Your Life, Mood and Mindset…all Malleable.
Warning: I wrote this on my phone, I am little passionate right now. Just walked in the door after a 8 hour day lol. Poured a drink, uploading this with no edits. Enjoy.
After being told by my oncologist 7 weeks ago that my recent tests showed I now had what they call ‘Incurable Metastatic Gastric Cancer’, I started seeing a Palliative Care doctor to help ease the dying process with fancy dancy drugs. Yay!
This new doctor told me that even my originally planned boring old Netflix-bingeing-book-writing-
Don’t get me wrong, I’m having a blast, but the nights are agony. Loads of aspiration/coughing up blood/bile due to not having my custom wedge built for those of us with no stomach/esophagus to sleep on a 30 degree incline. Also, restless nights of intense, new and unexplained pain which I just found out from a (Gazillion dollar lol…help Mom!) Xray is because I have more tumours that popped up and these ones are toying with my spine. (Paralysis could be around the corner.)
So, as you could tell from that last sentence…I’m currently typing this blog post on my phone from the 2nd Emergency Room I’ve visited in as many weeks. This one today is in Sheffield, England and if it wasn’t posted everywhere that this is actually the ‘Accident Department’, this ER looks just like your basic Canadian one. Only less crowded and filled with funnier sounding people.
Why am I hear? Well, other than the whole ‘I’m going to be dead in less than a year’ stock answer I like to give, truth is, I am deteriorating big time. Every day I can feel my body giving up. As much as I fuel my soul and heart with laughter, new experiences and zen – my body still gets in the way. I had finally had enough of the nightly agony and took a health day to visit the hospital instead of sight seeing.
Despite all of this, and I guess it would be easier to have my doctors and my mom around to help take care of me – I still haven’t a single regret. I’d much rather be sick and deteriorating on vacation than in Toronto watching Netflix.
So why did I decide to blog today? While sitting in the waiting room I was speaking to an elderly couple, the gentlemen was in here for the umpteenth time because of complications from a prostate issue a year ago. Our conversation became very candid and as we swapped tales of illness and life, Martha teared up. She was sad but also thrilled with what I had decided to do. Her and John had planned their entire lives to travel the world when they retired. Him a banker, her a teacher – they had great pensions, savings accounts and even no mortgage for the last decade. Problem is, John retired last year at 62. Martha a year prior. John’s prostate issue started shortly before retirement by the sounds of it. The problems continue to today. So far they’ve been on one weekend holiday to Bath, England. That’s it. 40 years of hard work and planning. 40 hours of holiday. Wake up world!
Reading this, I’m sure you put two and two together why I chose today to share all of this. Martha and John are the exact example I use when I preach to whomever will listen, that although balance is important, so is living in the present. Living in the moment. Enjoying life each and every day instead of slaving away for a future that may never come. John and Martha are the epitome of the typical family who planned for a future, putting off today’s happiness for the promise of tomorrow’s, and it never came. In Martha’s tears and John’s reluctance to say much, I assume they both realize, their life long dream of travel will never come. And if it does, it will be scaled back, edited to suit health problems, limited mobility and old age. Instead of living their dreams weekly, monthly or yearly; they gambled it all on a the uncertainty tomorrow brings. Too many of us do this.
All we have for certain folks is today. This second. This moment. Right now. Spend the time you have making memories and sharing laughter – there isn’t a chance you’ll regret it on your death bed. I promise.
As I happened to choose a backpack and couches/hostel beds as my death bed, I find solace in the fact that even if I wasn’t lucky enough to be globe trotting now, I would have died happy years ago. I don’t continually share how much fun I had in life to impress you, but rather to impress upon you, that life is so precious, so fragile and most importantly, yet too often forgotten – so malleable! So take yours and shape it into exactly what you want it to be. Start now. Today. Go! The only one stopping you is you.
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