“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.”― Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
But what if?
That thought came to mind as I was crossing the street on the way to the doctor.
What if turns out that I do have something to worry about? What if it is cancer?
What do I do then? Is there anything to do? What if I had only a few months or weeks to live? What would I do?
Who would I choose to spend the last moments with? Any final declarations of love? Anyone I need to say sorry to?
Is there anything left undone? Left unsaid?
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”― Mark Twain
Would I continue to do what is expected of me or would I do only what I want?
Would I ignore my brain completely and only listen to my heart?
Would I do nothing?
I think I would curl into a ball and cry until there were no more tears left. Then I would get up and go on. I would probably start making lists of everything that I need my sister to take care of. Even in my dying I would want things organized and people taken care of.
“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
― Langston Hughes
No, I am not dying, and no it is not cancer. Well, I don’t think it is. I don’t have the results yet, but I am not concerned.
The only certainty in life is that we are all dying at some point. We just don’t know when. But when the word cancer makes an appearance in our vocabulary, death becomes a new thought. Movies with sad story lines keeps coming across my mind.
A lot people are alive but not living. Just breathing doesn’t equal living. But then again, who am I to judge how a person chooses to live? I sit in an office and stare at a screen for the majority of my days. That is hardly something worth writing about.
Why do I have death in mind? In July I went to a new ob/gyn because my regular one retired. The pap smear came back abnormal and she wanted me to get a cervical biopsy.
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I had an abnormal pap in 2016 and at that time the doctor really had me worried. She referred me to a specialist at the Cancer Institute. It was nothing. I think it has been abnormal since then but new doctor probably wants to be thorough.
This time I was so unconcerned that it took me from July until October to schedule the biopsy. I finally got it done last week. I only did it because I feared my new doctor would let me go as a patient if I didn’t follow through with her request.
I am not a cry baby and have a high tolerance for pain but it hurt like hell, because, of course, the opening of my cervix is absurdly small. The doctor said that in the future if I have to have it done again she will give me a couple of pills to insert so that it will make it easier the next day. That was no consolation at that moment in time.
So there is nothing to worry, until there is something to worry. Cancer and death were stupid thoughts that sneaked by while I wasn’t looking.
The message is: We are all going to die one day. Let’s make the most of today! Let’s indeed live as if we are dying.
“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.” –― Haruki Murakami