I have been a little quiet lately, particularly when it comes to my writing.  The reason is simple, I sold my home of 13 years and I am in the process of moving with all the ancillary tasks, packing, discarding, changing bank accounts, forwarding mail and fulfilling closing obligations.  However, the most important, and time-consuming, has been saying goodbye to those people, who, given my move out-of-state, I will likely not see ever again.  Adding importance to these goodbyes is the reality that with my last staging I learned my cancer is spreading at a rather remarkable rate and it appears my time is shorter than previously anticipated.

While many of those I know in my current location are relatively new in terms of friends, their significance is substantial.  They accompanied me through an acrimonious divorce and my cancer diagnosis.  They’ve supported me in my career endeavors and brought meals to me at a time when cooking is a second thought.  Many invited me into their home, allowing me to join them and their families in dinners and just spending time during a rather stressful period.  They are, in all sense of the word, friends.

With most moves, in or out-of-state, one always retains possibilities of return visits, to catch up and revisit the friendship.  However, what makes these goodbyes different, special and more important, is the reality the recent diagnostic data suggests I will never see them again, that I will die before time allows return visits.  That in moving away, with deteriorating health, visits will be unlikely and relationships will condense to electronic communications.

Many see the challenge I face, others not so much, but it seems this portion of my journey is more taxing than ever anticipated.  In November when I went for my quarterly checkup I did not expect a rising PSA, it was not even on my radar because statistically it should have remain suppressed for another year, but rise it did and in a very material way.  When I went for my biannual staging in late January I did not expect to see multiple metastases, I did not even conceive multiple lesions would be found on my rib cage and in my spine; again, not something even on my radar.  What I learned from the recent health developments is my PSA no longer accurately represents my disease burden, that while relatively low, my disease is rather prominent.

So here I am, contending with a move, the ending of a life in a place I found great happiness in concert with very unexpected health news and finally, what it now turns out to be, a lot of final goodbyes.  To say this confluence of events, each significant in their own right, is taxing understates the problem.  What it does do is test my mettle, tests the fabric of my being and, when saying goodbye to close friends, drives a sadness deep into my heart.

Happy reading, happy thoughts and happy trails.

As always, feel free to comment or you may email me at lifeabstractions@gmail.com



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