Acclaimed author Peter Wells on finding friends in the isolation of illness


Anneke Smith at Hawke’s Bay Today talks to Peter Wells:

Reading Peter Wells’ posts about living with cancer is not as morbid or frightening as one might think.

‘What began as musings the author wrote on his phone in hospital have since grown to be a popular first-person series titled Hello Darkness, published online in four instalments by news website The Spinoff.

‘It's the way I make sense of the situation and it was a complete surprise to me that I would end up be so public about my thoughts and feelings,’ he said.

‘Initially when I did the first post in hospital I just thought I was communicating with friends who were interested or concerned about what was happening to me.’

Wells was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November last year and began writing on his private Facebook page that month.

The posts trace his journey from diagnosis, through chemotherapy and, most recently in late March, to the point where his oncologist told him his tumours had shrunk by half.

‘The whole area of cancer, and probably a lot of illnesses, is this huge area of uncertainty about how you have to live.’

Read the full interview here.