Hi folks. It has been a VERY long time since I posted, and I apologies for that. Turns out having a small facsimile of yourself takes up a lot of time, and also reduces sleep. Still you inflict these things on yourself, so better be British and not grumble too much. It was all worth it.
Anyway For those of you seeing this for the first time you better sit down. I have some bad news.
I have cancer, and its incurable. I know its a shock old chap, here’s a slug of brandy. Better now? Need a tissue? No? Yes I’ve known for a while, sorry you missed it somehow. Shall I continue? OK.
Anyway I was diagnosed four years ago this month and I shan’t be buying my lymphoma cake or presents, as it never buys me gifts. I have another year to go to beat the first odds of statistics, but not having had treatment in the last four years makes that look pretty good right now (accidental bus stepping out in front of nonwithstanding). The prognosis was good on my side (as I was well below the average age of 60) but studies show that 25% of patients die in the first five years and 50% in the first ten.
So with six years left to beat the toss of a coin, I feel pretty positive really. Also not having to have had treatment, or any kind of blood test for five months tends to push it from your mind. Not to minimise my condition, but you can’t live in fear everyday.
What brought this to mind was a directors meeting I had recently. I run a business with my best friend Patrick. It is doing pretty well, and has around 27 employees, so we meet on a monthly basis with our fellow director, Stephen to talk over all things company. Towards the end of the meeting we felt it was probably time to talk about what would happen if one of us snuffed it. Not a pleasant conversation, but with the aforementioned homunculous Jo and I produced to consider it is always worth talking about.
Patrick has life insurance which is in my name. This makes it nice and easy should he die, because Helen would receive his shares and I could then buy them from her, leaving her and any kids that might come along cared for. (obviously only easy in a fiscal sense. I would obviously be very upset if he shuffled off the mortal coil, and a bed shaped pile of money would only do so much to allay that. Also sleeping on notes could easily lead to papercuts, so even that wouldn’t make me feel better). The easiest thing in the world would be for us to do the same in reverse. I get insurance, if I die, Patrick gets money to buy my shares off of Jo. Who will also then have a bed shaped pile of cash, thus making sure everyone is provided for.
I figured I could do the same, but had been turned down when my diagnosis was new.
Four years on with no treatment would be better though, right?
Wrong. I found out the insurance company wouldn’t touch me with a barge pole. It wouldn’t even give me insurance EXCLUDING dying from cancer. Turns out insurers don’t like risk and a coin toss over ten years is not a fun way for them to bet their money.
So long story short if you develop Marginal Zone Splenic Lymphoma and have an existing life insurance policy, you keep that bastard paid and current. Is impossible to get any kind of insurance for a stage four cancer.
Luckily it is obviously possible to get treatment on the NHS, so i don’t have to worry on this score. No need to go into my basement and cook crystal Meth, which is lucky as I don’t have a basement and am a bad cook.
Anyway all this reminded me I hadn’t blogged in a while. So i logged in. Turns out I have had 1950 views since I last posted something in Feb. I used to often get people contacting me and saying they had the condition and there was nowhere to turn to get advice, or information (which is why i started this, see my previous posts). So I felt a little bad about being so remiss. Also if I left it too long people might draw the wrong conclusion as to why i hadn’t been on, so there’s that as well.
So I just want to say I’m not dead yet, I will try and be better at posting, and I’m currently one year from a five year survival and beating the 75% odd mark. Roll on the coin toss year!
Thanks for listening. 🙂