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

Ronni, I've been reading your blog since before you lived in Maine, when you were grieving your life and career in New York. Maybe 2004? I felt like I was with you in the process of letting go of those things, and then making a new home in Oregon.

So much and now this! I still can't believe this has happened to you.

We're with you!

Dear Ronni,
After many years, I will continue to find grace here.

I Pray for Courage

I pray for courage
Now I’m old
To greet the sickness
And the cold
I pray for courage
In the night
To bear the burden
Make it light
I pray for courage
In the time
When suffering comes and
Starts to climb
I pray for courage
At the end
To see death coming
As a friend

~~Leonard Cohen

I waited until later today to overcome my initial anger and then deep feeling of sadness. It's all been said by your many readers....so many beautiful expressions of love and gratitude. You've helped us. We've laughed and cried with you. We are clearly now here to support you with all we've got. From this NY gal living in Maine, as Lauren Bacall said, "If you want me, just whistle." Anytime night or day. Looking forward to sharing your sense of humor and your good thinking in this journey. Luv & Hugs to you Ronni

Please add my name to the list who will be "virtually" with you on this part of the journey. It ain't my first rodeo as a companion and I'm fresh out of words of wisdom, except to say that now, more than ever you should do exactly what you want to do, no more, no less. Hugs.

Just. . .WOW. I didn't see this coming, although I suppose it was always a possibility, Whipple and all. Everything I could say has already been said many times. Thank you for all you give us--past, present and future no matter how long that may be.

No more exercise and plenty of ice cream--sounds reasonable to me.

It would be good if I/we could learn to live one day at a time. Asking only that we have our life and love circumscribed for a given day. Unfortunately, that has been hard for me to learn how to do.

From reading your blog, it seems that you have been/are already doing that much of the time.

My wish is that you, and each of us reading your posts, become accomplished at living only the day that is before us.

I'm so very sorry to learn your news, Ronni. Not good news for sure, but as usual your attitude towards life is one I (for years now reading your blog) have greatly admired all this time. Count me in as your journey continues. All best wishes to you,

You have been a role model for me from the minute I first I discovered your blog. Your advice, wisdom, grace, and sharp wit continue to inspire me. I'm jumping on the boat with all the others, even though I've never cared that much for boats. This gang of your blog buddies are simply the best and they've given words of wisdom and inspiration tome as well, so I want to join them on this journey with you. Hang in there as best you can...and know we're all here for you, as you have been for us.

Hugs and love from Idaho,
Francie

I would be honored to accompany you on this final journey, Ronnie. I know that at times it will be frightening and unpleasant, and I hope that will be minimal. Your example, your thoughts, and your BEING have touched so many people that you know your memory will live on for a long, long time.

I hope you know that so many of us would be calling you to find out what we could bring you to eat or if we could clean your house or do paperwork or whatever, if we could. Lean on us, and self-pity be damned! Peace be upon you.

I'm so sorry to hear about this. I was worried the other day when you posted, that this would be your news. Please do share your journey and know that so many here are supporting you.
I'm a cancer survivor too and as I read through the comments, in the back of my mind I was thinking about what I would do, or stop doing, if I got such a diagnosis. I hadn't thought about that before.

Waited until later today to overcome my initial anger and then deep feeling of sadness. It's all been said by your many readers....beautiful expressions of love and gratitude. You've helped us. We've laughed and cried with you. We are clearly now here to support you with all we've got. From this NY gal living in Maine, as Lauren Bacall said, "If you want me, just whistle." Anytime night or day. Looking forward to sharing your sense of humor and your good thinking during this journey. Luv & Hugs to you Ronni

A great big thank you, for expressing yourself as only you do. I must say that I tend to have a belief system which includes communicating with those who are "on the other side," especially at the Halloween and All Souls time, when we say the veil is thin between the worlds. Of course many old religions have this sense of our ancestors being spirits who visit the living...so it feels comfortable to me to talk to those I no longer can talk to in person. They are just no longer in a body. No, they aren't ghosts, and there aren't any chains involved. Of course each of us has our own sense of what might happen after death...and I respect your own belief.

Add my name to the passenger list on your boat. We'll all ride through the storm with you.
The benefit (such as it is) for you is the opportunity to say good-bye to all of us, and our chance to tell you how much you've meant to us.
When we lost my brother to brain cancer we were so thankful we had the opportunity for farewells but still wonder if to die quickly (say getting hit by a bus) would be easier except for those left behind?
Stay with us as long as you feel up to it. 💔

Standing by your side dear Ronni ♡

I'm so sorry to read this. I look forward to your posts with their good advice, humour and common sense. Thank you for continuing to write, your blogs make a difference.

I have nothing to add that the rest of your followers and fans haven't said, and probably better than I could. I just want to add my name to the list of those who have reaped benefits from your thoughtful blog. As a fellow writer, I know what it is to wonder if what you do is worthwhile. These respectful and love-filled responses are proof that what you have done--what you will continue to do--has great value. Thank you for sharing your journey through old age with us.

Oh.
What they said...I'm here.

Hi there Ronni. I’m here. Will stay here. We have a few things in common.

I’ve had an unconventional life. I too worked in media. And I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2001 at the age of 48. My official survival rate of 30 percent was cut in half by my aggressive cell subtype.

I got really sick of the way ovarian cancer became shorthand for dying in plays, movies, etc. But I got the message. For a while it felt like nothing could comfort me.

Eventually I took to heart the words of my 94-year-old grandmother’s doctor, in answer to the question: “How long have I got?” Doctor replied, “I expect to get up in the morning and go about my day, and I expect you to do the same.”

I’ve been doing exactly that for 17 years now. I know my life could still end soon. Cancer follows no rules! And now I’m older to boot. Could be a new cancer, or something else. Still, I wake up in the morning and say: I have today, and that’s what I have, so let’s make it a good one.

Don’t really know you, but hugs anyway. I’m a 5th-generation Texan. We hug.

There were 212 comments before this one. 2212!!

Please know what a mark you have made on all the lives you have touched. And I'll bet this was just a few of those of us who have been touched by your eloquence and grace. Adding my thanks and taking a seat on your floating palace. Love and Light to you, Ronni. And, thank you.

OH, Ronnie, I am so sorry for this news. I will be with you, loving your posts, as long as you care to write.

Ronni, Keep on writing your blog. I want to be with you all the way. When I lost you for a while last year (change of computers), I was devastated. Had to Google your name and submit my name again. Was glad to find you still with us. But cancer comes back. I ought to know. Anyway, share as much as you can with us. I remember shivering on the diving board because I was afraid to jump and my cousin came along and pushed me off. That's what I always tell myself. As you say, if everyone else has done it, even the dumb ones, why not you? We all have to go. I love the world and am very attached to it, but I'm 75, have end stage kidney disease, and can't walk or use my right hand due to a stroke, so I don't have much to offer. But, after 43 years separated, I'm getting together with my ex who thinks I'm great. What more can I ask? So keep sounding the gong for us. We need you.

I'm holding space for you, Ronni.
You have brightened my inbox for a lot of years and I am grateful. Your name will be added to misheberich tonight and every week.

Aw, Ronni, so sorry about the news. As some1 said above, I also have had cancer & sometimes think about the other shoe dropping. But I'm here with you too & wish I had found this forum sooner.

Make room for me on your boat. If you haven't yet named it, may I suggest a contest, perhaps? I can already think of many possibilities: Courageous, Hope, Gratitude, Fortitude, Journey's End and so forth. Your loving readers are much cleverer than I so I'd expect some real stunning , even humorous entries.

It's crappy news. Like everyone else, I'm so sorry to learn of the return of the beast. I will surely be following along as you generously share this very personal phase of your colorful life. We will all feel privileged to be aboard.

Fair winds.

Oh piss! As my dear late sister-in- law exclaimed when my hubby was diagnosed with C. But you are splendid, Ronni, and I think you have always made the best of what you have. This is a tough one. We all love and support you.

Oh my oh my! I've just finished reading your post and all the comments. I can't remember when I started reading your blog--it was, I believe, around the time of your move--and I've been reading ever since. I am, like all the others, stunned by your news.

I just learned, myself, that I have a thyroid cancer that is infiltrating my larynx, hence, I'll need a laryngectomy. Fortunately for me, the cell type is not the awful one--anaplastic--but I have a nasty surgery ahead. I find myself thinking a lot of what I want to do with the rest of my life, however long it lasts, whatever my prognosis, which isn't the best with old people. And yes, I thought about escaping dementia, escaping outliving my children and my welcome, etc. Beyond that, I'm
still in the pre op "planning stage."

You are my model. What else can I say. What a light you shed on the world! I will partake of your wisdom and humor as long as it lasts. And beyond.

Namaste.

I so appreciate the honesty and openness with which you've shared your life with your readers here for so long. It has been a privilege to log on to your blog almost very day for the past few years, and I don't intend to stop now, as you enter perhaps the most mysterious and profound time of your life. Thank you, Ronni, for sharing however much of this experience, you might, whether sacred or mundane.

Just please tell them to keep you comfortable.

I’m with you Ronni.

I'm so sorry. I know your leaving this world will be as full of grace as your comments on aging in it. We are all with you.

I read this post and tears just squirted out of my eyes without my able to stop them. Yes, it's true that we all die, but I surely felt you would be one of those who would be around when I get MY final diagnosis. I'm with you on this boat, and looking around at my fellow sojourners, I am feeling quite blessed. Thank you for all that you have created.

Yes, Ronni, thank you for inviting us on your journey—first the life of the elder, then cancer treatment, now ...the next stage. That was about the bravest and most beautiful thing I have ever read. I am honored to bear witness to a life well lived (and loved by your devoted readers).

Well, hell. Isn’t life absurd?

I finished six months of chemo for ovarian cancer in August. Now I’m in that twilight zone of monitoring and feigning normal life that everyone who’s had cancer has experienced. It appears there are many of us following your blog.

I wish you exceptional success with chemo or whatever else treatment works for you. I’ve followed your blog for some years now and love your no-nonsense, no-BS attitude. I hope you find something to enjoy every day.

I am sad to hear your "news", and I know how things will progress with you, as my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law both succumbed to the same disease. I know you will face the "great unknown" with grace and bravery, and you'll go out kicking and screaming and saying "what a good life I've had." Rest assured that you are in my thoughts and I hope that all is well with your soul.

Hi Ronni I love your blog n don’t always comment but I’ve enjoyed them n have learned a lot about getting older You have comforted me , made me laugh , cry n enriched my life ! I’m here too ! Going to need biggest boat ever. You’re soo admired n loved. Thankyou for being you. God Bless you on your journey We are here with you Keep writing.

I am so very sorry to read your news. Your blog has enriched my life and I am very grateful to you for devoting your time and energy to it. All the best for the rest of your journey.

I have been sharing your experiences since last year but with ovarian model and since last week I've had a restart of chemo and with an additional med added to the carbo. I 'm disappointed to find myself short of breath and other "unforeseen debilities". I am calm about this and I think of part of a song I heard a few years ago: "it's a long way that I'm goin'.....where the planets learn to spin and twirl, it's a long way from anywhere...." I find them moving and satisfying to me and my soul

I am stunned by the news, Ronni. Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry. I feel very sad. I don't know when I stumbled across your blog but I've been a regular reader since then. I've also told others about your blog.

Here's to the next 6 - 8 months!

One day at a time.

I am grateful for you and your blog and your readers!

Blessings and prayers.

Everyone in today’s TGB room is being so brave and generous and caring, just as would be expected from such an amazing group. So why am I out here feeling lost and bereft, unutterably sad, and verging on resentful? Dear Ronni, I thought you would be there for me as I got to the end. I knew that at 83 I didn’t have that much longer and I didn’t fear death for myself. But the impending death of another person who had come to mean so much to me? That is a very different thing.

I don’t make friends easily and I have zero friends my age except a brother several hundred miles away who is kind of a jerk. The discovery of TGB gave me a circle of interesting, intelligent, generous friends who shared with me all the highs and lows of getting old. Most of all, of course, TGB gave me you, Ronni, you and your guidance on our journey into this good night. There were so many, many things I obsessed about because I thought they were my problems alone. But with your personal revelations and your encouragement of our sharing of our own, you helped all of us to understand the realities of aging with more knowledge and perception than our own families or doctors.

There is no other website out there that comes remotely close to giving us the enlightenment or the companionship we get from TGB. What are we going to do if we don’t have you? I know you are still with us for now, and I am with you unless I go into the unknown before you, which is entirely possible.But just to anticipate the loss of TGB and your stewardship is so terribly sad that I cannot stop crying. I’m sorry to be such a selfish downer, but I need to let you know that you are loved, Ronni, and that you will be loved right up to the end and long after.

With much love,
Margaret Cardoza

Damn! My first reaction. — — — When I read the previous post I immediately thought you’d soon be announcing some special writing assignment you had accepted, or would it be an interview on radio or TV? The reality of what you’ve shared here today simply was not an option in my mind. —— — Well, what is, is!

I recall the roller coaster days of my life when my husband unexpectedly died ..... the serendipitous way in which I encountered TGB ..... appreciated your writing ..... how you so generously offered support in my life while I was conflicted, wanting to support your own situation as you traversed from NYC to Maine to OR.

I’ll be here for the next phase of this ride. But, you are the one facing the greatest challenge as you adapt to your circumstances. How you choose to do so, what you determine to share here will, hopefully, be of value to your process, while simultaneously those of us commenting here can provide you comfort and caring emotional support.....enjoy some humor, if that’s possible amid any flowing tears and angry frustration.

Clearly you’re writing has been making a difference in the lives of others — a fact from which you should derive pleasure — as you eat another bowl of ice cream.

I'm in.

"I feel the circles grow smaller, and old age is a ceremony of losses, which is on the whole preferable to dying at forty-seven or fifty-two. When I lament and darken over my diminishments, I accomplish nothing. It's better to sit at the window all day, pleased to watch birds, barns, and flowers."  -  Donald Hall

XO

Dear, dear Ronni, I hope from all your readers' comments that you realize what a valuable life you have lived! What more can one wish than to make a difference? We all love you so much and appreciate all you've taught us.
I have another "good news" comment that I haven't seen from other readers: you don't have to worry about outliving your money! my husband and I are in our mid 70's and a little afraid of how healthy we are ...
So now, besides ice cream, rich cheeses and fine wine, treat yourself to fabulous fresh flowers every few days. Will you turn off Trump? that's a hard one....but I expect your curiosity will keep you tuned in. What a f-ing time to die!
Love and hugs, Ronni,
xoxoMarilyn Dalton

Although i’m A fairly new recruit, I’m coming along for the ride, too. Thank you for inviting us. You have been a blessing!
Debbie

I’m sorry.

I join others on this next chapter of your life and hope it is as magical as all the others. And sincere thanks for years of good reading.
Regards
Leah

So sorry to hear your news, Ronni.

I'm grateful that you're planning to continue the blog for many reasons: the insights you provide about ageing, your sense of humour and your intelligence, and more recently, how you feel about your illness and treatment.

Living with cancer means we know that its return is possible but it must be a terrible punch in the gut when the bad news actually arrives. I try not to think about it too often but it's always there.

It's heartwarming that you have so many sympathetic readers - you've obviously touched a lot of people.

All the best for what's to come...

Aw, damn, Ronni, so sorry about this. But as others have said, I'm still here (and also have had cancer & as an earlier commenter said, always kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop) and will listen as long as you want to talk. Hugs.

I also felt gut-punched by this post.

But you do whatever you want. No exercise? Great. Eat all the treats you want.

I am here.

Dear Ronni
I am on a similar journey as you but still NED. on scans, with low and stable tumour markers. Dxed 2016. Ovarian Stage 3, age 69.
I have been thinking and reading a lot on the possibility of this stage appearing, just lately, as winter looms. It is a whole different thing as matters move from possible to actual. I am so sorry you will have to be back in the land of unpleasant decision making, and likely unpleasant treatments if you decide to go that way.
I admire your gutsiness and also the way fear and uncertainty are not causing you to withdraw into a shell, as I confess I tend to do. I am with you, holding your hand as you negotiate this new phase. Love and light to you!

Thank you Roni for your life. Keep us posted on how it's going for you.
Prayers for your radiant health.
Ellen Greenlaw

Ronni - - As the rigorously-honest writer that you are your life's next episode will be your greatest of all your gifts to us. And what a surpassing adventure you are in for! Tim

You are inspirational and You have became a dear friend. ♥️ Thank you for being in my life.

I echo all of the comments here. You and I started blogging about the same time, and I am envious of how you just took off with it, sharing an awful lot of very helpful information and welcoming us into your life with candor and humor. I wish you peace and comfort. You are irreplaceable.

Oh Crap!

Ronni, your insights are invaluable to all of us out here walking the path. I'm with you on the bucket list. Every day we get is an empty bucket. Thank you for choosing to fill your days with writing and sharing your life. This is my first blog comment. I want you to know that your words matters to me.

Hi Ronni,

Sorry to hear this diagnosis.

I just looked up Death With Dignity, and see that Oregon has passed the Death with Dignity Act.

Massachusetts hasn't yet and I think it should be available in every state.

Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Best wishes,
--Steve

just like our brave Ronni to continue to honestly share and teach us all about life in our senior years. I have met few people as frank and honest as you Ronni and you will be missed
like a friend is missed.
Much Love and Blessings
Chillin

It has taken me more than 24 hours to process this, but still my words are so inadequate to describe what you mean to me. I have read every word you’ve ever posted on TGB. Your honesty, insight, and judgment have inspired me, caused me to think, helped me to realize I’m not alone, and when crabby Old Lady is on board, given me belly laughs. This blog is a gift to all of us every day. I can only hope that the concern, good wishes, and yes, the love or your many followers will lift you up as you make this journey which is as of yet unknown to all of us. I fully anticipate that you will continue to inspire us all.

I really can’t imagine a morning without your words.

I am heartbroken . . .

My first and only response:
Shit.
Shit shit shit shit shit.

Here with you and holding hands and hearts with you and everyone else.

I am here. Show us the way:-(

I wis there was something I could say that would really help you carry this next step, You already know you are meaningful to so many people, we follow your journey to help identify our own. Your willingness to share this last journey with all who care about you, is your gift to us all.
there is always a sense of something not being real, until you write it down, May your journey be lifted by all who are lifted by your courage and whose lives you have lifted. love to you

As Kate wrote, "What they all said!" Day by day, I want to savor each day that you are able to continue sharing your life with us.

You were one of my first blog friends. I recall the trepidation I felt at sending you an email and how amazed and joyful I was that you chose to reply. That was over 15 years ago when you were in Manhattan and I was still employed.

Our lives have been so different, yours and mine, that it I played "Devil's advocate" to your postings, at times. I am a few years older, but you have guided me. We engineers are supposed to be logical and thoughtful. Your logic and thinking process put mine to shame! Who knew that one whose life was in Television (and, further back, radio) would be so wonderfully amazing as are you?

You have my love and admiration. "What they all said!"

Nothing original to say that hasn't already been said. Love and much appreciation for your generosity of spirit, Ronni.

I'm here too. I'm sorry to hear this news. I've been grateful for the wisdom and wit you've shared here all these years. It appears to me that it's time for me to return to being a full-time "Time Goes By" reader. I don't want to miss a word of it! I love you Ronni.

Ronni; Barbara and I are planning on seeing you this coming Friday at the Discussion Group. Barbara wants to talk to you in person as I do. We can perhaps explore how we can be of assistance in some little ways. Know that we deeply care about you and are grateful to have you in our lives. Jim

It is Saturday as I’ve received this news. Excuse my tardiness. Count me as one of your friends on the boat. Together, perhaps we can make it a better trip.

Just catching this one by way of the Saturday On Turning Ninety, saw you said something about it's relevance at 77, so went back and read your post from yesterday, love your honesty and feeling, you are a good teacher,

I’m here. Damn, such a lump in my throat- you are so loved by all of us.

I, of course will be here too with all the others. I have been a reader here probably almost from the beginning. Thank you Ronni for sharing this latest news with us. Again, teaching us. I think it is amazing that you will contunue your daily routine and that you love your life just like you once loved going to your job.

My comment is this:
The most important and necessary thing you need to do is to make sure just where you will be after you die, and this is determined by you, before you die.
You will end up either in heaven or in hell.
And for your benefit I will quote from the Bible:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." (John 3:16-18)
"For what I have received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, thathe was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...." (I Corinthians 15: 3-4)
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
"That if you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved........For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile----the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:9-13)
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith---and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God---not of works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
May God use the above Scriptures quoted from the Bible to show you how you can be saved and be assured of spending eternity in heaven with the One who died in our place, and took the punishment of our sin for us when He died on the cross.


Am here as well, although not as much of late. Have just been realizing how every angry I've been since 2016. And your post today is such a bright reminder to now waste time on anger over what we can't change...

Expect to learn more and more from you in the time ahead! Thank you for this place to gather -

I gradually drifted away from TBG after I stopped blogging around a decade ago. Thanks to Frank Paynter's sharing this I will now be re-connected for sure. This is most unwelcome and sad news. Of course, we're all on our way to this territory one way or another. If you're in your mid-80's as I am, it's top of mind, but that doesn't change the gravity of your misfortune or the depth of our empathy.

I will be checking in nearly every day because your ground-of -being in dealing with this is both inspirational and a wonderful model. You once reached out to me in our early blogging days when I was going through a family crisis. (You did so by sharing some of what you had experienced with your friend, Troy Donahue). I wish I could repay you in kind for the comfort you provided, but I'm not in your league. Just know I'll be with you in these pages henceforth. God Bless!

Maybe I should have been expecting this news from you, but I wasn’t and it made me sad. So sorry I didn’t find you sooner. I always look forward to your thoughts and insights. With you every day. With love!
Rebecca

I'm on board with you and all follower-friends. Smooth sailing and fair winds.

Your post will be very helpful to many .Wish you good luck at every turn.I do suggest you read this one book-It has nothing to do with your medical condition.But it may help you in some way-
Author-Parker J Palmer
title-On The Brink OF Everything
with Love

Ronni,

We will be with you all the way. I'm so grateful you feel strong enough to continue sharing and hope some of the community's pleasant hopefulness comes through to boost your spirits.

Warm regards from Ireland,

Bernie (lost both parents to C)

Please know my thoughts are with you.

Reading your posting yesterday in the early morning hours made me feel so sad. Helpless. I could not bear to comment immediately. Such a devastating and distressing account you’ve shared. But important that we know.

I moved through, what was for me, a typical Friday at the office, yet it felt much less typical, with your words often returning to my mind while I processed all you had written.

Along with those sad words, though, sterling qualities I so admire in you—courage, faith, wisdom—filled my thoughts too. All the magnificence of your generous personality came shining through in that post, even in what must certainly be a low moment of your own life.

Your writing pierced my heart. You are, and continue to be, such an amazing, inspirational human being.

I am crying now.

And while your news does fill me with sorrow, I must join the song here, add my voice to the chorus: Oy vey ist mir. And that I love you.

Take care, dear Ronni, as you pilot this ship. We will be here for you, your crew, supporting you howsoever we can.

~Elsie

Dear Ronni, no one knows what happens to us after we die (if anything), but if anybody deserves to go to a "heaven*, you do. Hugs to you.

I can only echo what so many others have said above, from Cop Car’s “ amount of stun” to Arlene’s “gut punch” to Sylvia’s “how much you’ve changed [our] lives for the better”. You HAVE been and ARE and always WILL BE our guide in so many ways.
I, like the others, am here for the now and the hereafter.
Departures suck.

My message left yesterday seems to have disappeared into the great neverland I just noted as I came to share the thoughts and wishes of others who wrote after me. I won’t attempt to recapture the heartfelt message I wrote immediately after reading what you’ve shared here. Suffice to say I wish your situation was different for you and selfishly for me, since I’ve so appreciated your writing here.

I hope you recognize your words have made a difference in the lives of others and derive some pleasure knowing your life matters to so many. My caring thoughts will continue to be with you.

Ronni, your wisdom, humor and occasional rants have enriched my life more than I can say. I look forward to continuing this journey of growing old with you and my fellow readers for as long as possible.

Feeling so much sorrow and gratitude. 💙

Love you, Ronnie. I have never posted much, but I've been following you since you started the blog. You will not be alone.

My thoughts and caring good wishes will be with you. (For some reason my previous comments here have not appeared, so an trying again with this abbreviated one.)

We have never met, Ronni, but I cherish my connection with you via your invaluable blog. You are deeply appreciated and I send fondest wishes for your wellbeing now and as we make our way with you towards the great unknown.

Thank you for being willing to take us with you on this part of your journey. I am honored.

Thank s for writing this for all of us. One of my morning hugs for you. Hugs....

Ronni! Words fail. Love remains. You've inspired that feeling from all here. Including me.

I'm running up the gangplank breathless and late -- if all the staterooms and steerage are full I'll just have to stow away. On the boat. Yes.

My heart sank, literally, as I read this. Yet I so honored my mother-in-law who said "I am curious about this last great experience," and who was still observing, surfacing to remarking on aspects of it with surprise, in her last few days. I have hoped I too would continue to report from the frontier as long as I could.

You're still my hero, Ronni. Savor these good days.

Happy to be here......thanks to DJan, for the mention.

Every day is a gift, that's my motto.......I learned a long time ago, that one day at a time was the only way to do it.

Ronni
So honoured that you will make all of us part of your life in this period … I am tearful writing this, as we have never met but I look forward to your posts and your honesty and anger (remember when he who cannot be named became your president). Your insights into the US are a delight to read here in Melbourne, Australia. I wouldn't miss coming along for the ride.
Warmest wishes
Ralph
Melbourne, Australia

With you all the way. As a 79 year old, I am so thankful for your blog, your insights, your willingness and openness. I learn so much reading your words. There will be many folks who will remember you, and this blog, as long as they live. You will leave behind a wonderful legacy. So sorry to hear this news. I, along with many others, are hoping for a miracle. Thank you for all your work.

Oh Ronni,

If you have to go you will be borne away on a cloud of the love of all of your faithful readers over the years. And as long as any of us live you will live on in us. But let's put off this "remembering Ronni" as long as possible. I vote sometime in 2030.

((((Ronni))))

I'm here too!
Thank you for your posts. You are a very brave woman.

No is my first reaction, not to your query, but your medical news. I have come late to your blog, I've traveled back in time to read your story, your journey to Portland Or. via Maine and so forth. I am more than willing to follow you forward into whatever will be. You will have wisdom to impart, and I cherish your character.
I guess we all have aphorisms and quotations that mean something in our lives. I have one that I discovered in high school as a student of the beat and psychedelic poets, especially those published by the City Lights bookstore in S.F. (I grew up near there.) It's from a love poem by Kenneth Patchen: "There are so many little dyings that it doesn't matter which of them is death." The internet has actually spread this one around. I have always used it as a positive way of embracing challenges and loss. May you feel strengthened by the love and admiration of so many walking with you.

Thank you for all you've given us, and continue to give, Ronni. Your courage and joy draw our love and inspire us to act.

Well, dear Ronnie, reading your post just this morning and feeling your wisdom and courage and love of life just as it is. A thought came to me, 'no more futzing around" with all the stuff and major interventions, and I hear this in your post...just taking joy in the things that have always been meaningful to you, and allowing your community...all of us to send you loving energy and continued support. I look forward to each day, and know that at any time this can end for any of us, and that you have a legacy that comes from not only what you write and share but who you are.

I only read this today - I don’t manage to read every post daily but I know they are there for me to dip into. And I look forward to doing so. I am so sorry to hear of this new turn. And like others, grateful that you are willing to share your experiences along the path with this virtual community. I too will be here, more shadowy than some, but present. I care for my 97 year old father (along with my wonderful husband) - who is in remarkably good shape and only a little forgetful. And from afar support my sister 14 years younger, who is working through stage 4 colon cancer with remarkable grace. I also run a part time consulting business. But my dream is to write - poetry as I used to, or even a blog as you do! You have become an inspiring friend to so many from afar and I hope you will now call on your virtual community for inspiration and support. We are here.

Roni - so sorry to hear this news but as always you are an inspiration. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years and will stay here following you and cheering for you.

Damn is right!

I know what an inspiration you have been to me since I found your blog. Since I love ice cream I suggest eating it everyday maybe twice a day.

Love and many hugs to a beautiful woman!

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