Tag Archives: Measuring life

Denis Wright looking at the world of human beings

Many people do not see that our life is something which is given to us, by a ‘Thing‘ bigger than we can understand or would ever be able to grasp. It is a Spirit which created everything and still allows things to be created. For the beings which can walk around on this earth they may be a fleeting thing.

“whether you reach one year of age, or ten or a hundred years”

knew also terminal cancer patient Denis Wright. He wrote on his blog, which was selected for preservation by the Australian National Library in its Pandora Archive:

Every life is a little spark that flickers briefly, sometimes brightly, and then the spark fades quickly and passes back into an infinity of space and silence. {A Last Message from Denis}

The former historian in Asian studies, comparative religions, movie-maker and “observer of the world as we have changed it” was dealing with a GBM (4) (glioblastoma multiforme): the most aggressive form of brain tumour.

Denis Wright wasn’t meant to live long. He’s had birthdays – 66 of them – but he’s also had plenty of deathdays – the dates he thought he would “cark it”.

At one point the historian from Armidale in country NSW said:

“Every date we’ve estimated so far has been wrong … I’ve embarrassed myself by staying alive.” {A Last Message from Denis}

While he was living on this earth for this brief time he was fully aware that

our bodies are the bearers of who and what we are. They are not us; they’re just the vessels in which our true self resides. We stop sometimes, and try to take stock. We move on, and simply live. We occasionally contemplate the great questions or put them aside as an insoluble puzzle. {A Last Message from Denis}

Mr Wright has not wasted his time by moaning and shutting himself out of this world where there is much suffering. He himself suffered also much, but he wanted to use his pains and agonies to help others. That is the good attitude we should like to see by many more.

On a blog, called My Unwelcome Stranger  he took the courage to write about his experiences. Writing about his troubled health he shared why he would rather call someone than send them a text (it’s too slow to say anything other than “OK”)

But why put myself through 10 minutes of torment on a screen I can’t read anyway when I can just press one button to bring up the number of the person I want to call, and say, “OK”? I could even add, “I love you” in a real voice, as long as I got the right number. What to would be bemused, but not amused, should I leave a voice message for him telling him so when I really thought I was phoning my beloved. {A Last Message from Denis}

Often people let themselves go and in their illness they do not seem to think clear or forget the easy things they could do. though when suffering the toll can be high and people can miss the true importance of small things and worse, of bigger things like a wedding (and that is “the receipt of as many and as expensive a range of gifts as possible,” he joked).

For reasons I still can’t quite figure out in view of the fact that we were going for the record for the longest engagement in history, one which had begun almost last century (millennium even), we abandoned that exercise after a sterling effort of nearly a decade, and opted to get married instead. {A Last Message from Denis}

The last fourteen years of his life he has spent with, and been loved by, and married the one who is to him

the most beautiful, intelligent and caring woman in the world. It’s impossible for me to express the amount of care and time and patience Tracey has given me, with little thought to her own needs. She has always placed mine first. This path we’ve had to share since 2009 has been more difficult than anyone can understand unless you’ve travelled a similar one – and cared as much as she has. She hid her tears from me many times, knowing how much they tore me apart; yet to cry alone and out of sight is one of the saddest things in life. {A Last Message from Denis}

For every person on this earth it is so important who can be around him or her. The close surroundings are the one part of our life we should assure a good connection. It is in those surroundings that people should be able to build up some trust with others and feel the connection with others. It is also in the close surroundings people should be able to come to understand the meaning of love through the presence in their life by others.

It is nice to hear that Dennis Wright could clung himself to life to the end. He wrote:

it’s only because of the joy of sharing life with close family and friends, and my desire to be with them as long as possible. For me, nothing else mattered but those bonds of love and friendship. To allow them to slip away is, by far, the most difficult thing to accept. {A Last Message from Denis}

All of us should find ways to help others around us. We should bring our friendship out of our boundaries and go into our neighbourhood having an eye and a heart for those in need.

When we ourselves have some bad moments let us also remember it is necessary to go looking for a balance heavily in favour of good things over bad in our life. Sometimes we shall have to take time to chose the way of relativism for certain things which happened in our life.

I’m also grateful that I had the chance to reflect on my life and its meaning through the window of terminal illness. That time for reflection isn’t something everyone gets. It’s a window through which things become sharper and more vivid than any other. {A Last Message from Denis}

Let us all learn from the lesson Mr Wright gave:

Whatever endures beyond my body will do so, especially in the form of the consequences of my actions in life, and my only wish is that whatever I’ve taken from the world, I have been able to give something meaningful back. {A Last Message from Denis}

That we may find joy in having been able to give something meaningful back.

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Useful other readings:

  1. Created to live in relation with God
  2. Cancerous Black Holes
  3. Mourners Celebrate Life Of Inspirational Cancer Teen
The Waiting Room / Breast Cancer Tableau

The Waiting Room / Breast Cancer Tableau (Photo credit: Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library)

  • numerology for Denis Wright (newsnumerology.com)
    Dr Charlie Teo, high-profile Australian neurosurgeon, has said the condition is “impossible” to cure.
  • ‘Exploding’ Cells? Swedish Scientists Discover Potential Cancer Treatment for Glioblastoma Multiforme – The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reverses cancerous cell growth with Vacquinol-1. (sevenponds.com)
    After a five-day period in which scientists fed Vacquinol-1 to mice with GBM, they found that the substance had increased activity in the cancer cells to the point that they simply “exploded.” “Vacquinols stimulate death by membrane ruffling, cell rounding, massive macropinocytic vacuole accumulation, ATP depletion, and cytoplasmic membrane rupture of [glioblastoma cells],” explained the Karolinska Institute report. Essentially, that means the activity of the mice’s glioblastoma cells was rendered so hyper-active that the cells had no choice but to explode and die. “When cancer cells were filled with a large amount of vacuoles,” says the Institute, “the cell membranes, the outer wall of the cell, collapsed.”
  • Study: Chemotherapy May Lead To Less Peaceful Death (atlanta.cbslocal.com)
    More than half of end-stage cancer patients receive chemotherapy during the last few months of their life, and those who received such treatment were more likely to die in a hospital intensive care unit, hooked to a ventilator, rather than at home as they would have preferred, says a new study.Patients were also less likely to have discussed their end of life wishes with their oncologist compared to other end-stage cancer patients who opted not to continue chemotherapy.Researchers say doctors have a hard time initiating conversations with their patients, especially those dying from metastatic cancer.“There’s a subtle dance that happens between oncologist and patient,” Dr. Alexi Wright, an assistant professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the study’s lead author, told the Boston Globe. “Where doctors don’t want to broach the subject of dying, especially in younger patients, because it makes those patients think we’re giving up on them.”
  • Terminally ill cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton forced to defend himself over online ‘dupe’ accusations (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
    Terminally ill cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton has been forced to defend himself against cruel online accusations he ‘duped’ people following his release from hospital.Stephen, who has incurable bowel cancer, has raised more than £3.1 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust after his plight touched the hearts of people around the world.The 19-year-old previously said he was nearing the end but he was discharged from Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital on Friday after doctors gave him the go-ahead to return to his home in Burntwood, Staffordshire.
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    on the Mail’s Facebook page Sarah Hill said: “Am I the only one who thinks something is not quite right here? While I hope I am wrong it feels like we are being conned.

    “One minute he tweets saying he is dying and won’t see the next day, then all of a sudden he is being released to go home. As I said, I hope I am wrong but I have a strange feeling about this.”

    Stephen, who on Friday met Prime Minister David Cameron who described him as “inspirational”, felt forced to defend himself.

    In a message he said: “Sorry to disappoint you! So you know, I still have my cancer and it’s incurable, if that makes you feel less ‘duped’ x”

  • Jay Lake (murverse.com)
    The day after the Hugo awards last year, he made a point to talk to me and tell me that he was in charge of caring for/keeping track of the Campbell tiara. He told me that, in addition to me winning the award, he was passing that responsibility to me, since he thought I was passionate enough about the award to make sure the tiara tradition continued. I nearly cried right there.One of the biggest thrills of my life was receiving the Campbell Award from Jay and his daughter, and then getting a picture with them afterward. Jay is well loved and will be missed.lake_campbell
  • 6 Stories That Prove the Mind Has the Power to Heal the Body (thehealersjournal.com)
    My book Mind Over Medicine is full of data scientifically proving that the mind can heal- or harm- the body. But data can be dry, and sometimes what resonates most deeply within our souls are stories. So sit back, grab a cup of tea, and let’s have story time. I’m going to tell you a few true stories that will demonstrate to you how powerfully the mind affects your physiology.
  • Chemotherapy proven to cause death (wakeupcallnews.blogspot.com)
    Chemotherapy is one of the worst forms of cancer treatment there is, primarily because of the horrific chemicals involved, but also because it is simply an agonizing way to kill.According to a newly published study in the British Medical Journal, more than half of end-stage cancer patients are given chemotherapy during the final few months of their life, and those who received such treatment were much more likely to die uncomfortably: in a hospital intensive care unit hooked to a ventilator, rather than at home as they wanted.
  • Saudi opposition reports King Abdullah has terminal lung cancer (worldtribune.com)
    In a statement on April 17, the institute, aligned with the Shi’ite opposition, said Abdullah was “suffering from terminal lung cancer.” The statement said Abdullah, known as a chain smoker, was seen wearing a breathing tube during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on March 28. The king was also seen with the tube on April 4 when Abdullah returned to Riyad from his retreat in Rawdat Khuraim.
  • Have People Used Baking Soda to Treat Cancer for 10 Cents/Day? (therebel.org)
    The National Cancer Institute  says that cancer treatment costs between $31,500 and $400,000 over several years, depending on the type of cancer one is suffering from. One of the cheapest ways to treat cancer is probably something you’ve never heard of, yet  Dr. Tullio Simoncini  of Rome found a possible treatment that takes around three weeks and costs literally pennies. But his simple, yet revolutionary idea was shunned by the medical industry, even though he was a successful oncologist. Nonetheless, Simoncini has destroyed cancerous tumors with nothing more than sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. Baking soda works by ‘shocking’ cancer cells with alkalinity. The extracellular (interstitial) pH (pHe) of solid tumors is significantly more acidic compared to normal tissues.
  • Wilko Johnson diagnosed with terminal cancer (guardian.co.uk)
    Wilko Johnson has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas. The news became public via a story in the Echo, the local paper in Johnson’s hometown of Southend, and spread after local musician and music historian Will Birch tweeted the news, having read it in the Echo.
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Mourners Celebrate Life Of Inspirational Cancer Teen

Stephen SuttonStephen Sutton, a young man who had to face cancer, but did not let it bring him down, has died. His spirit, bravery and determination to live life to the full was and should be an inspiration to us all.

Sutton, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, who spent his last weeks raising more than £3million for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity, died on Wednesday after being re-admitted to hospital at the weekend with breathing difficulties and his family said his condition was rapidly deteriorating.

For all healthy and sick people it is good to take this young man in mind.

“Stephen didn’t measure life in time, preferring instead to measure it by the difference someone makes. Stephen has made an enormous difference to Teenage Cancer Trust and the seven young people diagnosed with cancer every day who need our help.”

said Siobhan Dunn, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust which Sutton raised his money for.

stephen sutton last facebook photo

The final photo posted on Stephen Sutton’s Facebook

You may find on Facebook RIP Steven Sutton and already a Facebook page Steven Sutton deserves an OBE.

No point in meauring life in timeNo matter his illness which he knew would bring soon bring an end to his life this boy was full of life and wanted to do many things in his life. He wanted to try to make the world a better place no matter what.

Kenneth Blanchard with many others found Stephen a fantastic lad who was always thinking of others and will be sadly missed.

The Teenage Cancer Trust wrote on its site:

Stephen Sutton, the amazing young man who did so much to raise funds and awareness for Teenage Cancer Trust has died. The thoughts of everyone here at Teenage Cancer Trust are with Stephen’s family and friends. We are humbled and hugely grateful for what Stephen achieved, and continues to achieve, for young people with cancer.

Stephen Sutton was a normal kid who did well at school, had ambitions of becoming a doctor, played lots of sports and played drums in a local band. Like anyone else his age, he liked socializing and going out with friends.

Then in 2010, when he was 15, he was diagnosed with stage 3B colorectal cancer. After 6 months of crippling symptoms he underwent a hemicolectomy to remove a tumour from his bowel, then had 6 months of chemotherapy. The treatment had all kinds of side effects but throughout it he was determined not to let the treatment and diagnosis get on top of him.

Stephen Sutton cancer patient full of lifeIn January 2013, diagnosed with a s continued growing and spreading cancer, this young lad decided to share his life and outlook with the whole world, starting off by making a Facebook page called Stephen’s story. I’ve raised over £160,000 so far, through events ranging from charity quizzes, to a skydive to dinner parties. I think there should be some fun in fundraising, and I always encourage people to try something new.

Stephen Sutton Cancer my bitch

I smile because I have a lot to smile about. I’ve seen a lot, achieved a lot — and had a lot of fun doing it too. – Now he is gone but his spirit may carry on.

Stephen’s Story has expanded to other forms of social media including Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Facebook acquired over 12,500 dedicated Facebook fans and over 16,000 followers on Twitter at one point, and he hoped to inspire people with motivational quotes, humour and positivity.

His time on this world was too short. Lichfield Cathedral had to be host for his death body, but had to see his spirit was much alive, seeing a sea of yellow as the vigil for Stephen was held this Thursday and Friday. The respons of local shops and homes in Lichfield to an appeal to ‘paint the town yellow’ was nicely followed and the home town, Burntwood, was covered in yellow ribbons in memory of this strong boy who made it possible that many other people could be helped in the future.

At 6pm on Thursday, Stephen’s coffin had left his home in Burntwood by horse-drawn carriage, entering Lichfield by The Bowling Green, passing along The Friary, Swan Road and Bird Street before entering the Close. He was taken into the cathedral at 7pm and laid in a place of honour and given a short opening ceremony at the cathedral. The Cathedral remained open until midnight for people to pay their respects. When I watched the Breakfast Show on BBC I could already see the many people passing from 7am on Friday, before a public farewell ceremony at 3pm that afternoon.

All are welcome to attend. At 3.45pm on Friday, Stephen’s coffin will exit the Close and leave Lichfield for a private family funeral.

His mother wrote on Facebook:

My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son who passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning, Wednesday 14th May. The ongoing support and outpouring of love for Stephen will help greatly at this difficult time, in the same way as it helped Stephen throughout his journey. We all know he will never be forgotten, his spirit will live on, in all that he achieved and shared with so many.

It is nice we can see people like Stephen and Matt who had this amazing ability to just make you forget, to have you laughing at old stories or chatting away about what’s been going on at work, and suddenly nothings wrong, you’re not talking to someone who’s ill, you’re just talking to Matt or Stephen. Such personalities are needed in a society who is afraid to face the illnesses that can kill.

Under the constant shadow of terminal bowel cancer – creating a bucket list and spreading awareness to other young people Stephen saw his campaign gain rapid momentum.

In an interview with The Sun when he was well enough, the teenager said:

“You only get one shot at life. I need to make every second count.”

Before his death, Stephen, who was diagnosed aged just 15, said:

“I don’t see the point in measuring life in terms of time any more. I’d rather measure life in terms of making a difference.”

You may say he made a difference and let every second of his life be of some importance by which he also dared to put himself at the side and be there to help others.

It was that attitude which earned the highest praise and admiration, including from celebrities including  Benedict Cumberbatch, Jason Manford, Simon Pegg , Russell Brand, Simon Cowell, and Ricky Gervais.
Prime Minister David Cameron went to meet Stephen while in hospital, and following his death on May 14, said:

“I’m deeply saddened to hear that Stephen Sutton has died. His spirit, bravery and fund-raising for cancer research were all an inspiration.”

The Mirror front page for tomorrow’s paper. – A fitting tribute to a courageous teenager who was taken too soon.

Rock legend Roger Daltrey paid tribute to Stephen last night.

The Who frontman, 70, said to the Sun:

“The courage of the boy was amazing. Stephen became an inspiration to teenagers around the world.

“His short life will have an impact for years to come. It is very hard for the family but he was so resilient.

“You’d never think he was so ill. He had incredible spirit and encouraged other teenagers not to hide away from the illness.

“The world needs examples like Stephen so teenagers can get the treatment they need.” {Sun Press associates}

Many can learn from how he looked at himself:

“I actually I see myself as very fortunate- despite being incurable for a while I have had a sustained period of very good health where I was able to go out and enjoy things thoroughly…”

“Ultimately, there is no miracle cure for me. I am potentially the most positive and optimistic person in the world, but we have to be realistic with what we are up against. My disease is very advanced and will get me eventually, but I will try my damn hardest to be here as long as possible.”

Jason Manford, who helped to champion Stephen’s fundraising, paid tribute to the teenager as being

“the most inspiring person I’ve ever met”.

The comedian added:

“He was an incredibly positive young man and a credit to his family, to Burntwood and to humanity itself.

“The reason we took to him so passionately was because he was better than us, he did something that none of us could even imagine doing.

“In his darkest hour he selflessly dedicated his final moments to raising millions of pounds for teenagers with cancer.

“Some of Stephen’s words will stay with me and others forever and they are words to live by – ‘life isn’t measured in time, it’s measured in achievements’.

“If that’s true, Stephen, then you had a fulfilling life full of special moments and you will live long in the memory of thousands, if not millions, of people.”

Many well wishers gave a thumbs up as the coffin of Stephen Sutton stood in Lichfield Cathedral during a two day vigil in his memory.

Stephen pictured with his mother, Jane, who left a moving tribute to her son on the Stephen's Story Facebook page Stephen pictured with his mother, Jane, who left a moving tribute to her son on the Stephen’s Story Facebook page

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The Guestwriters team wishes his family strength and hope they can find comfort that Stephen could inspire many others and followed his dreams, showing others that even when their life sadly may be full of misery it is still possible to enjoy that shortened life.

Making a difference

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Stephen Sutton Sticking up thumbsPlease do find what Stephen Sutton has raised at the Stephen’s fundraising page which stood at Raised: 189% on May 31 2014: £4,164,869.00 raised of £1,000,000.00 targe; 178,284 donations

Follow Stephen’s story on Facebook

#ThumbsupforStephen

Find also about Matthew Burton who was cared for at the YPU unit at the QE hospital Birmingham and who too are fund raising for The Teenage Cancer Trust (though not quite on Stephens scale) : McHeroes London 2 Brighton! … trekking 100km from London to Brighton for Teenage Cancer Trust because they do fantastic work for young people.

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There’s no rule book on how to manage grief or the death of a person you know or have connected with. There’s no right or wrong way to feel and everyone will react differently.

There are some organisations who offer support at times of bereavement and loss.

www.samaritans.org

www.cruse.org.uk

www.winstonswish.org.uk

www.childline.org.uk

If you are worried about your health, speak to a doctor or visit www.nhs.uk

See Also:

Stephen Sutton’s Final Inspirational Facebook Photo‘Give Him A State Funeral’: These Stephen Sutton Tributes Are Amazing

Stephen Sutton: How a teenager touched our hearts – and raised over £3m for charity

Inspirational British teen fund-raiser with cancer dies at 19

Stephen Sutton dies aged 19: Recap reaction and tributes after cancer fund-raising hero’s death

Stephen Sutton, teenage cancer fundraiser, has died

Stephen Sutton ‘angry’ over cancer misdiagnosis

Stephen Sutton’s bucket list

Stephen Sutton Vigil: Mourners Celebrate Life Of Inspirational Cancer Teen (Pictures)

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