Funny, cancer changes your whole perspective of time. Some dates are imprinted on my brain now. Date of my diagnosis- March 29, 2001. Date of cytoreduction surgery-May 16, 2001. Date of my last IV chemo-January 22, 2002.

Before cancer I assumed I’d retire and contemplate death maybe in my 80s after I’d finished my life’s work. No more. I don’t plan far into the future. It shows up in small ways all the time. I bought a water heater today. Did I want the 6 or 12 year warranty, they asked? Did I want to pay more for a water heater that twelve years from now was more likely to function? Who contemplates a future 12 years away, especially the future of something as insignificant as a water heater? The idea was as ludicrous to me as contemplating prepaying insurance on my house for 500 years. I bought the water heater with the minimum warranty.

I now sometimes accidentally start writing the date of the new year BEFORE January 1st, I never did that before cancer. In all the years before cancer I dated checks with the prior year for about a month. Not any more.

I no longer take the future for granted, at least not the future in this world. Six years later, I still live one day at a time. I think short term. It gets in the way sometimes…making future commitments is really difficult sometimes.

Cancer forever alters your perception of time. You never take the future for granted again.