Kenneth: Death is a tough thing to deal with, especially when you have a chance to see it coming. About a year ago I had a friend die of cancer... she was 40. We thought she had a fighting chance, but it became clear towards the end what the outcome would be. I don't think I ever really talked to her about the hard facts of her illness... I think it was good enough just to be there and share what time remained. Perhaps I could have done more as others did, but I did what I felt I could. It doesn't make me a good or bad person one way or the other. And it will be the same for you. Do what you can. To one degree or another, we're all scared of the great unknown... but it makes it easier if we can be scared together. My best to you in this difficult time.
I'd also like to echo the Lady Hoot as to those final lines. Well written... and welcome to the fold.