I'm heartsick to advise you of a precipitous decline in the health of Our Brother, John Fox, who on Thursday last was admitted to palliative care at Campbell House Hospice/Palliative Care Residence in Collingwood, Ontario. https://hospicegeorgiantriangle.com/
Last November, ‘Crow’ and his Sweetheart Bojana came for an overnight visit to our new Port Hope home. At the time, he complained of shortness of breath and confirmed he had a diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis, a scarring of the lungs caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It is not curable, but ’treatable.'
We enjoyed a happy, laugh-and-cocktail-filled weekend as we planned for a reciprocal visit to their new home in Collingwood ‘sometime after Christmas.’
In the New Year, on Jan. 3, John advised me that immediately following their visit, he had had multiple tests in Mississauga, Barrie, Newmarket & Collingwood and on Nov. 8 received a diagnosis of lung cancer. Because of the fibrosis, neither radiation nor immunotherapy was an option. His prognosis without doing anything was 18 months, so on Jan. 8 he commenced chemotherapy sessions (4 hours each) on Friday, every 3 weeks.
Ever the optimist, John wrote to me: "Anyway, not great news but not end of the world either. I'm going to maintain a positive attitude and enjoy all the good things that I am so fortunate to have. Looking forward to actually being able to see you guys sometime in the next month or so and come summer, some relaxing time at Roy's cottage.” At that time, he requested that I "keep close hold (on the news) until we see how things develop.” Knowing that you, the Brotherhood, would want to offer Brother Fox all the support possible while he made his journey, I committed to calling him every Friday as a kind of ‘surrogate’ for the Brothers. Selfishly, I wanted to stay as close as possible to one of my all-time favourite people. These have been positive, upbeat sessions and I have admired John’s courage in the face of his diagnosis.
Just a couple weeks ago, John & Bojana moved to a lovely new home in Collingwood where John’s relative immobility could be accommodated. His Brother, Roy came up from Ottawa to help with the move, as did Daughter Anya. This all made John extremely happy, as did the new fencing in the backyard to contain his beloved dogs. This past Wednesday, I had a call from Bojana. John had taken a serious turn for the worse, was in hospital and had had 2 blood transfusions. The doctors had advised his health was now beyond redemption, and he had a choice to make. It will be no surprise to you that he chose not to burden Bojana in their new home with hospital-type equipment, and instead to apply for palliative care. Luckily, a room was found for him within 48 hours.
When I spoke with John yesterday, he was comfortable & surrounded by Sons Sean & Ryan who had come up from Montreal, and of course Anya is there as well from Toronto. While in hospital, he was allowed only one Family-designated visitor per day, so I was unable to get in to see him before Barb & I left for Chester Thursday morning. In the hospice, he is allowed 2 per visit, but wishes those precious times to be preserved for Family, which is to be understood. His energy level is low as his lungs are working at “about 10% of capacity”.
Should you wish to reach out to John, his mobile # is (613) 862-4170 but PLEASE BE ADVISED TO TEXT THIS NUMBER FIRST, to see if John is available, and not to detract from his Family time.
Meanwhile, please keep Brother John in your thoughts & prayers.