Post-Cancer Bucket List

I have got to take a new picture!
I have got to take a new picture!

Hello dear reader(s)!  How are you all doing on this wonderful morning where I am, and whatever time of day where you all are?  I am doing good this morning, thank you for asking.  You didn’t ask?  Well, fine then!  So, for some unknown reason, my energy levels have really been coming up (at least in the morning).  I have never been a morning person, but the last few days, I have been able to actually get out of bed!

So, what is my Post-Cancer Bucket List?  For that matter, what is a Post-Cancer Bucket?  Well, I don’t know the answer to the second question, but I would like to share with you my Post-Cancer Bucket List because that is what happens to be on my mind due to the feeling like I am slowly, but surely, getting better.  (Until about noon, then it is all downhill again.)

To start, I would like to share with you a quote, because it is actually relevant to the content of this post.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”-Hunter S. Thompson

I know this quote is all over the place on social media, but I don’t know if there are better words that can describe how I feel having survived so many times I wasn’t expected to.  Fuck playing it safe, I want to live, dammit!  The problem here is that my mind is still cluttered with anxiety and flashbacks, and my body is lagging far behind my desire to get moving forward.  I’m trying hard to push it, but for some things (like my immune system and my GI issues), I have no control.  So here are the things that I want to do, as soon as is humanly possible.

  1. Volunteer at a cancer center or hospital.  Gee, I wonder why I might want to do this?  Almost like I have a personal reason or motivation of some sort.
  2. Volunteer at an animal charity.  In some way so that I do not have to see the poor animals because I will want to take them all home, and I just can’t.
  3. Visit Ireland.  My honeymoon with my wife was 3 1/2 months in a hospital room.  We were supposed to go to Ireland.  But nooooo, I had to get cancer.  Even if it weren’t for the missed honeymoon, I have wanted to go to Ireland as long as I can remember.  Just something about it calls to me.  My wife shares my long-distance love affair with the island.  I want to visit both The Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland.  I want to see the history for myself.
  4. Have a big vow-renewal party.  We were beginning to plan our wedding when my diagnosis came through, and I was given 6 days to get my affairs in order before what was supposed to be 30 days of chemotherapy.  My lovely wife decided we should get married first, so we had a small, but beautiful wedding thrown together in about 12 hours.  Many people I wanted to come, would not have been able to attend, there was only so many people we could have, and people had to work.  My wife wore a beautiful white sun-dress and I wore khakis and a Hawaiian shirt.  I want my wife to have the chance to wear the dress of her dreams, and the wedding we intended.
  5. Write and publish my entire cancer story, and my message to survivors and fighters.  Everyone says your first book is going to be crap, but I really don’t want to write what I think is an important message for people, (as well as a riveting story), and write it like crap.  Besides my need for self-expression, this is the reason I blog-type-thing.  Practice makes better than lousy, most of the time.
  6. Get another 1966 Pontiac GTO, and take it up to 140 again.  My first car was a 1966 Pontiac GTO that my dad bought and we attempted to restore together.  However, we never quite got it.  It was a BEAST!  (in the Summer, when I could afford gas)  In the Winter though, I would never be able to get it started, it would backfire, and I just couldn’t afford to give it the treatment it deserved.  Damn, I miss that car!
  7. Get over my hang-ups and do anything that appeals to me.  I consider myself a very accepting person, (of everyone else) but of me, I still have my issues and things holding me back from experiencing all that this life has to offer.  Hopefully some therapy will help, and I’m already taking baby steps.  Like I said, I want to live!
  8. Be the best person I can be for my wife.  I’ll never be perfect, I know that.  But I want to make her life as perfect as possible, because she does that for me on a daily basis.  She is the most caring, loving person that I’ve ever met.  She sacrificed so many things in order to be there for me.  She was my caregiver, is my heart, my soul, and makes me so happy, just by being her.  She spent literal years of her life in the hospital with me.  She flushed and clean my lines, gave me infusions, she did the cooking and cleaning.  She has been my rock.  She is having a hard time letting me try to ease some of her burdens, because she is such a caring, loving, generous person.  It is kind of funny when I keep telling her to sit down and let me do something around the house.  I like to think that I do not need someone to be happy, but I know that without her I’d never be AS happy.  If you get a chance, you should meet her, she is amazing.

So that’s it for now (of course, #7 is basically a catch-all).  Life is beautiful, life is short.  Life can be incredibly difficult.  Do your best to find the beautiful moments in the time you have.  Live to the best of your ability.

Do you have a bucket list?  Do you have a bucket I can borrow?  If you do have a bucket list, please share it in the comments.  If you have posted about it already, feel free to link to it.  Quick, while you are still here.


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

51 thoughts on “Post-Cancer Bucket List”

  1. That was totally amazing! What a beautiful soul you have! God put you two together for a reason, he knew that Your wife would always be there, take care of you, do what was needed. Trust in him always and he will guide you both. You have a great testimonial for others, so go tell it!
    You two are so blessed!
    Love you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My hubby’s roots are Irish and Ireland and Scotland are two places I have always been dying to visit. We have been all the way to Bali, but still haven’t made it to Ireland somehow in all our travels. This Christmas he offered to pay for my babiest brother to take his girlfriend to surprise her with a proposal…I have to say as a sister and sibling I wanted to cross my arms and go “that’s not fair!” haha!

    But seriously amazing bucket list, I have a billion things I want to do scattered across my mind and occasionally they pop up one by one in my mind and then disappear, I really do need to just sit down and jot it all down. My father died at 40 (as did most of that side of the family) from this wonderful heart disease we were all cursed with so it is something I should probably start taking pretty seriously. Perhaps someday I will have a nice compiled list when I have the focus.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely love your list…Especially that quite a bit of it is dedicated to helping other people and animals!

    I don’t really have a bucket list as such…But I feel motivated to make one after reading this!

    (Stopped by from the #blogparty)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an amazing list! I love it. I hope you are able to do all of these things, especially the Ireland trip! That would be such a well-deserved trip for both you and your wife. Your #2 made me laugh. I’m one of those that can’t get near a pet without wanting to take it home. I’ve been successful, for now. My kids are like that too. My son has 3 dogs and 3 cats, and snakes! Daughter #1 has four cats. Daughter #2 has 4 indoor cats and 3 more that stay outdoors but she feeds them and takes them to the vet. So I guess we have the same kind of weakness for pets!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The party has brought me to this post, but I saw the term “bucket list” in my email notifications earlier and so I would definitely have gotten to it at some point either way.
    I made my own dream come true and made it to Ireland a few years ago. I have a friend who is a doctor there.
    Belfast is full of history and interesting energy, not all positive. It really touched me deeply to visit, even if it was only for one night. I need to return to see the Titanic museum there.
    The coastlines are absolutely beautiful. If you do get a chance to see it, check out Dingle. It is in County Kerry and I share the name so I had to visit. They have a local dolphin who lives in the bay there. It is my dream spot.
    I too wanted to write a book about my life, but also heard that a first book is crap and thus have not wanted to write that.
    I blog for the same reason. Good practice.
    Here is my list:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was an amazing post. I’m grateful you had the energy to write it. I wish you and your wife the very best in the future including a lovely trip to Ireland and the wedding of her dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Josh, I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all this cancer business. It’s a scary and painful journey for you and your wife. I know it through my daughter who was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of breast cancer over four years ago. She’s doing well today, but I remember too well what she had to go through. I hope and pray that you will continue to get stronger and have many long years ahead of you to write your stories and visit Ireland.

    As for writing “crap” in your first book, I wouldn’t worry about that. The fact that you can connect the way you’re connecting now tells me this book would be nowhere near crap. Just write what you feel and what you know and it’ll be fine. Could be the inspiring book many need.

    My debut novel, A Cry From The Deep, about an underwater photographer, who’s been assigned to cover the hunt for one of the lost ships of the Spanish Armada off the coast of Ireland, has been described by quite a few as a book that takes you to that green isle. It’s genre bending – mystery, adventure, romance, and paranormal. If you look it up on Amazon (and read the reviews just to be sure), and if you’re interested, I’d be glad to send you an e-book. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Super “like.” Accompanied someone close to me through leukemia. He’s out the other side now, coming up on 8 years since he went off-treatment. And he’s thriving… Glad to drop in here and see ho you thrive too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great bucket list. I think #5 is terrific. I did it after recovery from breast cancer four years ago. It releases those “suppressed” feelings as going through treatments. I agree, it is a beast! My best wishes and please keep in touch. Hope you are feeling better these days. Anne 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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