If I knew a year ago that I would be providing some details for a new website and promoting a book written about the experience of acquiring cancer, I would have been ecstatic. At that time I would have been overjoyed at the promise of ever kicking a football again or even taking the dog out for a walk. Thanks to the help of so many friends, family and specialists and no small amount of stubborn resilience I find myself in a very fortunate place. During my first two weeks in hospital, my wife Kate, had organised a full visiting rota and each person who came to the ward brought something to help me cope with the anxious hours ahead. Books, magazines, liquorice allsorts, C.D\'s, talking books, a can of Guinness, flowers and cards. Everything but a bunch of seedless grapes - which I really did fancy. One friend brought me a note book and a Parker pen. That is where Fighting Captain Chemo started. The events, the emotions and experiences were so stark, so scary and so surprising that it would have been a terrible waste not to have recorded them. It started with a few words, these became sentences and you can imagine the rest. Anybody undergoing a rigorous
chemotherapy regime will understand how helpless you can feel. There is little you can do for yourself or for your family Any sense of providing security or safety for your loved ones is robbed from you the moment that first chemotherapy trolley rattles in and stops by the side of your bed. As sentences became paragraphs I began to sense that there was something I could do. Developing the book gave me a purpose in surviving the year. The prospect of giving something back and raising some money for the charities that had helped us. It provided a much needed aim. I have never been worried about catching sight of myself in the mirror for some vain reason, but during that year I encountered a macabre image staring back at me, following my every move. It was difficult to believe it was actually me - I had changed so much in a few months due to my battle with Captain Chemo. As paragraphs turned into chapters I felt sure I would \'go the distance\' and reach the end of my twelve rounds with this powerful adversary. My Hodgkin\'s lymphoma is in remission. I can play football and walk the dog, sometimes at the same time. Certainly, I am less keen to look in the mirror these days - I wonder why I ever was!..
...Now I can see many changes from the sorry frame that stared back at me six months ago. The appearance is not so important, inside there is a pride and satisfaction that the chapters became a book and that it has been so well liked by such a wide cross section of people. My refined aim is to raise a four figure sum for the Wakefield Hospice and the Lymphoma association. I am well on the way. If you have contributed to this I would like to take this chance of thanking you all very much.