My brothers and I would spend time with my father at the pub. It was a way to connect with him. I thought alcohol would help me to find the elusive something I was looking for in my life.
After I gave away alcohol in 1986, I pursued my interests in Eastern philosophy, writing spiritual poetry and meditating on a regular basis.
I was trotting along gaily after my retirement as an academic in 2006. I was keeping fit and thinking I was okay. But in 2009, a routine health check found I had prostate cancer.
Palliative care became involved after I had bowel operations in November 2017.
It’s not limited to the last few weeks of life as I thought. It’s a longer term relationship. You can build a rapport and trust that’s very helpful.
I appreciate their intuitive empathy and gentle style. You know they care about you and they do it brilliantly. They provide helpful guidance and that has improved my situation quite considerably.
The nurses help with my pain management and physical well-being, and liaise with my GP. The counsellor supports my spiritual well-being.
They’ve helped me to maintain a positive and pragmatic outlook.
Gwenda, my wife, is a fabulous carer and I’m grateful for that. We have a deeply meaningful relationship.
Things will become quite serious at some point. Maybe even this year or next year. I’ve come to terms with that.
I’ve got no particular concerns about death. I’m hoping to get my family to understand that it’s a celebration and can be seen as a joyous thing, even though there will be some angst I guess.
I’ve set myself some targets. I hope to be here for our 50th wedding anniversary in May 2020, the birth of my granddaughter, and my grandson’s first day at school.