Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

surviving life

This afternoon I found that I am now 3.8 pounds from my "goal weight". I've been pursuing this healthier lifestyle regime for some twenty three months now. I hope that I can cross this last hurdle.

This afternoon I fell asleep at four p.m., as soon as I got home from my meeting. I awoke near 7.
I hate to lose an afternoon's chance to get exercise, but, if anything, I regret that I did not get more sleep. Late night flights, of the type I did on Friday, tend to impact me, as I find it hard to sleep after a landing from such a flight.

This week involves more business travel, and a fair dollop of non-travel-related work to do. We sat down tonight and blocked out our potential vacation days this year. If things go as planned, this will be a year of short, fun trips rather than of a long, major vacation. A return to Manitoba, a return to the south Texas coast, and a return to the Bahamas look like the plan, along with trips to visit our families.

Friday I learned of the death some months ago from cancer of a business acquaintance just a few years older than myself. We were not close, though we got along fine, but the news shocked me a little. These things are part of life, but they seem so extraordinary. The Methodist church down the road--the "other" church, which we've visited but did not join, has a woman as its pastor who is about a year older than I am. By some measures, she had it all. She's helped build a huge church from a less-than-huge church. She's got a husband and a three year old son. She's the type of person who learned Spanish when she had a west Dallas posting, so that she could communicate better with people less comfortable in English.

She went in a few months ago, believing she had appendicitis. It turned out she had stage four cancer, originating in her liver but having spread. She's been impressive as she copes with this poor deal of the cards, and in some ways, she still has it all. But she has cancer, too.

Things like this remind me to appreciate what I have, because in the main, with some really palpable exceptions, I have been fortunate indeed. I lost my mother to peritoneal cancer, and I have another family member who is a cancer survivor. Cancer is not the spectre it once was,but there is still that odd feeling one gets wehn one is forced to contemplate it. The oddness is that so often, despite best efforts to catch these health things early, someone finds it has spread before they realize they have it. Given my age and that I must medicate for blood pressure, I suppose that a cardiac problem or a road accident are more likely threats than cancer. But hearing about the man who died made me think, for a moment, about the "what ifs" of cancer.

I would recite how I have had such a good life that even if it ended tomorrow, I would be grateful for the joy I've had. It's true, and yet one hates to disrupt the fabric of the other people in one's lives. But each day is one day to be lived, and the days are not endless. I try to remember.

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