Carpe Diem

Marc - Yuma, Arizona
Entered on September 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“Carpe Diem”. Seize the day. Although it is a phrase that was coined centuries ago, it is a practice, or belief, that many people still acknowledge today; it especially holds true to me. It is not completely possible to live my life without worries, doubts, or fears, but I do my best to put them in the back of my mind. As I see it, I only get one chance to live and I’m better off taking full advantage of that time while it’s available. I believe that if you live your life with regrets instead of learning from your mistakes, or cowering in fear in the face of opposition instead of taking risks and overcoming those obstacles, then you will never experience life to its fullest potential. However, this doesn’t mean I am completely careless; I just know my limitations.

It’s been roughly about 4 years since I was diagnosed with Leukemia and honestly, lots of my life seems like a blur because of it. The countless road trips from my home in Arizona to my second, less pleasant home in California; the ongoing pill consumption and injection of needles; the long list of blood donors who saved my life; the routine check-ups; the surgeries; the side-effects; and the time lost I will never regain. It is unbelievable how a few words I never expected to hear from a doctor I had never met before changed my entire life in the blink of an eye.

I openly admit that the treatment and side-effects were undeniably the worst experience of my life, but getting cancer was not. I have experienced more in a few years than many people will ever in their entire lifetimes. I can’t even begin to explain how much I have learned and taken from what many would call a tragedy. Getting cancer has made me more courageous, stronger, and given a new meaning to my life. I have never lashed out or said, “Why did this have to happen to me?”. I cannot change the past. Other than the occasional check-up, it is over and done with so what do I have to be angry about? It’s a part of me now and I accept it, even embrace it.

As I stated in the beginning, cancer gave me a new outlook on life. Any day my life could change for the worse, so I’m always trying to do what I can to better myself and make the best out of everything. I live each like it’s my last. I’m always trying new things no matter how dangerous or crazy they are because I like seeing things on a different level. I don’t fear death because it’s just a natural part of life and my time on Earth could end at any moment. Life is random and sometimes harsh. I know this and am thankful for that because otherwise, I might just be another kid letting his life pass him by. No regrets. No fears. You only get one chance at life. Take advantage of it.