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Your ‘Problems’ Put in Perspective – Read the Thoughts of 8 People Who Don’t Have Much Time Left

Recently, on the reddit website, a question was Posed to people who know they are dying:

The question was – (What) does your day look like?

Here we share 7 of the most upvoted (popular) responses for your own reflection and consideration;

(1) – ‘wearealldying’ wrote:

Liver cancer here, result of extreme iron-overload undetected for far too long. Metastatic now. Bad. There is nothing that can be done.

So, really any-day now. But here is the thing, we are all dying. Ever second that goes by is one second closer to it. So today, tomorrow, next week, next year….all of those moments are way more valuable than you realize. You don’t understand how short life is until you can see the end. I’m 42. I won’t live to see my daughter graduate from high school. I won’t see go to prom, go to college, get married, have kids, all of that. I won’t be here to comfort her when she gets her heartbroken. I won’t be here to support her, take care of her, watch out for her.

My wife is a wreck. Somedays it’s like I’m already dead, and she’s just lost in grief. There are no words to make her feel better. I cannot tell her everything is going to be okay because I am going to die. She knows it, I know it, there is no easy way to accept that.

Day to day? Make the best out of it. I’m not blowing money left and right because I want to leave it behind for my girls. Quit smoking. Ironic. Spend a lot of time getting my shit together for when I am gone. Who I want to have what. Insurance, bills, finances sorted out and set up to make it as easy as possible for my wife at the transition. Have written some letters for my daughter to get when she is older. Have put together a lot of home videos from when she was little, stuff she won’t remember and I won’t be around to tell her about… early birthdays, time we spent together, I want her to have those memories. Made two videos, one for my wife and one for my girl. I want them to be able to see me happy, not hurting, see my face, hear my voice. Got my shit together as far as last wishes, when I want them to pull the plug and let me go, how I don’t want a funeral. I’ve set aside money for them to throw a party as a memorial. Drink and eat and share good memories.

Other than that I go to work when I can, work from home when I can’t. Spend as much time with my girls, my parents, my sisters family, my dogs as humanly possible. Eat good steak, drink good alcohol, enjoying every sunrise, sunset, and moment in between. We all have to make the best of what we’ve got while we’ve got it. There is no better time than today, because tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us.


(2) – ‘bigjohnsax’ wrote:

44 with stage 4 prostate cancer. Just reminding myself that I’m alive today and will most likely be alive tommorow. I’m a lot more focused on looking for beauty in the world around me and doing my best not to pay attention to the agents of the id when they get dark. One breath, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.


(3) – ‘T_Max100’ wrote:

I am 40, have stage 4 breast cancer and I have been told I will die. My initial diagnosis was stage 4, metastasised to my spine and liver. The thing is I am currently stable and feel perfectly fine. I may die in 6 months or in a decade, but apart from the cancer thing, I am otherwise healthy.

For the first 18 months it was all I could think about, it influenced everything around me, I did the big expensive trip, connected with old friends, etc. But after I did all that nothing changed. I still go to work every day, I go to the gym, I visit friends, I have the occasional beer, I am renovating a house, and being single I am out and about dating. Because I feel fine I manage to forget most of the time. I am constantly asked why I still work. Well I have to eat and put a roof over my head, plus what else am I going to do? I can’t be on holidays for what could be the next 10 years.

My treatment is different to what most people understand with cancer. With early cancers they go in guns blazing, chop bits out and pump you full of nasty chemos to try and beat it. With advanced cancer they are just trying to keep you stable and buy time. There is no cure, you won’t get better, so easy goes it until it doesn’t work any more. Because of the less aggressive medications my hair didn’t fall out, I haven’t lost weight, my colour is normal and I don’t spend hours puking. Like I said, I am fine. But then the chemo (pills) is still pretty yukky, I get regular blood tests, 3 monthly CT scans, 6 monthly bone scans, and have a 6 weekly check up with my Oncologist.

I’m pretty resilient, but when they scanned my brain ‘just to check’ it was pretty shitty (it was clear btw). Any one of those visits could be the one when I find out the medication is no longer working, the spots on my liver are out of control, there are no other options, and that’s it game over. It is like living under the sword of Damocles. But I’ve just gotta get on with it.


(4) – ‘microgoddess’ wrote:

Stage IV Breast cancer, spread to brain, bone, liver, and lungs. I was 36 when diagnosed with 1 and 2 year old boys. I live every day as normally as possible. I try to make as many memories as I can with my boys. I laugh a lot, and try to do things that I love. I’m nearly 5 years out, should’ve died last year just from the brain mets… Love life!


(5) – ‘_ravenclaw’ wrote:

I was just given the “less than 5 years to live” talk, yesterday. An oddly relevant AskReddit post.

Up until this point I haven’t traveled much…whether it be because I had no money, or no time. Probably both. But it’s all I want to do.

In a way, now I have all of the time in the world. I want to see things the way others do who live in other lands, I want to just experience this planet as much as I can. We’re on a tiny speck of dust and it’s all we have, I want to experience it all and not have it be a waste. I want to show people compassion, and love. I want to donate my money, I want to help people out in their time of need. I want to make at least one persons life better.

I want to make the world a better place than when I came. Help clean up the earth, take care of animals and volunteer.

Because mine is going to be stolen sooner than it should have been, I want to make others better.


(6) – ‘lilblackhorse’ wrote:

53 year old woman, ALS. Rapidly progressing. Everyday I get worse, couldn’t get my shirt on today. I tend to get up (which is a struggle) get dressed and then sit at my computer here for an hour or so in the morning. Hang out on my couch and read and watch tv. And if the weather is nice, roll out onto my porch to read in the sunshine.

Not really enough strength and energy to eat, though I am being yelled at for losing weight. No pain, for which I am thankful, but unable to do most things we take for granted. I have T-Rex arms now, probably won’t be able to walk or stand in the next few weeks. I am working hard to get the prescription for Death with dignity—this is not how I want to live, have had time to get my affairs in order which is good, but this sucks. I got the neuro the other day to say I have less than 6 months, I think I’ll be luck to make it to Christmas, more like early November at this rate.

I don’t want to live like this anymore.


(7) – ‘MAD_PainTeR_2015’ wrote:

Wow, lots of stage 4 cancer here.

Me too. 44 years old and Diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to my liver after my 1st colonoscopy. I knew something was wrong but I thought IBS or something. My wife took it pretty hard but I could tell she was devastated despite putting on a strong front for me and our two kids.

Every day you are lucky enough to experience after that kind of news is such a gift’ I always heard from people on TV or whatever how each day is a gift and all that but when you are looking at a death sentence it really becomes such an overwhelming truth.

I was told by my doctors I might be eligible for surgery and as luck would have it after lots of chemo and radiation treatments my tumors had shrunk enough to have surgery. I’ve had a few surgeries and I’m actually doing great and so far I’m NED (no evidence of disease) I’m still in one piece and feeling like I did in my 20’s. I still carry the overwhelming at times feeling that this life I have is a gift and I am constantly grateful for all experiences I get to still have. I have a much shorter tolerance for bullshit and assholes and pretty much just speak my mind now where as before I would reserve commenting to spare hurting someones feelings or unwanted attention. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!


(8) – ‘Lost4evr’ wrote:

I’m 30. Non-hodgkin lymphoma. I’ve been saying I have about a month left, for like the last 4 months. I am progressively getting worse though, and now I truly think it’s about a month.

The main thing for me is not planning anything more than 4-5 days in advance. I may end up in hospital by then (a regular occurence) or I may be dead by then! There’s a lot of living in the moment, and being selfish, which nobody holds against you.

I’m constantly torn between purging all my belongings to make the process easier on my parents, or just leaving things the way they are. Also, I go back and forth between almost making ridiculous purchases (sports car), and giving all my savings to my sister/using it to pay for my funeral. I’ve come to terms with dying. I’ve mentioned this on r/cancer.

The main thing for me is being comfortable. I don’t want pain. Which is tough, because i’m in pain 24/7 haha. It’s just crazy how in a year I’ve transformed from a muscular, handsome, wonderful, caring, thoughtful person if i may toot my own horn, to a [] burden that people just worry about and don’t know what to say around.


Our thoughts go out to these brave people and we wish them well on their journey.

Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever. ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


  1. Death is something most of us do not give a thought to let alone a second thought, I know I do not think about dying, although with only recently attending a funeral it brought it to mind but not for long and you know what I think I am pretty normal in this regard, I am afraid to die I just know I am not ready to go yet as I have grandchildren to see grow up and start their adult lives


  2. To all–thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. My mom (83, will be 84 on 11/23 if she makes it) is dying of metastatic breast cancer, is on Hospice and could go at any time. Ironically, her body is still demanding food (especially cake) and eliminating like a champ. The cancer is in her spine and is heading for her liver. She has done all her work well and all arrangements have been made. She and my 91 year old dad are spending lots of time together. Friends and neighbors make sure good meals are delivered, as well as flowers, visits and phone calls.

    I am up there each day, and glad to be there. All the love and thanks have been spoken as well as many, many kisses and hugs. Mom feels that this time is a gift and a blessing; how often do we get the chance to say all our goodbyes, give away our things as keepsakes to others, and to reflect on a life well-spent and enjoyed? I wrote her obit, and she has approved it; another thing you don’t always get to do.

    If only we started talking about dying and death earlier in our lives–what a difference that would make! Death is only a passage, and certainly not an end. Mom always tells Dad that she is going first to get their ‘eternal home’ ready for his coming. She says, “You know how I like to tidy things up first!”

    I do not wish to make light of this time, but I do want to share that this can be a beautiful and wonderful time. As much as you can, be grateful, be peaceful, and be loving and giving. To those who are dying and wish to get on with it (as my mom is), say this out loud: “Body, you have been great and I appreciate all you have done for me. But I am ready to go.”

    Thank you again,



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