Re: [MOL] Greg! [00072] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] Greg!

Dear Greg, remember awhile back when I told you we would pass you the
"pity pot," but that the time would come when you'd need to pass it on?
It's time, my friend. We know you're down, and no one is going to argue
that you don't have reason to be. And I'm not telling you to deny or
stuff your feelings. Your situation sucks, if I can be so blunt. I know
you feel like hell, and the waiting and not knowing what lies ahead can
be as painful as anything physical. But honey, we are ALL dying, every
single last one of us. And we ALL cause those who love us pain, it goes
with the territory of loving another. But if you think your "bailing"
and making a hasty exit is doing anyone a favor, thing again. Take us
molers -- and the short time we've known you -- we love you, and we want
you with us every minute we can have you, even though pain is part of
the deal. How much more that is true for your family!

You mentioned earlier that at times you'd just like to "get it over
with." As one who fights depression on a regular basis, I know that
feeling. But it's a dead end; it gets you nowhere but in a deeper hole.
Someone said earlier that death is a personal matter, and it is. Sadly,
there is such a fear of death that we aren't given much chance to think
or talk about what it is to "die well." Only God knows where you are in
that great continuum of living and dying. The question is, what is
important to you? What do you want to accomplish in whatever time you
have left? How do you want to be remembered? What mark do you want to
leave on the world?

Oh, I know what you are thinking -- I'm SICK, what can *I* do? And the
answer -- shift the focus. You still have a mind, you still have a sense
of humor, you still have a glorious, sensitive spirit, you still have
the power to TOUCH THE LIVES OF OTHERS (if you doubt that, re-read the
messages you received today!) My question for you is, how are you going
to USE that power Greg? 

My cousin. about your age with a new baby and young bride, was flat out
told he was a dead man and that the drs. could do nothing. He was sent
home to die. He sold his baseball card collection and everything special
to him, to put away a little nest egg for his baby daughter's college
education. But he also did something else -- he thought of all the
people he'd met in the hospital who were also called "terminal" and how
afraid they were of dying. And he said, "I may not be able to do much,
but maybe I can give them a little comfort." So he'd wheel himself
around, cracking jokes, sharing his faith and his smile and his heart.
He could have crawled into that corner and cut himself off, just one
more casualty of this horrendous disease. But he was determined to have
purpose and finding meaning in his life with every breath he had. 

Greg, this is the cousin I think I told you about who recently watched
his daughter graduate from college. Will you see your offspring
graduate? We don't know. Did he "earn" extra time with his good deeds?
Who knows! The point is, he lived his life fully, empowered by his
choices, and a blessing those around him by what he COULD do. Even if he
had died as predicted, he left an indelible mark upon those whose lives
touched his. YOU have that kind of courage in you, Greg. But you've got
to get past the negative thinking which is far more destructive than
even the cancer. If you're fighting depression, please talk to your dr.
about it, he can give you something that will help. If you are bothered
by the said faces of family, tell them it's bringing you down, and to
"save it" -- you're alive now, damn it! Take charge and kick butt,

I'm going to leave you with this last message, and a website that gives
me a lot of encouragement:

The KTF! (Keepin' the Faith) Creed

              "Cancer, I intend to not only beat you, but to use you to
better the lives of everyone I can: by loving them,
              encouraging them, giving them information, making them
laugh, praying for them, and by any other means I can.
              Cancer, you are not the end. You are merely my opportunity
to serve others -- and perhaps my only chance to
              attain at least some small measure of heroism."

 by Hodgkin's Disease survivor Mark Hartwig, 
written to friends as he was undergoing a stem cell transplant for a

Lots of Love and {{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}, Joicy
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