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Neil Crone’s Journal
Neil Crone is an actor and writer and a national spokesperson for the CCAC. A Second City veteran improvisor, host and stand up comic, Neil also loves to write poems and stories for "big and little kids".
Neil has written a journal of his experience with colorectal cancer.
Chemo Wedding Anniversary
My wife and I just celebrated our eighteenth wedding anniversary. We spent the day lavishly treating ourselves to a visit to the Oncology Ward in Oshawa for chemo cocktails and later a romantic interlude at Sunnybrook’s Radiation department. You may not think there’s anything sexy about having two female lab technicians hauling your drawers down and x-raying your patootie, but some people pay big bucks for that kind of stuff. Here I was getting it for free. I didn’t even have to fly to Thailand. The evening was capped off perfectly by a gourmet dinner for four (kids in tow) of burgers and fries. Does it really get any better than that?
As Suzanne and I lay in bed that night, accompanied by the mechanical whirring of my newly attached chemo pump, which lay between us like some kind of high-tech chastity belt, I asked her if, eighteen years ago, she’d ever thought we’d be spending our anniversary like this. She laughed, mumbled an exhausted something or other, patted my pump and drifted off to a much deserved sleep. But as I lay their thinking in the dark, the past fourteen hours or so playing themselves over in my head, it occurred to me just how nice a day it had been and how truly lucky we were to have one another. We had spent the day, as we spend most of our days these days, talking and laughing and listening to one another. Sharing each others thoughts on everything from bowel movements to crossword puzzles (what’s a four letter word for chemotherapy...it starts with F). I also thought about how much we touch each other during a day. A hand squeeze, a light rub on the back in passing, fingers through my hair (what’s left of it), a barefoot on top of a barefoot under the breakfast table. There are a million ways to tell someone you love them, from a passionate kiss to the changing of a dressing or the draping of a warm blanket over cold feet. And finally, I thought of our children, the real fruit of those eighteen years. I thought about their patience and good humor throughout every one of these strange days and their simple unbridled joy over nothing more than burgers and fries in the car. They are wonderful, fine little people that I cannot ever spend too much time with.
Finally I thought about how all these pieces fit together so perfectly into the puzzle of my life. The puzzle that day by day, piece by piece, shows me more of why I am here and what it is I am supposed to be doing. Eighteen years ago I found that puzzle almost indecipherably difficult.
And so, with my beautiful friend and partner snoozing beside me, my chemo pump buzzing along like some tiny, malevolent sidekick, and my boys deeply dreaming down the hall, I found I was able to answer my own question. No. There is no way in heaven I could ever have foreseen being so blissfully happy eighteen years ago.
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