Friday, June 15, 2007

When 4 weeks is a lifetime

Went for chemo and everything was fine. My consultant, in whom I have a great deal of trust, also told us that, from next week she plans to introduce another drug in combination with it. Although we live in isolated old Donegal, she's spent a lot of time in the states and, in fact, came up with this idea while talking to a friend of hers in New York who specialises in pancreatic cancer. The new drug won't work miracles but it can add 4 weeks or so on to your life. In my situation, 4 weeks more with my wife and son would be very precious. There can be side-effects everything from acne to a heart attack! - but I think its worth trying. I'll keep you up to date on how it goes.
Reading Brian Keenan's 'An Evil Cradling' at the minute. Another book I've had for ages but never got around to reading. For some reason, I've always liked to read about people in extremis, whether they were in prison, at war, in the wilderness etc. I suppose I was curious to know how the human spirit reacts when tested to the limit. Or mebbe I'm just a sadist by proxy? Came across this quote as Brian & John McCarthy are talking about how, despite no attachment to conventional religion, they still find some comfort in prayer: "In its own way our isolation had expanded the heart, not to reach out to a detached God but to find and become part of whatever 'God' might be." I think this reflects my own feelings, that sense of disinterest in a theological construct in preference for a sense of how concepts like 'god' and 'compassion' relate to me.
Overall, it's a fascinating book with some interesting observation on 'terrorism' that come from Keenan's comparison's between Beirut and the Belfast that both he and I grew up in. Pity it all remains so topical. The relationship between McCarthy and himself is also fascinating. It's clear that a real love existed between them. Of course, in our debased times, we tend to sexualise such realtionships and believe they must have had a homosexual component. In that way, we're no different from the guards in the book: because they live in such a repressed society they are unhealthily fascinated with the hostages' sex lives etc. We're in what is supposedly a much freer society yet are equally interested in the most squalid details of people's private lives. What's our excuse?
Did I turn into my grandad there? I hope not.
Anyway, see y'all later.



Blogger MattM76 said...

It's always hard to know what to reply with.

Entries of such magnitude covering such an emotive subject leave little for comment apart from the banal and the obvious.

It's a little contrite to say "I'm glad chemo is going well" because that makes it sound like a shopping trip or a holiday and I'm sure it's neither.

All I can say is that I'm reading daily and your prose is significant and touching.

June 15, 2007 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Tim Footman said...

Oh dear, I just had an image of Terry Waite getting frisky.

Not pretty.

June 15, 2007 at 11:43 PM  

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