South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Healthy Living: We’re all living on borrowed time


We’re all living on borrowed time

In 2019, when in my early 80s, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst survival rates of all cancers. Statistically only 4.5% of patients with pancreatic cancer are alive five years after the diagnosis. I am living on borrowed time.

Intellectually, I realize that I am not immortal. Emotionally, when I think of death, it is somewhere in the vague, distant future.

The author John M. Ford said, “We’re all living on borrowed time. The trick is to come up with works of sufficient interest to pay off the debt.”

I am an octogenarian. How can I pay off the debt?

Fortunately, I have the opportunity to write a monthly column for a leading newspaper in the area, The Call. I have an opportunity to influence readers to step outside their comfort zones and to challenge themselves to explore, to innovate.

Last month I wrote about increasing one’s political awareness. Perhaps, I have influenced someone to become a great statesman.

One of my first columns was about going skydiving on my 70th birthday. This was a long-time goal of mine, which I finally achieved. Perhaps, I have influenced someone to achieve a long-standing goal.

I have written my life’s story for my children and grandchildren. Readers have been encouraged to do the same in columns I have written. I also have encouraged readers to write their obituary. This way you and not another can specify how you wish to be remembered. I have written mine.

In past columns I have written about keeping oneself physically fit. I have told readers how my wife and I attend HouseFit to get the exercise that seniors require.

Several of my columns have discussed the importance of developing good communication skills. I am a past member of Toastmasters, an organization that aided me to improve my communication skills. These skills were very helpful to me as an attorney and later as a state representative.

Remember, there will come a day when you shall take your last breath. The journey from birth to death is relatively short.

Each of us is living on borrowed time. How we choose to live it is in our control. What works of sufficient interest will you do to pay off this debt of borrowed time?