one need know and live your life with as much dignity as possible.

I do have one thing to suggest:colostrum. This will not cure you but what it does do is to bolster your immune system. I have no idea how it may affect you but will not harm you and if, over time, it helps we will never know BUT I have not had either colds or flus since I began taking it so it may prevent other illnesses from knocking you down more.

You are my hero and I wish you only well.

[deleted]4 karma

Thanks, AliceA, sweet sentiments. I'm not any kind of hero though, I am just a guy in an unfortunate circumstance trying to make the best of it.

[deleted]6 karma

I do want to share it with someone, but I know that as soon as I tell them, that's all they see when they talk to me.

As a two-time cancer survivor, I can say, for a fact, that this is true.

I can also sympathize with your decision. Good for you for choosing to take control of a pretty much unavoidable death, and doing it on your terms. I can't say that I'd feel any different were I in your shoes.

.. because the sad fact of chemotherapy is that... in terminal cases, the chemo will kill you before the cancer does.

Best of luck to you, my friend.

So how do you plan to deal with the end? I mean, odds are this will be drawn out and so people will find out eventually. Are you worried that your friends and family will feel betrayed?

freedomischaos6 karma

Mostly out of sheer curiosity, if you had the option of assisted suicide should the pain be simply too much for even the painkillers to handle, would you?

[deleted]4 karma

I've considered it, and I still am.

littlemonster0104 karma

I'm sorry for your luck. Please, fill your life full of everything you ever wanted to do - as much as you can. I have known a couple people who've died unexpectedly in accidents. You have a chance that some people don't. Live your dreams. None of us will fulfill all of ours, but you will have more focus than most of us ever will. Good luck. I wish you all the best.

[deleted]5 karma

That's pretty much how I feel too, I'm just a little stuck between going completely selfish and considering friends, family, etc.

It would suck a lot more to have them all stare at me like I'm cancer boy or something instead of just being able to spend time with them and enjoy it.

But yeah, there is an ironic amount of fortune to it.

[deleted]4 karma

Dude a 20% chance of making it through this alive is absolutely worth chasing after. If it was 2% or 0.2% I might agree with where you're coming from, but people have survived with much worse odds than that. I read an AMA on here a few weeks ago from a dude with highly advanced leukaemia who wasn't expected to survive two weeks but he beat it. I really think you're making the wrong decision by giving up.

ComputerDruid3 karma

How did you break up with your girlfriend? I assume she doesn't know.

[deleted]2 karma

We had been together since before college. Basically, I said I didn't think I would ever be able to provide for her what she wants (we never got engaged), and that I think I want something else. It was kind of true...

She was pissed and didn't take it as a blessing, but I wasn't expecting her to either.

[deleted]3 karma

Why not trial a round or two of chemo just to see if the mets or the main tumor shrink? If it doesn't, then stop and go back to refusing modern treatment.

Chasingwaves3 karma

Have you read "You Shall Know Our Velocity" by Dave Eggers? I don't know why I'm recommending it to you, it's not directly related to your situation or anything but it's a good short read that was pretty thought-provoking and meaningful. Not mushy or anything, just good.

Good luck and anonymous internet hugs to you.

[deleted]3 karma

I have not read it, and regrettably I have a long list of books that I would really love to read that I will not have time to get to, even if it was all I did. Perhaps I'll try and read an excerpt.

I suppose at this point I have come to a conclusion that I would rather do what I can to put some kind of lasting testament of my existence into the world rather than study the words or existence of those that are already gone. I love to read, I love cinema, and I love history -- but, I don't feel I have enough time left to devote to those that are gone and leave something of myself too.

And thanks for the anonymous internet hugs, it really is meaningful and almost made me tear up. Actually, a few of the posts have done that to me.

highonkai3 karma

Dude, I know this is a tough situation, made worse with debt and a trough economy. Here is a serious suggestion: go backpack the world. Buy a round trip pass for 2k, go anywhere that seems cool, stay in cheap hostels, and use their backpacker temp job placement to earn spending money. That way, you can see the world, have some quality life experiences, and won't feel lonely or depressed. Backpackers are all solo travellers who are welcoming and seeking adventure. Seriously, if you're going to try to keep this huge secret (which is another choice, the support of loved ones can really help) it will be easiest kept at a distance.

[deleted]3 karma

I don't want to keep it a huge secret forever, and I am trying to spend as much time with them as I can.

Having more experiences myself seems kind of pointless, since those may very well fade out with my existence. I'd much rather have great experiences with those I care about.

Great advice for some though, I suppose. If I had more time, I would probably go for it.

Aioazech3 karma

I really teared up reading this and all of the comments. Best of luck to you!

[deleted]3 karma


[deleted]3 karma

Here is what I would do if I were you.

  1. Make up with anyone you had beef with.
  2. Get as many credit cards as you can. Use other credit cards to pay off other ones.
  3. Travel the world.
  4. Bang all the women you can.
  5. Eat at the finest restaurants in the world.
  6. Try to do some good.
  7. Your final months should be spent with your parents/friends.
  8. Smoke weed everyday and get to level 85 on your main.

[deleted]3 karma

After reading alot of your responses to certain questions, I am curious; Did you have depression/anxiety problems before you were diagnosed?

EDIT: I just wanted to clarify that I mean BEFORE you were diagnosed, since I was rereading and saw that you pointed out you were shortly depressed afterwards.

[deleted]3 karma

I respect and admire your choice. Best of luck to you. hugs