Here are some thoughts related to my “predicament” that have been rolling around in my head. Obviously, they are not fully formed yet - you might even say they're half-baked. Maybe they ring a bell for some of you.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg notwithstanding, about 90 percent of people with pancreatic cancer don't live long. Rarely more than a year after diagnosis.
Even though I have passed that deadline (no pun intended) by 18 months, it is damned hard to imagine the future without me in it.
My interest in politics goes back at least to 4 November 1952, when I was 11 years old and allowed to stay up late that night to listen to the returns in the presidential election between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson.
Cancer hasn't changed that. Until July I told people I wanted to live long enough to read the Mueller report. Now I want to live long enough to see the results of the 2020 election.
If I do live to see that, I wonder if I will then find another event I want to live to see.
It appears to me that this is the most beautiful, most vibrant fall season I've ever experienced. Leaves gone crazy inventing new colors.
That may or may not be true but it seems so and I wonder if mother nature knows something I don't and produced this spectacular show just for me because it is my last fall.
How acutely sensitive I have grown over the past two-and-a-half years to the splendor of our home in the cosmos, our big blue marble of a planet.
The perfection of every flower. Of every animal. Of the sun. The rain. The wind. All know exactly who and what they are and I weep with joy at the magnificence of their life, along with despair for their future.
At first, you think you can go on living as you did before a doctor said the word cancer. Then you learn you cannot. You're different now and it is not the same thing as knowing everyone dies.
Although I should also say that on the occasions when the thought of dying becomes too heavy to bear, I remind myself of this: How hard could it be? Everyone who ever lived has died.
That feels more flip in print than I intend when I say it to myself.