Pleading, Beseeching, Begging

December 22, 2017

The consulting room has two small prints on the wall – scenes of Venice by Canaletto, faded to pink. I tell the consultant I have numb hands and feet, and I don’t have the energy to ride my bike. He gruffly says you’d be mad to ride in this weather. I see him note down ‘lethargic’. He hasn’t yet seen the results of my earlier blood test. He’d rather see people to assess them than rely on bloods, and I’m well enough to have my next chemo session. He’s adding a fourth session to my planned three, before my next CT scan next year. On we go.

But this post isn’t about me. It’s about you. I’m going to plead with you, beseech you, beg you even, to go and get yourself checked out.

Gentlemen – go and get your prostate checked. It’s ten seconds of laying on your side in your doctor’s surgery while having a quick prod and a poke. The anticipation is far worse than the experience. While you’re there, get your testicles checked. Another few seconds that could make a huge difference to the rest of your life. Then you can skip off for a skinny decaf soya latte feeling smug because you’ve done something great.

Ladies – go and get your breasts checked. It’s uncomfortable being prodded and poked, but the benefits far, far, far outweigh the discomfort. Have a smear test too if your not already going regularly. These checks could save your life. Then you can treat yourself to something elegant and tasteful while feeling smug about the great thing you’ve just done.

And anyone – if you have sudden mood swings, feel flat and angry all the time, low energy, forgetful and tearful (yes, this was me), see your doctor and get a blood test. A blood test is revelatory, an instant snapshot of how your body is coping. If anything is out of kilter, it can be addressed immediately.

Please, go and get prodded and poked for me, because I care about you. But much more importantly, go and get checked for the people in your lives that you love and who love you. They need you. I know how crucial it is to get an early diagnosis. My cancer was already at stage 3/4, so my treatment is pretty brutal. Early stage cancer can be more easily treated and managed.

This isn’t meant to be doom and gloom. Your body is a delicate machine that will develop the occasional fault. Just like a car needing a service, the longer you leave it, the more costly it will get. Just don’t end up wishing you’d done something sooner. So make it happen in the New Year. Make it a HaPPY New Year – Have a Prod and a Poke Year!

Finally, thank you all for your kindness, support and encouragement over this eventful year. They are valued beyond words.

With love, Steve.



Here is a photo made up of four separate images recently taken on a visit to Kings College in Cambridge.

fiona kaye
23:48 December 26, 2017

Steve you are just amazing.

09:09 December 24, 2017

Inspiring! Wishing you a happy and healthier year ahead x

Paul Alan Putnam
20:25 December 23, 2017

Merry Xmas, Steve. Will follow your advice. Promise ;-)

16:19 December 23, 2017

Hi Steve, it's been a while (Barnet College). I'm very sorry to hear you are going through this. Thanks for your inspiring message and love for others. I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and all the very best for the new year. Big hug x

Rob Walters
15:24 December 23, 2017

You’re still a wiz with the old Photoshop aren’t you Steve? Everything you say is true and wise!

Lesley Carver
05:43 December 23, 2017

Steve you are truly an amazing person. To think of us while you are dealing with so much. It brought me out in goosebumps. I will get checked and I thank you and wish you and Amanda better health and much much happiness in the coming year xx

21:38 December 22, 2017

Great picture. I am commenting to ensure that I follow your advice! Thanks and love from us all

Stephen fox
17:33 December 22, 2017

Steve...your blogs always leave me with out words. ...thank you for the prod and I know you are so right. It sounds very tough right now so big hug and hope you are back on that bike soon ! Fondest regards

16:44 December 22, 2017

Thank you for yet another thoughtful post Steve. They are very keen on screening in France and did a routine blood test when we registered. Sending all our love to you and Manda.

Helen Singer (@hs1nger)
14:38 December 22, 2017

Love Kings College Chapel fan vaulting! Thanks Steve. And a simple blood test can help pick up any prostate problems early.... Love Helen xx

    15:03 December 22, 2017

    It's beautiful isn't it? Good to know the blood test works for prostates too. :)

Josephine Gray
14:16 December 22, 2017

Thank you Steve, - a very helpful reminder and inspiring as ever. Wishing you and Amanda a very merry Christmas and all the best of everything possible in 2018. xxxx

    15:02 December 22, 2017

    Thank you Jo, Happy Christmas to you all too.

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