By Keltie Zubko
I am writing to tell you about Doug’s recent diagnosis of metastatic liver cancer, and its implications.
Ironically, the hundreds of tiny, diffused foci of cancer that have spread to his liver, have apparently not come from the prostate cancer, which seems to be controlled, but from some unknown, new primary, that they are currently trying to locate. The doctors give an estimate of six months to live, but Doug and the kids and I realize this is only approximate and will rely on a number of factors. Consequently, we are dealing with an unknown time-frame. He is pretty weak and fragile, and the disease seems to have been moving extremely quickly, and continues to do so.
He's been fighting hard in a jury trial for about three weeks, getting progressively sicker each day with pain and nausea until on Thursday he just couldn't continue. There's only about two days left in the trial and of course Doug wanted to finish it for the client because that's Doug’s way. He would always fight to the very last inch for his clients and his principles, and that's why he's been both reviled and loved.
Anyway, he just couldn't do it and the case was adjourned for me to take him to emergency and that's where this pervasive cancer was discovered. Despite the pain and nausea and weakness, up till yesterday afternoon he was still determined that he would go back to court on Tuesday for his very last jury address. That is not going to happen, as he just is not able. It’s very hard to believe that he is at this state in his life, so suddenly.
Our children and I are reeling in shock, but somehow we are not surprised because he's had such battle fatigue for a very long time. Many of you have realized that, I know, seeing him fight so hard for so many years, being under the pressures of taking on unpopular cases and always being misunderstood for it. That has taken its toll. Despite that, you and I will always remember his humour and his loving generosity and his great joy in music, beauty, and human courage.
I am infinitely grateful for the people who have seen who he really is, and cared enough to communicate this to him, reminding him that he has not been alone in these terrible struggles. I hope that those of you who feel inclined to do so, will send him a little message of what is in your heart and mind for him.
You can email me in reply to this letter, or send messages to Box 101, 255 Menzies Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3G6. Emails would be better as they will get here faster. His email address is email@example.com and he can get them on his cellphone, which he has with him in the hospital while they do more tests and try to get his pain and nausea under control before he can, we hope, come home. He does not have the stamina right now for visitors or many phone calls.
For quite a few years now, I’ve been trying to get him to at least start on his memoirs, and I want to tell you that he’s left a body of writing that I will be able to work with so that his courageous story will be told.
Thanks again for the loving kindness of you, our friends near and far. You have supported the principles of freedom for many years, through all these struggles and we are deeply grateful for you.
NOTE: Indeed, let's show our moral and spiritual support to Doug Christie and his family in whatever way you can at this critical time.