We may all live in a great big global community, but in my Blog, it's my world.

My spouse (whom I refer to frequently, at another site or three... as wife 2.0, since she's my second wife) does not frequent this site and would be highly unlikely to stumble upon it if I didn't point her in the right direction.  I think I've sent her here in the past to read some of my previous rants and thoughts, but she just hasn't been that interested, and really, until recently, I wasn't all that talkative here any more so it probably didn't matter.

Her family most certainly wouldn't recognize me in this space.  Not that I behave differently here than I would in other places, they just aren't likely to venture out into this direction on the internet and therefore aren't likely to stumble upon this space either.

No, they'd recognize me at Facebook, but likely few other places.  They'd miss my other favorite forum hangouts, and any other places I might tend to haunt.

That's all neither here nor there except for one thing currently, the passing of my wife's mother, after a thankfully and hopefully relatively short losing battle against lung cancer.

My wife's mom was diagnosed with cancer back in the spring of this year.  At that time she was told she had anywhere from 3 months to 18 months if she was lucky and that if she went through treatments she might be able to add 6 months to a year to that time estimate.  Approximately 7 months later, her will to live escaped her and she was mercifully taken quietly while in the hospital's hospice care center.  She had been able to communicate up until her final 48 - 72 hours, but then went down hill quickly and was given pain medications in doses strong enough to keep her comfortable in those final hours.

Cancer is a cruel foe.  Nearly impossible to ever beat completely, especially for a lifelong smoker.

My mother-in-law found out she had cancer after finally giving up her smoking for a brief period when she had hope of getting her bad back operated on in the hopes of being able to walk under how own power again.  She'd been in lots of pain because of her back and operations on it that didn't go nearly as well as anyone in my wife's family would have hoped.  We all hoped that she'd be able to get her back fixed once and for all and that she'd be back to her former vibrant (I'm told that she was, and could see hints of it from the point I met her, but I never had the pleasure of actually seeing her in her prime) self.  Sadly she never got to do that as the initial exams that were done after she finally quit for the required time period showed "anomalies" that required further inspection.

That inspection revealed at least stage III lung cancer.  From there it was really just a matter of time.  Time that was shorter than expected when it was determined that the cancer was actually already stage IV at the point she'd been first diagnosed with it.

My wife will miss her mom terribly and yet she is at peace with her loss.  The mom she knew was taken weeks ago really, and somewhat lost to her prior ills.  She knows her mom is no longer in pain and never will be again.  That provides some comfort.

Meanwhile, I'd like to take this space to again remind anyone that can make the choice - DO NOT SMOKE.  Smoking is horrible for you and horrible for those around you.  While I might appreciate the voluntary contributions to the tax revenues that the habit entails, I'd rather see positive contributions from the victims of smoking for years to come.  If you smoke currently, try as hard as you can to give it up.  If you don't smoke, then don't start.  If you know someone that does smoke, get them into a cessation program and offer them as much encouragement as you can to just quit.  Go with the electronic cigs for a while if you must, or encourage them to do so, but find a way to give it up.  Live longer, be healthier.  The world is better with you than without you and someone will be saddened at your loss.

on Nov 12, 2012

I'm sorry to read about your MIL's passing.

Lung cancer is a beast.  My Aunt was diagnosed with it in both lungs...she lived 5 years on chemo...but the SE from chemo killed her.

Seems it's either cancer or the cure that gets you.  The only thing we can do is pick which we can live, or er, die with.

My best to your wife.


on Nov 13, 2012

Thanks for the kind thoughts Tova7.

My aunt passed away in this last year, also a victim of cancer.  In her case it was breast cancer.  She'd had a 10 year reprieve between his first battle with it and then the recurrence that just couldn't be beaten.  She wound up going almost 13 years between the first diagnosis and her last breath, but in the end, cancer won.

In my mother-in-law's case, the treatments were most definitely not easy.  My sister-in-law is, to be blunt, showing ignorance and willful disregard for the actual cause of her mother's death when she states, as she did multiple times in the last 48 hours, that she believes that the radiation treatments that her mother was taking are what killed her.  While those certainly were hard on her, the actual cause, sadly (in my opinion), was decades of smoking as many cigarettes as could be lit in a day -- just as said sister and her family do every day.

I know that in the future this sister will be laid up in a hospital praying for mercy and an end to her own pain.  It is inevitable.  She can't recognize it and is in complete denial about it but it will get her.  Sadly the damage that she will have inflicted upon others that were exposed to her smoke, including her children (who then picked up the habit), will be forgotten about.

I would like to hope my wife won't have to be mourning her sister the way she has mourned the loss of her mother, and given the relationship of the two sisters, it may not happen that way, but then again my wife does care about her sister and doesn't want to see her suffer.

I still say the best thing a smoker can do for themselves and everyone around them is to put the damned things out.  Just stop.  Stop denying that they are dangerous.  Stop believing that cancer won't happen to you.  Stop smoking.

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