Tomorrow is never guaranteed, and we should really make the best of each day. But sometimes, life gets in the way of – well – life. So, here’s a little perspective for you. 20 people, either facing terminal illness themselves or friends and family of terminally ill patients, shared a few things on their bucket lists.

1. Pass on the misery before I go.

Dad here. 50. Two kids in middle school. On palaitiave chemo. Metastatic stage 4, incurable. Took my daughter to see the Lion King on broadway. That was wonderful. Trying to get to Japan with my son in September if I feel well enough. Also planning a road trip cross country. Feel a need to pass on that misery of a trip the same way my parents passed it on to me. ha! But like others that’s about it. Mostly quality time with my friends and family. It’s ok to die.

2. Become your idol

My dad is currently one year into “6 months to 2 years” of a glioblastoma diagnosis. He has had a good life and didn’t have much on his bucket list but we are going to Key West this summer so he can enter an Ernest Hemingway look alike contest.

3. Some people don’t know how.

My dad was recently given a year after being diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer that has metastasized to his ribs, pelvis, spine, femur and tibia.

He just hit 65 and retired last year, then BOOM, terminal diagnosis. He’s a big Final Fantasy MMO player in his retirement. I don’t even know what he’d have on his bucket list that’s not family or FF13 related. He’s pretty reserved and rarely opens up about his impending departure.

4. What a sad reality.

Well I’m enjoying permanent and unrelenting nerve pain. Ruined my life, lost my job, lost my health, lost my sports and activities. Partner is still around but I don’t think they really want to be, so that will probably end soon.

I mean I’m not dying and there isn’t even anything I want anyway other than to not be in pain, which is apparently something nobody can give me.

Drugs don’t work, therapy doesn’t work. Still try them though, give it my all and will keep doing so. Doesn’t help, been doing it for 4 years now. At a certain point that whole “stay positive, you can do it” attitude can really screw right off.

I’ll probably run out of savings in another 6 months. 8 maybe, I sometimes do manage to get some contract work which helps. If that happens I’ll probably check out, otherwise I’m good.

It’s funny really. I took my health for granted, chased down money and things. Now money doesn’t matter, because what am I going to do with it? Things don’t matter because pain makes everything unfun.

5. Meaning of Life

I have stage 4 brain cancer. I have confidence I will beat it though. I had it 19 years ago when it was self contained, so I have a good idea what to expect. This time it is inoperable, because it is skull based, but chemo begins next week.

If I don’t make it, I am content with that. I found out who I was and what I wanted out of this life 19 years ago, and no, unless your work is really important, it will never define you. I can say that I truly lived and can die at any time without regrets and full of inner peace and happiness. I can’t tell you how important it is for all of us to take a step back, look at the big picture and find out what is really important to us. After that, life becomes very clear and the way to live it becomes even clearer.

6. Family Time

My fiancé was diagnosed with an inoperable Glioblastoma, Grade IV in February. We are looking at maybe two years, but are hopeful that it can be prolonged with clinical trials. He has thought long and hard about his bucket list and always comes back to just wanting to spend as much quality time with me and his twin sons as long as possible.

7. Imagineering

I have MDS which is a form of cancer affecting the bone marrow and blood cell production. If left untreated, in my case, it is fatal in less than 18 months. The bone marrow transplant procedure itself is has a 20% fatality rate, but I am preparing for it this fall.

Due to missed work, because of the frequency of doctor’s appointments, I’m in danger of losing my job, am behind on every bill and rent is always a concern.

The point being that money is extremely tight and must be prioritized to the penny. I would very much like to read these two books:

Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real

Designing Disney: Imagineering and the Art of the Show.