24 Sep So How’s Jimmy?
A lot of you know my friend Jim Button – and a lot of you follow his blog. Some of you even wear his socks.
He’s dealing with cancer – one that was supposed to have taken him out a few years ago – so it makes sense that a lot of people wonder how he is.
We had coffee today.
“How you doing?” I asked.
“Awesome,” he says. That’s what he always says. But he looks a little different. For one, his face is puffy.
“No really – how are you doing?”
“Feel my cheeks,” he says.
“Not in a coffee shop Jim,” I say.
“Ha ha,” he says. “Seriously, feel my cheeks.”
So I do. Wow. “Those are firm cheeks,” I say.
“Steroids,” he says, “I’m the Barry Bonds of cheeks.”
And we laugh. Then he asks about me. And I tell him. It’s a tricky time, I’m stressed, I feel like I’m faking it, like someone is about to tell me the game is up and everyone knows I’m clueless. We talk about it. We talk about Blythe, we talk about the kids. We talk about the upcoming Dave Kelly Live and his new and improved role.
“But seriously Jim – how are you?”
“I’m awesome,” he says.
And he asks about my life some more. And we talk about my life some more.
Finally, I push back – “Jim – I want to know… how are you?”
He stares at me for a second, then says, “Ok… the meds I’m on are the hardest I’ve dealt with. It kicks the shit out of me. I’ve had a headache for 3 years, I’m itchy all over, my ass hurts, my mouth has sores and I’m still full of tumours. I’m tired a lot of the time and there are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. And I have this gaping oozy hole on my temple from a skin cancer removal that won’t heal due to the chemo. Oh, and I have a hernia and I’m not supposed to lift anything. And food tastes like shit.”
Then he stopped and looked at me. “And you know what else?”
“What?” I ask.
“Amanda started University and is loving it. Jack is in his second year. I’m truly enjoying my empty nest time with Tracey. I’m planning a dinner with friends this weekend, I just did a talk at Beakerhead that people seemed to appreciate, I go for a walk with a friend every day, I’m working on Best of Calgary, and we’re putting on a Dave Kelly Live in a month. So you know what that means?”
“It means I’m awesome.”
And we laughed and talked some more.
And afterwards it hit me. This is why I love that man.
In all this time with Jim and his journey, I’ve never once felt like I should be anything other than what I am. My stuff is just as important to him as his stuff. And he is way more interested in talking about what’s going on with me than telling me what part of him is itchy.
Today I was reminded how lucky I am to have a friend like Jim.