Yes, I may have cancer, but I can pay for my treatment, thanks to Kaiser, Medicare and sufficient assets. Chemo starts tomorrow. The docs have been working on adjusting my drugs. The cancer is, alas, stage 4, as I kind of knew it would be. Prognosis is one year, which could be extended by chemo. So the emphasis is on palliative care. People do say encouraging things about cancer survival, but none of the cases they cite seem like mine. Faint rays of hope are that the diagnostics sometimes over diagnose, so that what looks like cancer in my lymph nodes could be infection or inflammation, and other "hot spots" may not be significant. The doc also says that if chemo seems to be doing me some good, I might get X-ray treatment, too.
The oncologist says that the cancer is not more than a year old. I thought it might have started earlier, but he says no. He also said that the effects of smoking on the lungs are supposed to be gone after 30 years, so this could mean that my cancer is not due to smoking. If not from that, from what???
As long as I'm comfortable and in reasonably good spirits, I'll stick around. End of life services here are good, and health workers are compassionate. I'm not worrying about drug addiction or anything like that, just want to feel comfortable.
So, there is plenty to do, to get my affairs in order. Nothing grandiose, but I do want to make a reasonably orderly retreat. And this is not going to turn into a cancer journal, because I'm still plenty engaged with what's going on, especially on the political scene.
Update: My GP says that the kind of cancer I have is not correlated with smoking at all. It's an adenocarcinoma, or large cell carcinoma that starts in the mucus membranes.