I’m 65, retired, and living alone.  Four years ago I had hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.  Then I had a liver transplant.  It went very well and everything seemed fine.  But the cancer became metastatic, it went to the femur in my left leg.  I had surgery.  They drilled holes in the bone and put in a rod to give the leg support.  It does give support, it also gave me bursitis, a bump-like mass that makes me look like the Elephant Man.  It may be cancerous now.  I have a new tumor in the left leg but it doesn’t seem to be doing much.

After surgery, I had radiation treatments done on the left leg.  It screwed up my lymph nodes and now the leg retains fluid.  It’s currently about three times the normal size.  The fluid is traveling to my right leg.  So desperate to get out, the fluid is leaking through the skin at various parts of the leg.

It’s called lymphedema.  Incurable.  My oncologist said the metastatic cancer is also incurable.  It’s going to kill me, sooner rather than later.

The lymphedema has been harder to cope with than the dying.  For two years the pain management team at the place I go futzed around and could not (or would not) prescribe medication to relieve the pain which was excruciating.  I’m with a palliative care service now and they take care of most of my medications, and the pain has diminished substantially.

My income is my Social Security retirement benefits, reduced because the SSA forced me into early retirement.  Most of that money pays bills.  Little is left over.  It’s difficult to make money because I am under income restraints imposed by SSA, Medicare, and Medi-Cal.

I live a spartan life.  That’s okay.  I don’t need much.  Don’t want much.  When my oncologist told me the cancer would take my life, I said well, okay, what’s next?  He said, “We make you comfortable.”

I don’t think anyone can begrudge a person wanting to be comfortable at the end of life.  I don’t know how long… it could be a long goodbye… In the meanwhile, dealing with all the extra stuff created by my medical problems, operating The Endless Further, Sweet La-La Land several other websites, does tend to thin out the pocket book.

If you would like to support with a small donation, you can do that here.

As an ordained Buddhist priest, it is perfectly legal for me to take accept donations.  Unfortunately, I am unable to offer tax write-offs at this time.  Please keep donations small.  Nothing over $100 will be accepted.

The ancient Pali word for “giving,” “generosity,” or “donation” is dana.  According to the Buddha, generosity is a foundation of spiritual life.  There are many ways to practice giving.  It starts with simple acts of kindness.

For the practice of giving to have real value, however, it must be come from an inner spirit of selflessness.  As the Buddha said,

“The one who gives that gift, pure of the notion of I or mine, pure of the notion of motive, of rationale, of expecting profit, a gift pure in thought like the sky… And as the sky pervades all the universe, so that gift is pervaded with compassion for all creatures…”

Thank you.