Saturday, April 13, 2013

25 Reasons Why It Is Good To Be Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer

Last November in my Celebrating Birthdays blog I mentioned celebrating my 35th birthday in Colorado and meeting some friends of a friend at the time. This week I had a long conversation with my friend Kristina during which she told me of the death of one of those people I met so long ago. Jack and Bonnie were both very special people and even though I only met them once I never forgot them.
On the way across Nebraska that November of '78, I spotted the above wooden windmill. Iowa windmills were almost always the metal kind so I just had to have my picture taken next to what I considered an old-fashioned windmill.

This is the picture of me, Bonnie and Jack in front of their home near Denver. By the time Jack learned he had melanoma (skin) cancer*, it had already metastasized. He opted to forego any type of treatment - to live whatever time he had left as fully as possible. (He died January 23 - eleven days after his 81st birthday.)
One of the things he did was write the life story his children had requested. That is where he listed his 25 Reasons Why It Is Good To Be Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer. Some of his reasons are poignant; "You'll no longer have to go to the doctor to have your skin cancers removed." But mostly they are funny: "No fear of heart attacks." "You'll never go bald."

I'd like to think I would handle the news of a terminal illness with even one-tenth of the grace, humor and love he appears to have. If you are interested in reading Jack's entire list of 25 Reasons or more about his interesting life, just google jackectoncarver and click on life story.

* Melanoma is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. The risk of developing it increases with age. However, it is also frequently seen in young people - especially those with long exposure to the sun or tanning beds. For this reason alone I wish my sun-worshiping granddaughter would quit.

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