Sailing through


Dear Anthony

Two cycles down, just six more to go.

You are not looking bad, considering.

The belligerent doctor who treats you, stay close to him. Forget that he calls you Tony. So what if he says you are ‘sailing through’ it all? Remember, he sees hundreds, just like you, every year.

Except they are not like you. Nearly all of them are older, and without the resources you take for granted, your family for example. Those brownies on the doorstep. The meals.

As you know, he’s been through it, too. So it’s likely he really does mean it. Cut him some slack.

On the other hand, I can understand your annoyance at the programmers of daytime TV. Just when you had settled into a nice routine (school-walk, drop off, collapse in front of back-to-back Frasier) they take off your favourite show and replace it with the Cheltenham Festival. How dare they?

Have you written? You should. I’m not buying your excuses about tiredness. You know you want to. You know I’m right.

The shivers around Day Five: they’re normal. Deal with it. It’s a sign the Lengorastin is doing its job. Paracetamol will help. Trust me, if you ring the hospital, they’ll tell you exactly the same. As you writhe on your bed sweating, think of all those white cells it’s producing, the good it’s doing you.

Change the record. Or not.

You won’t thank me for saying this, but worse is to come. This is just the start.

The Frasier, though, and your rejection of war metaphor to describe cancer: those were good decisions. Plus choosing not to be angry.

I was right about the ski chalet episode, wasn’t I? The One Where He Pretends To Be Jewish will have you crying. And the one where Niles irons his trousers.

As you’ve been humming: go with it, stay with it. But be prepared to bleed.

I love you.

Hang in there. You’re doing well.

Love for now,

Ant x


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