Not Alone On This Road

Fight. Wrestle. Confront. Cope. Endure.

Whatever words we find to describe how we deal with our cancer, there's one overriding truth. We don't do it alone.

It may feel that way sometimes, especially in the dark hours of the night when the silence closes in. But that's just a trick of the night.

As we walk on this difficult road, if we listen carefully, we can hear the footsteps of those who walk with us. Our fellow patients, our friends, and our loved ones, who carry an especially heavy burden.

In these difficult days, Laurie wanted to reach out to all of you with this note:

No one has lost a battle here.

If anything has happened in these past couple of years on this blog, it's that we've all learned how to face life head-on. Not death.

And Leroy's been our pied piper. I'm not sure he even knew where this trek would take him, but we've followed him because of his strength and courage and willingness to get off the beaten path and make a new one.

Most of us are not that brave. We need the Leroys in our lives to show us.

These next few weeks, months, whatever it turns out to be, will be no different than when this blog began two years ago.

We live life here. We don't sit and wait for death.

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Thank you so much for sharing your strength, sense of humor and courage!

Sent by Psiplex | 7:13 AM | 6-11-2008

Thank you Laurie. You are so right no battle will be lost. You and Leroy have helped with our braveness, lack of or finding it. I do enjoy the trip off the beaten path. sending strong ju-ju your way. With care.

Sent by anne lumberger | 7:23 AM | 6-11-2008

What a beautiful entry today! How lucky you are to have each other.

Sent by Liz L. | 7:23 AM | 6-11-2008

Thank you, Laurie, for reminding us of this. That is how we ALL should live...

Have a BLESSED day...

Sent by Patsy Elmore | 7:23 AM | 6-11-2008

way to go! nooe said it would be easy, but we are survivors, and nothing can take that away from us! continue to stay strong and know you have more friends than you will ever know. sending love to you both, you both are champions who have led the way for me as i live in this cancerworld with my husband who is the same age as leroy and fights the battle.

Sent by nancy | 7:33 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy, Laurie and all,
I have learned we are not alone in this battle. My family, my friends and all of you have shown me that. I have learned that each day is a gift and one we need to cherish with our loved ones. While they are here and in the memories after they leave us. The pain and hurt and sadness will consume us at times but we will move on because we have become stronger. We have loved but we have not lost. My belief is that our reward comes after death.
I miss my Neil so much, but in my heart, he is always with me. The people in this blog have touched so many lives, mine included and it has been a place where I can find comfort, support and love.
The Greatest of these if LOVE...
Laurie is right, there is no battle lost here, this is where we found out how to live and win with Grace.
My continued prayers are with you all.....
thank you!

Sent by Laurie Hirth | 7:36 AM | 6-11-2008

Beautifully said, Laurie!

Sent by Bob Clements | 7:42 AM | 6-11-2008

No battle lost. No guarantees. Just grateful that for whatever reasons something compelled us all to come here.

Sent by Sue in Rochester, NY | 7:48 AM | 6-11-2008

Laurie you are so RIGHT..Keep fighting the battle Leroy like I said to you before and I will say it again you are the inspiration to KEEP FIGHTING!!!! I am a survivor and I read this blog everyday I dont always write in but believe me you make me stronger and keep going to fight this battle that touches so many lives. You keep fighting like always and be strong our prayers and thoughts are with you via this blog

Sent by luisa | 7:51 AM | 6-11-2008

"Most of us are not that brave. We need the Leroys in our lives to show us."

Truer words were never written. Thank you so much, Leroy and Laurie, for showing us the way. Much love, Susan

Sent by Susan C | 7:57 AM | 6-11-2008

God Bless you both!

Sent by Daphne | 7:57 AM | 6-11-2008

Wonderful, innspiring thoughts from you both this morning! How fortunate we all are to have you both. Look how much stronger we all are to be have to come to know you, Leroy and Laurie. It is so rewarding as we go forward with you down paths toward solutions and breakthroughs on the Horizon. People like you that are leading the way and taking us with you! Thank You. What an Army we are!

Sent by J C R | 7:57 AM | 6-11-2008

Brava Laurie for those wonderful words and Good Morning Leroy, After a stormy night, the sun is shining. You are both so fortunate to have and love each other.
Much love, Antoinette Comprelli, Montville, NJ

Sent by Anotinette Comprelli | 8:02 AM | 6-11-2008

that was beautiful and god bless you both.

Kim

Sent by kim parris | 8:12 AM | 6-11-2008

Thank you for your note, Laurie. No matter what decisions are made regarding future ttreatment or even what the final outcome is, this battle will never be lost. Someday the war may be over, but Leroy has already shown us that he has a hero's spirit.

Sent by Susan | 8:13 AM | 6-11-2008

Bravo. Standing ovation.

Sent by Lori | 8:13 AM | 6-11-2008

Dearest Leory and Laurie, G-d bless you both; you two do deserve each other and that is such a positive thing! Leroy, you tell the story AS IT IS - the ups and downs, Laurie, you have the strength and love that Leroy needs and we need to hear to help support Leroy also. My only wish is that the pain will be contained. I don't know what you, Leroy are doing differently today than you were doing last week when you were talking about the mundane changes that go with cancer life. I just pray to G-d that you know how much you are truly loved by all and that you are comfortable. G-d bless both of you and give you the strength that you need - and we continue to pray for that miracle.

Love, Jan

Sent by janice goldberg white | 8:17 AM | 6-11-2008

When I was walking down that road six years ago, I felt a strong debt to the people had traveled the cancer highway before me. I looked on them, and their doctors, as trailblazers who made a very dangerous and difficult road a little less uncertain with their sacrifices and suffering.

Keep your head high as you walk down that road today, Leroy. You are one of the trailblazers that others coming down that same road in the future will gain from.

Sent by Art Ritter | 8:23 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy, what a gift you have in Laurie as your cheerleader! May God bless you both in your courageous journey together...

Sent by Retha | 8:28 AM | 6-11-2008

Selflessness, uncommon courage in a common man, a pathfinder....and the list goes on to describe Leroy! We are blessed that Leroy chose to give of himself to help others. And help he has!! From countries around the world come bloggers to say "Thank you for what you do". Is there a greater testimony to goodness? I think not...

Laurie's note today said it all for me.."Most of us are not that brave. We need the Leroys in our lives to show us."

Prayers and blessings as always for you both.

Sent by Al Cato | 8:30 AM | 6-11-2008

And the Lauries of the world are the singular best reason that we patients have the fight that we have! If any of us wondered where you two get your strength and resolve, it is clearly from each other. The best way.

Thank you both again and always!

Sent by Judie in CT | 8:32 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Laurie, I feel your pain.
Take care and God bless you both.

Judy

Sent by Judy Voller | 8:34 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Leroy and Laurie,
Thank you both for giving me the courage to face another day. Your words mean so much to all of us who love you and share in your journey.

Sent by Nancy | 8:39 AM | 6-11-2008

Dearest Leroy and Laurie,

Thank you for your heartfelt posts. I echo another Brenda "...wrap yourself in the warmth of our love and support..."

My voice has been silent on this blog for quite some time, but I wanted you to know that we do walk beside you each and every day even if you don't hear from us. Cheers to celebrating life!

Sent by Brenda White Myers | 8:51 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy and Laurie, thank you both. I am so glad that you have each other at this time. Stay the course. There are many walking with you. No one says it will be easy, but believe me it is easier when you know you are not walking this road alone. Thank you both for helping to make the last couple of years easier for me and my husband who was fighting this same battle. There were times that were so overwhelming but I could come to this blog and feel the strength from everyone here. Keep on keeping on.

Sent by dorothy in oregon | 8:51 AM | 6-11-2008

Thank you both for your words today. I hear your message loud and clear and will honor you request to continue facing life and not death. Yes, the recent news is not the best, but nothing has been lost. Not by a long shot. I receive my scan results tomorrow and will have keep this sentiment in mind. How wonderful that you two have each other.

Sent by J S M | 8:59 AM | 6-11-2008

As one of the lucky/fortunate survivors who was diagnosed early enough to be cured, I can't say I know what you're going through. But please remember always that you're not going through this alone, or even with friends you know face-to-face, for there is an enormous communbity of readers who remain grateful for your willingness to continue sharing your journey through cancer world. You both remain in my prayers daily, and I thank God for the privilege of knowing you in this way.

Sent by Barbara | 9:00 AM | 6-11-2008

Last night I wrote this - Can you imagine that it is the middle of the night and I can't sleep. I am hurting over what is happening to a man I am bonded to and yet have never laid eyes on or spoken to. How odd is that? I have learned that when it is 3am and I can't sleep it must be for a reason - I fumble and fidget, get up, roam around the room, go to the kitchen, get some water, and conclude that someone needs my prayers so I pray.

So Leroy if you are trying to get to sleep at night but can't, listen to the quiet, somewhere in the direction of Germany you might hear one of your groupies flying paper sheep over a fence so you can count them.

Sent by Irene | 9:01 AM | 6-11-2008

I pray for you both. You cannot imagine what you have done for all of us.
Laurie, what a wonderful woman you are.
On with life.
Prayers,
Wanda Amorose

Sent by Wanda Amorose | 9:05 AM | 6-11-2008

Thank you both for your heartfelt post today. I am grateful (as I am sure others here are too) that my life has crossed paths with this Leroy and this Laurie. The battle is not lost when life is lived so fully and you are loved so completely! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sent by Kellie | 9:07 AM | 6-11-2008

AMEN!

Sent by Cindy Williams | 9:10 AM | 6-11-2008

Beautiful. Thank you both for giving me and others the courage to fight, wrestle, confront, cope and endure. You will continue to be in my prayers.

Sent by Kathy W | 9:13 AM | 6-11-2008

Life is certainly interesting.

Hold Fast

Don MacLeod

Sent by Don MacLeod | 9:15 AM | 6-11-2008

Yeah! Together we are on - in our thoughts, caring and feelings for those who join in this Blog. I feel someone out there knows how I feel and perhaps feeling the same as I do right now. Thank you Leroy! Thank You.

Sent by Carolyn Mohaupt | 9:15 AM | 6-11-2008

Laurie,
You are so right that we need the Leroys in our lives. I think you have just shown me that you are as brave as he. God bless you!
Charlotte in Rural Ridge, PA

Sent by Charlotte Kewish | 9:16 AM | 6-11-2008

You are both right. It isn't over until it's over. Good thoughts for all of you.

Nikki

Sent by Nikki in Kansas | 9:20 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Laurie

Remember to take care of yourself, also. I almost lost my mind when my husband had his surgery for pancreatic cancer. I live with fear every day of my life. I know you are strong, but it is okay not to be invincible. Love to both of you.

Donna in Richmond, VA.

Sent by Donna Bennett | 9:22 AM | 6-11-2008

Powerful words, Laurie! "We live life here. We don't sit and wait for death." Stern and joyful...it is just what I need this morning. Thank you both, again, for giving in the midst of your hard work.
Be well this day.

Sent by Ceese Stickles | 9:25 AM | 6-11-2008

It was wonderful to hear from Laurie. Like others here I am inspired and am walking a very similar path. I had my scans the day after Leroy's and they were not good. I am looking at a clinical trial but have no guarantee that I will be accepted or that it will change much. I take comfort in knowing there are so many of us walking the same road. I hope we will continue to deal with the tough issues together and that folks will find comfort in this and not be depressed or frightened by this next path in the journey. Peace

Sent by Dona | 9:29 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,

Amen.

Sent by Erica | 9:30 AM | 6-11-2008

I have been reading Leroy's blog for over a year now and have never posted a comment until now. Leroy's ability to capture the feelings of those of us who have been touched by cancer has always amazed me. As I read this morning's blog I cried because I realize that we have all been blessed to have Leroy & Laurie share part of their journey with us. Thanks Laurie for reminding us that "We live life here. We don't sit and wait for death".

Sent by Michelle H. | 9:30 AM | 6-11-2008

Keep on hanging in there. We're all out there for you - and each other.

John Shippee

Sent by John Shippee | 9:30 AM | 6-11-2008

I wish you both Peace

Karen

Sent by Karern | 9:37 AM | 6-11-2008

You have made a difference in my life. Leroy and I just wanted you to know that!

Sent by Sheila Owens | 9:41 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,
Your words are so beautiful. Right now, my tears are flowing, but I'll dry them soon and get on with life -- as you say, no battles have been lost or will be lost here.What a perfectly matched pair you two seem to be: raw courage and inspiration. Nobility.

Sent by Doris | 9:42 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Leroy and Laurie,
Laurie, by reminding us of Leroy's courage, you give me courage to post and share what I can.
My most-favorite book lately has been
The Four Things That Matter Most by Dr. Ira Byock. It's a book about living. He recommends that people say four things to their loved ones while they still can. Those four things are "Please forgive me," "I forgive you," "Thank you," and "I love you." The book contains ancedotes from his practice as a physician in hospice and palliative care. Sue Chap's recent words about not leaving anything unsaid reminded me of the book.
Even though I read the blog as an "outsider," I have learned so much from all of you, and thank you so very much.
Leroy and Laurie, and others, you continue to remain in my prayers.

Sent by Laura | 9:43 AM | 6-11-2008

Laurie: Thank you I needed to hear "We live here we don't sit and wait to die" This blog is amazing With you beside Leroy he is going to do fine.

Sent by diana from kc | 9:53 AM | 6-11-2008

Thank you Laurie and Leroy.

I agree wholeheartedly. This is life being lived.

War and battle analogies are not a necessary part of my vocabulary for any part of life.

I'm into peace, creating, and living.
Doing everything possible to foster understanding, appreciation, and love.

Light, Love, & Heartlight,

Kim & Virgie & Gracie

Sent by Kim Blankenship | 9:56 AM | 6-11-2008

If we could just bottle your positive thoughts and outlook on life, this world be a better place. How lucky we are to have you both!

Sent by Betty O'Connor | 9:57 AM | 6-11-2008

Normally I'm not a huge fan of Mehmet Oz, the cardiologist Oprah brings out whenever she wants an MD sitting next to her. But yesterday was a re-run of the Oprah show where she and Oz interviewed Randy Pausch, and then Oz did an update. During that, Oz said something surprisingly insightful about hope, and it's helping me a lot. I hope it helps you, Leroy and Laurie, as well:

"Hope's not about having a good outcome. Hope's about making sense of it all."

Strong thoughts for both of you, always.

Sent by Pat | 9:59 AM | 6-11-2008

What a comfort and inspiration you two have been to those of us who read the blog. I pray that knowing you are in our thoughts and prayers will comfort you.

Sent by Bettie Wolverton | 10:03 AM | 6-11-2008

Laurie & Leroy, one reason having cancer is so hard is because we don't have the game plan. In order for us to survive we must be constantly alert, identify the validity of the problem and shift yet again. Sometimes I think it is a blessing that I have been an RN for nearly 30 yrs because I can "medical talk" instantly Sort of like the first time you dream in second language you have been studying.
But Leroy you put it so aptly when you described having cancer as being on a roller coaster ride...sometimes extremely high peaks of hope & promise sometimes to have a "smack down" the very next day.
I do think in all of our battles, but rarely have we spoken about the final transition into acceptance that in the end cancer wins (or it will in my case). It is a dark ugly secret but with which we must deal with every day. So when I switched to hospice it was w much fear & much hope that they would help me with this final transition. I think they have...I now decide is this simply buying me more time or is it buying quality of time to my life. I have chosen quality. Primarily because I am tired and did not want my final days to be ones filled w constant battle but one in which I could spend "loving happy" time w my family and friends. Who knows maybe the decrease in the constant diligence may actually lengthen my life, but I can say without hesitation the past 3 weeks on hospice have been glorious. A doctor who comes to my house at my convenience every 2 weeks, a hospice RN who comes 2-3 times a week; a social worker who comes every other week and finally a grief counselor who comes as much or as little as I want them. I ponder how the course of my illness would have been if I had had this much attention in a gradual ramping up to hospice. Yet what ever choice you make Leroy please know we will support you as you have supported many of us in some of our darkest days

Sent by Cherie Brown, Tucson | 10:03 AM | 6-11-2008

What great words to write and more importantly, to feel and live.

Two of my co-workers face similiar situations: one with the diagnosis of ALS and the other with metastatic prostate cancer that aggressively grows no matter what. Your path is shared by many on the same or very similiar journey; thanks for showing one way (and a very positive way) to deal with what has been given to you.

While cancer happens to one, many are there to share all that happens if you will let them. May our thoughts and love reach you and give you support. Thanks for letting us share.

Sent by Leslie | 10:04 AM | 6-11-2008

Amen, sister.

Peace
jj

Sent by Joan Jones | 10:08 AM | 6-11-2008

Amen, sister.

Peace
jj

Sent by Joan Jones | 10:08 AM | 6-11-2008

I don't have cancer (at least, yet). I also don't have a "significant other", "soulmate", "companion" --- whatever --- to share our past, our present, or our future (however limited it may be). His mind has no connection with mine, compassion to care or know about my good times and my bad times. So, and I truly mean no offense, cancer, or any other terminal disease, doesn't always look so bad. I do not think lightly about your cancer and your future life. It's just that I'm really sad about mine.

Sent by Friend | 10:09 AM | 6-11-2008

Remember that death is a part of life, it is a natural part of the life cycle-- it is not to be fought against, or hated, or feared. We prefer life because we know it, but we did not choose to be born-- Life is so full of beauty and magic and strength: your being a part of it, and the fact that it is temporary, are what make it truly a gift. Thank you both for sharing yourselves. I wish you both the peace of recognizing this moment as the gift that it is.

Sent by crow | 10:10 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy,
I have followed your story for the past couple of years. I want you to know I feel that your life in sickness has impacted many more people than you can imagine. Your defining purpose in life has been met and I will always be truly grateful that you were here to help everyone with their journeys.
Peace be with you.

Sent by Sue | 10:14 AM | 6-11-2008

Words to live by.

Sent by Kathleen, NJ | 10:14 AM | 6-11-2008

Good morning to you both. I've been struck during the last couple of days at how wide a net you've thrown with this blog. Supporters have written from Malaysia, Germany, Norway, and I may have missed a country or two. You have to know by now how great a service the two of you have done by being willing to share the "cancer experience" with the world. I've mentioned this before, but I know that it's revolutionary.
When I was a new nurse nearly 30 years ago, cancer was a taboo. If a patient was unfortunate enough to have it, chances that he or she would live didn't seem to be that great, and a lot of the treatments then left patients in truly horrible conditions with little to no quality of life. Cancer was talked about in whispers, and too many times, there was a veil of secrecy dropped around it. The diagnosis would be kept from the patient at the families' request, or the family wasn't told at the patients' request. That to me was more tragic than cancer, because that meant that a wall of secrecy had just been put up in between them that would lead to lonliness that is difficult to contemplate. How do you have a life threatening disease, and not discuss it and get support for it from your dearest ones?
By being an example of how much stronger one can be when sharing this burden, and by expressing what it is like on a day to day basis, you're just as much a pioneer as Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was. I worked in the years when her message was spread and took hold. I heard her speak first hand to an auditorium filled with doctors, nurses, social workers and student nurses. She changed us by changing our attitudes of what the stages of coming to terms with ones' own death are, and in doing so, changed illness and death experiences for millions. We became better at helping by listening, allowing people their feelings, and asking what they needed.
It was telling that a nursing instructor wrote in yesterday saying that she's been teaching your blog to her advanced level nursing students.
I came to the realization a few years ago that the world was better for a group of people because I'd been here, and had cared for them. I knew so because they told me. That was a comforting thought to have when I found out that my breast cancer wasn't stage 1, but was stage 4. I didn't know if it would kill me sooner or later, but I could hold onto the fact that I'd made a difference here. You're being told over and over in these pages by scores of us that your being here has made a difference to us, and to those in our lives who care about and support us. However much time in THIS life you have, you can take that knowledge to the next one. I wish for your load to be light. Consider yourselves hugged.

Sent by Nancy K Clark | 10:19 AM | 6-11-2008

ROCK ON LAURIE AND LEROY!

Well said and inspiring - as per usual in this blog.

Thanks for letting us walk your path with you.

Sent by Melissa T | 10:22 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy and Laurie,
My husband has lung cancer. It has rocked our perfect world. We both read your blog and the comments by others. I comment on occasion, but he can not. His scans are scheduled for later this June following his second winter of surgery/chemo/radiation. He has never had a clean scan in the 2 years since his diagnosis in 2006. We have learned to be afraid of scans.
Your recent news has had a profound impact on so many of us. Your post today mirrors our thoughts about living with cancer. There is no battle lost. We use our military terms to keep us strong in our mission against our advisary "cancer."
Words like hope, love, happiness and peace are the qualities that we strive to achieve in our lives. How do we integrate them into this fearful place that we find ourselves now? I guess by knowing that he is alive 2 years after the diagnosis and the scans have made it possible for him to be healthy and happy and alive to meet our first granddaughter. Peace be with us all.

Sent by Deb | 10:24 AM | 6-11-2008

Courageous is the right word to use for Leroy. His brave and extremely well-written words have helped many people by articulating concepts that many of us know, but could not have expressed so well. My thoughts are with the two of you.

Sent by Susan | 10:29 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Leroy & Laurie,
Thank you for opening up your lives so we can learn by your example. Reading your blog reinforces the attitude to live daily. Yet not everyone embraces that choice. My mother, at 83, who lost her husband of 53 years just 5 years ago, being diagnosed with lung cancer this past Dec, has decided that her life is done. She is ready to die and thinks cancer will eventually take her to that goal. She has her affairs in order with 24/7 caregivers at her home where she very much wants to stay. Hospice is in charge of her medical needs and her 5 children are trying to respect her wishes. Maybe I would feel the same given her circumstances. And maybe, I will remember her example and decide not to embrace her attitude. I'm with you two, we live life here. Carpe deim!

Sent by Marge from Texas | 10:30 AM | 6-11-2008

Laurie - I was in your shoes and have traveled your path three years ago with my husband. I do know exactly how you feel and the challenges you face. You are right - no one has lost the battle here.
Thank you - to you and to Leroy for sharing with me and others. My continued prayers for both of you.
Leroy - I wish I could shake your hand and give you a hug for what you and this blog have done for me over the past couple of years. I could never even begin to explain what reading these posts have done for me. Thank you!!!!

Sent by Deb from Michigan | 10:35 AM | 6-11-2008

One day, one minute at a time. That's all any of us have. Love to you both.
Battle on and on!

Sent by Lyn Banghart | 10:38 AM | 6-11-2008

Those three short sentences "We live life here. We don't sit and wait for death. There will be no battle lost." epitomizes the essence of this two year blog. So beautifully and simply stated, it is now my new mantra. I have written it across my bathroom mirror in lipstick to read each and every day. Leroy and Laurie, you have given us readers a great gift. A gift from the heart. With deep affection and respect, I say thank you.

Sent by Penny Coeur d'Alene, Idaho | 10:39 AM | 6-11-2008

I'm just catching up after a few days unplugged...Leroy and Laurie, you are heard and cradled here. Thank you for your clarity and wonder, as you cherish your time.

Peace in your hearts!

Sent by Joan S. | 10:40 AM | 6-11-2008

I never did like the war analogies, anyway. Leroy has walked with grace, trough thick and thin, pain and procedures, anxiety and the kind of fears that wake one in the night...He has been our dear friend and our hero- and still is big time!!!!
Leroy, I am so happy to hear you don't feel alone in this and can feel the outpouring of love everyone near, dear and here has for you.
Laurie, if only all partners could be capable of your kind of support and your eloquence at expressing your experience . We are all with you both every step of the way.

Sent by NancyGM | 10:42 AM | 6-11-2008

Amen, Laurie!

Sent by Molly Rich | 10:42 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Laurie, you brought me to tears with your last three sentences. Like Penny, it will be a new tool for me to live my life. And you are right. Leroy has been such a leader for all of us, showing us how to live our lives, and not simply watch for death. I have no good words here; you've said it all.

Sent by Alycia Keating | 10:48 AM | 6-11-2008

WHAT A TEAM !!!! You are beautiful people.... with an amazing ability to capture each and everyone of us through your strength,courage and willingness to share and expose your raw spirit.
The bond you share can truly be "felt".
Thank you God, for these beautiful beings.
God Bless you both

Sent by Pam | 10:56 AM | 6-11-2008

Amen.

Sent by Brian from PA | 10:57 AM | 6-11-2008

Laurie, The truth speaks in the eloquence of your words. Laurie

Sent by laurie de Gonz??lez | 10:57 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Leroy,
Just wanted to let you know how much you have helped people like me whose lives have not even been touched by cancer. I've been reading for a couple years now but am a first-time poster. I heard about you on NPR and started reading your posts and your humor and perspective gave me so much courage as I was struggling my way through law school. Now I have graduated and am studying for the bar and continue to take strength from you. Thank you for everything you give to all of us. A big hug to you and wishing you well,
sr215

Sent by sr215 | 10:58 AM | 6-11-2008

Its all about how we live. For a fact we will all die, but our journey is what counts. Thank you both for your everday and insightful wisdom. You help make each day count.

Sent by Shirley Gossett,South Carolina, Non Hodgkins survivor 10 years and grateful. | 11:01 AM | 6-11-2008

At the Labrynth in New Orleans' Audubon Park, there is a plaque inscribed "Tell me, what is it you will do with this one wild and wonderful life?" Thank you for telling us each day what you're doing with yours. Peace.

Sent by Jen in Nola | 11:11 AM | 6-11-2008

Dear Leroy and Laurie:

I am privileged to walk along this path with you both. Thank you for being a part of my journey as well. As Laurie said so eloquently, "Most of us are not that brave. We need the Leroys in our lives to show us." Thank you, Leroy, from the bottom of my heart, for being our Pied Piper. And thank you to the countless others who help each and everyone of us along ... day in, day out, step by step ...

Sent by Peggy | 11:13 AM | 6-11-2008

Thank you so much for today, what inspirational words from you both!

Sent by Donna Lajoy | 11:22 AM | 6-11-2008

Laurie, thank you for your words.

Sent by Leah | 11:24 AM | 6-11-2008

Laurie, your comment about Leroy being willing to get off the beaten path and make a new one made me think of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken"

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sent by Alice May - Nebraska | 11:24 AM | 6-11-2008

Laurie

What a wonderful companion for Leroy you are! May all of us who face this disease have such courage as you have shown at our side!

Blessings to both of you.

Sent by Diana Kitch | 11:26 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy, You have a gem there!! Laurie-- This is most difficult for you all, but what choice do we have but to fight. I agree no one loses here, we gain each day from the insights of a man haunted by a terrible disease, with the strength to share the path with us. We are all strengthened by his and your openess. A good day to you both. Thanks, Stan

Sent by Stan Wozniak | 11:28 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy, with courage, grace, humor and your beautiful way with words you have united us and provided an invaluable "voice of cancer" for all the world to hear. Today was especially moving. We are so grateful to you and each of us, in our own way, are holding you and Laurie in our thoughts and prayers. Bonita

Sent by Bonita Rostenbach, Seattle | 11:29 AM | 6-11-2008

I was reading through the comments and while I am trying to understand where "Friend" is coming from, I am completely offended by the comments. Unless you have endured the pain that comes either from a direct diagnosis, like so many of us, or hearing that a loved one has been diagnosed, please do not ever say that "cancer doesn't always look so bad." That was a mean, thoughtless thing to say. If you are lonely, you can change that. I can't change the fact that I have cancer-no one can change that. Either you weren't really thinking about what you were typing or you just didn't care who you offended.

With that said Leroy, I hope you and Laurie enjoy your day. As always, you are all in my prayers. We are in this together.

Sent by Tess from KY | 11:35 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy & Laurie -

These past few weeks have been hard. We always hope that we will win the battle and be able to keep the cancer monster at bay forever.
No matter how much time you have left with us here, I am grateful for the time that you have shared with us. You have given us all a true gift - humor, knowledge, laughter, tears, honesty and must more. Thank you Leroy and Laurie and I look forward to continuing to be part of the journey - no matter what the next chapter is.

Sent by Andi | 11:38 AM | 6-11-2008

We do live life here. We have individually and collectively been pummeled by your latest news. And we are all on the path together, taking turns holding back the thorny branches for each other. No battles lost here.

Sent by Judith in Maryland | 11:41 AM | 6-11-2008

In the dark chill of night when fear reigns supreme, I take shelter in your courage. Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you for leading the way.

Sent by Roxane | 11:42 AM | 6-11-2008

"We live life here." You betcha!
Thanks to you, I spent the past weekend at the Free Press conference in Minneapolis having an amazing time. I say thanks to you because without your spirit and example I'm not at all sure that I'd be participating in life as fully and completely as I have been over the past 16 months.
Thank you, my dear friend Leroy, for showing me how to live in spite of this horrid disease. You are,indeed, a much beloved pied piper.

Sent by Anita Solomon | 11:54 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy and Laurie -

I started writing a response to the "My Cancer" prompt several weeks ago - probably a dozen times - and never could find the right words. I almost feel guilty that my experience with RCC has been the polar opposite of your experience. That said, I must thank you both for your contributions to the cancer community. I have read, and will read, your thoughts daily and know that you are in my prayers.

Live strong, Leroy. Celebrate your life with a smile and a laugh. Laurie, smile and laugh along with Leroy.

Sent by Andy | 11:58 AM | 6-11-2008

Leroy and Laurie

My wife Susan passed away in April. She used to read your blog and we looked forward to hearing your radio pieces. You made our journey through this madness more comfortable. We often thought we were losing it only find you with similar observations, fears, reactions to bad news. Years living life day to day knowing that the next test could change your lives forever. Getting scared to death every other month because its test time again. Laurie, I hope you have tons of friends to support you. I was amazed at how many were so willing to help us. I was also amazed at how much we had adapted to change always trying to invent something new and interesting to take the place of things we could no longer do. Love and the community you build are everlasting. Everything else is just stuff. Thank you for standing with us.

John in Seattle

Sent by John Hirasawa | 11:59 AM | 6-11-2008

BRAVO Laurie ...

Sent by francesca in Zurich | 11:59 AM | 6-11-2008

Well said Laurie, well said.
When I began my treatments and my children were scared by the awful side effects I told them "cancer may bring me to my knees but I WILL NOT BOW TO IT".
Courage is when you're scared and tired but you push on anyway. You both are so courageous. Battle the beast Leroy & Laurie, as always I've got your back.
Much love from the fighting Irish!

Sent by Debra in New Hampshire | 12:30 PM | 6-11-2008

I don't see any Fat Lady singing.....

We are all here walking with you. I DO hear the footsteps as we all walk together.

Prayers coming your way
Deb C

Sent by AlaskaDeb | 1:36 PM | 6-11-2008

The love you and Laurie share is forever. You are both an inspiration. This experience is not something that anyone would wish for but we don't have a choice in these things. The only choice we have is how we deal with the everyday and if we'll let our love help us with the pain. Please know your blog is helping others in their journeys also.

Sent by Tammy Deininger | 1:43 PM | 6-11-2008

You better marry that girl, Leroy.
Love,
Liz.

Sent by Liz Cratty | 1:45 PM | 6-11-2008

Leroy and Laurie - you have both been so brave in sharing your journey - especially this most difficult part. It is reassuring that you are still meeting life head-on. You both know we are all sending good thoughts your way. But should you need to shed tears or share fears, please let us be your strength.

My husband and I are celebrating 14 years of marriage today (with a barium cocktail and a CT scan, but it's the thought that counts). He is my love and my rock. Each year is precious with this wonderful man.

Sent by Patte | 2:04 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie,
So well written. Truly words from my heart. You've said what I've tried to say so many times before.
Thank you and bless you both,
Judy

Sent by Judy | 2:11 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie - thanks for writing and for encouraging this network when you deserve so much support yourself. God grant you and Leroy strength and good moments together. I wish you a sunny day, maitai, glazed donut or a pastrami sandwich.

Sent by claire | 2:19 PM | 6-11-2008

Thank you Laurie for sharing, I was in your place years ago caring for my husband as his journey finally ended. I cried as I read your entry, it was so real. Kathy from San Diego

Sent by Kathy Peacock | 2:20 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie and Leroy,
Thank you for your honesty and candor. As my family struggles and lives through my aunt's recent cancer "explosion." I know we are celebrating life for as long as we can!!

Sent by Jen | 2:27 PM | 6-11-2008

"There will be no battle lost".
No...but there will still be sadness.... I have learned so much from you, Leroy. What a wonderful writer you are, so honest and elequent. I thank you changing my life. God bless and keep you safe.

Sent by Kris C., Florida | 2:31 PM | 6-11-2008

I too thank you. The battle metaphor is uncomfortable. Living is what we do until the end.

Sent by Joan | 2:31 PM | 6-11-2008

I'm not sure if this is an option or a desire for you, but there are literally hundreds of clinical trials listed for advanced cancer.

I've been through two of them, and although the results were not as good as I would have liked, the disease has been knocked back for almost two years now.

I made the decision to add to medical knowledge for those who will come after me, regardless of whether I was helped or not.

Patients are the most important factor in developing new drugs. Without testing, no drug could or would be approved.

It is up to you, and your doctors, of course. But I do feel it was worthwhile.

Sent by Scott S. | 2:40 PM | 6-11-2008

Wow- beautifully said.

Sent by julie | 2:46 PM | 6-11-2008

Dear Laurie & Leroy,
The tears on my cheeks are little thank you notes for your words today.

Sent by Tina Oehser | 2:51 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie - I have walked in your shoes - the exact pair you have on (unfortunately) - and my heart goes out to you. Paul and I lived life to the fullest up until the end, and I wouldn't have done it any other way. We knew what the end of the story would bring, but we realized that each and every day was a gift to be appreciated. Paul always said it was harder for me than for him; at first I didn't believe him, but I certainly do now. If I had it to do over, I would have taken better care of myself, just as he suggested. When someone offers to help with anything, please accept; it will make both of you feel better. My prayers for strength go to both of you.
Jeanette Carney

Sent by Jeanette Carney | 3:04 PM | 6-11-2008

Dear, Dear Leroy and Laurie,

Somebody once wrote "A change of attitude is a change of destiny."

You guys have the right attitude!

Love,

Sent by Janice J. , Los Angeles | 3:19 PM | 6-11-2008

I wish you the strength to LIVE each day and the peace to enjoy it all, roses to smell, a smile an embrace...God Bless.

Sent by Robin | 3:33 PM | 6-11-2008

Both...thank you for your words today. I took some of them, wrote them on a note and taped to my monitor at work so I can be reminded of the way I felt today when I read what you wrote. You are both so amazing.

Sent by roni | 3:52 PM | 6-11-2008

Funny, although Leroy's recitation of where his cancer has appeared scared me and brought tears to my eyes, it was Laurie's comment somehow who really brought it all home.

"These next few weeks, months, whatever it turns out to be, will be no different than when this blog began two years ago."

I have not been thinking of Leroy's battle in terms of weeks - the day to day to day struggle, yes... the months to come, yes, but never thought of it in weeks.

Please God it be in "whatever it turns out to be".

My prayers, thoughts, and hopes to the both of you.

Sent by Robin L. Fairfax VA | 3:55 PM | 6-11-2008

We beg God to answer our prayers, sometimes we don't get the "right"answer though.The cancer cells have attacked us time and again, to our friends, our mentors, our loved ones, our children, our parents and now Leroy. Even though mere words do not describe a situation, sometimes it is only words that we have. Thank you Laurie and Leroy for painting pictures with words for you and us. This experience with Leroy's blog has touched the lives of so many. Leroy I am sorry for your physical and emotional pain, wish I could take it away. You and this blog have meant so much to me and to countless others. I am with you in spirit.
Love from Sherri in Texas, BC dx 4-06

Sent by Sherri Eggleston | 3:58 PM | 6-11-2008

Leroy and Laurie, Courageous, eloquent, inspiring, defiant in the face of a cruel enemy, both of you deserve the Medical Medal of Honor, if there was such a thing. We salute you, and if anybody can win this battle, it will be Leroy, with his equally brave lieutenant by his side. Cheers, Tom

Sent by Tom K in Sydney | 4:04 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie, Thanks for your words. I wish we all could live until we die as passionately and with as much influence on others as Leroy is doing.

Sent by N.R. | 4:06 PM | 6-11-2008

WAY TO GO, LAURIE! Whether we are the patient, family, or friend we are here together. GREAT POST from both you.

Sent by Sue Chap | 4:06 PM | 6-11-2008

Leroy & Laurie, Thank you for more words of inspiration. This blog has always been a source of support and encouragement for others. I pray that you both find continued strength, courage, hope, peace, love and joy, and that all of your needs are met. And I'm still praying for a miracle drug or treatment. I won't ever give up praying for that.

Sent by Teresa from Missouri | 4:19 PM | 6-11-2008

Oh thank you Laurie, What a good point: no one has lost a battle here. That's quite powerful to think about for awhile. Life is so amazing.

Sent by Nancy Oliveri | 4:27 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie and Leroy, Thank God for you both. I feel like crying tears of joy. You both make life so worth living, especially, when one suffers because it makes the battle all that much more worthwhile since we don't do it alone. I can't thank you both enough for these poetic and practical words of wisdom gleaned from lives well lived. The past is the ground upon which we walk. We must not forget from where we came because it holds the people and lessons that bring us to a life of victory and joy amidst the difficulties.
Love from Graham from Sag Harbor.

Sent by Graham G. Hawks | 4:42 PM | 6-11-2008

Can I just make a small tribute to a nurse.
When Joe was first diagnosed with cancer and admitted to the hospital where a tumor board was supposed to assess his situation he was greeted by a male nurse named Franz. Franz is Hungarian I believe. One thing about Franz is he is so friendly and helpful and just loves to laugh. He has a good sense of humor for sure. Franz took a liking to Joe right away and Joe to him as well. They always found something to laugh about.
In the end of Joe's life, when Joe was in the palliative section Franz had been assigned there and was working there during the last weeks of Joe's life. Franz would help Joe to walk to the bathroom and when he had Joes arm around his neck, Joe would call Franz Maria because two guys that close surely had something going on. And when Joe called Franz Maria Franz would laugh this loud contagious belly laugh and Joe would laugh too. And no matter how many times it happened they would repeat this sequence and sometimes for audiences of doctors and nurses or other patients.
In the very end, it was only fitting that Franz was with Joe and Franz lost his composure and cried for the patient he loved. Franz - Just one of many people who made a horrible situation somewhat bearable.

Sent by Irene | 4:57 PM | 6-11-2008

An excellent comment Laurie. We are all in this fight with you and Leroy and all of us here hope you never feel you are alone. You have our undivided attention and concentration on this battle. You are never alone. Hugs and Strength

Sent by Teresa in WV | 5:19 PM | 6-11-2008

Thank you Leroy and Laurie. I shall keep your words in my heart and listen for the footsteps walking beside us all.

Sent by Tina from Alton IL | 5:25 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie - bless your heart. You are such a good woman.

You are both inspiring, rare, brave and beautiful and I have been deeply touched and helped by what you are doing here. Thank you. I wish there were more we could do in return to repay for the gifts you have so generously given.

Sent by Nichole in FL | 5:31 PM | 6-11-2008

Thanks to BOTH of you for the words of strength and courage.

All the best.

Sent by Greg (Honolulu) | 5:44 PM | 6-11-2008

Cannot stop thinking of today's blog. I wish both Linda and Leroy to stand strong and each day say "I am here and I cherish this day"

Sent by Marylin G | 5:44 PM | 6-11-2008

I have always been "the caretaker".....from one to another-thanks for stepping outside your own weary mind and body to speak with the people.
Meriden,Connecticut

Sent by sue mac | 5:51 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie, your words spoke to my heart today--so beautifully expressed, borne of joy and pain and strength. I feel better knowing you walk by Leroy's side...

Sent by Linda Lee | 6:00 PM | 6-11-2008

To Irene,

I simply should not wear mascara when I'm reading this blog. Your story about Franz made me laugh & cry at the same time.

Life is spoken here.

Thanks,

Sent by Cathi | 6:09 PM | 6-11-2008

You are always in our hearts.
Especially when you wake in the night.
We awake as well and send peace and warmth to you.

Sent by gina gill | 6:18 PM | 6-11-2008

Many prayers are being offered on your behalf, for both of you, for courage and the faith to keep beliving God has always been with you on this journey. He is not about to desert you now, when you need Him the most. Believe that!!!

Sent by Ellen | 6:24 PM | 6-11-2008

Dear Leroy and Laurie,
You are in my heart and in my prayers.

Sent by sasha321 | 6:57 PM | 6-11-2008

Great post today, but I'd beg to differ on the "no lost battles" thing.

Terry won--and made it out of here on the terms Terry decided on. But Terry's win was my loss...so I'd say I did, indeed, lose the battle. I'm still angry, almost 18 months later, because we couldn't do more or find a way to make things right, or better. I understand that we did all we could, but that sometimes doesn't help the feeling.

I've come a remarkably long way, and although I still carry both the memories and the ache, I can face the day and go on--but I don't think I'll ever shake the feeling of disappointment and sheer, devastating, utter failure.

Sent by Bruce | 7:00 PM | 6-11-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,
TO LIFE!!!!
With all my love to you....Jude

Sent by Judith Tynan | 7:05 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie, you said it so well. I was grappling with these thoughts this morning trying to figure out how to express that to people. The age old "live for today" "live in the moment", the way I feel about not wanting to focus on death when I can still live.

You said it. Thank you!!

Sent by Karen D. | 7:09 PM | 6-11-2008

Leroy,
You have a good life--because you have Laurie in it! Imagine going through this alone. You have love---Leon and I had 37 years together, for which I am thankful. I am thankful that, even at the end, he still had his mind untouched by the MONSTER. I am thankful that he didn't suffer, or fight for breath. He just stopped breathing, with me (and his 86 year old mother) by his side. He asked the doctors to keep him in the hospital and give him something to keep him "out" for the last day or two.
I often wonder if there were things left unsaid--Did he know how much I loved him? I hope so, and I still tell him so each night when I crawl into that big empty bed.
Enough of my loneliness. Thoughts and prayers to all...
Jane

Sent by Jane | 7:19 PM | 6-11-2008

Leroy and Laurie;

I wish I had something sagely to say, but words escape me, my breath is knocked from me. As I first said months ago in my first post, I do not pretend to fully understand the world of cancer. I am not, at this time, in that world. But I do understand shock, heartache, loss.... All of my hopes and my prayers are with both of you, now and always.

Sent by Charles Willingham | 7:36 PM | 6-11-2008

Leroy and Laurie-

I don't have cancer. No one in my family does either. I hope not to anytime soon, but your words, which I turn to daily, have changed my life. You are, as today's blog says, about living. Whatever the future holds, I hope you know that your story, strength, humanity and wisdom have gone well beyond the Cancer World in their effects. Thank you for your naked truths, your daring spirituality and your immense forgiveness. I know I will always remember what you have shown me.

Blessings on this journey and my wish for a time for your own inner peace and resolution as you take the next steps. You have given so much. It's fine with me if you take some back now. We will remember that while death is 'the greatest interruption', it is the living that is one's gift. Yours has been enormously generous. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, again, to you and all who have supported your efforts.

You have made a difference in so many lives. May these little words do the same for you.

Sent by Barbara B. | 7:50 PM | 6-11-2008

The comments from the two of you as a couple are especially meaningful, as this path is rarely traveled alone (thankfully). I am grateful for what you have brought to all of our journeys. I found this blog as my mother battled leukemia and it has allowed me to cultivate a certain peace with her struggle and passing. Your contributions to our understandings of how cancer and other critical illnesses affect both the patient and her/his circle of family and friends are unbounded. Thank you both for such a beautiful gift.

Sent by Belinda | 8:22 PM | 6-11-2008

You are both in my thoughts. I'm trying to find words that speaks from my heart...but the only ones I can find are single...thanks, love, connectedness, peacefulness, fierceness, courage. Humor. Laughter.

Sent by Marsha G. | 8:27 PM | 6-11-2008

Eloquent, as usual. Heartbreaking, still. Damn this disease and its trail of tears. My heart is heavy for both of you.

Sent by Donna R. in NJ | 8:30 PM | 6-11-2008

I've been praying for Leroy's salvation & want to be sure when God calls him, that he will spend eternity in heaven. Does Leroy have that assurance? I'll pray for Laurie's salvation too & of your family members. We certainly do not walk alone in this life -- our God is with us every step of the way!

Sent by Vicky Mitchell | 8:59 PM | 6-11-2008

Peace and strength to you both. Gentle, kind, and loving thoughts travel to you from miles away....everyday.

Sent by Rochelle | 9:23 PM | 6-11-2008

yes.

Sent by mary | 9:43 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie,
I don't usually cry when I read this blog, even when it would make sense to cry.
But your words hit home.

Thanks.

"We live life here."

Here, too.

One foot, then another,
Robin

Sent by Robin Smith | 10:12 PM | 6-11-2008

"Courage is grace under pressure." Ernest Hemmingway

Sent by Pat Z | 10:18 PM | 6-11-2008

I've been following your blog for a few years now. It was company for me when my sister was in treatment for breast cancer and as I faced my own mastectomy. Just wanted to let you know you (Leroy as well as the community that has grown around him) continues to mean a lot to me.

Thank you.

Sent by Grace T | 10:54 PM | 6-11-2008

Laurie and Leroy,
You are right. We will walk together and face each day together with you.

Peace,

Sent by betsey | 10:59 PM | 6-11-2008

Dear Leroy and Laurie,
May the love of so many surround you, strengthen you, comfort you.
Prayers and love from Texas.
Connie

Sent by Constance Brown | 11:04 PM | 6-11-2008

Leroy,
My husband was diagnosed with cancer at about the same time as you were, and he (and I) read your blog daily. He passed away about 3 months ago. We both found comfort, help and understanding in what you wrote and thanked you daily for your insights. My only insight that I would like to pass on to Laurie is that no matter how much you think you are prepared for living without your partner, it is so hard---there are still things you wish you could say or do together. I wish you strength and peace as you both fight on.

The following was given to us by friends and speaks to what cancer cannot do.

Cancer is so limited
It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot destroy peace
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot suppress memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot steal eternal life
It cannot conquer the spirit

You have shown us the truth of these statements.

Sent by Betsy Halpern | 1:48 AM | 6-12-2008

Leroy,
I was saddened to hear of your recent news. I wanted to write, but did not know what to say. I too have metastatic disease, but am doing well currently. I did not want to think about the time when my news will be similar to yours.
So I spent a beautiful day working in my yard in the sunshine. I then felt guilty that I was able to enjoy the day.
So my wish for you is that as you try to deal with this news, you will be able to find a little peace each day. Whether it is merely the sunshine or a bird singing or a beautiful flower.Can any of us wish for more than that each day, no matter what our situation is. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Linda

Sent by Linda | 9:44 AM | 6-12-2008

Laurie and Leroy,

My prayers are with you at this tough time. Your words have helped place my own world in prospective. My step-sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer again- through your insights I will better be able to be a sister, friend and support to her. Find time for yourselves- something you enjoy and weave that into the next days. Thank you for sharing your personal insights, fears, hopes and reality in your life. You have made this crazy world a better place!

Sent by Eva Fridlund | 10:13 AM | 6-12-2008

Hi Leroy,
I read your column daily. You bring peace to all you touch. I am baking cupcakes today in your honor and counting the everyday blessing that I take for granted. Thanks for all you do!

Sent by colorado cupcakes | 12:15 PM | 6-12-2008

Dear Leroy,

Peace is elusive for many of us, whatever our situation. I find I have to struggle to find mine on a daily basis, not to worry, just to put it in God's hands. It's not easy, but once you have done all that you can do, let him take over.

My love and prayers always, for you and Laurie and everyone here.

Sent by Connie | 1:09 PM | 6-12-2008

Dear Leroy,
Try to "stay in the moment". That is a hard one to do, with all the worries. Don't go out too far, just "stay in the moment" "stay in today" And stay away from "negatives"

Sent by page hendryx | 1:26 PM | 6-12-2008

laurie, you stated there is no battle lost. we won. well, my sister died of colon cancer 4 months ago. she lost her battle with this horrific disease. if she won, she would be alive. period. andrea

Sent by andrea leventhal | 2:34 PM | 6-12-2008

Laurie is absolutely correct. We need Leroy to show us how to live. And Leroy you have done that so elegantly. Each day is a gift that is given to you, I and everyone around us and you have shown us even when the chips are down that it is still a gift. None of us have any idea what will happen to us each day as we get out of bed, but you have shown us that we need to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and shuffle out the door to face whatever fate has for us that day. Keep shuffling Leroy..........we're all behind you to help catch you if you stumble. God Bless..........Allison Campbell

Sent by Allison Campbell | 3:39 PM | 6-12-2008

I lost a dearly loved one from cancer in Febuary 2006. Finding your blog and following it was an immense help to me in releiving the isolation I felt in greiving, and giving me access to an active community where people are facing some of the most challenging parts of life with real courage, openness, love, and intellect. Thank you, Leroy, for all you've given us by creating this special place, sharing your path, and letting us walk together. Thank you, too, Laurie, for adding your message, personally meaningful to me, too, about living life, living your life- head on! Mahalo nui loa!

Sent by Fran Welsh | 5:12 PM | 6-12-2008

Leroy, you are such a fighter, and you give us all courage and hope, that even such a thing as cancer, with its terrible pain and lurking "creativity," can be surpassed by one's spirit - I'm a psychologist and I so appreciate your being willing to share this journey with us, your readers - thank you, Joan Schleicher, nashville, Tennessee

Sent by Joan Schleicher | 9:36 PM | 6-12-2008

Hi guys -
There is a nifty book called 'Ready to Live, Prepared to Die' by Harwell. Its a slick little workbook designed to help us get our s*&t together so we dont leave a mess for our friends and family. A side benefit is that as I get the stuff done, I have more emotional, psychic and spiritual room to be present to the current moment.

Im a long time member of AA and heard a speaker illustrate a reality that Ive been getting my arms around ever since. Her mom was dying and she went into the hallway to cry for a moment. An old woman walking by said to not worry; that her mom would be ok. My friend explained that no, her mom was dying. The old woman responded "I didnt say she would get well. I said she would be ok."

Death is not optional. But healing is. Healing and living dont always come as a pair. My hope for both of you is that the healing continues. Death will take care of itself.

namaste

Sent by tally | 5:03 AM | 6-13-2008

My god, Laurie's message is so true and moving. You, Laurie, are not only lucky to have the brave Leroy in your life, he is lucky to have you. You are two people who can put so much into words for all of us. Thank you.

Sent by Cindy Weehler | 9:36 AM | 6-13-2008

So fiercely and so truly said, Laurie and Leroy. Thank you for putting into words the spirit of this universal enterprise!

Sent by Sarah | 8:22 PM | 6-13-2008

Those are the brvest words I have ever read... Thank you both for the experience of knowing you through this time and your words...

Sent by Sandy | 9:22 PM | 6-13-2008

Leroy -- I used to be a sports writer, and I once wrote a column about my late mom -- ovarian cancer, January 1999 -- and sports and sports writers using the game/battle/race metaphor when dealing with illness. Specifically, it was when Fritz Shurmer (defensive mastermind, Packers, etc.) was diagnosed. THere were sooooo many sports-types who wrote about Shurmer developing a defense, etc. against the cancer. My column was about what my mom went through and how the battle/game metaphor just didn't reflect what my mom -- and maybe you and countless other folks -- endured. In a way, I felt like it was a disservice to what really happens. Battles sound so dramatic. My experience with mom was, like you've mentioned, one foot in front of the other, one day/hour/meal/whatever at a time ... less about battles and battle cries and alot more like a sigh ...

I'm not really sure where I wanted this post to take me/you/us other than to let you know that I admire the immense grace with which you're making this journey and although somedays it's pretty tough for me to read -- I'm missing my mother horribly this very moment -- I really do look forward to it. Keep on -

Sent by Lynn Solomon | 1:25 PM | 6-15-2008

argh - i'm reading this at work and trying not to let the tears fall.stay strong. we're all behind you.

Sent by sandy | 2:26 PM | 8-7-2008

Taking talent where it would and could go? Mistaken diet? Does it take breath from me? Yes, yes it does. Worth a read?

Sent by Mike Donahoe | 1:46 AM | 8-18-2008

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