Use By Date

Use By Date

I watched a news item about food wastage today.  During the interview they talked about “Best Before” Dates and “Use By” Dates and it got me thinking.  ‘Best Before” goes without saying,.. after this date throw it away.  But she said the “Use By” date is an indication of a time for when something is at it best.  After that date, use your discretion as it is still fine, but not at its best.  I started thinking about what it is like to live with cancer, how others see you.  When first diagnosed, you are surrounded by so many, so many are there to help and support, not just the patient but the packaging around them; ie their family. 

Do we as a people think about those living with a long diagnosis the same as we think about “use by” dates….  We rush to eat the food before the “Best Before” date, yet we leave the food with “Use By” dates in the fridge, pull them out now and again and think, not yet and put it back in the fridge to be forgotten about again, until its too late.

Is this how we think of people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness yet haven’t died in the expected timeline?

This week is my 82nd Chemo infusion.  82 – I am in awe that my body has managed to survive that many, that mentally, I am still able to tolerate chemotherapy.

I remember the hopes I had back in 2018 when I was told after the operation and 3 months of chemo that I was NED (No Evidence of Disease).  I remember the devastation of being told it was back.  I think often of the road I have been on since September 2017, and those who have joined me along the way, those that have come and gone, those that are still there.  I give a quiet thanks to every one of them for their support.  Yet I now often look around at the empty chairs and wonder how life goes on and why I keep fighting.  It is far far simpler just to throw that food which has gone past its “use by” date into the bin.  Then I don’t have to worry about it, think about it, or let it take up space in the fridge.

What is in the back of your fridge?

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