Ten Lessons Learned By a Cancer Survivor. Lesson Two: Share Memories

Editor’s note: A Tenth Anniversary Remembrance is a CancerForward series of blog posts attributed to the late Mariana Dieste Mead, MD, who fought pancreatic cancer for four years. In their original format, the posts are excerpts of “Ten Lessons for Enriching Life Learned by Confronting Death” written by Dr. Mead in collaboration with Clare Broun Johnson. The CancerForward series appears July 29 through August 9, 2012.

by Mariana Dieste Mead, MD (1955 – 2002)


In the beautiful book “Tuesdays with Morrie,” a Brandeis sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, is dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Morrie chooses to make his death a powerful part of his life, and hosts his own living funeral.

I understand Morrie’s unique and unorthodox decision. Soon after my diagnosis, I received countless letters, cards, phone calls, e-mails, and visitors. Without asking, many close friends from Texas left their own husbands and children to care for me – and my family in Massachusetts.

I was overwhelmed by all the shared memories and emotion, touching thoughts and encouraging words, the true expressions of love pouring from family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and patients.

They shared their hearts with me and that carried me beyond cancer and chemo. They were my strength. Making memories is important and sharing them is equally powerful.

I encourage each of you – each day – to call, write, visit or e-mail someone you love, someone with whom you’ve made memories. Recall your shared memories with them, and share your heart. By simply reminiscing, you can enrich and empower someone’s soul.

Don’t wait. Because tomorrow could be too late.

Editor’s Note: Lesson Three: DREAM LARGE will appear in the next installment of CancerForward’s blog, to be published August 1, 2012.

Category: Cancer

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