Friday, March 28, 2008

The Power To Surprise


Sorting out some photos I came across this one, taken by a friend at a reunion with some school friends last autumn.

Even now, one year on from diagnosis, stumbling across a photo of me at the peak of my baldness still shocks me. It's not like seeing me. I know it IS me, but it feels more like seeing a close friend or relative much changed after years apart. Changed by age or illness, but dramatically different in a very wrong way.

The girl on the left called me today to apologise for not having got back to me on something. Turns out she's busy dealing with cancer herself.

Her father's cancer has got worse. It's spread to his spine.

I remember him from parent's evenings - the elegantly tall, good-looking Kenyan doctor whom all the teachers giggled and flirted over like they were the schoolgirls. Of all men, this man cannot be dying, surely?

Once again, I feel the vitriol rise and I curse cancer. In all its forms.

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