The End of Lung cancer awareness Month

As we come into December which brings to a close Lung cancer Awareness Month here in the UK, I was very proud to of been a part of the Roy Castle Lung cancer Foundation campaign #Follow My Lead, going up to Liverpool in August and meeting some lovely people, and telling my story of having lung cancer, I hope some people have come to realise it’s not the end of the world just because your diagnosed with lung cancer, it doesn’t mean it will be easy, or that your going to live forever, but it shows you can have a life even though you have lung cancer. No one knows how long they have, and having a terminal diagnosis heightens your awareness of the people you hear about in the news every day, that go out and never come home, dying in an accident on the roads, or being attacked, like those poor people who died or got injured near London Bridge on Friday, or the earthquake in Albania, our nephew Timmy is in Albania, but thankfully he is ok and safe, my heart goes out to all those who lost their lives in these incidents or any others you hear about. You never know what will happen tomorrow, so don’t let the thought that you might die one day from cancer, stop you enjoying today.

It’s been a bit quiet on the blogging front for me lately, I was hoping to start getting more blogs done each week, but it’s amazing how a quite well behaved three year old grandson can stop you doing so many things and make you so tired, I don’t remember it being like this when our four children were that age, but we were a lot younger too. My sons lovely partner made her family homeless, so he split up with her and took their eldest with him and we’re helping out with their youngest, until he can get a place of his own, so it could be for a few months we’re helping out, just hope our energy doesn’t give up before then. It’s a pleasure having him here, and we run the two of them to school each day, so we’re very busy and it is nice getting involved with our grandchildren, and it takes your mind off the normal day to day boring things, you don’t have a lot of time to think about anything. I’d say it makes you feel young again having a toddler about almost every day, but it doesn’t, I think it makes you realise how old you actually are, but as I said it’s a lot of pleasure too, I’ll let you know how we get on with him and the housing situation.

This is the link to my story if you haven’t seen it already:- https://www.roycastle.org/david-james/, and if you go on the Roy Castle website:- www.roycastle.org you can see all the other stories of people with lung cancer and how they have coped and lived with it, all of them are worth watching or reading, very inspiring. There’s also the comedian John Ryan who wrote a poem and made a video for the campaign, also he went on Sky News and was interviewed and put one of the presenters in her place as she ignorantly said you catch lung cancer from smoking, that’s worth watching too, heres the link for that:- https://www.roycastle.org/i-need-to-correct-you-there/.

Well I’ll keep it short and sweet today, and hopefully I’ll have time to blog again soon, anytime I sit at the table to use the computer, I get a smiley face next to me pulling the chair out, wanting to play too. I open a page for him and he taps away, and he gets the computer to do things I never knew it could, I try to watch what he pressed but he’s too quick, one thing was the curser stayed on the right of the page and as he typed the letters came out on the right and moved left as he typed more, search boxes came up, all these things I’d never seen before, and as much as I try I can’t get them to come up again. I have my unfinished book on here, I just hope he doesn’t reboot the computer to restore factory settings, and all is lost. I’ve emailed my book to myself, just in case. Take care and thank you for taking the time to read my blog and see you again soon, I hope, if our grandson allows, as soon as he’s in bed, we’re not far behind. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer and 100% positive always.

#Follow My Lead

Having just got back from a fantastic holiday in Paphos Cyprus, we’re trying to get back to normal and adjust to the cold weather, no rain just sunshine for 13 days, 23-28 degrees every day, sooo nice, and lots of swimming in the sea, which was warmer than the hotels swimming pool, but I still swam in there too. It really was the relaxing holiday we needed, just wish we were still there.

Sonia and me enjoying the amazing sea at Coral Bay near Paphos, Cyprus, sadly a week ago and now back in the cold damp UK. My next venture into the sea will be at Southend on Sea on New Years Day, or near that date to fit in with Sandy’s shift pattern, we’re doing a sponsored New Years Day dip for Clowns in the Sky.

November in the UK is Lung cancer Awareness Month, and I’ve said about when we went to Liverpool to record my story for a campaign for the Roy Castle Lung cancer Foundation in a previous blog, Steam Trains, Filming and Getting a Bit Philosophical, click on the link if you’d like to read it. Well the campaign is now live and the finished product is quite good, even though I do say so myself, so heres the link for my story:- https://www.roycastle.org/david-james/ If you look at the other stories as well, they are really good inspirational stories of some other peoples experience of living with lung cancer, click to see the website with the whole campaign. It would be great if you could share my story or any of the others so we can reach more people and help them with their experience with cancer, whatever that may be, and give them hope that they can beat it, and to realise that having a diagnosis is not the end, there is life after being told you have cancer.

This is the start of my own video made by the Roy Castle Lung cancer Foundation for their campaign #Follow My Lead, I think it came out really well and am really happy with it, I’ll put the link in for you to watch this and a link for the whole campaign to see all the other videos, they’re all really good and well worth a watch.

I got an email when I was on holiday and knew excatly what it was, but I wasn’t going to show it to anyone else, not until I’d seen it first and on my own. Now I’m well known for nodding off, and a lot more than once on holiday I woke up alone, the other 9 had gone off to do something else, or get ready for dinner. But this time when I woke I had the opportunity to look at this on my own. As I’m fumbling about trying to play the video, the horror that if I like this or not, it’s going out tomorrow and for at least a month, it’s a weird scary feeling, but a little exciting too. Here we go, play. Hang on this isn’t too bad, actually it’s quite good, I’m really happy with it, I emailed Rachel at the Roy Castle Lung cancer Foundation to let her know I’m really happy with it, then I started sharing it with my family, and got so much positive responses from it, I felt really good with myself, reminded me of my party, ‘F**k You cancer!’

Look what I found when I went on roycastle.org, and I’m on there front of their website, there were about 10 videos made on this campaign, and they’re all good, well worth a look. And please share.

Having got back from Cyprus, and our amazing holiday, I woke up to blue skies that we had had every day in Cyprus, but this wasn’t Cyprus in any way shape or form, this is Pitsea south east England, and no hotel pool or amazing clear sea to swim in, and I start radiotherapy tomorrow at Southend Hospital. I’m glad the radiotherapy starts, just to get it out of the way, one thing I’m glad about is that the doctor had this radiotherapy down as urgent, but I was on holiday so the treatment had to wait until I was available, not the treatment or the cancer dictating what was going to happen or when, I was!

The veiw from our window, with scaffolding, definately not Cyprus.

Having the radiotherapy treatment is easier than chemo, and a lot quicker, and with no immidiate side effects, yet, not the dose I’m having anyway. It almost feels like your lying in the lap of a caring robocop nurse, with her head is above you looking down with concern with her one big eye, assessing you, to see if you need a zap of radiation to help save you, or a death ray and you’ll be burnt to dust in a second if your beyond repair. Hopefully Mrs Robo-nurse takes pity on me and see’s a glimour of hope, and gives me the radiation. You can see what I mean, Robo-nurse is looking over you with interest and hopefully compassion, with her arms out waiting for you to lay down on her lap. “Your move creep!”

My new friend Mrs Robonurse. Your move creep!!!!

I’ve had four sessions now, just tomorrow to go then see the Oncologist in 4-5 weeks time, the only thing I’ve noticed with this treatment is some wind from my stomach, which I had had while I was having chemo, but no where near as uncomfortable. My rib is still tender but feels like it’s getting better again, I keep sneezing, but I now sneeze with my mouth open, (just thought you might like to know) as this puts less pressure on my lower left rib, on holiday my daughter asked just after I had sneezed, “Was that a sneeze or a cough?” I explained what I was now doing and she laughed and said “It’s a snough!” (snoff) “A sneeze and a cough, there you go Dad you’ve invented something!” Something the radiotherapy department has in common with the chemo treatment, is how busy this place is, both departments are so full all the time, and the nurse’s seem to work none stop, and yet are always cheerful, some more than others but all have been nice. They have five different machines (Robo-nurses), so you see a different group of nurses as I’ve been in four different rooms for treatment so far, just tomorrow to go, five different rooms or revisiting one of them, we’ll see. Well that’s it for now, so thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and you may of noticed that cancer is not getting a capital letter anymore, I don’t think it deserves it, do you?Take care and see you soon. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, 100% positive always.

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!

Cancer Trying To Bite Back!

I had my appointment with the doctor, my new oncologist, on Thursday 17th Oct, no reason to think anything but good news, just my side hurting a bit, but as it’s just a muscle, don’t think I’ll bother telling him. Dr Ramadam said “Have you had any problems?” So I mentioned my rib hurting, and he’s nodding a tell tale nod, “I can show you why it’s hurting, would you like me to.” “Yes ok then!” I’ve been preparing for this, but the doctor doesn’t seem concerned, even my wife Sonia is quite calm, relax and see what he says first. The doctor has my scan up and he’s flicking through the images, they’re cross section photos of the inside of your body. He stops and points out to me my heart valves, well they look ok, chest bone, ribs on the right side and here’s the left side, can you see the rib is wider on this side than the other?” “Oh yeah” “That is a bit of cancer in your rib, which explains your problems with your side, and there’s also a bit in your pelvis too, but I’m not worried about that for now.” I asked if this was new cancer and he did say yes, but to me it seems more like it’s just a bit that managed to avoid the chemo seven months ago, and as active cancer in your bones is hard to spot, it’s so much easier to see the scars from where it has died off from, it would of only need to be a few cells and then has seven months to grow, that’s why they scan you every three months, to spot these little growths. I’m now going to have radiotherapy on it, five Fractions, is the technical term for it, and you know I like a technical name for things. That means I’ll go in each day Monday to Friday, and sit under the Xray machine for five minutes or so, and that’s it, then see my oncologist 4-6 weeks after to see how we’re getting on. This will zap the cancer in my rib, but I also have a little in my pelvis too. The doctor said he wasn’t worried and asked if it had caused any problems, I said “No.” But then.

On Friday morning and my back is a bit achyier than usual, but I’m not concerned. We get a call asking if we can take our grandchildren to school, Ellie and Jayden, oh yes we can, it’d be a pleasure. Their car has broken down, but as we pull up and I get out of the car, my back is hurting again, just think maybe I slept awkward or we need a new matress. Ellie climbs in after a great big hug, and I lift Jayden in the back and strap him in. We drop these lovely two off at school, and make our way home again, planning to walk to Basildon to have a look round for stuff, as we’re on holiday soon, but my back is really aching, so I sit on the sofa, that doesn’t ease it, so I try the chair at the table with the computer on, but that’s no better. “I don’t think I can walk to Basildon today, my back is aching so much.” “Ok then, I’ll go for a walk and you rest your back,” my wife said. I need to lay down, it feels like my back is going to just colapse, so I get on our bed and lay down, and it’s certainly easier. Sonia goes out and I’m on my own, not sure what is going on, it’s been a gradual worsening not just an aaaaarrrrrhhh my backs gone, a few times I try to sit up and I can’t even do that, it’s too painful. If I try to put my weight on my back, it just hurts like all my back muscles will just get torn to shreds. So I lay there on the bed, this doesn’t hurt, and I can move around on the bed, but I try to get on all fours, but my backs not having that at all. I keep moving from side to side, and I can lift one leg then the other. What happens if I need a wee? Or a number 2? Oh my god this is horrible. I laid on the bed for 10 hours all together, but did manage to get to the toilet after 6 hours, but that was not comfortable at all.

Sonia came home and made me some soup which I ate on the bed, almost sent it flying as I moved to get comfortable, same with the cup of tea. Had my dinner there, then tried to get on all fours again, and this time managed it without too much discomfort, then managed to get up at 22.30, long past my bedtime normally, whatever it was, it was certainly easing now, I can still feel it, but at least I can get up and move around now, but tonight I’m sleeping on the floor in the front room, that should help. Thinking about it, my back has been aching more over the last three or four weeks, was that because I’ve been at my computer more, it’s just a normal chair for a dining table, not designed to sit on for hours at a time, or was it something to do with the cancer in my pelvis, whatever it was my back could not take any weight put on it, it’s still tender now and I haven’t got full movement in it, but I’ll be seeing the oncologist again soon, but I think a trip to the GP will be done soon. It wasn’t painful if I didn’t try and sit or stand, so I didn’t have any painkillers, but just to get to the route of it, I’d better see the doc.

I was due to see the nurse to get some forms filled out for our holiday on Friday, but I couldn’t stand let alone go out, so I put that off until Monday, and luckily I got them done, sent them off to Jet2, and we got the go ahead to fly, so we’re really looking forward to this, Cyprus here we come. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, take care and I’ll let you know how I get on with the doctor and with my radiotherapy, I’m still waiting to hear when I’ll be having that, but it should be early November. Wishing you all all the best, don’t be afraid of lung cancer, 100% positive always.

They Lied To Me! All Of Them!!!

Right, this weekend was going to be a very busy time, Thursday was going to be results day, this was put back until tomorrow, a week later, Friday was walking up the O2, which went ahead and was great, Saturday was going to be going on The Rage in the morning, but my side was hurting and I didn’t want to make it any worse, so has been put back a week or so or until after our holiday, but I will do it. Go-karting in the afternoon, the same side was hurting so that has been put back until next month, and then the meal at The Magic Mushroom, a very nice restaurant, in the evening. A really busy day and then the whole of Sunday relaxing.

Thursday was going to be the results from my last scan in September, but I received a letter saying it had been put back a week until the 17th, no idea why but I imagine it’s still feeling the effect of my oncologist just packing it in with no notice, and leaving them with no oncologist, a lot of appointments must of been cancelled and so they could be still trying to fit people in, to get back on track. Friday and at 9.40ish Davey is in the car with Lib and Chris, waiting for us to get down to them, and very soon we’re on our way, down the A13 to the Blackwall Tunnel, turn off and we’re here at The Peninsular for the O2, park up into the start for our climb of K2, I’ve looked it up and K2 is “a savage mountain that tries to kill you,” and harder to climb than Everest. Hang on, we’re at the O2 not K2, sorry. Go to reception and we have to fill our forms out, ‘if you fall off, it’s your fault.’ All signed and filled out, but a quick trip to Tesco for a few snacks, as we’re early we’ve got plenty of time.

“Hello, I’m your instructor, and I’ll just put this film on for you to watch, then we’ll go through the safety equipment, ok.” We watch the short film, and I keep my hand down when he asks “are there any illnesses I should know about?” We have a choice of overalls, summer style, a jacket or winter style a set of overalls, it’s a bit rainy today so the winter overalls it is. We have a good laugh with Sonia when she has her overalls on, she has a pair on for someone who’s six foot six, and Sonia is five foot four, her legs look about a foot long, like your looking at yourselves in a wobbly mirror in the ‘Hall of Mirrors’ at a fairground. We all had a good laugh, but the harness you wear put everything where it should be, and Sonia was able to walk normally with the harness in place. You put your shoes, bags and wallets in a box, then these are secured and taken to the other side where we descend the dome back to solid ground. We’re issued our lanyards with the thing (very technical term covering most technical things) that attaches to the cable to keep you attached all the way up to prevent falling off, useful bit of kit. As we go up the the stairs to the start of the climb, a few quick photos, and we have our final instructions, you have to hold the thing all the time or it’ll stop, preventing you ending up where you began, at the bottom.

The ‘Thing’ that keeps you attached to the cable.

And we’re off, holding our thing at the right angle to get past each of the posts and pulling yourself up with the other hand, this first part is really steep, but the trainers they give you are gripping quite well. I’m feeling quite good going up here, really pleased with myself, we’re all doing well. As you get up to each section it gets slightly less steep, levelling out on the top. As we get near the top at the viewing area, there are the climbers from the earlier climb still looking at the views, but we get told to “go back, you should never lose sight of your instructor!” Ok, we go back a little way and wait, but we’ve shot up here and left the rest miles behind, good job it wasn’t K2 we tried to climb, we’d be lost now. The rest catch up and the instructor tells us a little about the view from here, and it is a great view, “If you look over there, you can see the UK’s smallest lighthouse, where the River Lea meets the River Thames, oh yeah I can see it now. It’s cloudy and a bit rainy but the view is amazing, I love this sort of thing. You can see the City Airport and the planes taking off, then they disappear in the clouds but you know they’re there because you can hear them almost going overhead and on to wherever they’re going, lucky sods.

The ‘Thing’ in action, very clever bit of kit.

We get on the viewing platform and the whole 360 degrees view is visible now and it is great. Some people are having a glass of champagne, got to hold onto it though as it’s really windy up here, glad we chose the overalls. We have loads of photos on the top, and a few ‘f**k you cancer’ are said. Today marks a year since I was told ‘You have an average of a year to live!’ And we were hoping to of had my latest results and then celebrated like a bunch of madmen, but there’s always next week or after the next scan. As our time is up on the viewing platform we start to make our descent from the summit, nice and easy at first but it’s getting steeper, and the last section we’re told to wait until we’re all there, and we’ll have to go down backwards as it’s raining and can be slippery. Now this is steep and slow going, but we all make it and safely back to solid ground, we hand in our ‘thing’ then the overalls and shoes, and get our boxes from the locked trunk, but one couple are standing there with no shoes and wondering where their box is, “You did hand it in didn’t you?” “Err umm I just left it there I thought you got them.” But panic over and they were in the first trunk, they just didn’t see them, would be a panic if you ended up shoeless, but wallets and keys are in there too, aaarrrhh. This has been a really good day and a great way to celebrate still being here a year on. Oncologist -0 Dave and family -1.

Saturday was planned to be a very busy day, but with my side still hurting and definately getting better I didn’t want to make it worse, especially as we’re on holiday at the end of the month, so the ride on The Rage is postponed for a week or so or maybe even after the holiday. I stayed in Saturday, Sonia had gone out for a walk, so I thought it best to cancel the go-karting as well, as this would put alot of pressure on my side, I phoned my daughter Lib, and she got it moved to next month, so luckily we didn’t lose out, just got to wait a month or so. Now it’s just the meal out tonight, I like going out but I could quite happily just stay in tonight. But I’d better make an effort as everyone is coming, it’s not till 21.00, we’re going round to Libs at 19.30 to see Tom, rather than just speaking to him from the opposite end of a big table. Get all dressed up and ready to go, “we’ll go in ten minutes or so,” said Sonia. “Oh come on we’ll go now,” “give it minute.” “Right can we go now?”

Me getting ready, how should I have my hair, long or short?

Surprise!!!

What the hell??? Eh, Chris is at the door and Jess with streamers, Colin is on the stairs, and I’m in shock, I had no idea about this, I did suspect on my birthday they were planning something, but nothing happened, and I just left it. The bastards, and look how packed this house is, who are they all? As we parked on Libs driveway, I thought someones having a party around here, but I couldn’t hear anything, there was cars everywhere. My Mum appears with a big smile, my sons Davey and Tom, gits, f**kin hell my sister Nesta and Stewart, and she’s come from Switzerland, oh no they’re back in England now, on their narrowboat, my brother Gwyn and Jan, then I spot my other sister Ceri and her daughter Reniece, OMG that’s Lyn, Richards wife, I’ve never met her, but recognise her from Facebook. Jason and his wife. Aaarrrhh Tony and his wife Sarah, my good friend from work, how did they get in touch with these people, crafty sods. Sonia’s brother Terry and Christine with all their family. Carl and Dawn, “but you came round a week ago, so you knew then?” Big smiles while they nod, bastards. The last surprise party I had, our eldest grandchild Jess happily told me,”we haven’t been doing anything today granddad,” to lots of ssshhh’s from Lib and Sonia. But not this time. More of Libs and Daveys friends to say hi to, we’ve seen some of these grow up from young children, so it’s nice to see them all. You big bunch of f**kin bastards!!! It is really weird knowing that something is going on then you find out that you are the only one that has no idea it was happening, especially when your married to and have a daughter who are 2 of the worlds worst liars.

It takes ages to get around and say hello to everyone, and then I’m given a few bits, a card from my Dad, and I also get a t-shirt, which is the icing on the cake. My son Tom has started to print t-shirts, and this is a great shirt, exactly what I want, it says ‘Nice try cancer, but I’m still here’ on the front, and on the back it has ‘dontbeafraidoflungcancer.life’, where have I seen that before? I have to wear this now I love it. After calling everyone bastards or bitches, we can get on and party now. This has been christened the ‘F**k you cancer! party’, and it’s on a sheet on the wall, then the opposite wall, a garland, in letters that would normally say ‘happy christmas’ but this time more ‘f**k you cancer’, the funny part of this is that there was a guest book, and my granddaughters Jess and Ellie went around and got people to write positive messages in it, and on the front it said, obviously, ‘f**k you cancer’, but this was written by Jess, Jess is 10 and she never swears, and it took her over five minutes for her to write these four letters, interrupted by huge bursts of laughter, and “it’s ok Jess, you can write it this time, but not anymore,” followed by lots more laughter. Another thing I must mention is that on the telly in the front room, they had a video on repeat, and it was lots of photos of me, but this was put together on PowerPoint by our very clever 10 year old granddaughter Jess, and she did it all by herself, and you can see her handy work here and it is great, so thank you Jess I love it. https://youtu.be/EwGQcaToAfE ‘cancer partyu powerpoint’.

As the night goes on everyone is having a great time, then the ‘Conga’ comes on and we’re forming a line and going through the house in the garden then back in the house, so much fun. Some friends from work have come tonight but are working early tomorrow so can’t stay for long, but it has been great seeing them, and really appriciate them making the effort for me. Richard and Lyn are leaving and these are lovely people, I raise money for their charity ‘Clowns in the Sky’, to help children with their hospital treatment for brain tumours across the country. And we’re looking forward to their ‘Winter Ball’, in Dec, you can find out more at clownsinthesky.org . So nice to see them and such a surprise too, I’ve spoken to some others on facebook who didn’t make it but were invited, but they never let it slip either. I’m very impressed.

As the night wears on and it’s getting late, it’s time for us to go, but one last photo, and I try to get Jess to stand in front of the sheet with me and stick her fingers up, but she won’t, in a few years it’ll proberbly be hard to stop her. But today has been fantastic, so nice of everyone to make the effort. I’ve felt a bit emotional a few times tonight, and very humbled by so many just wanting to say ‘good luck to you’ and carry on fighting. And I love my t-shirt ‘Nice try cancer, but I’m still here’ and with, well you know whats on the back, I’m going to sleep so well tonight and this was so much better than a meal, even if it was at the Magic Mushroom. So a huge thank you to so many people for tonight, to my wonderful wife Sonia, even though she did a lot of crafty things, and I never noticed, to Lib and Chris for having the party at their house, and organising so much of it, to Davey and all his friends, Tom and Chloe for the t-shirt, Leo, my Dad couldn’t make it but sent a card, my Mum, and to everyone that made the effort to come tonight, I really can’t thank you all enough. That’s it for now goodnight and thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and see you again soon, the answer to the last blogs quiz question was – Adam Ant with ‘goody two shoes’, takes you back doesn’t it. Take care and 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.

Swim Serpentine, A Great End To A Busy Day.

Saturday 21st September 2019, and today is the big day of Swim Serpentine, I’ve been looking forward to this for two years now, a little hiccup last year preventing me from taking part, so I can’t wait to get in, and start swimming in the lovely cold refreshing water of Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, London. I say hiccup, but I suppose getting terminal lung cancer is a bit more than a hiccup, but that’s how I looked at it, it’s easy to say hiccup now, but twelve months ago I wasn’t looking at it quite like that, but I wasn’t scared of it either, as I really didn’t feel ill by it and certainly didn’t feel like it was about to kill me, so I just took it one day at a time, and had to put most of my life on hold for a while, but whatever, I was going to get through this, alive!

Swim Serpentine 2019, a great event. A screenshot of their homepage.

Training for this event has been slow due to illness this year, but I’ve had a few really good swims in the local pool, so I’m really pleased with that and feeling ready for it. In July I hurt my rib, or sprained a muscle on or next to one of my ribs, which was quite painful at times. I was doing some deep breathing exercises, and as I finished I could just feel a little discomfort in my ribs as I breathed in fully, so I wasn’t too concerned with this. Two weeks later I ran the London 10k, and a constant pain in my side during the latter stages of this run, I put that down to a stitch, and thought no more of it, but later that day it was becoming quite uncomfortable to get up from a chair or moving around in bed, and had sprained the muscle again, but it’s quite hard not to use that muscle when moving around, so more running or swimming was out, for now anyway. A few weeks later and my side is almost fully better now, and as we were out one day having a little walk, I sneezed, and yep, sprained the same muscle again. A few more weeks after this and it’s nearly better again, during a bit of diy, I’m putting the telly on the wall, as I’m lifting the tv onto the fitting I’ve just attached to the wall, I’d thought this new tv we got a few years ago was quite light, but when your struggling on your own to get both sides onto the new fitting and only one side wants to go on, you realise that actually, it’s not as light as you thought it was, and is becoming quite heavy now. And yes I’ve sprained the same muscle again, and it’s quite painful, I’m not having much luck with this muscle, and starting to get a little concerned, as my swim is coming up and I want to get a few good swims in before it, I need this swim, I can’t miss it again.

I managed to get in the pool a week before my swim, and I tentatively got in the water almost praying my side wouldn’t hurt, and what a huge relief it didn’t, it was almost better now, I just didn’t want the swimming to aggravate it. I got a mile in that day, two lengths front crawl and then two breast stroke for sixty four lengths, so happy and relieved at the same time. I got another mile in on the Tuesday before, and just did breast stroke that day, as I knew that’s what I’ll be doing in the Serpentine. Last time I tried a little front crawl, but with the cold, I could hardly breath and almost had to ask for help, so it’ll just be breast stroke this time, but next year front crawl all the way. Lots of training to get in this year for it, I struggle with front crawl and get out of breath really quickly, I need more work on my stroke. Around early July, I managed a great swim in Basildon Sporting Village, my local pool. They built a new swimming pool here for the 2012 Olympics, we had the Japanese swimming team training here, so Basildon benefitted from these games, and also Hadleigh just up the road from us with the Mountain Bike course for the Olympics that year, a great place for a walk or a bike ride. On the day of my great swim in July, I managed to get to 170 lengths, thats over two and a half miles, I just kept going, as my wife was out that day and nothing to get home for, I couldn’t believe how far I went. Hearing stories of people swimming two or three hundred lengths was just astounding for me and completely unachievable, but now I’m almost there, so yes I can do this, it is within my capabillities. Never doubt yourself.

This was a reply to a post on a cancer forum I’m on, ‘HealthUnlocked’, and when I read this I was gob smacked, this is truly amazing, well done Jeanette.

First thing I have to do on Saturday morning is to pick my car up from having a service and MOT, it was done the day before, but when we walked there to pick it up, they couldn’t find the keys, it was a key fob where you press the button to open the car. I knew I should of brought the spare one with me, I normally do. So we walked back home, despite them offering us a lift, we do like walking. With the spare key fob this time we got our car and they’ll keep looking for our key fob, and will pay for a replacement, we discovered will cost £160-170, I never realised they were that much, don’t lose your car keys. First job done, now I have my three monthly scan this morning, so off to the hospital now, we were going to walk, but we’ve already walked this morning, so it’s the car and £3.00 parking. All goes well with the scan, I didn’t have to wait too long to get scanned, and it was a brand new scanning machine, they have three of these now. This one they can speak to you, a little awkward silence while they waited for my reply, I wasn’t use to this, I thought they just speak but she asked if I was ok. Now we just have to wait until the 17th Oct for the results. All done so off to the station at Pitsea for the train to Fenchurch Street, walk around to Tower Hill, get a tube to South Kensington, quick change and one more train to Hyde Park corner, and we’re here, my wife Sonia, son Leo, daughter Lib and her two Jess and Reg, just got to find my Mum who has come down from Ipswich just to support me for this swim, thanks Mum. We see Chris and Davey, our son in law and son, they’re looking after the hot tubs for this event, and have done for four years now, South East Hot Tubs have come along way in the seven or so years they’ve been operating.

We find a little spot to sit in the shade, it is a lovely day today, but I didn’t bring any sun lotion, I didn’t think I would need any, but it’s lovely today. I start getting my self ready, we have an hour before my start time, so no rush. I proudly put on my ‘Minion’ swimming trunks, no wetsuit here, as the water temperature is 18c so wetsuits are not compulsory. Theres lots of ‘oh my god, your not wearing those!’ Along with lots of laughter, which is what I like, life’s too short to be serious too often, there’s a time and a place and this ain’t one of them. Trunks, goggles, ear plugs, vaseline, sun lotion ( my daughter Lib had some with her), tow float, swim number and timing tag on my ankle, swim hat-pink, nice choice, just the colour code for my start time. Right lets do it, luckily I can put most of what I need in my tow float, and the rest my son Davey will look after near the hot tubs, handy having someone on the inside, now lets get to the start.

On to the start area with only a few minutes to go, getting excited now, I now it’s going to be cold and I haven’t done as much swimming as I would of liked lately, but I’m raring to go, my family are waving me off and the front of the queue has started to go into the water, it takes a few minutes for us at the back to get to the water, nervous excitement now, quick pose for the camera, and my feet are in and it’s cold, but not freezing, bearable, and a quick push off and I’m fully in, and I’m loving it, in where I love to be, the water. Swimming breast stroke and it seems slow going but I don’t mind, it’s not a race and I love being in here so why would I want to rush. There’s a group of us swimming along at roughly the same speed, I’m looking out for my family cheering me on from the side, but I can’t see them, so on with swimming then. It’s an oval course, we start half way along one straight then go around and down the back straight, then turn again to the finish. There’s a lot of people about as it’s a lovely sunny day. I’m feeling good today and coping quite well with this swim, I’m starting to catch a few, not speeding past them but moving up the field slowly, round the bend and down the back straight, I’m starting to speed up a bit now, and not feeling cold either, my fingers were going numb last time, but it was 15c, that three degrees makes a big difference, and I had my wetsuit on last time, much prefer as a skins swimmer, I’d say no chaffing but that’s not true as the top of my legs are getting sore, from my baggy minions shorts, I have trunks on underneath, but wanted to make it fun. Coming up to the last bend and no one has overtaken me, but I did start at the back, where all the slower swimmers are, but still a little chuffed with myself. Spoke too soon, ones gone past me quite quick, then on the run up to the finish someone came flying past and he had an orange cap on, so he started half hour after me and he’s caught me up, then another three come past before I get to the finish, they’re all doing front crawl and making it look effortless while they go past me so quickly, I must try harder.

As I get to the finish, I’m given a helping hand to get out, but I feel ok, two years ago I felt shattered at the finish, but I may of had the start of my lung cancer then without knowing it, I have it now but it’s dormant, and certainly doesn’t seem to affect me. I get out walk along and get my tag sorted out then a very feeble shower, then to the hot tubs, something you really look forward to, but my fan club are waiting for me to congratulate me, hugs and kisses before the tubs, I get a little emotional when my wife hugs me and asks if I’m ok, I am but so proud of myself for doing it, getting it done despite having cancer. The generator that swim serpentine had for the hot tubs, kept cutting out so the water in them wasn’t too hot which was a lot nicer, too hot and it’s uncomfortable, as you’ve just come out of cold water. Sitting in the tub you get joined by and meet some lovely people, which is really nice about these sort of events, doing some of the mud runs I’ve done you started to recognise people from the last race which was nice, but this is a big event with 6-7000 swimmers, hard to spot someone with that many. Get my medal and a few goodies and bottle of water then get changed and make my way back to where we’re all sitting and my lovely cup of tea is waiting for me, heaven. Feeling great apart from the top of my legs just above the knee, my shorts didn’t half rub all the way around, there’s always a price to pay for acting the fool, but it was fun and worth it, but they are really sore. We say goodbye and get the train home, salad in a pitta, as I’m vegan, another cup of tea, and bed, I’m going to sleep very well tonight. What a fantastic day it’s been, bring on the next one, take care and thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I do appreciate it, see you soon and :- Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, always 100% positive.

An Amazing Week of Swimming

Well this week has been ground breaking in the swimming world, more specifically the English Channel, and to finish this amazing week, I’m swimming a mile in the Swim Serpentine event in Londons Hyde Park. For me this is a real milestone, as last year I was unable to swim because I’d just been in hospital with breathing difficulties, I couldn’t breathe in a full breath, only half a breath. As breathing is quite important in swimming a mile, and in 15c water, I knew it was best to give this swim a miss this year, especially as we didn’t know what was wrong with me yet, that made me more determined to swim it again this year. After five days in hospital and numerous tests and scans, on the 26th September 2018, I was diagnosed with lung cancer, by my lung specialist consultant. After a PET scan and bone scan, I then met my oncologist for the first time, and thinking this was just to be told about what treatment I’d be having, my wife Sonia and me were told I had terminal cancer and would have an average of a year left to live. Well what does he know! He doesn’t know me. Ask me to do something and I’ll do it, no problem. Tell me to do it and that’s a different story. I’m a quiet polite sort of person and like to be treated the same in return, so when someone tells me I will be dying, to be polite, he can go f**k himself. I should thank him for being the way he was with me, it was like he had got immune to human emotion, and almost got off on it that people would break down and cry at his words. But I didn’t, I smiled at him, as I didn’t believe in any way that I was so ill that I was going t die from this. So thank you doctor. It makes me wonder that if he had been nice and sympathetic I might of believed him and things could be so different today, maybe a picture on the wall for family to remember me by. But no, today I’m getting ready for Swim Serpentine tomorrow. My start time is 16.05, come and say hi if your there.

I love swimming, I just love being in the water, whether I’m swimming lengths or just mucking about, I love it. But could I spend 54 hours in it none stop, well that is another level, way way above me, that is almost comparable to Ross Edgley and his amazing swim around the coast of the Great Britain, 1780 miles, swimming for six hours then six hours off, non stop for 157 days. Absolutely unbelievably amazing. And then we have Sarah Thomas swimming 130 miles, it’s eighty miles as the crow flies, but crows don’t have currents and tides to deal with so it was 130 miles roughly, again absolutely unbelievably amazing. And I’ll be swimming a mile in hopefully under an hour tomorrow. I feel a bit of a wimp next to these two, I take my hat off to anyone who swims the English Channel or just attempt it. I follow a lot of swimmers on facebook, and they say so and so has just completed their swim in 13-14 hours, and I think how could you swim for that long, it really is amazing. But then to come along and try it four times. I think it was last year that someone attempted to swim the channel four times, but had to abort on the third crossing, that is still an amazing achievement, in the sea with waves, the tides, jelly fish, I don’t know how they do it, but would love to attempt it myself one day, you notice no solid commitment there. But I would like to one day, first as part of a relay team, and eventually as a solo swimmer. Lots more training required.

Sarah Thomas as she begins her amazing swim of the English Channel. Four times, there back there back.

Sarah Thomas is an American, from Colorado, and what makes this special for me as well as the fact she swam the Channel four times, Sarah is a cancer surviver, last year Sarah was treated for breast cancer. Sarah used swimming as a way of coping with what was going on in her life at the time. Swimming is so good for you, in so many ways it can help you, it’s relaxing, meditative, keeps you fit, fun, good for the soul, and you can smash world records on a good swim, just like Sarah Thomas. Her name will long be remembered for her amazing crossings of the Channel, and that’s not all she has done, Sarah only holds the world records for the first over a hundred mile swim with no tide or current, and unassisted, in Lake Champlain, only 104 miles this time, and there’s also so many marathon swims she has done, so amazing, and Sarah kept herself going through cancer treatment last year by swimming as much as possible. It should be the law that everyone should swim as it has so many benefits to it. The world would be a much better place if everyone was a swimmer, you wouldn’t have to be a marathon swimmer to benefit, just being in the water is enough, any movements you do has the resistance of the water and is a good gentle excercise.

my ‘F**k You to cancer’ swim in April at Southend on Sea, water was a lovely 9.4c.

I’ll let you know how I get on with my one mile swim, no sniggering please. For me this is a personal challenge, as I said last year I couldn’t do this swim as I was ill, but know I’m ready to take on this event, and to beat my time of 54 minutes two years ago, I’m hoping to beat it but not expecting to be much quicker. Expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed. But I’ll be really happy if I do. I ran the London 10k in July and beat my time of 1 hour 22 mins in last years race by seven minutes, I was so happy with that and got a bit emotional at the end, because I’d done it, and cancer wanted to stop me doing these things I love doing, better luck next time cancer. I had a swim in April in Southend on Sea, water was 9.4c, and was my first swim in the sea after my treatment, and was named my ‘F**k You to cancer’ swim, I didn’t have any swimming trunks with me, and only a buff, (neck scarf) to dry myself with, but the water was too inviting, I couldn’t resist. If your going to Swim Serpentine tomorrow, have a great swim or enjoy watching the swimmers, and you’ll love the hot tubs at the end, a great way to finish a great swim, they’re provided by South East Hot Tubs, and being assisted by Essex Portable Hot Tubs, my son in law Chris and my eldest son Davey, sorry couldn’t help but get that in, say hi to them or to me, I’ll be having my swim at 16.05, and aiming to be in a hot tub by 17.00, I have my three monthly scan in the morning at 11.15 so won’t be at Hyde Park until 13.30-14.30. Take care and go for a swim, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog, it is appreciated, and see you soon with news of my swim, thanks again and Don’t be afraid of lung cancer.

The Game Changers. Going Vegan is the Way!

Hi, I’ve just seen this new film coming out for worldwide release on the 16th September ‘The Game Changers’, this is a production about how meat is not the be all and end of everything, as it was promoted in the seventies and eighties, and still is today. But today more people are realising that vegan is the way and not eating meat. When you look at the statistics for meat production it really is unbelievable how much water and energy is used to produce meat for the table, and this is adding to global warming so much. And absolutely astoundingly is that it is more polluting than all the transport around the world. Plus the terrible conditions that the animals are kept in for their short lives that no one seems to care about, as long as they fetch a good price at market. The meat industry in America is so protected even the US government can’t force the industry to disclose what conditions the animals are in or how much antibiotics is being given to the animals. This is all voluntary disclosure, you are not allowed to film the conditions the animals are kept in and then show it to someone, you can be prosecuted for that.

Don’t try and press the ‘Watch Trailer’ button, it’s a screen shot.

The film has been put together by so many sports stars who are now realising that plant based diets are much healthier for you than meat diets. And performance has increased just by going vegan. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a great body building superstar in the seventies and eighties, and was an advocate of eating lots of meat for protein. But where did all these animals so rich in protein get their protein from? Plants! Thats all they ever eat, and yet they’re oozing with protein for us to eat, and yet you can get it directly from eating plants yourself, bypassing the animals and getting protein first hand not second hand. Lewis Hamilton is an executive producer on this project, along with Arnie, James Cameron, Jackie Chan, Novak Djokovic and Chris Paul. I feel quite pleased that Lewis became vegan after watching the netflix film ‘What the Health’, the same one that my brother Moriens son Timmy, got him to watch, after not being in good health, and felt so much fitter and healthier for the change to going vegan. When I had my diagnosis for lung cancer, Morien urged me to watch the film, which I did, and could see it made sense that we’re not meat eaters, and going vegan was what we were designed for. Five months after my diagnosis and going vegan, my cancer has been dormant for six months, and this was a terminal diagnosis, with an average of a year to live.

I’m so happy so many well respected stars are now coming out and saying going vegan is good for you. Everyone was brain washed into thinking eating meat was essential for a healthy diet, and yet the numbers of obese people in the west is staggering, and the meat production is such a strain on the worlds resources, and yet plant production could solve world hunger and reduce the impact on global warming, meaning by using less space than we do now, we could easily feed the world a vegan diet and everyone would be healthier, with less gases going into the atmoshere, less climate change, it can only be a good thing.

A great team promoting a great cause, Go Vegan.

Some will say it’s natural for us to eat meat, but we’re not designed to eat meat, a little every now and then won’t hurt. Chimpanzees will eat a little meat, if the opportunity arises, but we are not meat eaters. If I gave you a chicken, put you in a room and said there’s your dinner. So it’s now up to you to catch it, kill it with your hands or teeth, then pluck it and eat it raw. I honestly don’t think you’d get far with that, I know I wouldn’t. We don’t have the natural tools for that, but a dog or a cat, now they have the tools and they could feed on the chicken quite happily. Lions, tigers, wolves they stalk, hunt and kill their prey, and eat it raw, no cooking or marinading, or hanging up for twenty days or whatever, it gets eaten there and then, by a long line of meat eaters until it’s gone. Nothing is wasted. But humans realised they can make money from this, and it’s a lot of money, so no one wants to give that up. No one is going to say you shouldn’t eat meat. They make programs to promote eating ridiculous amounts of meat, ‘Man vs Food’is one, on one of these episodes they were on Hawaii, and they were trying to convince you that these huge burgers was the staple diet of the locals. It wasn’t, it was the favoured choice of the visiting Americans, so to profit they made these burgers for the visitors. It looked disgusting and an insult to Hawaii and their people.

So much is sponsored by the meat industry to convince you to carry on eating meat, even some cancer charities are sponsored by meat companies. You don’t have to give it up completely to have a healthy diet, but some people will be eating meat up to four times a day, especially weekends and holidays. A cooked breakfast, chicken sandwich for lunch, a roast dinner, a mixed grill was a favorite of mine, and maybe a burger or kebab as a snack at night. That’s a lot of meat, now it’s not eating meat that gives you cancer, but the cancer will live off the excess protein that your body has stored. The human body doesn’t like to waste anything, and will store fat and protein, as years ago that was the only way you would survive winter. Meat has more protein in it than your body will use, so it stores what it doesn’t use, in your arteries. Then when it’s needed you have this supply that can get to any part of your body. But it doesn’t seem to send a set amount, it just sends protein, and it just keeps coming, possibly the reason for some cancers to develop, having so much protein being given to a certain organ, in my case my lung, then this starts to make it grow wrong, which then speads, to the lymph nodes and bones and my other lung. Five months after going vegan my cancer has died off from my bones and the tumour has started to shrink, but I was having pallitive chemo, just to prolong life not to cure me. Something made the cancer dormant, it hasn’t shrunk any more or showed to be dying off since going dormant, but it’s dormant, and this is now eleven months on from my terminal diagnosis, and being given an average of a year to live. I’ve always been positive and never accepted I was ill, let alone ill enough to be dying, but I truely believe that going vegan is the reason I’m still here and quite happily going about my life with cancer, but dormant cancer.

This is one of the pictures of my cancer, which is now dormant, the cancer in one of my lungs.

The anti vegan movement is alive and well, and I wonder what they will make of this new film, ‘The Game Changers’. ‘What The Health’ was a vegan film made by vegans to promote going vegan. This was obvious, but this new film is by people who are so well known and respected in their line of work, and most have only recently come to the notion that going vegan is a good thing, and with so many of these at the top of their chosen professions, people have to sit up and take notice now, they’re not just academics telling you facts or their opinion, it’s people so many people admire and have done for years, getting on for over fourty years in some cases, that have come around to the idea that vegan is the right way. Realising years of being told only eating meat can get you to the top, isn’t actually the truth, they were just being sold a product by a good salesman.

So now the truth is coming out, and about time too, so wake up and realise you’ve been sold meat for years as the only way to eat, being promoted in sit coms and soap opera’s. How many times has someone tried to sell you something, eg a car, they tell you how good it is, makes the sale, and yet he drives off in a different make of car, not touching that make of car for anything. We’ve been sold the notion that meat is the only way for health and strength for years, now it’s time to get healthy, feel better, prevent so many illnesses that that eating meat can cause or feed, high blood pressure, Alzheimers, some cancers, dementia just to name a few. I’m not a medical person and these are my views based on my own personal experience with lung cancer(not smoked since 19 years old) and from watching films like ‘What The Health’, ‘Food Choices’ and really looking forward to this new film ‘The Game Changers’ worldwide release on 16th September 2019. So that’s another rant over and thanks for reading my post and my opinions on going vegan, it’s the best thing I’ve done for my health, give it go, you never know you might like it. And remember always be 100% positive and Don’t be afraid of lung cancer! Or going Vegan!

Believe 100% you will beat it. Go Vegan. Take CBD oil. Have chemo.

john pavlovitz

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