“What matters is how far we go? There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.”
Back in 1955, when I was contemplating leaving ICI for a job at Princeton, Cuthbert Daniel asked me in a letter whether I was prepared to live in the United States for the rest of my life. I have lived here for the rest of my life, but I have also spent considerable time in England. I still had family there—for some years Jack and Joyce, my brother and sister, were still alive—and made regular visits to see them. I also wanted my children to know their relatives and the country. Although it was usually work that took me to England, there was always time for relaxation, and sometimes I even managed to be a tourist in my own country.
In 1963, after I settled in America, my sister Joyce became ill. I wrote to her doctor, who replied saying there was not anything to worry about. But a week later, I received another letter from the same doctor apologizing because he had confused Joyce with another patient, and that, in fact, she was suffering from incurable cancer and could not be expected to live longer than six months (Figure 16.1).
In the 1960s, there was a strange idea in England that a patient must not be told when she was suffering from an incurable disease. I agreed to this and was able to get away to England for a week. I was allowed to visit ...