Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Live Strong

I'm not good at saying goodbye. I'm especially not good at saying goodbye permanently.

Unfortunately the last few months have given me too many opportunities. Cancer claimed more people important to me this spring and summer than I care to count and it's taken me a while to regain my certainty that every day, every minute, somebody kicks cancer's ass and wins.

I mean, I did it twenty-eight years ago. I know miracles happen. Survivors are out there and our numbers are growing. They're just not growing fast enough to suit me.

Randy Pausch's death hit me hard, same as it hit millions of other people. He never held out false hope but I couldn't stop myself from believing he'd win in the end. In a way he did: nobody ever fought with more grace and joy than he did. If you ever want to understand what it means to fully live in the moment, look no further than Randy.

Pancreatic cancer is a bitch. My mother was diagnosed with it on March 28, 2001 and on May 6, 2001 she was dead. It's cruel. It's vicious. It doesn't give a damn who you are. It probably sounds crazy but I scan the 'net for updates on Patrick Swayze's fight with pancreatic cancer and actually cheer when the news is good. Somewhere, some time, somebody is going to beat it and I can't wait.

I just hope it's soon.

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Anonymous teabird said...

I'm sorry that this death resonates with your mother's death - peace.

July 31, 2008 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Jeff D said...

I agree, pancreatic cancer is a total bitch. Hearing a doctor telling you have cancer must be horrible beyond my imagining.

Hearing him or her say "pancreatic cancer" and I'd imagine that maintaining any hope at all is nearly impossible.

Pausch lived over a year longer than his doctors predicted, so maybe his struggle can help them figure out why this cancer is so deadly and untreatable.

July 31, 2008 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Brandy said...

I admire him for his courage to face the unknown with a smile. And his Last Lecture will live on.

July 31, 2008 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Barbara Bretton said...

It's funny how deeply a total stranger's passing can affect you. I also find it amazing how even the best doctors can't predict when a patient will die. Some die months before the MDs expect; some (like my father and Pausch and my closest friend's husband) live many years longer. Clearly modern medicine (Western medicine, in particular) is only part of the equation. I wonder how great a part the human spirit plays. There's definitely more at work in getting well than can be measured with tests or x-rays.

July 31, 2008 6:57 PM  

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