What you do when you have catastrophic news?

The Journey is mine.

What you do when you have catastrophic news?

How to prepare for a road you do not want to take.

As you know, I’m just getting started writing my personal journal. Yesterday I went in for additional tests and was told it should take about 30 min. after almost 3 hours. The doctor told me “I think you have Lou Gehrig’s disease”. Then he asked me, you know what that is?

Unfortunately, I do know, I had a very dear friend, Lance O’Brien, no relationship to me  who I watched passing away from it. I personally watched him several years as his body stiffened and deteriorated it was very traumatic to watch. His wife left him when he was diagnosed yet he always tried to have a cheerful attitude even though he could barely speak. The owner of the company took him out of the factory and gave him an office job, to let him know he was loved.

So the question is what you do, when you’ve been handed catastrophic news? Since I’ve gone through this before I will outline my thoughts.

  • First and foremost I pray for guidance and wisdom.
  • I try to collect all my thoughts and write down exactly what I was told.  Note: Every time I went to the Seattle cancer care alliance, I brought a tape recorder with me and recorded the doctor talking to me. (With his permission) . It is truly amazing when you have your wife  with you, and you compare what you heard with what’s on the tape it’s not always the same.
  • The main thing for me is to determine the truth. In other words, don’t overplay or diminish what you heard.
  • Gather your questions and facts. Write them down!
  • This is a good time to remember to calm yourself down, breathe deeply to slow your system down, meditate on something positive (for me, it’s God is my strength) clear your mind.

Once you’ve defined all the facts,  then seek wise counsel. Proverbs 24:6 for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers. It’s very important to choose the right people . For me I will choose doctors that know me best and have shown me over time, they do care what happens to me.

Before going to bed last night I read my Bible John 14:3-4

  • And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. NIV. This gave me peace so I was able to sleep.


  • Elaine Wilkinson - May 20, 2012 - 8:47 pm

    Your God is making you strong – mentally. That doesn’t mean that He will make you strong physcially. But mentally you are already with God. I just went through losing my husband to pancreatic cancer and even though he tried everything physical, it was not what the Lord had in mind. But he strengthened him mentally so he prepared for death. I was amazed by his mental strength. Thank you for sharing with us. Elaine WilkinsonReplyCancel

    • craigobrien - May 21, 2012 - 2:36 pm

      Thank you very much for your comments and kind words. I know from being a caregiver with my mother who has severe dementia it is very hard to watch someone you love fade away, it seems there is nothing you can do to change the course my heart and love go to you with the loss of your husband.
      As you know I still deal with an IPMN tumor on my pancreas as well as the resent diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s plus MPN (myeloproliferative neoplasm). I very much welcome you input. The purpose of the website was to give inspiration plus something positive to focus on for people who have live changing illnesses. I need input from more people like you to guide me in making this site be helpful for all of us.
      Craig O’BrienReplyCancel

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