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Monday, November 11, 2002

Monday Mission 1111

Doing a serious Monday Mission about illness and life and death. Taking the last one first.

7. I'd like to see either "Spirited Away" or "Bowling for Columbine" before they vanish from the multiplex at the mall. But I will probably have to go see it alone (which I hate). Do you like to go to see flicks at the movie theater alone? Or would you rather have company? Seen any good (or bad) movies lately? Going to a movie with someone is definitely preferable to going alone. It's been my observation that in bigger cities people don't think twice about going to the movies alone. And, other movie goers seem to respect that. However, in smaller towns, it's the opposite. I don't know why. I haven't seen any movies lately, good or bad.

1. Although I was told before hand by my mother, my Grandfather finally told me he has cancer and it was speculated he has about 12 months to live. Has someone you know ever told you they had a terminal illness? What was it like for you when you found out. How did that change your relationship with them? First of all, I was so sorry to hear about your grandfather. Best wishes for him and your family. Yes. My father was seriously ill with a heart condition. It runs in the family. He had his first heart attack at the age of 40, and then a couple more over the next ten years. But, he continued to do everything he wanted to do and didn't let his heart get in his way of living life. They never talked about it being terminal, though. He died in 1976, at the age of 51, after spending almost two months in the hospital. During those two months, there were about five or six times that the doctors told us he wouldn't make it through the night. But, he hung in there. For a while. My feelings for my father changed when I knew that the end was near. Growing up with him as head of the house could be considered by some as brutal. It's hard to explain. But, when I knew he was going to die, it was suddenly like everything was okay — past, present and future. All the bad feelings a kid feels about their parent were erased for me. I was with him in the hospital room when he died. He didn't even know I was there. To this day, I'm glad I was there, and I have no regrets about him. Unlike another member of my family.

2. The concept of having 12 months comes as somewhat of a shock. Often those estimates are wrong and a person lives much longer. But still, it makes me think. If you found out you had 12 months to live, what would you do with that time? How would it change the way you live? Or would it? I have no idea what I would do. I'd like to think I could quit my job and just lay in the sun for the rest of my days. Not to get a tan, though. Either that, or start robbing banks. [For the comedically impaired, that last part was a joke.]

3. My Grandfather has decided to undergo chemotherapy. He was told it would not cure him, but it could prolong his life, however his quality of life could diminish. Having watched my father go through all that to no avail, I am not so sure I would choose that option. If you were (or are) in a situation where chemotherapy might cure you, or might not, would endure the usual side effects and discomfort? For anything less than a 50/50 chance of cure, I don't think I would want to go through all that. It's really hard to say.

4. How is your health? How are you doing? I'm alive!

5. Speaking of health, I was in a Health Food Store Saturday and learned about something called "Ear Candling." It involves having a helper insert a cone-shaped candle in your ear, lighting it and having the reverse pressure suck the wax out of your ear. Apparently it is very popular. Do you use, or have you ever tried, any alternative heath remedies or procedures? How did that work out? Anything out there we should try (or avoid)? I have a vague memory of my grandma touting black salve as a cure-all for everything. Growing up, we always had black salve in the medicine cabinet. But, we never took it internally, even though it can be taken that way. We got ours at a pharmacy about six blocks from our house. Do they even make it anymore? I hear that blowing smoke in the ear of someone who has an earache works wonders. For a tension headache, go outside and look as far as you can across the horizon, then slowly bring your vision back to a point close to you, close your eyes, and repeat a couple times until the headache starts to dissipate. Finally, gargling with salt water at the onset of a soar throat. Other than those, I'm pretty much out of the alternative medical loop.

6. Which reminds me, this week at work they are giving flu shots for $15. I hate getting shots, so getting one by choice, and paying for it, is tough for me. How do you feel about Flu shots. Do they give them where you live? Are you going to get one or take your chances? Yes, they give them here. My mom, who is 76, gets one every year. And, every year within a few days or so, she gets the flu. The doctors consistently tell her that the flu bug was already in her system before she got the shot and that the shot itself does not cause the flu. I've never had one. I can't remember the last time I had the flu.

BONUS: Don't you want somebody to love? Yes.

Posted by Marie at November 11, 2002 10:25 PM