I’m a member of a very small club that I really wouldn’t want any of you to be members of. That ‘club’ that exists only in loose tweets or sharing of experience, and is no way a club in the true sense of the word, is made up of people who have all felt the impact of bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma, on their lives.
Here it is, cholangiocarcinoma, kind of beautiful don’t you think?
I’ve been blogging here about Dad’s illness, his life and his death for a number of years and it’s not all bad, far from it. Indeed I’m confident that I’ve a lot to thank cancer for, even if it ultimately cost Dad his life. One of the amazing coincidences since I started blogging about bile duct cancer is the small number of people who have got in touch to share their circumstances, to thank me for putting something easy to understand out there, for sharing our story. I don’t have any medical knowledge and can’t claim that Dad’s experience will mirror anyone else’s, however, if by sharing our own experience it means someone else feels more prepared or connected, then I think that’s quite a powerful legacy to live in Bobby’s name.
Last week, Myra Kohn @bonnevivante, sat with her father as he died. Diagnosed with this rare and aggressive cancer in April last year, her father passed away at 04.50am on Saturday (which was just before 10am in the UK). Myra’s photo update on her own blog is breathtakingly simple and heart breaking – go take a look. It’s only a few days since Myra’s Dad died and I’ve no idea when, or indeed if, she’ll be back online. The odd thing about social media is I have no way of contacting her except this. I wanted to blog and send virtual hugs and wishes and thoughts and caffeine and anything else that’s helpful to Myra. I hope that she might read this, but if she doesn’t I hope that you will all do as she asked a week or so ago, to take the time to contact those you love today and tell them so. Don’t wait, do it now.
The reading that follows was read by my Dad’s friend at his funeral service, I’m free:
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
Following paths God made for me.
I took His Hand I heard Him call,
Then turned, and bid farewell to all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to sing, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found my peace ….at close of play.
If my parting has left a void,
Fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened ….deep with sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I’ve savoured much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it with too much grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me,
God wants me now …. He’s set me free.