Here’s the thing with cancer; thousands upon millions succumb to it every year and for the most part, they’re just statistics.

That is until…that little fucker comes to your house.

And just like that your mum, your dad, sister, auntie, wife, mate, son, daughter or your favourite big wave surfer is whisked away, poked, prodded and seemingly reduced to a former shell of themselves.

But as anyone who’s witnessed a cancer patient up close can attest to, the human spirit is often at is most liberated in it darkest hours.

And so it was when Tracks called Brock Little yesterday. Engaging, open, honest and still fricking funny; the one time ruler of Waimea Bay has also taken comfort in the amount of support thrown his way since his shock announcement, which he himself broke last week.

“I’m not gonna lie,” Little said.

“All the kind words are fuelling my ego. I mean, I was never an angel but it’s been great just hearing from everyone all over the world. I’m lovin’ it.”

The extent of his cancer is, in his own words, “not good” but Little said he’s still debating whether to pursue further treatment on the US mainland.

“I went from being a decent looking human being to a ghost,” he said.

“It’s not because of the cancer though, it’s the chemo. My doctors have floated further treatment back on the mainland but the fucking truth of it is, I’m not going to go to the mainland.

“I’ve seen everyone, from Rell Sunn to Buttons to Kalani Foster do it and all they do when they come back from the mainland is look as sick as ever.”

Nor did he flinch about the moment he learnt the bogey-man was here to stay.

“The doc said, there’s a lot of tumours all over your body, but there’s one in your liver that’s really big and it doesn’t look good,” Little recalled.

“I remember looking at him and saying, ‘You’re telling me I’m going to die aren’t you?”

But of course, it was when the topic turned to his old flame, Waimea Bay that the emotion, and humour, really started to really kick in.

Though the online commentators have been quick to downplay its relevance in the big wave world of late, Little cited the last swell as proof it was still more than capable of drawing a definitive line in the sand.

"You know, you here so much about Jaws and how irrelevant The Bay is these days," he said.

"But that last swell showed everyone what's up with that wave. Once it gets over 20 foot like it did this week, when someone like Kelly frickin' Slater couldn't even get out there, that's what I'm talking about...you wanna write that wave off, call it easy? You wait till it's over 20, then let's see you out paddle out and look over the ledge...easy my ass."