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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-10-24 06:34
Subject: [cancer] Living in the present because there is no future
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, child, death, health, personal, radiantlisa
Lisa Costello and I were talking about my emotional landscape yesterday, as we are frequently wont to do. I mentioned sometimes feeling envious of the young and healthy people with which our Portland life frequently surrounds us. We started to pick at that a little — it's a very out of character emotion for me — and I arrived at an unhappy conclusion.

What I envy isn't their youth and health, it's their sense of the future.

As a terminal cancer patient, I have no future anymore. I only have today. I can't plan anything more than a month or two ahead, and missed opportunities in my life will never get a do-over. No more dreams of going to Antarctica or spending a year living in Hong Kong or writing another book or seeing my daughter start her adult life.

Don't get me wrong. My life is still pretty darned good. I live under enormous pressures that push me to the breaking point, but I still get out of bed every day. I am surrounded by love, laughter, delicious food, and entertaining people.

But there is no more.

We read and hear a lot of wisdom about being in the moment, about living for today. It's pretty good wisdom, as wisdom goes. But when you have no choice but to be in the moment, that's a different matter entirely.

I am lucky to even be alive at this point, let alone as relatively healthy as I am. I know that. But damn, do I miss having a future.

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User: cypherindigo
Date: 2013-10-24 14:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I had something kind of profound to say, but when I typed it out and read it to myself it seemed snotty.

So I will not share.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2013-10-24 15:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

The realization of missed opportunities with no do-overs must be the real chiller. There are times when I have similar thoughts about no do-overs, but mine have a much longer horizon than a month. This post provides a sobering, much-needed reality for me these days. Thank you (really).

I'm thinking this might be another thing I share with the kids. It's a good introduction to goal setting and why to do it, from a different POV than is usually used with the kiddos (usually the focus is not on missed opportunities but on meeting deadlines--IOW, academic planning rather than developing a life skill).

And your wisdom also is influencing some of the decisions we're making on retirement--there are no do-overs at a certain point, so where do we want to be and what are those decision points?
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2013-10-24 20:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If I could cut my future in half I'd give the spare half to you in a heartbeat, for those are all things tha6t should be done... Much, much love.
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