3 and a half weeks since operation

I don’t wish to be macabre but I thought I would mention a column I used to read about 10 years ago, well before people wrote blogs, by journalist Jonathan Wilson called ‘Dead Man Writing’ in the sunday herald magazine. Jonathan had stomach and liver cancer as well as other complications. There was some criticism of those who followed the column as it seemed a bit like coffin watching, checking each week to see if he was still there. The thing that stood out for me about the column was that at the time he was almost the exact same age as me. He talked about going to the same pubs, clubs and gigs I went to in Glasgow and shared a lot of similar interests from what I read each week. It really struck a cord with me at the time and although I never knew him, when he died in 2002 aged just 31 I was shocked and a bit upset after reading his column every week for what I remember being a few years. Like a lot of things though, you just get on with life and never really think seriously that cancer will effect you and it’s something that happens to other people. I checked to see if his column was still available through the herald website but couldn’t find anything. It was a hugely honest and frank account of his life and battle with his illness and he continued to do a lot of work for charity and stayed active and enjoyed life as much as he could within the constraints he was under.

In a way this column encouraged me to go ahead and write about being ill as I am more of a mind that people will read it because they know me and are genuinely interested in keeping up with what is happening, that what I say will hopefully make people more aware of their own health and that it is really cathartic for me to put this down in writing and have some sort of record of how I am progressing.

As i mentioned in my last post, I had my first consultation with my oncologist on Monday afternoon. I am not sure how much technical detail I want or really need to go into but the basics are that I will start chemotherapy 2 weeks today! The treatment is a mixture of an intravenously administered drug and a tablet form drug taken for 6 months initially with a scan after 3 months to assess progress. I have however expressed an interest in any clinical trials and may be accepted for this, I will find out soon.

In the meantime I am eating a lot better and trying to build up my strength. The weather is getting better and I will be out for a walk this afternoon taking Jennifer and  Lloyd my 2 and a half year old twin nephew and niece to the swing park.

Planning to spend the weekend back at my own house and give my parents a break and get a bit more independent. All my staples are out my stomach and  although it still hasn’t healed completely I feel a lot more mobile and can get up and down a lot easier without any help.

I sneaked into the office yesterday for a couple of hours to catch up with everyone and a little bit of work. It was great seeing everyone again and I had a pile of cards and chocolate on my desk (aswell as a few bills!)

The plan is to update this every week but the next week will be more of the same until the chemo starts. I will keep it updated though even if it short and sweet!

Thanks again for all the messages and well wishes.


22 Responses to “3 and a half weeks since operation”

  1. March 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm


    reading your blog, makes any petty problems I have disappear. thank you.

    looking forward to lunch, bring your appetite……..

    big hugs and lots of (man love)!!

  2. 3 Mary Jo Stockton
    March 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I posted this on Facebook but realized not everyone will see it there 🙂 At least some of Wilson’s articles can be found here – http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/?tag=content;col1

    Thanks for the update, bro!
    Love, MJxx

  3. 5 michele
    March 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks for keeping us updated. Glad to hear you are a bit more mobile and getting out. Don’t overdo things.
    Keep eatinf the mince and tatties with a big dose of ketchup!!!

  4. 8 Felix Holman
    March 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Its strange writing to someone I have never met but your story and your spirit are incredible. Youth and spirit and your courage will see you through this. all the very best and hope you get out there taking some more beautiful pictures soon.
    Felix Holman ( StreetInvest reg.charity)

  5. 10 Mary Theresa
    March 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Jon-Marc

    Saw this and made me smile. Thought you may like it from an architectural point of view…and of course make you smile too.


  6. 11 Moya & Dominic McGinley
    March 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Hi Jon Marc
    Reading your blog is an inspiration! Keep up the fight,you have shown such courage and strength already. We are all ‘rooting for you’ on this side of the water.
    Love Moya & Dom

  7. March 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Sitting here in Spain reading your blog update! Glad you are going home for some ‘me’ time. Catch up when i am back.

  8. 14 John Docherty
    March 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Hey Jonny,

    Bit shocked to get your news but glad to see you’re keeping your chin(s) up! For those of us the same age it’s a big reality check – I thought we were too young for this sort of thing. Wish you all the best for the road ahead.

    Keep up the writing – it’s good stuff.


  9. 16 Martin Ferguson
    March 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Jon-Marc, long time no see.

    your Dad passed your blogs to my mum, who passed them on.( no mean feat for my mum ).

    Glad your getting back to some sence of ‘normal’, being able to do more for yourself will help lift your spirits and build on the positive attitude you quite clearly have.

    Drop me an e-mail if you get a chance for a proper catch up, you seem to have done loads in the 20 years its probibly been since I spoke to you last.

    Keep Fighting and Writing, its all good stuff……the photos arnt bad either.


    ( the wee quiet bloke in the car on the way to school )

    • 17 scarpadog
      April 8, 2011 at 7:25 am

      Hey, thanks for reading and getting in touch. Yes, it’s been a long time and a lot happened sonce OLHS! Being local would be good to catch up for a drink when I am fit.

  10. 18 Caroline and Pauline
    April 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Hi JM
    Two of your cousins here (You have aleardy seen Geraldine – she keeps us posted!) Hope you have a great time at Glenaeages (try the £1600 champagne – want to know what it tastes like!!) Anyway enjoy your weekend and will be in touch soon take care xxxx

    • 19 scarpadog
      April 8, 2011 at 7:23 am

      Hey, I avoided the champagne but had a great time anyway! Hope you are both doing well and hope we catch up soon x

  11. 20 Kevin Sergeant
    April 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm


    It’s good to read your getting there post and see your recent photo. You’re looking a lot brighter and it’s good news about the clinical trial. Keep the faith and get yourself well. I’m counting on you showing me around one wellwynd one of these days when you are feeling stronger.

    Get in touch if there is anything that I can do. If you want to chat call me anytime.

    Stay positive and keep interested in stuff. It must be hard for such an active guy to deal with having to keep still and let your body heal. Remember that this is only temporary and is a chapter in life that needs to be got through. Look forward to life being back to normal afterwards and stay focussed. When it’s all by and you’re enjoying life again, it may be even richer for being more aware of your mortality. Perhaps you could set yourself some personal goals and rewards that you can look forward to when you put all this sh** behind you. Get yourself sorted and then live life to the full.

    Take care.


    • 21 scarpadog
      April 8, 2011 at 7:22 am

      Thanks Kevin, I hope to visit the group again soon once I know how the chemo goes. I have started a list of things I will be doing as soon as I am able!

  12. September 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Hi, you sound like a really upbeat and positive person. Just want to say I followed the Johnathon (Dead man writing) articles religiously, After an off the cuff comment I found that my brother was his primary hospice nurse. He was humbled to have known him. Please hang in there, you will come out of this a better person and will live life to the full. all the best Yx

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