Why you should not wait to buy

Why you should not wait to buy

First, I'm posting this under a name created just for this post; I don't need to receive followup postings or emails of condolence. I created an email address just to create this Tesla ID.

I ordered my MS 85 in December 2012, and it arrived in April 2013. My internal rationale at the time was, essentially, "I am 63 years old; I have been prudent and frugal all my life, I want this car, and although it is far more expensive than any car I've ever bought, I can afford it." So I bought it.

It is now about 20 months later, and I have recently been diagnosed with lung cancer (adenocarcinoma), which is pretty clearly stage IV, metastasized to my liver, bones, lymph nodes, and perhaps my brain and eyes. (If not my brain then there is something else odd going on in there.) This is, incidentally, the most common form of lung cancer among non-smokers. Looks like I hit the jackpot! My medical oncologist says I could possibly live 2 years. I suspect it will be less, and the last portion of that time will be pretty unpleasant. In some ways, I am more frightened of becoming blind than of dying.

So time out: I've had a great life. I was fortunate enough to be born in the mid-20th century into a relatively affluent country, to solidly middle-class parents who raised me properly. I got a great education and have had a career in which I have contributed in a small way to humankind and society, and some of which has been enjoyable. I have a great wife, a great marriage, and three great adult kids, and 4 great grand-kids. If my life ends now, it has been a great run. And it will end. I have non-small-cell carcinoma with the ALK rearrangement. There is a targeted therapy but that therapy isn't going to cure me; at best it'll slow things down a little. (Coincidentally, the Dec 4 issue of the NEJM has an article on it.) There is an approved secondary therapy for when the primary therapy loses its effectiveness, and there are clinical trials, but it is all probably going to be too late for me.

But for the past 2 years, this car has been a very enjoyable part of my life. Not the comments I get at traffic lights, or the exclamations of incredulity I get when pulling into a convenience store for coffee. The absolute pleasure I get just from driving the car, nearly 2 years after I got it. It is a pleasure to own. It is a pleasure to drive. It is a pleasure to Supercharge.

If I had decided to wait until some improvements had been added, I would have denied myself this great joy. I would have gotten lung cancer and not have had the car for 2 years (nearly). So it was worth it to get it when I wanted it and not to have waited. We never know what the future may hold. Mine is pretty unpleasant, but this car has been a great pleasure and a great joy. How unfortunate it would have been had I put off buying it. (I do regret that my father, who was an electrical engineer, wasn't alive to see it.)

sbeggs | December 8, 2014

You have attained wisdom in the time you have been on this planet. Very sorry to hear of the diagnosis, and also glad to know the Model S added to your joy in life and will continue to do so. Your calm, grateful attitude fills me with awe.

hpjtv | December 8, 2014


Mystery Lab | December 8, 2014

I scincerly wish you the best possible. It is. Dry generous and kind of you to submit a note like this on the forum.

Thank you.

tes-s | December 8, 2014

Sage advice. Some day you will pass along that MS to someone else who will also experience the same please as you.

ricci21 | December 8, 2014

@JerizeyNeymanI hope you have some pleasant days in your future. Thank you for putting all of this in the proper perspective and enjoy driving that car while you can.

carlk | December 8, 2014

Thank you for sharing your great wisdom. I'm 100% agree with what you said.

I'm not sure if there is a correlation but I also wish young people would stop sitting in those cars that spew toxic gases into the cabin that you don't know what problems will cause down the road. Every times I'm in one of those cars, gladly I don't need to do that often now, with the old car smells I keep wondering what I've got into my body over the years.

Anthony J. Parisio | December 8, 2014

@JerizeyNeymanI Thank you for this post. It means a great deal to me. I'm from the same generation as you. I too have never spent this kind of money on a car. Like so many others, I worried. Should I spend so much? Am I going to missing out on all the real great stuff the new ones will have? Will it be cheaper soon? Etc. Fortunately life has taught me as well as It has you. All we have is now and now is really is more than good enough! I wish you all the best. When it is our time I hope to meet up with you on the other side.

sdhtran | December 8, 2014

Thanks for sharing this post and your perspective on life. Wish you well in whatever may come and glad you had a chance to find some joy and pleasure. Sounds like you have done a lot with your life and lived well. It's all a man can ask for.

Panoz | December 8, 2014

Geez...I think you just sold a me. I cannot imagine what you're going through but your approach to life and to doing something you want to do is phenomenal. I'll be passing this thread on to my lovely missus and accelerating my purchase order. Best wishes.

lmorelli | December 8, 2014

Thank you for sharing. I wish you all the luck.

DallasTeslan | December 8, 2014

Thank you for sharing and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

kerogre256 | December 8, 2014

I don't want sound like Voodoo doctor, or give false hope but once found very interesting video about cancer and link to Energy Metabolism. AHS12 Thomas Seyfried PhD —Targeting Energy Metabolism in Brain Cancer
its very interesting...

regards and good luck.

Captain_Zap | December 8, 2014

You are not alone. I think you are the third person that came forward with a similar compelling story.

I wish you well. I'm glad you have the Tesla grin.

sundoc | December 8, 2014

Thank you of sharing a little of your life with us... I wish you and your family the best.

wrinkledoc | December 8, 2014

Thoughts are prayers are with you.

RocketReed | December 8, 2014

My thoughts and prayer are with you. Enjoy that beautiful ride. Thank you for sharing. I'm praying for you!! You've helped me overcome some hesitation in buying such an expensive car. I will be buying sooner rather than later.

Hart | December 8, 2014

I am deeply saddened by your personal travails. When the time comes, I sure hope I can muster the same strengths, and exhibit the same grace that allowed you to write this post. My admiration goes out to you! May you have some really joyful times left, also with your Tesla.

mrspaghetti | December 8, 2014


My wife finally told me to go ahead and pull the trigger on my order with a similar argument. Seeing it from someone in your situation is certainly compelling, and reminds me how wonderful and wise my wife is (not that I needed a reminder).

Thanks for taking the time to post this, and best wishes to you and yours.

CirrusDriver | December 8, 2014

What a magnanimous message!

You'll inspire many.

Bet TSLA | December 8, 2014

Rotten luck, JerzeyNeyman. I've been down that cancer road and there's not much good about it. But some (like me) find a non-fatal exit, so there's hope you can be one of them. I highly recommend a recent book called Being Mortal ( as being useful to a person in your situation.

In retrospect, you made a brilliant decision in getting your Tesla when you did. No regrets there! That grin is worth so much.

pilotSteve | December 8, 2014

Thank you JerzeyNeyman. Your outlook on life is an inspiration to us all, and a "get real" view about life. Enjoy your Tesla Grin and know you have a whole community hoping the right therapy for you will be available in time.

Rolling Stone | December 8, 2014

I am so sympathetic to your plight. the mantra that I have been expressing for years is that we are not running out of money - we are running out of time. you can always arrange to get more money, but more time is another matter. Unfortunately, this can happen at any age. If we all try and live our lives to make each day count and live in the present and learn to appreciate what we have and who we have is a life lesson that is invaluable. Tesla has been a waiting experience for all of us. In the end, it really doesn't matter which one you ultimately get. The grin stays the same and we are all lucky enough to live in this exact time when we can enjoy a Tesla.

SeattleSid | December 8, 2014

I'm a few years older than you, JN, and went through the same conversation with myself before buying the car. And I share your pleasure in driving the car, having no regrets despite second-guessing myself all the way to picking it up. Often I just take it for a spin, going nowhere, just for the joy and calm. I hope you'll continue to be able to avail yourself of the health it provides for as long as possible, and, like the others, I thank you for sharing your story.

Red Sage ca us | December 8, 2014

I have Friends and Family members who are living with the specter of Cancer, along with those who are survivors, and others who have succumbed. They are all people who have been eternally young at heart, no matter how old their souls. Thank you for bringing this perspective to the forefront, for everyone here who is living by the minute on borrowed time.

CEYA GAS | December 8, 2014

I was diagnosed with a aggressive form of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma earlier this year. Chemo and radiation has apparently knocked it out, but are we ever really sure? I know I think about it popping back up every day...

We pick up our MS this Friday. We thought long and hard about spending so much money on a car, but as your post exemplifies, none of us know how long we will be here, and what a shame it would be to not experience all that is out there.

Thank you for your story, and fight every day!

WATTAGE | December 8, 2014

Post of the year...

krahim786 | December 8, 2014

Thanks for sharing. Maybe it's now time to upgrade to a p85d... Don't want to regret not doing so a couple of years from now. :)

Rick A | December 8, 2014

My dad has battled heart disease this last year, although he has made significant improvements we are all aware that every day is a gift.

Dad is a guy who has always loved cars, but spent most of his life
using those resources to take care of the rest of us. He is fascinated with the Tesla and with the help of a generous brother and sister. We are going to get him a near new Model S.

Our family celebrates Christmas so a red bow on a Black Model S
will be my Dads present.

JN, thanks for sharing your story and reminding me to enjoy these moments, and that celebrating a car that makes you smile is OK. | December 8, 2014

@JN: you are obviously well educated and very intelligent. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. So far, time only moves in one direction. You did the right thing for yourself and it may be a comfort to know that your Tesla will being joy to others in the future.

JohnGlenney | December 8, 2014

@jerizeyNeyman. Thank you for taking the time to give us your perspective. We sometimes forget that our time here is valuable yet limited. I too am 63 and payed more for these cars than I ever have before. When we were in our teens, cars had no seat belts, pollution controls were nonexistent and cars ran on leaded gas. My first car got 8 mpg, but then gas was a quarter per gallon. I bought a roadster to find out if the promise of a better way is true. With each new version they just keep getting more compelling. Each time I drive the model s I wonder we we have not had these cars before. I will keep buying the latest and greatest, because as you said, you never know how long you have.

cpmarino | December 8, 2014

Just wanted to thank you, for your message. Not about reminding us to enjoy the "good" things in life, but that life is indeed short and that there are far more important things than the toys that make us happy. It sounds to me, sir, that you have an amazing perspective on life and I'm willing to bet that you've managed to raise your children to be good citizens, which is ultimately the real legacy.

Fight like hell, and all of our thoughts are with you. For the rest of us, this is a good reminder to go home and give our loved ones a hug.

PhillyGal | December 8, 2014

Thank you so much for the courage to post this. It is a great reminder that life is meant to be enjoyed while it can be!

Much like your story, there isn't a day since we've picked up our Model S that I haven't wished my dad, a "car guy", could see and drive it. (Cancer, age 46.)

NKYTA | December 8, 2014

Thanks for sharing! Keep fighting and keep Grinning!

cchouston | December 8, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing and reminding us all of what is important in life.

tldavis11 | December 8, 2014

Thank you all so much for sharing. I'm a bit younger but I'm not getting any younger, and that itself was the reason I jumped for the vehicle of the future. I diagnose a new cancer almost every day. I realize we all are only temporarily healthy and abled. We don't know the time we are given.

While waiting for my Tesla, just a few weeks ago I also got a wakeup call: Colon cancer. All evidence so far says they got it all when they removed the bad polyp, but there is always a little uncertainty. For the rest of you, if you are 50 or have bleeding, get your colonoscopy now. It saved me this time.

I think there's a bigger message that this Trojan horse of an idealist's car is sneaking into our garages:

Today is the day to become, to produce, to be the person you always knew you could be. For yourself, for your family, for your community, for your world. This car is a bit of embodiment of that thought. But don't be deluded into thinking that all you have to do is buy this car. It's just the beginning.

Stop doing the things that lead to disease, strife, injustice, and sleeplessness.

Start doing the things that feed your mind and body and build a better world around you.

I think the author is challenging each of us: If you knew you were dying, what would you stop doing today? What would you start doing? I've got news for you: you are dying.

For one, I'm going on a diet, pledge to exercise 5x/week, and to start learning about colon healthy habits. And I pledge to be safe when I put my foot down in my P85D, celebrating these decisions and those of others.

Thank you again.

drron | December 8, 2014

Jn. My positive thoughts are headed in your direction. You also remind me of a 91 year old patient who came to see me about how she could held her granddaughter. During the course of our discussion she share her view on life. "Every morning I wake up, open my eyes and say what a great day! Now what can I do to make it an even better day!" Good motto from a good lady. Enjoy your day. Dr. Ron

trixiew | December 8, 2014

Standing ovation. Bravo.

Pungoteague_Dave | December 8, 2014

Our best wishes to you and your family. Your post reminded me of three weeks that I spent in the hospital in October for a heat valve replacement, followed by serious complications. A few times I felt so bad that I didn't care what happened next. Now I am almost fully recovered, and only can feel blessed that the heart problems were transitory, and when over, fully cured, better than ever. You have a much less rosy scenario, but please don't lose hope. Your message is a good one. We just never know.

When Warren Zevon knew he was dying, David Letterman asked him If his cancer had taught him anything about life and death. Warren answered, "How much you're supposed to enjoy every sandwich."

shivasmith | December 8, 2014

Good luck to you, and thank you so much for such a profound and valuable post!

May you fight it well and prevail! :)

I too am very glad for (recently) picking up my Model S... most amazing car I've ever dreamed I could own and drive... fills me with awe / wonder / gratitude each time behind the wheel.

I'm reminded of the engineering audacity and fortitude of Elon Musk and Tesla Motors (and SpaceX) in the face of great adversity... I wish you strength and peace... all the best to you.

Rocky_H | December 10, 2014

Huh. I was catching up on forum posts, and I just got to this one. I got my Model S in March this year. I am 37 and recently found that I have Hodgkins Lymphoma. Other than the fact that it's cancer, most of the news and prognosis is pretty good for me. It's stage 2, and it's the most common type of Hodgkins, so treatment is very well established. I go for my first chemo infusion next week.

But it did give some perspective on deciding to get our first nice car ever, the dream car that I had been waiting for it to exist. Interesting to decide to do that and then having this scare.

sbeggs | December 10, 2014

@Rocky_H, I think the entire forum wishes you well. We enjoy your posts, and hope treatment goes well!

CEYA GAS | December 10, 2014

@RockyH: mine was diffuse large-B cell lymphoma. RCHOP protocol was vey effective. Radiation no fun but my results are good. Maintain a positive outlook, and fight like hell!

Rocky_H | December 10, 2014

@sbeggs, thanks. Well, I wouldn't be too sure about the entire forum wishing me well. I'm waiting for @just_an_allusion to jump in and say that I'm a troll and a fake login, etc. etc. because HE doesn't get cancer, so my experience isn't real and I'm just making it up.

I have such a laid back non-worrying personality anyway, that it hasn't been too hard for me staying positive, and I've been able to joke about it a lot.

@Tbclark911, mine is Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkins, and the chemo is ABVD, which was developed in 1974. Apparently my body wanted to get in on the 40 year anniversary celebration of it, but I would have been OK with just sending a nice card instead. :)

gdubcobra1 | December 10, 2014

You guys are wonderful. I pray for the best for you all. I've being two wars and I've seen the worst of humanity. Everyday I thought it was my last. I got my S as a rebellion against Big oil, corruption, and centralize banking. Everyday is a gift. Best wishes to everyone who gives a Damn.

CEYA GAS | December 10, 2014

@RockyH: I found that doing an online journal made it very easy to keep friends and family up to date on my progress through treatment. Caringbridge was the host. Super easy to set up and make entries.

Rocky_H | December 10, 2014

Well, despite many of the people here on this forum thinking that Facebook is "de debil!", I've been keeping people plenty up to speed and getting a lot of comments and discussion with them in posts there.

Boukman | December 10, 2014

Hey jerizeyNeyman...I know there is very little that can be said that you have not heard I'll just wish you strength, courage and to continue enjoying your car to the MAX... and as for your Father, don't worry, he has been riding with you every time you drove...enjoying the ride as much as you...May the Force be with you!

Mel. | December 10, 2014


You have been the best since your first post... You will beat this cancer. Keep the great attitude.

rimrattler6 | December 10, 2014

I created an account (after a few weeks of just reading), so I can commend you on a life well-lived good sir. I don't know you or what you're going through, but I respect you and thank you immensely for sharing your feelings. My prayers go out to you for the rest of your journey. Keep the faith.

Red Sage ca us | December 10, 2014

Rocky_H, count me among those that wish you well! I'm ten years older than you, but I lost a good friend suddenly last year, shortly after another's lung cancer appeared (currently in remission).

If I may suggest, should you have some time on your hands, check out the books of Octavia E. Butler. She provides... perspective, on life, the universe, and everything.