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Difficult one this, but on balance feel the need to post it....


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Right, difficult one this and something that I've thought long and hard about making "public" within TT, but as it's coming to a bit of a head I thought maybe I would.

Should point out at this stage that this is personal stuff and nothing to do with Everton, sport, what I had for breakfast or what movies/music I'm currently listening to so anyone not interested beyond any of those things should look away now.....completely understand that people take TT at different levels and that's fine, all members and approaches are equally valid.
I've already talked to the mods and Jaime, who I met in person recently, about this but the fact of the matter is that three months ago I was diagnosed with pretty nasty cancer. Long story short it was in my neck/throat area (hypopharynx to be exact) and it had spread to two lymph nodes in my neck. I've already had two minor and one major surgeries and am going to be starting seven weeks of radiotherapy and three lots of chemotherapy in the next couple of weeks to try to destroy the bits that they couldn't cut out. Nasty stuff so if I become a miserable and moody bastard in the near future (more so than usual) you'll know why! Prognosis is still fairly positive and they're hopeful of a "cure"......better than 50/50 they reckon (cure being five years clear).
Also, with chemo in particular, there's the small issue of any infection being "life threatening" allied with the chance that the treatment may not work so I may just get to play right wing and provide the crosses for Dixie earlier than I'd planned.....though I have no intention of letting that happen.....I'd probably get picked last anyway :dry:!
Trying to avoid this being cheesy but, point is, ToffeeTalk has been a big part of my life for the best part of a decade now so if the worst comes to the worst (which it won't) I just really want to say thanks to members past and present for their company....even the ones I've not seen eye to eye with. In forty-five years as an Evertonian I've never felt so involved and so close to the club and the fans, the internet age is a godsend!
Got to say I've got the most incredible team of oncologists, surgeons, doctors, nurses, radiologists, nutritionists (and even masseurs) on my side and I'm confident I can get through this.....but just in case...
It's been a blast guys!
Mike.
(I've actually written about the whole thing in more detail in a blog so if anyone wants to read it send me a pm and I'll give you a link)
I realise this is a bit of a conversation stopper so hopefully nobody will feel the need to reply just because they feel duty bound....and I need no sympathy, just wanted to put it out there. Josh will update if there's anything that needs reporting when I'm not able for whatever reason, I'm likely to lose my speech for a while but my typing should remain intact :P!
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And (believe it or not, where does the time go) today is the five year anniversary of my last treatment, which means I'm all clear. I still have one final check to come in May but it's just a formalit

Not going to turn this into a "cancer diary" because those want a bit more info are getting it already but I'll update briefly on occasion because of all of the kind responses.   Surgery last week w

It was perfect Haf, went exactly as planned down to the last detail. Celebrant was superb, "wake" was joyful. Seems ridiculous to say but the best day I've had in weeks.

From what I've gathered in my limited time here Mike, you're a stand up guy that is very passionate and knowledgeable about Everton. This is bigger than the team however and I wish you nothing but the best of luck in your treatment and recovery. You'll bounce back and before you know it, will be celebrating a cup win or a CL birth with us in the forums soon enough :)

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Hi Mike, you have a fight on your hands, you will be getting advice from all sides.My little piece of advice for what it's worth, is as your body gets weak from the treatment, work hard, VERY hard on the mind, the mind is so very important for what you are now about to undertake.

 

Be carefull what you read, even my post might be wrong for your personal journey, BUT one piece of reading I would recomend is a book....

 

The book is called "warrior pose" by Brad willis......yep I know, a friggin book, what goods that!

 

Google it, and look at it on Amazom, read the 47 customer reviews, all of them, just to get an idea about the book.

 

Book or no book, Mike good luck with this.Look inside yourself, your family can cope, 'do what's right for you', that's very important and it will help.

 

Check out that book..........Start and keep fighting.

 

David.....Blue 250.

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Thanks people.....for this and the pms. I'll certainly have a look at the book David :).

 

Off to do the rounds of in-laws and family in a bit so I'll be out for the day getting fussed over, which is a bit of a pain in the arse to be honest but hopefully it'll make them feel better :). Many ways it's harder for them to take than it is for me.

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Mike you're an integral part of toffeetalk and no topic is complete without one of your witty posts that I always look out for. Good luck in beating it. My mother in law was given around 6 to live around a year ago. But after radiotherpy it has reponded so well they don't have a time frame now and it's indefinitely controlled. Fingers crossed for you and your children as I know the knock on effect it has on all the people close to you.

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Heavy subject matter and can only offer every hope that you overcome this issue and make a full recovery. Not to appear selfish, but from someone themselves battling personal issues there can often seem no way out of things or way ahead, but with the right support and self-belief, battles can be overcome and some level of full recovery. A valued participant of these pages and fine authority figure, and the pages would be poorer without your regular participation. Say again, every success in your battle and wishing you every hope in the future.

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I was reading around the forum as a guest but simply had to log in when I read this. Throughout the years I've been a member on this forum we've had our ups and downs Mike but I've always seen you as a really decent bloke. I hope you come out of this well and know that the whole of TT is behind you.

 

All the best.

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Mike

I can relate to your feelings regarding the part that Toffeetalk played in giving you strength. I have a heart problem (not drastically serious) but had a bad spell for two months during last summer. I am active on two sites, including this one, and even though I was pretty low, the involvement in the sites picked me up no end. I know that everyone on this site, whether they know you or not, are with you all the way. I do know a few people who have had similar problems to yourself and they have all come through it OK. Wishing you all the best and confident that you can beat this.

Very best regards

 

John

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Thanks again guys; got my dates today for the chemoradiotherapy.....starting Monday and finishing 28th Feb, five days a week....so if I'm a grumpy bastard be nice to me :P.

Define nice? I mean, Marco is likely to call you a cunt but that means he'd probably like felch you (look up that word if you don't know what it means ;)).

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Thanks again guys; got my dates today for the chemoradiotherapy.....starting Monday and finishing 28th Feb, five days a week....so if I'm a grumpy bastard be nice to me :P.

 

Good luck Mike.

 

About 12 years ago the company I work for let a big chunck of the over 50's leave on a good early retirement scheme, within a couple of years 3 really decent blokes had become ill with cancer, a couple of them were very ill.This Christmas I organised the company meal, we usually invite some of the old boys, all three are still going strong, they probably ate and drank more than I did!

 

When your feeling really 'shit' just keep moving forward......set goals......like not giving up untill England win the world cup, that should at least get you a telegram from King William!

 

ps. If England win the world cup this year, feel free to drive to Norfolk and punch me in the mouth.

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Hopefully things get better soon mate, and you beat this nasty disease. You seem to be a strong-willed guy physically and emotionally so I have every faith that you can beat it. It takes bravery to talk about it on a forum, never mind actually fight it.

 

I agree with people who have said that you're sensible, friendly, affable etc. You would be a great loss to this site and life generally, I know that much.

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Just read this, agree with all posters above and i wish that you will have a quick successful recovery. My mother in law was diagnosed with the exact same condition, more than 15 years ago. 3 operations later it has come back again but no more operations are possible. She is now on some experimental drug which seems to be doing the trick although it does raise her blood pressure a lot. Long story short, we are hoping for her to see our new addition to the family go to school for the first time (no, not born yet, still waiting) she is a fighter and im sure that you are too. Get well soon Mike!

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Just read this, agree with all posters above and i wish that you will have a quick successful recovery. My mother in law was diagnosed with the exact same condition, more than 15 years ago. 3 operations later it has come back again but no more operations are possible. She is now on some experimental drug which seems to be doing the trick although it does raise her blood pressure a lot. Long story short, we are hoping for her to see our new addition to the family go to school for the first time (no, not born yet, still waiting) she is a fighter and im sure that you are too. Get well soon Mike!

 

Thanks for that Peter; can relate to that bit in bold because my dad was ill when my lad was born and it was always really important for me that they actually got to know each other for a while....luckily he hung around until Josh was seven so he has a fair few memories of him. My very best to your mother in law!

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Only just read this and sorry to hear about the bad news Mike I genuinely am.

 

Your a huge part and influence on here and a great contributor and cracking bloke and I wish You every bit of luck in the world in beating it mate.

 

Chin up be strong and positive and I'm sure You will beat it!!

 

Paul

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  • 3 weeks later...

Briefly again; still going strong.

 

Few little side effects but nothing unmanageable (the drugs do work), my voice is changing and my taste buds are knackered so savoury food tastes like cardboard; I'm on a cheesecake and chocolate diet :lol:.

 

Fourteenth radiotherapy session this morning so making a decent dent in it now.....all good still, no complications and a lot better off than many people I've met during the course of this!

 

Tricky bits to come I know but the hardest thing to cope with up to this point was the derby result :(.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Mike,

I'm not a regular poster, by any means, and have somehow managed to miss this thread.

I am really sorry to hear of your ill health and hope you recover quickly.

You are one of the stalwarts of the board and always come across well.

Wishing you and your family all the very best.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had to spend the last four days of treatment as an in patient but all done now so just need to get over the effects and then go back in for a first check in a month's time to make sure it all worked.

 

Then the Mike half of the "Mikes & Rubes Hospital Adventures" section of TT can start to be wound up :).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Getting there......just this tiredness all the time and body being out of sync with brain (body awake/brain wants to sleep or body exhauted/brain on full whack) that I need to get through; plus stomach pains from muscle strain from coughing. Oh.....and I need to learn to eat again :unsure:.

 

Better by the day though, small steps but it's happening.

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Can appreciate the situation to a certain extent, experiencing my own difficulties in more ways than one, although wish not to elaborate. Yes it's all about different individuals with different issues and we don't always know the extent of what others may be going through, but tried to say we're never (really) alone in (unwanted) issues that life can provide. Guess one persons selfish appearance is anothers legitimate concerns, but in any event, sincere best wishes towards the rest of your recovery and may you (and indeed other participants experiencing relevant health issues) come through any adversities and be back to your best.

 

They say that whatever doesn't kill you, makes you a stronger individual, but sometimes in two minds about that train of thought.

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  • 1 month later...

Just to update this.....about two months post treatment and all is cautiously optimistic. Saw my oncologist a while back and my surgeon yesterday and they both agree that the treatment appears to have worked in destroying the primary cancer, though it's difficult to see too clearly as my throat is still badly swollen as a result of the radiotherapy. Still many more checks and scans over several years before they can say with any confidence that it's gone completely but it's as positive as it could be at the moment; I'm even eating the odd bit of solid food (though everything tastes pretty awful 'cos my taste buds don't work properly).

 

Wish you every success with your recovery. Sounds a real nefarious setback and does put into perspective any other issues those reading may be experiencing. Get well soon OK

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