For me, I took a lot of strength from some of the famous cancer survivors, their determination and their outlook in life. To name a few Olivia Newton John, Glenn McGrath’s wife Jane and Lance Armstrong (obviously, this was before he was found out). But more than anyone, who gave me most strength was my neighbour Nick. Nick was an Old Italian man. Every year on x’mas day our street has a tradition. We all visit each other, with gifts and have port, wine, baileys, black coffee, food, all the good stuff. It is really great living in an Italian neighbourhood. You are drunk by 10.00 am. Anyway, coming back to Nick, the previous year Nick had bowel cancer. So the next X’mas when we were there, as usual his wife was trying to feed us with everything she could find. I passed the tray to Nick, and he explained that he can’t eat all that, I guess the Doc’s had a field day snipping his intestines. So I asked, “so how are you now Nick?” (With concern and a sombre voice) and he goes “I am fantastic, I will live another 100 years”. He is (I know he is no longer with us and I should use he was, but his spirit and his cheerful cheeky face is still fresh and alive in my mind) a breath of fresh air. This is the man when we first moved in, we were still unpacking, moving furniture, cleaning, we were ready to drop, looks at us and says apparently his dad told him that “it is only the first 100 years of your life that is hard, after that it is a piece of cake” and he chuckles. I could write a separate book about Nick. So Nick was no celebrity, not even an academic, he was not a motivational speaker, he was just an ordinary man. He is not someone who could quote Nietzsche or Shakespeare, he just quotes his dad. For some reason he made a massive impact on the way I looked at life.
Do I really have it, I don’t think so, so what’s this stupid tumour marker, I don’t know, just do the darn tests, test after test for nearly two and half years. MRI’S, CT Scan’s, PET Scans, Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, Cystoscopy, every type of scan and every type of scope that there is, my body has endured it, over and over again.
If you havent read the first blog, it would make more sense if you read that first The Dreaded C Word