What a new lease on life really means

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The phrase a new lease on life is overused. Too often we hear of people who started eating fewer carbs and “got a new lease on life” or purchased a new smartwatch and it gave them “a new lease on life”. All of this is just meaningless words but when you read the story of Peter Hinds, you will understand what a new lease on life really is.

Peter Hinds was 49 when he was diagnosed with cancer. His sister had died from a brain tumor six months earlier and he was informed that his cancer was terminal as well. He was given 6 months to live. Peter did what any rational person would do, he started to put his affairs in order and plan for his own death. He cashed in his pension (he would not need it any longer) and used it to purchase the grave next to his sister and to pay for the rest of his funeral arrangements. 

He went so far as to organize the very songs that would play at his own funeral. He planned a beautiful rendition of ‘He ain’t’ heavy, he’s my brother’ to be played as well as ‘Blue Moon’ as a reference to the team he supported, Manchester City. He had planned it all down to the finest detail, no one would wear formal attire, that wasn’t what Peter was about. But then, Peter got some incredible news. Peter had applied months earlier for a second opinion at the Christie hospital. He was on holiday when he got a call, he had an appointment in the coming weeks. 

In this appointment, he was told that he was suitable for chemotherapy. After his treatment, the tumor had started to shrink. The size of the tumor now meant that an operation was possible, although the chances of success were only 50/50. Peter opted for the surgery but did not yet believe he could pull through. The other doctors had told him he had six months to live and it was difficult to believe otherwise. 

Amazingly the operation was a success. The tumor was removed and Peter’s cancer was gone. While Peter is now down one pension fund, he doesn’t care. His life has returned and that is all that matters. He still has to undergo regular checkups but has basically been given the all-clear.

The news has literally given Peter a new lease on life. He says that before he would spend countless hours wasted on social media and other things but now he is focused on living his life to the fullest. He has returned to his work at a center where he helps recovering addicts and is delighted to be in a position where he can help people.

Peter’s story is a remarkable one but it should be a lesson to all of us. The first lesson that we can take from Peter is that no battle is lost until it is over. Even if a doctor tells you there is no chance left, there is every reason to keep fighting. Whatever adversity we face in life there is no reason to give up. The day is darkest before the dawn and nobody knows what positive news lies around the corner. The second lesson that Peter’s story teaches us is the importance of living our lives to the fullest. How many of us spend our free time on social media or something else. What are the amazing things that we could be doing in our spare time? We never know when our time will run out so it is important to live every moment to its fullest.