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82: Who Would Have Known?

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. ~ Aristotle

026Today, ‘The Little One’ turns 82! It is a feat to recognize considering we are now 16 months past the oncologist’s original  estimation of 3-4 months to live after the completion of his radiation and chemotherapy treatments in October of 2011.      We all know that Cancer is an insidious disease, unpredictable and unkind to many.  While we feel blessed to have the extended time together,  we are cognizant of all  cancer victims and their families today.

We learned from our oncologist prediction in October of 2011 that there is really no one who can tell us how this ordeal was going to play out.  There are no timetables in life:  what is here today, is gone tomorrow.  Knowing full well that I am not the one with cancer, I had to learn my supporting role as the caregiver as time played out.  Remembering ‘TLO’ determination and commitment to ‘fight this as best I can’ still rings in my ears from October 2011.  His determination is still prevalent today!

I have never liked phrase ‘terminal illness.’ Some people view life as a terminal illness.  Yikes, how sad that is!   The TLO and I have both buried our previous partners, in one sense that is what drew us together. Our previous caregiving experiences give us the foresight to know that we really don’t know what is going to happen. The best we can do is be present in the day. That is why is it our hope that lets us withstand problems, and it is our dreams that lets us find solutions.  

WorryWe celebrate birthdays as milestones, and today is a special milestone for ‘TLO.’ Happy Birthday to my best friend, pal and partner. May your hills always have a gentle wind at your back.

We Might Have Cancer…


But Cancer Does Not Have US!


About Chris

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Sink or Swim

I haven’t posted anything in quite a while. Mostly I just haven’t had much to ...


  1. Profile photo of Bob

    A very moving post and congratulations and happy birthday to your partner and best wishes to you Chris. I love the quote from Aristotle. Bob

    • Profile photo of Chris

      Thanks, Bob…We appreciate your kind thoughts! Have a great weekend…

  2. Profile photo of

    Happy Birthday, Chris, to your “better half” as they say – although I don’t know how anyone could be better than you! :)

    How cheerful and bright a birthday gift it was! Did you show your partner your blog today? I bet that would make the day perfect! :)

    • Profile photo of Chris

      Thanks Sunshine! Yes, he did read the blog and as ‘difficult’ as it was for him, he did smile! :) Thanks for your kind words and support, we are all on the journey together!


  3. Profile photo of ejourneys

    Happy birthday, TLO! I also love the Aristotle quote. Blessings to you both, each and every day, for your determination, commitment, perseverance, high spirits, good humor, and love!

    • Profile photo of Chris

      Thanks EJ…TLO sends his greetings, too

  4. Profile photo of G-J

    Belated birthday wishes to TLO!!

    • Profile photo of Chris

      Thanks, G-J!!! I will be sure to pass along to TLO

  5. Profile photo of

    Hi Chris,
    I just listened to the blogtalkradio show between you and your partner regarding the end-of-life conversation you didn’t really have. I don’t mean to offend you but how – if you ask him? – would your partner have told/or not told you about the possibility of a terminal cancer? Would he think that you might have wanted to do somethings in life which you had possibliy cut short by cancer and therefore told you the doctor’s only a few months to live prognosis? I am curious since he too had a partner who passed away before you and he were together?
    Take care, Chris! {{HUGS}}

    • Profile photo of Chris

      Hi, Sunshine…Let me see if I can help clarify for you. Richard knew that he had cancer and knew that it was serious. During our conversations leading up to doctors ‘prediction’ Richard was well aware that ‘this is what is probably going to take me.’ When I asked the doctor privately about a time frame, it was clear from his answer that he just really did not know.
      When I made the decisions not to say anything about the prediction, I knew that I was going to have to monitor the next few weeks to see how he would do after the radiation and chemo. After three weeks, it was apparent that he was regaining strength, eating and feeling well. Sure there were some bad days, (as there are now) but there was never any serious symptoms that would be alarming.
      Personally, I just don’t believe in time tables, if we are waiting to do something, then why wait…we should just do it now. I hope this helps… :) Hugs back at you!

  6. Profile photo of

    Thanks for sharing your story, Chris. I need to keep reminding myself to stay in the moment and not invest to much energy in worrying about the future.

    • Profile photo of Chris

      Thanks for your kind words Janis…I tend to worry to much myself, it is always difficult but good to find a way to let go.
      Take Care…Chris

  7. Profile photo of Denise

    Happy Belated Birthday to TLO. I hope all his dreams come true. :)

  8. Chris,

    Your post and it’s insightful honesty is something that all of us can take away from. As my wife’s primary caregiver during her battle with cancer, I now look back on those little moments I looked over because I was more concerned with her next appointment, etc.

    You’re so right when you said “The best we can do is be present in the day. That is why is it our hope that lets us withstand problems, and it is our dreams that lets us find solutions.”

    I have an entire chapter in my book dedicated to laughter – as it is the cheapest medicine around. My wife and I made an honest effort to laugh with one another, each day. It was the perfect opportunity to look past the pain, and just cherish each other’s joy. We can all do some more laughing.

    Thank you for sharing.
    John J. Garnand.

    • Profile photo of Chris

      Greetings, John…

      Thanks for your response and kind words: Sometimes laughing is simply the best medicine around. We try to inject as much laughter into our day as possible. I would love to read you book. Can you send me some information on it?
      As caregivers, we are all connected. While our situations might be different, we are all joined together in one way or another.
      Looking forward to more visits with you!
      Kind Regards,

      • Hi Chris,

        Happy to hear that laughter is a part of your daily lives. I would happily send you more information about my book – I am thrilled that you’d be interested in reading it.

        If it’s okay with you, would you mind if I pass your email along to my publicist, who will be able to ship you a copy directly? Wanted to check with you about that before passing your email along.

        Also looking forward to visiting more – your writing is so informative.

        Kind Regards,


        • Profile photo of Chris

          Hi, John…

          That is very kind of you and yes, please do send my email address to your publicist.
          I appreciate your kind words about my writing. I try to write in a conversational style, and I have a couple of projects in the works. It would be great to get your feedback on my projects if you have the time.
          Keep in touch!
          All my best…

          • Chris,

            Great, thank you! I will have her contact you today for your shipping address, so I can have a copy sent out to you as early as possible.

            Conversational style is, in my opinion, the best style of writing when trying to engage your audience. If they feel like you are talking to them, they are far more willing to keep reading.

            I would be happy to give feedback at any point on your work!

            Best Regards,

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