ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Life Is Short

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

life is short

Gosh, life is short. As I ponder and witness this lesson second-hand through my mom, I sit by her side as she receives various types of chemotherapy through an implanted pump. Today involved an 8-hour session, one bag after another, along with potassium and fluids to keep her hydrated. It concluded with a take-home Chemo pump for another 48 hours.

I reflect on how a single word can permanently alter one’s life – Cancer.

The treatment center has rows of chairs, IV pumps, TVs, places for family and friends, and even warm blankets and recliners that have built-in heaters, which I’ve appreciated. For the most part, it’s usually a quiet room. Not much talking between one another beyond the type of cancer and how long you’ve been dealing with it. Most patients and families just keep to themselves.

Yet, everyone is friendly.

The majority of the patients I’ve seen so far have been women – almost 80%. Nearly all are of 65 years or older. As I hear the patients sharing their stories, some have been coming for a short time, and others have coming here for 2, 5, 10 and event 20 years. Wow! Then I consider how, on some days, I have the audacity to complain when my cheeseburger takes too long.

Cancer isn’t always a death sentence. Great strides have been made with research. Patients talk about their initial diagnosis and how the treatments available today weren’t even in existence back then. One person mentioned she’s been visiting this facility for 17 years. That’s evidence that life doesn’t cease when you’re informed of having Cancer.

Many patients seems to have a pep in their step, while others seem physically and mentally drained. I suspect that for them, and for us all, becoming sick was never in the plan. At times, life’s harsh realities alter our course.

Life is short; we can’t take tomorrow for granted.