I have known since I was 9 years old that I have a warranty. I will live to at least 96. I had been diagnosed with scoliosis and my family acted like this was a tragedy. The doctor wanted to fuse my spine and put a rod in my back. If I refused, he assured my family that I would grow up to be an ugly cripple. During some quiet time, alone in my room, I demanded that the universe tell me what was really going on.
I found myself in a black marble courtroom with a judge who loved me very much. The judge said I didn’t need to get the surgery I would not grow up to be an ugly cripple. Since this judge seemed to know (and control) my future, I asked for a long life. The judge warned me that a long life is not always a blessing. He made me promise not to forget to love life. Then he promised me at least 96 years.
Silly me. I thought that meant 96 healthy active years. I was 9. I was healthy. I didn’t then know anybody who had experienced anything worse than a broken arm or leg. The kids got a cast put on them and they healed. I refused the surgery and I did not grow up to be an ugly crippled adult.
I didn’t take this as license to abuse my body or take unnecessary risks. I eat whole foods. I exercise daily. I stay active mentally and physically.
For over 60 years, this paid off. Then I got hit by a car. Not lethal, but enough to let me know that no precautions in the world are the same as protection. That 96 years might mean many years in a wheelchair. But I got my collar bone repaired. I got a new hip. I went to PT and I got my life back.
Two weeks ago I found a lump in my breast. I’ve had friends and relatives die of cancer. And before they died, they had surgeries and chemo and radiation and a generally painful miserable existence.
Since then I’ve been on the medical test circuit with injections and withdrawals and scans that mean fasting and lying still for half an hour. (I HATE needles!)
I decided to meditate which keeps my body fairly still. Afterwards the technician asked if I’d taken a sedative. Hah! I rode my bike there.
These folks scanned my entire body, looking for cancer. All they could find was the lump that I could feel. Then the surgeon made an appointment and took it out. The preliminary lab report said it was cancer. She took a couple of lymph nodes. They did not have cancer.
The lump has been sent to another lab for further testing. Later this week I’ll find out if I need radiation and / or chemo.
I’ve had 4 surgeries in the past 3 years, and I’m looking at more painful treatments. This is not the quality of long life I was hoping for at age 9. I see why some people forget to love life. It surprises me that I do not doubt that warranty. I will live through this.