At the end of February 2015 I learned I had Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that effects the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall. My doctor told me I might have days to live, maybe weeks or perhaps months.
The shock of those words is itself, enough to kill. In an instant everything is stripped away, tomorrow might not come and the beauty of life is all but over.
The cancer I had, bore the markers of asbestos, which I must have come across in England during the Second World War. My father was stationed at an airfield where asbestos was used in the construction of the buildings.
My beloved friend and editor Val, heard the words at the same time as I did. It was she who’d convinced me to get an Xray when breathing became increasingly difficult. “We’re in this together,” she told me, tears streaming down our faces.
I was well aware of the treatments for cancer provided by Western Medicine and knew of other methods, which offered far more hope. Besides, if it was my time to die, I did not wish to subject this body that had served me so well to the toxicity of radiation and chemotherapy.
The first week Val and I spent looking to see what we could do to help my body and to put those things in place.
At the time of diagnosis I had begun writing this novel, a sequel to “Stillpoint,” which eventually bore the title, “Ten Days That Changed The World.” I had just finished the first three chapters. The ideas for it had been in my mind for some time. Since it dealt with the ongoing destruction of the Palestinian people — ethnic cleansing — I wanted to see if I could finish it.
At the beginning of the second week I got back to writing. I wrote solidly for the next month while Val edited. Toward the end I was very ill and knew the whole story I had envisioned wouldn’t be told in this book. The story that took place in Gaza was, however, finished and that was most important to me. If by some miracle I was to survive, I could write a sequel, most of which would take place in Canada.
During the past six months I had the great good fortune to come across three powerful healers who’ve put me on the path to recovery. I have now begun to write the sequel to “Ten Days.” At the moment it doesn’t have a name.
I know many readers have wondered what happened to Hahn Shan and what role the Canadian Prime Minister played in his disappearance? I’m happy to say you’ll find out In the new book.
August 21, 2015