Date: Wednesday, December 26, 2019
I like to call myself a Regular which I define as mainstream middle-income member of society. As a Regular, my personal playground is unrestricted although occasionally limited by how much I have available to spend. I am a 66-year-old male who retired at the end of 2015 from Dalhousie University as an IT administrator with a specialization in the field of e-learning.
Just over a week ago I learned I have cancer. It is a secret my wife and I plan to keep until the new year. We wish that our children’s future memories of Christmas 2019 and a son’s wedding on New Year’s Eve do not include Dad’s impending battle with cancer.
I just read the book Tuesday with Morrie which provided me with a road-map for how I wish to approach the next period of my life. My plan (and mantra) is to take on this challenge with dignity, courage, humour, grace and faith in God.
Clearly the outcome is uncertain and as I write, there are many details about severity, survival rate, and so forth I have yet to learn. What I do know is I must start a 5-week regime of chemotherapy and radiation treatments to prepare for surgery where the bottom portion of my esophagus and top portion of my stomach will be removed.
I am a fighter and plan to join my wife as a cancer survivor. She had breast cancer in the middle nineties and won that battle.
As I face this uncertain future, and the emotional turmoil it brings, I plan to use this medium to share with my friends and anyone else interested in my thoughts and feelings.
REALLY IMPORTANT – I appreciate that my kind of news is difficult to process and a natural reaction is one of sympathy. I accept that death is one possible outcome but my preference and focus is to invest my time and energy in a celebration of life and love.
My plan is to use my time wisely to connect and re-connect with loved ones, family and friends. Perhaps someone will read this and like to become a new friend and that’s okay too. As my good friends know, I really enjoy the company of young people. Instead of conversations about the way it used to be, they are more interested in the here and now and the future. Those are the kind of conversations and relationships I hope to make commonplace during the next stage of my life regardless of whether you’re young or have the tread-marks of having been around for a while.
I invite you to travel with me on this journey and perhaps we’ll discover something important and valuable about ourselves together.