Locke was sixty-eight at the time With Eyes Open was filmed,
and died shortly thereafter. Jim was diagnosed with cancer one year
ago. In the last months of his life, his wife was his greatest support
who often helped him out of despair. He and his wife attended support
groups through the wellness community, which became like a family
On His Wife's Care
I have a whole range of emotions and she has become inured to these
emotions, as best she can, and I'm not always the kindest, forgiving
individual. I have enough to do worrying about my disease, rather than
worrying about medical bills or anything else. She takes care of that
and all the other petty annoyances that come along with this illness.
She is my life giver and my support and she makes the trivial stuff
go away and I can focus. She is a rock. And as I said before, it's very
difficult I would imagine for anyone, this part of the grieving process
or the fighting process they may be doing this by themselves. It must
be very, very tough.
Learning about His Illness
It's a moment that you don't forget. It was one of those, good news,
bad news situations. You go into the hospital on emergency for gall
bladder surgery. The surgeon says yes, we got that gall bladder and
that is a minor surgery from the standpoint that the body will function
quite normally without it. That was the good news. And the bad news
was that oh, and we found cancer in the gall bladder and it's metastasized
into the liver. And from that day, I had been living with this overwhelming
fear of, what next? We've treated it with chemotherapy, which was the
first stage of the treatment. It didn't work. This alien force kept
getting larger. The tumors kept getting bigger. This cancer is a very
unforgiving disease. It knows no boundaries. It has no racial preference.
It will go after anybody, wealthy, poor. It's not selective at all.
On Fighting Illness
We're fighting it, and it never leaves us. You wake up in the morning:
it's there. It may recede, but it comes back in again, just like the
tides. Depending on what goes on that day as to how prominent a role
your fear of death is on that particular day, but nevertheless it's
there and you're attempting to fight it. We're all in that same boat
I think to not to roll over and, forgive the expression, play dead,
but to give it our best shot. The one thing that disturbs me is that
now I am ambulatory. I can drive a car. I can't do things that I used
to do, play tennis, ride a bike, but that's okay, but I do feel that
I may become a burden on my wife or my children and hopefully that won't
come to pass. I don't know what will come to pass. I can't project.
I'd like to think that I will continue in this state, knocking down
the tumors as they occur and, and, without suffering the incapacitation
that results when you're no longer knocking down these tumors and they
take over and I'm hoping to avoid that.
It's like any support group, I think, and this is the only support group
I've ever belonged to. We share our pain. We empathize. We've been there.
We've had the surgery, we've had the chemotherapy. You're not going
to blow smoke at these people and visa versa. They know what it's like.
It makes you tenacious because you see, by god, these people have made
it, are making it, will continue to make it, why not me? We don't want
to let go.