1 May, the biopsy is done. It isn’t good news.
After six months of being a human pin cushion, pumped full of poisons, cauterized, purging, taking a plethora of pills on a daily basis on Thursday, 9 November 2017 in Beverly Hills my friend Jeffrey had his last chemo treatment. He set out to be cancer free by Christmas and, over achiever that he is, he has succeeded more than a month and a half early.
No one should face cancer alone. Admittedly, I was probably the very last thing he wanted to contend with while dealing with lymphoma but I couldn’t let him go through this alone, and to his credit he ‘let me in’.
It is a remarkable thing to be part of the healing process for a man that at his diagnosis was ‘only’ a virtual connection and remains someone I have never met in person. I shared this journey with him – at distances between 4000 and 5000 miles via Skype. Calls that were at times expletive abundant, painful, joy-filled, tear-infused and often laughter rich. We have spent hours (and hours, hours, and hours) discussing life, philosophy, food (those on the naughty list, those permitted and those from memories that we lust for but are temporarily out of our reach), the pain, the incompetence and indifference of American health care, politics, humanity, the oceans and the environment, bullying, movies and books, war, sexual abuse, violence, and, of course, nearly all of the gory details related to eradicating Lumpy.
This morning, 11 November 2017, after a sake and sushi dinner and high on the pure joy of living again, Jeffrey and I had our second (multiple-hour) Skype call in less than 14 hours. His gorgeous, resonate voice started my day at just after 7:15 London time with drunken happiness filled hiccups and, it was PERFECT. A gift of success, survival and celebration shared. I got ‘throat clench’ and cried. I am helping him with one final aspect of this journey to refine the design of his first (and likely only) tattoo – does life get any more intimate? And so, with Runrig’s “Maymorning” to serve as the soundtrack to inspire me I search for images of runes and their meanings (as suggested during our conversation) and this song seems particularly appropriate given the sheer joy I am feeling. I am blessed, honoured, thrilled, and, beyond anything else, grateful. When we are at our most vulnerable it is a very brave thing to open oneself up to a complete stranger.
Today feels like sunlight filtered through trees. THIS IS WHAT WE LIVE FOR. There is nothing more important than to be kind, to extend the universal love that we are all anointed with, amplify it and then give it away – at which point it comes back to us in a different form to fill us up as we require.
Like a real life version of Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee (at the end of her own transformation) I await to be ‘called’ to where I can next be useful.
Congratulations and thank you letting me ‘in’ my friend, #CancerFree4Xmas.
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