“I Don’t Want to Die with Unused Frequent Flyer Miles” and Other Lessons From My Friend’s Cancer Diagnosis


Follow the path of feeling good about life. (Image: Amy Spencer, Deep Hollow Ranch, Montauk)

My friend Stephen has cancer. I  found out about it a month ago, and it was a shock to hear, as he’s one of those yoga-loving, meditating, juicing health nuts. But as he posted on his blog recently:

Q:  How did I end up getting cancer?

A:  F*** if I know.

Ah yes, his blog. Stephen is a photographer, but he just started a blog called Fear of Beauty about a month ago, and it’s one of the most honest and beautifully written sites I’ve been lucky enough to read, so I wanted to let you know about it. There are two posts in particular that made me think of you — you, who may be seeking  thoughts on how to see your life or love life in a more positive way.

The first is his recent post, “A Drop of Poison,” which tells the story of a little road rage. Well, in this  case, a little parallel parking rage. What happens when someone pisses you off and you’re able to come up with the perfect little zinger to get them back? Well, you feel awesome. For a minute. And then you realize what our go-to anger like that is really all about.

But I’m also moved by his post “Realizations,” a list of things that Stephen has come to learn since his cancer diagnosis. It’s a wonderful “life is short” reminder for living up today. Because, really, what are you saving those frequent flyer miles for?

Use what you have: Light the candle. Pour that gift bottle of bubble bath into the tub. Eat the box of chocolates. Spend the gift certificate. Fill the photo album. Crack the binding on that notepad. Open the paints. Kiss the boy. Drink the champagne.

You never know what tomorrow brings, and as Stephen’s beautiful blog can remind us , today is pretty perfect day to reach down into your healthiest, kindest, most grateful self and start making the most of what you have.