Arlene and I sit sipping very good bourbon on the porch in a rainstorm. We cry together. I am not afraid that Arlene will not love me cancer-free and impotent. I am afraid I won't be cancer-free…I think this is easier for me than Arlene, despite her incurable sanity and good judgment. I have something quite tangible to deal with. But for Arlene the pain is more diffuse and the pathway undefined. She has to blaze a trail and can depend less on me for help than either of us would like.

…a nodule of tissue half the size of an English walnut sitting, pickled now, in a jar on a shelf in the Department of Surgical Pathology at Vanderbilt University Hospital. To close this story I will contemplate some of the things I learned (or relearned) during the past few months.

Hard Bargain Life-Lessons from Prostate Cancer a Love Story
Lessons from the Summer of the Crab

Cancer, even at its most hideous, is only an annoying aside. Tragedy is to grow old unloved and unloving. We will all die. Life is a fatal proposition. Love is more than life and does not recognize mortality.

No conspiracy of the Fates can rob you of the beauty you can see. No equal power can show you the beauty beyond your vision.

There are few words wiser than the babble of a sandhill crane.