Sunday, September 15, 2019

Day 074 -- This Time You Have

This day’s entry should be the longest, the most intricate, the most telling of everything we’ve been through to this point, but it might serve us better as the simplest … the most raw.

A day in the emergency room after coughing up a strange mucus plug, then some hunks of bloody lung junk for a while (we could go with “hemoptysis” but we’re doing simple and raw).

At the ER via a rather urgent trip with Diane driving us there in my big boy honkin’ truck (not designed for a driver of her small stature, but she wrenches it around just fine).

At the ER, the bleeding stopped and the shortness of breath eased up.

Then, after the CT scan and x-ray:

A lesion is now “eroding” an area on my windpipe.

There is more cancer in my liver and lungs.

At the end, we spoke with a gaggle of huddling Docs on the way forward:

Looks like chemo is no longer an effective treatment. Palliative care from here on out.  And, my sledgehammer moment, when I pressed my oncologist on a “rough” best estimate of me and my cancer’s timeline.


I will go to radiation oncology next week to see if XRT (x-ray therapy) can help my airway.

Finally, as we began on Day 001 at the outset of this narrative:


A simple, raw and fitting place to move on, as I would like this to see the light of book publication while the light inside these hands still shines.

I can think of no greater end than a note from my daughter, who met us at the ER today.

We’ll leave this as we’ve gone, with her brave and loving words:

Dear Dad:

Hard day today, and you handled it well.

I am completely distraught at the thought of losing you. I love sitting next to you, talking to you, I love being your daughter. You've given me so many gifts as my Dad. You have lived a tremendously interesting, inspired, badass life.

You have some time left. What I want for you now is for you to do the things you want to do, go on adventures, sit and be still, have conversations, eat your favorite foods.


 I want to spend some of it with you. Also, I have a few requests if you can manage it. I want signed copies of all your books, and I’d love for you to make videos or voice recordings of you talking to me, to Rory, and all our children too, if you want. I always want to be able to see you, to hear your voice, for the rest of my life.

I love you so much. Let me be a part of this time you have.  I have so many happy memories with you, let's make a few more.

I love you, Erin


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Wow, B Elwin. Peace, brother. I recall your ready kindness freely offering me permission to print on my blog two photos you took of your then very young daughter Erin with Muhammad Ali. Link to a post about Ali's visit to Franconia College back in the day.:


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