Tuesday, October 20, 2009
To Live Like You Were Dying....
I was sitting on the hard plastic bench in just a thin blue-green cotton gown, feeling rather exposed, when the technician knocked on my changing room door at the mammography unit and told me they would like to do some more views. My saliva got a sour taste and my breathing got more shallow.
My mom has gone through two bouts of breast cancer and now if she has a mammogram looming within the next four months or so, she'll put off dentist appointments or getting new eyeglasses until, as she says, "I get through that." When she gets a thumbs up from the radiologist, she feels like she was given a new lease and is once again able to look forward.
A year ago October, I was told to come back for addition views. As I walked back to the x-ray machine with my dressing gown flapping open behind me and my heavy breasts with no bra flapping along in front of me, the technician attempted to encourage me, saying at least one out of ten women need to do this and it's usually nothing.
It turned out there were some calcifications that they wanted to monitor. Some are benign, and some can be precancerous and they asked me to start coming in every six months to keep an eye on everything.
Today was the third of those six month checkups. I asked to see my original October x-rays, my April x-rays, and today's, but I'm not a doctor. Now I wait. They told me no phone call in the next few days and instead, a letter quietly arriving in my mailbox is the ideal.
Tim McGraw has a song entitled, "Live Like You Were Dying." And in some ways, it echoes why I'm in this year of goals and challenges to not only be a better mom and wife, but to reach out a bit more, to challenge myself a bit more, to experience a bit more.
I fully hope and plan to live to 100 plus, but we really don't ever know that and I'm trying hard to live more directed, not to waste time or pass time or spend too much time in my head. I'm trying to figure out how to get the most joy and give the most joy in each day rather than simply getting through the day. And I'm seeing some little successes at this.
It goes back to the idea of working toward goals and enjoying the journey, not waiting to accomplish them to then be happy. Any one of us could be hit by a car tomorrow or more likely, we will live to a happy old age, but surely it's a good idea to plan for the latter but live as if the former were possible. I think in the end, it's not what we accomplish, but what we become in our attempt to accomplish. And that deep thought was brought to you as I finish up my Dr. Pepper and nacho lunch - planning a more nutritious dinner. Best Wishes. Eileen