I’ve had a confusing few weeks, two people have died who I thought a huge amount of. I met Richard fleetingly and communicated by text and had some DM contact with Tom over the months.
Richard was an award winning Scottish journalist and co founder of the cycling podcast, my favourite podcast in the world. When you have to retire through ill health at 49 and know you’ve got a terminal diagnosis then there is only so much ‘improving’ literature you can read. So I fell back to my first love outside of family and friends which is cycling. Participating if health allows in my latest charity ride here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/liam-bergin7 . One of the great things about cycling, just like cricket, is that, somewhere in the world, it’s always going on. So, as I write this, it’s the turn of the tour of the Basque Country. The joy of cycling is that it’s the ultimate team sport. So I often watch the races gather my thoughts together and then look forward to listening to the latest http://www.cyclingpodcast.com where Richard, Lionel, Daniel and Orla would reflect on the race. I loved it and they were a great team so going ahead without Richard will be tough for them, but I hope they can manage to. Richard once DM’D me as he’s been reading my blogs (Goodness he must have found them clumsy) he said he had a friend affected by a brain tumour. We are a very underfunded disease, the biggest cancer killer of the under 40s in the UK but with only 1% of cancer research funding as brains are pretty complicated. He suggested that the charity might be worthy of consideration for the sale of the brilliant Stacy Snyder’s grand tour ceramics. I did so and was selected and we raised a great deal of money. Richard was a reassuring voice and a great writer and journalist, he made you feel in the room with him and had become a friend. I will be so sorry not to hear his voice and wisdoms on the podcast.
In my community lots of people die. Many far too young, and the loss of Richard has also really hit me.
Then there was Tom, I don’t claim to be a friend of Tom’s. We were diagnosed at more or less the same time with the same cancer. As I’m quite active on social media for BTR, he got in touch through DM. Now I’m an old man I had to ask the children about The Wanted, but in all communications Tom came across as such a loving Husband and Dad, he was balanced in his diagnosis but like us all, took time to adjust. He did an amazing job of raising awareness about the lack of funding for our disease. Sadly, his untimely death has brought this terrible disease to the fore front and I found myself sharing my experience of it with Nicky Campbell during a morning phone in. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0015t31. That’s me about 5 mins in. I send my sad condolences to Toms family, friends and fans and hope they find a little comfort in how much Tom achieved in raising brain Tumour awareness during his short period of illness.
So drawing to a close, I’ve had the results of the last scan. For some reason, when they eventually told me all was still stable, I’d convinced myself that it wasn’t, giving myself headaches and tremors. The relief was so much that I was actually physically sick. They don’t call it ‘scanxiety’ for no reason. So, we continue to live from scan to scan. 2 months, 3 weeks before my next scanxiety attack.
Until then let’s keep kicking the can down the road.-