We're both immuno compromised. On Friday the 13th March we woke up in the Blue Mountains. We’d driven up as we were worried about getting in an aeroplane shaped petri dish.
Rach is on immune suppressing drugs and I have prostate cancer. They found it 2 years ago. It had got out before they found it. I had 24 lymph nodes removed along with my prostate.
They’ve said I’ve got 5-10 years before it is likely to flare up again. Meanwhile I am being treated with a variety of radiotherapy and hormones, with chemo to come as a back up when and if necessary.
The hormones they have me on have been strange. I laugh harder than ever before. I weep at commercials. I am more anxious than I used to be.
Rach had asked what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
This year was going to be a year of spending more time doing the things we love. We were going to perform like usual at UK and European festivals, Glastonbury etc and then spend a month in an apartment in Venice.
There were going to be trips to New York for fun, Germany for my daughter, China or wherever my adventurer son was going to be.
But the day we were going to perform in the Blue Mountains it all came to a halt. That festival was cancelled. And then as the day progressed we lost all our upcoming Australian work. One gig after another cancelling. That night our phone barely stopped pinging. All our European gigs were also cancelled.
The next few days we went to Sydney and it was surreal. Here we were having lost all our work from a pandemic sweeping the world as Sydneysiders went to the beach and the PM insisted on going to the ‘footy.’ We hotfooted it back to Melbourne and isolation.
I ran away from my boarding school and stiff upper lip Scottish family when I was 17 become a lumberjack and then to join the circus. Not something people do so much these days. And I travelled the world. It has been fabulous.
When I was a solo performer and in hotels around the world I would often write little stories Of experiences I had had.
When I met Rach I stopped writing as we travelled the world together instead. But then last year I did a writing course. I had been thinking about writing a book but everyone is currently writing their fucking life stories. And so instead I have been recording little stories and putting them on Facebook.
In years to come, when I am gone, my kids will have footage of me. And their kids will too.
You asked me what I want to do most when this is all over and you laughed at my response. But I really do want to be able to work again.
We’ve got such a lucky and privileged job. We perform at incredible events. We make people laugh. Who make us laugh.
Many thanks to Mike Rowan for sharing his experience with us. Mike is a wonderful performer. He laughs loudly, hugs firmly and is generous to a fault. We wish him and Rach all the best.