Welcome to "My Chronicle of Cancer" 

A personal diary of living through a life changing event.



(Inspired by RFM/Stevie Nicks: Has anyone ever)


A summer of pain

That niggling pain that comes and goes
Dismiss it, it will go away
Something I ate
A bug perhaps
Dismiss it, it will go away
Hide the pain
Dismiss it, it will go away
Put on a brave face
Can't hide the pain all the time
Why won’t it go away?
Doctors say there's nothing wrong, test are ok
Dismiss it, it will go away
Hide the pain.


It didn't go away
Try these pills
Don't eat nuts
What's that noise in my guts?
Time for tests
The joker who thinks he is Ben
X Rays
"Ben" still jokes
Nothing found
Leave it
Hide the pain
Dismiss it, it will go away
Why won’t it go away?
One last test
"A camera up your bum" he joked
The jokes stopped.


"You have a tumour"
Suddenly he's not Ben anymore
The Christmas wine turns sour
The tinsel stops sparkling
Tears, not Christmas cheers
It's not real
Dismiss it, it will go away
Will it?
It's not real, but the pictures say yes
Why does everyone look so sympathetic?
Why are there tears?
It will go away, wont it?
Directions to a hospital mean nothing
Turn left, turn right, a bed is ready, what's the rush?
It will go away, wont it?
A bed for the night
Time to think about the unknown
Nurses with tinsel in their hair
Cookie the confident
No jokes, no impressions,
It will go away....... Tomorrow.


Kind faces
What's your date of birth?
Still not real
Oblivion, unknown

Tubes and Pipes

Awake again
No pain
So happy to see Di
Ok to dismiss it now, it's gone away.
I am trapped by tubes and pipes
Should I be in pain?
Should I complain?
Should I be here at all?


Am I the only one who thinks I am OK?
Surely this has fixed it?
That niggling pain
Those noises inside
Cookie has done his job
Let me go home
Let's get back to normal
What will normal be?
The faces tell me
The eyes cannot hide their pain
Why are they more scared than me?
What do they know?


New chair in the lounge
Play Station 2
Need to get well
So good to be home
Determined to get fit
Become the walking dude
Seeking 'long cuts' around town
Keep my cap down over my eyes
Why don't I want to meet people?

Tests and treatment

Up to London for PET tests
Radiation injected
Scanner, long time
Di with me. as ever
First meal out since operation

Appointment with Cookie
Not so optimistic now
I don't accept that. But it's scary
Chemotherapy, a frightening thought
Wait six weeks to start
What will it be like?
Hair? Weight? Sickness?
Never thought about cold fingers though!

Could have been so much worse
But sometimes the cold hurts so bad
Fingers and toes. Nose and eyes
Steely rain in my eyes, such pain
But no bad sickness
Hair's still there!
Then Mark's magical words:
Cure Not Control !

Friends and Family

I don't know what I've done
To have so many good friends
But it's times like this that they're there
Never forget their kindness and concerns
Support and love, so many thoughts and deeds
Calls from people not seen for years
How did they know?
How strange the emotions of seeing Rosie, Millie, and Jamie
Trying to imagine them grown-up
Need to do this, 'cos I may not see it.

To see the pain in all their faces
Is the hardest thing
It's so much easier for me.


I blame the drugs
They make my eyes wet
After a while I realise it's OK to cry
(but not too often)
Who am I crying for?
Their pain, not mine

Why me?

Anger- at seeing smokers looking fit
Why me?


Determination is the greatest driver
Too much to lose
There's no pain, only discomfort
Cold rain in my eyes, makes them wet
Why can't I feel my feet?
Why is touch so cold?
What are these pins in my eyes?
Wet eyes.


3 weeks
Life is governed by 21 days
Plan what can be done
Focus on good things, people, events
Don't give in
It could (should?) be so much worse
8 sessions go by so quickly
FINISHED ..............
But I don't want it to stop
It's keeping the tumour away!


Treatment has ended,
Given the "all clear"
Feeling good
Strange feeling feet, but who cares?
I am free of it, I'm sure
(but, you know, you are never free of it)

Time to move on
Back as before ?
Remember the things I thought
I would never be able to do.
see the kids growing up,
South Downs walk,
visiting new places
So much more.

Don't go back
I have been given a second chance.....TAKE IT.


Rob Bright
February to November 2006


















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