How Much Is Your Life Really Worth?

My payments started small. I gave my hair, my strength, and my sense of wellbeing

I’d like you to take a moment to think over an important question.

How much value do you place on your life? Or, let me ask you another way, what payment would you make to live? What would you consider the appropriate cost of your survival?

I’m not talking about monetary value. Death doesn’t work in currency. I’m talking about something much more precious that that.

Would you pay with your dignity? Your looks perhaps? How about your strength? Would you use your career as payment? What about your hobbies? Would you offer up your sense of self or your body image? What about parts of your body? Would you offer up some of your organs or your limbs?

At what point would the payment get too much? At what point would you choose to not pay the fee and to finally offer up your life instead?

It’s a question we don’t ever expect to have to answer, however, it’s a question most cancer warriors face at some point in their journey. Every choice about survival comes at a price, an adjustment, a sacrifice, a new way of living.

In this exchange between life and death we discover who we are. We discover what truly matters to us and, above all, we discover that the most valuable thing we possess is not our looks, our career, our house or our possessions. It is being alive. It is life itself.

You see, in reality, nothing else matters. The purpose of life is to live with joy and kindness and love in our hearts in all that we do. This knowledge is what cancer gave me in return for the payments I made. Today, I am living the best and most fulfilling days of my life not in spite of cancer, but because of it!

My payments started small. I gave my hair, my strength, and my sense of wellbeing. I exchanged my hobbies, my career and even some friendships. The payment demands constantly grew. Before long I was exchanging organs for my life. These payments came with hidden charges and I continued to pay with my pain, fatigue and weakness. Were the payments worth it?

Sometimes I thought they weren’t. Sometimes I thought I couldn’t take it any more. I wanted out. I wanted to stop these payments, these exchanges. At these moments I was gifted love and kindness and hope from those around me. This made the payments easier and, in the end, the people I love made the payments worth it.

The resulting gift of my own life, the gift of waking up each morning and welcoming a new day, of knowing what the true meaning of life is, of knowing what matters most to me in the whole world is worth every single second of pain; every moment of fear; every breath of despair. This is what life is and it’s up to us to live it.

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