What if you only had 100 days to live? What would you do? Quit your job? Travel the world? Start living? Start loving? Start making your moments count?
What if, of those 100 days, 90 of them you felt sick, in pain, or fatigued? That simple tasks like showering or getting dressed required help? That riding in the car was difficult because of the discomfort it caused? That staying awake for several hours in a row felt like a phenomenal feat? And what if the last 10 of those days you were drugged out on morphine, toeing the line between living and dying? Aware for some moments? Confused and out of it for others?
What if you only had 100 days to live? What would you do? How would you live? Would it be too late?
You don't get to choose your last 100 days. And you definitely don't get to choose the condition you will be in during those days. On December 8th, Brad started to plan his life in 100 day increments - never imagining he might not make it through the first 100. He was going to write his memoir. We were going to buy an RV and travel the country and visit the life he lived. The life that we lived. We were going to connect with friends and family. We were going to have adventures.
Today would have been Brad’s 100th day. 100 days after his “Day Zero” blog post. 100 days after starting to take Cabozantinib. 100 days to see how he was responding, to see how the disease was being managed.
Brad died on his Day 46.
What if you only had 100 days to live?
Of Brad's last 100 days, most were spent in bed. Most of them he was too tired to write. Too tired to talk. Sometimes too confused to get his thoughts in order. Brad spent his last 100 day frustrated that the physical state of his body was preventing him from achieving the goals he set for himself. Always hoping that tomorrow would be a better day. That tomorrow he would write more than a paragraph at a time. That tomorrow the meds, the supplements, the diet, the meditation, would all kick in. That tomorrow never came.
What if you only had 100 days to live?
Brad didn’t get to spend his final 100 days chasing dreams and big ambitions. He didn’t get to write his memoir or take our cross country road trip. But he did spend those days doing what was most important: connecting with the people he loved.
In the end, Brad didn’t make any drastic life changes. He didn’t learn he was dying and start making amends (he didn’t need to) or start suddenly living and loving (he already was). Although we hoped for more - more time to write, more time to live - he was already living the life he wanted. He was already the man he wanted to be. He was connecting. He was contributing.
Over and over he would tell me, “Connect and Contribute.” Those were his priorities, above all else. And he honored his commitments to live and love presently - to connect and contribute - until the very end.
It is devastating to think of the impact Brad would have had if he was given more days. How he would have continued to contribute. But I am grateful he got the days that he did. Because he lived more in his 35 years (that’s roughly 12775 days) than most will live in a lifetime. And that impact will continue far beyond our days.
What if you only had 100 days to live? What would you do?
Don't wait until you are given 100 days to live your life. Because you don't get to pick what those days look like. How your body will or will not fail you. How the reality of everyday life will get in the way of the life you planned.
When Brad and I walked into the ER in October and found out he had stage 4 cancer, we never could have known that that day was Brad’s real “Day 0” - that he would only get 100 more days after that. That January 22nd would be his final day - his day 100.
You don’t get to choose your last 100 days.
So what if you only had 100 days to live? What if today is your Day Zero? What will you do tomorrow? What will you do today?