Friday 17th September

Friday 17th September was one of those ordinary days in which ‘out of the ordinary’ things happened. And, unless I recorded all of those things as belonging to the same day, they would get lost or rearranged into little snippets of stories that get disconnected from the day itself. I like that they are all connected, because together, they add up to a really varied, rich and, in its own little way, a rather extraordinary day. In fact, many days are like this, if you look carefully enough. Here’s this one:

Gym training with Jim. 6.30am. I have to do weight resistance training to mitigate the hormone suppressants I’m on. This was the first time he really loaded me up to the “fail” point. It was hard, but I was pretty happy with how I did, for such a skinny guy, on hormone suppressants and two-thirds of the way through radiation treatment.

Breakfast with a business pal who opened up about their porn addiction. 8am. They had been asking about my cancer, and I think it might have prompted them. I’ve never had a conversation about porn addiction with a porn addict.

I cycled. 10.30am. Nothing out of the ordinary there, even the time.

A couple of work meetings. Noon. I am on medical leave for a couple of weeks. This was the first day. It’s the last couple of weeks of my radiation treatments. 17th September was the 31st out of 39.

Therapy. 3.30pm. I see this excellent therapist who specialises in cancer patients. It’s very useful. I cried today because I feel good about myself and my future, and I’m doing well given the situation, but the cancer might kill me first.

At radiation today, I asked Rifka, one of the radiologists, how the young lady in the wheelchair was doing as she was being wheeled away. She is treated a couple of times a week, is always slumped in a wheelchair and has a couple of companions who keep her company and wheel her in and out. They don’t talk a lot. Rifka is my favourite. She’s a lovely woman, probably about my age. We get on great. I helped her with her Mac Air one day. She was being upbeat and kind to the girl woman in the wheelchair. After I asked, she teared up. I gave Rifka a hug. She reached for my hand and I held her hand tight. It was a very emotional moment. 6pm

Jimmy Kimmel’s daughter is getting married on Sat 18th Sept. In Nashville. To the son of one of Tiffany’s friends. Tiffany is invited to the wedding, and we were both invited to the wedding rehearsal dinner the night before. 7.30 pm. It was more like a big party with a big BBQ cooked by the local maestro of the BBQ, Pat Martin. We chatted with Jimmy Kimmel’s mother-in-law. I asked her if she received payment if he made mother-in-law jokes about her.

To recognise the end of each week of radiation, I go and have Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp ice cream in a waffle cone. 10 pm. It is quite simply, delicious. But the last couple of weeks there has been none. Zip. Zero. Nothing. Not a jot. I have told the servers it’s tragic but all they can do is attempt to look empathetic. So I have to choose different flavours. The nearest sounding is ‘Wild Lavender’ but the server recommended Golden Nectar at the bottom with Darkest Chocolate on top. Anxious to try some of the Wild Lavender I asked a little scoop on top. I’m glad I took the recommendation. Wild Lavender isn’t in the same league as Brambleberry Crisp. Just saying.