What happened was, cancer of the salivary gland spread to my right
lower jaw. A segment of the mandible was removed. Two operations
to replace the missing segment were unsuccessful, both leading to
A tracheostomy was necessary so, for the time being, I cannot speak.
I make do with written notes and a lot of hand waving and
eye-rolling. The doctors now plan an approach that does not involve
the risk of unplanned bleeding. If all goes well, my speech will be
So when I turn up in Urbana, I will be wearing a gauze bandage
around my neck, and my mouth will be seen to droop. So it goes.
I was told photos of me in this condition would attract the gossip
papers. So what?
I have been very sick, am getting better and this is how it looks.
I still have my brain and my typing fingers.
He looks like a hero to me.