Early morning, Wednesday, 27 January
Just in from Kathleen Bartholomew, Kage Baker’s sister and care giver:
Kage’s doctor has informed us she has reached the end of useful treatment. The cancer has slowed, but not stopped. It has continued to spread at an unnatural speed through her brain, her lungs and — now — reappeared in her abdomen. It is probably a matter of a few weeks, at most.
Kage has fought very hard, but this is just too aggressive and mean. She’s very, very tired now, and ready for her Long Sleep. She’s not afraid.
We’ve been in a motel the last week or so, in order to complete her therapy. I’ll have her home in her own bedroom by the weekend, though, so end of life care can take place in more comfortable surroundings.
There are two intertwined sources of grief in this news.
First, I love Kage Baker’s books, especially the Company novels.
Second, my late friend Barbara and I read most of them together as they came out, and they were central to our recognition that we turned time and again to unorthodox time-travel books. (Other notable authors in that category are Kim Stanley Robinson and Connie Willis.)
And now not only will I not be reading new Kage Baker novels with Barbara, I won’t be reading any at all. Barbara’s last weeks at home in hospice care were rich and filled with loving friends and family, and she simply never woke up from an afternoon nap. My prayers are with Kage, her sister, their family and friends, as she continues along the path we will all walk one day.