I have just completed one round of three chemotherapy treatments for Stage IV pancreatic cancer, a terminal illness. While I sincerely appreciate the benefits of this treatment, I have been listening deeply to this body/mind and soul searching whether to continue with more of this chemical intervention. As of yesterday morning I have decided to not do more chemo, and instead have begun working with Memorial Hospice based in Petaluma as I continue to respectfully engage in the process of dying.
One can't exactly say where such a decision comes from, but I feel more clarity and relief since deciding to focus on "palliative care." This change will allow me to focus on taking good care of this precious body/mind. I feel very fortunate to have wonderful hospice care people based locally and look forward to working with them.
It has been eight weeks since I received this diagnosis. Every day has brought new situations and opportunities for learning, and this will continue in the remaining weeks. I appreciate your understanding that my energy will continue to diminish as time passes, and so my ability to respond will become increasingly limited.
My wife, Lane Olson, will continue to facilitate family communication, and Mary Stares, my assistant, will do the same for sangha and the wider circle of friends. I continue to be deeply grateful for all the love I feel, the chanting and messages of support for my well-being and for the benefit of all beings in need.
I love each and every one of you,
Abbot Myogen Steve Stucky