Surfing on a Wave of Love
After 2 months of ill health Joe was diagnosed with malignant cancer on Sep 19th 2007. Despite a very poor prognosis he had a great desire to live and was valiant and hopeful throughout the next three months. In this time he was supported, nourished, slightly bemused but moved by the love and generosity of
- the families of Charlbury
- his school friends and teachers
- friends and colleagues from Sussex University
- friends from Runtime
- fellow musicians
- people whose lives he touched through friends and family
- French friends
- his loving family
- his partner Emilie who was at his side throughout and with whom he enjoyed Autumn days at their flat being acutely aware of the fragility of their life together but certain of their happiness.
He felt privileged to have such a fortunate life and he told Emilie he was surfing on a wave of love.
We should like to give praise and thanks to the wonderful oncology team at Saint -Louis Hospital in Paris who were medically vigorous and tender with their care.
Joe will be cremated in Paris at a short informal gathering for French friends and family. His ashes will then be brought back to Evenlode House in Charlbury. Later this year there will gatherings in the UK of friends and family in both Brighton and Charlbury. Donations to Cancer Research please in lieu of flowers.
Geoff and Sheila
Sadly, yesterday, December 28th at 7.25 GMT Joe died in Saint Louis Hospital here in Paris.
He will be cremated in a short simple gathering at Pere-Lachaise on Monday 7th January at 9.45 GMT .
His ashes will be returned to the UK and we will hold some gatherings for friends and family there later in the New Year.
We will keep this blog going and update it with information about these gatherings later.
Geoff, Sheila, Patrick and Emilie
Well, it’s looking more and more likely that I’ll be spending Christmas Day right here in St. Louis Hospital. I’d been getting weaker and weaker following chemo #4, and with a lovely cough-and-spit to accompany it – it was obvious something wasn’t right.
To cut a long story short, I checked into the hospital Tuesday 11th, and have been here since. I’ve become incredibly, depressing feeble – I’m no longer capable of doing the simplest of activities (getting out of bed, even sitting upright in bed (this requires two nurses to lift me), going for a #2 (number #1s I can manage, with the aid of a strange “pistoler” device which makes it possible to piss into from almost any angle – very handy!) unassisted. I’ve also developed an enormous, cracking cough which is generating enormous amounts of phlegm – but of course the act of coughing/spitting the phlegm sends me into a complete respiration panic attack.
That’s the other thing I didn’t mention – all this is caused/linked by a huge chest infection I seem to have developed at the time in my chemo when my white blood cells were at their lowest. It’s being hit with a second round of antibiotics, which appears to be helping (first round, all-purpose round completely useless), and have had a “punction” to drain some of the fluid from one of my lungs. Impossible to get the whole lot out as the needle keeps getting jammed with blood.
So – there you go. All of this helps, so things are moving in the right direction. Though I have the occasional panic where I feel like I just can’t breath – even though I patently can, or I’d be dead rather than worrying whether I could breath or not. I’ve been having trouble sleeping, mainly down to breathing difficulties, I think. There are various drugs being added to me intravenously to calm me down, more steroids to try and sort the fucked lungs out, vitamins as I’ve lost my appetite and and finding it very hard to eat, and goodness knows what else.
So. A low point. Hard to keep moral up at the moment, but people are being extraordinarily helpful as normal, and I’m getting by. Thanks especially to Ben, James, Noel and Zulq, for the Care Package of DOOM – as I am sleeping most of the time, or at least lying with my eyes closed, the audiobooks are great.
Anyway – doesn’t look like anyone’s going to be checking me out from here anytime soon, what with my inability to move more than a few inches of my own volition, so I reckon we’ll be breaking the tinsel out in Fugure #6336.
This is the first time I’ve strung together enough energy to write something, so I guess that’s progress, anyway – even if it’s all a bit negative. Next week, maybe: standing up unaided will give me something more positive to write about.
In case I don’t post again before, Merry Christmas, everyone!