Ten Lessons for Enriching Life Learned by a Cancer Survivor. Lesson Ten: Seize The Day.

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)

It’s so easy to get lost in the chaos of daily life…to be distracted by responsibilities and sports or boys or girls…to be focused on schoolwork and succeeding…that we forget to live.

Cancer had forced me to live each day as if it were my last on earth. We should all live in such a deliberate way, regardless of our age. We should all attempt to enjoy every moment in every precious day. Strive to live each day to the best of your abilities, with integrity to yourself and to those around you.

Here’s a tool that helps me. Start each morning asking, “What’s really important?” Then, set the day’s to-do list in that order. Another tool in my daily arsenal is to be more conscious of life…to relax, to linger, to take notice of the smallest thing around me; and, most importantly, to celebrate all I have instead of longing for what I don’t have.

I think Tour de France winner and inspirational cancer survivor Lance Armstrong puts it best, “There are only great days and good days.”

Editor’s Note: Dr. Mead’s Afterword, the following post in this series appearing on CancerForward’s blog, will be published August 9, 2012.

Category: Cancer

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