Immortality Reality Check

I was recently researching the survival rate for my duodenal cancer, which has a history of returning. I found out at one website that I had a 30 percent chance of living past five years.

The oncologist when told about this survival rate gave me a reality check, by telling me the average life span for an American male is only 76. Since I will be 69 later this year that means I may be down to my last seven years of life, regardless of how the cancer situation may change. The five years survival rate doesn’t sound so bad, when I may have only seven years left anyway.

Chemotherapy has gone well during the first ten weeks, which ends tomorrow leaving me with fourteen more weeks left. If the Catscan shows that the cancer has returned when the chemotherapy ends, then I may be forced into making some very difficult decisions. Don’t know whether I would want to start a new round of surgery, if surgery is even an option and whether continuing chemotherapy would even be an option.

It would be easy to be selfish and continue to pursue any surgery or chemotherapy, that may rid my body of the cancer. This cancer has reduced me to a man who has ostrich legs, which really indicate that something is seriously wrong with my health.

One of the main reasons for me to try to go to any length to keep fighting cancer, if it has returned would be to see my grandsons a few more years. I have a grandson who was 14 yesterday that dreams of playing major league baseball. He will be trying out for his high school team in Texas in the spring of 2014. I would like to be around if and when he plays baseball on the professional level.

His brother who will be 12 in October likes to play soccer and does extremely well in school, since he loves to read books. I would like to see him grow up and start a career, while I am still living.

The worst thing about leaving this world is those I would leave behind, including my two sons and daughter and my wife Rhonda and my stepson Justin.

My father is 98 and will be 99 in November of this year. It is now a possibility that he may outlive me and I am happy for him. He made the right health choices to eat almost exclusively healthy meals and very seldom ate out at fast food places. He worked in his garden till well into his 90’s and also mowed the yard.

What really matters the most is that whatever happens will be God’s will, so I am ready to accept whatever God has in store for me.

I may live another 10 or 15 years, but on the other hand I may not even be around this time next year.

I want to see all the baseball and football games I can see while I am still around. I want to listen to some of my 17,000 old-time radio shows from the 1920’s through 1962 when old-time radio died on September 30 of that year.

There is a lot of music I would like to hear again, while I am still around and enjoy nature and see the stars in the night sky.

Only God knows what my future holds and how much time I have left. Time will tell how all of this plays out.

One of my main objectives is to be the same person I have always been, no matter how good or bad the news may be about my cancer as the years roll by. I don’t want anyone feeling bad for me, because I will be worried about the ones being left behind more than myself.

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Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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