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Week of February 15, 2016
Journal entry by Michael March — 2/15/2016

This starts the last week of my normal life. On Friday around 12:30 in the afternoon, the final chapter of my life opens while the opening chapters close. I am scheduled to start the infusions of the experimental drug that will either prolong my life by a few months, (maybe a year?), or end it in about 6 weeks.

The decision I was faced with was simply to decide when to die. Although I was given 6 months to a year to live on January 5th, I was also told there could possibly be some clinical trials I might be able to get in to. If successful, they could prolong my life. However, the best they have to offer is called palliative care. Relieving pain or alleviating a problem without dealing with the underlying issue, since there is no cure, there is no treatment, the cancer is inoperable, I'm dying, it's that simple.

With that said, I opted to give whatever clinical trials open to me, a shot. I'm under no illusions that I will be cured, or even given a few more weeks of life. I do it to help those that come next. Sadly, half of everyone that is reading this will be diagnosed with cancer, or someone they love will be told the awful news. Probably within the near two years.

After the first infusion, we will head home from Johns Hopkins and hopefully the sadness of the whole damn thing doesn't catch up with me. There is still some work I can do to put something in place to continue the fund-raising the Gaggle of Noobs has been doing for the past 3 years. More or less since Ed Farmer died of brain cancer, I have been raising money with the Gaggle of Noobs for many different causes. I will probably be remembered as the guy that tried to get people to join the Gaggle of Noobs Paintball Team without many people understanding why or offering much in the way of help. But that is okay too.

I think we have played paintball only 4 or 5 times while I was busy recruiting over 400 members and buying and building 100 bikes, and sending thousands to charities in the past 12 months or so all in the name of the Gaggle of Noobs Paintball Team. When you consider during our first year, we played 18 times, in 36 weeks, we are not much of a paintball team anymore. Yet, some still think the Gaggle is all about playing paintball.

I told everyone on Jun 28, 2015 I was retiring on July 13, 2015. That is more or less what I did, other than special events, there has not been another event for the Gaggle that has come close to the stuff we did in 2012-13.

Then on Saturday, a bunch of friends from the time in our lives before things got weird, (Marriages, kids, divorces, illness, etc.) are coming over and we will spend some more time together watching old home movies, talking about the old days and probably spend a little time with tears in our eyes, hugs being shared and laughter in-between.

After spending my life doing the right thing, I have no regrets. I saved instead of spent, I invested instead of wasted. Tried to help as many other people as I could. And while I fade out of this life, I will leave it wanting only to have had the next 20-30 years with Tammy.

Although I am sure I would be happy with just one more day with her. Just one more.

Anyway.... hopefully tomorrow comes a little slower with each passing day, but in the end, you will be reading this and I will have already been gone a year. Or more.........

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