So… Erm, this week I got some bad news. I say I did, but it was really my friend who got the bad news. The tumours in his head have increased by up to three times and the outlook isn’t good.
They can’t do radiotherapy more than once, and nothing else seems to be working, so they’re going to give him one round of intravenous chemotherapy and hope for the best. So, this is it really. If this doesn’t work then nothing will. There’s no more treatment to give.
He and everyone around him are now facing up to the reality that he may die, and how it could happen to quite possibly the nicest person in the world.
We’re trying to remain positive, but no one’s saying that it’ll be ok, because there’s every bit a chance that everything won’t be ok. The only thing I can think to say is it isn’t over until the fat lady sings, to which he says if I come into his home next week dressed as a fat lady and begin to sing he will end me! So at least we’ve still got our gallows humour.
It’s an insane thing this. To happen just before Christmas, and to happen almost 4 years to the day of his initial diagnosis is just astounding.
The hardest part is, of course, not knowing whether any of this has worked at all for another 3 months. Yes, he’s not getting another MRI for another 3 months. How do you carry on your life when the future is that uncertain?
Events like this always put everything into perspective. Earlier this week I was speaking to another friend of mine who recently lost a friend to a sudden brain aneurysm. There was no signs, no warnings, she just dropped in the middle of an airport on the other side of the world and died within a week. She was also about my age, she was recently married, and her career was just beginning to take off. What my friend said of it was it was like being hit by a bus, only the bus was inside her head. It could have happened to anybody, anywhere, but it happened to her.
When things like this happen it’s easy to feel that living is futile, because dying is so inevitable. Why carry on living when life is so cruel to so many?
With all this suffering, and pain, and death, the only real thing to hold onto is life. You have to embrace it and not take it for granted. You could try living each day like it’s your last, rob a bank, steal a car, but that’s not really living, that’s making yourself happy at the expense of others. I think to truly appreciate the world is to heed the words of Ferris Bueller,
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around in once and a while you could miss it.”
Dying is easy, living is hard. Finding five minutes to just appreciate the little things, like the beauty of a sky at night, or the new couple walking down the street hand in hand. That’s what’s worth living for. Becoming bitter will leave you only alone and miserable.
Although if push comes to shove I’ll say this now – I came into this world kicking and screaming covered in somebody else’s blood, and I’d sure as hell go out that way if I have to.