The Concept of Time
Time has become a strange concept to me. When you’re younger it seems endless; you can’t even imagine being 50 years old, let alone 80. We think we are invincible and will have plenty of time to do all the things we want in life. As we get older, our perspective changes. We realize we are not invincible, and life is in fact very short. Just a blip in the grand scheme of things.
Add to that a terminal diagnosis. Life is now ticking away like a timer on a bomb and s*#t just got real. Now what?
Stay focused on the positive
For me, I try to:
- Look for the good in every day (even the crappy ones)
- Cherish my time with family, friends, and my sweet furbabies
- Make as many memories as possible with my family
- Use my voice to make a difference for the lung cancer community
- Help others whenever I can (I believe this is our main purpose in life)
My silver linings and blessings
Facing a terminal illness affects everyone a little differently but we can all connect and relate to one another. This community has become my tribe that I rely on for support, love, and guidance. No amount of therapy could help me any better than the beautiful friends I have made on this journey. Friends that I most likely never would have met if I didn’t have lung cancer. This has been referred to by many as the “silver linings” of this disease. That is absolutely the case for me.
I have been blessed to experience many milestones in my 7+ years since diagnosis. My kids getting their driver’s licenses, my daughter graduating high school and moving her into her dorm, my son finding his way, starting his career and finding a lovely girlfriend with kids. I never thought I’d witness any of these events and I’m so grateful to still be a part of their lives. I feel like the more time I get with them, the more time I want. I don’t think it will ever be enough. Because of this, there’s some pressure to make the most of every day.
Embrace where I am
The week following chemo is brutally uneventful. I feel like a washed-out blob making a permanent imprint of my butt in my recliner. Well, to be honest, I do rotate my butt from recliner to couch to bed to patio swing. My brain is so foggy I can’t even read or make any decisions. Last week I thought I ordered something I needed to finish my recent paint project, but apparently, I never did.
I used to feel a little guilty that I had no energy to do anything else, but I’ve learned to embrace it and keep my schedule completely clear that week. We can only do our best and recognizing our limits is important. I no longer feel guilty. I shop and meal-prep ahead of time, so I have a few options that only require heating up. Mostly, I just cuddle with my boys. Sometimes we just have to ride the wave.
Do you find that staying zen through your lung cancer diagnosis has helped you in your journey?