A Terminal Cancer Patient Talks to an Exonerated Serial Killer
Yesterday it was announced that Sture Bergwall, formerly known as Thomas Quick, has been freed after spending 20 years locked up in mental institutions. He initially confessed to over 30 murders in Scandinavia and the last of his eight convictions came in 1994. Our friend Kristian Gidlund wrote the following article after the two met on May the 14th for the first (and probably only) time in their lives. Kristian is a 29-year-old journalist and drummer in the band Sugarplum Fairy. He suffers from terminal cancer and has, with his blogand book, helped thousands of Swedes to acknowledge death as a natural part of life.
In Sweden, Thomas Quick used to be considered to be the worst serial killer in existence. A predator with his sights set firmly on young boys, who he allegedly sexually abused before stabbing them to death with a knife. He was considered a living demon—evil personified—and he lived 20 minutes away from where I lived, in the valleys of Dalarna.
One day he escaped from the Säter Hospital, the psychiatric clinic where he was locked up, convicted of eight murders—among other things. I remember the panic among all the kids in the schoolyard. Our parents picked us up from school and we had to play inside for the rest of the day.
Twenty years later and I’m facing death. For real this time. The cancer that was discovered in my body has forced doctors to remove my stomach and my spleen. It has forced me to go through two dozen sessions of chemo treatments while feasting on my existence. I’m fading away. I’m headed towards death.
During the past two years, I’ve been blogging about my inevitable demise, and the blog has grown to become quite well-read in Sweden. One day, a comment popped up on one of my entries from Thomas Quick, the walking demon. “I recognized myself in your destiny,” he wrote. “It was an existential recognition. You were standing in front of death, with the cancer. I used to have death by my side and I lived in a valley of death. Although I can sense life today, I can still fully understand your situation of facing the end of life.”
Michael Douglas’s Oral Sex Humblebrag Totally Failed
I say a lot of things I don’t actually mean to say. When I let my mouth run, I find myself implying that I can do 100 pushups, that my favorite movie is “something French and old,” and that I “read books for fun.” I guess you could say I’m a huge liar with absolutely no shame. That’s why when I found out that Michael Douglas, star of Behind the Candelabra and the movie that came before Basic Instinct 2, claimed that oral sex gave him throat cancer, I felt like I had finally found a celebrity to admire. Sadly, he couldn’t even keep that story going, because he’s retracted his claim.
As you can see in the below quote from the Guardian, and this audio transcript, Michael Douglas strongly implied, if not downright admitted, he got cancer because he loved to go down on women. Yeah, Michael Douglas decided to talk about how he loved to lick, suck, and drool all over vaginas. This is how it went:
Xan Brooks: Do you feel, in hindsight, that you overloaded your system? Overloaded your system with drugs, smoking, drink?
Michael Douglas: No. No. Ah, without getting too specific, this particular cancer is caused by something called HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus.
It’s All Going to Be All Right
About two months after writing this article, on the 26th of December, Nicola lost the uneven battle against cancer, which he describes below in the most humane and open account we have seen. His aim was to take your mind away from the sanitized brochures of hospitals and fake True Hollywood Story specials dedicated to celebrity cancer survivors. The people who edited and published this text had the honor of meeting him and, some, of being his friends. Rest in Peace, Coco! You’ll always be an inspiration to us.
I’m sitting in the hospital crapper, laptop on my knees, writing this, while a full-on orgy is taking place to my right. Six pigeons are fucking on the windowsill about a foot away from me, while ten more bombard the tin roof with bird shit. I guess I’m just going to have to look for inspiration in the 12-foot high heap of rotting trash that’s been piling up in the hospital yard. I look toward the outskirts of Sofia, Bulgaria, where Vitosha mountain lies and realize it’s all ablaze with forest fires—that just makes my heart sink. At that very moment my chemo constipation turns into chemo diarrhea, accompanied by a profuse nosebleed, lively convulsions, and muscle spasms, and the inspiration is gone before it has even arrived.
I’ve told myself the title of this article has to be Everything’s Going to Be All Right. It’s a promise that makes me feel better—much better, actually. Then again, I can’t stop wondering how many miles I still have to swim against the current with my mouth open, in a river full of shit. Having faith in the bright days of your future does nothing to make up for when fate’s boner finally rubs against your back, cutting your skin in the most inappropriate places. Then nothing is really all right any more.
I’m basically old in every way but my age. In the space of just a few months, I have suffered from every illness and ailment known to man. At one point, breathing while lying down became impossible so I had to sleep in an armchair, sitting down with my arms crossed against my chest. Finally, I was attacked by a vicious cough, which I decided to cure with vodka, wine, and bad folk music at a two-day-long party somewhere in the Bulgarian countryside. Pneumonia, I thought. You wish I were pneumonia, thought the tumor. The pulmonologist was baffled: “I’m not gonna lie, dude, it’s huge. This tumor weighs about 4.5 pounds. It’s almost as big as your head. Go get a CAT scan and keep your fingers crossed—there’s a chance it might be benign.”