Letter from the North

The beginning of the end, a letter from Treliske, Wed 22-Nov-2017

I had to type this as asking Teresa to take dictation would have been cruel and got the keyboard wet with tears,  so this will be brief as my typing time is severely limited.

We went to see the Renal Oncologist at Treliske this morning.

I have stage 4 Renal Cancer, too late for radical treatment, just drugs (Pazopanib) to slow it down/shrink the tumours. It’s too late for surgery and this sort of cancer doesn’t respond to Chemotherapy 🙁 

The 5 year survival rate is less than 10% and the consultant said I would probably have  2-3 years if the reduction goes well, less if not. So, however you look at it, its not the worst it could be, I have a few years not days or months.

But it still stinks, however you look at it.

Time to asses what matters and what doesn’t and make sure life is sorted for Teresa once I’m gone.

All I can say is


I will continue the letters in proper sequence in a few days, but we need a few days to properly process this and work out our strategy moving forwards.

The Bean, Treliske, Wed 22-Nov-2017


  • Kate Mole

    Dear Bean,

    I am so sorry to hear the bad news. I know you and Teresa were half expecting something of the sort, but even so, it must have been a shock. And of course you will need time to take it all in, and its implications. After a while, I suppose, you will be able to decide what you want to do (and what you don’t want to do). I hope (and believe) that you will have a lot of help, and that you won’t have to go through all this on your own.

    About your blog: if you hadn’t said so, I could never have believed that you struggle with language-based communication. You are not writing in the dark – your words are coming through loud and clear and with great fluency. If it helps you to do so, please keep writing!

  • Sara MacDonald

    Dear Bean,
    I found the first blog of your accident almost by mistake late one night because I am friends with Teresa on Facebook. I was just going to dip in but I could not stop reading.
    I have just read your last letter with a sense of shock. I am so very sorry for this result for you and for Teresa. No words will register or matter to you at the moment but I wanted to say that your writing has such a subtle and compelling quality. For me, it is the precision and detail with which you turn your experience into a perfect little short story. Your words stayed firmly in the mind long after I had finished reading. Not only do you write with complete honesty, you set out facts and details in a complete order that for someone without much sense of order finds amazing.
    Your last letter illustrates so well in so few words what a good and instinctive writer you are. It also shows what a caring person you are. I am glad you have Teresa. I am glad she has you.
    Wishing you precious time and all the very best that your medical team can bring you.
    Take care,

    • Bean

      Thank you Sara.

      Because I don’t think in words or pictures (autistics often do think visually, I don’t) expressing myself using language whether written or spoken is a challenge and something that frustrates me.
      All I can bring to the party is openness and logical thinking.

      So, I appreciate your comments very much, I feel my writing is so inadequate, even with Teresa’s support, I often feel like giving up, but it’s only in writing that I can communicate with others, so I persist.

      If I am sometimes succeeding, that is fantastic.

      Thank you


      p.s. my thinking is pattern based, a “sense” of the idea. a feeling, but without any connected sense (visual, verbal or kinesthetic), it is very hard to explain but makes me very good at the sort of Software I write.

  • Bill goodyear

    David, Teresa.
    Hard to believe, hard to accept. Anything I can do for either and both of you, I will. I wish for you that all goes as well as it can, whatever the outcome. In German, I think it might be ‘schistzer!’ Or some such. Live each day.
    Much love.

  • Linda Camidge

    Very sorry to read this. I can only say “what everyone else has said” about your writing, the cruel vicissitudes of fortune, and filling each day with joy for as long as you possibly can – which surely has to bring its own small health benefits? Thinking of you both.

  • Write a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.