Matisse: Les Gourgues

Daffodil Day

I am reminded this week that I have lived for thirteen years following a diagnosis of cancer in 2006. That is due to medical science and the fact that my sister Helen donated stem cells, which were used for the transplant that saved my life. So my gratitude and appreciation know no bounds. It has enabled me to see my grandchildren arrive and be a source of sheer bliss and delight and to be living in a soon to be more crowded multigenerational household. It has also got me to the point of a Masters in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. This is the icing on the cake.

Over the years, I have been aware of those around me who got cancer diagnoses. On my latest count, thirty-five people that I know have had a diagnosis and six have died. So my gang is running at an 83% survival rate, including me. That’s pretty good going, I think. It prompted the following, so read, enjoy, pass on and let me know what you think:


Another One

Text received:

DM had a malignant tumour

removed from her bile duct

starting chemo in March


The list of friends who join me

gets longer and fuller,

not too many drop off,

surviving is more the norm.


It does mean that we all have new

work to do – manage the damn thing –

support others who are, or are not,

 – campaign for care, because


the system is beyond bursting.

Twelve years on this road, we

stand, sit or crawl at 83 per cent

still standing but mangled.


Peter Clarke

February 2019