“Midnight,” as the great Shakin’ Stevens once sang, “one more night without sleeping…”


He knew what he was talking about, did Shaky.

I’m doing it again.  Sitting up at my desk, wide awake, while the rest of the family sleep.  I tried to nod off a few times earlier, but couldn’t settle and so I got up again.

I’m really nervous about tomorrow.  Well, today now.  More specifically, my 2pm appointment with the radiographer to discuss my treatment.

That sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?  These people have come up with a plan of action to rid me of cancer, and I’m scared to go and hear what they have to say.

I think it’s the unknown.  I know nothing about chemotherapy, or radiotherapy and quite frankly I’m too much of a coward to look up the details online.  I just know I’ll come across some little detail or glance at some horrible image that will have me crapping myself.

Look at me – the big man who can’t even look at pictures of his own disease.  How am I supposed to beat this thing if I’m too scared to face it, eye to eye?

Jesus, that sent a shiver up my spine.  I hope it hasn’t got eyes!

So, here I am.  Sitting at my desk in the middle of the night, reading web forums I never usually get around to visiting.  I suppose that’s something, at least.

The doctor gave me some sleeping tablets.  I’m going to take a couple soon, and head back to bed for another attempt at visiting the land of nod.

Did you know that The Land of Nod is mentioned in the Bible?  It’s in Genesis, and is reported to be to the east of the Garden of Eden.  That’s my favourite pub quiz question ever.

East of Eden.  My sister, Sue, loves that film, along with anything else to do with James Dean.

When you’re brought up Catholic, you get ‘confirmed’ as a teenager and have to choose an extra name.  A confirmation name.  It’s supposed to be a religious name that means something important to you.  The name of someone from religious history you have researched and, as a result, admire.

Sue chose the name Caleb because that’s the character James Dean played in East of Eden!  She got away with it, too.

I chose Matthew, because he was a writer.

For someone who doesn’t believe in God, he’s been on my mind a lot lately.  I’ve had messages from so many people saying that they are praying for me.  It’s very humbling, and I’m trying to reply to them all to say thank you.

Earlier this evening, my 9 year old son, Sam, asked me what I would ask for if I was granted three wishes.  I told him to go first.

He said he’d ask for…

  • A cure for cancer
  • World peace
  • Twelve more genies (because you can’t wish for more wishes)

He’s amazing.  Both my boys are.  I love them so much, and I know they’re going to be scared and upset as they watch me go through my treatment.

And there’s nothing I can do about it.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt more helpless than I have done over the past two weeks.  Since I got my diagnosis.  There’s literally nothing I can do to get over this other than submit to weeks of chemical and radioactive bombardment.

And I’m too scared to find out more about either.

Cancer sucks.

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  1. Don’t go on the Internet. Talk to your doctors. That’s it.

    Don’t look so far into the future. Day by day. Deal with what is in front of you.

    Maybe don’t read the Comments! Sorry, I’m being Bossy McBossypants over here. Good luck with the sleep. America is still awake.


    1. Hello dear fellow, it’s weird because I normally respond via FB but I thought I’d have a go on here for a change.

      Anyway, I only wanted to say that, “twelve more genies” really does sum it up.

      What a wonderful kid and quite evidently with so much of his lovely Dad floating around in his mind…xxx


  2. Dr Google is merciless and iften badly informed. Stick to speakong with your Drs and go from there. It is not sticking your head in the sand, it is self preservation. You know what you can handle. Best of luck today with your appointment. Sending many good vibes xxxxx


  3. So many worries… Your kids will be tougher than you think. Try to be positive because the hospital will have planned your treatment for it to be most effective and work. I am a Christian and, like others, I’m actively praying for you. Prayer shouldn’t be a last resort but a first response. At the moment I’m praying for peace for you and for strength. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, Tommy! So many folks are behind you!


  4. Good luck with your radiographer today. I think you’re very wise to avoid t’Internet with all its gruesomeness. Once certain images have been seen, there’s no way you can unsee them as I discovered as a 14 year old idiot child who snuck into see ‘The Exorcist’. Aaaargh.

    Make your own imagery to get you through this ; maybe an epic battle on LOTR’s scale, or hand-to-hand combat or even inviting the fucker in and lulling it into pulling up a comfy chair while you prepare a nice cup of arsenic to turn it into an ex-fucker.

    And Matthew, huh? I chose ( lord knows why) Barbara. Can’t even recall what she did that was so saintly, but like you, I lost my belief a long time ago. Still think there’s a benevolent life force and that love will conquer all. Whatever gets you through the night is the right thing for you. If it’s a return of faith, if it’s good drugs, if it’s pulp fiction or the works of Buddhist philosophers – use whatever comes your way. And know that you are much, much loved. xxxxx


  5. Hope all goes well today Tommy and many of your fears are allayed. Not looking at pictures and stories concerning this horrible disease does not make you a coward. The internet is a wonderful thing but can compound those fears. I think you’re right not to delve too deep and leave the details to your doctors x


  6. Praying for you, Tommy. Ignore the internet (except your friends) and listen to the doctors.

    PS you have to come through – or what’s my patreon support for?


  7. Hi Tommy. Sorry I haven’t been in touch sooner. If it’s any help my wife decided to give her ‘C’ word a name! The thinking being how can you be scared of something you give a name to. So she decided to call it ‘Burt’ (sorry to any Burts you may know) and since then we describe ourselves at charity walks etc as ‘The Burt Busters, and we will bust burts butt!!!’ Take care. Loz


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