Thursday, 11 June 2009


This is Reidar, my husband for 32 years, and my best friend for even longer. He is Tamsin and Jeremy's father. He is the brain and muscle behind the Book Loft's success. A keen amateur local historian, and an even keener amateur actor. He's never happier than when he's on the stage, making people laugh. He's very friendly, and loves long chats with total strangers. He's generous, and always willing to lend a helping hand.
Now he's the one who needs help. He was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the beginning of May. He was going to get that operated on on May 18th, but it was decided that the tumour needed to be shrunk with radiation first - a set-back for us. We went to the cancer hospital on June 3rd, and were set to start radiation treatment a week later. Yesterday. In the mean time pictures were taken to make sure that the cancer hadn't spread to Reidar's liver or lungs. It had. To both.
So now we're in a state of shock, trying to take it all in, to think clearly, to make new plans. My mind swings between dark thoughts, desperate hopes and the safety of trivial everyday things.
Telling family and friends the bad news hurts as much getting the news ourselves.
We have no need to be completely pessimistic - he's in the best of hands, and there's lots of methods of treatment that can help, but it's going to be a long hard road to go...


  1. Heavens, everyone should start their day with make up dripping from their chin!

    I love you so much.

  2. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I wish you all well and the best of luck. Don't give up, even though the road will be long and hard, there is a chance that the treatment will help, and that gives hope.

    Yngve Arner

  3. I know you don't know me, I am Tamsin's friend from Utah. I am so sorry. Treatments are so much better than they used to be, the side effects are so much less severe. I am so glad that you have great doctors and so many people who love you

    I once hear a women who had a cancer explain that she found it helpful to think of it more as a chronic illness than as something she had to get out of her body completely forever to be healthy and happy again. Sometimes especially when cancer has spread and it cannot be removed at once it is hard to deal with the unknowns. But she tried to think of it as something to control - that was her measure of success. That she felt that it was more possible to be happy on most days when she used that as her guide. She felt more inpowered by that frame of mind. She considered further treatments as maintance ( a booster) for her body rather than something she had to simply endure again. She has lived 17 years from her diagnois, and is very happy and leads a wonderful and productive life you would never guess she was still treating her cancer or that she ever had cancer to begin with.

    I wish you luck. I like to do medical research if you need help understanding treatments or creative ways to ease the side effects just email me i would love to help.

    Jessica Finnigan

  4. To Tamsin:- But he's not wearing make-up. That's the way your father looks these days.

    To Yngve:- thank you so much for your encouraging words. Today we've read two messages about people who live normal and happy lives with cancer, so i'm in favour of that.
    To Jessica:- Your comment was an absolute inspiration to us both. Reidar read it and has begun to see that cancer doesn't necessarily mean a death sentence even if it has spread. Our specialist said something about keeping it under control - just like diabetes, I suppose. When the treatment starts, we'll definitely be in touch if Reidar needs help. I know everything I've written about it says "we", but it's as much my problem as Reidar's, and I aim to be right beside him through it all.

  5. Stå på begge to! Vi er her når dere trenger oss. Mays og Arild

  6. Thank you Mays. It's friends like you that make things easier to bear.