My dear friends,
(This was first posted on facebook.)
I have been uncertain about whether a facebook post is appropriate for this news. Though many of you already know about this, there are so many others who mean something to me but whom I may not have time to reach out to individually. So this simply seemed expedient. Also, I have always believed that it’s important to speak openly about the really hard parts of life – that doing so in fact makes them a little easier for everybody. And the context will be necessary for some of the other things I may want to post in the coming days.
I have been diagnosed with an aggressive terminal cancer, stage four uterine leiomyosarcoma. It is not curable and doesn’t respond much to treatment. (The chemo I’ve been prescribed only works for 55% of patients, and only temporarily; I haven’t yet decided whether to do it.) So I have no idea how much longer I have—it could be weeks (this cancer works fast!) or months or even a year or more if treatment is effective. Not having a time frame makes it hard to plan anything, but it sure is a good lesson in taking each day as a gift! (And yes, I have heard those stories of diagnoses that people outlast by decades!)
I especially want those who are concerned about me to know that I am at peace. This is not the kind of cancer that one hopes to beat. I have found, in fact, that simple acceptance is easiest. Acceptance has also allowed me to share incredibly special moments with my loved ones. Truly, I have never experienced anything as beautiful as these past three weeks. I am filled with gratitude for how blessed I have been for fifty years, how blessed I am now. And while I also have moments of sadness and grief, I continue to awaken most mornings in wonder and joy at this world. I am so excited about spring!
I have been so touched by all the kind notes and generous offers of help I have already received. Though I’m not quite comfortable with a lot of attention (another reason I have hesitated to post this), I appreciate every gesture, prayer, and positive thought. Since I am most fortunate to be extremely well cared for by family members who live close by, most of my wants and needs are being met. But if I do need anything in particular, I may post it here. And I will probably be posting some special requests, since I will be leaving much undone that I hope others will take on.
Please don’t forget my dear ones, who also need your good thoughts and care. This is hard for them. Though we’ve always been an independent lot, we are learning to accept kindness and help.
Love to all of you.