The picture represents the location most of my childhood holidays took place at. It’s also where the ashes of my mother, grandmother and uncle were spread between 2006 and 2008. Saunton Sands in Devon.
It’s where I’d like to end up. And the request has been made to my sister to fulfil that. And while I’m not hoping to head back there soon, there are stark realities staring at me.
When I was initially diagnosed with lung cancer I googled survival rates. Writing a post-divorce will became important. 3-6 months after diagnosis is the standard time to death.
Fortunately the targeted therapies of afatinib and osimertinib for non-smoker genetic failings kept me going. My bones were strong until the afatinib failed. Perhaps Oncobabe was slow accepting my claims that I thought my butt tumour was back. Without those drugs I’d have been dead last Spring. Even with them my pelvis is battered along with my hips.
And what happens when the chemo stops in March or April? Do my 3-6 months start again? The less favourable numbers don’t expect me to see much of the next football season. But a percentage of us get to five years. It’s a low percentage, but it’s a real number and real hope. Time perhaps to be accepted for a drug trial. Time perhaps to give my new love for life some longevity.
And there you see where lung cancer has its problem. There just aren’t many victims left to front campaigns. It’s a tough nut to crack. There are no Kylie Minogue type survivors because they simply don’t survive.
I’ve enjoyed watching the fund raising total increase yesterday and today. Admired the £200 anonymous donation. Thank you. Appreciated the tenner from a bloke I know has donated to two other Roy Castle collections I’ve linked to over the last year. Been astounded and humbled to see the notional target met and then thrashed within a day.
It’s an unpleasant reality. But I suspect in both November 2016 and September 2017 I was weeks from death. I can’t count on making it through the year, despite my best intentions.