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Well, a lot has changed since I last wrote. I’ve been in the hospital the better part of a month. I am so groggy on pain meds that I can’t type all the details, but the gist, the bitter pill I’m trying to swallow, is that I’m dying imminently. Doctors tell me I have weeks, maybe a few months, left to live. A surgery temporarily saved my life but now we’re out of options. I’m being kept alive by IV nutrition and sips of liquids. I’ve only seen Eleanor a handful of days. I will soon start home hospice care.

There is always hope. I get excited when I think about heaven. Although, I don’t know how to picture it I know that it is better than anything we can imagine–and I can imagine some pretty great things. It will be wonderful to see loved ones who have already gone before and be continually present in the Light, where there is no pain or fear. I almost feel guilty the way one does when packing for a trip that others aren’t going on.

I will try to write as often as I can going forward, but staying awake, let alone typing, is a challenge.

One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

Breathing exercises 

“Take a deep breath, and hold it,” the man with the vaguely Australian accent is saying. I’ve been in this CT scan machine often enough to recognize that he’s a recording. (Heck, I’ve been here often enough I should probably start worrying about all this radiation exposure — oh, never mind, I already have cancer.) 

I like to imagine I am passing through some sort of magic portal as the machine slides me through the noisy, whirling ring that directs the computer’s gaze. Maybe I’ll emerge in a parallel universe where they’ve just cured cancer. Or at least a universe where I have a pony, perfect skin, and a summer home in France. 

This scan will be the test of whether my current course of combined chemo and immunotherapy is doing anything. If my tumors have grown, well, damn. Time for plan Z (we’ve been through all the others). If they’re stable or shrinking, I’ll do a happy dance and return to the routine of daily pills and infusions every two weeks, until the next scan. It could be a few days before my doctor is able to take a look at the report and issue a verdict.

In the meantime, I’ll follow the instructions of the voice in the machine: 

“Carry on breathing.”