My name is Peter. I’ve been doing PhD level research on suicide and life-threatening illness since 2005. In 2006 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and have been intermittently despondent since that time. So I’ve been grappling and coping with some of the same issues as experienced by the participants in my study.
The purpose of the blog is to invite a dialog by and about individuals who’ve given serious consideration to suicide within the context of a life-threatening illness. I’m particularly interested in the way we manage our suffering, with a focus on the tension between the dual threats of death, one from the “outside” as configured by an illness, and the other from the “inside”, as represented by the thoughts and emotions which may arise during an in-depth exploration of self-destruction.
My experiences while doing graduate research, working on a suicide phone line, facilitating groups of depressed persons, and struggling personally with cancer and suicidal ideation – have convinced me that deep meaning and positive personal value often emerges when an individual is allowed to freely examine the meaning of his or her own life in relation to the very important question of suicide.