I’m waiting to see my specialist, to find out if the growth on my lung has actually grown

If you’re in the position I’m in, it’s good to look forward to things. Like Christmas

Life goes on.

Lord, how boring does that sound?

But it does go on. And in the context of having two life-limiting medical conditions, it’s important that it does.

There is little doubt in my mind that, unless you live your life you won’t have a life to live.


Fr Tony Coote died from Motor Neurone Disease two years ago. But, as the disease progressed, he wrote a book about his experience. Even the title of the book tells you how Coote viewed his situation. He called it, Live While You Can.

And that’s what he did.

Covid is making it a bit more difficult to “live my life while I can”. I have no idea what the situation is going to be like as we approach the Christmas season. (I apologise to those who don’t approve of any mention of Christmas until at least December. I can only tell you that I am in a position to boast that one year my wife and I were in the Brown Thomas Christmas shop early one morning in the month of August. When we went to pay for the few baubles, Connie asked the cashier if they were busy. “You’re the first,” he replied. And I felt like doing a lap of honour.)

The point is, that if you’re in a position like the one I’m in, it’s good to look forward to things.

For me, you can’t mention Christmas too early. I start the countdown on St Stephen’s Day!

I occasionally astonish (and bore) my wife and daughter by watching four rugby matches in a row

But I also look forward to the rugby season though the days of going to the RDS or Aviva are behind me. Still, I occasionally astonish (and bore) my wife and daughter by watching four rugby matches in a row. I know. There’s probably a treatment for it.

I look forward to anything to do with music. I look forward to meeting friends and moaning about my illnesses.

And until last March, I looked forward to the occasional walk with our little mutt, Penny.

She died unexpectedly aged just five.

We thought about a replacement and, selfishly I suppose, I kept the pressure on until Connie gave in and we went down to Tipperary to pick up our new pet, a Retriever/Husky mix christened Nova by my daughter Charlotte.

I had forgotten what it is like to have a pup in the house. And by in the house I mean on the couch, in my face, biting my hands, barking for no reason and doing all the things pups do.

I am, however, looking forward to her calming down a little bit so that I can try to take her for a short walk.

Right now, most of the exercise I get is with a little machine which allows me to pedal as if I was on a bike, though I’m sitting on a dining room chair.

Okay. I’m not well. It’s crystal clear that I’m not going to get better.

But my COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease] has, so far, developed relatively slowly. Hopefully, that growth on my lung will have the manners to do the same.

I’m realistic and pragmatic and we’re well prepared.

But that doesn’t mean I have any plan to shuffle off in the near future.

I intend to watch rugby, listen to music, moan about my health and say a few prayers for a while yet.

As for Covid, well I’m at the stage now where I don’t really pay that much attention to what restrictions are in place and which have been lifted.

I won't be putting myself in the way of danger as long as this damned thing lasts

It’s clear there are people out there determined to risk the lives of others by refusing vaccination on the basis of fairy stories.

I won’t be putting myself in the way of danger as long as this damned thing lasts.

Still, I manage to get the occasional laugh out of it.

I suggested to a vaccine sceptic that I believed the stories about their being a tiny microchip in the vaccine. I said the reason I believed it was, that after I received my second shot, I was able to get perfect wifi on my mobile phone.

I have a feeling that for a second or two, that ludicrous claim was taken seriously.

Right now, I’m waiting to see my specialist and find out if my growth has actually grown.

So I’m counting the days.

Sixty I think . . . until Christmas!