A few people have asked me if any obituaries of Bart have been written yet, so I thought I’d post some links here in case anyone is still following this blog.
I understand that various pieces are in process for academic journals – I’ll post them here when they appear.
Thanks again for the lovely messages about Bart that so many of you have sent me, I hope to reply to them all soon!
Thank you for the very kind messages that many of you have sent – they are a real source of comfort at a very difficult time.
There will be a memorial service for Bart at 2pm on Tuesday 15 December at Chelsea Old Church, on the Embankment (SW3 5DQ), followed by a reception afterwards at the adjoining Petyt Hall.
Bart left quite detailed instructions as to the kind of send-off he wanted to have, and is very keen that this be a celebration.
Bart requested that people don’t send flowers, and that any donations go to Medical Aid for Palestinians [http://www.map-uk.org/donate/donate] or Kidney Cancer UK [http://kcuk.org/donate/]
I understand that many of you are far away and won’t be able to make it.
I wanted to let you know that Bart died peacefully yesterday at Trinity Hospice, surrounded by people who love him – including his brother Ames, who arrived on Friday from California. Seeing Ames again was one of the things Bart most wanted to do before he died, so I will be eternally grateful that Ames got on a plane as soon as he realized how ill Bart was.
Bart also hung on to see the birth of his son, who I have taken the liberty of naming Luke Bartholomew John Moore-Gilbert. Monday 23 November, the day of Luke’s birth, was Bart’s last good day, and he was also able to be with us in the hospital for most of Tuesday. His decline was pretty rapid after that. The care Bart received at Trinity was amazing and I know that the love and support that Bart received from his wide network of friends has been a huge comfort to him in his last months. Thank you to you all.
The funeral will be on 15 December, details to follow soon. Bart was very keen that this event be a celebration, and I hope you can join me, Maddy and Luke in celebrating the truly wonderful person that Bart was.
Lots of love,
Thanks for the many kind messages about the arrival of Luke and also those asking after Bart. I wanted to let you know that Bart is currently back at Trinity Hospice, as towards the end of last week his pain was once again out of control. He now has an infection and is very unwell. I’m afraid he’s not currently well enough for visitors, or really able to respond to calls or messages. And between looking after Maddy and Luke, and spending as much time with Bart at the hospice as possible, I am not able to respond to all the messages either.
But thanks again for the good wishes and I’ll keep you posted as to how Bart is. Fingers firmly crossed that he will be back home soon.
Dear friends and family,
Just writing to update you about recent developments. On the health side of things, the outlook does not look particularly promising, although we continue to fight our corner as best we can.
A major boost in this situation is the arrival of Luke, on Monday 23 November, weighing 8lb 4oz. He is absolutely gorgeous and Maddy has slipped into big sister role seamlessly, and is very proud of her little brother.
Otherwise, we’d be very happy, once next week is over, to have visitors at home, to meet our lovely new son.
Lots of love,
Dear family and friends,
Just to keep you in the loop with what’s happening with the trajectory of my illness. I had ten days in the hospice in Clapham Common and was released on 20th October. The spell in the hospice seems to have gone a long way to sorting out the scar tissue pain issues, thanks to the really careful observations made by the doctors and nurses while I was staying there. However, towards the end of the stay in the hospice it became apparent that I had some minor mobility issues relating particularly to my right leg. As a result of tests I was asked to go for an MRI scan on my spine last Tuesday. This showed that a tumour was beginning to develop on the spine, which is probably affecting the nerves that control the right leg, hence the weakness of the limb. I found this quite difficult to take in, as my understanding of the development means that the Sutent – the main anti-cancer drug I’ve been on for the last few months – has not really worked. It was immediately decided that I would be put on a programme of radiotherapy, which will begin on Monday. This will happen every day next week at Charing Cross hospital. Somewhat to my alarm, these plans were followed up by a call yesterday informing me that I have to report for a further MRI scan on my brain next Friday.
Clearly, these are unwelcome developments since they seem to imply that the first strategy to deal with the cancer has failed. We are now in the second phase of trying to deal with it. However, my morale remains good, sustained as I am by my very dear and loving family and friends. So please do not be too concerned or downcast for the time being, I aim to battle this out and prove the exception. Although I may not have the energy to respond to all the messages I receive from you all, I do love to hear your news, and your messages of support mean a lot to me and give me a real boost.
Lots of love,
Dear family and friends,
Bart has asked me to update you all on his progress. He apologises for his radio silence over the last few weeks. As you may know, he has been suffering increasingly severe post-surgical pain from the end of July. This pain has baffled the oncologists – although scans suggest this is unrelated to the cancer, which means it is most likely scar tissue pain. We have now, thankfully, been referred to Trinity Hospice who are pain specialists. After several attempts to get the pain management right, he has now been admitted (today) to the hospice, where he will be kept under observation with a view to working out exactly what he needs in terms of pain management. We are hoping that this will be resolved within about a week when Bart should be coming out. In the meantime, this place is very comfortable and surprisingly unlike a hospital (he even has a balcony with a great view over the beautiful gardens here).
If anybody would like to visit Bart, please do let me know, and hopefully Bart will be up to it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bart sends you his love and hopes to be in touch once this problem is sorted.
my good friend Jim Lander has reminded me of the joyful news that the Director of Public Prosecution’s shameful attempt to prevent the victims of ‘Lord’ Janner’s alleged child abuse having their day in court has been overturned. Both her own chief legal advisor (whose advice the DPP ignored) and the independent adjudicator agree that a) there is ample evidence to charge Janner and b) that it is, indeed, in the public interest that the allegations be investigated in court, whether or not he has dementia.
I am sure that the efforts of many following this blog have played some small part in achieving this outcome. Well done us! Now we just have to get rid of this awful DPP, Alison Saunders, who has done so much to bring her office into such disrepute and public contempt 🙂 The Janner fiasco is simply the latest one she’s been responsible for…
One or two people have also asked about the result of the PEN prize. I din’t win 😦 There is some consolation in the fact that that each of the four judges heavily backed a different book on the four-book shortlist. Thereafter, the result was achieved by aggregating second and third choices. Henry Marsh’s memoir of his career as a brain surgeon, Do No Harm came out on top. From the serialised extracts I have read, there’s no shame in losing out to him!
Day one on the ‘biological therapies’ seems to have passed off without any noticeable downside, thought the side-effects apparently tend to become more apparent towards the end of the four-week cycle.
Hope to post the photographic blog later today