Category Archives: swim

Telling My Story for Hospital Radio, and got 3 new tattoos.

On Tuesday, I had an appointment to tell my story and have it recorded to be used for seminars, we got involved in this after attending a ‘Health and Wellbeing’ seminar in June. They asked for volunteers to record their story or to speak at a seminar, one step at a time so I thought I’d record mine. These would be played while people are mingling about getting a cuppa or a sandwich, waiting for the seminar to begin or during a break. I thought it would be good to try and help others with their journey with lung cancer, or any cancer, hopefully make them realise they can beat it, or at least give it a good run for their money. The build up to this was suppose to be a lot of thought going into it and writting a few notes or bullet points, to help remind me of what I wanted to say. But the reallity was as we left to go to the hospital, I thought ‘I wish I had gone through what I wanted to say, at least once.’ With my back giving way last Friday I never got around to doing anything about it, I felt disappointed but was quite happy I knew roughly what I wanted to say.

The Health and Wellbeing seminar we went to in June.

We waited in reception and someone called Sue was going to meet us and take us to the hospital radio studio, who had kindly let them use their studio instead of just using an office and a tape recorder, google it if you don’t know what a tape recorder is. As it had just gone 14.00, we went to reception to ask for Sue, and the receptionist pointed to a woman standing next to her desk, she was waiting for someone to come through the doors, we had a little laugh about it and were taken down to the hospital radio studio. We went in to a small room, with a lady on the mike, Jacqui, Katy who we recognised from the Health and Wellbeing seminar we went to, Sue was now there and another bloke, it was quite packed in the small studio, and my nervousness was cranking right up now. My wife Sonia had a seat then Jacqui said “My husband is called David James.” I said “your names not Sonia is it?” “No.” Now that would of been a coincidence. We are all introduced and say hello, then the bloke takes a few pictures and he leaves, but there’s still five of us in this small room, still nervous. You volunteer for these things and they seem a good idea at the time, and then when it’s here you think, ‘Why did I say I’d do this?’ Kate who is sitting next to me and will be asking questions, is asking how I feel, and I quickly get in I’m nervous, but she soon makes me feel better, “Don’t worry we’re all a bit nervous.”

This is Kate and me, with Jacqui on the other side of the desk, and I wasn’t asleep, I swear.

We have headphones to put on and a great big microphone in front of each us, and we’re off. Jacqui starts “Hello we’re here with David James, and he’s come here to tell us about his story with cancer,” this isn’t like the one I did with the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, there, they had someone asking questions, but you had to use the question in your answer, and then their voice was edited out, so it sounds like your just talking on your own. But this is an interview, at first with Jacqui on the mike, then with Kate asking questions and keeping the conversation going. Now we’ve started I’m quite enjoying it, and once I start on my new favourite subject, cancer, I can talk for hours, luckily this only went on for half an hour, In the middle they played a song, they had asked if I had a particular favourite I wanted played, and I had one in particular song I wanted playing, it’s one of those songs that the world stops when it comes on, and you just listen or sing along. ‘Heros’ by David Bowie, is that song for me, and with the lines ‘We can beat them, forever and ever, we can be Heros, just for one day!’ the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you just feel you can do anything, I love playing this on YouTube, and Motorheads version, as a tribute, is great too. The second half is them asking about this song and about my book that I’m writing, that was suppose to be finished by now, but with needing some radiotherapy, I now have a bit more to write, and more to talk about at my next event like this. As it’s brought to an end, you always feel ‘I wish it could of gone on a bit longer.’ We say our goodbyes and thank you for having us today, we even get a token for the cafe for a cuppa and a bit of cake, a great end to a great day. As we part they even offer to help with my book, maybe help with proof reading, I don’t know much about the publishing side but have seen proof reading, but not really known what it is except that you pay for it, so that would be helpful, thank you.

My new blackhead tattoo, and one on each side too, they said they’ll fade, eventually.

On Friday I have my first CT scan to locate excatly where the radiotherapy will be targeted on my lower left rib. Eventually when we find the Radiotherapy Department, and it is very well hidden along the corridors of Southend Hospital. As I’m called in, they ask a few questions and tell you what will happen, but they also ask if it is ok to do a tattoo of a dot in three places, I said “Yes” but didn’t think it would be a real tattoo. I go in with my top off, but have my lumber support on, as my back is still tender, but I’m asked to take that off, it helps but I’m ok without it, it hurts if I wear it or not. I get on the slider and the mandatory arms up above your head, but this one has rests to put your arms on, why don’t the other CT machines have these, this is comfortable. A few minutes of going back and forward and we’re done, then they come out and tell me they’ll just do the three dots, “Yeah no problem,” “A bit of ink, then I’ll make the dot, a sharp scratch, and another, last one,” That hurt, almost like a real tattoo, I ask how long they’ll be there for, and he says, “They’ll fade in time but will look just like a freckle, but it’s a real tattoo, so they will be there a long time,” ‘Oh, oh well, sure you’ll hardly see them,’ I’m thinking, I didn’t realise they were permanent, but if I need them, I need them. All done and got my date for the radiotherapy, 11th to the 15th November, just after we get back off our holiday to Cyprus. We can’t wait for this holiday, and with ten of us going it should be good. At home I look at my new tattoo, and the one on my chest looks like a great big blackhead, not the best tattoo. Thank you again for reading my blog, and I’ll let you know how the holiday goes and how I get on with the radiotherapy, take care and see you all again soon. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, 100% positive always!

I’m still here a year on doctor!!! and doing well.

I had my latest scan on the 21st September, and I have to wait until the 17th October for the results, seems like a long time, 26 days to be exact. I’m not worried though, I feel good, despite a little achy but I am getting older, 54 now, but age is just a number and I’m feeling good. Last week I had a swim on Tuesday and on Wednesday sat crossed legged for a while and felt ok but my legs ached like I’d run a marathon on Thursday Friday and Saturday. My mind is fit and wants to exercise all the time, it’s just my body doesn’t want to keep up with my mind. Oh and I sneezed again the other day and my side started hurting again, it’s almost better now, just hope I don’t get a cold anytime soon. The muscle on my side has been battered the last three months or so, it seems its just one muscle and it keeps straining and is very uncomfortable when it hurts. Maybe I should start press ups again and strengthen it, hopefully that will work.

The London Stadium, West Ham v Crystal Palace.

I had a bit of luck last Saturday, my wifes brother Colin came round to print off some tickets for the West Ham v Crystal Palace match, as he had bought two tickets for him and his girlfriend Sonia, and once I’d got that done he said he had a spare ticket, as he can only buy one ticket at a time with this new system, he bought his ticket, but then he wanted to go with Sonia, ended up buying another two tickets in seats next to each other, so had the spare ticket he had bought originally, being very kind he let me have it and wouldn’t take any money for it. So going from not having much to do to end up going to see West Ham, what a great day. I only get there once or twice a season now. So a huge thank you to Colin and Sonia for this, greatly appriciated.

When it’s this close and the 87th minute, the game needs to flow, not stand around for 2 minutes waiting for a decision.

At the ground The London Stadium, we get a pasty to eat, they do a lovely Thai Vegetable Pasty, it is so nice, not too spicy but just right, it goes down so well. I part ways with Colin and Sonia and take my seat on one side of the stadium and manage to spot Colin and Sonia on the other side, about a quarter of the way around. I must have good eyes but give me a menu and I’m struggling to see it, my eyes are starting to feel old. It’s a funny old game this one, it seemed very tactical rather than just going for goal, neither side wanted to risk the other side getting through and making a break, thinking about it now I can see what they were doing but at the time it seemed so boring, 27 minutes for the first shot, we ended up losing 2-1, Palace scored in the 87th minute then the VAR was called, Video Assistant Referee, 2 minutes the players stood there waiting for the decision, right at the end of the game, this is where it should of been decided by the ref on his own then the two teams just go for it for the last few minutes, to either get a winner or equaliser, that’s what football is about, the excitement not checking to see if a player was 2 or 3 millimetres onside or not, talk of spoiling a game. The old fashioned way was good enough in 1966, and I think we should stick to it now, this VAR is not needed, then you have the arguments, was he wasn’t he offside, that was the fun of it, or they should come to a decision within 10 seconds, and let the game flow.

A great day at Selhurst park, in an executive box, CP v WHU

Anyway it was good being back at the football again, my last game was the same fixture but at Selhurst Park, but in an executive box, that was an experience, paid for by my brother, Mum and Dad, 10 of us had a great day, great memories from that trip. More to do this week though, originally I was to get my results this Thursday 10th October, but it got put back to next Thursday, so we had planned to walk up the O2 on Friday, we’re still doing this as it’s already booked, but it was to celebrate good news from my scan results the day before, hopefully. Friday is also one year on from when I was told I had an average of a year to live, so we’re celebrating on top of the O2, despite now having to wait another week for the results. So if you hear someone shouting about ‘cancer can go and do something to it’s self’, it may be me and my family, we’ll be up there by midday Friday 11th.

On Saturday we have go-karting booked in the afternoon, so in the morning we are going to Southend on Sea, and they have an amusement park there with a ride called ‘The Rage’, this is the sort of ride I keep away from, normally, but, during chemo, my wife Sonia and me would have long walks from Leigh on sea to the end of Southend pier and back, as we start the pier walk you go over Adventure Island with all the rides and The Rage stands out like a sore thumb, literally. You get in the car and you move forward slowly then you go up at 90 degrees, that’s straight up, about 50-60 feet maybe, then at the top it’s straight around and back down again, they have kiddies rollercoasters I’ve got nervous on, this one is straight up then you go 180 round then straight down again. Thats the bit that scares the life out of me, and that’s just watching it on solid ground. Somebody tell me why I said I would go on it when I had got rid of this cancer. I could say I still have it, which I do, but it is dormant, and I have no reason to think it will come back to life again. I’ve gone vegan, take cbd oil, believe 100% I will beat it and I’ve even cut out all sugar, no chocolate, biscuits or cakes. I think the cancer will leave because it’s bored more than anything else, I don’t drink, don’t smoke, no meat, no dairy, no refined sugar, what do you do? Go on what song was that from? With a bit added to it. 10 points for a correct answer.

Thats the bit that scares the life out of me, going over the top and straight down.

I’m nervous just thinking about going on this ride, but it’s part of the mental battle, you stupidly say you’ll do something, either hoping everyone will forget or you just won’t get around to it. I have the added pressure of writing a book about my journey with lung cancer, and have written about this pledge I made, and my book should be all done once I get the results next Thursday, I’ve been putting it off since July when I was originally going to do it, but I have to do it now, and I’m going to try and film myself going round which I will put on here and YouTube. All you rollercoaster addicts will think I’m such a wimp, but for me this is going to be hard as I really don’t like them, my last one was the log flue at Great Yarmouth, they go down at 40 degrees or so, this one is straight down, once I’m past that point I’ll be fine, but it’s just going over the top and down that scares me, and it does it so slowly so you have time to think about it, going around to it and the going straight up bit. If I survive I will blog about it and maybe a bit of vlogging on it too.

Ride in the morning and go-karting in the afternoon, a busy day, and walking up the O2 the day before, and the results on Thursday, that’s the big one, and that should end my book, on a good note hopefully, if it isn’t I’ll just have to write another book, Part 2. I’m ready for anything. I think thats about it for now, plenty to blog about next week, so for now thank you for taking the time to read my blog, have a go at what the song line was from, you’ll have to be of a certain age to know it, artist and song. Take care and see you soon. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, 100% positive always!

Reading an Aussie version of my story, Almost, by barbara gannon.

I opened an e-mail today and read it, and it was from Barbara Gannon, of ‘Sucess Follows Me’, and has a report of her journey with cancer called ‘Cancer Is Not A Death Sentence’ and it is a very good eyeopening read. And through so much of it, but not all, I could see my story in there. Barbara is a fiesty Aussie who’s very focused and determined, I replied to Barbara in my e-mail that I’m not a glass-full/half-empty sort of person, I’m a, if my glass is empty, then I’ll get another drink, sort of person, I’m a laid back type of person and just go with the flow. There’s the saying ‘Everything happens for a reason’ and it certainly seems true with me on my journey with lung cancer. My brothers son Timmy went vegan and encouraged my brother Morien to go vegan after he was having a bout of bad health, just generally run down. Going vegan helped him and he had mentioned it me but my reply or thoughts about going vegan was ‘yeah whatever.’ This was in the year leading up to my illness 2018. But when I was diagnosed with cancer he urged me to watch the film ‘What The Health’ and another ‘Food Choices’, after watching these and realising there was something in this, I went vegan in Oct 2018, a week before my diagnosis was upgraded to a terminal diagnosis, six months without chemo and an average of twelve months with chemo.

Five months after this prognosis that my cancer will ‘kill me in the end’ my cancer is dormant, I don’t know if this is that the cancer has died, or it’s asleep, whether it will wake up again anytime now or in twenty years. My oncologist shrugged his shoulders and said “I don’t know if it you have cancer or not” to my quetion “do I have cancer?” He certainly wasn’t happy at the prospect I may be cancer free. I came out of that meeting so confused, and not knowing where I stood, I had brain ache that evening trying to sort out my mind as to what was now going on. And reading Barbara’s report on ‘Cancer is not a death sentence’ so much rang true with me, one thing that strikes me is the attitude of the doctor when they give you bad news, they become immune to your emotions possibly, and bluntly tell you that’s it, your going to die. But that makes me think, if they were sympathetic and understanding and compassionate, and go through everything very gently and “when your ready I’ll go through what will happen”, you could come out of there believing all that they have just told you, and then in six to twelve months your gone. Barbara had the same sort of attitude from her doctor as I did, but she told him to F-off, I just smiled at mine and had a ‘whatever ‘ sort of attitude.

This is the programs called ‘The Truth About Cancer’, I don’t know if its an Australian only program or if it’s freely available, but look at ‘Success Follows Me’ for more info. This is a screenshot from the ‘Cancer isn’t a death sentence’.

Barbara was told she had 3-6 months to live and researched all about cancer and what could be done. Where as the doctors are told just put them on medication, any medication, why? Because someones making money out of it, pharmacy companies. I have a very relaxed attitude to life, and went about my cancer as a blip in my life, it certainly made me take stock and have a look at my life, and now I’m much happier, and want to head down the helping people road rather than the making money path I was on and getting exhausted and bored of it. Being a lorry driver, my HGV part of my licence won’t be back for a long while yet, so I’m enjoying the rest and looking into what I can do to help other lung cancer patients. And with Barbara and me changing our diets and coming out the other side, I still have cancer but it’s dormant, could be dead but we don’t know about that just yet, as far as I’m concerned I’m just waiting for that to be confirmed. It just shows how important diet is, if it’s natural you can eat it, if it’s processed then leave it. Cut out processed food and starve the cancer, I went vegan and my cancer was dormant five months later after showing signs of shrinking and the cancer in my bones dying off after just three months. I did have six rounds of chemo, but this was pallitive so wasn’t meant to cure it. There has to be something in this, and with going vegan becoming the new thing, it can only be good for you and for the whole world, because that can’t carry on the way it is, something has to change, and what better way than going vegan.

I know I’m repeating myself with a lot of what I’ve said here, but reading the ‘Cancer is not a death sentence’ report, has given me renewed vigor in getting this message out to as many people as possible. You can follow Barbara on successfollowsme.com and download her report ‘Cancer is not a death sentence’, it’s a long one but it’s a really good informative read, and has got me to get focused again and cut out the chocolate and biscuits, get back to eat what god made, and that’s it. Keep healthy, enjoy this great read of Barbara’s, thanks for reading my blog about Barbara’s blog, sorry but it was so good I couldn’t resist blogging about it. Take care and see you soon, be 100% positive and Don’t Be Afraid Of Lung Cancer.