A while before christmas I found out that a very special friend of mine has lymphoma. He'd already had an orchiectomy (and recovered from it) when he told me about it but didn't seem to think that anything else would come from the tests they were doing. I think that was partly a typical male "don't talk about it" attitude and partly his natural positivity.
A few weeks later I got a message from a mutual friend letting me know that it was lymphoma - he wasn't sure if I'd heard and just wanted to make sure I knew. Of course, that made me fear the worst, why wouldn't he have just told me himself? At any rate when I contacted him he just said he'd been waiting to get the full picture before talking to me about it. And this was on the eve of his first chemo session. Still, obviously he has a lot to be dealing with and he has family and lots of friends who live a whole lot closer than I do (not hard, what with us living in different countries and all). Because of that and just because of the type of person he is, it feels like the less fussing I do, the better.
He did phone me and gave me an overview of what the treatment plan is but unfortunately it was one of those whatsapp calls that kept cutting out so I wasn't entirely sure of some aspects. I think he'll be having six lots of chemo at three-week intervals and I know he's spoken to a radiologist about starting radiology as soon as chemo has finished. So, not quite as "not serious" as he was implying.
I did get to see him over the holiday but only for an hour or so, most of which was spent in a crowded cafe, which wasn't specially conducive to deep conversation. He was a bit skittish anyway, not quite babbling but not far off it - talking about his holiday celebrations so far and that kind of thing. In the end we were a bit rushed so I didn't even get to find out any more details really. Sigh. I deal with things so much better when I have the full facts and don't have any leeway to be extrapolating from just a small amount of information. But, of course, this is his illness and he's in the centre of it, not me. At least I have this space to come and let loose some of the more selfish aspects of my character. It's a good release.
In the final analysis I just have to trust that his positivity (and the medical science, obviously) will get him through this. If he's sure he's going to get better then, well, to be honest, no better man. He is definitely the type to kick its ass rather than the other way round. But, yeah, fuck cancer - I have lost too many people to it already and I'm clinging to the hope generated by one of my best friends who battled it and won!
Had a completely different point in mind when I started writing this but can't remember now what it was. Oh well. This all needed to come out anyway. And I have no problem coming back again and again to write about him. One of the most wonderful men I've ever known. Actually, I think I might even try and do a whole series on some of my best friends and the wonderful people they are. That's an idea for a longer-term project that might help me deal with some of the things that have been occupying my mind for a while now.