On December 9, 2009, Bobbie and I were led from the waiting area outside the oncology department of Moanalua Medical Clinic and into Examination Room 3, where I would learn, in short order, that I had been given an expiration date. It only took the doctor a split second and three words to deliver the bad news. Those words: “You have cancer,” burned through my consciousness like a computer focused laser beam, leaving me momentarily speechless. With my mind swirling and whirling like a motorized butter churn, I managed to assemble but two words, which I then, using all the strength I could muster, forced from my mouth, “I’m sorry,” I said. For some inexplicable reason, my wife, sobbing inconsolably, her face buried in my shoulder, was not immediately soothed by my words.
Now, more than six years later the journey continues, unabated. There have been good times, bad times and of course as one might expect, horrible times. Yet when asked to describe my ostensibly terrifying trek; fantastic, unbelievable, joyful, loving, truly amazing and the best thing that has ever happened to me, are among the words and phrases that come to mind.
Within forty-eight hours of hearing those three words, I had determined that I would not be simply relegated into the void that society has created for those of us who have been so stricken. Instead, I would use my illness, my journey, as a series of teachable moments that would help my children, grandchildren and all those I love to face aging, illness and death with courage and joy.
I began to write emails updating my family and friends with regard to the progress of my illness, possible treatments and even my most personal thoughts and feelings along the way. Now, I invite you along to join me (us) on the journey through this blog and my new book, by the same name. My heart is with you.
Last updated on December 7,2015