For the past 6 years I've felt as though I have been living on the edge of death. Or perhaps the edge of life, depending on how you look at it. Either way, living with metastatic cancer is "living on the edge". I tend not to share many of my thoughts about this dimension of the journey. It is not the kind of thinking that people normally want to engage in. But it is the kind of thinking that late-stage cancer survivors are drawn to. At least occasionally.
I can't imagine any cancer survivor who hasn't delved a little into the "existential questions" of life and death. For those of us with metastatic or recurrent cancers, these questions become more pressing. To avoid them is to live in denial of our mortality.
"Is death something so terrible and absurd that we are better off not thinking or talking about it? Or...
Is it possible to befriend our dying gradually and live open to it? Trusting that we have nothing to fear.
Is it possible to prepare for death with the same attentiveness that our parents had in preparing for our birth?"
Henri Nouwen "Our Greatest Gift"
Beginning in July, I will have the opportunity to explore these and other questions in a new program I am facilitating at InspireHealth, Vancouver's integrated cancer care center. "Living on the Edge" will be a small support group for "late-stage" cancer survivors. Themes explored will include: facing death; accepting our mortality; getting the most out of THIS life; doing what is life-giving; finding friends for the journey; engaging family and friends; and life after death, to name but a few.
If you're interested you can start by reading some of my previous posts on death and dying... here.
Be well... Rob; in Vancouver