My very dear family and friends,
I write with melancholy news, I’m afraid. I think it best not to beat about the bush.
The tumour has spread into two lymph nodes and each lung. My surgeon, Mr Khoubehi, is proposing to operate to remove the kidney and lymph nodes with a provisional date of Tuesday 12 May, the soonest he can do it. Unfortunately, the lymph nodes will require open surgery – they can’t apparently be removed by key-hole. This will mean a much longer recovery time; an estimated five days in hospital, followed by between 6 and 10 weeks at home. Once that period is over, they will scan the lungs again. At that point, they will decide whether to proceed with ‘biotherapy,’ ie massive doses of female hormones. Or… On the plus side, while in the lungs, this remains kidney cancer and is, in theory, very slow growing (as well as resistant to chemo, so at least I’ll keep my golden-grey locks 🙂
Inevitably, I forced Mr Khoubehi to do the strategic prediction, which he was understandably reluctant to do, since every case is different and no-one can tell. He said that in his opinion, I could have as little as six months, or as much as six or seven years. I intend to be one of those people who defies all predictions and who is around for much longer.
However, I will be living my life henceforth as if I only have six months – ie to the max for as long as I can. I had a lovely day with my friend Richard and then the most beautiful walk with Anna in Battersea Park (I’ll post some pix tomorrow) prior to going to C and W, and intend to have as many more such as possible. Every day after that is a bonus.
Please, all, please do not be downcast on my behalf. I have had a good and lucky life until now. No doubt I will in due course have huge anxieties and regrets concerning Anna and Maddy, but insofar as I can separate myself from them for the moment, please don’t lament for me. As we were leaving C and W, we saw a poor boy, probably about seven years old, obviously extremely ill, being wheeled in, white as a sheet and his head lolling helplessly. Compared with him, I’ve had all the luck in the world.
What I would love to do is to see as many of you as is possible over the next few months and enjoy some time (and laughs) together. It’s probably best to contact me by email for the moment, if you don’t mind. But I would love to see everyone in due course.
That’s all for now, folks. Please stay positive and strong for me.
Lots of love, Bart xx