Friday, July 23, 2010

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

We have recently learned that our good friend, who is Doc's like a brother best friend since they were kids, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. It has spread to some lymph nodes so there is no option for surgery.
He is currently at the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion and if they concur with his doctor's at home he will soon start chemotherapy and radiation treatments that have a 20% cure rate. Without a cure individuals having this treatment have lived up to five years, but the average is 1-2 years after treatment.  Our friend sent this information out in an e-mail to a large group of friends and family yesterday. As dire as this information is, he seems to be keeping a positive frame of mind and to be preparing for the fight of his life. His e-mail included this poem written by Dylan Thomas which he says reflects his attitude.



Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

The language is flowery, but the message is clear. Our friend is not giving up. With his sense of humor very much still intact he added this at the end of the poem: " Unfortunately, Dylan died at age 39 and his last declaration was reportedly “19 shots – that must be a record.” 

I'm praying that his positive attitude will be the key to the best possible outcome for our friend.

 Dylan Thomas died from the results of alcoholism in 1953.



  1. Oh, Jeanie, I´m so sorry! My husband just lost his best friend to cancer last year and it is a hard thing to go through. I will be thinking and praying for your friend and your husband. I hope they still have much time together!

  2. I'm so sorry for your sad, sad news but attitude is everything and the Doctor's grim forecast is not always God's plan. I will be praying for your dear friend and his family.

    Have a fantastic day and a wonderfully blessed weekend my friend.

  3. I am sorry for that bad news, but your friend's attitude should be good medicine. I hadn't read that Dylan Thomas poem for a while but had been thinking about it.... It's worth keeping in mind for every day, no? Fight back, don't let anyone suck the life out of you (bosses, relatives, friends, anyone).

  4. I, too, am so very sorry for your husband's friend. I read something on a blog today that, when given bad news, one can hold a pity party, or live life to the fullest and with great positive engery. What a meaningful thing to use the poem which so closely mirrors his situation. I will pray for him, his family and his friends.

  5. Your friend sounds like he going to give it the best he can and I imagine all who know him will be right there beside him.

  6. I hope that attitude carries through. He seems like he's got the best outlook on life that one can have when faced with his future. I send best wishes to him.

    I have always liked that poem, even if it does bring a tear sometimes when I read it. Seems like a lot of the most gifted writers/artists/musicians died too early.

  7. Aww Jeanie, I am so sorry. We are currently sweating out lung cancer biopsy results for a dear friend of ours. Cancer is an awful disease.

    I will hold your friend in thought and pray for his good health.

    xoxoxo jj

  8. What a beatiful poem, Jeanie...As I am getting older I am loving the truth and wisdom in poetic writing, so rich and deep feeling.
    So sorry about your friend.
    I just found out that a friend of my cousin's in Norway died of cancer a few weeks ago. I shed some tears as saying good-bye is never easy.

  9. I just realized that your friend did not pass away. So sorry for my premature note. May God's peace go before him and his loved ones.

  10. So sorry to hear about your friend
    very interesting poem....makes you think

    That was so cute that your dog brought you....what resembled ... a leash
    so cute

  11. so sorry for this bad news. My mother/in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer and only given a few weeks to live. With treatment, lots of healthy eating and a very positive attitude she went on to live for another two years.