Some of you I haven’t talked to in a very long time. Many of you already know my sad news. To those of you who don’t, there’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll get straight to it. Several weeks ago I was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.
I was having some discomfort in my abdomen, so I went in to get it checked out. I had a blood test, and was told that my liver enzymes were extremely high. So we did an ultrasound, where they saw a mass. Then a cat scan and finally it was confirmed with a biopsy. They say I have several weeks to several months to live.
I know this must be a shock for you to hear (if you didn’t already know), but I want you to know I’m really at peace with dying. I’ve never been afraid to die. It’s tough being human, so I actually feel some relief about letting go. I also feel excited to move on to the next adventure.
At this time I’m feeling tired, slowing down, and mild pain. I have no idea what to expect as time goes on. I’ve signed up with hospice, and they have been a wonderful support. All of my sisters, their husbands, my nieces and nephews came for the weekend two weeks ago and we had a very sweet time together. They organized a council circle with a talking stick, where we went around the circle and they each shared memories or thoughts about me. Ever since my diagnosis one month ago at least one of my sisters has been here with me. I am so grateful to my amazing family.
I want to let you know that I’m writing a memoir. It looks like I won’t have time to finish it, but my wonderful editor/collaborator, Stacey Stern, is going to compile stories and poems I’ve written and get the book published. I was in a cult (the Moonies) for six years in my 20’s, so the book is in 3 acts—before the Moonies, during the Moonies and finally, how I have grown and healed over the last 37 years since I was kidnapped and deprogrammed out of the Moonies. Lots of things you didn’t know about me!
I prefer not to get phone calls or visits. Also no flowers, because my cat likes to eat them. But I love getting cards or letters. My address is: 3314 Cripple Creek Trail, Boulder, CO, 80305
I’m not very good about keeping up on email, so if you need to reach me or reach my sisters, here is their contact info:
To all of you who have sent me cards and care packages, thank you so much. They have meant a tremendous amount to me. I feel so lucky to have received these before I died, and to see the unexpected ways that I have touched peoples lives. It makes me think that I’ve made more of a difference in this world than I was aware of. There’s no better present than that.