Today (may 25th) is Einharjar day which is traditionally a day spent commemorating the fallen heroes of Valhalla, thats if you happen to be a hero viking, its also, coincidentally Memorial Day in the United States.

Speaking of heroes, below are some of my thoughts from the last month which I haven’t shared but needed to write down. It concerns my friend’s son Bradley who typifies the meaning of the word hero.

He’s been fighting cancer now since last Summer. What started off as raised glands in his neck and various nosebleeds, turned out to be something much more serious.

Here are some of my thoughts from a month ago (hence why the post is dated April 29th) when we discovered from the specialists that it couldn’t be cured and was terminal:

My friend’s son is dying from a rare form of cancer, a complication called Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis.

On a MRI scan this particular form of cancer can appear like a light dusting of snow over the brain, which unlike a solid tumor mass doesn’t form in one lump. If you imagine the brain sprinkled with a light dusting of snow that would be quite an accurate vision of what he has… You’d be mistaken for thinking it was beautiful.

It can grow at an alarming rate and so the outcome for this particular type of cancer is not good.

I’ve heard it said that you can think of it like a train travelling at 100mph, and that the specialist train engineers on board can’t halt its inevitable journey, the only thing they can do is perhaps slow it down by limiting the train to 10mph.

I just wanted to get something out at this very minute, write something down…

There are no words to describe the unfathomable reality of what will eventually happen to him.

Her only son, an 18 year old, who is just setting out on lifes journey.

Why? Why? why?

Initially he’d taken the treatments to treat the primary small cell carcinoma, using chemotherapy and radiotherapy, he even lost sight in one eye.

He’s been a hero during his treatment, never complaining, taking what they’ve thrown at it and at him with grace and dignity.

It doesn’t make any sense to me, this cancer – why did it happen to us, and yet its not about me, or my feelings… I’m upset naturally, I have tears as I write this… but ultimately its about him and what he’s going through, how the hell does he comprehend the inevitable, when we simply cannot ourselves.

You just want to shield him from it, but knowing in the end that its futile… its truly heart wrenching.

I wrote this several weeks ago now, feeling safe enough to publish it here on WordPress. At the time I needed to write down what I was feeling, it doesn’t change anything of course, and I’m not really sure if writing about it really helps me to think about things.

The not being able to do anything is cruel, watching someone who you love and care about slowly retreat from life… Naturally you’d want to help him, fix him, but there is nothing anyone can do.

Thus far he has lost the use of his lower body completely, and coordination is quite difficult in his hands. Drinking some water is even difficult for him, even using a straw to take small sips… and he sleeps a lot.

Bradley the young man who is only eighteen years old, never once complaining about his condition or his lot, an inspiration to us all.