The cancer trees

When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer just over two years ago, I remember taking the dog for a walk in our local park. Truth to tell I was feeling pretty down and not a little sorry for myself. Anyone reading this who is unlucky enough to be part of the cancer crew will know the early weeks after diagnosis are a tricky time. Suddenly your life is not only upended, but there seems a very real prospect of it being actually ended.

Coming to terms with stage IV cancer

Over the years we’ve all inevitably accrued inaccurate or just plain false facts about cancer. Different cancers respond in very different ways to treatment, some really are a death sentence while others can be treated very successfully. I soon learnt my cancer was stage four and as everybody knows there’s no stage five. Did this mean I was already in the departure lounge on journey I had no interest in taking? Read on…

This Year I Finally Got a White Christmas

It wasn’t just Bing Crosby who dreamt of a White Christmas. To this day my daughter bemoans the fact that as we live in the city center, we almost never get snow and have only ever seen two White Christmases.

I thought my prostate cancer recovery was going well

Even those of you who are entirely ‘Bah! Humbug’ about Christmas must admit that for about 30 minutes when the snowflakes fall a kind of magic happens and even the ugliest places are beautified. Admittedly after that half hour is up, the snow turns to a grimy slush, but I’ll settle for a few minutes of crystal white wonder, particularly on Christmas Day

Well, this year I got a White Christmas, but as the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted this sentence starts in the first person singular and not the third person plural — all will be explained.

Read on…

Bedside Manner from Hell

Perhaps the doctor with the worst bedside manner ever was also thankfully fictional. Step forward Dr. Gregory House star of the long-running TV drama House. He was played by actor Hugh Laurie as a brilliant diagnostician with the bedside manner of Atilla the Hun. A drug addict, liar, and cheat, he cared nothing for the feelings of his patients or friends. No wonder the show was so fantastically popular. Read on…

Cancer at Christmas

The expectations are high on the part of everyone to have a good time. Friends are gathered, food is shared, and presents unwrapped. Then of course there are the songs: Have Yourself a Merry Little ChristmasI’m Dreaming of a White Christmas or my particular favourite Ella Fitzgerald singing The Christmas Song. And how can you fail with Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra? They all celebrate the holidays, but often with a sense of yearning. Click here to read on.

I’ve hit rock bottom (and everyone’s cheering)

I’ve just had some pretty good news and that’s what all the cheering is about, but it needs a little context, so bear with me.

I celebrated my 65th birthday a couple of weeks back. My wife and I threw quite a party and whooped it up with as many old and new friends as we could muster.

I was lucky enough to assemble a magnificent band mostly made up of friends from my days in the music business. I still play guitar and sing when the mood takes me, and it certainly took me that night. Even though most of the band were my friends I firmly believe that musicians should get paid for playing so I gave all of them a small sum of money to say thank you. They tried to refuse but I said take it and why not give it to a prostate cancer charity. Read on…