Friday, August 24, 2007

Would You Want to Know?

A friend of mine who’s also a breast cancer patient told me she was going to ask a fortune-teller when she was going to die. I asked her if there was something she was going to do with the information, if she were actually told the date of her death. She didn’t know, but she ended up asking the fortune-teller anyway. The answer? “You will live to see your grandchildren.” A safe answer, but it doesn’t tell you anything, really, since my friend’s daughter could decide to have kids at the age of 13 or 43. That gives the fortune-teller a three-decade window to be right.

Cancer or no cancer, it’s an interesting question to ponder. Do you want to know when you’re going to die? And just how far in advance would you want to know? And IF you knew, would you be living any differently now?

Now that I’ve had a recurrence of cancer and statistically won’t be alive in five years’ time, I suppose I have a pretty good idea how many grandchildren I can expect to see. But am I living any differently as a result? Let’s see… what did I do today?

I exercised for an hour, spent two hours with Tony and the kids getting our family photos done, then the four of us went out for lunch with a good family friend. Then I went to pick out some things to save from the trash heap at my friend’s house, had a friend over for a chat, collected and gave away a bunch of baby things, went out to dinner with Tony, came home and read books and played with the kids, put them to bed, took a bath and read a book, then started typing this Blog entry.

Is there anything remarkable in my day that suggests my days are numbered? So I wonder… if we DID know when we were going to die and the remaining time was numbered in years, rather than months, would we be doing anything differently? If I thought I had only five months to live, would my day today have been any different? Do we stop living our everyday lives because we have an inkling of when we’re supposed to die?

I guess I haven’t. Although I SHOULD probably get started on my letters to the kids and finally get their baby scrapbooks finished, and finish putting the family photos into albums, and formulate my fight with the insurance company, and leave instructions to Tony on where everything is in the house, and put together keepsake boxes of my things for each of the kids, and… keep adding to this list…

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