Friday, April 18, 2008

The Thought of Death

Recently I have had people ask me some difficult questions relating my Oral Cancer to death. At first I was offended. Then I was upset. Then I thought, they just do not get it! So, rather than getting upset, I am going to use this as an opportunity to educate! This is my take on the subject and how I personally feel.

Death! This has been a topic for discussion since man has been on the face of the earth. I think we all can imagine what dieing is like. But we all want to know the big secret that lies behind after death. Is there life after death? Because of this big unknown, there are those of us that are afraid of death. Are we going to a place like Heaven, a glorious place that God has promised us? The Bible says that He has prepared a room for us. We only await His calling. I have spoken to people who say they can not wait to go to Heaven. They not only embrace the idea, but long for it.

Then the question remains........are we good enough to go to Heaven? Or are we going to Hell. I am not going to take that topic any further. I will just say that it is the other side of the coin that enters ones mind. In my belief Hell is very real. So, ya better be good!

But what about those who do not have a faith? What about those who believe in a Superior Being but is not sure who or what that is? What about those who believe in evolution? What about those who have no belief one way or another? The fact and the validity of the questions asked still remains the same.

Does your cancer make you think about death?

Do you think you are going to die from the cancer?

How does that make you feel?

How does this affect your life?

Are you ready for some very honest answers? I hope so!

I have thought about death many times in my life. When I go to a funeral. When I have too much time to think. You know, those times that you have alone and you constantly think of all those weird and funny things that you would not otherwise be thinking of. And yes I have questioned the validity of all these things and why we even exist. And how can I validate my own existence.

But does having Cancer make me think of death? DAAA! You are darn right it does! Heck I thought of death before Cancer! What the heck would make you think I would not think of it now? FOR GOODNESS SAKE! Get a grip man.

Do I think I will die from the Cancer? I do not know. If I knew that.......I would be God. What are you going to die from? Can the cancer accelerate my death? Sure, but I can just as easily be hit by a drunk driver today as to die from cancer. NO ONE REALLY KNOWS!

How does it make me feel? Well, it kinda bums me out. But it also makes me understand and really appreciate the things in life that you all forget about. I look at the dew upon the grass in a different way. I see the ripples in the pond, I look at the smile of one who gazes at me, I embrace and hold true to all the gifts of the world that has been given to me. And THAT, makes me feel GREAT!

And the last question.........How does it affect your life? I think that it has made it much better than it ever was before.

So, here is what you all need to understand if you have not already figured it out.

Death is a part of life. We all know that. We all have our own beliefs and ideas on life after death. But cancer does not make me think of death as the forefront of my life! It is not the center of my attention. This is only part of the stigma attached to the word, "CANCER". This is the lack of understanding that you all think of and wonder about. If you all wondered every day what and why and how you were to die, you would be miserable. And more than likely die way before your time.

Yep, I have Chemo and Radiation to go through. The pain is there from the cancer. And yes it all SUCKS! But you know what, you more than likely think going to work every day sucks. Hearing your kids scream may suck. Getting a speeding ticket sucks. But this is what we call life. No one said life was easy. We all have things to deal with. It is what you make of life that matters.

Cancer is not a characteristic of my life or my family। It is just a part of it. I have been given a gift you have not. I can embrace and relish in every waking moment of what life has to offer and not take anything for granted. Anything from the guy who waves at me with only one of five fingers showing for going the speed limit to the wind rustling through the trees as the fish swim by creating the soft ripples in the pond.



debbie said...

I was a bit nervous first wondering if I wanted to read this...but I did. You..somehow grasped probably EVERY human beings' emotional understanding of of life..and death. The key word is understanding. Placing the understanding of emotions is not always easy. You do it with honest courage and gentle grace.