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Tuesday December 2nd



As I sit in this office this morning, I am counting my blessings. This time last year I had not started the blog. I knew I was very ill and that my situation was worse than the doctors were indicating. Things just went from bad to worse from then on. By January I had the scans and the proof that cancer was now infesting my lungs. I didn’t really need my doctor to tell me that there was probably not a lot that could be done for me. I began my ordeal by sitting around feeling sorry for myself with lots of tears and a feeling of absolute hopelessness. Later in January, Dr Jones stepped in to my life and shone his light deep into my dark tunnel. He convinced me that there was a real chance of me making a recovery, and I left his surgery in Nobles, and headed home with some real if not slender hope. At last I had something to cling to, just a grain of hope but none-the-less I had my finger tips on the safety rail. Life is very much like a pack of cards. You can only play your hand. Knowing when to stick and when to twist can and often does seal your fate. When you are not sure when to hold, and when to twist, that is when your friends can prove their worth. But life is not about just one single game of cards. It’s about lots of games. Just because you didn’t fair to well with your deal, doesn’t mean you won’t get a better deal next time round. When I first began blogging last March my fate was still very uncertain. I think it was my wife Barbara who talked me into writing a blog. The thought at that time of sharing my depressing life with the rest of the World, did not appeal to me at all. I recall sitting up here in this office in those early days of blogging bashing away at the keyboard often with tears in my eyes. Skipper, my one year old pain in the bum Collie as far as everyone else is concerned, became an integral part of my recovery. So many times he would pad his way in to my office and sit by my side with his head in my lap. It was almost as if he was saying, “I will never give up on you Dad.” The idea that Skipper was going to outlive me by many years played on my mind heavily. He started to follow me everywhere around the house. In fact if I wanted to locate Skipper at any time, all I had to do was stretch out my hand, and he would be within a couple of feet of me. Today, well Skipper has just left my office this minute. He potters in and out these days to say hello but no longer feels the need to shadow my every movement. As the days rolled by and my chemotherapy started, I became much more positive. Writing the blog renewed many of my old friends from the past, and introduced me to a whole pile of new friends from every corner of the globe. Some of them were in a worse situation than me, yet they remained full of hope and became an inspiration to me. The blog still very much reflects my state of mind on the day. If I am down, then it shows through in my writing. If I am happy, then like wise. Since I began blogging, there have been around 20,000 hits on the blog. I am not sure in the greater scheme of things if that good or not. I guess we have built up around 100 regular readers. Of course if we include Manx Tails, then that number swells too many thousands. Blogging has played a huge part in my recovery. Simply getting things off my chest or taking other people with me on my journey to God knows where, has made my journey much more interesting, and not so lonesome. I am extremely grateful to you all for that. Today although I am certainly not yet back to full fitness, I am a million miles from where I was this time last year. I don’t know what the future holds. I know that I was clear of cancer the last time I saw the specialist and I return again in January. I know that the cancer could strike again at anytime. The doctors have done a fantastic job. However, cancer if it chooses can overwhelm us all. Should it return, I will be much better equipped to deal with it than last time around. At present I am grateful to breathe our sweet mountain air, to be able to walk the banks of the Silverburn River, to listen to the sound of the waves from Castletown Bay washing over the stones and to be able to listen to the birds each morning that begin every day with a song. I know that I have much to thank my wife Barbara for, and of course my family and friends. And last but definitely not least, Skipper. Down through the years I have had four very expensive guide dogs. I never imagined that a bit of a rag bag of a collie that cost not a penny from a farm in Kirk Michael, would play such an important role in dragging me out of those dark, dark days.


Tom Glassey on the banks of the Silverburn River.


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