I probably can’t recall everything Eileen and I talked about Saturday while we were out on the town, but she did say something that really got my attention. It caused a reset in my thinking. Eileen asked me if I remember how we used to talk in terms of living until at least the age of 90. I said yes. She said that she is still counting on me to be there. Whew, that kind of hit me straight on. Ever since this cancer struck I must admit that I’ve not thought in terms of age nineties, but in terms of ten years at a time. It kind of just slipped in on me. I accepted the doctor's prognosis rather than what may be my true potential. Ten years is how long CML patients with my particular cytogenetic markers typically live. That’s to say that about anyone can show up with my variety of CML and live ten years. Where’s the challenge in that?!! It would seem that someone with my strength of will (some call it stubbornness) and faith could surpass the typical outcome - - - God willing. So, I shouldn’t think in terms of ten years but rather forty years.
If I describe in detail the slow cutting and then squeezing of a lemon along with its dripping juices, our mouths will begin to water. But there is no lemon there; it is just a description. If we watch a sad movie, we may shed some tears. Yet, it is just a movie, nothing real…the events didn’t really occur. The point is that our bodies have all sorts of chemical and emotional responses to what is in our minds. In fact, the body typically reacts to what we think about as if it was real. It’s the basis behind the physiological reactions of anxiety, fear, phobias, depression, envy, lust, anger, hate, and love. Further, life insurance companies know that regardless of how much someone might have hated his work, a considerable number of people die within the first five years of retirement. The reason? They don’t have a significant life-purpose. The thoughts and emotions we carry in our minds are not only important to our attitude, disposition, and mental health. They are also important to our physical health too. In short, a person’s mind and will are very powerful tools in everything involved with life and death.
Well, I have always had a significant life-purpose in my family if nowhere else. Rather than buy into the doctor’s prognosis, I need my body’s chemical and emotional responses to be geared toward living another forty years, not just ten. So, that’s the image I’ll re-establish for my mind; that’s the mindset I’ll readopt. I feel younger already!! Really though, although I’m focused to live one day at a time, my mind should also be prepared to live another forty years. After all, that is what Eileen is counting on. Wait; I said that wrong. Eileen isn’t merely counting on it to somehow happen. She’s counting on ME to step up and do my part to be here for her for another forty years. The Lord knows that I can’t make any promises, but I can try to not let her down!!