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Former Justice Tom Chambers: “I have three to six months left”

Former Washington Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers, who retired at the end of 2012, has announced on his blog that the tongue and mouth cancer he's been battling has spread.

He wrote March 7: “The latest test results are not good.The cancer has spread.We are out of bullets.There are no more curative treatments available to me. I am on chemotherapy until I am transferred to hospice care. I have been told I have three to six months left. For my part, I feel some sense of relief as the last couple of years have been very difficult and, although I have always had hope, as new tumor after tumor was discovered, the handwriting has been on the wall that I have been losing the battle for some time.”

His blog post is filled with gratitude: “Let me emphasis that mine is not a life cut short but one fully and richly lived. Not only do I have a great and supportive family and many friends but also I have been blessed with so many rich experiences. Nearly 46 years ago, I married the girl who lived just 100 yards away from my home in Wapato. Besides making a life and raising a family together, we have taken time to smell the roses.We have shared more adventurous moments than anyone is entitled.”

At the end of his long blog post he concludes: “I am proud of my professional accomplishments and my service to the State of Washington as President of the Washington State Bar Association and as a Justice on the Washington Supreme Court.Mine is not a life to mourn.I think it was well lived.”

Thank you, Justice Chambers, for sharing your end-of-life journey.

(AP file photo of Chambers)





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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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