an open letter…

Dear Cancer,

 You finally did it.  On August 10, 2013 you took the life of the most remarkable man I’ve had the honour to know.  In the process of doing so, you destroyed a marriage which represented fifteen years of happiness and intense love.

Despite your efforts in the past, attacking his liver, which eventually was replaced due to the generosity of a young man from London, attacking his bile duct, which was removed and systematically treated with poisons, you finally went for his pancreas and got a decent foothold.

Not content with just the pancreas, you took the transplanted liver, kidneys and had began working on his lungs and bone marrow when his health proceeded to fail.  You systematically attacked every major organ in his body until the doctors decided they could do no further and he succumbed to you.

What I’m angriest at is that in July we were given six to twelve months, but you got greedy and took him away from me after only four weeks.  That was fucking low and uncalled for.  My main consolation is that you were so aggressive, his suffering was mercifully brief.  I guess I should be thankful for this small mercy but I really can’t be.

What I am thankful for is the army of people who surrounded Larry (DH) and I during these past few months when we began our final battle.  While Larry didn’t survive, I would not have survived without them.  Particular thanks go to:

Mom and Dad
Rev. Doug
Leslie and Jeff
Steve and Dana
Doug and Tara
The 3 Davids (Bartlett, Milmine and Jacobs) – further comments about these kings of men will follow in a future post.
Steve K (the urn is beautiful my friend, I am eternally grateful)
Santa Bob
Jeff and Michele
Alistair and Nicolle
The fabulous Donna B
Steve G, Michael W, Rob F, David R, Rich F and Lorne G from HGMC
Mark M from the Hamilton Spectator for the lovely piece on Larry
Dave K at Mixed Media, Melissa at the Grey Room, the gentlemen at Sealed Art and the ladies of Laidlaw Memorial for making Larry’s memorial something I remember.

Without these folks and the many others who stepped up to the plate with their love, concern and support, I doubt I would have survived these past two months myself.  They made the sheer hell you put Larry and I through at least tolerable for me.

But, guess what cancer?  I declare war on you!  I have already started fundraising to support Princess Margaret Hospital through the photographs Larry and I took during our final battle against you.  While he may have lost, we are going to use these documents in my continuing war against you!

I’m no longer the scared young man, afraid of you!  I will continue to support others who maintain the fight to defeat cancer.  You took my best friend, you took my partner, you took my husband.  I will continue to support the fight you as long as I draw breath.

Seriously cancer, Fuck you!

Your enemy,



3 thoughts on “an open letter…

  1. Oh Myke…I survived the burial of my daughter 6yrs ago, but only with the immeasurable love of her father, my partner. The loss of him is a nightmare that I cannot imagine – a nightmare that tries to creep in and I fight off – the one you have and are living with. You have my deepest compassion, blessings, and empathy.

    Cancer has taken all the best women from my life. It took my best friend not long before my daughter past away in a seizure and not long after my greatest support and guide was diagnosed with throat cancer and gone in less than 3 weeks. With my family history, my mother’s early breast cancer, I am under constant watch at only 44. You fight the good fight! You’re not alone…not by a long shot. Put me on your fight list. Whenever you are fundraising, walking, teaming up…doing anything…shoot me an email and I’ll be on your team. Don’t have any damn money, but I have time and willingness.

    Stephanie Kirsten Hansen
    Monkey Hill Creative Arts

  2. Myke…

    I’m at a loss for words. Cancer took my mom away, and the best stepfather a guy could have. I watched as my stepfather (mother’s husband) wasted away in a mere three months from the time of the open-surgery biopsy to his death from lung cancer. My mom had uterine cancer 22 years ago, and it came back and robbed her of her ability to walk, lay down or even move. It got her so doped up, when I told her I loved her, she said, “I’ll see you soon.” She died within twelve hours of that phone call. I had a scare with stomach problems that looked like cancer — apparently eating a certain brand of cheese mimics cancer-causing chemicals (though for the life of me I can’t understand why…). I’m good, so far. Just frustrated that I couldn’t see Larry and you before his passing

  3. Myke,

    I am sorry for your loss, cancer told my friend Tracy Taylor a single mom of three young girls. Her daughters are now entering womanhood without the sound advice only a mother can give. Tracy went out of this world at 38 years of age, her last days planning the care and guardianship of her three little girls. Cancer takes no mercy , has no remorse. It does not care how old or young, rich or poor or whether you have dependants.

    I wish you all the luck with the fight that many people are fighting.

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