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Enjoy Every Moment You Can January 25, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.

Woodstock-&-Snoopy3When I had a parotid gland tumor . . . I had to wait 3 months for the surgeon I wanted because he was changing hospitals.

Due to the tumor’s proximity to facial nerves, it could not be biopsied.

Odds were in favor of it being a benign tumor, but . . .

Anyway, I decided that if I had cancer, if I was going to die, I was going to enjoy the time I had left without worrying about the future.

It worked!  Those 3 months were among the BEST months of my life.

When people asked me how I could be so HAPPY with that uncertainty hanging over my head, I said, “If I’m going to die, I’m going to enjoy this time.”

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailOn the morning of surgery, I was chipper and happy despite the early-ness of the hour . . . even without my customary cup of coffee.

The nurses frowned, pointing out the serious nature of the coming events.

I laughed, “I know. It’s serious business, this surgery. I might die. All the more reason to enjoy the NOW.”

“We are HERE and it is NOW . . . what else is there?”

Stay positive. Imagine best case scenarios. Enjoy every moment you can.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Hold On To Your Worry Beads (The Folia) * Could We Just Not? (The Ramblings)


1. seeker - January 25, 2013

You are just the best and I will do the same. Live Life until your dying day.

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

I just added links to TWO other posts I ran across this morning on excising worry from our life ~ one on Tori’s blog and the other on The Folio (a new-to-me blog).

Worrying is a WASTE of time. Always.

2. vivinfrance - January 25, 2013

My own sentiments entirely.

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

I keep stumbling into posts on worrying . . . just added links to two at the bottom of this one. Very different, but similar benefits when we incorporate their suggestions.

Here’s to having a worry free day!

3. suzicate - January 25, 2013

Worrying is a waste of time…I hate to admit but I must remind myself when I am in the thralls of an upset.
Glad you’re ok and able to share your wisdom!

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

It is easy to get caught up and lost in our thoughts . . . especially the non-productive thoughts (like worry, anger, fear, guilt).

When we reclaim the remote, we can change the channel.

4. ericjbaker - January 25, 2013

I’m glad it all worked out for you… and the rest of us who still get to have you around!

It’s interesting. I’ve never been more relaxed than the two times I’ve gone in for surgery and had to sign the last-rites forms.

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Thanks, Eric! Yes . . . I felt so calm and peaceful while lying on the gurney . . . even BEFORE I got the really good drugs. 😉

5. Don - January 25, 2013

Nancy, does the moment and the attitude towards what you were going through then, still inspire you now in the present?

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Absolutely. That surgery was the turning point for me . . .

Since then, no matter what happens, I do my best to make the best of it. “How we relate to the issue IS the issue.”

6. Three Well Beings - January 25, 2013

Wow, Nancy! This is pretty amazing to me. I am a positive person, generally, but I think when it comes to health issues I tend to be less so. Much less so, if I’m willing to be honest! I’m really glad you shared this episode in your life as it stands as such a real example of choosing to be happy, despite something looming. I think I will read your posts with an even greater understanding and I thank you for that!

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

You are not alone, Debra. I think that when health issues “loom,” many are prone to worry first. And allow that worry to eclipse all else.

Learning to set that uncertainty aside and allow the present moment to unfold is the path to happiness.

7. dearrosie - January 25, 2013

I’m so glad I was able to pop over today and read your words of wisdom Nancy. I’m also a positive person but lately I’ve allowed health issues to pull me down… This post is going to help me to walk out my door with a different attitude… The path to happiness has been there all the time I just haven’t seen it.
An interesting question is why most of us allow feelings of depression and sadness to take over when we’re told we MAY have one week or one month left to live?

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

In some ways, I had it easy . . . as the health issues were not robbing me of quality of life in the present.

I think it’s harder when we are experiencing physical pain and limitations that prevent us from embracing our favorite things.

8. Piglet in Portugal - January 25, 2013

I admire you for being so positive at such a difficult time 🙂 Although I try not to worry about things and try and “live for today” sometimes it’s not always easy.

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

If it’s “just thoughts” getting in the way . . . it’s up to us to change the channel. If it’s pain or other physical limitations intruding, it’s harder.

For example, I could distract myself from worries by reading . . . but not if I couldn’t read because my eyesight was waning.

Piglet in Portugal - January 25, 2013

Good point!

9. katecrimmins - January 25, 2013

You posted this on my blog in response to my cancer post and I really admired your ability to deal with the fear. I get there but it takes me a little bit of time. Perhaps it’s like stages of grieving and you have to go through them. I had a friend with an inoperable sarcoma (very rare). She had it for 2 years with a death sentence of 5 until she found a doctor willing to operated. She had nothing to lose but a few years of a life that had a death sentence. Her story turned out good. I always admired her ability to keep it out of her life as well as she did although I am sure she had her 3 a.m. moments. She said you learn to live with it and enjoy what you have. We all have a death sentence hanging over us but most of us are fortunate not to know the expiration date. It’s way better that way and I’m glad that your story had a good ending too!

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Yes . . . I wrote it “just for you” and then decided to share it on SLTW. So glad that your cancer scare turned out to be nothing more than a “scare.” And glad that your friend had a happy ending too.

I did have a BRIEF grieving stage . . . but it only lasted a day. BFF’s words of wisdom helped. He reminded me that I might get hit by a bus ANY DAY, so there was no point worrying about something that might (or might not) happen 3 months down the road. That snapped me out of it.

10. kateshrewsday - January 25, 2013

You are right. Now is a very precious time.

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

It’s very easy to let Ego pull us into its negative orbit . . . so developing a few mental tricks to evade its grasp pays dividends.

11. artbyimi - January 25, 2013

Incredible. Enjoying every moment when life decides to kick you where it hurts. That’s pretty inspirational 🙂

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Loved your Anti-Worry post too . . . great of Tori to share it. 😀

And your painting of that pup . . . stunning!

12. Death, A Trip of a Lifetime « theseeker - January 25, 2013

[…] This is in response to Daily Prompt: Write your own Eulogy.  Come and join us, it’s fun.   Read this: Enjoy every moment you can […]

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

I didn’t think of this as a tie-in to the “write your own eulogy” prompt, but I guess they go together pretty well. Providing you’re still here to WRITE your own eulogy. 😉

13. bluebee - January 25, 2013

Glad it turned out to be a “scare” only 🙂

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Even after the surgery, I had to wait another 3 months because the tumor was “unique.” It had to be sent around to a number of different teaching hospitals until the pathologists reached a consensus . . . BENIGN.

14. diannegray - January 25, 2013

Nancy, you are amazing! From now on, I’m living life as if every day is my most precious. I love this philosophy! 😀

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Thanks, Dianne. Being more “Zen” in my approach to life helps immensely. There are still those ACK! moment . . . but they don’t last nearly as long and they don’t eclipse all the good.

15. Andra Watkins - January 25, 2013

I hope my aunt who died today had those same feelings in her final moments.

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Aww . . . sorry Andra. I hope so. Even if she left in PEACE, it’s still going to be hard for those she left behind to become acclimated to her absence. Change is tough on us.


16. sweetdaysundertheoaks - January 25, 2013

Nancy I remember this from when we were there in Florida last year. I was shocked and my jaw dropped how you handled it. Health stuff scares me to death although way deep down I just hope and know everything is going to be ok. But there are more times than not that if my worry button is on I just can’t turn it off. At least now I am aware of it and just working on changing what it does to me is better than doing nothing at all. I am amazed at the toll worrying takes on my body.

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

I surprised myself at the time. But it was one of the most valuable life lessons I’ve learned.

Worrying does take its toll on us ~ whatever we can do to distract ourselves is in our best interest. Telling ourselves NOT to worry doesn’t work. We must give ourselves something else to think about. Imagining best case scenarios, for example.

And, if at first we don’t succeed . . . we must try again. 😀

17. Catherine Johnson - January 25, 2013

That is so inspiring. Glad it all went well :0)

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Me too! But I wouldn’t change the experience now . . . having that tumor was one of the BEST things that ever happened to me. I learned so much from facing the uncertainty without letting it eclipse all the good that I had around me.

18. sufilight - January 25, 2013

I am so glad things went well, and this is very inspiring, Nancy. I am going to share this post with two friends of mine, Daisy and Michelle in the Philippines. Daisy has stage 3 breast cancer, but decided to face the fear of death with the help of Michelle in order to live. My friends said that the doctor was probably perplexed by them both remaining calm when he shared this diagnosis. Daisy is on a raw diet and is feeling good.

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Thanks, Marie. Please do. I think I told you about the woman I met last November who is writing a book about how she “cured” her breast cancer with a raw food diet AND the unwavering belief that she would survive. Best of luck to Daisy. Glad that Michelle is by her side.

sufilight - January 26, 2013

Yes, I remember that comment, and shared it with them. It helped them very much. I am going to look for a book on the Raw Food Diet and see if there is another author who also was cured of cancer so I can order it and ship it to them. Thanks for this reminder, Nancy!

nrhatch - January 26, 2013

Excellent idea. We would all be healthier if we ate better, exercised more, and worried less.

19. jannatwrites - January 25, 2013

You’re right – worry ruins today. I’m glad you didn’t let the ‘what-ifs’ get to you. I’m also glad that everything turned out okay so you could share your experience and wisdom with us all 🙂

nrhatch - January 25, 2013

Thanks, Janna. Glad to be here. 😀

Sometimes the “what ifs” roll in so fast and furious that they swamp us ~ for a time, anyway. As soon as we can, we must brush them aside and get on with the business of living HERE and NOW. The future will wait.

20. barb19 - January 26, 2013

Worrying is a total waste of energy, but we all do it – in spite of worrying about things that might not even happen.
Staying positive is the key, as you did at that very bad time of your life; good for you Nancy, and it paid off!

nrhatch - January 26, 2013

It did pay off. Knowing that I “might” die freed me to live more fully in the NOW. I stopped worrying about anything and everything and enjoyed the present. I do still worry . . . but I catch myself sooner and give my mind something else to think about.

21. souldipper - January 26, 2013

Right on, Nancy. I had to have a biopsy on my tongue and I realized that worrying or being negative would do nothing for the situation. It certainly wouldn’t cure me!

Good on ya!

nrhatch - January 26, 2013

Exactly! If “worry” gets us to the doctor for necessary tests or encourages us to exercise or eat right, that’s a productive use or the worry muscle. Prompting us to do what needs doing.

But, once we’ve done what we can do, worrying while we wait for results is non-productive ~ we should put the mind to better use.

Hope your situation resolves in a positive way, Amy.

souldipper - January 26, 2013

The biopsy proved negative, thanks, Nancy.

My friend who taught Nursing at a local college says we would be amazed at the wondrous growths that decide to grow inside us. “There can be many. They cause no problem, but just have to be watched,” she said as she listed all the tests she has to undergo annually. I walked away from our conversation feeling pink, glowing and healthy!

nrhatch - January 27, 2013

Yay! I get that feeling when I fill out a doctor questionnaire and am able to check “NO” to 50 or so conditions that do NOT plague me. :mrgreen:

22. deanabo - January 26, 2013

Facing surgery is scary. If you can be brave enough to laugh, I say go for it!

nrhatch - January 26, 2013

Thanks, Deana. At the time, I handled “medical malpractice” claims . . . and knew all the things that COULD go wrong, but probably wouldn’t.

23. Booksphotographsandartwork - January 26, 2013

I think this is how my mom is handling her situation now. That is something new for me to see. Plus I am a big worrier. I try not to but it’s difficult. For some odd reason I like to think I am in control and won’t die until I want to even though I have already had one near death experience.

nrhatch - January 26, 2013

What helped me was BFF’s comment that any of us could die any day from any number of things. So, unless we want to spend ALL our time worrying about what might, or might not, be coming around the bend, it pays to do something other than worry about things that are out of our control

Best of luck to your mom!

24. Grannymar - January 31, 2013

Nancy, you are a woman after my own heart. I like to live in the moment. For the past ten years I have lived with and around ischemic heart disease & unstable angina. I have come to terms with the fact that one day my heart may not recover from an attack. So what? I was privileged to be able to care for my husband through his terminal cancer and my only daughter is now married and independent of me
Three years ago I needed to have my hip replaced, Elly was in Italy and not due home for a few days. I forbade her to cut short the trip. Farewell Dear Hilda is a blog post from the day of surgery.

nrhatch - January 31, 2013

Good for you, Grannymar. No matter how healthy we are (or aren’t), none of us know how long we have left ~ so we must make the most of TODAY. 😀

Grannymar - January 31, 2013

Better to go out laughing than to die in a corner whining.

nrhatch - January 31, 2013

Exactly! I hope I go in my sleep . . . with a smile on my face.

25. Pocket Perspectives - February 6, 2013

I learned to live with a sense of celebration after a growth was found 22 years ago…I chose to monitor rather than have it operated on, due to it being near/in the brain. Even in the initial sense of shock, I had an incredibly deep sense of appreciation for each and every day…such a wake up call. I’ve been accessing that steadiness and sense of appreciation for the past month, as I’ve waited through several tests/biopsies etc… and just yesterday found out that ALL 3 locations are okay…what a gift of time and life that is! What precious lessons we have available for us… as your words and experiences clearly show! 😀

nrhatch - February 6, 2013

Yay! That is GREAT to hear, Kathy.

It is good to strive to thrive in the midst of uncertainty . . . but GOOD NEWS is always a pleasure to hear.

26. Christine Grote - February 22, 2013

Good advice indeed. My mother was a terrific example of it. From the moment of her diagnosis of cancer she shed her worry and bitterness and became a pleasant person again. So sad it was for such a short time.

nrhatch - February 22, 2013

The realization that our time is truly limited helps with the paradigm shift . . . so glad that your mother made the most of her last weeks here.

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