One of my coaches, upon hearing that I was diagnosed with terminal Lung Cancer, told me he had a book for me to read and that he would leave it for me at a later date. Well, I picked up the book at school the other day. It is titled The Last Lecture and was written by a teacher at Carnegie-Mellon University, after he was diagnosed with terminal Pancreatic Cancer.
I read the book in one day! It was so apropos for someone like me. The concept of the “last lecture” is that professors are asked to assume that they are leaving (retiring or dying) but they have one last chance to have a positive effect on their students. What should they say? How should they approach this concept?
Randy Pausch, the author of The Last Lecture decided to entitle his presentation, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” Talk about a positive approach to a somewhat depressing and morbid situation! In the lecture and also in the book, Randy describes how he has actually been able to fulfill all his childhood dreams. And in the tale there are numerous life lessons to be learned.
Reflecting on what I had read after I finished the book, I realized that my approach to My Cancer is very similar to Randy’s. Many of my thoughts and resolutions concerning the remainder of my days on Earth were validated by Randy’s philosophy as expressed in the book. Even though there were times during the reading that I cried and totally empathized with Randy’s situation, I came away feeling very positive and optimistic about the rest of my life.
If Cancer has touched your life, especially if it has personally changed your life, read The Last Lecture and be uplifted.