Cancer & Time.

We take it for granted most of our lives. We tend to believe that it will always be with us and it will never leave us. We believe that what you don’t do today can be done tomorrow. The call you said you were going to make, the visit you were going to have, the trip you were going to plan can wait until next time. Until a time that you hope will be better suited for you.

Fact is that time may have already passed. Time is not promised. Time should be treated as gold and irreplaceable. Unfortunately, like many I am guilty of it–guilty of thinking to call someone or do something but then other things overtake that thought and I, like many of you will say, “Oh well, I will do it tomorrow.”

Fast forward to my life today. Time has become even more valuable. It can’t be measured anymore. It can’t be postponed or ignored. It must be cherished, valued, and held with the greatest level of respect that can be earned.

Time is not promised.

Anyone who has or has experienced cancer knows that time is so valuable. Time to make amends with things that have been left unattended, contacting friends/family who have become estranged or left in the dark. Time to reflect on life and to understand that tomorrow is not a promised gift.

Statistics abound the world of cancer. If you Google cancer life expectancy or treatment success you will find daunting statistics which are ultimately not on your side. So what happens? You think about these stats and you let them overpower your thoughts. Even sometimes you give up. Why fight when you know the life expectancy is 36% for 5 years?

Think about it.

Five years. 1, 825 days. 24 hours each day. Time.

Am I scared of time? No. I value it. Every moment. Every opportunity. Every encounter (even the bad ones).

Until one is faced with the reality of cancer and the statistics–time is really never processed correctly. For most, we think time is unlimited–especially the young and middle-aged who feels like time will go on forever. It does, but we have to remember that we are always not going to be part of that time.

Last weekend I had dinner with a couple and there soon to be one-year old and I looked at him and thought–how much he has yet to experience. As he stumbled to show that he can walk on his own, I realized that why not think we have all the time in the world when we are young. I thought to myself enjoy the time–let it go slow. In one short year look at the changes that come from a young child.

It made me sad for a moment.

I realized that for us time is precious. Cancer patients understand that time may be against them. Looking at this young child taking his first steps and smiling about it–I realized that these are the moments that matter. Memorable. Small steps. Happiness. All these things bring time to a full circle.

Fact is we never know how much time we have on this Earth. However, don’t take for granted a moment, don’t ignore a call, respond to a text, hold your commitments, listen, be real, and most of all value the time.

The end of time for us shouldn’t be sad as long as we have the people we love in our life. Despite the sad statistics we can find on the internet–truth be told that we NEVER know when its over.

Friends listen closely–if you have someone you know battling cancer–give them the time, sacrifice things for them. If they ask for you–be there. If it means missing a game on TV or takes away from something else–know that the person asking for your time is potentially living on borrowed time and one of the worst feelings anyone who has known someone close to them die that they always look back and wish for a little more time. One more hug. One more memory. Just one more.

Time is not promised for anyone, but understand when you know that cancer can and often does lead to death–the value of time increases.

Time. Don’t take it for granted.


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