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The lessons we learn....

Stros2013's picture
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2012

In response to Fox's post about putting some thoughts out there.... I'll post a few topics that have been on my mind.


This post is an open question to the forum of lessons learned or gifts received as a by product of the RCC journey.


For me, I've  come to realize every day is precious.  I didn't realize how shallow I was diving into each day.  


The greatest gift has been the increased awareness of the time I spend with my kids and my wife And how precious it is.  Too many days start fast and end too too quickly.  Before RCC it was way to easy to act like a father or husband but not BE a husband or father.


Today,  I watched Little Mermaid with the little ones.  We held hands and tried singing those really high notes.  We laughed hysterically.  We cuddled when that mean sea witch showed up.  What a gift.

This summer we're heading to northern canada For five days of fishing.  It's a chance to show my older kids where my father took me when I was their age.  No tv.  No phones.  No emails.  Just quiet.  Just together.  What a gift.

Tomorrow.....perhaps when the 15 year old reruns from a school ski trip  I'll take her out on the porch and tell her how proud I am of her.  What a gift.

i have no idea when I'll die (of RCC or anything else) but when I do....I want my kids to recall The time we shared and grin.  


This disease is A bummer.  It plays in the shadows and always lurks.  But magically something very, very,very positive has come from it for me.


What about you?  What lesson or gift has this disease provided you?


Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 224
Joined: Oct 2013

I felt it strongly as I lay in the hospital bed.  Some have called it the quickening....that feeling that time is getting short and some catastrophic event is about to overcome all.  I survived the primary event, surgery and recovery only to find that I  now find myself once again entangled in the fast pace of my profession with the nagging feeling that I have forsaken that which is most important and precious.  I endeavour to escape and spend time enjoying life and all that it brings at me.  Life really is too short no matter how many years we are granted. 

My kids are grown so now I will replace them by reliving my youth......and scaring the hell out of them!   The lesson....life is too short not to live it with gusto. 

nyisles's picture
Posts: 30
Joined: Mar 2013

I have learned to appreciate each day more than I did before. Almost like I used to take life for granted and always figured I could do things "later".  Today I live in the now.  In the past where I didn't want to do something because I was "tired" or "didn't feel like it", today I do it.  If I want to buy something...I buy it.  If I want to go out and spend time with family and friends...I do it. No more sitting around waiting for "tomorrow" because my tomorrow is today.  I feel like I was given a 2nd chance at life to really enjoy it.  Not sure how long it will last, but I thank God, my family, my friends and all those prayers that made is possible to go from the ICU to feeling like no disease is even there. 

Darron's picture
Posts: 310
Joined: Jun 2013

It has made me more aware of my kids, it has made me more aware of being a better husband, and it has made me appreciate every day to the fullest. All of those fit in with a spirtual awakening of sorts in my life. I feel like God has given me A second chance to live my life to the fullest. To me, taking advantage of that opportunity is living the rest of my life the way my god has taught me to live. (Maybe now there is some urgency to do that).

I try to be more patient, compassionate, and more loving with all the people in my day to day life. I think my immediate family sees it, but I have felt a huge impact with my parents and my brother. i come from a family that never verbalized love with each other. It was always there, but only by action. I think I could count the times my fathezr said I love you to me on one hand. Now, I say and hear it just about every time we talk. I had a very distant relationship with my brother. he lives in Colorado and I an in NC. I think we talked 10 times in 10 years. He has become a loving brother and uncle to my kids and is constantly making sure I am taking good care if myself. He has visited here at least 4 or 5 times and we are going to visit him for spring break.

I said from very early in in my diagnosis that if it didn't kill me it could be the best thing that ever happened to me. It has allowed me to live more the way I think life should be lived. It may kill me one day, but not today...today is a good day!

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

My daughter is a single mom of 2 girls 6 and 8. They are here alot. My wife spoils them abit. Always candy around the house for them to "sneak" a little. Big breakfasts, activities, cookies, etc. My wife says it is all about setting up memories so as they grow up, they will always remember the times spent with us. I like it. Very special. Precious.

Jack, I don't think I've heard the concept of "quickening". But I know that feeling. I didn't like it. But I won't forget it. Explains alot.

All this has made my golf game a little faster. Anytime someone spends too much time looking for a lost ball, I play the cancer card. I remind them that my time on this earth is limited. "Drop another damn ball!" It keeps things moving. LOL.

Since I am doing so well at this moment in time, I can almost be a little giddy with excitement. Everything seems good. I feel great, My attitude is great. Outlook is great. I appreciate so much. I am a happy boy. I remember my pre-cancer days. I used to wonder if I was headed for a heart attack, or dialysis,(like my mom and sister), maybe a stroke, or who knows what else. Now I don't worry. I live everyday happy.

garym's picture
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

You can't know what it is like to have cancer until you actually have it, but first I learned there are worse things. April 5, 2006 my youngest son began chemo and radiation treatments for Hodgekin's Lymphoma, it was his 27th birthday and he and his wife were expecting their fourth child in a couple months. That's when my paradigm shift happened and I began to understand what was really important in life. Everything that mattered to me, everything that I stressed over on a daily basis suddenly changed and I saw life much more clearly. My Dx in the fall of 2009 was less an awakening than a confirmation of what I had already learned. Live like there is no tomorrow, don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. BTW, my son survived and likes to do Ironman triathlons in his spare time, he is the definition of Ironman to me.

Cate1273's picture
Posts: 35
Joined: Feb 2014

For me this dx was difficut but it has been harder on my family. I think it has made us much closer. I have 2 sisters and 5 brothers who are now there for not only me but each other after being absent in each other's lives for a long time. My children are kinder to each other also which makes me happy.  I have learned to forgive and I realize that we only have today so make it count!! We all say " I love you" more and really mean it. This is a hideous disease but you are correct that something very positive can come out of it.

Jack, You're right Live with gusto

Fox, your wife is also right. It is about making memories

Gary, I am so glad that your son  is doing fine.



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