Wednesday, 17 April 2013


13th October, 2016: Update.

I  have this day visited the Leicester General Hospital for my annual check-up. After a long absence, I was again to meet up with my Consultant, Mr Roger Kockelbergh, the very clever man who was to finally remove my bladder (Cystectomy)  in 2009.  He was there today to inform me that he was most pleased with my progress and gave me the wonderful news that I was now medically all-clear; I do not need to attend any longer on an annual basis.  

In passing, as a great thank-you to this skilled surgeon who carried me through, I would draw readers' attentions to his website in aid of  his fundraising efforts



From many quarters I am frequently asked to write about my recent experience of dealing with cancer following a ‘successful’ personal Radical Cystectomy - the complete removal of my bladder.  I am sometimes a little surprised at this great and global interest in the matter of cancer and the suffering caused by its comprehensive hoard of pernicious forms and guises, but it is a well-known fact that people do genuinely wish to know and perhaps,understand as much as they can of this killer within our midst.  Of course, this interest relates directly to the worrying truth that the majority of us, especially the older folk amongst us, are likely to be visited by this or that category of tumour which as I well know, due to my present state of well-being, can increasingly now be overcome in the immediate personal battle, yet steadfastly and unmercifully this destructive blight remains overall as unconquerable as ever in the all-out war.

Nurses, Consultants, charities, health clinics, schools, the media and many other bodies frequently do request survivors of this ruthless killer to ‘tell their story’ and of course, at the end of the day a willingness to learn must clearly be a benefit. As a paid-up member of Action on Bladder Cancer, I am happy to recount my personal 'journey' for the benefit of future readers and I do so with the hope that my small contribution might assist others in understanding this pernicious and persistent scourge - so here I am. 

Why me? Well my friend, my consultant actually, happens to be cognisant of what I have been through and is aware that I like to write, so it seemed to him an obvious request to make of me. I am in no way medically inclined, nor am I particularly interested or knowledgable in this particular branch of the sciences and apart from a few words like ‘Cystectomy’ above - which is one of the few that I now remember - I will not be relying on tracts of technical descriptions or the production of medical data and diagrams.  What I hope to achieve is to transmit to the reader in a chronological and workaday manner, the relevant moments of the journey between my initial, scary discovery through to the welcome visits of the lovely local nurses who came to pander to me at my home when the job was completed - if the job ever is completed!. Of course, none of us are that positive in the belief that any such cure is ever complete, thus, those of us lucky enough to have seen it through still have the need to be checked periodically to assuage any doubts.