Can’t think ‘tumor’ without ‘um’

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been growing more preoccupied with an approaching doctor’s appointment. Hopefully, this appointment would tell me that the cancer I’d had surgery for in January hadn’t come back. Hopefully.

The hard part is not knowing how to spend my time. If I’m healthy, why spend time sitting up at night worrying about an illness that isn’t coming back? Maybe it’s all gone and I’ll live a long and healthy life and never have to deal with it again. In that case, it’s silly to run around somber all the time when I should be overjoyed: I beat cancer!

On the other hand, maybe it’s spread and I’m about to start a frightening spiral of unwelcome treatments and diminishing health. In that case, what am I doing breezing through life when I should be holding my infant daughter and consciously appreciating all of the blessings of faith and family in the uncertain amount of time that remains?

So what do I do? Coast through life like I have all the time in the world? Or else start making all of my plans as if I won’t be alive in a year from now, and start judging the value of everything I do based on that shortened scale? Should I be preparing to die? Um. . .

Well, the doc says everything is fine. I can forget all about it now, if I want to.

I have a life that can be taken for granted. I have comforts and distractions and no good reason to look up from my day-to-day affairs to ponder the whole. And at the same time I have a fantastic wife and a beautiful daughter and all of the blessings anybody could want. Carried by the flow of the day-to-day, I can overlook how precious those blessings would seem if I’d only stop to appreciate them. I guess I’m lucky in that regard, because in six more months I’ll have another cancer check-up, and in the weeks beforehand I’ll start sitting up at night, counting all of my blessings again.