Struggling to hang on


Struggling to hang on


your avatar   Edward, 55-year-old man


I was a locater of vending for many charities for the last 30 plus years. I haven't worked in 2 or more years because my health has gotten very bad. I am 55 and have liver cancer and at least one tumor growing fast - and there may be five more too small to tell. The doctor gave me little over a year to live for the liver tumor, but maybe shorter.

My wife and I are struggling very hard. She works so hard without complaining to help us. I can't work and have gone through all channels for help, but by time I get it, it will be too late. I am very weak and get tired a lot and don't have the energy to keep trying to get help. I am not sure what to do. I go to church and prayer meetings every week and my wife plays piano at church.

I spent most of my life helping others. I didn't think that I would be on the other side looking for the same. Any ideas?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Edward my dear friend,

Your doctor thinks you are dying. Maybe he is right - we all need to die sometime, and that can be at any age. And from what you have written, that doesn't worry you too much. You are far more concerned for your wife than for yourself, and that's wonderful. That's the real purpose of life: to serve God by loving His creations. What matters is not how long you live, but how well, and it seems to me that apart from the past few years, you have lived a life of service. Thank you.

All the same, I personally know people who were in your situation many years ago - and are still alive, now. One is a lady called Petrea King, who was told she was going to die at 32 years of age. She is now 73, and still working with people experiencing life-threatening conditions like cancer and AIDS. She has written several books, and all of them are an inspiration to read. I think you are taking the right attitude, which I have described here.

If you do die soon, your wife will grieve, and have maybe 1 to 2 years of major sadness - but we little humans are tough. She will get through it. Give yourself permission to let go of worry for her. You are fortunate in being an honest Christian. Pray - not to get better, or for a miracle, but for peace in your heart, whatever happens.

With love,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


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