A Place Holder Today
INTERESTING STUFF – 13 October 2018

Into the Great Unknown

”...progressive disease,” says the CT scan report, “with new and enlarging multiple metastatic lung nodules and new peritoneal nodules.”

It was Monday morning this week when I heard that statement paraphrased in a meeting with my oncology physician, my nurse and a social worker at the Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU), following up on a CT scan from the previous Friday.

Although I was hoping to be wrong, it's not like I wasn't expecting this outcome. Ten days or so earlier, I had seen the chart of a blood test for “tumor markers”. It looks like this:

Cancer Tumor Marker

I don't know what is being measured and we don't need to know. What matters is that the high number on the far left was reported just before my Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer in June 2017. The next one – at zero – was following the surgery and you can see what has transpired since then, triggering the conclusive CT scan at the end of last week.

The only treatment is chemotherapy which, they tell me, cannot kill the cancer but can slow the growth enough that I might have six or eight months of healthy living before symptoms begin.

The awful irony is that right now I feel terrific, in as excellent health as I was before I was diagnosed with cancer in mid-2017. Even so, the first decision I made about the rest of my life is to stop my daily workout routine. Immediately.

Because I know that regular and fairly heavy exercise goes a long way toward staying healthy in old age, I've been doing that (with the exception of the months of recovery after the surgery) five mornings out of seven for six or seven years - and I despised every moment of it. Now there is no reason and I am relieved.

Another upside is that I don't have to worry about dementia anymore. No more of those little online tests about what are normal memory problems and what are not. Whew. I'm glad to be done with that too.

I'm sure that in the coming days and weeks I'll find some other things I can happily leave behind.

So what should I do with the time left to me? Yeah, yeah, I know – everyone is dying every day but believe me, I now know that it is quite a different thing from that abstract platitude to a closely defined period of time.

I never had a plan for my life. Beyond being a professional ballet dancer for which I turned out to be physically unsuited, I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I followed my nose as things came into view and had a wonderful career in media production – radio, television, internet - for nearly 50 years.

Only recently did I discover a quotation from entertainer Elton John that well describes how I have lived: “If you let things happen, that is a magical life.”

And so it has been. I've mostly “let things happen” and have rarely been disappointed.

So no bucket list for me – in fact, I actively dislike the entire idea. I already have plenty of memories to recall and anyway, I really like this life I have now.

A young person would certainly find it boring. Each morning, I commute from the bedroom to my computer. As we all can do now, I follow the news and its commentary and other kinds of writing, too, from wonderful writers all over the world online.

There are friends to have lunch and spend time with. Lots of good books to read along with many good movies and TV shows if I want. Not to mention, my current affairs discussion group which has become more important to me than I would have guessed when it began two years ago.

My main daily occupation is this blog and its subject – what it is like to grow old. I've been doing this for about 15 years and still am not tired of it. It feels a lot like the years I was employed – going to work every day doing something that I enjoy.

Five days into my new circumstance now, I have decided to keep doing these things as if I had all the time in the world. That may change in the weeks and months to come and if so, I'll figure out then what is next.

For now, from time to time I will write here about this final journey hoping that what could be taken as overly self-indulgent might, for some readers, be of possible value as another person's way of approaching the end of life.

Another quotation that has helped drive my life is from the British writer, E.M. Forster. I discovered it when I was in my twenties realizing then that it describes perfectly how my mind worked and still works:

”How do I know what I think until I see what I say.”

For me, it takes writing it down (on paper or, these days, on a screen) to know with any clarity what I think and believe. So writing for you is also for me and will help me work out this frightening last mile or two.

I have sometimes said to myself and to others, how hard could dying be? Everyone who has ever lived has done it – even the really dumb ones. But of course, it's not anywhere near that simple, is it?

For the near future, nothing will change here at Time Goes By except that I will more frequently write about heading into the great unknown. If you want to join me, I will be so happy to have you here.



Comments

I’m here!

Here too!

This morning I imagine you as the captain for this journey. I only hope the ship is large because there are so many of us coming aboard .
Genie

We're with you . . .

Just WOW...

I hear you on the exercise....glad that is done. No more torture.

I am a cancer survivor (so far)...and am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Love reading your words...

I'm with you, Ronni, and I appreciate you as our spokesperson.
I suspect many of us by now have watched family and friends precede us down this road. I've asked my doctor why that number is creeping up and heard him tell me "We're keeping an eye on it." I feel comfortable saying that anything you want to share is fine with us.

Oh, NO! But I'm with you.

Thank you so much for your willingness to share your most private journey. My hat is off to you for providing a forum for discussing one of the most important aspects of growing old: dying. I, too, have a life-threatening illness that literally takes my breath away. A few days ago, the doctor found a nodule on my lung X-ray. Don't know yet if that means cancer in addition to everything else.

For the last year or so, I have been looking into all manner of books about dying. One of the best I've read is "The Five Invitations: Discovering what death can teach us about living fully" by Frank Ostaseski. He is a renowned Buddhist teacher and co-founder of the Zen Hospice Project. More importantly, he has sat with hundreds of people at their death. You don't have to be a Buddhist to appreciate his insights on how unique the dying process is for each person, and how death can teach us about living whatever life we have left.

I am really looking forward to your thoughts on your own process as it develops. Namaste.

To paraphrase that guy in JAWS, "You're gonna need a bigger boat." We're on this journey with you, Ronni.

Yes, indeed, I am very much with you. Thank you for your posts.

The amount of stun that I felt in reading your words is surely miniscule compared to what you must have felt. It seems you are getting few points for having endured all that you have already gone through.

It must be time for you to get serious about pursuing the ballet thing.

Oh, my!

Count me in... and a friend nearing the end of her life smiled and said, "Now I can eat bacon anytime I want!"

Oh, Ronni. I read this and gulped hard, as you must have. Yes, we are all with you. Godspeed.

Oh, Ronni! We love and care about you and will be here with you. I have a friend here in Phoenix who has your same diagnosis but chose not to have surgery. Your words and experience helped her even though she made a different decision. Thank you! Keep writing...

Oh, Ronni, it's been like a gut punch reading your post. We'll be with you all the way and learning and loving together. Holding you and keeping you in my heart.

I’m here. I know I shouldn’t be crying. And also smiling. All at once. But I am. No more exercise—good for you. And the rest. You are so wise and brave. I have marveled at you since I read your first word in my 30s (39 I believe), through my 40s, into my 50s. You don’t know how you helped me into and through menopause. As a blogger, you raised me. Now, at 56, I continue to marvel at your writing and perspective, your insights and humor. I’m here.

This blog has been a blessing to thousands of your fellow -- mortal -- human beings. Thank you for your wit, wisdom and generosity.

No words right now Ronnie other than to say that the choices you have made during your life appear to have served you well. Continuing to do what you love to do can only bring you peace, joy, and happiness. The journey isn't ending, it's only taken a different path.

I am so glad you've decided to write as long as you can and want to. I too am crying and smiling.

I'm here. I read your blog every day but rarely comment. Your humor and wisdom inspire me every day as I plod along on my own ill-health journey. You cannot know how dear you are to me and how much hope and happiness you give me. We're definately going to need a bigger boat!

I'm so glad I've "met" you. Thank you for enriching my life by sharing yours.

Oh, my. Your blog has been and will continue to be a wonderful place to visit. Now you are teaching us about bravery. Thank you.

Another mate on your boat, Ronni. Big boat for sure. But that's more than okay. Thank you for your honesty and openness about one of the toughest experiences any of us will ever face . . . but face it we will. Words . . . inadequate to express what only the heart knows. Thank you.

I’m here, too, Ronni. I have been with you on this aging journey for many years and always appreciate your insights and honesty. ❤️

I’m here. Right with you. I think about my own life and health issues. You’re a valued guidance.

Add my voice to the choir. I'm at a loss for words to express how much I admire your strength and composure is sharing your news.

I’m with you, too. Know that you are loved by your readers. You have touched so many lives and we thank you. We are right by your side.

Here for the duration. Keep doing what brings you joy.

Your revelation brings a certain dampness to my eye sockets. But I am reminded of a couple of chance meetings with an elderly tourist in India. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "Every day is a gift." That is how I think of you, Ronni.

I'm here, Ronni. (And for once in my life somewhat lost for words.)

Like Arlene said, it was a gut punch to read today's post. Know that I'm with everybody else in love and admiration for you.

You are a gift. You matter!Thank You.

Congrats to you for facing this with openness and wisdom. I hope the journey ahead will not be too painful. Consider naming an "heir" for your blog. We will all miss it so much if it goes away.

I've been reading books on dying lately, and thinking I was handling all this knowledge well.

Until I read your post and it hit like a gut punch. Guess I'm fine with death in the abstract, but not at all when it threatens people I know.

You've been such a guide for the rest of us -- noticing things that I never would have (e.g., typing errors and dropping things). We're all blessed to have your keen eye to show us where this boat we're all on is going and to point out sights along the way.

Keep guiding us as long as it gives you pleasure. We're lucky to have you.

Enjoy every minute. You will need a bigger boat.

Hi Ronnie, I have been a silent follower of yours for about 2 years and eagerly look forward to your posts. I'm sorry to hear of your prognosis, and admire your approach to the news.

Please know you have inspired many people, provided clarity to us, and offered practical conversations we can participate in.

Thank you, and enjoy your 'let it happen' future.

I'm with you Ronni. I had to get up and walk around in the middle of reading your post and coming back hoping I'd misread it. You're my first read in the morning for more years than I can recall and it's an honor to sharing this journey with us. I treasure your honesty and clarity. I'm sending you my love and hugs.

You posts have meant a lot to me ever since I discovered your blog almost a year ago. Now reading your brave thoughts as you move forward makes me feel what a privilege it has been to know you through them. Thank you for being so open and sharing about your life. I will be reading your posts and sending good thoughts your way for as long as I can. You have many friends, many of us who wish you well even though you do not know us as individuals. Your honesty is a gift to the world.

I have been following your blog for just a short time, and it is the best blog I’ve found about aging. I can’t even imagine you dying. Yes, we all eventually will, but I wanted to grow really old with you! I am so sorry this is happening.

You've given, and continue to give, us all so much of yourself, Ronni. The equanimity that comes through your post is astonishing. I hope some day to have a measure of the grace you display. I'm gratefully onboard.

Although late to discovery of TGB early this year I have valued it so very much. Thank you, Ronni, and all of the fine folks offering their own thoughts back to you.

Like so many of your friends and what has become a 'family' here, I too see up close and personal today how much you contribute to those of us on this part of the trail.

Today I'll listen (yet again) to Janis Ian's --"Light a Light". It brings whatever I must need at this point in my life, perhaps you too, as this 'lifeboat' gets so crowded now. You do 'light a light' for us.

I am one of your so far....mostly invisible readers...but know this...I will miss you terribly..I cannot bear the thought of time without your column...how selfish of me to write of my sorrow...I pray you will not suffer in the days ahead...you have given so much to so many...with salty tears and an aching heart...Suzanne

I'm with you, too. I've been with you since 2005 when I first stumbled across your blog. i quickly went back and read all that i had missed and have been reading you ever since. You have been a wonderful addition to my daily routine.

I'll be reading and loving you from afar. Thanks, Ronnie.

I've never posted a comment here before but I've been reading your wonderful blog for a couple years now. I am in my forties and really appreciate the insights into aging, and hope I can apply them to my own life. You have built something really wonderful here, and I will be here reading as you continue onward. Thank you so much!

Here's another passenger on your crowded sailboat, cheering you on...

I am with you, every step of the way.

Thank you so much for being you - I love getting your blog posts in my emails and am looking forward to continuing to follow your journey as long as you care to. I know it sounds so silly because we've never met or talked, but your writings mean a ton to me. I'm out here rooting for you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So sorry to read your news this morning.

Have some ice cream. I've found it helps in many circumstances.

I am always with you.

Carry on,
Jan

I read your blog every day and have learned so much from it! Thank you for going on with it. We're all with you on this journey.

I'm here. So sorry to read your news and I admire your willingness to lead on.

I am so happy you had your time of feeling good after all you had been through. This news is super crappy but boy do I so agree with your attitude. You are still the you you were before the bad news & will carry on & do what you enjoy for as long as you can.
We will be honored for you to share what you can of your journey.

I am sorry to hear this news. I take comfort from the fact that you seem to be taking this news on the chin. You're still standing. You're knocking out the stuff that you "had to do" to maintain your health and are going focus on stuff you like. I love your dignity and integrity. Hang on in there Ronni.

I have enjoyed your blog for so many years. My heart became heavy as I read your post but I know that I will continue on this next chapter in your journey. Thank you and bless you.

I love that you can view this with some humor. I’m sure the workout would be the first thing to go for me as well. I’m glad you are here to share this journey with us and maybe give us all some insight into how to cope.

Lynn

Ronni, I haven't been able to comment for quite a while, but I am still here with you every day and here I will stay. This boat is pretty big.

For me every column you write has such value, and your honesty helps me navigate my own life. I live with and provide full-time care for my sis with dementia.

This was indeed a gut punch for me...unimaginable how it feels to you. I have to agree with what others have said, and Marilyn said it above. We're lucky to have you.

I wish you peace and strength always and anger when it helps.
annie

As I look our my window the sky is grey and it's fitting for the way I feel today "as the days dwindle down to a precious few". Death is always near for all of us, but knowing when is a mixed blessing as you have so beautifully illustrated.

I will be aboard to paddle your boat with all of your many friends, Ronni.

I will be thinking of you and following your journey. Thank you so much for your willingness to share. It’s a journey we will have to take and I believe you will offer us guidance. Hopefully we can give you some support.

Of course I will be with you on this journey into the great unknown. But oh Ronni, damn just damn.

Shit. Are we allowed to curse here? Too late. I thought the beginning of the blog was referring to the past and am too sad to find that it's not.
I have been reading your blog, the only blog I read, for years now and it has so helped me deal with aging and the idea of death to come. One of my sisters will not talk about death; like many people, she's afraid. I find I am not, anymore. And I find when I'm doing some daily thing like flossing how I won't miss that when I'm dead!!

All aboard with you, Ronnie. Bon voyage.

Ronni. Sorry to hear the bad news. Your attitude is perfect. Your sharing with us all is wonderful. We are all right behind you (with you as much as we can be) in this journey. For all of us, "it's later than we think" applies. Enjoy every bit of life, you are showing us how to do it, how to make the most of life and help others. Thank You.

About three years ago I found you when I was looking for blogs on aging. I'm 74 and raising great-grandkids. I know almost no people my age and so have felt sort of adrift in the aging process. I kept wondering what "normal" was supposed to be for this time of life. You helped me connect to myself at this point in the aging journey. Now, it seems, you will be helping me connect to the rest of the journey.

I am so grateful to you for connecting us all with your blog. Like all the rest who have loved reading you and taken so much from you, I remain here and send you hugs and gratitude.

Oh dear. It was Marlene instead of Marilyn I was referencing.

Every single thing you write from now on will be valuable. Not that you haven't been valuable to date, but now your courage and clear thinking and willingness to know will play new roles. Thank you. I'm here.

Dear Ronni,

First of all, thank you. You are a beacon, an informant, a guide, a supporter, and a lover of life. I know the cancer journey all too well (father, husband and now brother) and I need to acknowledge you for the courage, wit, practicality, and humor with which you approach it.
I'm just now reading "Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul" by Stephen Jenkinson, who certainly has a unique perspective. I'm only 1/4 of the way in, so can't fully recommend, but it certainly is a fresh take on palliative care, to say the least.

I too am glad you've let go of the things in your life that you don't like, and somebody already said eat ice cream, which sounds like a plan to me. I've been with you here for some years now, and will be here for the duration.

Love and light to you Ronni. May your way be clear and your steps strong as you travel this new road.

Lola Sorensen

"Now I don't have to worry about dementia" ??? Best line I've ever read, written in these circumstances. I'm on a waiting list for the second boat, as the first one is filled. Powerful energy coming your way from all your Blog-Buddies.

Your grace, strength, and "courage under fire" have been and are an example for all of us. I'll be here (every boat needs ballast!) for the journey.

As I read today's post, I was reminded of reading the Place Holder post you sent recently -- as is my wont, I tend to read closely [sometimes neurotically--] - I also tend to read things into what I am reading. And the sentence you included there - " Now there has been a different kind of disruption that prevents me from getting something useful – or, at least, entertaining – done for today." ---- gave me pause. And left me with some worries--

Then I told myself that I was over-reading, and I should leave it alone.

I read your current post through to its end, suddenly feeling very much like a weepy child, suddenly fearful and uncertain. I felt a lot of the things others have mentioned, deep sadness, most of all, combined with the immense admiration I/we have felt all along, especially since this disease first hit you. Like others, I cannot really imagine a world without you and Time Goes By.

Believe me, I am here, and with you, and still possessed of a kind of optimism that hopes that you will be able to continue enjoying the life you are now leading, that will find joy and pleasure in your writing, your communicating with us, with your friends, with Ollie..

I have no intention of leaving you -- and all your amazing cor-respondents. All of you combined have educated, impressed, cheered, and amused me for several years now. I have shared your blog with others, many of whom now have their own subscriptions.

And I look forward to participating in your continuing life.

Still, I echo Florence, whose post is just above mine: "But oh Ronni, damn just damn."

Will continue to read and enjoy and learn from you as long as you continue to write. Thank so much for your honesty.

Gail and I cannot remember exactly when we first picked up on your blog site - but was years ago when you were in New York. We empathized with you then, as we do now in this room that is beginning to darken. We kidded you for leaving knowing 'you can take the girl out of New York - but not the New York out of the girl'. It's still true. Remember when?

Then you were off to Portland, Maine cat and all . . .

Then to Portland, Oregon a town I lived in as a little elementary kid 70 years ago.

Once we knew you were in Portland - we made the journey from Florida to Lake Oswego to have lunch. And 3,000 miles later did so! We are proud to have met you and spent what seemed at the time an entire afternoon together. It was worth the journey.

Then the prognosis . . . I was probably one of the dozens suggesting to you not to give in - but to carry us all into your life and share with us the expected unexpected. The premise was we need to know too! Once you decided to stay, Gail and I promised to stay by your side - Jim on the left Gail on your right. We will always be with you on this next leg of your journey.

Again Ronni - a heartfelt Godspeed. Know every moment someone is there thinking and praying for you and wishing you a safe and harmless journey.

Jim and Gail Hood
Palm Coast, Florida

Oh how I wish I had found your blog years ago! It's NOT FAIR! But Ronni, thank you thank you for yesterday, today and tomorrow.
o/

Your boat feels like an ark this morning with all of us on board. We are birthed alone and we seem to die alone although some evidence indicates presences around the dying.

As long as we can we will be accompanying you and floating this ark with love.

Your willingness to share this voyage with all of us has made my mornings for some years now. I appreciate your many insights and look forward to more.

Thank you Ronnie.

My beacon of hope lighting my way. For many, many years now.

How generous of you to share the final mile with us.

Courage! (in the French interpretation)

XO
WWW

May your writing continue to be as rewarding for you as it is for your readers as long as possible. I’m sure you have many readers like me who are nourished by your honest writing yet rarely comment and untold scores who soak up your insights and wisdom and never comment. You are a powerful magnet and food for the soul.

There are no words for the shock and sadness I feel today. You've been my life guide for the last decade from my early sixties to mid seventies {74}. If you hadn't come along to help us, your readers, with getting old, I would have had a smaller life.
Your large gift to us now is letting us share this ride with you. I'm crying and laughing with the others on the boat. Page Day

Oh my..so many thoughts going thru my head. I’ve been a follower for many years and have so enjoyed your blog. I feel like I know you.
Of course the usual feelings of so sorry, live for the moment, we all die, you’ve had a great life...etc. etc. that people say and of course mean sincerely, myself included.

My mother died of ovarian cancer at 80. My husband died of glioblastoma brain cancer at 68. My brother has battled three cancers...still battling. I have many friends who are widows, so death is very near and familiar as we age.

One thing I thought when you mentioned not exercising or worrying about Alzheimers anymore, were you won’t see the horror and dismantling of our democracy if trump is re-elected in 2020.

As a 71 yr old childless widow, I have felt compelled to get all my affairs in order, as I know what is coming and I have done so. It is a relief.

My friends and I speak of death often now and our fears about it. Everyone of course fears pain, but I think today that is pretty much alleviated. Some fear the unknown, but I just hope there’s nothing, which I believe. But strictly speaking for myself, I suffer from, as the kids say, FOMO. This is "fear of missing out." I hate the thought of not knowing what goes on in the world...what happens in politics, technology, climate change and younger people I know. I wish I could just peak back every 50 years just to see. I might be glad I was gone...who knows.

I have no other words...just that’s it’s been a pleasure to have experienced your blog and many fine posts and articles. You truly have contributed to people, which is more than most of us can say. Be proud.

Dear Ronnie,

I am on the edge of tears reading this because I just discovered your wonderful blog yesterday. I'm 59 and was looking around for serious writing on aging, not "fluff" about makeup, hair styles and clothing to look younger or how to continue carrying on like a teenager.

I, too, will be here for the duration. I wish you love, light, peace and lots of ice cream!

Thank you for being my teacher.

Toni Marie Jones

Hugs (and tears) and enjoy the chocolate, bacon, ice cream, and any other treat you desire. May your next phase be full of sunshine and serenity - with calm waters given the number of us on this boat (ocean liner) with you.

Deborah

Borrowed time. It is for all of us. We are holding hands beside you, Ronnie. My day is dark today and my heart and soul are screaming, no! As one reader suggested, selfish of me to think of myself, it is you who are going into the Great Forever. We will all be joining you and what a celebration to have!

Nameste, Ronnie,

Karin

Count me in, Ronni. Thank you for letting us share your journey with such dignity, honesty, wisdom and humor.

My beloved mother, who had a Zen-like approach to life, lived to age 94, and in the last two years had to give up her independence and move from her home to assisted living. The last year of life she was ready to move on but her sense of humor was intact. When someone asked how she was......in spite of all the outward changes and increased frailty.....her response was wonderful; "I'm doing the best I can with what I have to work with!"

Ann

I'm here as well, and ditto most of what has been posted above. I feel like I went through two moves with you! As a long-time reader of your blog, I always look forward to your updates. Today kinda took the wind out of my sails, but as usual, your attitude and ability to share with us your journey certainly helps with your news.

(((((Hugs to you))))

Damn, Ronnie, damn. Despite the added time from the Whipple, it’s too soon. Just damn. I hope you can feel the wave of love from us washing towards you.

I am so sorry to read this. I know that this is of no comfort (nor was it necessarily intended to be so) but simply a shared experience: I spent the week before last at the Nebr.Med.Center in Omaha as my cancer drug had failed. I had been sick since the end of August, but it was kind of a rush job in September to get me up there & started on a new & different drug. The transition itself was quite risky, and I did become quite ill, was pretty sure that the Universe was telling me that I would be leaving and just wanted to make sure I got the point, as everything that could go wrong did go wrong, I have for the time being come through, and though exhausted, feel better than I have for weeks. But I realize I am just buying time. I don't have any words of wisdom, I don't feel like I have necessarily accepted my fate, but there's not much I can do about it. I am 65 years old. I am at least still capable of feeling empathy for my fellow travelers, and I am sorry that you are going through this.

Ronni- I have read and enjoyed your blog for quite a while, but not commented. I am surprised at what a blow, to me, your post was today. As everyone here has said I have been inspired and encouraged by your writing. Thank you for all you are and all you share.
Lela

What else to possibly add here, Ronni, except the journey with you from New York to Portland (ME) to Portland OR has been a gift. Pure gift. Deborah has it right (above). We're on an ocean liner and no one's going overboard. We're with you as long as you need us to be, as you've been with us. We're floating on tears and huge waves of support and gratitude for you. But, not to worry. We will be here through storms and clear weather, hanging on to railings because of tears or suffering occassional seasickness for your illness.

Thank you doesn't begin to tell what I feel for having had your blog in my life.

Echoing many others... oh damn, Ronni.

One of the things I've been discovering on my own journey is that I am thinking a lot about my legacy... about what changes I've made in the world by existing. I hope all these voices telling you how much you've changed their lives for the better will be a comfort to you. You've certainly made a huge difference for me. You and all your readers have taught me to be wiser and less fearful, to feel less alone. For that gift, I thank you!

My shero, since our paths crossed over twenty years ago. We’re on this amazing journey together. Lots of love on this boat.

I am so very sorry to read this, Ronni. Your readers are a devoted lot and we'll stick with you. Thank you for all the years you've written this excellent blog, thank you for the interview you granted Experience Talks, and thank you for continuing to write and allow us to share this time with you.

I’m echoing what Jan said above. Thank you doesn’t begin to express what you have come to mean to me. I’ve read every post you’ve ever written on Time Goes By.
Your insight, honesty, and judgment have inspired me, caused me to think, and brought me belly laughs on occasion. I can only hope that the concern, good wishes, and yes, the love of your many followers will lift you up as you make this journey.
I really can't imagine a morning without your words.

A friend whose partner has just advanced into hospice care (spinal cancers) wrote this to their friends: "There is no good way to die. But if we must die, and we all must, may it be with a community as loving, as present, as kind as you." I hope we can be that for Ronni, even though many of us from afar.

Ronni,
I'm not going anywhere, none of us are. You have inspired us, taught us, and will continue to do so. Your grace and dignity about what to pack for this last voyage is a life lesson for all of us - good friends, books and movies, and working at what we love best.
You have sustained and nourished so many of us by the wisdom and most often practical no nonsense approach to matters of aging. I learned So much from you. I tune in regularly as if to watch a favorite program.
Your blog is a treasure trove. Just like you.
Thank you .
Hugs,
Lynn L.

Bless you, bless you, bless you, a blessing for every moment. Even though I know this can, and undoubtedly will be a journey of beauty for you, right now I am so sad, as, probably you have been. And it is for that I am so sorry. Whatever you wish to express, it can only be good. You have much support here with all of us to whom your truth telling has always been so beneficial. You are admired and loved. My blessing candle will be lit for you tomorrow morning. With miles of gratitude..................

Your mental sharing has been important, Ronni. Your future is as great a
challenge as your past. I can only hope to learn from your sharing. Thank
you, and I look forward to the next post. B

What they all said!

Ronnie, I, like several others who are long-term readers of your blog, have had a bout of cancer in my recent history. I'm so sorry that your's has returned. But, it's a reality all of us that have had cancer face. It can and will return at some point if something else doesn't kill us in the meantime.

Thank you for all your wit and wisdom that you have shared with us throughout the past 15 years or so. You are a treasure in my life. I will be here with you in this journey called life for as long as you are able.

Initially I came upon your blog when like me, you decided to move to the opposite coast & feel like we have shared so much. Opening your post is the first thing I do each AM, after awakening to face the real world. I have learned so much about life from your thoughtful, perceptive, & often eye-opening posts & have come to admire your honesty, wisdom, wit & appreciation of all that matters in our shared lives. As you continue walking your road, I am holding your hand. Know that you are loved by all your friends here.

I appreciate the way you live deliberately, thinking through each step as new information arrives.

Many of us pause to think about how we would handle news that affects our end. This gives all of us another opportunity to pause. Thank you for that.

Sending good wishes and hugs!

I think this calls for an extra-large bowl of ice cream.

Damn, Ronni! but then, "such is life" as my dad told me as he lay dying. There's not much more to add to what's been posted, but for what it's worth, you will be added to my prayer list. Dee :)

Damn it! You were not supposed to do this - I wanted you to stick around to humor me until I left! We (your readers) did not give you permission to leave and do not like this one bit!

All craziness aside, I do know how very much you will be missed and how much you have added to so many peoples' well being over the years.

Sending all my appreciation for all you have given to me.

Sidney

Ronni, your abbreviated post at the start of the week with its cryptic message left me with great unease. I hoped it was just another very annoying computer problem or something similar. But there was that nagging feeling that something else (more serious) was going on with you. And now today, we all know that is true.

I am truly saddened to read your news, but I thank you for sharing (as always) with us. I have no plans to go elsewhere while you continue your journey and bring us along with you. Your honesty, bravery, humor, insight, and determination are so admired by me. You continually illustrate that we all are connected. Our paths may be different in many ways; yet you show us our similarities.

Thank you so much. Now we will all go forward to whatever comes next....

I’m here; as I have been for years. Sorry to read this, but I know you will handle whatever happens with grace and wisdom. You’re a good teacher, Ronnie. Take good care.

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