A few weeks after I completed treatment for my first cancer I joined friends for lunch. The conversation soon turned to early retirement plans among those who had government jobs.
As I listened, I couldn’t help wondering if planning for retirement was something I had to concern myself about. I was still focusing on getting through the days from one post-treatment follow up appointment to the other. It was easier living in each day, not projecting, getting done whatever I needed and wanted to do was enough for me.
Short-term planning, such as how to get my strength back and fulfilling personal and business commitments made prior to my diagnosis were all I was a able to manage in the weeks and months that followed treatment. Long term planning didn’t enter my mind; yet I knew I had to plan for the future as if I expected to have one. I began small, with goals for growing my business that could be accomplished within 6 months (my time between doctor visits) and personal activities…a short vacation or a long overdue visit to a friend. My planning time expanded as the space between doctor visits grew farther apart. Six months of planning became a year.
During the years between my cancers, the trick became balancing living in each day with planning for the future. Not so easy…good health and years of being cancer-free made me more confident about planning. I began to plan like someone who had never had a life-threatening illness. When my second cancer was discovered, it was time for a refresher course in living in each day, but still planning for the future. It’s easier the second time around…I’m back in the groove!