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The funny, the grim, the truth

Linds ReddingLinds Redding is one of a rare breed: a visual creative who's also a bloody good writer. His impressive resume includes stints as art director as Saatchi & Saatchi, Colenso BBDO, DDB, and more recently, as founder of the Department of Doing and the Department of Motion Graphics.

Redding, who lost his own father to pancreatic cancer, is now fighting his own fight with the big C, and documenting his experience in words and photography at lindsredding.com. He wants to present an unvarnished account of life with cancer, he says. 

"Some of it will be funny I hope, because believe it or not even cancer can be funny. And some of it will inevitably be grim. I’m not out to shock, but I won’t be pulling any punches either. All I can promise is that it will be the truth, as far as I can tell it."

The blood arrives, fresh and cold from the fridge. Type O. My favorite. The nurse fits a dinky little connector to my recently installed Porta-Cath , and dials in the quantity and duration for the transfusion on the portable electronic volume pump. One unit of blood. 300ml. 120 minutes. I’m to receive two units so it’s going to be a long afternoon. I sit and watch the blood drip, drip, drip, from the bag on the stand into a clear plastic reservoir then creep slowly along the two meters of fine tubing, through the pump, past several valves and connectors and finally into my chest. What does it feel like? Well, you can’t feel anything at all. Unlike an IV drip in the arm, where you can sense the refrigerated blood inching along your veins cooling your flesh, this is direct injection into a main artery. There is no sensation of any kind. It’s only the quiet rhythmic creaking of the pump like a new leather brogue on a polished wooden floor, and the slowly emptying bag that proves there is anything happening at all.