December 19th

At the end of this week I will mark the passing of the date when I was officially diagnosed with two different cancers (that still boggles my mind)…three years ago on December 19th 2006.

It’s a strange date for me. This whole time of year is weird for me. My official diagnosis came via the telephone as both my Urologist and my Oncologist called a few minutes between each other to announce what I actually had. Sometimes I like to think they were in the same office and flipped a coin to see who called me first. I didn’t check the phone numbers to be sure it wasn’t the same number on each call.

I don’t recall reacting badly…for several weeks we knew they were trying to classify what I had and why they might be different. So we already knew it was cancer, we just didn’t know if it was all Lymphoma or all Kidney.

And then it was both.

In a few days (just after the New Year) I will mentally make note on January 2nd that I was in surgery for 4 hours to remove the kidney and about three weeks later I will remember when my first infusion of chemo started.

The memories are not fading. Even three years later I remember it all like it was yesterday. One major difference this year approaching Dec 19th is that I am not “jubilant” and feeling all celebratory that I am still here…certainly I am glad to still be alive and that the surgery and chemo took care of my cancers…but I’m feeling the drag of a tremendous amount of stress and this year has flown by and in just a couple of days Christmas will be over and the decorations will come down and it will just be cold.

Technically my Cancer year runs from my discovery of the swollen lymph node on Nov 4th 2006 until my last Chemo infusion on July 3rd 2007.  That is 9 freaking months.  NINE MONTHS!!! That’s a pregnancy. And obviously the better part of a year. How can I not find any day in the year and not remember this stupid experience? I covered the seasons…Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer in that order. (that is a whole f**king year!)

So in trying to spin something positive out this funk I’m in about my “Cancerversary” this year I went searching for quotes about Seizing the Day! Carpe Diem and all that jazz…(same thing I know)

Here are a few..if not all that I found that remind me why life is precious and I should stop belly-aching…

Enjoy yourself.  It’s later than you think.  ~Chinese Proverb

Every man dies.  Not every man really lives.  ~Braveheart

Do not take life too seriously.  You will never get out of it alive.  ~Elbert Hubbard

As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.  ~Zachary Scott

Spend the afternoon.  You can’t take it with you.  ~Annie Dillard

Why always “not yet”?  Do flowers in spring say “not yet”?  ~Norman Douglas

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years.  ~Abraham Lincoln


Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead.  ~Scottish Proverb

You will never find time for anything.  If you want time you must make it.  ~Charles Buxton

You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted.  ~Ruth E. Renkl

I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.  ~Tagore

Most of us spend our lives as if we had another one in the bank.  ~Ben Irwin

Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out.  That is what it is for.  Spend all you have before you die; do not outlive yourself.  ~George Bernard Shaw
If you woke up breathing, congratulations!  You have another chance.  ~Andrea Boydston

There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.  ~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.  ~Jean de La Bruyère

Is there life before death?  ~Author Unknown

When it comes time to die, make sure all you got to do is die.  ~Attributed to Jim Elliot

May you live all the days of your life.  ~Jonathan Swift

Later never exists.  ~Author Unknown

Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop to look around once in a while you could miss it.  ~From the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.  ~Michael Leboeuf

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die.  Or when.  You can only decide how you’re going to live.  Now.  ~Joan Baez

The follies which a man regrets most in his life are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity.  ~Helen Rowland

You only live once; but if you live it right, once is enough.  ~Adam Marshall

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.  ~Author unknown, sometimes attributed to W.M. Lewis

We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.  ~Japanese Proverb

Life is indeed too short and as I am finding out at the ripe old/young age of 40 is that I don’t know how much “living” I have truly done and what that exactly all means. These first 40 years came and went in a flash and it seems I may only have another 40 (God willing)…life expectancies being what they are and what have you…so rather than question (as I have) “What have I done with my life so far?” I need to ask…”What am I going to do with my life from here on out?”

My post cancer bracelet ala the livestrong model reads: LIVE LIFE BETTER. I suppose that is all I can do. I chose the name for this blog based on a lyric in a Foo Fighter’s song “DOA” and we all know it’s true NO ONE gets out of this life ALIVE. So why dwell on time spent thus far and instead spend the rest
more wisely? …

Live Life Better. That’s my plan. That’s all I’ve got.

Be Well.

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Published in: on December 16, 2009 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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