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I was just reading back what I wrote on 8th May. Everything
was so positive. My dad was seemingly on the mend to better health and I was
hopeful and full of energy to begin updating this website again.
How quickly things changed. Literally a week later in May my
mother in law was diagnosed with cancer herself and just three months later than
that the dreaded cancer had seen off both her and my dad. Cancer is a cruel
I'm reminded of Sam Tomkins calling me out last October after
Wigan had won the Grand Final over something I'd said earlier. I mention it not
for that but for one response I got on twitter accusing me of "using the cancer
card" in that argument. That was very early in my dad's diagnosis but a cruel
comment that stuck with me.
Let me explain what the cancer card can entail. My dad was
diagonised with Throat Cancer in 2012 but everything was minor until it became
aggressive last August and it was decided that they'd have to operate to remove
everything from his throat including his voice box. That left him days having to
face the rest of his life unable to speak. Three months radiotherapy late last
year seemed to do the trick but sadly things came back to haunt him.
Then having got the news of now two family members battling
cancer, I proposed to get married in early June with the plan being to get wed
just seven weeks later. That doesn't seem a long time does it?
Anyone who has organised a wedding will know how tough that
is but to cram it all into seven weeks is madness but needs must. It was during
that organising that my mother in law started her cancer treatment which at age
79 was very difficult for her.
In mid June on the night of the Warrington away cup tie she
was taken into hospital and eight days later, after daily visits to Wigan
Infirmary, she passed away. So here we are three weeks away from the happiest
day of our lives, organising a funeral whilst my dad is now getting noticeably
worse, suffering, and I mean cruelly suffering, in daily pain.
My dads pain became so much that five days before the mother
in laws funeral, he fainted into a sheet of glass and was inches away from
serious injury. A few cuts and stitches shouldn't be a blessed relief but it
could easily have been a serious slashing of his throat had be landed a few
inches higher. Still, to borrow Maurice Lindsay's old quote about Dean Bell "it
was bruises on top of bruises" with him already swelled up with throat cancer
being so strong it was pushing his tongue out of his mouth.
He came home, we went to Catalan for a little bit of respite
before the funeral. You come to terms with that and then get ready for the
wedding day. My dad still suffering with daily pain assures me that he'll make
the big day but on the morning of the wedding I get the phone call...........I'm
told he's too ill to make it. As if things haven't been cruel enough.
We got married, had two days break away after it, on the
second night of which we got a call to say my dad had been taken into Southport
Hospital. To which he was sent home, to which he was sent back. The next two
weeks saw daily trips for us up to Southport. Tiring after an already tiring
couple of months. This wait was to see if he could be assessed for a peg feeder
because his cancer was so bad in his throat that he was unable to eat and could
barely drink. Again, so cruel!
Even though it was blindly obvious he was too ill for an
operation they waited a few days before it was decided he would come home, come
home to die that is. For the next 15 days I nursed him 18, sometimes 24, hours
every day towards his death. Watching a once incredibly fit man being unable to
eat anything and trying to syringe a little bit of liquid beyond a heavily
swollen tongue that had been pushed out of his mouth by the aggressive cancer.
He literally had become a bag of bones, crying for morphine with the pain so
My dad passed away on the eve of the Challenge Cup Final.
Peacefully in his sleep. Those last 15 days were incredibly tough but I'm proud
to have helped him through with his wish to pass away at home. It shouldn't be a
blessed relief but having gone through three weeks like that, my energy was so
low I was close to breaking down myself.
A trip to Wembley was a again a bit of respite, even despite
the result, but then it's time to organise another funeral. When will it end?
Well life does become some kind of normality again. I
remember sitting down one night and remarking that I'd not had a night in for
about three months. It's a wonder how we got through it. But what I've just
wrote is the fucking cancer card! It's horrible and why anyone would choose to
"play it" is beyond comprehension. It's so, so cruel and my heart goes out to
all affected by it and all is not just the actual victims but the families
surrounding them. It's a reminder also to enjoy life. It's very short when it
comes to it.
One thing that I would say is to appreciate the support of
district nurses and your local hospice. They were marvellous during my dads
final days. Nurses came out with every cry of help and carers visited four times
a day even though he really didn't need that kind of help but it was a relief to
us for it to be there because you can't predict anything.
My main purpose here though is to update you this website
because I had been so positive in May. After the summer just gone though I'm
sure you can appreciate that my life has changed in many ways and franky, I
really have no energy for it anymore. I've just no will for it anymore and it'll
remain stagnant with I suppose it being up to the lads at RLFans.com what they
do with it. I mean quite honestly I'm questioning whether I've the will to spend
Â£285 for a season ticket, which is a situation I never thought i'd ever find
myself in, but we'll see on that. Time heals and all that. I'll still be around
on twitter but just to say thanks for listening to my rambles for the majority
of the 16 years and remember to enjoy life. I now know all too well that it can
change very quickly, even in just three short months!