I received some crushing news this week. My disease has progressed since April. I went through the normal grieving period. I had the blues. I moped. I was depressed. Then I picked myself up. I gave myself a mental shake and vowed that this is just one more hurdle to jump. I have adjusted to everything else. Why should this be any different? I passed this news along to my family and friends. Their support has been overwhelming. I can face any challenge with their love and support. I told myself that this blog was going to be positive. I would not preach. I would not give advice… However, this is a subject that must be addressed.
I recently made my final will. I was a difficult thing to do. However, this is not a burden I want my family to bear. I was not a pleasant task making preparations for my eventual death. However, I take some comfort in knowing that I will guide my death in the same manner in which I guide my life. I have outlined my wishes. There will be neither questions asked nor any decisions to be made on my behalf. I have put pen to paper and expressed my final wishes. To me, being prepared is giving my family some measure of comfort at a difficult time…
We are all going to die. My advice to you is live your life like it could end tomorrow. Tell your family you love them. Tell them all of the time. Do what you want and can do. Don’t wait until the time is right. Find a way to do it. The right time may never come. I have my regrets. I didn’t have a chance to do all that I wanted. I am making plans now to do what I can. I will continue to live my life as I see fit. I woke up this morning to the sun shining and the birds singing. It is another beautiful spring day in Michigan. Life will keep going. Enjoy it all.
Make your “bucket list.” Make a list of things you want to do before the end. Do as many of those things as you can. Keep your list realistic. In the movie, two terminally ill cancer patients had unlimited cash and far fetched items on their lists. I will keep mine simple. I don’t need much of anything to fill my list. I WILL keep my family and friends close. I WILL stay involved in their lives. I WILL see my niece and nephew graduate high school. I WILL see a new baby born to my oldest niece in July. I WILL attend a cousins wedding in this summer. I WILL camp. I WILL stay active in scouting. I WILL live my life everyday.
Patients with life altering conditions often feel isolated. Friends and perhaps even family stop communicating with the afflicted person. They are not sure what to say or do. As a patient, I know I have a disease. This is not news to me. I do not need to be protected or insulated from the truth. I live with the reality every day. However, I try not to let this keep me down. Please do not stop talking to me. I am still the person you once knew. Share some laughs. Remember the fun we had. Plan to have new adventures with me. I love to hear your stories. I live through you.
The most important thing you can do is respect the decisions I make. You may not always agree with me. I can handle this. I have handled this for sixteen years. I am not giving up. I am not dying…I am living. My wish for you is that you live too. Live your life like it could end at any moment. No one is promised tomorrow.