Nobody Can Ever Predict When You Are Going To Die, Even If You Have Cancer

When we are told that we have cancer, it is ubiquitous for us to think that we were delivered a death sentence.  Yes, it is true that some of us will eventually die from cancer, but many of us will die from some other problem.   

One of the most common responses we have when hearing about our cancer diagnosis is to ask our doctor, “How long do I have left to live?”  Not only is this one of the most common questions asked, but it is also the most unpopular and unanswerable questions that we ask our doctors.

There is only one universally correct response, “I don’t know.”  No doctor, nurse or consultant can know when any of us will die.  We all do know that at some point we will die, but we never know when or what will bring about our demise. 

None of us have an expiration date stamped on our head!

Death is a sure thing, but when and by what means is never a thing we can know in advance.  Yes, having a cancer diagnosis, especially having an advanced and aggressive cancer does increase our risk for an earlier death, but an increase in the risk of death and dying is not the same.  Only time will provide us the answer.

When he was still a graduate student in 1963, the well known scientist-philosopher Dr. Stephen Hawkins was told by his doctors that he had two years left before he should expect to die.  Dr. Hawkins passed away in Marchh of 2018, 55 years after he was told that he had only two years left.  We believe that the doctors who told Dr. Hawkins that he had only two years died many years before his demise! 

Yes, you have cancer, but there is NO way to know how long you have left to walk this earth.  Is it a good idea to live each day as if it is your last?  Yes, it is, but living your life with that in mind is the way everyone should live, whether or not you have cancer. 

Having cancer or not, nobody knows when they will die.