Looking into the future is extremely difficult for me—almost impossible, in fact. How do I do that when my husband has a terminal illness? Do I imagine a life without him and plan accordingly? Do I dream the dreams we’ve had for our lives, the ones that cancer threatens to steal? Although they are unlikely, they are preferable.
It might seem obvious that someone whose spouse has cancer, would have trouble looking into the future. But it can be hard to imagine for people who haven’t experienced it firsthand.
To have and to hold…
Our lives are so intricately connected. They have been since the day we said, “I do.” There is a sting in the tail, though. The vows we exchanged included the words, “for as long as we both shall live.” We thought that would be for decades. But it won’t be. What then?
12 Months into the Future
I can imagine Dan being here this time next year. Though I don’t know what our future holds. Things change so quickly with cancer. Only a couple of months ago he was in bed all but a couple of hours each day. He was unable to even read, because of how sick he felt. Today he actually went for a walk in our local mall. What big a difference in such a short time! How do you plan around that?
I recently got an email from a lovely lady who recently lost her sister. She was shocked at how quickly her sister died. That’s pretty common. I’ve talked to so many people who have had this experience that I can’t ignore the reality that it could happen to us in the future, as well.
5 Years into the Future
I’m going to be very frank. While my only wish is for my husband to be with me in 5 years, it isn’t statistically likely. The fact that he is still alive today is a true miracle. Doctors diagnosed Dan in 2012, and gave him a 4% chance of surviving 5 years. Each year, he struggles more than the last, due to the effects of living as long as he has with both cancer and its treatment.
Our kids will be out of the house by then, so my house will be clean. That’s a good thing. Hopefully, I’ll get a lot of writing done because, for the first time in a quarter of a century, I will only have to take care of myself. I plan to take better care of my health. Time in the woods is good for my mental well-being, so I will spend a lot of time foraging for mushrooms.
I have no idea what success will look like in the future. Sometimes I think that just being able to move forward, one step at a time, is a success. I know that this isn’t really what this prompt was intended to encourage, but right now, it’s the best I can do.
The A to Z Blogging Challenge
I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ideas for “Thinking Creatively.” I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will focus on “Avoiding Burnout.” I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is f is for Fast Forward into the Future.
The great artist, Leonardo da Vinci, was renowned for his ability to imagine the future. He conceptualized designs for the parachute and helicopter centuries before they were even invented. So think about an idea you want to implement.
- Fast forward 12 months
- Fast forward 5 years from now
- What could be possible?
- What does success look like?
Have you ever experienced an inability to envision the future?
What Are YOUR Thoughts?
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I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.