• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 272 (Radiation Treatment 26 of 30: Buying Time)


    Thursday, April 9, 2015

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today: 0.00 miles;  Running Total: 234.91 miles)

    Day 272 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    After my radiation treatment I went to lunch with one of the volunteers from the cancer center. I’ve gone to lunch with her before. Lisa ran through cancer treatment, too, so she’s been a great source of information and encouragement. Also, it’s nice to hear from someone who is several years out from treatment.

    I told Lisa that I was struggling with the thought of treatment ending. Struggling with the thought that, in just a few days, I would no longer be actively killing cancer cells. I told her that looking back over the last nine months I can’t believe it’s been so long.

    Lisa said she had a hard time when her treatment ended, too.

    “It’s a tough transition,” she said. “But here’s what you’ve done. For the last nine months you have done this thing, this treatment, and by doing this thing you have bought yourself time. You don’t know how much time. No one knows how much time they have. But it’s yours now, so you know what you do with it? You live. You live hard. Every day. You do what you want to do now because that’s what you bought this time for. To do what you want.” She shrugged and patted my hand. “I’m sorry. I don’t have a magical answer. This is the only way I know.”

    I just sat there for a moment, absorbing this thought and she let me.

    I bought time.

    Think about that. What does it mean to actually buy time? What’s the price?

    I know now exactly what time costs.

    Time is expensive. It costs pain. It costs humiliation. It costs fear. Lots of fear.

    Buying time is also a shitty business deal. I’ve paid an exorbitantly high price for an unknowable commodity. I have no way of knowing how much time I’ve purchased.

    Was this unknowable amount of time worth the price I paid?

    Oh God, yes. Without a doubt.

    And now, what do I do with this time I’ve purchased?

    For Lisa, she ran a marathon (26.2 miles). Then she ran a 50 mile ultra-marathon. And she’s still racing.

    For my friend Patti, she bought enough time to dance with her only child on his wedding day.

    What will I do with my time?

    I don’t know yet. And that’s okay. I’ll get there.

    Whatever it is I do with my time, it will be something I want to do.

    Because I don’t have time for anything else.

    Sometimes with a purchase a gift is given to the customer by the merchant. Think ‘the thirteenth donut’ in a baker’s dozen. This is called a lagniappe (pronounced LAN-yap).

    Today’s silver lining: Perspective. It’s the lagniappe to my purchase of time.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share?  Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.


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4 Responsesso far.

  1. marriannad says:

    Today’s post rings so true to my heart and my soul. Yes, I have bought time through a huge heart episode to do whatever is next in my life. I don’t know what that is or what it looks like yet I know that if I activitely seek the answers, the answers will ccome to me. Oftentime, the answers come when I am sitting till and meditating or when I am writing or when I’m reflecting on an event that happened today or recently. Thank you for this post and silver lining today.

  2. sara says:

    Such a good post! And now my mascara is running!

  3. Brittinni says:

    Hi. Time is valuable, but people can become complacent. The universe has been trying to stress this concept to me via loss-I lost four loved ones in 2014 (one of which was my 3 year old Godson). This year two close family friends are battling cancer, one of which entered a rehab facility two days ago since he is so weak. I received word that another friend was admitted to the hospital just last week due to stomach pain -he had been feeling normal but his pain turned out to be colon cancer. His health quickly spiraled this week and is now fighting for his life and on life support.

    Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Your story confirms that time is unknown and uncontrollable. I wish you health and thank you for your timely message. I need to enjoy and value my time -it is not infinite.

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