Live Like You Were Dying

For me, this is the title of a great song from Tim McGraw about making the most of every day. And one real-life hero, who has set a great inspirational example for us all, is Susan Briscoe, who wrote an article for the Huffington Post. It appeared on March 9, 2018. It is titled : “I Am Dying From Terminal Cancer. Here’s What It’s Taught Me About Living.”

Susan, you are really one of my heroes. We wish you the very best. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

As Briscoe says about her situation:

“Pre-diagnosis, I had just turned 50 and was extremely fit, healthy, and happy. Nobody could keep up with me! I was excited about life. It had occurred to me that, with my family’s excellent longevity genes — and some good luck — I might very well live another 50 years. I was enthused about the 30 years’ worth of creative activities and research projects that I had ambitiously sketched out for myself. Both my sons, also healthy, happy, and on-track, had moved out on their own; and after more than 20 years of solo parenting, I was ready for a little more fun. Deeply aware of and grateful for all the privileges that made my wonderfully full life possible, I figured I had had more joy in life than most would ever have.”

“But I didn’t get the good luck part, so now I am going to die. And that is okay. That was the first thing I told my loved ones. My boyfriend. My parents. My two boys. ‘I have a very bad cancer. I’m not going to be around much longer. It’s okay.’ They looked so hard into my eyes, gripping my hands, tears streaming down their faces, as I told them this. When I got to the ‘okay part, they nodded. They knew I meant it. I was okay. It was okay. They were going to be okay.”

“Many people I meet have imagined me in a state of pure devastation and distress at my diagnosis. Loss brings grief; and because grief is painful, like everyone else, I try to avoid it. But the flip side of grief is gratitude for having had whatever is lost to begin with. I have learned that, to a surprising degree, I have a choice about which side to focus on. I could be sad about all I won’t experience in life ― becoming a grandmother is one of the hardest for me ― or I can be grateful for all the gifts, like my wonderful boys, that I was given and fully appreciated. Choosing a state of gratitude has allowed me to remain happy and even joyous in this time. Yes, there is still grief, but the tears are fleeting, and lately rare.”

The Death Project is a blog where I journal about my life with terminal cancer. I wanted people to know that dying doesn’t have to be as bad as we fear.”

 Click the image to read more about Susan Briscoe’s personal journey.

Live Like You Were Dying

 

Author: Living Well with Cancer

I am a long-time business school professor, who is a Pancreatic Cancer survivor. I had Whipple surgery on February 12, 2015. In this blog, I want to help others live well with cancer. A positive attitude, caring family, strong medical team, and supportive colleagues are key. And support from other cancer survivors can be life affirming.

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