Cancer has taken too many of the people I cherish, and having seen 1st hand what it can reek, it terrifies me that I may be the 1 out of 3 that may be afflicted with the disease at some stage in my life.
In August 1997 I got engaged to my lover of 10 years. In that 10 years we had become great friends with a wonderful couple who worshipped their 3 very special children. We took holidays together, went camping, saw so much great live music, shared a holiday home and took in a dinner party at least once a fortnight. Our wedding date was set for September 1998 and our glorious friends were invited to be best man and bridesmaid.
New years eve 1997/98 we went away with our friends to the coast to celebrate new year for a few days. My best man complained of a sore that the doctors couldn`t diagnose. He supposedly had a rather virulent form of tonsilitus. This was really getting him depressed as he was a professional singer and whilst sick he was unemployed. Despite my chums low spirits we had a wonderful few days fishing, drinking, swimming and eating.
My best man had a good portion of the new year booked out with singing engagements, but had to cancell a lot of work as he tried to get to the bottom of what was causing his vocal problems
. I remember it so clearly, my future wife came to me as I was reading the papers one feburary sunday afternoon to tell me that my best freind had throat cancer. He loved his cigarettes, red wine and beer, so some strange part of me joked that he should have given that crap up long ago. to which my lady snapped, he should have given lots of stuff up long ago. My good friend had history with hard drugs, but he got himself together when he met the love of his life, and when his kids came along, they were his whole life. My future wife and I fought out of grief, cried and comforted each other.
The next day we caught up with our friends, eager and terrified as to what the prognosis was. The prognosis was not good at all. But my friend, to his eternal credit kept his optimism, sense of humour and humanity. ``Lot`s of people have it worse than I do`` he said. How, how the **** can it be worse than to dying of ******* cancer when you have 3 kids not even in their teens and a beautiful devoted wife.
Some musical comatriates of ours put on a benefit at a local club. It raised enough money to ensure that our friends got the help they sore solely needed without a soul destoying debt, but it was a very quick demise. My last vision of my great friend was seeing him watching his 9 y.o daughter doing hand stands in the sand of our shared holiday home, too weak to do do more than be an observer. The following day he lapsed into a coma and was dead 3 days later in july 1998.
My fiance and I initally wanted to cancel our September wedding, but our beautiful widowed bridemaid would have nothing of it. The women is amazing. She lost her husband 40 years before she should have, she had 3 young children to look after on her own, a mountain of debt to account for and a ****-load of grieving to which she was more than entitled to wrench from her system. Yet, she she had the strength to bully my love and I into sticking to our wedding plans.
Our wedding was a magical day, as it should be, but it was engulfed by the abscence of someone we so desperately wanted to be there, though mortality forbade it. I bought in a workplace buddy of mine as best man, but still to this day I look at the wedding pictures and see in his fr
Since my wedding day I have been filled with a dread over my inevitable mortality. Regardless of wether it is tomorrow, or in 50 years time. I know I will be dead befoer I am ready, and I have no god to offer me the illusion of eternal life.
In the last 10 years I have lost my lover in the eraly 80`s to lung cancer, I also lost my guitar teacher of many years to the same disease. I lost my buddy who I jammed with most friday nights to bladder cancer in 2006, I lost a close cousin to skin cancer in the same year, and another dear, dear, dear friend of ours lost a long battle with ovarian cancer just last year.
There have been wins however against this insidious disease. In 2005 a great friend of ours was diagnosed with a very rare cancer of the sinus. This disease, though usually fatal, is now totally in remission. Our friend has been declared 100% cancer free. Another friend who has a family history of breast cancer took the hard option of undergoing a radical double masctecomy in her mid 20`s and isnow 100% cancer free.
On the bummer side I have a great friend of 25 years plus who has just been diagnosed with liver cancer, so here we go again I suppose.
Just a couple of months ago the oldest daughter of my late late singer friend, now aged 20, went along with her mother my wife, son and I to see a band one late sunday afternoon. At the age of only 20 this girl is the very vision of her father, and my 21 month old son has his 1s crush I`m sure. this girl/sorry women has the world at her feet. She has her fathers looks/chraisma/ lust for the unknown, and her mothers bravery/beauty/Talent/Passion to do as she will with the world.
I hope to be around long enough to see my son into adulthood, maybe even to meet my grand-children, but no matter what, if I can be half as succesful as my late friend and his widow in parenting, then that is life well spent.