Just his luck

Percival Bailey

Percival Bailey

Dalrymple reads Tom Lubbock’s illness memoir Until Further Notice, I Am Alive. The title, says Dalrymple,

seems to sum up the human predicament.

Dalrymple writes that with a glioblastoma tumour, Lubbock’s

expectation of life, with treatment, was two years. Prognosis is an imperfect art, but in this case proved accurate. Diagnosed in October 2008, he died in January 2011.

A neurosurgical registrar contrives to

mistake Lubbock for someone else, asking him whether he still experiences strange smells (he never experienced strange smells).

The cheery registrar then informs Lubbock that he is

lucky to have any speech at all.

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