Cancer Relapsed - Poor Prognosis - How Would You Spend Your Time/Money?

I have a friend, who has had his leukemia become detectable again, he is MRD positive (disease present) but the disease is not active (yet).

The cancer is still in his bone marrow and has not leaked out to his blood. Though relapsed adult leukemia patients have a poor prognosis of long term survival rate.

His days are possibly limited unless a miracle happens, he is a successful business owner, family orientated and has more then enough money to do what he wants without damaging his finance/credit, I am trying to make use of his days and I honestly dont know what to do for him,

I guess this post is to get a perspective as to what common Values others see in life as important, how would you spend your time knowing that your days are litreally numbered, what is common on the "bucket list", what others would do in the situation where if you felt perfectly healthy, how would you spend the remainder 3,6,12 even 2 years left on Earth.

Comments

  • +28 votes

    One last snorkel/swim in the sea for me :)

    On the expensive side, cable car up Mont Blanc, France or Hua Shan, China would be amazing. Iguazu waterfalls in Brazil would be spectacular. Salmon fishing in Alaska.

    Once my mum fell ill with secondary brain cancer, she never got any of the bucket list done due to nausea :(. Do things earlier rather than later.

    • +41 votes

      I go to work because that is my worth to society and as long as I draw breath, I must earn my keep.

      BOooooooooooooooooooring……..

      Get some excitement in your life. No one wishes they spent more time at the office on their death bed.

      • +7 votes

        Are you serious 'Conservative'? …… each persons values are different and what you find 'boring', another may find exciting. Good on you Tshow!

        • +2 votes

          Sure Tshow might like working. But you don’t live to work, you work to live.

          •  

            @k-rokfm: Surely if you are doing what you enjoy then you are just living?
            People who enjoy what they do tend to put in the extra miles to fully activate their passions and talents.
            Not everyone is passive and lets their boss order them around all day for a paycheck…

      • +6 votes

        Depends on your job. If you enjoy it, and it is making a positive contribution, then why not. Plenty of researchers, academics, artists, and business people keep working way beyond retirement age.

      • +3 votes

        There are definitely some whose work is so much their bliss and passion, that they literally work up until their last days and hours. Even though they know they are going to pass soon.

        IIRC Christopher Hitchens was still writing an article in his last days and hours.

        Fresh on my mind (just recently watched the movie about Freddie Mercury of Queen band) - Freddie was recording in his last days. He would have trouble standing up, and needed to sit at intervals. Then back up again and camera rolled.

        •  

          Singing and the more artistic professions doesn't really feel like work. It's fun.

          • +3 votes

            @conservative: Well, when you sing you are probably doing it with your mates for pleasure. Hence the fun, but I'm not sure if you've ever sang for an actual audience who want to listen to someone who knows how to sing. That could be considered work to hone your own singing skills to please an audience etc…

      •  

        I go to work so that I can earn money and retire comfortably.

  • +54 votes

    If I only had a short time to live, I'd read jv's last few hundred comments and die in misery.

  • +9 votes

    put aside money to support the family into the future.
    then with whats left - travel/experiences.

  • +23 votes

    Sorry to hear about your friend op :'(.

  • +65 votes

    Find a drop out chemistry student and cook some blue meth..

    • +3 votes

      That would make a great idea for a show!

      /s

    •  

      People with terminal carcinomas usually have access to high strength narcotics anyway. That said, there's no reason why you cannot combine narcotics with stimulants for an even bigger high; the nacotics would counter some of the harsher aspects of stimulant use.

      •  

        Maybe they could sell it then? See if they can earn some money to leave for their family?

  • +7 votes

    I would take out a huge unsecured loan and use that as an advance on my death insurance.

    Spend it on coke and hookers. My mates can help celebrate my life while Im still here!

    • +1 vote

      You can get your Life insurance paid out while you're alive as long as you can get doctors to confirm it in writing you have less than 12 months.

      •  

        Yes, but the paperwork and approval isn't very quick.

        • +1 vote

          Getting 2 doctors reports is the slow bit.

          I've assisted a client with a $500k claim that was approved within a week once all the paperwork was submitted.

          • +1 vote

            @JB1: I've seen many of these go through the claims process in Super. The Trustee approval takes a bit of time too. Unsecured loans are quite quick, but obivously not for sums as large as the death benefit.

            • +1 vote

              @bobbified: Yes, within Super can be a bit slower.

              My experience has been with more insurance policies legally owned by an superannuation fund but does not have any investments as opposed to an ordinary accumulation superannuation fund that offers insurance as on the side.

    •  

      Spend it on coke and hookers. My mates can help celebrate my life while Im still here!

      This actually brings up a valid aspect. Ie. All those things you were told, don't do x , cos it could kill you, will ruin your 'life', well could do them now, a new freedom of sorts .
      And if it kills you, or ruins your 'life' , don't matter now.

  •  

    It’s not about you though

  • +2 votes

    Get out explore, see the world and create new experiences, especially in the earlier days.
    Then I'd spend as much time as possible with family and friends, outings with family and friends and going out for dinner more often.
    If your friend has children and it was me I'd want to spend as much time with them as possible so they have plenty of fond memories to look back on, my children would especially be important to me as they are a part of me that will live on.
    Well that's what I would do if it was me.

  • +2 votes

    It can be such an unfair world out there;

    That said, it really depends on the person. What I would do is completely different from the next person and the next.

    My life revolves around travel, dining/gastronomy experiences, enjoying bars/clubs/music festivals and I live the world as if I am still 21.

    We only have the one chance at life so we might as make the most of it - there is absolutely no point in waiting until one retires or suffers bad medical news to start "doing the things they love" , by then it might be too late.

    YOLO

  •  

    Spend time with family, outdoors. Watch Project Wild Thing to understand how we used to find happiness.

  • +4 votes

    Talk to him and ask him what he wants to do. Be sympathetic and available to do whatever you can for him, but you can't dictate how he wants to spend his remaining time. Any one of us could be hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow so people need to work out their own priorities everyday.

  • +2 votes

    I wouldnt travel. I would spend my last few days with my family doing things that they want to do and enjoying those moments with them. If you travel and see the world, you will die shortly and not remember any of it anyway, not like you are going to sit there and reflect on it, you're dead and this will chew into valuable time you can spend with your family … The time spent with your family will last with them for many many years.

    • +7 votes

      Sounds great, sit around at home waiting to die instead of travelling the world with close family members. It's not just about the person who is sick but what about the others? Would you rather travel to places you wanted to see and spend the time with the family you want to see or wallow around at home feeling sorry for yourself?

      They won't be able to travel towards the end so now is the time to do it.

      •  

        No … where is the wallowing. Engage with your family in all the hobbies they have. For example, if you have 3 kids - 1 likes to read, 1 likes soccer, 1 like painting. Spend your days, reading and sharing stories, playing soccer and painting. Hypothetical.

        • +2 votes

          Sure and that all depends on finances as well as the condition of the health but travelling will give them a lot of memories as well as most of the time is spent together and it's possible that the children may not have a chance to travel again for a long time.

          I think that for many it would be easy to just sit around and everyone is just counting down the time, either spending quality time at home and/or travelling is at least being somewhat productive with the time.

  •  

    Holiday around Australia. Avoid the boring road trips.

  •  

    I see travel being mentioned often, If most were to sit down and evaluate their life, 'seeing the world' generally is what most wish to do in a short period of time?
    Is that fundamentally what you would take from this world, nature and culture?

    Travelling with Family is definitely something I've thought personally for him, a trip driving around Europe with the family, his mentioned donating his funds to his family in need when/if the time is necessary.

    I completely understand every persons answer is different, and im not looking for a specific list, but more a common view on what people perceive in life to be important

    • +3 votes

      Travelling with Family is definitely something I've thought personally for him, a trip driving around Europe with the family, his mentioned donating his funds to his family in need when/if the time is necessary.

      Europe is a good option as they can drive and train most places. Also if his health deteriorates as he won't have any health insurance he can head to the UK within a few hours from most of Europe and he is covered for medical there.

      https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/medica...

    • +1 vote

      I see a lot of people suggest travel with friends and family. Which is great for those who enjoy this.
      In real life, I know quite a few – especially from the older migrant generation – where travel is an absolute chore, rather than something enjoyable. They just value get-togethers with the family, children, grandchildren etc in the house.

      So find out, because maybe this is not what your friend would desire. Maybe shorter journeys like day-trips or outings would be more suitable. Or just the usual activities he likes.

    • +1 vote

      I love traveling, and I love being home with my family. I personally would spend time in my garden, buy the best outdoor play equipment so the kids can play while I garden. Every now and then I'd buy a "6 nights in a swanky resort!" offer to go do with the family. I'd also spend a lot of time driving around the coast with the family too. I'd rent massive airbnbs close enough to my friends too, and make it an open invitation to come stay over a long weekend. Try to balance seeing the beauty of nature with being with loved ones.

  • +5 votes

    As a friend, offer him companionship, and encourage him to participate in activities he loves, which he is still able to do. Most important, just be there for him. Because you are a friend, it may also constraint your role and amount of engagement, as opposed to say, being a close family member.

    As to your other question – what values, and what others do while still perfectly healthy :

    Over a decade ago I created a recurrent Monday diary entry in my calendar: Mememto Mori
    It is always in view, a constant reminder that life is fleeting and everything is ephemeral. Only now matters. So I try to live a meaningful life on my own terms now. And make a positive impact on the people around and dear to me now.

    I also adopt other Stoics practices – together, they give me tranquility of mind, and ability to think straight and rationally.

  • +1 vote

    Get a weed hookup.

    Grow it themselves if it's legal where they live.

    • +3 votes

      My Grandma died of pancreatic cancer and we were told this would help, though she didn't use it.

      +1 vote for me

  • +3 votes

    Take lots of photos of stuff. Go for walks, take snaps. Family pics (non posing) in the moment type ones. Build a nice little collection for the family to have afterwards.

    Reflect a lot. Tie up loose ends. Tell everyone you love that you love them.

    I'd personally do some silly things too, like eat whatever I liked, drink whatever I liked. Experience the thrill seeking types of adventures like sky diving and racing on a track. Maybe get my nipples and tongue pierced. Do some fun crazy things.

    Maybe plant a nice tree for the family to have as a memorial / reminder… and they can watch it grow :)

    Bit cheesy too but how about writing Birthday cards and letters for his kids to open in years to come? If he has kids..

    Everyone is different though as you've said. Some may want to travel. I would want to live day to day life pretty normally for the most part. Enjoy the simple things. Be around those that matter. Quality time and conversation. And some fun adventures thrown in..

    • -5 votes

      eat whatever

      Try just plant based - could slow things down.

      • +2 votes

        Try just plant based - could slow things down.

        Screw that, who cares about an extra day or month if you have to eat vegetables all the time.

      • +1 vote

        Digestive tract and bone marrow very siloed from each other. No chance.

      • +1 vote

        Is that you Belle? Just ask Steve Jobs how well controlling cancer with diet gets you. Healthy eating is good for everyone but I doubt going veggie is going to have much effect on an advanced cancer diagnosis.

        •  

          Have you read too much into my response? Did I say anything about avoiding conventional medicine? Only frauds or nut jobs would avoid conventional medicine.

          Have a look at the clinical studies of developing countries that have a mostly whole foods plant based diet and the level of all types of cancer, and then as they develop and adopt a more western diet.

          •  

            @ihbh: The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest you can have, not sure the main followers of those diets would be called developing nations, not even Greece. Also, as I said, I don’t think diet is going to do a lot once you have advanced cancer. However, I do agree that eating healthier will improve your overall general health. The big killers are tobacco, alcohol, etc.

      • +3 votes

        Nah bro - if I was given a cancer diagnosis with poor prognosis, you'd better stand back. I will eat every damn delicious thing in my path until I grow too weak to hold that last pizza slice up to my greasy lips.

  •  

    They are getting some good results against leukaemia using stem-cell treatments (look it up, it's one of the few stem-cell cures that seem to work ATM)http://www.stemcellsaustralia.edu.au/. Also if I were your friend I would be looking towards alternative treatments (obviously he's tried western medicine and it failed so he's got nothing to lose at this point. PM me if you want some links.) In addressing cancer, diet and lifestyle are crucial.

    • -1 vote

      Agree with this. Don't know why it's negged.
      Hope dies last, and alternative treatments look more promising every day. Plenty of people online claim they beat cancer and share their way to do it, if you care to look for that info. I wouldn't write all of them off as quacks or frauds or whatever msm calls them these days.

      Think of it what you want but if i was terminally ill, i would have a problem with people telling me to sit down, spend my money and wait for death to come.
      Travel is awesome and should definitely be on the cards, but why is nobody recommending looking for a cure in an unconventional way if all the conventional ways fail you??

      Alternative treatments can help (that's not saying they will, but if there is a possibility to cheat death, wouldn't you at least look into it and try) and ppl who neg such a suggestion hopefully never have a family member in this situation.

  • +3 votes

    I've travelled the world many times over and been to all of the destinations listed in this thread but the best, most memorable trip/adventure I've ever had was buying a caravan last year and travelling around Australia for 7 months. We are so lucky to have some of, if not the most, varied, beautiful and interesting landscapes, flora and fauna in the world. Your friend will see out his days with his family by his side experiencing the most beautiful country in the world.

  •  

    Do you know where your friend has already travelled to/from? He may have seen all the major places in younger days and have no desire to do it all again.

    What are his hobbies, lies and dislikes, family relationships?

    If he's a businessman wealthy as you hint at, he may have business obligations that cannot be assigned to others or "handed down to family" he may want to keep making as much money as possible?

    Why do you feel you have to push or goad him into anything, the prognosis may be poor but he may live for 20 years.

    No use doing a last run bucket list because you think your dying, to me that would be as depressing as hell and rob you of any fun doing it.

    Why not leave the guy to do his own thing and his family to cope in their own way?

  • +2 votes

    Just connecting with family and friends. Looking back on the good times over a few beers.

  •  

    Road trip with family. Domestic or overseas. Take wife dancing or ballet or whatever she likes. Make love. Take kids to zoo or movie. See them smile. For some inspiration.
    Visit cancer Ward and ask them what they wish they could do with their last few breaths .

    So sorry to hear about your friend.

  • +1 vote

    your trying to make use of his days???? What does he want?

  • +1 vote

    I would spend as much time with my family and friends creating beautiful and happy memories that theyll get to keep with them.

    Especially if i had the money, I'd be taking us on holidays or/and activities to do extraordinary and special things - of course that is subjective and, for me, is a diverse and far reaching concept. Could be something as simple as a weekend camping trip with a camp fire, and nothing but good conversation, card games and a bbq. It could be a trip to Africa on a safari, or anywhere in the world.

    I'd do something to contribute back to society - some real volunteering so i didn't feel my life was so worthless. It's such a nice feeling when you do something good for others.

    All the things on my list I've wanted to do or try - those.

  • +1 vote

    I would suggest that is a conversation to facilitate with your friend and his family. It is time for him to work out what matters in his life (what is important to him) and focus on that.

    There is a book about the regrets of the dying. They usually revolve around - more time with family and less time working.

    While travel is nice to do, it gets more complicated now. Insurance companies won’t want to cover him and should he need care, it can be costly or poor quality. His immune system is also compromised so many places and situations are risky.

  •  

    He is family oriented.

    Does he have a wife and/or children? Someone he is responsible for? He may have a bucket list that is about looking after them,

    My best friends husband had amount his last acts, cleaning out the garage and sourcing a lifetime supply of hard to find light globes and the like so my friend would not have to deal with that detail on her own.

    As a parent of s not yet launched child, my thoughts would be around their future. Everyone is different.

  • +2 votes

    Sorry to hear about ur friend

  • +1 vote

    Rent a super car and drive it around the race track. Hell of a lot of fun. Get a pro driver if you're not comfortable.

    •  

      Eh, last time I was in one if felt like getting kicked in the guts by a mule every gear change.
      With the nausea it might not be such a hot idea, but hay different people - different things…

  • +27 votes

    OP it is frustrating as heck I know, there is nothing worse than feeling helpless keep the friendship alive and close, that is great support that only you can provide, he will appreciate it more than you will ever know….I'd recommend travel with his family making memories for them to enjoy…when he's gone they will have been and seen the best with him.

    Why do I say this?…this is what I have been doing for the last 5 years :)…my wife appreciates the travel, is more than happy to go, she enjoys seeing me 'getting on with life' and we create those good time memories while we can ;)….my cancer medication stopped working 5 years ago, then new meds became available, they worked for 12 months or so, then another worked for 18 months, started another new one that didn't work at all:( another one was OK for 12 months, started my current meds 6 months ago, so far so good…we have 7 cruises booked and will keep travelling while health permits.Terminal illnesses are not a sentence, they should be treated as a warning to get on with life and enjoy what time is available…hope he travels well, pain free.

    • +2 votes

      Very inspirational – thanks for sharing.
      May you continue to build more great memories, for you and your loved ones.
      Nothing more valuable than this – sharing in activities you both enjoy.
      All the best! :-)

    •  

      All the best for your future. Just wondering how you get on with travel insurance, or do you mostly travel in Australia?

  • -3 votes

    First smash some windows of your enemy.

    Then, buy a lot of lottery;

    Last live a 3 working day live.

    •  

      Downvotes but First smash some windows of your enemy is something I agree with.

      •  

        Thanks for agreeing with one point.

        I dont understand the neg anyway,
        Buying lottery is nothing to lose, and if you win, your family members benefit.

        And working three days week, that is personal experience.
        I took two months off work to "enjoy" live, but two weeks later, I find it miserable for just "enjoy" without the normal day job work.
        I guess I am the working type of people.

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