Just ten years ago, I sat across the desk from a doctor with a stethoscope. "Yes," he said, "there is a lesion in the left, upper lobe. You have a moderately advanced case"-- I listened, stunned, as he continued, "You'll have to give up work at once and go to bed. Later on, we'll see." He gave no assurances.
Feeling like a man who in mid-career has suddenly been placed under sentence of death with an indefinite reprieve, I left the doctor's office, walked over to the park, and sat down on a bench, perhaps, as I then told myself, for the last time. I needed to think. In the next three days, I cleared up my affairs; then I went home, got into bed, and set my watch to tick off not the minutes, but the months. 2 1\2 years and many dashed hopes later, I left my bed and began the long climb back. It was another year before I made it.