My Personal Cancer Journey — Catch-22

I feel caught between two (2) mutually exclusive possibilities. I am wrestling with normalcy — I have no symptoms and no pain. It’s as if there is no cancer. In this situation, it is easy to forget that I have a terminal disease and very little time left.

However, complacency is a trap; it allows me to procrastinate, to revert to past patterns of behavior in which time is not a significant factor. It belies the urgency that should be at the forefront of my life.  I am fighting hard to avoid complacency but it becomes much more difficult when there seems to be nothing wrong with me.

People that I meet are amazed that I look and feel good. They tell me, “Don’t hurry. You’ll be around for a long time.” They mention friends or acquaintances who have lived for ten (10) years or more with “terminal” lung cancer. In one sense, I would like to believe them; I would love to have many years left to enjoy life. But I must be realistic! The facts are the facts; the science tells me that I will die soon so I must not become complacent.

But how do I balance the two opposites — complacency and urgency? How can I address my bucket list without becoming desperate? How can I savor the present and still plan for the future? I feel that I am walking on a tightrope.

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