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Four years ago today I wrote this blog post about doubling over in pain and ending up at the hospital, only to be told I had gas and be sent home again. Well, most of you know the story by now. After two more emergency hospital visits they finally admitted me for testing and then raced me over to the general hospital for a life-saving operation that involved removing an obstruction and about half my colon.

And that wasn’t the end of the story as I ended up having two more operations and being on chemo twice, finishing at the end of July 2009. Since then I have been miraculously cancer-free according to the PET scans I’ve been having twice a year. The next one is due in September. And for the most part I feel good, though I still get abdominal discomfort from time to time. Oh, and there was also that freak emergency op last summer, which thankfully didn’t end up being cancer-related.

And so I wonder why I am still okay while my friends Pat and Jed are not. And I wonder how long I’ll be okay. Four years ago I’d gone to the Feria in Jerez the weekend before all this started and saw this graffiti on a wall near the train station that said “I have cancer”. I don’t know what moved me to take a photo of it, but here it is again, slightly – but importantly – modified. I hope I never have to remove the “no”.