Mr Scott, I wish you nothing but the best of health, and hope you kick cancer's tail to the curb.
I'm not big on small folders, so if it came down to me, the folding knife that I would recommend to you would be the S30V or S90V Native Chief.
If it was to be a fixed blade...put some spring back in to those steps and get a pair of Spyderco Gayle Bradley Nightstick Boot Knife 4.14" CPM-S30V Satin Single Edge Blade, Black G10 Handles, Boltaron Sheath with G-Clip - FB47GP ($210 at Knife Center). I like it and think I'll get two myself!
Spyderco Collection: Military (S110V), Bob Lum Darn Dao(CPM-154), Yojimbo 2 (1 in S30V & 2 in 20CV), Sustain(20CV), Native 5(Maxamet), Jumpmaster 2(H1), Province(4V). SHORT LIST: CF Shaman(S90V), Native Chief, Street Bowie(4V at 60+ HRC), Nightstick, Yojumbo.