Saturday, August 16, 2008

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0996 - More Farewells

Leroy Sievers died Friday. He was 53. Randy Pausch died just a few weeks ago at age 47 of pancreatic cancer. A colleague from work died of cancer less than a week ago. She was 59.

I followed, as much as possible, their efforts to live and die well. They have inspired me at times. At other times, I have used them to put my own struggles with cancer into perspective.

Today, at this particular moment, I feel a little lost. In just over three weeks, I will be undergoing surgery for metastatic colorectal cancer to the liver. The surgeon will be performing a liver resection to remove a portion of my liver with two lesions. The plan is to do an initial surgery, followed by chemotherapy, then restaging of the other lesions on another part of the liver with the goal of another resection, followed by yet more chemotherapy. The plan is aggressive and frightening. But even more so in the context of the deaths of those whose stories I have been following.

As my wife reminds me, comparisons are not always useful. I acknowledge that intellectually, but emotionally I feel bereft. Leroy's heart-on-his-sleeve daily blog entries were especially helpful to me. There were many times when what he wrote resonated, and now more than ever (Leroy was battling metastatic colorectal cancer). Wondering about whether it was worthwhile to buy new pants or shoes. Appreciating the heroics of those providing the support network in his life. Marvelling at the medical technological wonders and treatment options while still suffering their side effects. Thanking those who commented on his entries with stories of their own.

I will miss Leroy's daily musings deeply.

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