At around this time in 2020 I was given a “two to three months, six months max” terminal prognosis.  Two years on, I’m still here and more enthusiastic than ever. 

In this month, raising awareness of oesophageal cancer, I see no doom and gloom in my picture.  In truth, I’ve never truly believed what I was told about my prognosis.  I have always been one to find my own path in life.  I felt strongly from the outset that a soft food diet and prescription drinks weren’t for me, I was then and remain today, convinced that things can be more enjoyable for sufferers regarding food.  I have questioned everything and worked hard at my diet.  I do have severely bad moments and experience blockages – which are mightily unpleasant, of course.  But I wipe the tears welled in my eyes, view the situation and say to the cancer, “You’re not getting the better of me, not now, not ever”.  Then I return to the kitchen and continue to eat my dinner, who dares wins.  That’s just the way that it is for me

Eventually, I finish my dinner, head for bed and look forward to waking up the next day and to every gift it showers me with.  Every breath, every site of beauty, every cascade of rippling water at the stream near my place of work, the sighting of the Heron, The Little Egret, The Kingfisher.  My life is so rich with these simple pleasures and with music and art.  Where do I stop? 

There is a harsh reality that I have to accept.  This week I have a blood test and next, a CT Scan. Things could be very different, the cancer could progress at any time. However, I could also be knocked down by a No 9 bus!

It’s my belief that the enjoyment I have been able to get from good food and high-quality nutrition, the joy it brings me and the determination I have to share my ideas with other sufferers is the reason I am still here.  I won’t give in, I will continue to try and create dishes that OC sufferers might be able to enjoy, to encourage positive attitude and to tell the cancer that I’m in control, that it’s not controlling me. 

I will live every moment to the full, it’s the only thing I can do to make a difference.