Friday, 6 January 2012

Feeling good

I don't have cancer! Dr Wong has just given me the all-clear, and I'm now officially in remission. I'm physically battered and emotionally drained but, thank God, there is currently no Choriocarcinoma in my body.

I now need to re-build my strength, avoid any sickness or injury while my defences are down, and pray that the cancer doesn't come back.

I'm elated, but it's mixed with other emotions. I'm exhausted and relieved. I'm also deeply aware that many of my co-patients didn't get such good news today, and a sad feeling of guilt casts a shadow over my euphoria. There's also a daunting recognition that, although I've finished chemotherapy, huge challenges lie ahead.

Pour a drink, and turn today's song up LOUD!
In addition to today's blood test, Dr Wong gave me the green light to have a beer. Plus the obligatory health warnings about alcohol. But, as my dad maintains, you meet more old drunks than you meet old doctors.

I'm going to take Moniek and her two sisters for a celebratory dinner (Corinne's here too). They got me through all this and I will never be able to thank them enough.

Chemo is history, the future's a mystery and - wow - I'm feeling good.


  1. Rick,

    Congratulations - what oustanding news!!

    We met a few years back when I took some lessons with you at Hearts & Tears and you introduced me to the wonders of the Enfield; I have been following your blog with great trepidation (and some laughs as well) and am so pleased for you at the great result.

    Your story, from the shock of the initial 'what's this?" through your stoic battles, is both a stark reminder of the fragility of life and an inspiration to us all. I wish you all the best as you continue to recover.

    Enjoy that well-earned beer!


  2. If ever a beer had been earned, this is the one. Enjoy.

    E x

  3. Most excellent news indeed. Highly impressed with the openness & honesty throughout the Blog, esp. when you say; 'I'm elated, but it's mixed with other emotions'.

    I shall have a wee celebratory drink tonight and toast your fine efforts with a nod of recognition to the very tough times you successfully negotiated.

    Many fond regards to Moniek & her family who shouldered the majority of the nursing, they deserve a wee dram raised in honour too.

    Looking forward to Matt getting the round in as well!

  4. We've never met, but I like your style! Hope one day we do meet. Have been reading your blog, checking daily over Christmas for updates, and have got todays news and am so chuffed you and your family.

    I know Pokhara fairly well, was there in 2,000 and know a couple of your Biggleswade(ish) mates, but apart from that we have no connection.

    May God continue to bless you (And I don't usually write 'holy' stuff).



  5. Dear Rick,

    We are filled with joy here with the best email Moniek sent us in weeks. We are so glad for the both of you. Although wine gives us a huge headache the day after, tonight Sander and I will drink the whole bottle! Cheers to your full recovery.


  6. Wow!!!! What great news! I think I will have to leap off the wagon with a triple salco to celebrate. I hope your meal and "quiet" drink doesn't go the way of your normal "quiet" drink, but if it does enjoy - you all deserve it!!!

  7. BLOODY FANTASTIC. You followed the yellow brick road to being cancer free and now you are on the home run. If that isn't just the best start to 2012, then what is. I just knew those big girl knickers would get you through. :-)

    Well done Rick. Well done Moniek & co. Well done all the Drs.

    What a result!

  8. Rickster, what a fighter, what a battler, what a winner! You are a true inspiration to me and I feel so proud to be a friend of yours. To help build your strength back up I suggest Guinness :-)

  9. woop woop. legendary performance. big love from us both. looking forward to seeing you two very soon. happy days to you, a big love to your co-patients

  10. Ricky that is awesome news, what a way to start the new year!! We are all over the moon for you and Moniek :- Andrea's welling up as I'm typing! Enjoy that beer man, hope we can share one really soon - actually sod it we'll have one each! Love! Xx

  11. Wow that is amazing news. Been in our hearts and thoughts all the way and will continue to be. So pleased for you and everyone around you. Did you say 1drink as I think rich thought you said 11 :-) nic x

  12. Well well, you've only gone and done it. Never doubted you for a minute mate. This really is the best New Year news ever. Can't wait to see you this year and to shake that man by the hand. Collette and I will be opening the champagne tonight. Love to all and well done Moniek for holding him really are an angel.

  13. Rick, what fantastic news. You showed tremendous courage and it has been rewarded. Best wishes. Gary & Clare.

  14. Rick

    thats fantastic news! I am so chuffed for you. Like others have said before, its humbling to read your blog. There but for the grace of God...

    I'll join alll the others in a libation on your behalf!

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery mate



  16. Great news about you getting the all clear.
    From your dads cousin,
    Ronnie Magill

  17. Now that's what I call an Epiphany! Now I have stopped blubbing and can actually see what I am writing.... obviously we are overjoyed to hear the news! What great start to 2012. All the very best to you, Moniek and all the family Mate. Take it easy. Hope the beer went down well. The Judes xxx

  18. Never doubted you mate, fab news, truly awesome. You are an inspiration to us all with your upbeat take on all this...v proud. Drinks in Notts soon?

  19. That would make a great song lyric Rick, pretty Dylanesq. All the best to you and your angels! Chewy and Ro x

  20. Wow brother, Congratulations and a very happy new year to you Moniek and your families. Mate I'll tell Sonu the good news as well, she is at the busy bee picnic today, so she can tell puppies! Mate, you are greater then Lazarus!
    Take care and i'll have a beer for you tonight.
    Ben & Sonu.

  21. So very pleased to hear your good news. Enjoy dinner with Mo and her exceptional family. Get well and enjoy your sister's wedding.
    Lots of love
    Sue & Mark

  22. That is AWESOME news!!

    Somewhere inside me and knowing you, if only from our school (BMX) days, I knew that you would beat it!

    I hope that BEER was thoroughly enjoyed!!

    Take care mate

    Leigh & Mum & Dad too!

  23. Rick
    that is fantastic news, what a way to start 2012!!!! Nick and I will toast your good fortune this of luck in your recovery. As Ade saya a Guinness (or 2) will do wonders for you........

  24. It's a new dawn
    It's a new day
    It's a new life
    For me
    And I'm feeling good

    congratulations rick! so good! im overjoyed for you!

  25. OK, it's been a few days now. When did the tortoiseshell one say you could sink a few small shandies with all the trimmings? Just so as you're not worrying, I followed Des' example & had a sackfull on your behalf over the weekend.

    Still feelin' good!

  26. Ian - don't you think "sackfull" is rather inappropriate given the circumstances?

  27. Sen-bloody-sational news on a C-free chorizo! Hope this means we are up for a stout pissed row in the BB in the autumn. Only downside could be an end to your most excellent blog!
    Frozen in at Manali right now and wishing you back to full strength. Sure you'll break all records with so much love on your side.
    Damn Happy New Flipping Year,
    Damon & Suzie

  28. Amazing news! Very best wishes Rick. Helen E

  29. Read a quote in an article about Ali @ 70, that made me think of you Champ:

    "If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize."

    A few other choice words of Mr.Mohammed Ali:

    Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even

    It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.

    I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want.

  30. Mary, very valid point re "sackfull" being rather inappropriate (even though I did snigger somewhat a la Finbar Saunders). However my understanding is that the previous incumbent of Rick's ball-bag has been replaced by a replica (hopefully not made from a derivative of French silicone). One would have assumed that Rick would have asked for a like-for-like replacement (less the swelling) hence the sack may still be full even as we speak.

    Rick, want to put the record straight with an in-depth report on the matter?

  31. Belated congratulations Rick!

    I knew you'd do it. Will you be going back to Pokhara soon so I can buy you a beer there?

  32. Fantastic news Rick! I hope you'll soon be winging it home & preparing to get back on your trusty steed.

    It's been more than 'a mere flesh wound' that's for sure, but you beat the bastard - good for you!

    Warmest regards

  33. Wendy Cocking (nee Bickerdike20 January 2012 at 06:00

    I have spent an amazing couple of hours reading your blog. Sarah had told me at Christmas about what was happening, but I hadn't made the time to laugh, cry and weep to your blog. I am in awe of your resilience and humour in what must have been the most harrowing time of your life. I'm glad to have saved the long read until now so as to have got the great news of remission. My long lasting memories of you will always be of jealousy, that white 1275GT mini.......... Will remember that longing for a car forever,!! (can say now that I'm old and driving an estate!!!!!!!)
    Good luck for the future and look forward to the next installment, hope that the weight is piling on and the hair is growing back.
    Love to you and all your family,

    Wendy Cocking (nee Bickerdike)

    1. The best news ever!! I knew if anyone could beat this you could!! I am certain that many glasses have been quaffed the world over in toast to this most wonderful news...I for one will be toasting your triumph several times over! Lots of love to you and Moneik, your family and hers, Rach xxx

  34. Hip hip hurray
    Hip hip hurray
    Hip hip hurray!!!!