6 Months to Live

6 months to live. www.shesinspired.net image

Dressed in a pair of jeans and a comfy top (your no sweat outfit), you walk in to your doctor’s office. You came in for routine tests last week and got a call that he would like to see you.  Your antennae went up but you didn’t give it much thought. The nurse’s tone did not have that urgency that you think it would have if something serious was wrong.

As you sit in front of the doctor, he peruses your test results with intention. Your heart begins to increase its rhythm slightly until it is pounding so hard you can literally hear the blood pumping through your veins.

The ticking of the clock gets so loud, it’s almost defending and you notice, just the slightest downturn of the doctors mouth. He tries to hide it but, you’ve seen it and it’s too late.

He crosses his hands and looks up at your face.  The compassion that you see lets you know that you’re screwed.

You watch his lips as he utters the words you couldn’t have thought you would hear 2 weeks ago… I’m sorry but it’s Cancer. You press him to give you a timeline. How bad is it? How much has it spread? How? Why? He answers as reassuringly as he could but the somber feeling has enveloped the room. It’s bad.  You hesitate to ask but you know you must. How much longer? He hangs his head as he says it.   6 months.

You walk out of his office on air. Your feet can’t seem to feel the floor but you must get outside, feel the air. Inhale the crisp, cool, clean air. You hasten towards the door eager to get started living.

You think back to how you put off the things that you thought you would get to later.  You haven’t visited your sister, seen the new house. Played with the kids.

You put together a bucket list and you chuckle.  Ok, that’s why they call it that.  I’m emptying the bucket.

 You add all the things you wanted to do years ago that you never took time to:

  1. Learn Meditation
  2. Take up yoga
  3. Learn the tango
  4. Go parasailing…in the Caribbean…naked.
  5. Go to Disney world and actually ride the rides…acting like a child.
  6. Eat as much Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey as I can
  7.  Order the lobster.
  8. Sleep under the stars
  9. Dance in my lingerie
  10. Have dinners by candlelight
  11. Spend a day laughing with the kids
  12.  Go road tripping to a random place selected by throwing a dart
  13. Laugh until my belly hurts
  14. Find someone to help forget their troubles
  15. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  16. Wear my crazy cat lady hat and pajamas in public

You keep adding things until you realize that you feel more joyful already. You know you don’t decide the length of time you have, but you decide how that time looks and feels. You vow to never take another minute for granted. You will live and savor each moment. After all, when it’s gone, it’s gone.

As time goes by, you become more compassionate, more centered in each moment, more easily amused and much less serious.  You catch yourself watching the wisps of hair falling down your husband’s face. You really listen to your child’s laughter.  You savor the oregano on the pasta and realized that missing all of these things didn’t add one more minute to your life.

This is just a scenario to remind you that each moment, when lost cannot be found again. That savoring each moment is what your soul deserves and a part of the inspired life journey.

If you know someone who has been newly diagnosed  Here’s what to say, Courtesy of Crazy, Sexy Cancer’s Kriss Carr.

Action Tip: If you don’t own it already, go rent the movie The Bucket List. Or see it again if you have already seen it. It’s worth it. Promise.

 Your turn:

What would you do if you found out you only have 6 months left to live?

5 thoughts on “6 Months to Live”

  1. I don’t know what I would do if I was told I only had 6 months to live!

    1. Hi Marilyn, thanks for commenting. My intention was to get you to think about it. Oftentimes we only encounter our mortality when someone close to us dies. But our awareness increases our savoring of the now.

  2. Hopefully I would continue doing what I’m doing, meaning hopefully I’m already living an intentional life.

  3. I’m not sure what I’d do, but I know how it feels to have your Dad in a similar situation. His wasn’t cancer, but ALS. He lived 5 weeks. I am just thankful he didn’t see the ugliest side of the horrible disease.

    1. Wow, Lysha. I am sorry to hear that. It’s great that he didn’t suffer horribly. watching a loved one suffer is sometimes more painful than the loved one dying. Did his death increase your appreciation of life?

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