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What I learned from dying; I’ve had a great life since cancer

I’ve had a pretty good life since the day I was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer. Really, it’s been pretty great because it’s gotten me a chance to knock a few things off my bucket list before I actually kick the bucket.

I’ve gotten to travel. When Jamie and I first got together, one of our shared loves was traveling, so when I was diagnosed we thought we’d never get to go anywhere besides a doctor’s appointment.

Well since April 27 she and I have made extended trips to North Carolina, New York City, Chicago and Nashville. Each one presented its own challenges in terms of mobility but each one was amazing in some way.

I’ve gotten to visit several great art museums. This goes along with the traveling one but I was an art history minor in college so I love seeing great art and we’ve been able to visit art museums in a Chicago, New York and Indianapolis. There’s no way that without cancer we would’ve taken the time to go to those.

I got married. Cancer sped up our marriage process a little I think, although by the time our wedding day got here I was wondering what had taken so long. We had a lovely, low-key wedding that was shared with lots of friends and loved ones and we didn’t break the bank doing it.

I’ve gotten work done on both Bugs. I’ve had my two Beetles for any years and it wasn’t until my imminent death that I was able to get any work done on them. Both are at shops right now and I hope to be driving the convertible soon.

I’ve gotten to see the good my life has caused. One day my pastor Kyle came over and we were talking about how I wish that some of the good things that are happening because of my sickness were more obvious. He pointed out that I am getting to see the good through all the messages and cards I’ve gotten.

I can’t count how many heartfelt letters I’ve gotten from people telling me what I meant to them, which never would’ve happened if I hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer. People hold on to those feelings until it’s too late but in my instance people have been freed up to tell me how they feel.

Overall my life since cancer has been a blessing for sure. I don’t recommend the process to those who don’t have to go through it, but it has definitely been a blessing to me. By Dave Taylor
dave.hancockclarion@gmail.com

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