Monday, May 22, 2006

Cancer

James has cancer. What can you say? We were going to be staying with them, but understandably they couldn't do it. Trying to entertain visitors with young kids screaming and running around while simultaneously having to deal with raw emotion and fear is a hard ask. Stomach cancer. Can't operate. Chemo will make it go away, but temporarily. It will come back. But when and how badly? Does it just get worse and worse continually, occurring at diminishing intervals and with greater severity until you die? Often this seems to be the case. Tori wants to buy James the book "The Journey". Apparently this woman had a tumour the size of a watermelon inside her and was told she had 2 months to live. She changed her approach to her life, dealt with her past suppressed issues and the tumour decreased in size until it vanished. Seems incredible. Possible perhaps, but unlikely for most.

I'm meeting James for a beer on Wednesday in London. I have to find a way to ask him what the doctor's prognosis was and how he plans to approach it. Wonder if I'll have the guts. And is this something he'll tell me anyway or rather keep private and not talk about? And why do I need to know these details anyway? I want him to recover fully so that I can meet him for beers for many years to come. I fear that this may not be the case. He's looking thinner than I've ever seen him. The sparkle is still in his eye but his body is having a tough time. Stomach cancer.

There seem to be a lot of people I know who are dying or badly sick lately. Phiz just had a stroke. Bill Liddle dropped dead at 55 from a heart attack days after I'd been drinking with him in Singapore. Andy Duplain had a couple of heart attacks. He's survived and is back to full form of drinking and smoking. What do you do?

Mum's spleen is getting larger. She had a colonoscopy last week because she thought she had bowel cancer. Got the all clear but fear is in the air.

James is still going to work. Is that a sign that he expects that he'll be getting better? Is it some kind of denial of his situation? If he only has a short time, commuting from Brighton to London doesn't seem a good way to spend it. But what do you do if you decide to leave work? It gives you more time to dwell on your condition. Perhaps it is better to keep things normal. Fucked if I know what I'd do. Terror, panic and self pity I expect. I guess I'm assuming the worst here. Perhaps James will be ok. I hope so, but I fear not.

I can't help but think about Sally's grief if James dies. And Harry and Louis. Such a close family unit. And their good friends who became our friends. Keith and Dianne. Glenn and Penny. A sad shift in dynamics if James is no longer around.

Camping trips and outings all together as families. Some of our best times in England. Being welcomed warmly into a group of old close friends. The party at Izzy's with his particularly good cake. Mike and Kim's indulgent extravaganzas. Beers at the Fortune of War. And the Lion and Lobster. And after a half assed Syntegra sponsored bowling night where we met over a beer.

Come on James.

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