I truly feel for young Alice, being so young and having to deal with such a heavy burden of cancer… I try to imagine what it’s like for Alice knowing that for the last four years she’s had Hodgkin lymphoma. I had a lump in my throat when I read: “I’ve fought cancer for almost 4 years now and I know the cancer is gaining on me and it doesn’t look like I’m going to win this one.” Being 15 years old Alice should be worrying about clothes and boys, and what make-up would suit her best, and not about cancer and ending her life before she’s done everything she wanted to do. Lump… Pushing back tears… hard story, except that it isn’t a story, it’s reality for this one. Fair play to Alice for going public and sharing her wishes… If only I could help her out somehow.
Reading New Zealand.‘s bucket list made me remember my list, a stupid thing I started compiling after just being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 6 years ago. How silly that was, I now think. No way you die directly from MS, sure you can get food stuck in your throat because you can’t swallow, but you don’t die directly of MS. But hey, I am nowhere near advanced symptoms, my MS fatigue is severe and my headaches and eye pains are truly disabling, but they won’t make me end up 6 feet under anytime soon. I won’t let them make me go 6 feet under anytime soon. But anyway, there it was, my bucket list still sitting in my laptop, 6 years later (mind you, I’ve gone through a few laptops since then, but the file always moved along from one laptop to the other). I opened up the document not remembering what was number 1 on the list, but it either had to do with swimming with dolphins or visiting
Not a chance! My priorities had changed a bit since creating that document 6 years ago. I managed to get to 27 things back in 2005. Wow, 27 things to do before I die, surely I would not have enough time to do it all in, right?? Eleven items had to do with travelling, so instead of listing them one by one I would’ve written “travel around the world”. New Zealand was NOT on number 1, shock oh shock!
The one thing that was still high on the list was to buy my parents, now my mum, a house that she could live in and in the city she wants to live in. That hasn’t changed and will never change either until I actually do buy her a house. So mum, stick around, one of these days I will win the lottery and I will buy you and myself both a house!
For other items had to do with financial gain in different sorts and sizes, but since the world has dropped into recession, I doubt if I will be able to get just one of those things realized. A couple of other items had to do with my dear niece and nephew and then some of the items were about my health too.
Oh yeah… If only I could get rid of the MS and go work in a library again! Now that would be sweet, but I suppose I was still a bit in denial when I was first diagnosed and was seeing myself at work until retirement age, but since then time has shown that MS does not always treat someone nicely.
The other BIG wish on the list was to have a chocolate-coloured Labrador pup, and by god I still dream about that now. Any dog will do, but preferably an Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Labrador, golden retriever or Beagle and you will find me in heaven for the rest of my life. Oh, sorry, not in heaven, but in 7th heaven… Small but big difference!
And where was my “swimming with dolphins” wish I thought I had written in my bucket list? Nowhere! Guess my memory was proving me a dis-service once again because that’s something I had always wanted to do, but hey… Reviewing my “things to do before I die list”, I have managed to live 6 years in between creating it and opening it up again last week.
Life with MS goes on, where Alice’s life might be cut short at any time. I wished I could help Alice fulfil some of her wishes, she deserves it much more than I do. Moral of the story is: no matter how bad a hand you’re dealt, there’s always a way out of the difficulties you’re in, unless you’re Alice Pyne, battling Hodgkin lymphoma and only 15 years old…
Did I mention yet I had called the list “to do before I die”? Hell no, not going there yet! I will have a lot of time to do everything on my bucket list in between now and dying! Live well and prosper is my other credo. Live, laugh and love as much as you can and in my case: bucket list or no bucket list!
© WVE and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.