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Another cherryandwhite.co.uk update
Posted by Bilko on November 10 2017 - 12:01
New Page 1

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 beast.

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 bad.

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 £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!

Cheers, Bilko.


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