Farrah’s Farewell


This post first appeared here on May 15th.  Farrah lived just 40 more days.

The NBC mini-documentary on Farrah Fawcett’s final stages of colon cancer will begin soon on TV but I’m not going to watch it. It’s too personal – too close to home. Ten years ago, on June 9, 1999, my 49th birthday, I was diagnosed with stage-3 colon cancer. At stage-4, it’s only a matter of time and you don’t buy green bananas. Farrah is in the last weeks of stage-4.

Although I’ve been “in remission” for 8 or 9 years, I guess “it” will come back one day – in one form or another. People get cancer in different ways – most of them unknown. All the words to “fight it” are clichéd and well-known: “courageous fight,” “long battle,” “long-time survivor,” blah, blah, blah. In the end, it doesn’t really matter.

If you die from cancer, it doesn’t mean you didn’t fight as hard – or were less determined – or didn’t have the most advanced care. What I believe is it’s pretty much the luck of the draw. Fate determines your time and I doubt if lobbying for a “stay” or running all around for alternative cures are anything more than time-killing distractions.

My Mom died of cancer at 62, Farrah Fawcett’s age. Just like Farrah, I never once heard her cry “why me?” Mom spent too much time in what were then called “cancer wards” and she had only one regret: the children dying around her didn’t get to experience all the joys of life with which she was blessed.

We all have so very much to appreciate and to love. If you can’t experience all of that with a joyous heart, you’re probably already kind of  dead.

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4 Responses to “Farrah’s Farewell”

  1. Joe Belle-Isle says:

    I read what you said about your Mom before and it’s pretty awsome. Having kids around like that had to make her feel lucky by comparison. Quite a lady. But your 9 years in remission almost seems like they made a mistake in your diagnoses in the first place. I don’t know stage 1 from stage 4. But since cancer runs on my Mothers side I’m sure Ill find out one day soon enough. Whenever it is it will be too soon.

  2. Derekp says:

    I think i’ve seen this somewhere before…but it’s not bad at all

  3. paolo. says:

    Joe, after six-heavy duty operations, pre-op chemo, pre-op radiation, then post-op chemo and post-op radiation, with hundreds of blood tests for 10-years, I can assure you, it really was cancer – or somebody has a helluva sense of humor!

  4. Joe Belle-Isle says:

    Then you also had some very good doctors, and the winds of fate at your back. I’m glad you’ve come this far. Some AARP people say we torture our older folks with endless painfull operations but hey, Mom survived for years and years and never did go from cancer. My wifes had some mean operations and me one or two, but she says if she were to find out she was dying of cancer and had four to six months left the last thing she would do would be spend that time worrying about it. I know I’m a coward and already stay scared half the time. I love this life and the less and less time I have the less and less time I have to spend in any kind of anti anybody, to all those that like inflicting pain let them go where there are professionals that are as good as they are at giving it back. We don’t have the time for it.

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