Friday, April 25, 2014
The tag line, "Don't survive; live," originated from my mother who somewhat coined the phrase when she began her battle with cancer. During the early stages of her illness, the doctors removed a mass from her liver believing that through the operation they could extract the source of the cancer before it was able to spread. And, initially, miraculously it did so. Before we knew how successful the procedure would be I had asked her if she was considering undergoing further treatments like chemo or radiation. She surprisingly said no, that if the surgery was unsuccessful, then she would face any further threats without the assistance of those treatments. When I asked her why, she simply told me, that she felt that it would do more harm than good, that the side effects would be so potent that her quality of life would be reduced to an unacceptable level. Her ability to enjoy what might be left of her life was more important than any treatment that might only prolong the inevitable while making her day to day life unbearable. She wanted to live, not just survive. It made sense to her, and she fought off the cancer for nearly 3 years without the assistance of those treatments. Before she died, she told me that she never regretted that decision, she enjoyed the time she had and appreciated every moment she was given. She chose to live, on her terms, and not just survive based on her diagnosis.