Diary of a Cancer Patient / by Deborah Clague

This has become my most valuable possession: 

It is but a simple, coil-bound notebook approximately 4" wide x 6" long. Weathered. Covered in doodles. Most people have something of this nature in their drawers or at the bottom of their purse, perhaps near the phone if a landline is present. I have several that I use with varied purpose from compiling grocery lists to recording thoughts and ideas that present themselves throughout the day. This notebook was at one time in my possession but eventually ownership was transferred to my father. He used it as a medical diary of sorts. 

There is no linear narrative. Dates bounce from page to page and may contain anything from the day's food intake to a concise recording of every medication that was ingested. My father was on a lot of medication. I'm just now learning how potent they were. 

What makes this simple, coil-bound notebook so valuable to me are the final messages that my father wrote on June 28. They are indiscernible. The hand – and mind – used to write them clearly reeling from the effects of a massive stroke that would, in a matter of hours, steal all mobility from the man I often described as a "Clint Eastwood"-type. A strong man. A tough man. Someone that was rarely vocal about the pain he experienced but was ultimately vulnerable enough to record it. 

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My father's final writing: "me go".