My mind has been wandering back to the treatments, the physical and emotional pain and the fight for my life waged by me, the courageous love of my life and my amazing family. Two specific things have brought me back to that terrible time which is quite unpleasant to visit. The first is the close of one full year of pure wedding bliss! The second is the death of Randy Pausch.
You may or may not have heard of Randy, who’s “Last Lecture” took the internet by storm. When Randy, a professor at Carnegie Melon, found out he was dying of cancer he decided that his last lecture would be his way of giving the world his best thoughts and advise. I viewed the video when it first hit the web a long while back, and haven’t thought much about him since, until last night. Diane Sawyer aired a heart wrenching interview where he showed his grace peering into the dead-black eyes of the grim reaper…the fact that he will lose his children, his wife and ultimately his life. I had those same thoughts as I turned my head to the side to face my future wife, the green curtains of floor 5B creating a surreal backdrop. I had those same thoughts as I lowered my head into the tan basins that I vomited in over and over and over. I had those same thoughts as I watched the cruel and toxic drugs course through the clear plastic tubing straight into my frail and fragile body. I didn’t have kids- I had nieces and sisters and parents. I didn’t have a wife- I had a brave young wife-to-be. But I did have my life, and I still do. I too looked into those dead-black eyes-sometimes in the curtains, sometimes in the puke buckets, sometimes in the chemo.
“My leg hurts. I get tired easy, the leg doesn’t fit the same every day. I have to take pills every day. I have checkups.” So what? I’m alive. Not a day goes by that I don’t remind myself that I am still here because we all fought, and with part luck and part medicine, I open my eyes every morning. I do not take it for granted. I think about it each and every day, and I hope I’m able to think about it for a long, long time.