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.