When all is said and done, what do I do? I am terrified that I will slip back into my life of day-by-day. I am terrified that the pace of life will pick up. I am terrified that I will forget to reflect and appreciate.
I want to keep life slow. I want to live in the moment and I want to remember.
I am so very glad that I have my stories to look back on to remind me what I have been through. Although, I have yet to go back and read any story. It is almost too painful. My history through this journey is not a place I want to return to – but I am torn that I don’t want to forget.
It is so easy to get ahead of myself and think “it’s over”. I still have two more chemos and Neulastas to go… It is so easy to slip into “future-thinking” mode. I can’t help but think that is dangerous as I lose perspective on here and now.
Here and now is so important. I didn’t used to have anything but here and now – and life was simple, pure, tranquil. It’s when I start future planning that things speed up and I miss the joy and beauty of the moment. I have to stay in the now.
But I can’t help but think, “what’s next?” When will I go back to work? When will I be able to return to fitness? When will I be able to ride my bike, to breathe deeply, to run?
When will the cancer return?
Dad survived 15 years after his cancer. At least. He never talked about it being scary. He never talked about the pain, or the sickness, or the limitations it caused. His face was disfigured after his surgery. He had his parotid gland removed and part of his jaw so he always had a concave look on the right side of his face afterwards. Why did he never talk about it? Or did he, and I never listened? I think my Mom was more worried than he was. I never appreciated what he had gone through until this very moment. I wish I had asked him more questions. Was he a very brave man – or just not a good talker?
When all is said and done – I have my life to be thankful for. And I have such wonderful family and friends to share it with. What is life when it cannot be shared?
I just recently heard about the passing of a friend’s brother. He had been struggling with cancer at approximately the same time as me. I survived – he didn’t. Why? My friend is now left without a brother. A family is left without a family member – a friend is left without a friend. I am still here. This gift of life is not given to everyone. This man’s passing made me realize even more intensely that “this” fight against cancer is not a game – it is real. I never did consider it a game, that’s not really what I mean. I must confess that I am not able to articulate the feeling I have that I survived and “he” did not. Is it guilt? Is it fear? Is it appreciation? Maybe all of those feelings wrapped up together. Maybe a bit of survivor’s guilt?
I am thankful my family and I have been given more time together – to grow older together – to enjoy each other for just a while longer. Today is a gift. Each day is a gift that I cannot take for granted. I brushed elbows with death, but it was not my turn. Not yet. And from now on, I will try to keep my elbows to myself.