Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Take the Fruits of your Labors Today

I meet the most wonderful people at the cancer treatment center. I am beginning to feel like it is very much like "Tuesdays with Morrie." Last week, I met Doug.

Doug has a sarcoma which has wrapped itself around his spinal column at the cervical vertebrae, has gone into his lungs and has also spread to his shoulder. He is 62, started working when he was 9 years old on his father's farm...just big enough to touch the pedals on the tractor.

I was amazed as I was trying to sketch out a design for a quilt with trout and as it happens, Doug is a fly fisherman. He is, like me, originally from Michigan. He started telling me stories about the Ludington Light and other areas and I was a welcome audience because I knew the places of which he spoke.

Doug has to wear a cervical collar as any jarring might cause damage to the vertebrae effected by the cancer. Doug said that one of the hardest things for him is the fact that he has to ask people for help, and sometimes what is offered isn't what he really needs. He's learning though, to accept it. For all his life, he's the one who has been offering help. Now, he needs someone to help put a tarp on his fishing boat.

Doug kept on saying that the first thing he's going to do when he kicks cancer, is to rent a motor home and drive his mother to visit his sister in Olympia, Washington (amazing as that's where my sister is too). Once there, he's going to fish some of the rivers....he's already working on it.

And he should. Even though things look really dire, the chemo is working and some of the spots are leaving. I'm pleased for him. He has a real positive attitude and is planning for the future.

What is sad, though, is that most of us have to be smacked up along side the head with cancer before we realize that no one notices if we take vacation or not...the world doesn't roll to a stop if we take time for ourselves...and we really need to tie a fly on and lay it out over the water...and catch our own whopper of a trout. Who knows? Anything can happen. Carpe diem...

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