I’m a little late to this party, but if you haven’t yet read Oliver Sacks’ piece in the NYT, you should. Upon learning he has terminal cancer:
I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.
Cf. Atul Gawande’s excellent book Being Mortal. As a fellow doctor, I wonder if Sacks has already read it. (At any rate, he has seemed to take its lessons to heart.)