The Specialness of Caregivers
ELDER MUSIC: I Don't Want to Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes

A Reverse Bucket List

Not many people with pancreatic cancer survive for long. As a reminder, here is how I explained my condition after surgery:

”The tumor was determined to be 'clean at the margins' - that is, cancer had not escaped the pancreas.

”In addition, 17 lymph nodes touching the pancreas were removed and tested for cancer cells; two were positive. Here is what that means for me.

”There are types of chemotherapy to treat this cancer and I will meet with a medical oncologist about that sometime in the next month or two. According to my surgeon and his team, a few people respond to this treatment and live up to ten more years.

”Sounds good except that 80 percent in my circumstance who take this treatment are dead from the disease in five or fewer years. Numbers may vary from other sources but not enough to talk about.”

Yes, as some TGB readers have noted, statistics are not destiny, but they can't be ignored and further, they can certainly be used as one kind of guide when life throws up such a devastating bump in the road as this.

For now, a month since surgery, I am seeing small improvements in daily life. I'm generally pain free now, am finally catching on to how I need to eat for the foreseeable future and I've learned not to scrimp on rest. The smallest exertions still deplete me of energy so I nap a lot.

The many rest and sleep periods have given me plenty of time consider what I want to do with the time remaining to me – whether a year or two or a decade.

I don't have anywhere near a complete answer, but I do have this: a strong suggestion of one's shortened mortality makes it easy to ditch projects you were not all that interested in to begin with while shedding guilt about not keeping up with the zeitgeist.

Most of what I have so far added to my list to ignore relate to technology.

ITEM: I have now absolved myself of learning to text. It's too hard to hit those itty-bitty letters on my phone and in general, I don't have anything to say in what's meant to be a short format. “Hi there – thinking of you” doesn't strike me as meaningful communication.

ITEM: Given the extraordinary number of videos, news reports, promotions, reviews, actor interviews and more, it is clear that Game of Thrones has become a cultural icon of enormous proportions, something anyone who pretends to knowledge of American pop culture must be familiar with.

Although I have deduced that GoT is a television program (are there books too?), I have zero knowledge of what makes it noteworthy and now I don't have to try to figure it out.

ITEM: “They” are now at it again, telling us in recent months that virtual reality and augmented reality are the next big thing. (I suppose that's why Google Glass failed so spectacularly and was pulled from the market two years ago.) This new iteration has yet to materialize and I'm ignoring it – happy to go to my grave steeped in the real world.

ITEM: And I've stopped feeling guilty about my deficiencies – based on dislike – in Facebook and Twitter. Yes, I know that a billion people on earth use FB. That doesn't mean I must and I use it minimally to accommodate readers of this blog. Beyond that, I'm done with thinking I really should put my mind to mastering it.

As for Twitter, there is nothing I have to say in 140 characters or fewer that is worth anyone's time. And I have blacklisted Twitter's daily emails telling me how to “get more people to pay attention to me.” That wasn't a goal in my life before my diagnosis and certainly not now.

It feels great to free myself of these “shoulds” and they are just the tech-related items. I've also made peace, for example, with the idea that I am unlikely to re-read all of Shakespeare before I die. And I have a tentative list of other items I'm considering adding to what I now think of as my reverse bucket list.

How about you?


I wish you well, Ronnie, and I hope you will find a treatment plan that allows you comfort and a longer life than you thought possible. I had a friend who lived 8 years after his diagnosis.

A wise list, btw I agree with most. I do like to tweet. 😄👵🏻🌼

I understand completely, being in a similar situation myself.

I have given up reading fiction, which seems incongruous to me, being a retired school librarian. Occasionally I'll read the short stories in the New Yorker, but that's about it.

However, I've come to hate, in a way, the time I have to keep up with "current events" (or fake news, as our feckless leader would say) For example, one of the latest topics I've read about in several sources is the Sinclair News Group. Absolutely insidious.

Amen and Amen!

Most phones that have a text feature also have a voice feature where you just say what you want to text. Check your manual, Ronni. Less frustrating than typing on those little keys.

If I might gently throw this out there; reading cancer statistics is very misleading because cancer treatment is successfully changing SO fast. i.e., statistics are based on a length of time, and what might have been true when any specific statistic was printed, doesn't mean it's true today. i.e., also, that means just because it says 80%, doesn't mean it's 80% today. It might be only 60% or 40%. Ask a couple of Oncologists or even online support groups for your particular cancer; you will find many people are beating those odds today.

Just food for thought.

I have a personality that tends to be skeptical of most trendy things, and I think I have commented on other posts here to say that I have no bucket list, for a number of reasons. So, although I do not have to work through a forward or reverse bucket list, I have a lot of other things to do before I will feel prepared to shuffle off my mortal coil.

Earlier this week a woman with whom I used to be fairly close when our children were very young, but hadn't seen in decades, died suddenly and unexpectedly from a blood clot. She was 67, the same age as me, and had recently retired after 25 years of teaching. She had only one child, who, also suddenly and unexpectedly, was faced with making funeral arrangements and dealing with all sorts of things he had probably never expected.

Leaving others in this situation chills me much more than contemplating my death, and I've got a lot of work to do yet to avoid leaving that burdensome legacy.

Ronni, glad you are recovering well after your surgery.
The 'reverse' bucket list put a name to what I've done since reaching age 75. Life is really enjoyable when not running to keep up with a rapidly changing world.

You go girl ! For me, I was told by one of my kids this week that he figured this would be the place I'd live the rest of my life (however long that might be.) I was shocked to think that! Not that I'd thought of moving, but suddenly the apartment seemed so permanent. Maybe I'd better get to unpacking the remaining boxes! I've sort of camped out for two years, with several serious bouts of illness interrupting my settling in. OK, time to make this home!

Ronnie, I am sure that your current situation has given many of us (readers) some food for thought about our lives and what we would do if confronted with a diagnosis as soul searching as yours. And, although I have not come to any conclusions I know that a bucket list would be too restrictive. So, perhaps in times like this it is better to narrow one's perspective and concentrate on what really makes you happy. For me, it's getting up every morning and following the same basic routine I have been doing for most of my life. The very thought of me being able to do this tomorrow and the tomorrow's thereafter brings me great solace.

Oh YES! The real news is right where we are, in this very moment, and now in this very moment. The way the light comes through the window, a budding flower, the cat's whiskers. And doing as much as we can of what we truly love, rather than the "shoulds" and "oughtas," that's where the moments of clear joy come alive. This isn't just a fine way for elders to live, or when we are contemplating our deaths, (the Tibetan word for body, "lu," means "that which is left behind.") I think it is wise and fulfilling at any age.

I used to feel ashamed that I wasn't more than a little techno savvy, or in the know about the latest film, world day I woke up and realized that what's important to me is painting, drawing, gardening, animals, reading, writing, not screens and buttons. That we all are more brightly lit in one area than another. So be it. We are all blessed, whatever we do and wherever we are on the path.

Thanks for sharing. I really like the concept of a reverse bucket list. "Shoulds" must go....
I think if I were bold enough I'd want to play more and do what I want to do when I want to do it! Perhaps this chapter of our lives is meant to fall in love with ourselves. As I write this I'm judging myself and mindreading what each of you might also be thinking as you read these lines!

Ronni dear

You are not different from other people: the only thing we have is the present day, the present moment. The past passed and the future is a question.

The best thing to do is to enjoy every day we have doing things you like and helping people when you can. And do not pay much attention to our miseries. We are very happy having the resources and the friends that many people to not have.

Take care of your day.



A wise friend once told me "Don't *should* on yourself, and don't let anyone else *should * on you, either." An excellent mantra for a reverse bucket list!

As usual I agree with you completely. Have a great w/end. Dee:):)

Dear Ronni, your courage and your originality are a blessing. Thanks for sharing this excellent idea. I use something similar on a much smaller scale... a "To Don't" list I keep in conjunction with my "To Do" list. For example, "To Do" is "clear winter clothes out of my closet" but "To Don't" is "spend hours rethinking everything in my closet." Hugs and best wishes from Betsy

Your reverse bucket list looks much like my current lifestyle although for different reasons. Augmented reality is an exception, since it was the basis of a smartphone game I was playing as far back as 2012. I'm addicted to my regular cable TV (not going to subscribe to another channel just to watch Thrones) and laptop computer, but that's about it. I don't even use my smartphone for phone calls. It's primarily for navigating, keeping notes and contact information, and in case of emergency away from home. The biggest change in the last 6 months is weaning myself from Washington news and those channels that can't seem to talk about anything else. It's depressing and exhausting and I just don't need that.

Dear Ronnie, A few years ago I wrote about my bucket list in my blog and haven't looked at it since. I like your idea of a reverse bucket list!

Clearly at 74 with heart failure I'm living one: for awhile I haven't written for the blog; I don't read every damn article about the current president, his family and his band of thieves; I toss books back to the library if I'm not interested in the first chapter and I don't finish articles like the one I copied to you; I no longer pay attention to statistics about heart failure since as my son reminded me that I don't fit those statistics. I have a glass of wine when I'm with others and sometimes when I'm alone if I choose.

I've never liked running to answer the phone and still don't - half the time I have to look for mine. I do text because I like it as a way to communicate with family while they are at work so they can choose to look or not and respond or not. I like seeing the pictures they text and I like texting pictures to them. Other than that I have no idea how to use most "apps" on the smarter than I am phone except to play scrabble. And I do ask others to put the damn phone or tablet down when in my home.

I started to clean out stuff when I moved into this small house a few years ago. Recently I said to a friend I'm cleaning out my fabric stash and art supply stash so my kids don't have to. My friend replied, "Why? let them deal with it." Duh. So I spend more time in my garden and worry less if I use my debit card to buy plants. And so forth and so on.

Thanks for being who you are and carry on! Marian

I've never had a bucket list, I have just moved along in life and done my wish list..which equals my no regrets list. Enjoy all your "nows" Ronni...kick that bucket to the curb ;-)

"Should, Would, Could" have been banned from my vocabulary for years now.
those handy excuses, " I should have done this, I could have done that, if only I would do (fill in the blank) - all would be perfect,... "
by eliminating those phrases, my life has become much simpler and so much happier.

Once again, Ronni, you have come up with thoughts and reasoning that are outstanding.

Lots of wisdom in your post today! Lots! And more in the comments.

I'm working on giving up the news, tv, blogs, whatever. Goal is 1 day a week, do a catch up. It's enough. Make room for what I love, art, reading, getting back to walking.

So glad you're feeling better Ronni! ✨🌺✨

Brilliant, Ronni!

Ah..I thought I was the last person on earth NOT on Facebook. I seem to get along just fine in the world without sharing what I had for lunch or vacation photos with people I rarely see in person.
My life is fine without it and anyways I'm trying to spend less time on the computer, iPad, or phone not more.

I loved the "To Don't vs. the To Do" comment. Makes a lot of sense. I have a little magnet on my frig that says
cliche but its a good thing to remember when I'm on the fence about something and I ask myself the question "does this make me happy?"

Roz Chast a cartoonist for the New Yorker has a great cartoon titled "Everyday Hospice". Google it and it will pop up. Another bit of valuable philosophy.
Ronni sharing your thoughts on these topics I think makes all of us just a little bit more appreciative of our days. Fondly and with genuine gratitude for your insights

Excellent idea - after my mom moved into assisted/memory care living, I took on several of her projects to add to my own list. This past spring, I sold my house, put a few things in storage and moved full-time into my RV to follow my dream of traveling the USA. During that process, I decided which projects to keep and which to get rid of - YEAH! What freedom to realize I don't have to finish my mom's old projects and I could get rid of a bunch of my own. Regarding learning new technology - I understand - I don't have a twitter account and am not interested in getting one - just another thing to learn. I do text because my children do - but I prefer phone calls, actually talking with someone. Thank you for sharing with all of us how you are choosing going forward and enjoying the gift of each day. I agree with Tera, I am grateful for you sharing and insights.

Love the Reverse Bucket List! We could all take the hint to fill our time with joyful things, and let the angst go, as best we can.

There is nothing like staring the Grim Reaper in the face to force us to get our priorities right. My recent experience of facing the Reaper down has made me stop "sweating the little things". It's amazing how much stress that took out of my life.

While I am unable physically to do some of the things I had planned on doing if I were given a time table for departing this life, I can still do more book reading than dusting. I stopped having a project a day and that has freed me from being tied to a "should".

I no longer feel obligated to do anything I don't want to tackle. I try to savor each day and find at least one thing to do that I will enjoy. I suppose I am saying that I have allowed myself to be selfish without guilt. don't have to die from cancer. Please check out the Budwig protocol. There is a yahoo forum with many cases of cured cancer. Chemo and radiation are not always the way to go, in my opinion never the way to go. The cost of chemo drugs 20,000 per month per pt. is the reason there will never be a cure for cancer. Can you imagine what would happen to the cancer industry if there were a cure? Run for the cure and pink ribbons have been around for far to long. Just sayin!

Your thoughts on the reverse list are very freeing and so appropriate to all of us really. Here's hoping that you continue to free yourself from all the self talk that creates more burdens than peace. In so doing you will inevitably help in your healing. Stress or even the hint of "should's" are real downers. May you add years with every item you add to your reverse list.

AS usual, thank you all. I've been wondering why I'm so happy lately, with the wretches running the country, and I realize I'm doing pretty much what everyone is talking about here.

I had cataract surgery, and my two adult children went with me. They took ridiculous pictures of me in my little mushroom hat and wrapped like a mummy, and we laughed a lot. I was so grateful to have them (not to mention full sight in the right eye. Can't wait to do the other one!). And what will I do with this vision? Carry on puttering in the garden, especially since I can see the colors, reading, yoga, etc.

You have struck on a great idea for any of us that can relate. I never cared for a bucket list but I am all for a reverse one. I applaud your choices & will include them on mine.
So glad recovery is coming along. Love your brain. It is working just fine.

Agree with you 100% on not feeling obliged to keep up with any technology or popular culture that doesn't appeal. Never watched GoT, don't intend to - hell, I hardly watch any current TV shows - only movies, and mostly old ones at that. I still listen to CDs and the radio - don't want to start learing about podcasts and creating electronic collections of my favorite music - I like to read the liner notes on CD covers (although they aren't as good as LP album liner notes!!)

With arthritis destroying my knees, I have given up most forms of dance (which were my passion) and hiking - learning to love different forms of low-/non-impact exercise. This also affects how I travel - another passion that I've had to modify.

It's just time to live life differently, try other new ways of doing things that give me joy.

love and continued recovery and joy to you, Ronni!

A reverse bucket list is a great idea. That, combined with Betsy's idea of the "To Don't" list (in the comments above) and my own gut-instincts has helped spawn a number of categories for me today. There's "Oh Hell NO!" And there's "Not a chance..." And "Nahhh" and "No way," among others. Take sky-diving... please. It has a place on all of those lists and more, whereas "Take piccolo lessons" only has a place on "Nahhh."

Thanks for opening my eyes to the benefits of the reverse bucket list.

Ronni: I read this just after you posted it, and I come back to see all these comments! I relate to this. Some changes I made after diagnosis: I resigned as editor of a newsletter! I stopped being nice to my obnoxious brother in law! I hired someone to clean my houseI I don't cook unless I feel like it!
One problem I have, though, is that I am not good at asking others to do things for me. I am not bossy, and I often cope with things I shouldn't out of embarrassment at having to ask for favors.

Your reverse bucket list is mine as well, Ronni, with the exception of texting, which I perforce must do in order to communicate with my millennial daughter, niece & nephew who will use the telephone only in extremis. But Facebook, Twitter, Game of Thrones, colonizing Mars along with Elon Musk -- these are all things I have no desire to do, so there's no sacrifice involved.

And as S commented above, I am determined to not leave a "burdensome legacy" that my only child has to deal with after I go. There is nothing like illness to concentrate the mind. I feel as though I've spent the past decades of my life aquiring useless "stuff" only to have arrived at the point of wanting to dispense with everything and live my remaining time in minimalist simplicity. When I was in college (back in the days of yore) I remember distinctly feeling that I never wanted to own so much stuff that I couldn't pack it all in my car and drive away with an afternoon's notice. Yet here I sit, knowing there are not one, but two cherry pitters in the kitchen junk drawer. Absurd. I like the idea of a reverse bucket list -- it conveys a kind of freedom.

Your recovery thus far has been, to this reader, pretty amazing. Long, long may it continue!

Ditto and ditto and ditto again.
Special thanks to Ronni, Bruce, Betsy and Patty-in-New-York

Ronni such an interesting post, though I did have to look up the word zeitgeist. :-) I can appreciate the attitude and thoughts expressed. I still have a flip phone and blocked texting a long time ago. I tell our daughter I would spend all my time cleaning fingerprints off a phone like hers. LOL

I totally agree with not trying to read all of Shakespeare, but if you've never read Primo Levi, the Italian Holocaust survivor and chemist, do try his when you feel like reading again. It is a brilliant memoir of his life conceived in chapters named after the elements. He starts with Argon, the inert gas for his upbringing in Turin, where his Jewish family "didn't interact" with the larger society and ends with a dazzling chapter on Carbon -- essentially a meditation on the carbon cycle that creates and maintains life. There is only one chapter about his time in Auschwitz, so the book is really an upper not a downer.

He also has 3 volumes of memoirs from that camp, which are amazing in their own way, but is his masterpiece. I always hoped he would get the Nobel Prize.

A reverse bucket list--what a concept! I love it. I gave up on a series of smartphones almost from the start and have zero interest in Game of Thrones--whatever it may be besides a TV show.

As far as getting rid of "stuff" goes, I'm working on it but just in case this task isn't finished before I am, I've left a note in front of my "Survivor Folder". Along with some basic info, it lists the phone number of our local junk removal company. There will be nothing in our home of significant monetary value. They can take anything they want, but it would be a LOT easier to have it disappear in the 3-4 hours it would take the junk removal folks to do the job!

My reverse bucket list is increasing as I age and it is freeing. Camping was the first to go. At my last political demonstration, I waited in a long line for a Porta-Potty, and said never again. There are other ways to voice your opinion. I have also gladly given up shoes or clothing that are uncomfortable. I recently read a description of a woman, “She dresses like someone who used to care but one day just said, F…. it”. If not now, then when.

I like the idea of a reverse bucket list. The treatment options/outcomes offer much hope for optimism. I would believe, truly believe in this hope. I keep you in my prayers. Love the blog.

Ronnie, thank you
your list has been my list.
Children text, FB, TV
not mom
Love my computer to write, order and information, my tiny cell phone with me when out
and about for emergencies, my camera, I read a lot, no TV and do miss my gardening
but with arthritis - cannot do. Have to have some help, do not like it but necessary and
now that thing hanging around my neck - since solo

What a great idea - and so contrary to all the professionals who make a living telling older people that we need to "find a purpose," which somehow always means leaving the house. A former coworker retired last fall, a few years after I did. She Is annoyed with the constant questions about how she spends her time and doesn't she miss having a purpose. "Purpose?" she exclaimed. "I'm a creature! I wake up and see all this beauty. IneT delicious food. I walk. What's with this purpose business?" Amen.

We have a house-care reverse bucket list: we have roofed the house for the last time, bought the last new washer, dryer, and refrigerator, etc. There still may be a new furnace in our future.

My beloved is a pack rat, so there I see no way I can clean the flotsam and jetsam while he lives. After reading this, I plan to give my son a few thousand dollars to squirrel away so he can pay a service to clean the place out if I die before my husband.

Thanks for this.

Best wishes on your continued recovery, Ronnie.

I admire and appreciate, and am inspired by, your clarity and candidness. And I too love the idea of a reverse bucket list!

Hi, Ronni. Upside-down buckets contain only air. And air leaves you room to really breathe.
When you 'reverse' that bucket, you've emptied it of its "shoulds, woulds, coulds and must's", as sflichen noted. For they are the sources of our self-imposed tensions. Life as an elder is far more enjoyable without that stress. Gotta quit now, - - for I really should mow the grass!

Dear Ronni, your postings always make me stop and think. Sometimes ponder and come back to them in thought during the day. thank you.

This year I had what the neurosurgeon called "a seriously major operation." Like you, I've spent time thinking about what I can let go of. For me, it's a heart wish--the desire to be published again. I've come to the realization that the writing is the important part. It's my passion and I can let go of all sorts of things, if I can write.

Peace, pressed down and overflowing.

I made a similar list when I retired, stuff I wouldn't do anymore. I think I have accomplished most of them and my life is freer and calmer and more intentional as a result. One was that I would not rush anymore, hurry to complete or get ready for anything, and that alone has made life so much more enjoyable.
Thanks for sharing your list.

Over the past few years I've grown to love the comments as much as I enjoy your always thoughtful or informative posts. Sometimes I wish I had other posters email addresses.... like Marian and her fabric and craft stash. I have a spare bedroom in my daughters big house full of fabric. I'm going to donate stacks of it to the local Linus Blanket Quilt group next winter.
I have 2 bureaus full of beading stuff. Since I also have arthritis in my right hand and am recovering from a broken thumb I'm not sure how much bead work I'm going to be doing.
I badly injured my ankle last month and compounded the injury by ignoring it while my 'boyfriend' was visiting from Santa Barbara for 3 weeks. After he left I allowed myself to spend as much time as I wanted letting it heal. I think I still have a week more to go off my feet, meanwhile I'm, again, rewatching "The West Wing" knowing it's the only way I will be able to tolerate T in the White House.
I haven't read Harry Potter or seen GoT. I've been watching a very informative BBC series on Netflix called Embarassing Bodies. I'm amazed at how comfortable the Brit Everyman/everywoman is telling their stories and showing the most intimate body details on a TV show. The show is full of penis and vaginas with a variety of very common medical complaints, of anal skin tags, men with size C breast tissue or a missing testicle.
I've learned a lot from this show and stand amazed at the openness these people have.
And it's helped me deal with a couple of personal issues like a sagging pelvic floor.
I recommend it if you are interested in your body.
Anyhow Ronni. I like your empty bucket concept.
I like you too.

Add to the reverse bucket list : unless going for an empty stomach medical test/procedure, NEVER again get up to an alarm clock.

Since retiring I sleep until slept out, and then spend an hour communing with coffee and cats before starting the day.

Whew! So reassured that you do not plan dropping writing this blog as you trim your life. Since I became a senior (as long as you've been here), I have learned more from you than any other venue. I struggled trying to be more techie savvy & gave up those things a long time ago. I totally agree with your reverse bucket list. We also are the same age.
Interestingly, I have been healing from replacement knee surgery as long as you've been dealing with pancreatic cancer. Although mine cannot equal your medical issue, it has been a long painful difficult process. As soon as I was able to check my laptop after surgery, I searched for your news and found many issues that I shared. Your clear-headed decision making is inspiring to me and I am anticipating your road to improved health & an enjoyable life to come. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

I can appreciate you're reassessing what you want to devote your time and attention to. We each best pick and choose which of all the digital and internet choices most dovetail with our life styles, I think. I don't feel compelled to master them all. Twitter offers me little, but it might have when I was younger. I have chosen not to use my FB and LinkedIn accounts though I've had them since the beginning, but LI might have been helpful for networking when I was working. My cell phone with occasional texting most fits my needs still, as does my iPad mini with Kindle App for select ebooks -- I still prefer many paper books for much reading. I'll get a smart phone one of these days, but don't really need one. I follow some new tech but don't feel,I can keep up with all of it. I am concerned about artificial Intelligence and its impact on humankind; also, aids that might benefit my needs in the present.

I got rid of woulda, coulda, shoulda long ago -- mostly. Also, after husband's death and a flurry of hectic activity, I finally evolved into a life with minimally scheduled activities so I could do whatever the spirit moved me to do or not do, get up early or sleep in, write for my blog or not once I decided to continue with it, for example. I did mess up my sleep schedule for a while which created some health concerns it wouldn't have done when I was younger. Doing what gives me pleasure is especially important to me as I think, after all these years, it's finally my turn. Some days I do more than other days with a modicum of guilt knowing I could have done more -- fully aware there could be only today and this moment.

Interesting, the manner in which you always quote the statistics reflecting only the predominate figure -- understandable. Am sure you'll give educated consideration in consultation with your doctors to what choices you make relative to your future medical path, based on what they'll know about your status at that time. Glad your recovery from surgery is going so well with diminished pain as you adapt to diet/life style changes. Some semblance of routine may allow you to more readily consider your options re any further treatment and make the best judgement then, which you are so capable of doing.

Wow! What an embarrassment of riches in your column AND all these comments. I enjoy both in equal measure.
I will be 78 in a couple of weeks and just got back from a long road trip during which my trusty Honda passed 100,000 miles -- and I had a perfectly wonderful time despite the fact that my children were nervous about my doing it alone.
One of the blessings of old age is being able to do what we want. Godspeed to you, Ronni, and the same to your wonderful readers. What a gang!

A reverse bucket list is a good idea to start at 50! Or anytime.

Who doesn't know someone who has had to deal with cancer? So I researched the Budwig Protocol, which I'd never heard of, but it sounds plausible - and harmless, because of the testimonials and because the health benefits of flax seeds are well known. What I found instead was this thoughtfully well-written blog about a woman's loving tribute to her mother: Pancreatic Cancer Journey. So well written in fact, it helped me add another dimension to understanding some of what you're going through.

I too have missed the Game of Thrones phenomenon ... and don't feel guilty about it. Sometimes, as you say, we just have to let things go. May your recovery go smoothly, and I hope you feel better by the day.

I'm experiencing a week of minimal connectivity with a poor tool (iPad mini) and lousy wifi, but I do want to keep up with your wellbeing. Great list of things superfluous.

Statistics are only statistics. How's that for a deep thought. Live a good life and work hard on your recovery which I know you are already doing.

In regards to the reverse bucket list, I agree with you except for the texting and Game of Thrones. When the series began one of my children told me they had read the books over the years as they were published, and that I should watch it. I took the advice and have enjoyed it. I must confess however that after every episode, I must watch a web podcast put on by four Millennials, dressed up in costume, to fully understand the episode!

I wouldn't lose any sleep about the Shakespeare.

I think as we age we are always letting go. Letting go of the material things that no longer serves us. Letting go of hopes and dreams that have passed us by for one reason or another. There's a sadness in letting go but a kind of freedom as well. I like to think that in letting go I am opening up to more good to come into my life.

As I age, I want a simpler & easier life with more beauty, harmony and peace.

I do not watch GOT. I have no interest in it. I am a Walking Dead fan, tho. LOL

I like twitter but sometimes the news of the day can be very disheartening. I think eventually I will not be following politics. What is that poem by Matthew Arnold about a darkling plain & ignorant armies clashing by night? It reminds me of the news of the day.

I have always wanted to read all of Jane Austen's books. I have them on my bookshelf. Waiting.

Great post, Ronni!

I would say ditto, ditto, ditto to all of the above comments, except that reminds me too much of Rush Limbaugh who is a disgusting person!!

You continue to amaze me with your insight and candor. I get so much from each of your blog entries and the many comments that follow. Thank you to all.

Love to you and Ollie from me and my cat Nibbles.

Thank you. The fact that you have continued to share your insights with your readers during your cancer diagnosis, surgery and recovery is absolutely amazing. Your blog entries and the comments that follow make me feel like I'm at a wonderful coffee house with my "tribe". Know that there are many out here who are cheering you on one day at at time. What's that popular saying by Ram Dass? "We are all just walking each other home." Peace.

GoT spoiler: it's pretty boring. Got through season one through sheer will power because I wanted to see what I was missing. Rather than slogging through the next 5 seasons, I decided to wait until the much anticipated season 7. Got bored with that in the first 20 minutes so switched to the Great British Bake Off. Of the two programs, GBBO is better.

I'm glad to hear you're doing better.

Note to Carol: I agree that GBBO is so much better than GoT. And it doesn't give me nightmares.


My brother in law with glioblastoma multiforme was diagnosed (ummm...had a seizure while highway driving) in September 2011 and his due date was about 14 months later. Fast forward to 2017 and he's surprised everyone including himself. He's not cancer free, but he's tumor free right now and his reverse bucket list included stopping working for not nice people, unapologetically removing as much stress from his life as he can. He unexpectedly became a popular advocate for cancer issues and a source of support and understanding for others with short due dates and focuses on his music which gives him creative peace.

I love the concept of a reverse bucket list - first I have heard of this! I know, as I age, I seem to make decisions that are more genuine somehow. And, I am less apologetic about my decisions; more sure of myself. Just recently, the proposal of taking a trip to Cambodia arose and, although it was very tempting at first, I have come to a final decision to not go and feel okay with that decision. The vision of flying many, many hours just didn't seem good in the final analysis. That doesn't mean I won't travel anymore and perhaps even one of more than 3 hours! Just knew this trip wasn't good for me. So glad you are progressing...little by little. Continue to take care of yourself.

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