[Pittsburgh, PA] Twenty-something Joe Spanto from Greenfield never thought his recent trip to his doctor in Oakland for a routine medical check up could change his life, but change it it did. After being put though a battery of tests that included shining a light in his eyes and taking his blood pressure, Joe wanted an answer to the pressing question on his mind.
“Just tell it to me straight – how long have I got?”
Though initially reluctant to give an answer, his UPMC physician eventually offered an informed guess based on his general medical condition.
“Certainly a half-century barring any unforeseen circumstances, and quite possibly a good deal more.”
After letting it sink in for a moment, Joe decided to face the shocking news head on and make the most of whatever time he had left. Ironically, he says finding out that he has a terminal condition is in some respects the best thing that ever happened to him.
“Knowing I may only have 50 to 75 years left has totally changed my outlook on life!”
Though he could have descended into a spiral of drugs and despair, Joe’s first step was to maintain a positive attitude, and learn what changes he could make to maximize his remaining time. His doctor told him he should eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, and engage in physical activity – especially any outdoor pursuits he finds enjoyable.
“I was fully expecting to hear that I needed surgery or some other aggressive therapy that would wreak havoc on my body, so that was good news.”
Joe has even turned into something of a philosopher since being blindsided by his terminal diagnosis, and has some advice for those who suspect they may be suffering from the same debilitating condition.
“If like me you discover you only have so long to live, I recommended you stop engaging in the endless trivial bullshit that consumes us each and every day and find a way to do something you enjoy.”