You may or may have not noticed that there was no blog last week. Well, I had some technical difficulties – I surprisingly no longer had Word on my computer! I also just plain had a busy week, so I didn’t have time to deal with my computer.
How are you living? How was your week? How’s the time change treating you?
I want to talk about TIME today. What are you doing with your time? As many of you know, I work in the medical field and I specifically work in oncology. Oncology is essentially the study of cancer, so that means I walk alongside my patients as they are going through cancer treatment. Sometimes the outcome is good and they become cancer-free after a series of treatments, and sometimes the outcome is not so great and ultimately leads to death.
I have been in the oncology field for about 10 years now and I honestly think God has kept me here for a reason. I have tried several times to leave oncology, but I have never succeeded. So now I have stopped fighting oncology and I am learning to embrace it. Working in the medical field, especially in the field of oncology, you become very familiar with death. I think the longer you are exposed to it, the better you learn to deal with it.
I remember a case from very early in my career when I had to leave my young patient’s room in tears because I saw her lose hope and give up, and I knew there was nothing left but for her to die. I had grown very close to this patient and we had long conversations about life, God and family. I remember I even bought her a copy of the book “Jesus Calling.” She died shortly after, and that experience made me learn to keep a healthy distance between my patients and myself. I still care deeply for my patients, but I know it is not healthy to take that feeling outside of work.
That experience occurred more than seven years ago and I have experienced many patient deaths since then; however, two weeks ago, I was hit by a patient’s death that broke my heart all over again. Due to HIPAA laws, I cannot go into the details of his death, but I will share what I learned from the situation.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed – don’t wait for the perfect situation or circumstance to do something. My patient was probably about three years into his retirement and he spent the last year of his life in and out of doctors’ offices. I have heard many people say, “When I retire, I will…” or, “When I am a certain age, I will….” I have said, “When I get married, I will….” But that time is not guaranteed.
I am sure my patient did not envision that he would get sick two years into retirement and I can guarantee he did not plan to spend the last year of his life seeing me in the oncologist’s office regularly. I am not saying be reckless and just “YOLO” all over the place! But I think you need to be wise and live for today, because tomorrow is just not guaranteed.
If I am going to be 100% real with you, there are things that I have not done because I was in relationships and figured I would wait till we got married or till the timing was “right.” But what really constitutes the “perfect” or “right” timing?
I think this concept of living for today was also brought up after the death of Kobe and his daughter. That was such an unexpected tragedy. Yes, Kobe had accomplished so much in the life he had lived, but I am sure we all expected him to do so much more with the time we THOUGHT he had left. But God had different plans and who are we to question that? There are many things about God and His plans that I do not understand, and I don’t think I will ever understand, which I am learning to be okay with.
What these two situations have really taught me is to be thankful for today; to appreciate the things I have and the people in my life today; to pray about everything; and lastly, to live my best life today. I want to encourage you to not wait for the “perfect” time because that is not guaranteed. You want to take that international trip – save for it and take it. Don’t wait for him or her or the perfect job or the perfect salary; go now! Who is to say that you will even be here in a month? You want that house, sis? Buy it! You have always wanted that coupe – buy it! Of course, be wise about these things. But understand that the only thing we have is today, not tomorrow.
Till next time.
PS: I love and pray everyone is being safe and washing their hands more often with this Coronavirus that is upon us.