Priorities

I just learned that I have breast cancer. On the anniversary of my grandfather death from cancer, that’s a fun coincidence. I’m skeptical about the concept of “beating” cancer; we all die anyway. In the end, I have likely passed the mid-point of my life, no matter what happens next. I’m an atheist so I feel no worry about an afterlife, whether toasty or cloudy, and I’ve always known that I couldn’t possibly live long enough to get tired of the things I love (like friends, family, cats…)

But I’m already dealing with depression, so the thought of the chore that is being sick, being miserably poor, experiencing pain and side effects, is daunting. So I’m not going to live forever, I’m not going to be rewarded or punished in an afterlife, and the world will keep on moving along just fine whether I keep a positive attitude, rage against the dying of the light, or ignore the whole matter.

But I’ve thought about the whole thing and decided that there is one thing that matters to me: whether I die this year or survive another few decades, I’d like to have been a decent human being. So my plan right now is to do all the reasonable things I can to buy myself as many good years as I can, but to spend as much time as I can on the things I care about — from friends and family to social justice to geeky pursuits — and to place people first.

Well, cats and people.

Cancer constellation

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4 thoughts on “Priorities

  1. So sorry to hear about your diagnosis… but you speak so eloquently about your own mortality that this is one of my favorite posts. Thank you for being brave. ❤ I'll be thinking about you (as a fellow atheist).

  2. Very sorry to hear about this. If there’s anything we (at Evil Hat) can do for you, let us know. Like Mark, we’ll be thinking about you.

  3. Sorry tho learn that. From what I read of you, I always though of you as a decent human being (quelqu’un de bien), and I wish you’ll be able to tame your depression and get rid of your cancer, to have more time with your friends, family and cats !

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