Saying F.U. to the big C…

27 Oct


Movember is almost upon us again, raising money for men’s health in general and prostate cancer in particular. 
We shall once again be participating at work and I would encourage those of you with the ability to grow the requisite facial adornment to take part too.
So expect all manner of fabulous face fungus to start appearing on a top lip near you soon.
You can donate here.

Which brings me rather neatly to the topic of this Diary entry.

Once again I am writing in response to a post by the ever-reliable Adam Pain who has bestowed a great accolade on me. More about that later…

First I’d like to share an expanded version of the comment I left on Adam’s blog this morning, the subject of which is losing loved ones to cancer;

I clearly remember my brother in law turning up on the doorstep at our new home in Devon at 4.30am, having driven the 300 miles from the London hospital where Dad had been taken after collapsing at a business function due to the unseen and spreading tumours in his lungs, brain and spine.
We raced back there, thinking we might be too late, getting there just as he regained consciousness.
As it turned out, he lasted long enough to be given the news that my sister was pregnant with his grandson and for us all to have a last chance to say goodbye.

Seeing the rapid and merciless way the cancer had devoured his usually imposing frame, it was hard to believe this was the same upbeat and positive man who had told me “Oh, don’t you worry, we’re going to beat this” only a few weeks previously.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t my first taste of dealing with the most indiscriminate of killers.

I was just nine when Mum was struck down by a brain tumour, forever leaving me with the image of her dropping to the floor in convulsions, incoherently repeating a bizarre litany made up entirely of numbers.

A frightening experience for a little boy, as you can imagine.
But not as frightening as the look on Dad’s face a few short months later (which with hindsight I now know to have been helpless grief) as he came into my room and, kneeling next to my bed as I roused myself from sleep, told me that he was sorry, but mummy had “just got weaker and weaker, until she couldn’t hold on any more and she died.”

He was sorry.
As if he could have done anything to save this wonderful, gentle woman from the treacherous mutation of her own cells.
Even now the irrational, impotent anger I feel towards the nebulous and malign enemy who took my mother from my sister and I can return unbidden, when I see her in old photos or hear a song she liked on the radio.

She didn’t smoke, she had an active, healthy lifestyle, and yet she was just as helpless to defend herself against this attack from within as any twenty-a-day tobacco fiend.

We were all lucky enough to have a final, carefree French camping holiday with her in the months following her initial illness and operation, when it all seemed like some sort of terrifying bad dream, only to lose her to subsequent complications when the tumour returned.

So many people’s lives are touched by cancer, hardly anybody is unaffected in some way.

Elaine and I spent many days caring for Elaine’s father (with the help of the extremely dedicated Macmillan nurses) as he became increasingly ill, his eventual passing being all the more painful for Elaine as we were so far away at the time.
And we lost a very dear friend only a few years ago who was, shockingly, younger than me and had always instantly been the absolute life and soul of every party she walked into.

Cancer doesn’t give a toss who it takes, it doesn’t care about your feelings. We’re all potential victims and should therefore take whatever opportunities are offered to join the fight to defeat the silent killer.

Well I’ve done a fair bit in the past to raise money for charity (although like all those saintly celebrities, “I don’t like to talk about it”) and I’m about to get involved in something just as worthy, but a lot more fun than lumbering around the moors in the middle of the night or dressing up like a gay Native American at work.

I am incredibly honoured to reveal that I am to be attending the Golden Face Palms, Adam Pain’s award ceremony for the über-numpties that spoilt everyone’s year by stubbornly continuing to exist.
The deal is that I go to the event, (ticket details to follow – you too can attend this prestigious occasion) accept the award for the particular dullard I nominated for inclusion, and mumble a few short words of acceptance through the haze of alcohol, jostling paparazzi and groupies. (at least I’m reasonably sure that’s how these things go) and try not to fall over on the way back to my table.

Adam has written a very poignant and touching article to accompany the announcement of the ceremony and I would take it as a personal favour if, having taken the time read my post, you also go to A World Of Pain via THIS REALLY BIG, OBVIOUS LINK and see what he has to say.
That is where you can find details of the Golden Face Palms themselves.

(You can also donate to the Macmillan Cancer Care Trust via the Macmillan link above)


Posted by on October 27, 2013 in Awards, Blogging, Personal anecdote


Tags: , , , , , , ,

12 responses to “Saying F.U. to the big C…

  1. Ron

    October 27, 2013 at 22:31

    Awesome post, Dale, and thank you so much for sharing it.

    It really hit home because I lost my mother last November to cancer (small cell lung cancer), and my father (bone cancer) as well, back in 1993. They were both only in their early 70’s.

    And you’re right, it doesn’t matter how well you take care of yourself, cancer CAN hit.

    As soon as I finish this comment, I will check out the links you shared.

    Again, thank you for sharing this post, buddy!

    • dalecooper57

      October 27, 2013 at 22:35

      Sorry to hear of your loss Ron. Enjoy Adam’s piece and get involved in any way you can.

  2. rabbanaomar

    October 28, 2013 at 02:28

    Thanks for sharing. Really sorry for your loss.

  3. jerseylil

    October 30, 2013 at 23:02

    Dale, I am so sorry you lost your Mum when you were so young, that’s a devastating loss and I can tell by your words that you dearly loved her. I am sorry to hear about Elaine’s dad, and your dear friend too. Cancer is a monster, everyone should be aware of it. “Cancer doesn’t give a toss who it takes, it doesn’t care about your feeling.” Very true and sobering words. I’ve seen the effects as well, having lost family members and friends. Thank you for this post.

    • dalecooper57

      October 31, 2013 at 05:32

      Thanks Lil, The best we can do now is help to raise enough money to help them beat it.

  4. Rum Punch Drunk

    October 31, 2013 at 07:05

    I felt so sad to hear how you watched your mother die in this way. I’m truly sorry for the loss of your mother and father. Cancer is that dreaded word that nobody wants to hear and it has no fear or remorse with what it does.

    Both men and women should make more time to check themselves every now and again. There are a couple of things that people should do on a regular basis to at least help themselves, and that is having regular check up with your balls, breasts, smear etc. You’d be surprised at how many people were able to be saved by detecting it very early on in it’s beginning stages. What a post, Dale.

    • dalecooper57

      October 31, 2013 at 07:16

      That’s very good advice. Thanks RPD.

  5. steph

    October 31, 2013 at 17:41

    I’m really sorry to hear about your loss. Cancer took my boss earlier this year, like your mom a non-smoker and an active guy, it’s still so painful to even think about his death and the sad months leading up to it. He actually wasn’t diagnosed properly when he first got his cough checked out. I hope this Movember is a huge success.

    • dalecooper57

      October 31, 2013 at 17:57

      Thanks Steph. It is very sad when someone who hasn’t had any warning succumbs to such a tragic illness.
      I shall be posting updates on the Movember challenge, and of course the Golden Face Palms. Watch this space.

  6. menopausalmother

    November 2, 2013 at 00:10

    Dale, I am so sorry to hear that you lost both of your parents to this insidious disease. Very traumatic for a young lad to go through. I lost my father to blood cancer five years ago and it was exactly as you described it—one minute he was ready to fight the good fight, and then months later he was ravaged by the horrible disease. I pray that during my lifetime they will find cures for all forms of cancer.

    • dalecooper57

      November 2, 2013 at 05:32

      Thanks Marcia. I shall be posting links to my Movember site soon, so please donate if you have the time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Running with the Pack

An American Gypsy

Chet Desmond Has Vanished

But Where Did He Go?

48 before its too late

48 states in an RV in 6 months.


French magazine - art & visual culture


The online presence of dark fiction writer C.M. Saunders


"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect"

Little Fears

Tales of humour, whimsy and courgettes


The ramblings of a very troublesome haemorrhoid on health, travel, art, sport, bad dogs, good cats and other stuff at

The Lessons

that time forgot to teach


The Best of British Bullshit

Homeschool To UnSchool

Teaching Our Kids to Wonder Again


words and scribble.


hedy bach original photography mixed stories and music

Isabella Morgan

Opinions not otherwise specified

A Life in Transition

Poetry & Fiction

Author Kyle Perkins

The latest and greatest of my documented daydreams

Rereading Jane Eyre

Author Luccia Gray

Luca Sartoni

Protector of Asynchronicity at Automattic

Pages That Rustle

The journey from words to stories.


For your mind only!

Waruni Anuruddhika

Film and photography

An Artist’s Path

Art, Poetry, Spirituality & Whimsy

Tyler Charles Austen

Foul mouthed, Queer and Angry


The facepainting and balloon twisting lady

Jamaica Ponder

...only a little bit famous

Art by Rob Goldstein

There is no common truth, but there are facts.

Kristin King Author

True Story...


- a creative lifestyle blog -


To Share, To Connect, To Create, To Inspire.

unbolt me

the literary asylum


Music means something

Broken Castles

Shattered long ago...

Joshi Daniel Photography

Images of People Photoblog


Every day I'm jugglin'.

The Write Project

"The answer is to write." - Richard Rhodes

%d bloggers like this: