Take it one day at a time

It’s been an interesting week this week.  I must say, I’ve been looking at life differently for a few days and tonight I adjusted even more.

Earlier this week, I had a patient, a “frequent flier” (of which you do NOT want to be when you come see me at work); it was a 6 month check up for him and his lung cancer.  We’ve scanned him since he was diagnosed about 2 years ago.  28.  Firefighter.  In firefighting shape.  I’ve seen a lot of ugly, ugly cases in my time and every once in a while you get a patient that floors you.  He did.  It was an awful cancer and it took a tremendous effort to take him off the table and smile and give him the standard directions to hydrate, etc knowing full well we’d see him again.  and again.  and again.  hopefully.  Then yesterday, there he was.  Hair growing back. Skeleton replaced by flesh.  Almost back to his starting weight.  Same good spirits.  He’s running again, almost a mile.  Oh, and he’s missing a lung.  The whole lung.  He’s not even one bit short of breath.  Hoping to be back to full duty in a month and complaining that he’s not running further yet. We both laughed about that, knowing full well what a difference those 6 months made.   Medicine is amazing.  Truly amazing.  Yet, when I have a patient like this, I know medicine alone can’t take the credit for this healing.  This young man’s work isn’t done yet.  I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months bring for him!!

Then tonight, my step-dad told me of a neighbor a few doors down that passed away a few weeks ago.  A family with all boys.  The youngest 2 are our son’s ages roughly.  The older 2 are in college.  The husband and wife have never been overly friendly to me,but I’ve seen them at school, and the dad playing in the yard with his boys.  41 years old.  Massive heart attack.  The dad died.  What!?!?  They are healthy.  I see them at the gym.  He’s younger than me!  Talk about smacking your day into perspective.  You never know.  Really.

Plan for tomorrow but live for today.  Make each moment count.  The little stuff is just “stuff”.  Engage with your family.  We see it all the time.  We hear it all the time.  Life is precious.  Take it one day at a time and make every one count.


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