Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life is not Endless

Death and Taxes, that is what they say. I met a lady yesterday who has four months to live.

Cancers are different and some cannot be fought. She is my age almost exactly and had a nice

smile. Secretive, laughing, a bit chagrined. She still drives her car, went skiing yesterday in the mountains near Bend. She wanted to see the sun on the white snow and feel exhilaration, feel alive.

Chemotherapy might extend her death, delay it for two more months. She is weighing the price. Die living verses live dying. Cancer is a card game. You can laugh with a bad hand.

My odds were so much better. If I could win with what I was dealt I could survive and walk away. Mine was more like flipping a coin, or playing "sudden death", just picking one card and hopping for the Ace. Mine was 50-50 and I won.

If you get cancer, (that sounds like a gift), you can't help but think through these scenarios.

I wondered how I got to this game in the first place and went through every step of my life hunting for the cards I threw away. We are in a card game when we would rather be fishing.

What would you do if dealt this bad hand? Knowing that you have only four months to live?

There is the obvious: "get your affairs in order" but after awhile you think, f**k 'em, that will be a job for the living. They have more time. Not to say you would make it inconvenient but with four months this won't be high on your list. Or, maybe it will.

She will die in April or May and she knows this. Spring when the flowers bloom and the Earth

turns forth new life. Eventually we are all at this card table. That is the truth. Even the winners will get dealt bad hands. Some will play blind folded and never know their cards.

When I left her I couldn't say "good Luck", what we often say to each other. I simply said that I was glad she went skiing, felt the warmth of the sun. She offered that slight smile that intrigued me in the first place and began our conversation.


  1. StonePost, there is little to say at the moment. I am so pleased you met her and more pleased [gramatically incorrect I think] that you have written of it. I do think some of us get a 'trick' hand and it is important that we learn to 'play' our hand in the best way we are able. What a champion she is to chose to make the most of her time.
    Good to be back online after my visitors..

  2. Chez, it is good to have you back. I have missed you. Visitors, even relatives, are like fish, after three days they stink! Never forget that there is always a joker in the deck, always!

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  4. I am so thankful you stopped by my blog today. I love seeing friendly new faces and stopping by to experience something new.

    Reading posts from a Cancer suvivor and learning about the various stages is extremely informative and very nice to be aware of. I think it helps the living understand how much they often take for granted.

    I know I am certainly at fault. You would want to get your affairs in order but with that little of life left to be lived I'd like to think I too would go skiing, feel the warmth of the sun brush against my skin, feel the snow flakes tickle my cheeks, the hot sand tickle my toes. I'd want to experience life until it was over.

    I look forward to many more posts!