Would I be here now? Well we’ll never know; but the likelihood is if I was still alive, I would be in a different place with the cancer.
Once I found out that my mates at home knew sod all about it, I decided that I would do something about it. I had spent a lot of my life standing up on my legs talking to people. And so, I decided to put it to a different use, simple as that.
If you don’t detect the cancer early and it becomes advanced prostate cancer, there’s only one thing that’s certain: you’re going to die, sadly; not to mince my words, but that’s what’s going to happen. If you catch the cancer early, then you can do something about it. It’s like all cancers, early diagnosis is good, but with a cancer which doesn’t show itself in 80% of the cases, then you’re struggling. The only thing you can do really is to have some form of checking and testing.
When I give awareness talks my feeling is that I’m giving men the knowledge to be able to make a decision about whether they get themselves checked out or not. No one else is going to do it.
I love talking to groups of people to raise awareness. The biggest audience that I’ve talked to about cancer was two hundred. I’ve done lots of sessions. Sometimes it is with a big audience, other times a lot smaller, only a handful of people. It doesn’t bother me. Getting the message out there is the important thing, getting people talking about it. You get a buzz in the corridors after the talk, or they will be talking about it in the vans on the way to work.
The most important part is telling your own story. People become more interested because it’s you the person. And that is so important. And humour. They remember the little jokes about the latex gloves and all that kind of thing. They’ll take it away. And they’ll remember these things. You hope that perhaps they will take it out amongst a few groups who’ll then spread it wider. You can spread the word. These guys might talk about it with other people they go to the football match with, people who they go to the pub with, play darts with, or their family.
Raising awareness of cancer makes me feel good. It makes me feel that I’ve done something useful. I go to some nice places, I meet some nice people. I quite enjoy talking anyway. And I feel like I’m doing a bit of good. So all in all, you know, you get a good feel from it.
I go to some nice places, I meet some nice people. I quite enjoy talking anyway. And I feel like I’m doing a bit of good.