Sunday, 2 December 2012


One of the things they say in the ALS Manual (yes, there is an ALS Manual and you can find it on the ALS Canada Website - is that this disease will change your relationships with friends and family. For some, it will pull them closer and for others it will push them away. Some people have the strength to face a terminal illness, and for others the reality of this disease is just too hard to take.

Another unfortunate reality is that life goes on. People come into your life and leave your life just as if you didn't have ALS. Some of those people offer a tremendous enrichment to your life while others go as quickly as they can. I have already experienced these things. In the ultimate irony, I met a fascinating woman just three days before I was diagnosed. After long and careful consideration, she felt that she simply could not build a relationship in this situation. It is easy to understand her point of view.

I've also had friends simply drop off the radar, completely unable to understand or cope with what is happening to me. That, too, is understandable. Fortunately for me I have an amazing family and a core of people in my life who have the strength to face the future with me and the wisdom to know that life is short for all of us. I am lucky to have these people in my life.

As for those who come and go, so do the seasons. I love the seasons but as we drift from fall into winter, I learn to love the new season for its own reasons and to remind myself that the old seasons will eventually return. I may not see them all, but they will be out there somewhere.


  1. As much as I've admired your abilities over the years I had no idea you were such a good writer.

    I'm really enjoying this project of your Richard. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I lost my dear brother earlier this year to pancreatic cancer. We had all of about 3 weeks from the time he found out until he passed. We spent time every day with him. Was that normal? No. But it was not a normal time. Some of his friends could not bear to see him suffering, but others made a point of going to his house and visiting him often. Everyone processes stuff differently. As much as it hurt to see him in this condition I would not have traded even one of those days I had with him. I guess my point is, don't think people don't care just because they don't or can't spend time with you. You can love someone dearly and not be able to handle seeing them in any kind of pain. I'm sure they all still love you very much.

  3. Hi Diana

    I know that they still care. I also know how hard it is for some of my friends. My family is amazingly supportive and even for some of them it will be very hard.

    I consider myself lucky to have such a terrific support group. I am sure your brother felt the same.