Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"What matters is the present moment"

Every now and then, someone writes or otherwise creates a work that explores a familiar theme yet touches us in a new and profound way. The following newspaper column, published this week in Newsday, certainly qualifies.

The writer, Lauren Terrazzano, is only 39, tragic in itself. But I bet every Boomer knows someone who is dealing with an equally awful challenge. (I have two close friends, both Boomers, in situations similar to this.) And we know that, as we get older, we will confront all of this more frequently and more closely.

And we, too, will learn - or relearn - that "what matters is the present moment."

Enough said, by me.

--

Lauren Terrazzano: Life, With Cancer

Focusing on present matters the most

April 10, 2007

'Two to three months," the doctor said, almost reluctantly, when I finally posed the question. That's eight to twelve weeks. Sixty to 90 days. Or 2,160 hours, if you want to get right down to it.

I don't know what possessed me to ask the oncologist how long I have left. In the nearly three years I've been battling this disease, I've never asked for my prognosis. I hate that word. But my body has betrayed me lately, more than usual. I've had a rough couple of weeks, with news of my cancer spreading, new blood clots, and fluid buildup in my abdomen, which has made it difficult to breathe.

There seem to be no more weapons left in the arsenal. Chemo is no longer an option; nothing seems to work. I've had so much surgery I feel like the Bionic Woman: "We can rebuild her." But with each operation, it has been harder and harder, quite frankly, to rebuild me.

Whether the oncologist is right, no one knows. These white-coated mortals do their best and make their best guesses based on data and statistics and other cases. But death, like life, is not a precise science. Only fate knows. What I know for certain is that I am 39. I have seen people like my grandfather live simple but happy long lives. He died when he was 93. On the opposite end, in my job as a reporter, I have seen 3-year-olds die at the hands of abusive parents. Nothing really makes sense when it comes to death...

Read the rest of this column here.

1 comment:

Mrs. BoomVista said...

How come the older we get, the young still have something to teach us.