There was really only one question that people were asking yesterday when the news about Ted Kennedy broke: How long?
There were plenty of doctors willing to go on TV to talk about his case, even though they weren't treating him.
Predictions were made. Prognoses given.
For anyone who's diagnosed, the first question they ask is "how long?" I know that was my first question to the doctor who had just rocked my world. And, that's the first question your loved ones want to ask too. How long will I have this person in my life?
You learn eventually that there is no answer to "how long?" Those predictions and prognoses don't mean anything. If I was diagnosed today, would I ask that same question?
Would "how long" be my first concern? As much as I've learned about cancer, as much as I've learned about myself, the answer is probably yes.
When a limit has been put on your life, when all of a sudden life seems more urgent, you want to know.
When I asked that the first time, the answer was about three months. Here I am, almost 30 months later. What's the lesson here?
I guess it's, what's most important is the living, not the preparing to die. I try to remind myself of that every day. No matter how much time I have left.