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How Cancer Changes the Meaning of Time

No matter how hard we try, we can’t stop time. We can’t go back and change the past and we can’t skip forward and try and change the future. So we are destined to live in the moment. The here and now. Unfortunately, at some point we all wish to go back or to move ahead in order to change circumstances.

This week I have fought time, I have fought fate and continue to fight cancer. I have prayed for the minutes to move quicker wishing the pain to go away. I have silently asked God to take me back in time and change my diagnosis. I have even pleaded for more minutes to be able to spend with my family. The push and pull for time is fickle. Some days I am wishing the minutes away and some days I want more of them.

Cancer is a sneaky bastard. Cancer makes you analyze and re-analyze your life — past, present and future. It forces you to think about time. It tries to steal seconds, minutes, hours and sometimes your whole world.

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”
– Harvey MacKay

What I’ve had to learn is time gives before it takes, so every moment is truly a gift. It is a choice, my choice how I live those minutes. I can live those minutes wanting more, or live in the moments just as they are. Truly appreciating the time I share with loved ones and truly appreciating the time I am given here on earth. I have learned that time is not my enemy; it is a mirror I look into every day. Every line on my face is caused by the laughter I have been privileged enough to abundantly have. Every hair on my head is from the growth that time has allowed. Every sparkle in my eye is from the many moments of joy I have been blessed by.

You see, my beautiful friends, we choose how we spend, share and think about time. Every clock tic is a moment you will never get back. Enjoy it, share it with others and bask in the seconds that turn to hours, to years, to a life time of cherished memories.

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Photo courtesy of the author