An internet acquaintance that I’ve never met was in remission from cancer, and now he is not any more. Instead, he’s dying from it. His farewell blog post, gently trying to get his friends and family to accept it, is over here. He’s 29. He talks about how he’s had a wonderful and full life, and how he feels like he’s lived as well as he could. It’s beautifully written in Swedish, and worth translating.
People often tell me that I’ve kicked cancer’s ass. Nothing is ever this simple. You can’t fight a disease, not really. You can just do what you can for your body, and if somehow the disease goes away, it’s a result of medicine and prayer and research and hard work, but ultimately it’s a miracle.
And then sometimes you “lose,” and you die. Considering that disease is part of the body, and that you walk with your body through your life until it gives out, is it really losing? At a certain point, winning is about living as hard as you can while you can, loving it all and letting it go.
A lot of people are sleeping through life with none of these fine reality checks telling them to live more consciously or be more awake. Perhaps that’s ultimately the usefulness of disease, providing us with that cattle prod to enjoy every second because none of it is guaranteed. We all live until we die, whether it’s tomorrow or a few years from now or a few decades.
I’m thinking of this acquaintaince today because it’s my six-month mark of being in remission. I’m scheduled for my endoscopy soon, in two weeks, to see if the cancer that was in my duodenum is still gone. I’m humbly hoping for the same miracle, for more life, enough to do all of the things that I want to do. But this is always the lesson I take away from this experience: if you’re procrastinating anything, stop. It’s time to live, right now.