Tuesday, August 09, 2005


joan is dying.

this week she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, from which virtually no one recovers.

joan is my wife's mother, and she's too healthy, vital and vibrant to suffer the death that's in store. the online cancer resource sites spend very little time talking about survivability or recovery. they jump immediately to "palliative care", which essentially is about comforting the dying.

joan is in her 70s. for some people that's old; for her it's not even an inconvenience. she backpacks yosemite, she camps, she skies, she travels. she sets the kind of example anyone would be fortunate to follow.

for her to die this way, in fact to think of her dying at all, is outrageous.

my wife is beside herself. i can't talk about it easily. i can barely write about it. the children know granny joan is sick, but of course they don't know anything. they couldn't process it if they did.

we can't seem to process it either.

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