Cancer-stricken Clive James: ‘I’m Near The End’

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June 21, 2012 | 4:06am EST

British-based broadcaster Clive James fears he will never set foot in his native Australia again after conceding he is losing his battle with cancer.
The critic, poet and writer was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, and in a moving interview on BBC’s Radio 4, he reveals he has died nearly four times and is so sick he can’t make the flight to Sydney, the city where he was born Down Under.
He says, “I’ve been really ill for two-and-a-half years. I was diagnosed with leukemia then I had (lung disease) COPD which is a fancy name for emphysema and my immune system packed up (failed). And that’s just the start. I almost died four times and I swore to myself if I can just get through this winter, I’d feel better. And I got through the winter and here it is a lovely sunny day and guess what, I don’t feel better. I’m getting near the end. I’m a man who is approaching his terminus.”
James adds, “I’ve been so sick I’m not allowed to fly. You couldn’t get enough oxygen aboard a plane to get me to Sydney. I used to be in Australia for five or six times a year but now I can’t go. The wistfulness is really building up and I’m facing the possibility I might never see Sydney again.”
The 72 year old currently resides in Cambridge, England, and the radio documentary Meeting Myself Coming Back will air in the U.K. on Saturday.

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