Me and Michael Douglas…..

August 28, 2010

It has been in the news this week that actor Michael Douglas has been diagnosed with cancer. In an interview he reportedly said that, looking back at his life, he regrets that he has worked so hard and has had too little fun. I thought that was incredibly sad. I hope his treatment goes well and he has many more years to have lots of fun….

There is one taboo I haven’t touched on yet in my blog, the big one – death. It isn’t because I’m afraid to write about it, but because it isn’t something that preoccupies me at the moment – I’m not planning on dying on any time soon. But during the 10 days or so between having my biopsy and getting my diagnosis, 10 days where I was fairly sure I had lymphoma but had no idea which kind (some lymphomas are incurable) I did have sleepless nights thinking about the possibility that I may die sooner rather than later. Like Michael Douglas, and probably every other person who has ever been diagnosed with cancer, I evaluated my life so far. Unlike Michael Douglas though, my conclusion was that I have no regrets. No regrets at all! I have had a pretty damn good life so far, a richer life than many double my age! Regardless, I also decided that I wasn’t ready to die just yet. At 46, I reckon that I am only about half way through…..

 I think it is a shame that it often takes something like a cancer scare to evaluate our lives. There is no real reason why we shouldn’t do it regularly – a kind of life health check! I’m hoping that some of you will feel inspired to do it as a result of my cancer scare – much smarter than having to have your own! You haven’t asked for my advice, and normally I try not to give advice unless invited, but have decided to offer some snippets of advice based on where I am sitting now (metaphorically speaking!) for you to take or leave as you please!

  • Live a healthy lifestyle without being obsessive! Stop smoking if you smoke, eat a healthy diet (but allow yourself treats) and exercise regularly (you don’t have to be as extreme as me!), get enough sleep etc. It doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get ill, but it does improve your chances!
  • If you are unhappy with something in your life, then take the first steps to do something about it…. don’t end up with regrets when it is too late to do anything about it.
  • Most importantly – remember to have fun! Also when you are in chemo… (OK, that last bit was mostly for me! And for Michael Douglas……)

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