A year ago today. :( Never in a million years when I joined the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation back in 2014 as a blogger at first, did I ever think that this young man Jordan Jones, the son of TCAF's founder, Kim Jones, would eventually lose his life like this to a late recurrence of the disease after so long. It's just something that's been burned into me now, how precious life really is, and how uncertain everything is. Never waste a day or a moment, and make each one count for something. We're only here for a very short time.
Every day a dozen times per day that thought pops into my head, "we're only here for a very short time," and I can't shake it as it comes from the sub-conscious. What's my mind trying to tell me now? Part of it is remembering Jordan. Part of is is turning the big 4-0 this year, which apparently a part of me still believes is never going to happen, because that was nothing but a pipe dream for me for a number of years after my cancer diagnosis at 33. I just can't shake this panicked rush feeling. I'm not afraid of dying. I've feared that so many times now and am no longer afraid of that. It's the fear of leaving this world without having accomplished what I was meant to accomplish. But what was I meant to accomplish? I don't even know. I'm hurting once again in ways I don't even really understand, but am just doing what feels right and what my instincts are telling me, and that's all you can do. God will sort out the rest.
One big change in my mentality after cancer is that I just can't think long-term anymore, about what I want to do or where I want to be in 5 or 10 years. All I can think about is this year, and what I can do right now. How many times has it been drilled home now that nothing in life is certain, and that nothing is a given, either. I might be around next month or next year, or I might not be. I don't know things like this anymore, and can't pretend to either. This is part of the perpetual fear that lives inside of me and that I'm going to carry forward with me for the rest of my life probably, that yes these things happen, and that it could happen to me too.
Consciously I'm at peace with all of this, but it's very clear from the trends in my writing as of late and the thoughts running through my mind, that a part of me "isn't ok", and probably never will be. You finally feel completely at peace with everything, for awhile at least, only for another layer of pain to reveal itself. Friends are thinking about what they want to do when they turn 40, or 45, or 50, yet a part of me is still stuck wondering about next month!
What I want to know is that I'll have TIME - time to do the things that I want to do, but that's the one thing I know I can never know. All I can do is give it my all every single day, and so that's what I do.
Jordan didn't waste any time. He lived his life well and with purpose, and let his story be a lesson to all of us on how life is meant to be lived after cancer. His story will live on, and he'll continue to save lives in our world through TCAF's mission for many years to come, and I'm proud to be personally seeing to it that that happens.
Director, Ambassadors Program
Cross-posted at StevePake.com