Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Another milestone reached - Yoof leaves School

As someone who grew up with a father who lived with a long term condition I know how that affected me mentally and physically.  The very reason I left University was when my dad went to hospital to have a triple heart by pass.  My place was at home but not before leaving University and travelling to London to see my very ill father.

William G, or Gooding as he is known and not be confused Charriot who also shares the unfortunate nature of living in the same house as me, was 6 when I had cancer.   At 6 years old he was not aware of the full implications of a father rapidly losing weight, staples in his neck and being fed everything through his nose but he would have guessed something was not like other dads.  However we often forget that a parent with a serious illness will place an anxiety burden on a child.  I will always remember 4 year old Ellen staring with interest at the staples holding my neck together.  I have never asked does she remember it?  Children are sufferers as well whether it be as carers or watching their love ones suffer pain and agony the role models being flipped as we are supposedly the strong ones.   I have not asked but will when the time is right.

This time tomorrow WG leaves Torquay Boys Grammar School after finishing his exams.  12 years ago I vowed that my job was to get my children to 18 and through School.  Part 1 tomorrow is accomplished when my son is a proper adult without the security or encumbrance of a school uniform he is now a proper bloke.   I'd hope that I would live to this day and I have.  I have to say I have mixed emotions about the event more to do with the lifting of the security blanket that TBGS provides.  However we have to let the Colts become Stallions and them to wander free.

Life is about setting a goal and hoping that your health and good luck sees you through.  In two years time I hope I am around to wish Ellen Bonn Voyage to adulthood.   There is not a day goes by when I do not think about those who I watched slip away whilst in Yeo Ward and feel guilty that I was given this chance to live where their were not, but tomorrow I will feel lucky and remember those who are not so lucky to be around and share magic moments with their children.

Keep attacking !

Friday, March 17, 2017

12 years ago today - The cancer journey started

In this very hour, 12 years ago I lent against a railway carriage window and detected the mother of lumps in my neck.  It was about 5 centimetres long, 3 across and should not be there.  I was travelling to Cheltenham Festival to spend the day with Hils Roberts and John Dolan.  It was clear that something was not right and frankly the day whizzed by in oblivion, thanks to John Dolan badgering me all day in his Essex tones "You best get that seen too" the rest is is history.  I have actually never thanked him for that, so 12 years later thanks mate.   It is funny that just typing that brings tears to my eyes.  The mental pain of cancer lives with you for ever.

It is funny how approaching the anniversary of the start, treatment and painful events stick in your mind. Yes I still have the mental and physical scars of the treatment but I am still alive.

I had a crap day at the races.  However 12 years later I am healthy, no longer drinking (why would I when one of the causes of Mouth Cancer is alcohol) and I am in rude health.

This evening I am at Exmouth Rugby club at 53, 12 years out of cancer I shall be refereeing my 40th ish game of rugby this season.  It was funny my advisor at my last game said "You running is strange and your hand signals don't look straight...I replied "I am as straight as you are going to get with only half a neck"

I witnessed many around me not survive their treatment. I have in those 12 years seen many slip away because of cancer.  I was lucky if it were not for John Dolan badgering me to to to see the doctor I would be dead.  If if were not for my family Pat & Ron Roberts and the amazing Orpah Browning all of which looked after me and cared for me then perhaps I would not be here today.

As I step out on the field tonight,  12 years on, 35 years difference between me and the oldest player (it is u18s) I will remember those dark days, those who have slipped away and those who are starting their treatment and hoping you will be writing something similar in 12 years time.

Keep attacking and thanks JD, 12 years late.