I was just in my tenth week of treatment regimen #1 when I met a lady that I still think of and praying for, weekly. I don’t really remember how our conversation began at the cancer center that day but I am thankful it did.
I don’t recall her name but we did learn a lot about one another while we sat there for a few short minutes. She was just a few years older than me, had three children, married, and had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung Cancer about a year prior. She had never smoked a day in her life. The doctors had said she had probably contracted it from Rayon in her home as a child. Her symptoms had begun just a few months prior to her diagnosis when she had a slight cough. They at first thought it was breast cancer. Her symptoms worsened and more test were ran. They determined the cancer had spread from her lungs to her spine and was only getting worse. She was then diagnosed on December 13, 2019.
The life span for someone with her diagnosis and the treatment plan she is currently managing is seven years. I couldn’t believe that this lady was telling me she had seven years to live. How do you process that? Many of us believe we’ll pass away when we are old, fragile, and our bodies are just tired. We don’t think about the fact that an awful thing such as cancer will take our lives a lot sooner than we ever imagined. That it could take us away from our children that aren’t grown, our husbands of which we still haven’t finished our love story or take us from the earth when there is so much more to see and do. She has seven years to live her life before cancer takes it away. She told me that she hoped to watch her youngest graduate high school. Her youngest being 10 years old. How do you not just cry with this person? Tell me. If you had seven years = 2,555 days to live what would your days look like? Who would you hug tighter? Who would you spend more time with? Where would you or what would you eat?
It’s normal to get busy and to run through each day with one hundred things to get done. I do it all the time. I tell myself that I have to go to the grocery so we have plenty of food verses just living on the stuff that NEEDS to be eaten. I need to make sure the laundry is caught up because if it isn’t well, we would be fine. Ha. If the floor hasn’t been vacuumed today, well that is ok. It’ll be there tomorrow. Look at the life you have been given. When you are no longer walking on this earth the house will still get dirty, clothes will still need to be washed, and work will still need to be done. But my dear, your people will no longer have you. So start looking at today from a different view. Play with your kids when they want to play, use sidewalk chalk, bake, build things, chase butterflies, and go fishing. Read them that book. Watch that movie with your husband/wife. Go on that shopping trip with your girlfriends. Get that tattoo. Jump out of a plane. Call your mamaw to see how she is doing today. There is no reason for you not to do any of these things. Believe me. At the end of the day you’ll be grateful that you did.
I’m not exactly sure why I crossed paths with that lady on that day at the cancer center. Perhaps it was so I would see just how fragile life truly is even though I feel I have figured that out during my own cancer journey. Perhaps it was for me to see that someone else’s life has greater challenges that our own. Or perhaps it was God’s way of pulling me closer to him. Whatever it is or was I have listened. I still think of her four months later. Our time on earth is precious. So are your people. And all those along the way.