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Dear Ant

Isn’t it strange, how quickly you notice your passing from one world into the next?

One minute you are a healthy, family man celebrating new year’s eve with friends, another shivering with patients under blankets at the A&E department during a fire alarm.

Already you have passed through many doors. Some led to clean, white spaces where men and women waited for you in their masks. Others into offices much like your own, with a desk, pads of paper and a computer.

None of them had a view.

The world of work, that set sail a lifetime ago, it seems. You stay in touch now, giving and receiving news, via email. You notice the delicious feeling in your stomach as you post your ‘Out of Office’ message.

I am sure you have noticed it, too: you let go quite easily. You might like to reflect on this afterwards.

You notice, too, how calm you are. Even on the morning of your diagnosis. Even on the phone to your family. Even at the school gate. You do not know what to call it yet, but later you will call this lack of rage in your heart ‘acceptance’.

‘What’s the point?’ you hear yourself say. What is the point indeed. It happens, has happened, is happening. All you have is now.

It helps if you breathe.

So far, you are trusting the instinct to practise patience, kindness and answer people slowly. Quite soon you are going to find the slowness in particular is not really an option, so get used to it.