Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pancreatic cancer, facing mortality and why my next stop is no longer Holywood

God, I'd had a good year. But a statement by a friend of mine has always hovered back in my mind since he told it to me a few years ago. "Everyone thinks they're going to win the lottery. Nobody thinks they'll ever get cancer."
Now, much as I'd love to tell you that, on the 6th of April this year - God, just 2 weeks ago - I was shouting 'In yer face, cancer!' and planning to spend those big bucks I'd just won, well, you've guessed, haven't you?
No, one short week after being admitted to hospital, I was sitting with my wife broken-hearted beside me, being told that I'd got the easy option. See, it's hard to win the lottery. Those odds..! But cancer's a doodle. People get cancer all the time. Of course, I didn't quite go for the easy option. I had to have hard core. Pancreatic cancer with secondaries in the liver. Six to twelve months on average to go. Bummer.
In a week I'd gone from thinking biopsy was one of Peter Rabbit's friends, like Flopsy and Cottontail, to being advised to cancel the Fruit of the Month Club.
But this is not a cancer blog. It's the blog of a guy with cancer and it'll be about all sorts of stuff. I'm a freelance advertising writer but, at long last, I'd made a breakthrough into crime fiction and was looking forward to seeing a short story of mine in the anthology 'Next Stop Holywood' due out from St Martin's Press in NY in May. I'd completed a play with music by my friend, the acclaimed songwriter Michael Weston King that I was proud off. And I'm not done yet.
Just after Christmas, before I had the first inkling of being ill, I read a Bill Hicks biography. We were same year although he died a decade ago. Of pancreatic cancer. And you know what he said, looking at it all? "It's a ride. It's just a ride."
And it is.
Mebbe you'd care to join me?



Blogger Planetmirth said...

Hi Brian,

I was devastated to hear your news! I have seldom worked with anyone who was so universally liked and respected by their colleagues. I hope they all take the opportunity of telling you directly what they think of you, instead of all the complementing you behind your back, as they do on a very regular basis... not so much back stabbing as back slapping.

For my part, at the last reunion, Lisa and I spent a good half an hour singing your praises - had we known about the cancer it would have been the whole evening.

I truly hope that you can push this ultimate deadline to the limits, enjoy the ride and drain every sweetness out of every second.

My thoughts are with you, your wife and your son.


April 23, 2007 at 6:05 AM  

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