Special Presentation by the Oklahoman and NewsOK

Jim Chastain has survived cancer. He even wrote a book to prove it. But the disease came back. Doctors now tell him that he has "months" to live. He and his family are facing now what we all eventually will face. And he's sharing his journey with the world. Jim Chastain is dying. He is living to tell us about it.
[ Read more about Jim ]

Epilogue --  Jim reminded world that life is full of changes

Epilogue -- Jim reminded world that life is full of changes

News | Updated: Mon, Apr 5, 2010

The call came early on the morning of Christmas Eve. Our friend Jim Chastain's long battle with cancer was over, a battle he'd been waging since 2001. Jim's first bout with cancer resulted in the amputation of his right arm. For any person, that is traumatic. For a right-handed writer, it certainly "cramped his style" but it did not deter him. He taught himself to write and type with the left one.

Jim Chastain receives a hug from his grandmother during his birthday party at Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City on Dec. 10, 2008. Photo by John Clanton
Jim Chastain receives a hug from his grandmother during his birthday party at Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City on Dec. 10, 2008. Photo by John Clanton

Chapter 6 - Author Jim Chastain has died

News | Updated: Thu, Dec 24, 2009

Jim Chastain, whose fight for survival was chronicled in The Oklahoman and on NewsOK.com, died Wednesday night after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 46.

View/Sign the guestbook

Chapter 5 -- Separate ways: A message from the reporter

Updated: Thu, Dec 24, 2009
Chapter 5 -- Separate ways: A message from the reporter

In the past couple of months, I’ve received many phone calls and e-mails from readers wanting to know more about Jim Chastain. How is he doing? Has he gotten worse? When are you going to run another chapter of his story? The good news first: Jim is still alive, and as long as he lives, there is hope. The bad news: There won’t be any more stories about him.

Chapter 4 -- A thoughtful word from Charlotte Lankard

Updated: Thu, Dec 24, 2009
Chapter 4 -- A thoughtful word from Charlotte Lankard

"Life is Real: Writing the Final Chapters" is a blog The Oklahoman provided to help us have a conversation about what happens to an individual and their family and friends when one has been told there is no hope for a long life. It is not an easy conversation, but who among us would not like to do it well when that time comes for us or for someone we love?

Chapter 3 -- Living in the shadow of a death sentence

News | Updated: Mon, Apr 20, 2009
Chapter 3 -- Living in the shadow of a death sentence

Jim was diagnosed with terminal cancer more than 1 1/2 years ago. Since then, the family’s emotions have been difficult to keep in check, and tempers are stretched taut as bowstrings. Minor provocations launch flurries of verbal arrows, all speeding toward targets no one really wants to hit. Living in the shadow of a death sentence isn’t easy. It gets more complicated once the initial shock wears off and everyday life intrudes.

Chapter 2 -- Jim hopes his story lives on

News | Updated: Mon, Feb 23, 2009
Jim Chastain receives a hug from his grandmother during his birthday party at Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City on Dec. 10, 2008. Photo by John Clanton

Jim Chastain’s eyes sweep across the bookstore, landing for a moment on each face. There’s LeAnn, his wife, chatting with a friend near the gelato counter. His daughter, Maddye, 17, talks with Jim’s parents, just in from Bartlesville. His sister and grandmother sit near his 14-year-old son, Ford, who is strumming quietly on a guitar. Surrounding the Chastains are dozens of guests in rain-damp tweed or leather. Some mill around a table laden with snacks, coffee and Arizona green tea. Others find seats in front of the fireplace.

Chapter 1 -- Dying isn’t keeping Jim from living

News | Updated: Thu, Dec 24, 2009
Chapter 1 -- Dying isn’t keeping Jim from living

The incisions sliced down and across his belly, perpendicular lines of pain the prescription analgesics could only begin to touch. He could feel the device inside him, a titanium pump occupying the space where his gall bladder had been for the past 44 years. Beneath the bandages, the pump bulged out of his abdomen like some gestating creature from the latest "Alien"sequel. But the real monster was growing beneath it.
Photo Gallery: A Day in the Life

Preface -- 'You get cancer, but life goes on'

Updated: Mon, Feb 23, 2009
Preface -- 'You get cancer, but life goes on'

Jim Chastain has many things: a loving wife, a daughter who will soon graduate from high school, a son who is a gifted musician, a great job at the Capitol, a large home in Norman, a growing literary reputation and a large circle of friends. What he doesn't have is time. "The doctors have told me that I have months left, not years," said Chastain, 44. "That's not enough time."

This player will hold the lineup for the Jim Chastain videos