I think that I am finding the middle sections of the book less compelling. But then I began to wonder about my reaction. These were life lessons from a college professor who, from the reading, did not necessarily have a life-threatening illness. Since my motivation was to read the journal of a fellow cancer patient, those parts about his life outside of cancer did not have as strong an appeal for me. But I think that had to do more with my expectations than with the material.
Randy was a teacher. He was a man with a terminal illness. And his object was to set about laying down “lessons learned”. Those lessons reflected his personality, his upbringing, his inclinations and biases. In short they were a reflection of the sum of his life, of the person he was. I think many of us, if the terminality of our disease were imminent, might feel the compulsion to respond to such an opportunity. For many this is one of things that lies in our motivation for blogging. To let the world know what we are thinking and feeling as we encounter this brush with our own mortality.
His cancer really did help him to focus though. In “I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me…” he offers advice that we as cancer patients can readily connect with. “Time must be explicitly managed,” “You can always change the plan, but only if you have one,” and “Are you spending your time on the right things?”
What did you think? Please feel free to leave your comments below. (I will be announcing July’s book club selection later today on the Book Club page or in tomorrow’s post)
Next Reading Assignment: finish the book – “It’s About How to Live Your LIfe” and “Final Remarks” about 78 pages.
Discussion Questions: Your reactions to this “Somehow, with the passage of time, and the deadlines that life imposes, surrendering becomes the right thing to do.” Does this apply to anything you have gone through?
Have you been able to use the concept of “Paying it forward” (helping someone else because someone helped you at a crucial time – paying a debt ‘forward’ instead of paying it ‘back’) (Chapter 44-“Show Gratitude”)
In “A Way to Understand Optimism” Randy talks about the trap of feeling guilty about your progress or lack of progress with cancer because you think that maybe you weren’t posiotve enough. Was this ever an issue with you? Did other people suggest that you had to be positve or else?
What do you think about the concept of ’emotional insurance’ in the chapter “The Input of Others”?
Your reactions to “Final Remarks”..???