Friday, December 7, 2012

A video on childhood cancer hell

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

An opinion by David Haas

David bumped into this blog and asked to post his take on cancer. Here it is:

Fight This Together

From the time that a person is born until they die, they are faced with many fears and hardships that one must overcome in order to live a successful life. One of the biggest fears that one might face is being diagnosed with some form of cancer. In years past, cancer was most certainly considered to be a terminal disease but giant strides have been made in this field of medicine.

There are many fine doctors and clinics that are dedicated to the treatment of cancer. While there are many different diagnoses of cancer, the most successful treatment for any type of cancer is when it can be 100% removed from the body by surgery. It is very beneficial to keep one’s frame of mind open to all types of treatment including that of support networks. Cancer can devastate so much of our lives but to hear about others going through the same disease and also to listen to people that have gone through it and have beat it can create an optimistic frame of mind. There are support groups all over the country that can help with many different types of cancers including but not limited to breast cancer, colon cancer, and even rare cancers such as mesothelioma.

From the moment a doctor informs someone that they have cancer, dealing with the news can be difficult for a patient to digest. Having a family member or friend present can be very beneficial due to the immediate support that they can provide to the patient. Support is very important to promote emotional well being from the moment a person is diagnosed, during the treatment procedures that follow, through the entire healing process, or through the final stages of the disease.

While family members and friends can provide exceptional support, outside support can also be very helpful. There are books that are available in bookstores or online to help people afflicted with all types of cancer. A couple of websites that can be helpful are people that survived with diseases like mesothelioma and supportive care for cancer patients.

Dealing with the disease of cancer can be very difficult but keeping a positive outlook can promote healing by releasing endorphins, which occur naturally in the brain and function much like morphine.

The “Big C” is a scary topic but the more a person learns about it and reaches out to others for support, the better one can cope with the diagnosis of cancer. At the same time, they can also encourage others who are facing the same disease. One needs to take the attitude, “Let’s fight this together!”

By: David Haas

Supportive care for cancer patients

Sunday, July 17, 2011

2nd Anniversary Mass

Tuesday August 9 17:00 pm St Sauveur Church, Monot area, Beirut

Monday, August 30, 2010

Myschoolpulse on CNN

Myschoolpulse will be on CNN on below dates/times (all times are UK):
Saturday 4 Sep: 09.30, 15.30, 21.30
Sunday 5 Sep: 06.30, 18.30
Monday 6 Sep: 04.30

The report will explain why Myschoolpulse was created 4months ago and its mission of bringing the classroom to hospitals' children wards.
It will last about 4 minutes (within the 30mn "Inside The Middle-East" show starting at above times) and will include:
- shots of our first 5k fundraising events in Lebanon and in the US on 8 August 2010
- interviews of some of us, including an oncologist and a child stricken with cancer.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Its website is still under construction but, a foundation set up in memory of Paul in order primarily to help sick children in Lebanon maintain some normalcy in their schoolwork, is now officially operational.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Feghalis ran today!

Here's Marie's account of the run:

Peter who had a sore tummy nevertheless managed to run half the distance before he felt sick (big kudos for him). John decided that he was going to win for Paul and darted in front of the pack (Peter and I were midway, Marc was walking in the back). John followed the orange flags and then took a wrong turn and kept on running. The Golden Gate Park police, mounted police, and runners were sent all over the park to find him. He was found much later, dehydrated and in tears, and reunited with his very teary family. Anyway, the day was otherwise a success. We were happy to be there and Peter and John were given a medal for their fundraising efforts. They were very, very touched to be there.
Thanks for helping them make this day a success. They very proudly announced to the crowd that they raised $1,385.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Keaton, Son and Brother, Lover of Reptiles

The fail-proof medicine against osteosarcoma has not been discovered yet but Paul's illness has shown us the power of the worldwide web to enable far-flung and yet truly heartfelt solidarities between the families of osteosarcoma warriors. If only solidarity could cure osteosarcoma ...

During the past year, we have exchanged frequent emails and experiences with many parents of osteosarcoma kids, mostly in the United States, some who are doing well so far (fingers crossed) and some whose role is now to look after us from where they are.

We want to acknowledge the departure this morning of Keaton, a beautiful young man from Arkansas who had every promise of intense love in his heart, he who was fond of cold-blooded creatures so many people do not even attempt to understand.

We share in the tears, for the loss, and for the pain these kids endured. Crocodiles too must be sharing in the tears. Sincerely for once.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Puff puff ... The Feghalis are running too ...

... Here

Below a photo taken in mid July 2008 with Paul, Clara and Peter and John, the two runners from California. What a difference a year makes ... So, run, run ...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

And Christian too is running for Paul ...

... Here

With the help of Béatrice, Paul's history teacher, Christian had already organized a fundraiser during the last weeks of Paul's illness. For those who don't know Christian, he owns a truly excellent ice cream parlor near the Lycée, on Bute Street, which Paul loved.

We can't thank enough Paul's friends, schoolmates and teachers, who contributed to Christian's fundraising efforts and all those who keep him alive in their thoughts and prayers.

Here is a photo of Paul's classmates in 4è 6 this year, raising funds under the guidance of Béatrice.

In tribute for Paul, for cancer research, they sold cakes and pancakes of their own making, and Sheona Mateos, also a classmate, gave benefit piano lessons. You can see on Christian's Just Giving page the impressive amount they raised.

Below a nice photo of Clara and Paul one and a half month before diagnosis.

Clara, Mireille and Philippe

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Paul's photo in the funeral service booklet ...

It was a crop from this photo taken during his last birthday party in his favorite Beirut restaurant (we were there yesterday with Léana, Alexandra and Clara).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mass in London on 9 October 09

(30 OCTOBRE 1996 – 7 AOUT 2009)


ENTREE Piano, Mot de Béatrice de Beaufort
1ERE LECTURE: 1er épitre de Saint-Paul aux Thessaloniciens (lue par Mélanie)
2EME LECTURE: Saint-Augustin (lue par Corinne)
ÉVANGILE Saint-Jean V 24-30 (lu par Hadrien)
OFFERTOIRE Composition de Jacques Nazaire à la guitare
TEMOIGNAGES DE VIE : Elizabeth, Alexandre, Yvan, Lisa, Xenia, Bertille, Félix, Youssef, Gregory, Mireille.
CHANT « AVE MARIA » de Schubert
SORTIE Composition de Jacques Nazaire à la guitare

Tribute from Béatrice de Beaufort
Ce que je peux partager avec vous, je veux le faire non pas en temps que professeur, mais comme maman, comme femme. Je veux le partager avec vous car je sais pourquoi vous êtes, tout comme moi, venus ici ce soir.

Bien que j’aille à UCH pour travailler avec Paul, nous avons en fait beaucoup voyagé ensemble. Voyagé à travers l’histoire, voyagé en étudiant la géographie et voyagé avec les innombrables visites qu’il recevait de gens venus du monde entier, parfois de très loin.
Ce voyage nous l’avons terminé à Rome.
Pourquoi Rome ? Je crois que Paul aimait ses professeurs et il voulait toujours faire plaisir avec tact et finesse. Il me savait professeur d’histoire et catholique, c’est sans doute pour cela qu’il a choisi Rome. Ou bien alors, peut-être car Rome est la ville éternelle.
La dernière fois que j’ai vu Paul, c’était fin juillet, une dizaine de jours avant sa mort. J’allais partir en France pour les vacances. Mireille m’a proposé de venir le voir. Je crois qu’on savait toutes les deux que c’était sans doute la dernière fois que je verrai Paul mais on ne s’est rien dit. Parfois on n’a pas besoin des mots pour se comprendre.
Quand je suis arrivée, Paul dormait. Nous sommes allés déjeuner, tu étais là Corinne, avec Sylvain. Puis je suis retournée voir Paul. Je sais que cela parait surréaliste mais qu’est-ce que vous faites avec Paul, dix jours avant sa mort…. On a discuté de la différence entre l’art classique et l’art baroque ; On a parlé du style des églises, des peintures ; On s’est attardé sur une peinture. Une peinture qui se trouve sur le plafond de l’église Saint-Ignace à Rome. C’est un trompe-l’œil qui représente la montée au ciel de Saint-Ignace. On y voit saint-Ignace montant vers le ciel, accueilli par Jésus, et en contre bas, toute une foule qui le regarde, les yeux tournés vers lui.
A Rome toujours, mais dans une autre église, j’ai souvent pensé à toi Mireille en ayant l’image d’une sculpture célèbre, une piéta de Michel Ange. On y voit Marie avec Jésus mort sur ses genoux. Elle pleure.

Ce que je voudrais aussi partager avec vous, c’est ce que j’ai appris avec Paul.
Je crois que dans la vie, on a tous une petite carapace. Une couverture, une impression qu’on veut donner aux autres. Avec Paul c’était toujours différent. Moi je suis professeur, représentant le savoir, l’autorité, j’explique. Et là quand je venais voir Paul, je ne savais rien. Je ne comprenais pas, je ne pouvais expliquer pourquoi un enfant de douze ans peut être si malade qu’il va mourir. Alors je devais me présenter comme cela. Avec mes faiblesses, mon ignorance, mes doutes.
Pour Paul, c’était pareil. C’est plus facile d’être en classe ou dans la cour de récré avec des habits à la mode que d’être devant son professeur alors qu’on ne peut plus se lever ou aller aux toilettes tout seul. Paul l’a accepté avec humilité et simplicité. Il était vrai, c’est comme cela que je l’aimais. De même pour toi Mireille. Tu souffrais et tu souffres encore. Je crois que lorsque l’on souffre, on n’a pas le temps de réfléchir à ceux que pensent les autres de nous. On se présente tel que l’on est avec ses angoisses, ses douleurs, ses incompréhensions. Tu étais vraie comme cela et c’est comme ca que je t’aime.

Voila, ce que je voulais vous dire, c’est sans doute ce que je savais déjà sans en être peut être tout à fait sûre. On aime vraiment dans la vérité. On peut vraiment aimer celui qui est vrai. Et si il y a aujourd’hui quelqu’un qui est dans la vérité, j’en suis sûre, c’est Paul. Vérité des hommes, vérité de Dieu.

(you can click on the green title to listen to it)


Tributes from Paul’s friends and classmates

“Cher Paul,
Quand on parlait de toi à la maison, on disait toujours l’élève de maman. Maman dit toujours qu’elle n’a jamais de chouchou, mais moi je sais que ce n’est pas vrai puisque c’était toi.
Maintenant que tu es au ciel, ce n’est pas drôle pour moi car elle a beaucoup de temps pour me faire travailler.”
Elisabeth de Beaufort (8y old)

“Paul était mon ami. Il était intelligent, drôle, et surtout espiègle.
Je me souviens que pour l’anniversaire de ses douze ans, il avait reçu une araignée télécommandée et il voulait absolument la tester. Nous avons decidé que Mireille, sa maman, serait la cible idéale. Paul plaça la bête au fonds du lit et lorsque Mireille déplaça la couverture, on entendit les hurlements dans toute la maison. Il fut ravi de constater que notre farce avait bien marché et il me le raconta dès qu’il me vit le lendemain!
Voilà comment je me rappellerai de Polo, toujours à rire et à faire rire les autres.
Il était comme le Petit Prince dans le conte de Saint-Exupéry: il est venu et nous a tous apprivoisés.
Il sera toujours auprès de nous.”
Alexandre Calamaro

“Mesdames et messieurs,
Je connaissais Paul depuis longtemps. Nous nous sommes rencontrés en CE2.
Je n’aurais jamais pensé que je serai ici, parmi vous, à parler de lui, car Paul était un garcon fort, resistant; il ne se laissait jamais abattre, même au fil de ses malheurs, cette résistance était sa force.
Paul était très gentil, il pensait toujours aux autres. Cette gentillesse laissera à tous un exemple dans les coeurs.
Pour conclure, je n’ai aucun doute que Paul a trouvé la paix éternelle.”
Yvan Lonneux

“Paul tu étais le héros de notre classe, mais avant tout un très bon ami.
Tu étais toujours souriant et joyeux.
Cela nous a fait vraiment plaisir de pouvoir aller te voir à l’hôpital ; on s’est tellement amusées qu’au lieu de rester une demi–heure, on est resté trois heures! C’était trois heures de bonheur.
Tu seras toujours dans nos cœurs et nos mémoires, tu seras comme le soleil, tu nous regarderas den haut et tu nous éclaireras avec ton sourire.”
Lisa, Xénia, Bertille

“Paul, tu étais un garcon vif, amusant, courageux et curieux.
Je n’oublierai jamais la dernière fois que je t’ai vu, tu étais fatigué mais tu gardais ton énergie et ton charme.
Ce qui est sûr, c’est que tu resteras précieusement dans nos mémoires et dans nos coeurs pour les années à venir.”
Félix Mosey

“When I was first asked to speak at Paul’s Mass, I had mixed feelings. I wanted to on one hand, but I was scared and didn’t really know what to say.
Paul and I met when we were very young. We were both 7. The first time we really spoke was on a plane, going to Beirut. We had seen each other at school but we had never spoken. From then on, we became very close friends.
During our time spent in Lebanon, Paul helped my bothers and I to build our tree house at my grandfather’s home. At the end, we were so proud of it. We all painted our names and I felt that Paul was part of my family now.
Paul was very courageous. Once at a Halloween party, my mother had hired a huge vertical bouncy castle by mistake. It was quite scary. She wanted to forbid us from climbing. But before she could say anything, Paul was already all the way up with a huge grin.
What I liked most about Paul was how kind he was and how he always thought about others before thinking of himself. My parents asked me to give an example. The first that I could think of was a simple example. If we were three thirsty friends and there were only two glasses of water, Paul would always say: go ahead, I’ll drink later.
But Paul was also very competitive. If he lost at a game, he would be always finding excuses why he lost. Let’s say he used to have sense of humour failure. I just thought it was very funny and he of course got more angry! But then the next day, all would be fine again.
I still can’t believe that Paul has left us. I was sure that by the time school started again, he would be much better and we would be seeing more of each other. Mireille told us that Paul did not suffer at all and I can imagine him having a winning smile.”
Youssef Rishani

"Je voudrais juste dire quelques mots pour mon ami Paul, mon ancien ami Paul.
Vous savez, c'est difficile d'accepter que quelqu'un de si gentil nous quitte si brutalement.
Paul est une personne que vous connaissez bien pendant une année, et que vous perdez de vue l'année d'après, maintenant j'aimerais juste récupérer ces années que j'ai loupées, avec lui.
Il va beaucoup me manquer."
Gregory Schibl

Tribute from Paul’s parents
I’d like to thank you all for coming today, all you who somehow knew Paul, who loved him, who followed his battle against the monster.
Today we are here to be reminded that in the end, the monster is the one who loses because, on August 7 at 11:02 pm, Paul broke free from its claws and went to where we all belong.
Paul fought his illness largely by ignoring it, by living.
He would want us too to despise the horror that lurks, the way he himself despised it, by living abundantly, whatever the time we may have on this Earth.
And by fighting it, for it is the fight which is the outcome and not the apparent end result.
To him, absolutely everything mattered equally. Enormously. He had an innate sense of duty to himself and to others. Three or four days before the end, he insisted on doing his German homework before going to sleep, his oxygen mask on. On his very last morning, during his last few conscious moments, he asked Philippe to read and explain to him a few pages of a novel Marc, his cousin, had brought to him.
He prayed every night, as he did since he was 3 or 4 years old. But his prayer on August 1st reached yet another level of simple, natural, matter-of-fact intensity when, out of breath because he had removed his oxygen mask, he was singing the Lord’s Prayer while doing his physiotherapy exercises on his good leg (he was no longer able to do any kind of exercise with his bad leg). Three days later, ending his prayer as always by thanking the Lord for a beautiful day, he realised what he was saying, stuttered slightly, but went on anyway. Paul didn't like incantations and he never asked for anything. He didn't even pray to be cured.
Paul just gave thanks.
His life was a prayer.
Paul lived happily and his love for life on Earth was on display until the very end, in its smallest details: By insisting on a daily and difficult "bed bath", by doing breaststroke movements in the bucket of water brought to him to wash his hands and imagining he was on vacation in a swimming pool, by never missing an occasion for laughter, by reading, and playing, and studying for next year. This year.
During his last month with us, Philippe tried his best to protect him, as much as he could, partly by limiting visitors. On one occasion, Paul got upset with Philippe, because he was ashamed that his father had not been welcoming enough to a palliative nurse who used to linger and talk during her visits. Paul was always respectful and invariably happy to see visitors, his family, friends, teachers, doctors, nurses.
To see you, to love you.
Paul remains forever amongst us. And in Clara. In Philippe. In Suzy. In me. This is not always easy.
Paul's legacy is one of love. Who said love was easy?
Our challenge now will be to remain faithful to his legacy - to live, to love as he did - despite the hole in our hearts.
Some challenge.



A picture taken discretely as Paul’s first classmates arrived early in Christ Church…

A picture taken on 23 November 2008, ie three weeks before Paul’s cancer diagnosis.
Paul had invited his friends to a football party.
In two instances he had to stop as his leg was hurting.
Three weeks earlier, an X-ray of his leg had shown nothing.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

On August 7th, Paul left us eight months into his fight against bone cancer.
Paul was buried in Lebanon, his home country, on August 13th.

For those in London who knew Paul and wish to tell him goodbye, we have organized a Mass on Friday 9 October at 5:30pm at Christ Church on Victoria Road, W8.
Please don't hesitate to invite all those who knew Paul, who taught him at school, or who loved him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In fact ...

There is nothing funny or ironic about anything in this disaster. I deleted all that was equivocal in my previous post on Paul's 40th day remembrance Mass and from now on I'll update only dry accounting stuff on where the money you gave went, at least for the amounts I know about, and only if we decide something material not mentioned in this post:

1) $54,600 to the St-Jude-affiiated Children Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL)
2) $35,000 to the Dames de la Charité (Lebanon)
3) $5,000 to the Foyer de l'Enfant Libanais (Lebanon)
4) $1,500 to a lady unable to pay the hospital bills for her mother's cancer
5) 11,000 GBP to UCH T11 North

13,957 GBP were donated half by BNP Paribas employees and the rest by BNP Paribas as matching funds and presumably already sent directly to Cancer research UK (not sure).

We cannot thank enough all those who gave and we may not manage to thank everyone individually. Some may worry that their money never got to the account but this is unjustified as banks return money that they are unable to assign to an account.

Sorry to disappoint both those who loved Paul and the lurkers but I really have nothing left to say.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fourtieth Day Mass

Fourty days already since the night when Paul's breathing stopped before our eyes and a very moving Mass yesterday for this traditional stage in the mourning process in the Oriental christian tradition. The sermon centered around the testing of Job.

At the short condolences reception afterwards, we were moved to see Teddy, the father of Philippe, an eleven-year old who was crushed by a rock before the eyes of his parents at a wedding reception one week before Paul's death and who is buried a few meters from Paul. In the photo of Paul's resting place below, the flower was placed by Phlippe's mother:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tribute by Mrs de Beaufort (in English & French)

Tribute by Béatrice de Beaufort, Paul's school teacher.

To all of Paul’s family

It was rather by chance that our paths crossed: Paul’s illness, the birth of François…
Over the last few months, I have met many of you. From Lebanon, the Middle East, Germany or elsewhere.
You all meant a lot to Paul. Family was so important to him. He knew you all very well. Sometimes, before one of you was arriving and we were working together, he would describe in detail your favourite phrase or a small characteristic detail about you. After you had arrived, I would realise that he had described you with disconcerting accuracy.

Thank you for the example which you have given us. Mireille often told me that you weren’t a perfect family, that it was Dallas. I don’t know what a perfect family is, perhaps a family who poses well in photos, but I know that you are an amazing family. All those journeys back and forth, those nights at the hospital, the constant support for Mireille, Philippe, Clara and Paul. I was particularly touched when his cousin spent the night with him at the hospital. A great example of a family for all of us.

And you Mireille,
I met you as the mother of a student, we have become friends. Thank you for your trust, thank you for sharing with me, simply, your joys, your suffering, your hopes. Thank you for your strength and vitality which you conveyed to me. Thank you for your concern for others. I never understood how it was possible that it was you who kept me going, that it was you who took care of my husband’s little toe when you had so many other worries.
I hope that we will remain friends and I know that Paul up above will ensure that we will.

And Paul, my student.
Paul loved challenges, Paul gave me more than any student could give.
I was the teacher and it was him who taught me.
Paul loved challenges, and so do I.
Paul was very intelligent. I wanted him to be the best student in his “quatrième” class once he was cured: I understood that a student could teach other things to us, the teachers.

Few students could manage to study whilst in pain or suffering the effects of morphine: Paul did it. I would like the students who read these words to think of this when reluctant to go to school in the morning.

Paul loved challenges, he left all of us with a big challenge: to live without him, holding in our hearts all that he gave us and in the hope of seeing him again one day in heaven for all eternity.

French Version:

A toute la famille de Paul,

C’est un peu par hasard que je me suis trouvée sur votre chemin: la maladie de Paul, la naissance de François…
Au fil des mois, j´ ai rencontré beaucoup d´entre vous. Venus du Liban, d’ Arabie, d’Allemagne ou d’ailleurs.
Vous comptiez tous beaucoup pour Paul. La famille était tellement importante pour lui. Il vous connaissait tous très bien. Parfois, avant que l’un de vous arrive et que l’on travaillait ensemble, il vous décrivait en me détaillant votre phrase favorite ou le petit détail qui vous caractérisait. Lorsque vous arriviez, je me rendais compte à quel point il vous avait décrit avec une exactitude déconcertante.

Merci de l’exemple que vous nous avez donnés. Mireille me disait souvent que vous n’étiez pas une famille parfaite, que c’était Dallas. Je ne sais pas ce qu’est une famille parfaite, peut être une famille qui pose bien en photo, mais je sais que vous êtes une famille formidable. Tous ces allers-retours, ces nuits à l’hôpital, ce soutien incessant auprès de Mireille, Philippe, Clara et Paul. J’ai été particulièrement touchée quand son cousin a dormi auprès de lui à l’hôpital.
Bel exemple de famille pour nous tous.

Et toi Mireille,
Je t’ai rencontrée comme maman d’élèves, nous sommes devenues amies. Merci de ta confiance, merci d’avoir partagé avec moi, dans la simplicité, tes joies, tes souffrances, tes espoirs. Merci de la force et le dynamisme que tu m’as communiqués. Merci de ton sens des autres. Je n’ai jamais compris comment était ce possible que ce soit toi qui me remonte le moral, que ce soit toi qui te préoccupe du petit doigt de pied de mon mari quand tu avais tellement d’autres soucis.
Je souhaite que l’on reste amies et je sais que Paul là-haut y veillera.

Et Paul, mon élève.
Paul aimait les défis, Paul m’a donnée plus qu’un élève pouvait me donner. J’étais le professeur et c’est lui qui m’a appris.
Paul aimait les défis, moi aussi.
Paul était très intelligent. Je voulais en faire le meilleur élève de quatrième quand il serait guéri : j’ai compris qu’un élève pouvait nous enseigner d’autres choses à nous les professeurs.
Peu d’élèves peuvent travailler sous la douleur ou l’effet de la morphine : Paul l’a fait. J’aimerais que les élèves qui lisent ces mots y pensent quand ils rechigneront à aller en classe le matin.

Paul aimait les défis , il nous en a laissé un grand à tous : celui de vivre sans lui, en chérissant dans nos cœurs tout ce qu’il nous a laissé et dans l’espoir de le retrouver un jour au ciel pour l’éternité.

Tribute by Dominique (in English & French)

Tribute by Dominique (Paul's aunt) published on 14 August 2009 in L’Orient (a Lebanese newspaper):

Au revoir Paul and never farewell

“Every time a child says 'I don't believe in fairies' there is a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.”

You remembered very well the lesson of Peter Pan, Paul. You always believed in fairies, my little Paul, my big Paul. You expected the fairy to cure you and bring you back to life, but you knew at the same time that you were going to die and that your fairy would be helpless. This hope and knowledge of life and death has made you a teacher. You taught us that there is no difference between life and death, that death is a continuation of life. But at the same time, you fought against your illness with incomparable strength and you gave us a unparalleled lesson in courage. Never complaining, you kept your wise smile until the very end. You were worried about your mother’s holiday, not about yours. You were concerned about your parents, the inconvenience you were causing them with your illness. You helped them by making them laugh and you even ended up ridiculing the cancer: “With a bit of morphine, one doesn’t feel anything anymore” you said on one day of unbearable pain.

You taught us that with humour and laughter, one can overcome anything, the injustice of the illness which made a child of your age suffer, the injustice of life that separates you from us too soon and finally the injustice of death which takes you away so young, so young. Thank you Paul, a thousand thanks. My only small consolation is that your family is not suffering alone. Because when a child dies, the whole world mourns. Your fairy will take care of this at least.

Au revoir Paul and never farewell.

French version:

Hommage de Dominique paru le lendemain dans L'Orient:
Au revoir Paul et jamais Adieu

« Chaque fois qu’un enfant ne croit plus aux fées, il y a quelque part, une petite fée qui meurt ».

Tu as bien retenu la leçon de Peter Pan, Paul, oh combien.
Tu as toujours cru aux fées, Mon petit Paul, mon Grand Paul. Tu attendais de ta fée qu’elle te guérisse et te ramène à la vie, mais tu savais en même temps que tu allais mourir et que ta fée n’y pourrait rien. Cet espoir de vie et ce savoir sur la vie et la mort a fait de toi un enseignant. Tu nous a appris qu’il n’y a pas de différence entre la vie et la mort, que la mort était une continuation de la vie. Mais en même temps, tu as combattu ta maladie avec une force incomparable et tu nous as donné une leçon de courage à nulle autre pareille. Jamais de plaintes, tu as gardé un sourire de sagesse jusqu’au bout. Tu te préoccupais des vacances de ta mère, non pas des tiennes. Tu te souciais de tes parents, des embêtements que tu leur causais avec ta maladie. Tu les faisais rire pour les soulager et tu as même fini par ridiculiser le cancer : « Avec un peu de morphine, on ne sent plus rien » as-tu dit un jour de douleur insupportable.
Tu nous a appris qu’avec l’humour et le rire, on pouvait tout vaincre, l’injustice de la maladie qui fait souffrir un enfant de ton âge, l’injustice de la vie qui nous sépare très tôt de toi et enfin l’injustice de la mort qui te fauche si jeune, si jeune. Merci Paul, mille mercis. Ma seule petite consolation, ta famille ne souffre pas seule. Car quand un enfant meurt, la terre entière est en deuil. Ta fée se chargera au moins de ça.

Au revoir Paul et jamais Adieu

Paul's funeral service on 13 August 2009 (in English)

Paul Yared
Thursday 13th August 2009
Church of Saint Saviour

The Chorus “See Upon Your Path” (sung by Clara, Léana, Aleandra, Emmanuelle, accompanied by Michel on piano):

See upon your path
Children forgotten and lost.
Give them a hand,
To lead them
To other tomorrows.

Feel in the the middle of the night
The wave of hope,
The ardour of life,
The path to glory.

Childish joys,
Erased and forgotten too soon.
A golden light shines endlessly
At the end of the road.

Opening prayers

First reading: 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4
But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
And so we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Second reading: Saint Augustine
Death is nothing at all.
I have simply slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were for each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together …
Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the ghost of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was: there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind,
Because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner …
You see, all is well.....
You will find my heart again, you will rediscover its pure affection.
Dry your tears and do not cry if you love me …

Third reading: John, chapter 5, vv 24-28
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself,
and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man.
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice.




1. Clara (Paul’s sister)

Paul, everything that you undertook, you did with passion and excellence.
You always wanted to go further, and at the same time, you remained very understated.

2. Léana (Paul’s cousin)

I remember last summer, when Clara and I were working hard on our holiday homework. To challenge himself, and because his own homework was too easy, Paul started doing my homework as well as his own.

Paul, your willpower and intelligence always impressed me.

3. Alexandra (Paul’s cousin)

When we were on holiday in the south of France, we discovered an enormous fig tree whose fruits looked delicious. Clara, Léana and I immediately started eating the figs greedily. Meanwhile, Paul peeled the fruit delicately for us like a gentleman.

Paul, I will always remember your kindness.

4. Corinne (Paul’s aunt)

Paul, during the twelve years which you granted us, you made an indelible impression on the lives of all those who knew you.

For your teachers, you were an example, not only because of the excellence of your work, but also because of the energy and enthusiasm with which you inspired the class. You brought your friends together, and during your illness they all gathered around you.

For your family, your joie de vivre and your humour were the sparks which brightened each moment. Young and old alike, we all sought to be with you.

Even once ill, the depth of your character still shone through, without ever complaining, even in moments of suffering. Your generosity, your kindness and your intelligence helped us and gave us strength and courage.

A wonderful circle of love formed around you which wasn’t only limited to your close family, because you always had the extraordinary ability to bring out the best in those close to you.

Paul, your strength and your smile will sustain us forever.

5. Michel

I am not the one who best knew Paul. It was during his illness that I had the opportunity to become close to him and to his family.

How to deal with the feeling of injustice? How to face pain and incomprehension? How can we accept the recall of a pure soul, of a child?

We are partly the result of our actions and partly the result of what others have done for us.

Paul received a lot of love from his family and gave back love in return without counting. So many links, so much affection given and received, leave a painful vacuum when life ends.

We prayed for Paul's cure, but we were not heard. We are mortal, but we are never ready. Paul, like all of us, was going to die one day. But Paul had a life to live first, parents to love, a family to start, love to give to his children. For us this was not his time.


I have no answer to give. But I can tell you what I witnessed during Paul’s illness.

Firstly I saw an example of courage, a magnificent boy, full of humour, zest for life, sensitivity.

I saw a family overflowing with love living in full communion with Paul.

I saw an extraordinary chain of solidarity uniting men and women of very diverse backgrounds, who would never have woven such links if Paul had not been affected by the disease.

I had on numerous occasions the feeling of God's love in the union which formed around Paul.

Then, even if it is not an explanation, I cannot refrain from thinking of the one who died on the cross, still giving love, and I hope that Paul lives now beside him.

If it is true that man was created in the image of God, if we look like him, it is in Paul's face and in the links woven around him that I was able to recognize the face of the other one, the face of the fellow man, the face of the one who loves us all and who will always love us.

Despite the pain and the incomprehension, I say to the Lord: thank you for having given us Paul.

6. Mireille

Paul, you were much more than just my son.
Your strength of character, your intelligence, your zest for life, your humour, your humanity, made you a unique child, so different.
Yes, I was captivated by your charm, but I wasn't the only one.

Living with you was a constant joy.
You often surprised us.
You made us laugh every day.
But your spirit was as pure as your body was burdened.

You left too early.
You still had so many things to give.
One of your professors wrote at the end of a school year: Paul, you'll go very far in life.
But your life on earth doesn't belong to us.
You remain always present in me, and when I think about you, now, I smile.

Philippe, Suzy and I have two suns:
You, Paul, who will always be in us,
And you, Clara, who we love so deeply, who we need so much, and for whom we'll do the impossible to bring you all the happiness you deserve.
With a smile.
With your smile.

The Chorus “Like a child” (sung by Clara, Léana, Aleandra, Emmanuelle, accompanied by Michel on piano):

Like a child
Who walks on the earth
Head in the air and
Hair blowing in the wind.

Like a child
Who walks on the earth
And smiles while dreaming.

Here I am! Lord!
Here I am like a child
Here I am! Lord!
Here I am like a child.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Paul's funeral service on 13 August 2009 (in French)

Paul Yared
Jeudi 13 août 2009
Eglise Saint Sauveur, Beyrouth

Les Choristes “Vois sur ton Chemin” (chanté par Clara, Léana, Alexandra, Emmanuelle, accompagnées par Michel au piano):

Vois sur ton chemin
Gamins oubliés égarés
Donne leur la main
Pour les mener
Vers d'autres lendemains

Sens au coeur de la nuit
L'onde d'espoir
Ardeur de la vie
Sentier de gloire

Bonheurs enfantins
Trop vite oubliés effacés
Une lumière dorée brille sans fin
Tout au bout du chemin

Prières d’ouverture

1ère Lecture: 1er épitre de St Paul aux Théssaloniciens
Nous ne voulons pas vous laisser dans l’ignorance au sujet de ceux qui se sont endormis dans la mort; il ne faut pas que vous soyez abattus comme les autres, qui n’ont pas d’espérance. En effet, puisque nous croyons que Jésus, est mort et ressuscité, de même, nous croyons, que Dieu ramènera par Jésus et avec lui ceux qui sont morts.
Ainsi, nous serons pour toujours avec le Seigneur.
Retenez ce que je viens de vous dire et réconfortez vous les uns les autres.

2ème Lecture: Saint Augustin
La mort n'est rien
Je suis seulement passé de l'autre coté.
Je suis moi - tu es toi.
Ce que nous étions l'un pour l'autre,
Nous le sommes toujours.
Donne-moi le nom que tu m'as toujours donné.
Parle-moi comme tu l'as toujours fait.
N'emploie pas un ton différent.
Ne prends pas un air solennel ou triste.
Continue à rire de ce qui nous faisait rire ensemble...
Prie, souris, pense à moi, prie pour moi.
Que mon nom soit prononcé à la maison comme il l'a toujours été
Sans emphase d'aucune sorte, sans une trace d'ombre.
La vie signifie toujours ce qu'elle a toujours signifié.
Elle est ce qu'elle a toujours été: le fil n'est pas coupé.
Pourquoi serais-je hors de ta pensée ?
Je ne suis pas loin, juste de l'autre coté du chemin...
Tu vois, tout est bien
Tu retrouveras mon cœur, tu en retrouveras les tendresses épurées
Essuie tes larmes et ne pleure pas si tu m’aimes...

3ème Lecture: Saint Jean V 24-30
Oui vraiment, je vous l’assure: celui qui écoute ce que je dis et qui place sa confiance dans le Père qui m’a envoyé, possède, des à présent, la vie éternelle et il ne sera pas condamné; il est déjà passé de la mort à la vie.
Oui, vraiment, je vous l’assure: l’heure vient, et elle est déjà là, où les morts entendront la voix du Fils de Dieu, et de tous ceux qui l’auront entendu vivront.
En effet, comme le Père, possède la vie en lui-même, il accorde au Fils d’avoir la vie en lui-même.
Et parce qu’il est le fils de l’homme, il lui a donné autorité pour exercer le jugement.
Ne vous étonnez pas: l’heure vient où tous ceux qui sont dans la tombe entendront la voix du Fils de l’homme.



Témoignages de vie

1. Clara (soeur de Paul):
Paul, tout ce que tu entreprenais, tu le faisais avec passion et excellence.
Tu voulais toujours aller plus loin, et en même temps, tu restais très humble.

2. Léana (cousine de Paul):
Je me rappelle l’été dernier, lorsque Clara et moi étions en train de peiner sur nos devoirs de vacances de 5ème. Pour se lancer un défi, et parce que les siens étaient trop faciles, Paul se mit à faire mes devoirs de vacances en plus des siens.
Paul, ta volonté et ton intelligence m’ont toujours impressionnées.

3. Alexandra (cousine de Paul):
Quand nous étions en vacances dans le sud de la France, nous avons découvert un énorme figuier dont les fruits nous faisaient très envie. Très vite, Clara, Léana et moi nous sommes retrouvés à déguster les figues avec voracité. Pendant ce temps, Paul, comme un vrai gentleman, nous les épluchait délicatement.
Paul, je me rappellerai toujours de ta gentillesse.

4. Texte de Corinne (tante de Paul)

Paul, durant les douze années que tu nous as offertes, tu as marqué de façon indélébile la vie de tous ceux qui t’ont connu.

Pour tes professeurs, tu étais un exemple, non seulement par l’excellence de ton travail, mais aussi par l’énergie et le dynamisme que tu insufflais à la classe. Tu as fédéré tes camarades, et lors de ta maladie, ils se sont tous mobilisés pour toi.

Pour la famille, ta joie de vivre et ton humour, sont l’étincelle qui embellissait chaque moment. Aussi bien jeunes que moins jeunes, nous recherchions tous ta présence.

Malade, tu n’as cessé de démontrer la profondeur de tes qualités, sans jamais te plaindre, même dans les moments de souffrance. Ton altruisme, ta gentillesse et ton intelligence nous aidaient et nous donnaient de la force et du courage.

Autour de toi, s’est créé un magnifique cercle d’amour qui ne s’est pas limité à ta famille proche car tu as toujours eu cette extraordinaire capacité à laisser s’épanouir le meilleur de ceux qui t’entouraient.

Paul, ta force et ton sourire nous portent pour toujours.

5. Texte de Michel

Je ne suis pas celui qui connaissait le mieux Paul. C’est à l’occasion de sa maladie que j’ai eu l’occasion de me rapprocher de lui et des siens.

Comment faire face au sentiment d’injustice? Comment faire face à la peine et à l’incompréhension? Comment accepter que soit rappelée une âme pure, un enfant ?

Nous sommes pour partie le fruit de nos actions et le résultat de ce que les autres ont fait pour nous.

Paul a reçu beaucoup d’amour de sa famille et il en a donné sans compter en retour. Tant de liens, tant d’affection donnée et reçue, laissent un vide douloureux le jour où la vie se retire.

Nous avons prié pour la guérison de Paul mais nous n’avons pas été entendus. Nous sommes mortels mais nous ne sommes jamais prêts. Paul, comme nous tous, devait mourir un jour. Mais Paul avait une vie à faire, des parents à aimer, une famille à fonder, de l’amour à donner à ses enfants. Pour nous ce n’était pas son heure.

Pourquoi ?

Je n’ai pas de réponse à donner. Mais je peux vous dire ce à quoi j’ai assisté pendant la maladie de Paul.

J’ai d’abord vu un exemple de courage, un garçon merveilleux, plein d’humour, d’appétit de vivre, de sensibilité.

J’ai vu une famille débordant d’amour et vivant en totale communion avec Paul.

J’ai vu une chaîne de solidarité extraordinaire réunissant des hommes et des femmes d’horizons très divers, qui n’auraient jamais tissés de tels liens si Paul n’avait été éprouvé par la maladie.

J’ai eu à de nombreuses reprises le sentiment de l’amour de Dieu dans l’union qui s’est formée autour de Paul.

Alors, même si ce n’est pas une explication, je ne peux m’empêcher de penser à celui mort sur la croix en donnant de l’amour et j’espère que Paul vit maintenant à ses côtés.

S’il est vrai que l’homme a été créé à l’image de Dieu, si nous lui ressemblons, c’est dans le visage de Paul et dans les liens tissés autour de lui que j’ai pu reconnaître le visage de l’autre, le visage du prochain, le visage de celui qui nous aime tous et nous aimera toujours.

Par-delà la peine et l’incompréhension, je dis au Seigneur : merci de nous avoir donné Paul.

6. Texte de Mireille

Paul, tu étais beaucoup plus que seulement mon enfant.
Ta force de caractère, ton intelligence, ta joie de vivre, ton humour, ton humanité, faisaient de toi un enfant unique, si différent.
Oui, j'étais sous ton charme, mais je n'étais pas la seule.

Vivre avec toi a été un bonheur de tous les instants.
Tu nous étonnais souvent.
Tu nous faisais rire tous les jours.
Mais ton esprit était aussi pur que ton corps était encombré.

Tu es parti trop tôt.
Tu avais tellement de choses à donner encore.
Un de tes professeurs avait écrit en fin d'année scolaire: Paul, tu iras très loin dans la vie.
Mais ta vie sur Terre ne nous appartient pas.
Tu restes tout le temps présent en moi, et quand je pense à toi, maintenant, je souris.

Philippe, Suzy et moi avons deux soleils:
toi Paul, qui sera toujours en nous,
et toi Clara, que nous aimons si fort, dont nous avons tant besoin, et pour qui nous ferons l'impossible pour que tu aies tout le bonheur que tu mérites.
Avec le sourire.
Avec ton sourire

Les Choristes “Comme un enfant” (chanté par Clara, Léana, Alexandra, Emmanuelle et accompagné par Michel au piano):

Comme un enfant
Qui marche sur la terre
Le nez en l’air et les
Cheveux au vent

Comme un enfant
Qui marche sur la terre
Et qui sourit en rêvant

Me voici! Seigneur!
Me voici comme un enfant
Me voici! Seigneur!
Me voici comme un enfant

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A few very sensitive words (in French)

I thought I'd share with you the very moving words sent to us by Paul, a friend who is also a philosopher:

"Un calvaire a cessé, un autre commence. La vie est une roue qui broie les âmes et les coeurs et si y survit l’espoir c’est déjà miracle. Mes amis, je suis horrifié par ce qui est arrivé à votre Paul adoré, et je n’ai que ma colère à vous donner en partage, en même temps, il est vrai, que je participe, dans la distance abolie et le silence obligé, à votre douleur indicible. Pourquoi lui? Pourquoi soi? Le mal n’est pas un châtiment. Le mal est sans pourquoi, comme la vie, comme la mort, comme tout ce qui nous concerne au plus profond et nous remplit de questions sans réponses. Et de fait, l’abîme des questions sans réponses s’ouvre à nouveau devant l’ignoble souveraineté, l’intervention despotique et désinvolte de ce qu'il est convenu d’'appeler le destin. Maudit soit-il, ce destin. Et Dieu dans tout ça? Lui dont on dit que tout lui est possible? Qu'a-t-il fait de cette réserve de possibles dont il a fait naguère sa Création? On veut bien espérer qu’il fera une place de roi à l'ange qui l’a rejoint. C'’est tout ce qu’il nous reste, dans le fond: cette foi dans la foi, qui console à peine des cruels assauts du réel, mais occupe la part d'imagination sans laquelle nous ne tiendrions pas une minute sur cette terre. Une chose pourtant est sûre: toutes les fois que le doute vous frappera, que l’angoisse vous saisira, que vous ne saurez pas où aller, quoi faire, quelle couleur donner au monde, quel futur libérer devant soi, alors murmurera en vous, à sa place dévolue, la voix de l’enfant chéri, et c’est elle qui vous soufflera la réponse. Paul: désormais votre témoin intérieur, votre rempart secret contre les blessures de l’existence. Il vous protègera comme vous-mêmes l'avez protégé au-delà du possible. Il a la clé de l’avenir. Faites-lui confiance, vous remonterez à la surface. Écoutez-le vous remercier des efforts déployés et de la confiance dans la vie que vous lui avez apprise tout au long de ces mois de maladie. Ecoutez-le vous dire: je suis là. Écoutez-le vous dire: ne contrecarrez pas les battements de votre coeur. Écoutez-le vous dire que l’absence est une présence d’un autre genre, une présence qui n’'est plus affectée par sa disparition prochaine, une empreinte éternelle, une trace privée d'effacement, un essaim insistant de signes parlants, vivants, que seuls ceux qui ont eu à souffrir le martyre au nom de l’amour ont la capacité de percevoir."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Practical info

In French:

Les obsèques auront lieu en l’église Saint Sauveur des Grecs-Catholiques, secteur Rue Monot, Beyrouth, jeudi 13 août à 11h
Les condoléances seront reçues au salon de l’église mercredi 12 Août de 11h à 19h, jeudi 13 Août de 14h à 19h et vendredi 14 août de 11h à 19h.

En hommage à Paul, plutôt que des fleurs, la famille souhaite recevoir des dons à: Bank Audi - Audi Saradar Group - Bab Idriss branch, Account No. USD 997732–01 in the name of Philippe Yared and/or Mireille Nassif, SWIFT: AUDBLBBX. Ces dons seront répartis entre diverses oeuvres charitables et centres anti cancer au Liban et en Angleterre.

And in the official language of the blog:

The funeral will take place in the Saint Saviour church of the Melkites, Monot street, in Beirut Thursday August 13 at 11:00. Paul's family will accept condolences in the church hall on Wednesday August 12 from 11:00 to 19:00, on Thursday August 13 from 14:00 to 19:00 and on Friday August 14 from 11:00 to 19:00.

In remembrance of Paul, instead of sending flowers, please wire any contribution that you'd like to make to: Bank Audi - Audi Saradar Group - Bab Idriss branch, Account No. UUSD 997732–01 in the name of Philippe Yared and/or Mireille Nassif , SWIFT: AUDBLBBX. These donations will be distributed amongst Lebanese charities and hospitals specialized in treating cancer in Lebanon and in the UK.

Finally, I cannot thank enough all those who sent us expressions of support from all the over the world in these difficult times.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Paul 30/10/1996 - 7/8/2009

I write this post as an announcement. Mireille will surely want to say more during the next few days.

Yesterday, our courageous, beautiful, gentle Paul went away to take care for us, to live in us forever at 23:05, after receiving the last rites in early afternoon. His breathing had been weakening steadily during the past ten days and he spent most of his last day sleeping, probably mostly unconscious.

Paul was reading this blog and we were unable to post the terrible truth that transpired since the biopsy of his lymph node at the left groin which proved cancerous, a rare and disastrous development. A re-staging done just afterwards had shown that his popliteal lymph node of the same leg was involved, most of his left leg, and that he had tumours near his liver and in his chest.

The goal of treatment was then to control the disease by changing the chemo regimen and giving it aggressively in order to possibly open some window of opportunity for dealing with separate tumours.

But the cancer was spreading ferociously. His left leg swelled through the chemo and in between the two cycles he received, tumours appeared on his skin and it became clear there was nothing left to be done.

He was incredibly courageous during all the process, taking a full bed wash every single day, studying his German, doing his physiotherapy, reading, playing, remaining what he always was: A full joy to all for every second of his life.

We are sure he is happy where he is, probably playing football on the best lawns and with the best players ever, swimming in the purest, gentlest waters imaginable, making great friends, under the loving care of Jesus.

We returned to Lebanon today to stay with Clara and be the first to break the news to her. Alexis and Anne-Marie will follow us with Paul's body towards the end of next week. Funeral arrangements will be announced then.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Over the last few days, Paul spent some fun time with his cousins Robert and Marc.

Robert came on purpose on a three-day trip from the US to teach him some tricks on the xbox, the playstation and other computer games. So did Marc on his transit between France and Lebanon.

Suzy arrived for a few days... and will not escape from some German duties with Paul (Paul has chosen German at school for his step-mother Suzy precisely, as well as for his German swiss grand-mother Ruthly, and Suzy's family).

As Paul is optimising ressources, he is asking Jeddo to help him out for better understanding his english book.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Paul is focused this week on improving his language skills and was eagerly looking for an interesting english book to read. So he reads until late at night.

He also revises his German lessons everyday consciously and asked for Mr.Fuzak's visit again yesterday. Another one-hour class which stretched for more than two hours as Paul never wanted to stop...

Clara, Corinne, Jean-Paul and Robert arrived yesterday.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Paul had a busy day yesterday.

He had his second German tutorship with Mr. Fuzak which was meant to last an hour. But he had so many questions and wanted to write so much in his notebook that they stopped more than two hours later.. as Paul had to be taken out for some tests.

As if this was not enough, he insisted in doing an hour of maths with Anne-Marie as late as 10pm.

Paul's aunt, Marie, is spending a few days with us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Catching up German

Paul felt better over the last two days.

Since chemo is over since Sunday, he had two continuous and restful nights.

Paul got a new wheel armchair which allowed us to tour the upper adolescent floor to borrow DVDs.

Today he did his german homework in preparation of his class tomorrow.

Suzy left and Anne-Marie is rotating nights with me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Paul finished his 5-day chemo cycle yesterday.

Suzy arrived on Friday for the weekend and is doing all the night shifts.

Paul spends his days watching movies and playing with his playstation and Xbox.

Today we did some maths exercises and he insisted we start next year's program.

Paul sleeps quite a lot otherwise, due to the morphine intakes to control the pain in his bad leg.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Paul is in his third day of chemo (out of 5).

His friend Bertrand came from Paris to see him and they played with the xbox.

Paul watches movies quite late everyday (yesterday "Slumdog millionaire", kindly offered by Pat).

Corinne and Sylvain left to Hamburg today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chemo resumes

Paul has started chemo tonight.

Sylvain and Corinne came from Hamburg and Paul is particularly happy to spend some quality time with Sylvain and they are catching up on many things since last summer.

Paul asked for his German lesson to be reorganized for today and Mr. Fuzac was able to make it.

Then Béatrice de Beaufort came and distracted Paul with some history searches on internet.

Then, after a well-deserved nap, Paul had the surprise to see his cousin Marc arrive with an Xbox and they played Halo until late this evening.

Paul's platelets are finally up and, if they are confirmed tomorrow, chemo should then resume.

We have transformed his room into a movie theater with powerful speakers, and Paul watches one or two movies a day.

He cunningly diverted the doctors and nurses' usual questions to a computer game.

Some visits over the last few days, including the German teacher, but Paul fell asleep just before his arrival and missed his first class (it is the only topic he did not have time to catch up this school year, as yet).

Friday, July 17, 2009

In the open ward

UK hospitals have wards full of children with swine flu. Thus yesterday, we were moved from our room to the open ward.

Our room and the ones aside have all been given to cancerous childrens with no immunity, who were themselves moved from distant rooms which got assigned to swine flu patients. More than ever, hospitals are understaffed and it does take a lot of energy to get medication quickly when required.

Paul has enough white blood cells and doesn't need to be isolated. It is the platelets we're waiting for to resume chemo.

Needless to say, his night was not great in the open ward.

Luckily, late today, our initial room freed up and we moved back to it again.

Corinne left for Hamburg.
Suzy arrived yesterday and is doing two night shifts.

Clara left today for Beirut. She is joining her cousins Léana, Alexandra, and the many others. Her aunts will take good care of all this crowd, with plenty of things to do in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We are still at UCH waiting for platelets to increase to resume chemo.

Paul feels more comfortable at hospital for the moment, despite not having chemo and being allowed to go home meanwhile.

His classmate Hadrien visited and they played computer games.

Alexis offered him an ebook which he liked a lot.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chemo delayed

Paul had a good time at home but preferred to stay at UCH on Saturday as we had to go there for IV medication (any IV intake has to be done at hospital).

Given his bone marrow still not producing platelets nor white blood counts, he prefers staying in his confortable room at UCH to avoid having to go from home to Chelsea Westminster hospital for potential transfusion or antibiotics.

Chemo is therefore delayed (potentially resuming end of week).

Paul is well but sleeping quite a lot in the mornings given the morphine daily intake (to control the pain in the affected leg).

Yesterday a few visits (pictures below).

Corinne is spending a few days with us .. and doing all the night shifts.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Home !

Yes, we're at home!

Paul had a good night with no pumps bleeping, no nurse coming in the room for observations every two hours, no doctors asking the same questions everyday (despite Paul repeating everyday: no change, as I said yesterday, ...). Because of the rotation of many doctors and nurses, each of them needs to get updated everyday from talking and examining Paul.

As a result, Paul slept serenely until...1pm.

The community nurse came to give him some medication and trained me. This way, we can surely spend more time at home in the future, away from hospital.

Mrs Cardle, the Latin teacher, visited him in the afternoon.

Then Mrs de Beaufort came and we saw a Louis de Funès movie "Le gendarme de St-Tropez".

Paul also played a computer game with Clara.

In the evening, Michel, Zeina and Jimmy came over.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Clara, Léana, Alexandra, with the help of Agnès, spent the last two mornings preparing a comic book for Paul, which they offered him today.

Paul's cousins will be leaving tomorrow to Paris.

But the good news is we will return home tomorrow evening for two days (after three weeks at hospital)!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just as we were pleased the temperature settled and we could go home tomorrow (after three weeks at UCH..), Paul had a low grade fever and IV antibiotics had to be given again.

Chemo should resume next week (date depends upon blood counts which are still too low, although on the way up). In between, we hope to have at least two days at home.

Francis brought Paul's PSP from Beirut today and Paul was very excited to play with it.

Léana, Alexandra, Clara and Agnès also visited, as everyday.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Suzy arrived from Abu Dhabi for the weekend (as she does every weekend !).

Paul's blood counts are increasing very slowly which makes the presence at the hospital mandatory given IV antibiotics.

His body is very weakened from seven months of chemotherapy, so he sleeps on and off during days and nights (nights are always interrupted by nurse observations every two hours as well as by medication pumps bleeping continuously).

But Paul is feeling better and had a few visits today: Esther, Gael de Beaufort, Adel.

Agnès, Léana, Alexandra and Clara also kept company to Paul, after their picnic in Hyde Park (pictures below).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Paul's blood counts are starting to increase finally today. Also his fever has settled down. Recipe for ..home soon?

Paul is doing his physio exercices with lots of discipline and willingness.

He had a few visits over the last few days: Michel from Paris, Esther, his aunt Marie from California, Mrs. de Beaufort, Joe, his physio Laura who brought him a T-shirt from Wimbledon.

His cousins Léana and Alexandra arrived from Hamburg yesterday to spend a whole week with us. They all watched a movie today and played computer games.

Léana and Alex's grand-mother Agnès arrived from Paris today and the house is full and cheerful.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jogging in Hyde Park for Paul

Mrs. Delphine Botbol (on the left in the picture above), Paul's science teacher, organized an 8km jogging in Hyde Park for Paul.

Many students from Paul's class who were eager to do something for Paul, as well as Mrs. Botbol's other class students, participated in the run, wearing T-shirts with Paul's name.

A few teachers were also present: Mr. Tagarist (maths), Mr. Cadeddu (physics and chemistry), Mrs. Rotureau (sports), and of course Mrs. de Beaufort (who was going back and forth from the ice cream event that she helped organize with Clara, and Hyde Park to support her fellow joggers).

Paul loved the pictures.

Some did it on a bicycle..

Mr. Tagarist (in yellow short in the picture below) who left last (with Geneviève de Beaufort on his shoulders) arrived second (the first is a student who is very worried to fail his maths year next year...).