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The Hemingway Solution - almost
Old 08-19-2010, 02:38 PM   #1
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The Hemingway Solution - almost

I've followed the journal of MSNBC.com sports columnist Mike Celizic over the past year - well, as best I could since he only published two entries prior to today. The subject matter wasn't very pretty (his battle with cancer) but I think his writing is great and he's often hilarious.

His first two entries can be found here:

Adventures in Cancerland, Part 1: The diagnosis
Adventures in Cancerland, Part 2: Lust for life

After months of silence, his third and probably final entry:

Cancer journal: A happy birthday despite grim news

I'd like to think given the same circumstances I'd make the same choice. I hope if I face something similar I will still be mentally coherent enough to make the decision rather than having my family make it.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:11 PM   #2
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I'd like to think given the same circumstances I'd make the same choice. I hope if I face something similar I will still be mentally coherent enough to make the decision rather than having my family make it.
I agree with you. I just want it to be painless and quick.

This sums it up well and reminds us to live it. I know I don't do it as much as I should.

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The object isn’t to live as long as you can, but as well as you can. I’ve lived very well; had a grand and glorious life. I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted to do except meet Al Roker. I’m not afraid to die. But I don’t want to die, and there’s the problem. I love life, love this glorious planet, love simple pleasures, love living.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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Thank you for sharing this, REW.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:21 PM   #4
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Great post REW, what can I say.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:27 PM   #5
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I kept up with Leroy Sievers' cancer blog until the end.

It really makes you think...
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I've followed the journal of MSNBC.com sports columnist Mike Celizic over the past year - well, as best I could since he only published two entries prior to today. The subject matter wasn't very pretty (his battle with cancer) but I think his writing is great and he's often hilarious.

His first two entries can be found here:

Adventures in Cancerland, Part 1: The diagnosis
Adventures in Cancerland, Part 2: Lust for life

After months of silence, his third and probably final entry:

Cancer journal: A happy birthday despite grim news

I'd like to think given the same circumstances I'd make the same choice. I hope if I face something similar I will still be mentally coherent enough to make the decision rather than having my family make it.

I've gone to these links and read all three entries. Thank you so much for posting the links. My aunt is in hospice this week for liver cancer. She may not make it through tonight, her oncologist said. Had she been more coherent I would have liked to have read Celizic's writings to her.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:51 PM   #7
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It was hard to read. But I understand completely his decision. I hope that, if I am ever presented with similar circumstances, I will have the courage to accept my fate and make the choice to let go. My wife once told me she would want me to fight it 'til the end, but to me some treatments seem more barbaric than the disease they are supposed to cure.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:59 PM   #8
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Difficult articles to read. I am glad he is able to make the choice though.
Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
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Great post ! I cried my eyes out !
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:54 PM   #10
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Yes, REW - very thought-provoking. I can totally understand his decision at the end. I've had the "Big C" twice in my life, and I've had plenty of time to think about what I'd do if faced with the decision. Easier, I'm sure, when it's a "what if" rathen than a decision to make now. I'm thankful I haven't had to face it, but I do know that life takes on a different meaning when it's a possibility.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:58 PM   #11
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Since I was a kid I've heard about those glass cyanide capsules that spies supposedly carry. Given that nothing is truly completely controlled, you'd think one could buy some to stash away if ever needed.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:13 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing. I don't know the man, but I truly hate he is having to go through this. He seems to be somewhat at peace with it all. But a depressing situation for him and his family.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:21 PM   #13
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I surely hope I will be able to accept my eventual fate like Mike Celizic did his. Short of a heart attack or a traumatic death, we will get to that point sometimes. Some people do not want to think about it, but I do. I need time to prepare myself, even if it may be a few decades away. Or is it?

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Since I was a kid I've heard about those glass cyanide capsules that spies supposedly carry. Given that nothing is truly completely controlled, you'd think one could buy some to stash away if ever needed.
That's what has been bothering me greatly. A human in terminal conditions must be allowed to die with dignity. I better stop writing now, before I get upset and start to use unkind words.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:23 PM   #14
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As T-Al was the one to first suggest it to me and I used the book as the centerpiece of a difficult essay assignment in college, here's another chance to recommend Loving and Leaving the Good Life, by the late Helen Nearing.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:40 PM   #15
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We had a friend who died last month of kidney cancer, he was only 45. Up until the end he fought it, however, when he developed ascites he knew it was time and you could feel him accepting his fate and letting go. I admire people who know when it is time to give up treatment and focus on quality of life rather than quantity.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:47 PM   #16
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The common denominator to most "good" deaths is acceptance. It gives boundaries to the sadness. Fighting to the end when futility is clear is often misdirected courage, and makes things much worse for patients and loved ones.

At least is seems that way to me.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:02 PM   #17
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This article talks about a study that shows lung cancer patients who received palliative care survived longer than those who did not (ignore the comments about the health insurance legislation that run through it--the point is that the palliative care has a measurable effect not only only on quality of life but also quantity):

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/he...er=rss&emc=rss

Amazing that a few decades ago terminally ill patients often were not even told about how sick they are and today we are accepting of those patients' decisions regarding how they want their last days to be spent.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:22 PM   #18
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Where is the option to die by choice when you simply don't want to put up with the crap anymore?
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:26 PM   #19
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Where is the option to die by choice when you simply don't want to put up with the crap anymore?
Check the thread title in the Urban Dictionary.
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:03 AM   #20
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The real problem comes when the painkillers aren´t effective and you are not about to die soon enough, even if you are terminal......
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