80 Days

It was Friday, November 26, 2021,
My waiting game of 11 days had just begun,
I’d like to say those waiting days passed quickly
But that was not the way.
As the Doc entered the room,
He looked at me, then at my charts.
He said, “Frank, it’s urgent that
We tend to your erratically beating heart.”

I seemed to have three tumors.
One of them pressing heavily on my heart.
I smoked that last cigarette to calm my trembling parts
And to face whatever procedures–
As I was on the verge of going into seizures.

Did I mention that all this to-do
fell on the day of my dad’s birth?
Who 15 months ago, by the way 
said goodbye to this earth on mom’s birthday

She too passed 3 years before,
on my 60th birthday,
Which left me wondering
What more might be in store
For me on this day and how many more?

Forty-two days now have passed
No more treatment options advised
Each day might be my last
Of this short time, I am dreadfully surprised!

Oh heart of mine, don’t fail me now
I want more time than they’ve avowed.

This cancer that I knew nothing about
Is eating away at my insides of that, I have no doubt
But I just need more time to understand this cancer
Still hoping for an alternate answer.

These are not the ramblings of a dying man
looking for another plan.
Surely in a matter of this kind I should endeavor to maintain,
So I may feel my life has not been in vain.

In and out of three hospitals, about 20 doctors were seen.
Breathing heavier, pain increasing, my body’s become a doom machine.
Family beside me all the way, I entered hospice just today.

Most everyone I know has called or visited
Two high school friends traveled hundreds of miles
Our time together even brought me to giggles and smiles.

I hear the nurses say that “he’s transitioning,”
My family’s gathered here to be with me
I have fought hard to the end to tell all that I love them,
Wish them well, and to remember my death is not the end.

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