A Public Service Announcement

Life can be quite uncanny at times, so when I found myself at an audition for a PSA to warn the world on the perils of pancreatic cancer, I could only shake my head sobbing, all the way through it.

Bill Hicks died of pancreatic cancer two months after his 32nd birthday many years ago, yet the mere mention of it made it seem like yesterday.

The kid running the session, 25, if he were that, at first, must have thought I was Sarah Bernhardt, till I told him why my emotions ran so high.

Next thing you know he’s interviewing me like a witness to a capital crime, that when you put it that way, is true.  Someone so young and gifted, checking out is indeed more than a misdemeanor.

My recall was impressive.  I said lightly, “oh, it’s the writer in me…ya know how we absorb everything,” then came clean saying, how much I had loved him, and how his sudden passing changed my life.

“How so?” he asked, genuinely riveted by the coincidence of it all.

“My innocence died along with him, that he could be gone from such a hideous, how did he get it…why him, cancer in what seemed like an instant.”

Then it was my turn to ask the big daddy of questions.

How can one prevent something so sneaky, knowing along with ovarian, is a cancer that is slyer than the rest. You can’t live without your pancreas after all.  It’s like a car minus it’s motor.

The session then ended, saved by the bell, because frankly, I don’t think I really wanted to hear the answer since, alas, I don’t think even now, there is one.

Sorry Hicks. So sorry.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in comedy, Faith, Health, History, Love, men, New York City, words, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to A Public Service Announcement

  1. micklively says:

    There will be a time when the medics can see through “sneaky” but I don’t think it’s any time soon. Maybe the answer is written into our genes at conception; maybe it’s viral damage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    The sense of loss never goes away, it just lays under the surface waiting to jump to the forefront and catch you unaware. Susannah, I’ve lost some of the most beloved ones in my life, but have been fortunate not to have lost my soul mate. I’m so sorry you had to experience such a hole in your universe at such a young age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was long ago Skinny and you can’t help wondering what might have been if he had lived. I’ve never been married or had a child and he was a contender for all of that. It just pains me to know there has been so little progress since he left the planet, if any at all. Sigh.


  3. There are new treatments available that can prolong but not cure. Our neighbor’s son (age 40) lived with it for 5 years. He was part of clinical trials and even a trip to Europe for some cutting edge therapies. In the end he died of organ failure most likely caused by the treatments along with the cancer. It’s a very scary disease. As for loss, you never get over it. Still miss my Mom daily. Gone since ’86.

    Liked by 1 person

    • According to the powers that be, this film will be shown to Congress for more funding. I’m happy to say, I was hired to do it and could be a small part of it.

      Hicks lived for a only a few months after he was diagnosed. That was 1994.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. George says:

    You’re right, there is no answer. And I don’t think you have anything to apologize for. He would understand, Susannah. We all do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My mom died of pancreatic cancer. She was in her early 40’s. She was diagnosed in March, they gave her six months. She died in September, six months later. She went from a healthy 140 lb woman to a mere shell of a human at 88 lbs. It is something that is forever ingrained in me. I was 11. I so feel your pain when discussing this horrendous disease. It is awful. <3.


  6. Some things get pushed down deep over time, just so we can function. But, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly it can make an appearance at the near mention. Loss is very powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can understand why that would have been a hard experience. I’m sure for the guy it was just a job like any other.

    Liked by 1 person

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