I stopped writing when we saw the new, bad MRI.
September 18, 2018 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Last year, Rob Delaney (of Catastrophe and Deadpool 2) started writing a book proposal about his two-year-old son's brain cancer. He never finished it, because Henry died in January. This week, Rob published some of what he had written. Content Warning: medical description of childhood cancer
posted by Etrigan (23 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Ugh. How heartbreaking. Peace to him and his family.
posted by Brent Parker at 1:35 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

I need to go home and hug my kids, then I'll finish this response....

posted by JoeZydeco at 1:36 PM on September 18

As soon as I clicked the link and I saw the picture of him holding Henry, my eyes became faucets, and I was unable to read anything. I might try again later, but I suspect the result will be the same.
I hope and wish for peace for his family.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 1:38 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I got as far as the photo too. I'm looking forward to reading this when I don't immediately tear up.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:51 PM on September 18

that was rough going
posted by thelonius at 1:59 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Sunday was the two-year anniversary of my wife's breast cancer diagnosis. She is doing great, but I don't think I can click that link. I just can't.
posted by COD at 2:07 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]

Sugar bear :(
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 2:15 PM on September 18

If I’d had one when I was Henry’s age in the 1970s I would’ve almost certainly died. You probably would have too if you’re old enough to be fucked up enough to want to read a story about a baby who got a brain tumor.
Made it almost 4 pages. Peace be with you, Henry.

posted by benzenedream at 2:16 PM on September 18 [3 favorites]

I thought I could handle this, no cancer deaths in my family, and no children but I am crying at work.
posted by GoblinHoney at 2:17 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

but I am crying at work.

So am I.

I got through most of it ok until Delaney described:
having to hold his son down while the doctor and nurse dealt with the broken tracheotomy tube.

posted by acidnova at 2:32 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Henry looks like my grandson. I can't stop crying.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:49 PM on September 18

Jesus fucking Christ. I read this right after my two year old son hit me real hard with a plastic dinosaur and the bruise he left on my wrist feels like a blessing now.
posted by lydhre at 2:52 PM on September 18 [13 favorites]

I hope I can be as good a father as Rob Delaney.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:01 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

posted by mwhybark at 5:19 PM on September 18

I am as flinty-hearted as they come, but I realized earlier today that three years ago I was part of a midnight continent-wide network of mefite friends trying to puzzle out what was up with lemurrhea's alarming message on facebook. I read this only with great difficulty.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:33 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]

I want to take a moment to recognize and be amazed by Delaney's successful and fearless commitment to his voice as a writer in these painful vignettes. There's no mistaking it. One of the things about the writing part of this that is distinctive and interesting is how Delaney's casual use of profanity in written material, which echoes my speech and I presume many others in his audience and what presumptively see as his cohort, here appears to stem from profound pain. I don't think I have ever really reflected on my choice to use profanity liberally in my day to day speech, except that I understood it to be a marker of my alienation. Reading these has provoked some thought.
posted by mwhybark at 8:55 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]

Delaney is a good Twitter follow. He pivots between funny/crude humor and hard core advocacy for the NHS and Medicare for All.
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:55 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]

posted by koucha at 6:44 AM on September 19

Ah fuck. I have that painful lump in my throat that you get when you are upset. This was a difficult read. My daughter is 16 months old. Not sure I could deal with any of this AT ALL. I guess you just have to do it, but i'm convinced I would just crumble. Shitty, shitty shitty thing to have to deal with.

So sad...
posted by trif at 8:10 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

I have such immense respect for the way Delaney's channeled the pain of this unimaginable loss into fighting for the NHS and universal health care in the US. This video he made for the DSA Medicare for All campaign is worth your time.
posted by karayel at 9:31 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

I don't know Delaney, but I thought about that when reading the article made it plain he was British. Great Ormond Street is a world-class pediatric hospital. Imagine being able to have your child treated there without also having the crushing burden of paying for care weighing on you.
posted by praemunire at 9:55 AM on September 19

I don't know Delaney, but I thought about that when reading the article made it plain he was British.

Delaney is American, but has lived in England for about four years now. He compares the NHS to the US system frequently, from extensive experience (he used to be an alcoholic and got into at least a couple of accidents that required significant medical intervention).
posted by Etrigan at 10:18 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

The reason I’m putting this out there now is that the intended audience for this book was to be my fellow parents of very sick children. They were always so tired and sad, like ghosts, walking the halls of the hospitals, and I wanted them to know someone understood and cared. I’d still like them to know that, so here these few pages are, for them. Or for you.

I appreciate that. I have also walked those halls. The parenting journey is different for everyone, but for a small but significant number it involves a lot of time in hospital and a lot of bad news.
posted by memebake at 10:22 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

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