Thursday, September 24, 2009

Live Life as Though You Have Cancer

As I stated in the previous post, it's been a year since going through the hellish experience of cancer treatment. At the end of it, I had coffee with a long time friend. She was on vacation at the time and was going over all the wonderful things she had done in the past couple of weeks and changes she had made in her life. Mainly, taking more time for herself and less on her job.

After our meeting, I headed straight to the Canal for an extended weekend of clam digging and such and on the way down, I wrote a blog entry in my head. I titled it, 'Live Life as Though You Have Cancer'. I put it to paper but after reading and rereading, I didn't feel like I captured the essence of what I wanted to say. So I shelved it, thinking I'd get back to it and make it, 'right'. Then I'd make the post...

Well, that was a year ago and I still haven't made it 'right'. So I'm going to publish it now in it's original form. It's funny, after a year has gone by it seems to be more 'right' than it was when written. Go figure. Anyway, here it is.

Live Life as Though You Have Cancer

If you found out today you had cancer, imagine how your life would change. Step back for just a moment and contemplate the unimaginable. You are now at the beginning of a new and unchartered journey. How would your life change? Would you begin to analyze your mortality in a more urgent sense? Would things that used to seem important, become less so? Would things that seem very important take on a much greater sense of urgency?

My guess is your view of life changes. You now live far more in the now and the immediacy of it. You might view life not so much of this world but more from an eternal perspective. When you see friends and spend time with them, you can’t help but think this may be the last time you see them in this world. What used to cause anxiety in your life, is merely a mosquito buzzing about the room. Imagine not living your life in fear for tomorrow, but alive today. Remember how there was always tomorrow and how you made life harder than need be by worrying about things of this world from the realm of what if, what might be, what might happen; opposed to what is and what’s possible.

I’m sure you’ve been asked the question at some time in your life, “What would you do if you had but one day to live?” Be honest, what is your answer? Would you change anything? Would the world look different? Would you pick up the phone and tell a long lost friend or loved one something you’ve been meaning to say? Would you run to your kids room and throw your arms around them and tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you? Your parents? Siblings? Would you be a different person? Would you treat people differently? Be honest.

Give this some deep and meaningful thought. Not from a negative or sadness point of view, but from a position of walking in cancers shoes. Let the situation sink in and think hard and deep about how your life would change.

Cancer has been a blessing for me in many ways in which I’ve described. It is not a curse nor a death sentence. It’s a window to living. A very clear and fog free window on this world we live in. And a daily reminder of just how short this trip we’re on is.

I’ve come to the understanding that death and the possibility of such is easy. It’s living in this life that is hard. Really hard. And I want to challenge everyone who cares to listen to really live. And to live for today, not tomorrow. Not in the seats as a spectator but on the stage as the principal in a play.

So imagine you have cancer and choose to live life as such. You might be amazed at the possibilities that open up when you live your life from this point of view.

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