I Believe in Living Everyday to the Fullest

Carley - San Diego, California
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
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When I was eighteen years old, I went in to my Doctor for a chest x-ray due to a positive Tuberculosis test. I did not have TB, but a strange nodule 8 cm long showed up on the radiograph in my left lungs lower lobe. My Doctor was concerned, he said the nodule is probably nothing but in the chance it could be cancer, tons of tests were ran on me.

I spent five days waiting for the tests results. I just keep thinking there are so many things I want to do and experience (this, of course, was me assuming that I had cancer and not much time to live).I thought, I still have to graduate high school and I want to visit the Monterey Aquarium and see Alcatraz and drive the entire length of the 101 highway. I started to make a list of all of the things to that I still wanted to do, my list was very long.

On the fourth day of waiting for the results, I realized that my list was all very superficial things. It was full of places I wanted to visit, things I wanted to buy. Nothing on the list would leave behind who I really was. I was a happy person, I loved to play sports, and help in my community. So why would my entire list of things I wanted to do before I die consist of things I had never really wanted to do till now? I thought about this for most of the day and finally I came to the conclusion that just being me, the way I had been for eighteen years is enough to know that my life was fulfilling and left an impact on the world.

If I died two weeks or even two years from the time I got the tests results back I was certain that I would have lived my life to the fullest, even at such a young age. Life’s not about traveling all over the world or buying everything under the sun, life’s about being happy, enjoying everyday, family, and doing things for others.

My results came back the fifth day of waiting and the nodule was nothing to worry about, just a small calcification. I was so relieved, no cancer. This was a very scary experience for me, but I learned a lot from it. It taught me that living everyday to the fullest is about being yourself, having a smile on your face so that you can brighten someone else day. I still have the list I made while waiting for my tests results, maybe some things will get crossed off in the future. For now I am just trying to live everyday happy, helpful, and enjoyable.