- Quit your job? Not if you need the health insurance.
- Travel the world? Not if it's completely unaffordable, and not if you have a family to take care of.
- Create a meaningful bucket list and cross things off, one by one? Not if you really don't have time in between going to work, going to treatment, scans and other medical appointments, hauling kids to activities, and/or supporting those you love in other ways. In the real world, there is no time for bucket lists.
- Appreciate those around you more than you ever thought possible? Savor every moment with loved ones? Yes, yes indeed you can do that. Even when it's difficult because you feel like shit and even when people let you down? Yes, you need to do that.
The reality of living with a terminal disease is that many times when you're doing something fun and/or something out of the ordinary, you wonder if this is the last time you'll ever do it, the last time you'll ever be there, the last time you'll ever see these people, etc. So even when you're living in the moment, your mind is dragging you into the future. The hazy, unknown future.
The reality of living with a terminal disease is that you spend time pondering all the things the future will bring that you know you will most likely miss out on. Life fulfilling moments and experiences that you won't share with your kids. Senior proms, moving into the dorms, wedding dress shopping, new grandbabies. All of these haunt me and make my heart hurt for my daughter because her mom won't be by her side.
This Labor Day weekend has for about seven years now meant a party at our house--including friends, family, food, cocktails, music and fun. It's not happening this year because I didn't have the energy. I'm not living like I'm dying. I'm missing the people I would have seen and the fun I would have had and I'm angry that cancer has taken that away from me.