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I'm still here, with a list of things that sometimes happen.

But first, I have three new rules, things that always happen, no matter how annoying...

Derek's Rule #1: There's always more poop.
Derek's Rule #2: There's always another phone call.
Derek's Rule #3: Even when "no one's coming to visit today," someone is always coming to visit today, maybe seven or eight people.

Fortunately, so far my wife Air has to handle only the last two. Here endeth the rules.

So, sometimes I'm hacking and coughing away, sometimes we get a proper motorized hospital bed installed in the living room for me, sometimes I'm up in the bathroom in the middle of the night after an entirely fictionalized dream about the Poet Laureate of the United States, and sometimes my wife and daughters and friends have completely renovated the basement while I've spent most of my time asleep.

Sometimes people deliver cases of Diet Cherry Coke at odd hours; sometimes the delivery is a care package with three cases, a nylon athletic bag, and clothes my daughters wear to school the next day; sometimes I crack a cold can of the stuff just to feel the bite of that first sip at 3 in the morning; sometimes it takes me ages to read through my Facebook messages and Twitter replies and blog comments and email; sometimes I'm frustrated by email lists that still won't unsubscribe me.

Sometimes Air and I acknowledge that we're distracting ourselves with all these other things, because I'm dying, and it's obvious now. And then we sit on the hospital bed, which is quite comfortable, and we cry.


(I did a heart sign but your comment app ate it.) Thanks, comment app.

I send a heart along too. And an x and an o.

One of those unfortunate cultural stumbling blocks is not knowing what to say to someone who's lost someone, let alone to someone who is actually dying themselves. I'll just lean on the convenience of anonymity and say it as plainly as I can and hope that none of the imagined and dreaded missteps come true.

In the short time I've been reading your blogs and listening to your podcast I've become somewhat attached to you and to your story. In this day and age that will probably come off as a little weird. Nothing I can do about that, I guess. All I know is that what you've shared about your passions, your illness, and your mortality has resonated with me (and many others, from what I can gather) in a pretty profound way.

I think it's terribly sad--despite your graciousness and obvious courage--that you may be soon to leave us, but I want to thank you for all that you've shared.

Hearts and Love!

The world is going to be very sad place when we'll be down a man like you!

Thank you for continuing to inspire all of us, even if that was never your intention.

Even though I've never met you, you've blessed my life in many many ways with your blog/facebook/twitter.

Thank you. xo

Searching frantically for that magic wand......but at present can't even find the words I want to say. Many people have said it before but you truly are an amazing person.

This morning it struck me that it's been 25 years since we were in Italy. I was so lucky to meet such lovely people and that after all this time, with a few gaps in communication, I'm still in contact with the best of the bunch. Thank you for being who you are and being a part of some the best memories I have. The very best to you, your wife and your girls. You will all be in my thoughts.
Anne Pewsey xx

As an atheist I've often wondered what would happen to my (lack of) faith when confronted with my impending death. I worried that in the end I'd succumb to weakness and get on my knees in the hopes that the Pearly Gates are real.

Reading how you have not wavered has given me hope that'll be true to myself even when confronted with death.

Thanks for that.

Derek, you've won.

You've run the race of life without compromise and without caring who was behind or ahead of you. In fact, you probably walked, rather than ran. Sorry about the lame metaphor.

You've always been a good read, and as this biggest obstacle ever loomed up ahead of you, you've become riveting and inspiring. As of this moment, you are undefeatable, and will remain that way.

At the end of every great tragedy, the tragic hero realizes the inevitability of defeat. "Oh shit, Birnham Wood has come to Dunsinane". Then despite that inevitability he goes on fighting anyhow. Which transforms the defeat into something completely different, somehow. I can't explain it, I can only feel it.

What I'm saying is, you've done that.


Hard to follow a comment like Fraser's. What genius. Hugs to you and to Air. Wondering, also, how your kids are doing with all this heinous-ness. Is it something they can take in?
~ all best from Paris, Shelley (et André)

My thoughts are with you and your family.

Have never met or got to know you much Derek but 5 years ago I was doing a Podcast and found one of your tunes to use for it (Cold Cloth and an Icepack), you rock and the track rocked I just suck with finding time for everything.

We've been Facebook friends for a while so I started to stalk what was going on, quietly reading, reflecting, crying, wondering what it could possibly be like and knowing I have no clue. Thanks to you and your family for sharing you with us -- letting us get a window into your life and for helping us remember how it is important.

Oh, and again, YOU ROCK.


You continue to amaze me with your strength and honesty. You, Airdrie and the girls are constantly in my thoughts. I hope you can find comfort in knowing that there are so many people, some who you know & some who you have never met, who are sending you all the love, strength and encouragement that is humanly possible.

My wish is that you get to continue this journey as you have been travelling it - on your terms. Thank you for sharing it all and my best wishes and thoughts to you and your family during this time.

I've followedy your blog for years. You initially inspired me with your work-life balance, as I was not yet a parent and hoped to one day build my tech marketing business to the point where I could also be home with my kids. When I saw you doing it, it made me feel like my dream was possible. All these years later, I am home with my kids a good portion of the time and still running my business. You played a part in that, although you wouldn't have known it. I figured if a dad could find a place in the community, so could I. And here I am.

And now you're leading the way with your story. You've been so frank and bold with your words and yet so tender and intimate. You've taken this blog into places where few would be willing to go, whether it's the heartache of a dying father or the story of yet more poop. You've shown true courage while admitting fear and real love for your world, from your wife, daughters and parents and other loved ones to sunsets, beaches and creatures. I believe that your story will be a great legacy for your family - perhaps for generations to come - and that your story has touched and influenced many people. Plus maybe you'll be single handedly responsible for a spike in Diet Cherry Coke sales that leave some marketer, somewhere, to wonder what the heck is going on with cross border shopping in the Pacific Northwest. That's just the quirky sort of thing I've come to expect of you.

Do not go softly.



As I read about your early slow (now quickly) departure, it makes me more aware of being alive and about living my life to the fullest. You inspire me, I weep as read your post each time, but truly they are tears of joy. I think this is a man who loves who is loved and clearly has made peace with life and somehow has managed to make some peace with death. A person who is honest and in the depth of despair has shown amazing courage and strength. May you live your life fully until the last breath you take. You will always be remembered by how you LIVED, not by how you died.

~~ Cynthia

Agree with KA xxoo

I always want to comment, but rarely know what to say. You and I worked together a long time ago, and though we don't know each other anymore, there's something different about reading your words with a sense of familiarity from having known you a little back then.

I'm sorry. Sorry that you and your family have to live with this. That you're going to die soon. And like so many others have commented, I'm also thankful to know you through your blog. Mostly, I'm blown away by your honesty and ability to share your experiences. It continues to be humbling and inspiring.

I was directed to your website by a blog/friend I read and I have to say, I am amazed at the dignity and strength you have displayed.
May you continue to be able to do things on YOUR terms and may your family find peace.

As Andrea said-- "Do Not Go Softly"

Do not go quietly. Go softly if you choose. Write as much as your condition allows. That will live on. All of us will make sure this place lives on.

Love to you both, and your amazing girls.

You are an amazing person. Know that so many have become better people because of you and your words and life. Peace.

Something about the sip of cherry coke at 3 am really did me in.

I've been lurking along, never commented. All your posts are eloquent but there is something very special about this one. Thank you for putting your words and your pain out where we can see. Wishing you and your family peace.

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