Multiplication Center

My Next Book…Year 9 Chapter 2…News About Linda

March 7, 2013

 Good news about Linda  

I have not written a museletter lately.  I kept telling myself, “I don't have on my mind anything that needs saying.”  But the truth is that lately I have been preoccupied with only two things: Linda's health and completing a real full-length book, the first one for me since Finishing Well nine years ago.

Just after Thanksgiving, I sent a museletter titled “An earnest request for prayer.”  Its first two paragraphs read, 

“I often receive letters and emails, usually thank-yous, that close by saying, as a letter I received last week, “If I can be of service to you in some meaningful way, please allow me to do so.”

“Here's my “ask.”  A week ago, Linda, my beautiful wife of 50 years, received a phone call from her doctor saying that after several tests, she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.  The doctor we are working with in Dallas is an expert in the field and her summary is, “This is a fixable problem.”  Right now Linda and I are examining a variety of options.”   

I haven't written because I essentially had no news.  The all-star medical team we selected recommended that Linda begin a two-month course of chemotherapy with a new high-tech medicine to shrink the tumor we found just before Thanksgiving.  The treatment has had few side effects, no hair falling out, no sickness.  Linda has been living a normal life with few side effects except some sleep disturbance.

Basically we have been waiting.  I have been surprised that the waiting for the medicine to run its course produced a real preoccupation that has crowded out most of my other concerns and made them seem trivial by contrast.  I told Linda as soon as we heard the diagnosis, “You own my calendar.”  Since then I have been to all the major meetings with doctors.  Meanwhile hardly a day has passed, hardly a conversation has taken place that didn't include, “What's happening with Linda?”  The truth has been both of us have been leading a pretty normal life except that we discovered that, in a way, waiting is harder than doing.  I guess that is why Hamlet became a four-hour play – lots of waiting!

Sooo Tuesday was the big day that we finally received the news following a new MRI and a variety of tests.  Thank heaven (literally) that all the reports were positive beyond all expectations.  What had been a 2.5 centimeter tumor had shrunk to 1 centimeter.  This was progress that we had been hoping for, confirmation that we were on the right track.  The plan now is six more weeks of the magic medicine followed by surgery and radiation.  I hope that your prayers continue their good work too.

As to my second preoccupation, I am pleased to say that my collaborator, Lyn Cryderman, and I are almost done on a unique book about my relationship with Peter Drucker.  It is a relational book, not a management book.  Lyn and I have been working on it on and off for five years.  I am more than pleased with the results.  We asked several friends who know about my purposeful 24-year relationship with Peter Drucker to read the manuscript and comment.  First of all, Linda likes it and I guarantee that she would tell me if she didn't.  The comment that pleased me most came from the Director of The Drucker Institute, who said, “Let me begin by simply saying, once again, how much I enjoyed the book.  It is a great read, an inspiring story, and a window into Peter's mind and his work that nobody else could open.  You should be extremely proud.”  I am.

When we woke up this morning, Linda scooted over my way, put her head on my shoulder and said, “I am so happy.”  Nothing could please me more.

Both of us are grateful for your prayers and a variety of notes and emails.  I am reminded of an expression in one of St. Paul's letters which uses the phrase, “In the fullness of time.”  Perhaps that as much as anything conveys my feeling just now.

So friends, that is the story of no museletter.  I cannot think of a more accurate description of the vexation of waiting than these words from my favorite poem where T.S. Eliot describes himself as “entre deux guerres” (between two stations):

So here I am, in the middle way …
… Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start …

… And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion.  And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate –

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time …

For us, there is only trying.  The rest is not our business.

— From “Four Quartets”
T.S. Eliot

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