Bad news

I have no picture today. Also no humor.

Today I learned that my beautiful wife Shannon is dying. I think I’ve known it for quite a while, but there was always what I considered to be a reasonable chance of full recovery. No more. Our doctor gave us the word this morning that our hope is gone.

Here’s what I wrote to my family this evening:

Dear family,

By now all or most of you have heard today’s news regarding Shannon’s condition, but I wanted to share this again just to make sure we’ve reached out to everyone who would want to know.

This morning, Shannon’s doctor spoke with us and let us know her cancer has progressed to the point where she has only a few remaining weeks to live. Her chest cavity and belly have been filling with fluid, which they have been removing and testing. Today the test came back positive for leukemia. The doctor says it appears the chemotherapy isn’t reaching beyond her blood and bone marrow, so it doesn’t seem stoppable. Even if they could stop it, she no longer has the strength to recover.

Shannon has fought this disease with incredible strength and determination. She’s the toughest woman in the world. She’s done everything right, but she’s now very tired and it appears her fight is nearly over. Our children are all coming within the next few days to be with her one more time. She remarked several times today that she doesn’t feel like she’s dying, so I think we have a great opportunity to spend some happy hours with our children and granddaughter.

My emotions have been very strong and somewhat bitter today as we’ve notified family and tried to come to grips with our situation. I have never felt so brokenhearted and hopeless. I know peace will come, though, and Shannon and I are determined to live happily until the very end. We’re grateful for the year that cancer treatment has added to her life. It’s been a very happy year and I will always treasure the fact that I was able to spend every day of it with Shannon. Our memories are nothing but sweet.

My secret plan was to run away together somewhere when we got the news that the end was near and just live out the rest of her life doing things she loves. Alas, that’s not possible now. She’s too sick. So I plan to fill her remaining days with family, happiness, and love, love, love. I know she would love to hear from any of you via email, phone calls, or visits. She’s still feeling well enough to talk. I’ll let you know when that’s no longer something she can do.

As always, I’m deeply grateful for the love and support we’ve received during the past year. We truly feel wrapped up in your love. I know we’ll continue to need it in the days to come.

If everybody is willing, I’ll start sending out daily emails again. It helps me to reflect and focus and I’ve heard from several of you that you value the information. If you absolutely don’t want to hear from me every day, please let me know and I’ll find a way to get you off the distribution list.

We love you all.



There’s nothing I can add to that. My heart is shattered. My life is over. I have no idea how to continue without Shannon by my side, holding my hand, encouraging me, lying next to me at night, and loving me. I’m starting to understand the feeling of suffocation grieving people describe, and the suffering has only just begun.

For now, though, we’re still together, she’s still alive, and we still have each other. I’m bound and determined to make these last days sweet ones for her. Help me, Loyal Readers!

That’s all for tonight. Help me.

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