Thursday, July 16, 2009

Carpe Diem: Sieze the Day

Yesterday, I got an email from someone I have never met before. She was following a Yahoo group on Breast Cancer Stage IV which I left in disgust because it had basically been hijacked.

She had been 15 years cancer free, but recently breast cancer returned as stage IV.

This drilled home the message for everyone: Seize the day. No matter how long you have been cancer free, breast cancer may return at any time. I have known people who had been free of cancer for 30 years and had it return (and they didn't die from it, so again, you can beat the odds).

It brought to mind my neighbor in Meriden. She was diagnosed with liver cancer, and was pretty far along when she found out. I was visiting her and she was in tears, which was more often than not even though it had been several months since her diagnosis. She was worrying about dying and about whether or not it would be painful.

I asked her how she felt today. She was startled, and said "Fine." Well then, enjoy the day. Do what you can. Do what you want. Go to the beach, eat a popsicle. Jump a rope. Do something you haven't done in years. Most of all, have fun.

None of us know the hour of our death. All of us hope it will be pain free. So, go forth, and seize the day which has been given to you. Know that bad days will pass, but for the days you feel well and have control over, enjoy! Have Fun! Fill it with love!

And...forgive my pun with my "carps."


  1. You couldn't have said it better. The message is especially powerful coming from someone who has been there. I've been the director of mind-body medicine for a cancer center for more than a decade and have learned this valuable lesson from folks like yourself. In fact, I titled my new book, "You Can Beat the Odds: Surprising Factors Behind Chronic Illness & Cancer," based on the philosophy you describe. Keep up the good work that you do. Wishing you and your readers the best,
    Brenda Stockdale. []

  2. My mother is a 25 year survivor of breast cancer. She never gave in to her circumstances. Her faith in God and strong will have been an inspiration to many women.

    I was recently diagnosed for the first time with stage IV breast cancer. I still walk several miles a day and cycle for several hours at least 4 times per week. I have chosen not to let my mind be bogged down with bad news from anyone or the thought that I won't make it. Your blog was an encouragement to me today...thanks!

  3. Thanks Brenda! And thank you for the book note.

    Go for it Anonymous...I must admit, I haven't been cycling as much as I used to, or should. Enjoy and may your life be long!....or like Spock says..."Live long and prosper."