ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

This list of things terminally ill cancer patients think we should appreciate more is going viral

Turn off the cynicism for just a few minutes

This list of things terminally ill cancer patients think we should appreciate more is going viral
28 February 2018

It’s very easy to be a cynic in life, and the trend towards projecting negativity and shouting about just how much everything sucks only seems to have worsened over the last few years.

The combination of big political events like Brexit and the Trump presidency, combined with huge, globally significant phenomena like global warming, natural disasters and KFC running out of chicken have led us all to believe that humanity is doomed. We’re in the final throes of life, and what better way to spend it than screaming silently about it on social media?

Whether or not we are all standing on the precipice of a fiery, chickenless demise is up for debate, but what isn’t is that sometimes, it can pay to try and be a little less cynical.

That’s the message of this viral thread, detailing a list of things terminally ill cancer patients believe we should all try to appreciate more in life.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the little things in life they say they’ll miss the most. It’s not about that incredible voyage you took to see the pyramids in Egypt, it’s about cuddles with your dog. 

It’s the little things in life that belong on the bucket list, according to terminally ill cancer patients

The post, which was uploaded to Reddit’s LifeProTips subreddit, reads: “The things my patients say they’ll miss the most are NOT seeing the world landmarks, buying fancy things, that new car, ‘living it up’ party style, etc.”

Instead, it was the likes of Sunday meals with family, smells like flowers and the fireplace, and even rushing around in the mornings getting everyone ready for the day ahead which lived longest in the memory.

Here’s the heartwarming list in full:

- Watching my sons throw a baseball

- Listening to my grandparents tell stories

- My girlfriend surprising me with a kiss on the cheek

- Holding my wife in my arms knowing there’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be

- Gran’s Sunday dinners and the whole family getting together

- My dog

- Seeing my fiancé smile and feeling his arms wrap around me

- My daughter running to me when I get home

- The smell of flowers and rain

- The day I got married. I said I never would. And then I met her. And now I have to leave her

- Smelling the fireplace on Christmas morning with the family

- All my friends

- Watching my family sleep

- The rush of weekday mornings. I know it sounds crazy, but I’ll miss it. I’ll miss the coffee, the crowded bathrooms, my wife’s quick peck goodbye, the kids forgetting their lunch… you get my point

- Rain. Is that weird?

    The post continued: “Notice none of these things cost any money. They don’t include technology. They’re not grand gestures.

    “It’s human to human (or animals/nature) interaction, something we need more of in a world that’s becoming more fast paced and less human every day.

    “So revamp your bucket list. Live in the moment. Put down your phone. Notice the people around you.”

    Time with family was a constant on the list

    It’s hard to argue this isn’t a good message for life. During the constant grind of work, it can sometimes to be difficult to appreciate the little, important things, and very easy to take them for granted - until they’re taken away forever.

    Commenters on the post revealed it’s changed the way they want to look at life going forward. Pinkerdog wrote: “I’ve lately realised that one day my parents won’t be there to invite me over for dinner and now I’ll be damned before turning down an invitation to one. I’m only disappointed I don’t have a photographic memory.”

    And DoEyeNoU added a touching story of their best friend, which echoes the sentiment of the list: “Lost my BFF of 20+ years to cancer in November 2016. Near the end, she told me all the things she would miss and things she had wished she had done,” they wrote.

    “Not a single thing was traveling or having lots of money/stuff, it was the things we take for granted in real life: family, friends, pets, babies, watching the sun rise and set, thunderstorms, and reading a good book.

    “What she said changed my life. I will never look at any of those things again without appreciation.

    “I’m sorry she had to die in order for me to learn to live. But thanks, Deb, you really were my BFF until the very end. I miss you.”

    Commenters also pointed out that 13 of the 15 things on the list were about socialising with others, while the other two were about rain. Guess it’s a good think we live in Britain, isn’t it? 

    (Images: iStock)