year in reviewDecember 31, 2009
In January, we waited for more cancer to grow on Clark’s lung so that we could harvest it to make the treatment that was supposed to save him. He played a show at Rock and Roll Hotel on January 10. On February 20, he was admitted to the hospital for an emergency surgery in which they pulled a baseball-sized tumor out of his gut. I had to stuff his belly wound with packing gauze for weeks following the operation. Friday. March 27, was my birthday party at Pharmacy. It was the last time Clark ever went out to a bar. He hobbled the entire way there; the pain was just beginning to slow down his walking. In April, he had crutches, and we discovered the cancer was everywhere. We went before a panel of doctors at NIH and begged them to treat him even though doing so would put his life at risk. At this point, he could no longer walk. They decided to send him to get last-resort chemo in late April/early May. He was on his off-week for chemo the week of May 8 – 15. During that week, his belly swelled to extremes, and Jon carried him down the steps out of our apartment for the last time. On May 17, we found out the chemo wasn’t working, and we told him on the 18th. From May 18 to June 16, he knew he was without a doubt going to die and that the fight was over. On June 15, he closed his eyes for the last time. I wedged myself between him and the metal bars of the hospice bed that night, watched an episode of “Sex and the City” and eventually fell asleep with the help of one of his prescription Ativan. During his last lucid conversation, though, all he wanted was for me to promise him that the second Statehood record would see a release.
On March 19, Clark told both Jon and Spencer that he was going to propose to me. I only found out about that after he died. One day during his final week, I was rubbing his legs at the foot of his bed, and the sun fell through the pulled blinds, lighting my profile. He started to cry. “You’re so beautiful, you look like an angel,” he said. “And I can’t believe I have to leave you. I’m going to miss you so much.”