As many of you know, I have been struggling with cancer for some time now. What began as simple prostate cancer progressed into my liver and kidneys and is now in my spine. I have, after long thought an prayer, decided to end aggressive treatment. I have lead a life that, while not as long as I would have liked, has certainly been full, and I have no wish to end it in pain and misery. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and loving friends, and while we had no children, I have many former students who are in essence just that.
I will be entering hospice care this week. I do not expect to be there long. I have asked that the priority be in ensuring that my last few weeks are calm, peaceful, and without trauma. The hospice care facility I have chosen is adjacent to and associated with the nursing facility my wife is at, and although she does not remember me now (I do not know if I have ever mentioned she has Alhzeimer's and has been in residential care for several years now. It is not something I speak of much.) I have been very lonely these last months, despite the best efforts of friends and loved ones, and I look forward to being with her at the end. I regret very much that I will not be here to see to her care anymore, but I have made arrangements so she will not lack for comforts.
I will not have access to the internet. I have chosen to spend my time reading, drawing, writing, and speaking with friends rather than perusing message boards and idly surfing the internet. I will not have cable, as I have decided that I do not wish to see and hear the miserable divisiveness in politics anymore. Friends have arranged for me to have DVDs of all of my favorite films, and I look forward to revisiting with some of them instead of broadcast television.
I will still be able to receive messages over the next few weeks, though, as I have given a list of my accounts and passwords to my dear friend and former student David, who has been so loving to me, even to the point of allowing me to live with him and his wife for the past few years. The checks I wrote to help cover the mortgage and utilities will never go even a tenth of the way to repaying him and his lovely wife for their kindness and loyalty, as the old Sandman has needed help with the most basic and embarrassing of things for a while now.
David has promised to check the site periodically and print out any messages directed to me. If you wish to send me a message, please do so in this thread or by PM, since I doubt he will have the time to peruse all of the threads. I hope he becomes active on the site, as he is a fine thinker and a good man, but I have my doubts that he will. He is simply too busy. Make him welcome if you will, and try to get him to make an account. I would find it pleasant if a ghost of me lingered on at FSTDT.
(Because access to my account is now in the hands of someone other than me, I hereby request that Mod powers be removed from me as soon as possible.)
I know I said no long goodbyes, but FSTDT has been one of my favorite sites for quite some time. I thought about individual goodbyes, but I just can't bring myself to write them. I don't know what I would say. All of you mean so much to me, and I don't want to reduce you to sound bites and memes. Just know that the Sandman is watching over you, and you are in my thoughts.
Goodbye, and Godspeed.