Probably you have already heard about Randy and his video, but if you haven’t yet seen it you must do it now. His video, “The Last Lecture” by Professor Randy Pausch, must not be missed. The video will take about 75 minuets, but from one cancer survivor to another it is an excellent time investment.

Go to:
(then go to the resource page)

Pausch is a young father and is the most articulate and dynamic survivors I’ve ever heard. He loves life, but he accepts that his metastatic pancreatic cancer is likely terminal. However, he actively works with his doctors to pursue therapies which offer him a slim chance of slowing disease progression. Nevertheless, his true-life focus is on living life to the fullest and creating love- and joy-filled memories with his wife and three children.

When he was diagnosed and understood the terrible prognosis he faced, he quickly managed to find a balance of hope and acceptance. Many of us never find the this type of calm and understanding, while others take years to come to terms with the feelings both in our brain and in our heart.

Pausch is not a “better” survivor than those of us who struggle with grief, anger or anxiety. He’s an extraordinary teacher for whom the skills of survivorship dictate his essence. His attitudes and actions help him live joyfully in the here and now.

Pausch is a teacher by trade, and through the generosity of his spirit he is using his teaching skills to show us it can be done.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW