My Health Experience: ‘I never felt angry about getting cancer’

The doctor said he’d get me out of cancer within a year. That’s all I wanted to hear

Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 01:00

When the bag is reversed, you’re given a diet. It’s hit and miss really. Some things agree with you, some don’t. I haven’t really made any major changes to my diet. Plenty of fibre, fruit and vegetables are recommended. I had always eaten three or four portions of fruit and vegetables every day anyway.

Sick cover

My wife and I are self-employed. We run curtains and blinds shops. I got no sick cover, which I think is totally unfair.

But I wanted to work. When you’re ill, you need something to keep yourself occupied. I’d have gone crazy at home thinking about my cancer.

I have one daughter, Aisling, who was 14 at the time. I’m involved in the GAA and my wife is involved in drama. The last thing I wanted was for Aisling to hear about my illness at school or around the place. I wanted to be in control of what she knew all the time. I sat her down and told her exactly what the doctor had told me.

She was upset, but once she knew what was going on, it took a lot of pressure off her. I think that, down the line, it’s good for Aisling. I’m sure I won’t be the only one involved with her who will get cancer. It’s something she’ll deal with a lot better when she’s older.

Thank God I don’t have a death sentence at the moment. I have to think of a lot of people who got cancer after me and who are no longer with us. It’s just so unfair that any child should get cancer.

It’s been a year since March that I had surgery. The cancer is no longer there but the doctors won’t say I’m all clear. It’s very difficult to say to anyone that they are all clear.

For me, the thought of it as something that could come back will always be there. But the longer I go on being healthy, there’s less likelihood of it. As my surgeon said, at least I’m being watched. There could be people out there with cancer who haven’t a clue they’ve got it,

I never felt angry about getting cancer. There’s no point. You’d only stress yourself out more. People give out about the health service. I found it outstanding and I don’t think that’s because I have health insurance. I was confident from the very beginning that I was going to get through my cancer.

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