important things in life

The Most Important

Thing in Life



bullet check up relationship
protein convince dodge a bullet
dodge routine recreation
clinic transport additional
bone oncology hematology
frantic curious chance (2)
saying order (2) determine
blood achieve battery (3)
x-ray delivery pay a visit
biopsy analysis inconclusive
spine myeloma needle (2)
pelvis on edge particularly
reign fulfilled reigns supreme
survive bedrock meaningful
ground revolve apparently
career personnel commercial (2)
cope marrow illustrious


The Most Important Things in Life

Most people would agree you need 5 things to enjoy a happy, fulfilled life:

1. Money
2. A meaningful profession or occupation
3. Personal relationships
4. Hobby, recreation, vacation, fun
5. Good health

Well, I have achieved these things, for the most part.

But I just dodged a bullet — in the health section.

A Visit to the Doctor

Here’s what happened.

After a routine physical check up, I got a call from a medical personnel at my doctor’s clinic.

“Dr. Ross says your blood protein levels are a bit high, and he wants you to see Dr. Farber, a hematologist.”

Curious, I went to Dr. Farber’s webpage . . . and discovered the words “hematology and oncology” were both part of the name of his department.

So I paid a visit to Dr. Farber. He said the high blood protein could mean I have multiple myeloma, or blood cancer.

He thought there was a 30% chance that I did in fact have blood cancer, based on my blood analysis.

More Diagnosis

To determine whether I actually had it, he ordered a battery of additional blood protein tests — and had me go for a full-body x-ray of every bone in my body (apparently, if you have myeloma, it can weaken your bones).

The results came back. Not negative. Not positive. But inconclusive.

“At this point, I think your risk of having cancer is lower than I originally believed; I would say down to 20%,” Dr. Farber said.

“But you could still have bone cancer.”

So he performed a bone marrow biopsy with a needle through the bone near the bottom of my spine where it connects to the pelvic bone.

He said it would take a week to get the results.

The Wait

All week long I was on edge, though I tried to keep calm. But my mother and wife were becoming frantic (I did not tell my kids).

Finally, a week later, I received a call. The caller said, “Bob, this is Dr. Farber, and you do not have bone cancer.”

So, I am free and clear, for now.


But it’s a reminder.

Remember that list of the five things you need to be fulfilled in life?

I used to believe they are all equal (or actually financial and professional success being the most important; I have a illustrious career as a commercial writer).

Now I am convinced health reigns supreme over the others.

A Friend

Later a friend who owns a transport and delivery company and survived cancer told me, “I have come to believe health is the bedrock on which pretty much everything else in life revolves around.”

When you or your loved ones have health worries or problems, it’s one of the most difficult things to cope with.

And brings to mind the old saying:

“Every day you wake up above the ground is a good day.”

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1. According to the writer, do people have only one important thing in life?

2. What happened when he went for a physical examination?

3. Did he become concerned?

4. At the hematology and oncology department, they informed the writer of the results after a few hours. True or false?

5. “I didn’t tell my kids.” What can you infer from this?

6. “Bob, this is Dr. Farber, and you do not have bone cancer.” How did the writer feel?

7. “Every day you wake up above the ground is a good day.” What does this mean? Have the writer and his friend changed their ideals and values?

A. Among your friends, classmates and colleagues, what are the most important things in life?

B. Which is more important, health or wealth?

C. Have you or your friends had an experience that changed your outlook on life?

D. Have you heard fables or stories regarding wealth?

E. What will happen in the future? Will peoples attitude towards money and success change?

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