On the Glide Path (has videos)

Definitely off any plateau that I thought myself to be on. “Reality does NOT take breaks!”

This feels more like a glide path: I experience an inexorable loss of capacity, with some small short term dips along the way: these are the pains and odd symptoms that just have to be endured: constant exhaustion and shortness of breath, balance and numbness in extremities, little purple spots in weird places. I can deal with these.

And, there is a larger set of symptoms that we have to talk about, consult with our Hospice care-givers, and make decisions about. Creeping paralysis in my left arm and right leg. Newly cracked rib which makes my right side hurt and reminds me of my very real fragility. Numbness on the left side of my tongue (this one is breaking news: feels like I was at the dentist three hours ago and the novocaine is wearing off. But I didn’t go to the dentist, and it’s likely a new site of muscle paralysis, which I’m at all happy about.) My voice is slurry, so I sound drunk, but I’m not. My lucidity and cognitive function are definitely decreasing, I fall asleep at the drop of a hat, and I feel much more focused on the mundane than on the poetic or philosophical.

The good news is that there are lots of medications that I can take. Most help, some don’t. We are well cared for; Tricia has helped us organize meal deliveries; Hospice continues to be flexible and supportive, we have people stopping by frequently, and (mostly) have the private introverted time we both need to cry, to be with each other, and to be present in this beautiful space that we feel so fortunate to live in. I’m able to do at least a little writing, and am recording some video and audio conversations that I hope will be interesting to others and at least provide nourishment for me.

I want to share with you two videos we recorded a number of weeks ago.



The first video is a conversation that our friend Rod facilitated with Walker and with me; the second is Rod’s interview just with me. These are wide-ranging conversations that come out of this experience with cancer, and cover all kinds of territory from that perspective. Rod came down from Chattanooga, and Lisa really helped pull this session together. Rod’s light editing makes for a nice easy-going conversation. Start with the first; you’ll have a sense of how Walker’s presence brings life to me.

You’ll notice the slowing of my voice and speech. This has continued, and is a real reflection of my own cognitive slowing.

I hope you’ll enjoy the conversations. If you’re present and let yourself slow down in your listening, you might join me in some discovery and learning. You might even feel a bit of the scrambling that I feel every day. If you expect information flow at the usual 2018 light-speed pace, you’ll get bored quickly.

For me, I”m working to stay present in the now, not seeking to make anything go faster than it wants to go.


16 thoughts on “On the Glide Path (has videos)

  1. Doug,
    We have not met. I was fortunate to see the videos you created through the Coaches Rising course, have read your latest book, and am reading your blog. I just want to say thank you…thank you for your teaching, vulnerability and commitment to growth. You are a beautiful, inspiring human being. It’s incredibly moving to share in some small way your and Walker’s journey. I feel honored to be in your world…

    Sending you and your family lots of love, healing and gratitude.



  2. Thanks to all who made this available. There is much to mine here; I expect It will be a resource to me, and to those I impact, over time. Through these interviews, we can see and hear for ourselves how the practices of authenticity, transparency, and presence deepen the possibility of fulfilling our potential. These words only attempt to express something ineffable, but I think you know what I mean.

    As I watched these videos, I think of my client whose husband is losing his battle with cancer, and another who has decided to give up on her own life. Your work supports me being present with them.


  3. Looking forward to these, Doug. We are so grateful to be privy to your process. Frankie and I send much love, and pray for comfort and ease.


  4. Only watched the first one so far. Here is the line I needed to hear:
    “it takes actively being willing to lean into the relationship before you discover the power that it can have”

    And I cracked up about not coaching your spouse, which doesn’t work, and giving advice, which also doesn’t work.

    miss you and love you, Julie


  5. Sending love, light and much gratitude to you and Walker. The contribution you both continue to make to the lives of others is immeasurable. Thank you for sharing so much with so many.


  6. Thank you for sharing these videos. You 2 have always been an inspiration and you continue to be, not just for me, but I’m pretty sure almost everyone who is lucky enough to know you. I love you both and I’m sending long, strong hugs to each of you.


  7. Doug and Walker …….I continue to send love and hold you both close in my heart . Maybe we can visit soon if that is even a possibility as we certainly do not want to encroach on your sacred time together . Blessings and Love Now and Always , David


  8. Aaahhh there you are- thank you for the videos, they bring another dimension of love and life into being.
    Much love – all ways


  9. Dear Precious Friends….
    You are right, “this blog site is a rich channel” and way to process what is going on. And what is going on for me is complete gratitude for your personal generosity, and for every precious breath in my life. I know the pain will pass and the beauty of what you have created, particularly this conversation and your nakedness around the truth of your experience will be a guide for so many people. In watching the interview, I saw such wisdom and grace… and actually Doug, there is a huge light around you. Could be the computer screen or the tears I am peering through, but you are bring the wise elder to the work, as always. I have witnessed this in your teaching from the stages, and in our one on one conversations.

    I have also sent several people who are dealing with diagnosis to this blog site. They will not likely respond here, but they are reading it and gaining some comfort in knowing what is possible. Even in this transformation you are teaching and unleashing potential. And that is a beautiful gift.

    A doctor friend and student in our Healthcare Coaching program said, “We have forgotten how to die. Dying is just part of living.” Indeed they are the same thing in these shared observations with you both.

    Thank YOU both for your courage and presence. You are glow worms!

    Much LOVE!


  10. Also, it amazes me that you find it therapeutic to write, that you write so well, and at such a difficult time. You continue to inspire me, Doug, but I still haven’t found a way to enjoy writing.

    I’m so glad it’s helpful for you.


  11. Hi Doug and Walker!

    I continue to be so grateful for your sharing here, for being able to stay connected. You two are beautiful.

    Doug, I am grateful and honored to be able to help forward the work of PBC in my various roles now. I was at PBC II in May and connected deeply with the richness, love and beauty of the work, the people it draws and the land. The river had a lot to share. Thank you again and again.

    Sending more love to add to the heaps of love that surround you,
    And a smile,


  12. Dear Doug,
    I was hardly bored by your conversations. Rather I was totally engaged and loved the intimacy that was so present between you and Walker. I felt that you were both surrounded by / encased by an energy field of love. Your personalities may show up to distance you, but I sense that you do not stray very far from each other and have found you way to always coming back home. How blessed you both are to have this incredible time of intimacy and presence together. And, I know it can not be easy. Your vulnerability and teaching is so precious. I can’t think of another person who would have both the presence and the capacity to do this. I feel blessed to be able to be a witness to your remarkable journey. I will remember you as the consummate teacher and feel fortunate to know you and to have walked with you awhile.
    Sending lots of love and warm wishes and hope that your remaining days will continue to be filled with love, support and bearable pain.


  13. Doug and Walker, Thank you for allowing yourselves to be teachers at this challenging time and for facilitating my learning. Just finished the “first video”. Thank you both for showing me how to be human again.


  14. Doug and Walker,
    Thank you for being so loving and authentic and sharing your experience. It just so happens that I am also at this moment reading Doug’s latest book (I’m on the sensing chapter) and undergoing some shifts in my relationship with my partner and finding the way you two hold each other, and talk about the shifting emotions, truly helpful and grounding. It’s one thing to say I am not my emotions but an entirely different experience to really start to get that in a way that opens up compassion and curiosity. It’s especially nurturing to me to watch two people so deeply in love expressing that in such a powerful way is a gift to me, and to those I am in relationship with. Thank you, and love to you.


  15. David and I watched the videos last night, sitting in a room in a building built in 1541…a good reminder that things wrought with care can last. I never realized before, Doug, how much like Ann you are — deep integrity, with the ability to return to focus, and with the will to work that much harder in less than ideal circumstances.

    Though we haven’t commented before, we have deeply appreciated each and every one of yours and Walker’s posts. And, I am so glad that you and Walker continue to share a sense of humor!


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