I returned about a week ago from a glorious trip to Costa Rica to the melancholy news that a friend had lost her battle with breast cancer.
The phrase that keeps running through my head as I react to this sorrowful event is “Carpe Diem”….for several reasons.
–My friend had a great capacity to “seize the joy” of the present moment even as she went through the brutal therapies that constitute cancer treatment these days.
–I also wish I had been in touch with her more, grabbing the opportunity as it came instead of waiting for the right time on my schedule.
–And finally, this news makes me vow to live in the present more and be grateful for what is happening — right now! — in my life. I am so truly blessed with adventures, opportunities, and the company of the most wonderful guy on the planet.
I also reflect on the long path of medical research. How many 3-day walks, triathalons, charity balls, fashion shows have there been to raise money for breast cancer research? The Susan G. Komen Foundation funded $58 million in research projects in 2012. Yet cancer treatment is still largely nasty chemicals and radiation that debilitate you and make your hair fall out. I keep wondering if, twenty years from now, today’s cancer treatment will be viewed as antique as leeches — like using a flamethrower to get rid of the dandelions in your yard.
But progress is occurring — in breast cancer research as in Parkinson’s research. As surely as small drops of water eventually form the ocean, all those thousands of research projects are building on each other and will lead to breakthroughs. Medical victories happen every day — so seize the day and be grateful — Carpe Diem!