26-What a year that was

Friday 11th December 2020

Today is exactly 6 months since I finished radiotherapy on Friday 12th June and ‘rang that bell’. So I thought a good day to reflect back over this mad year, which is both forgettable and definitely unforgettable…

And what a year indeed.

It started for me quite normally – as with most of us I guess. January started good for bookings in the travel business and then later that month, news of the coronavirus was starting to appear. I spent most of February cancelling the majority of our guest’s bookings. And then from March on – along with everyone else in the world, trying to make sense of things.

Reading back through my blog, it was the last day of March – while the UK was in ‘Lockdown 1’ that I strolled into Gloucester Royal Hospital A&E with my (now infamous) niggling sore throat.

And here I am now.

Larry the Lump has gone – beaten and K O'd in the final round by Radical Radiotherapy, although he gave me quite a hammering along the way. But I had an amazing team in my corner - so I was more than confident all along 🙂

My recovery from the radiotherapy is still going in the right direction. But fatigue; lacking a sense of taste and issues swallowing food are constant reminders of the effects of the cancer and treatment. As is the slightly numb left ear which has some nerve damage, also as a result of the radiotherapy.

But all in all – I’m told by the medics I’m in better shape than many after just six months post-treatment. Of course, the secondary tumors that were identified, are a constant reminder that there’s still a way to go. I’ll deal with them next year and of course, it will all be dependent on what further scans show.

It's not all bad though...

I’ve lost a lot of weight – some 35kg / 77lb or 5.5 stones. In fairness it was needed because I did need to shed some blubber, but I’ve gotta say – it’s a tough diet and is not recommended at all as an aid for weight-loss 😉

Still, I’m down a good three dress sizes and getting into clothes I’ve had (literally) hanging around since 2005. They’re almost back in fashion too!

Also in September was the ‘worldwide coffee morning’ that I held on Zoom, raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Charity. I have such fond memories of that day – meeting up on video with family and friends all around the globe.

Also – avid readers of this blog may remember there was a prize winner drawn from all the people that were on zoom with me that day – and the winner is a good mate of mine - Phil Butterworth, who I’ve known since my early days in Siem Reap, Cambodia, around 10 years ago.

I had comissioned a commemorative mug from Macmillan - specially printed and then shipped to the USA, where Phil now resides. Here’s a lovely selfie as sent to me from Phil.

Enjoy it mate!

So that nicely wraps up this chapter and the final one for 2020. I’m scheduled a further PET/CT scan sometime during January 2021 and I’ll update this blog with information, when I have the results from that.

But for now on behalf of Samros, Nisa and me, we extend our sincere thanks for all your messages of support and to wish you peaceful holidays and a healthy and happy New Year, wherever you are in the world.

Take care
Woz x

9 thoughts on “26-What a year that was”

  1. Hi Warren well done on reaching 6 months I am now 28 month post radiotherapy for tonsil cancer and yes like you say the treatment s brutal and recovery long. I still get bouts of fatigue no where near as as the early days.This week I had a dental appointment so with prodding and poking in the mouth ive had 2 iffy eating days and today I have been shattered. But tomorrow is another day have everything crossed for your January scan Best wishes to you and your lovely family Hazel aka RadioactiveRaz x

    Hiya Hazel – thanks for your note and as you might know, you’re an insiration for me. I followed your blog from the start of my cancer and it helped enormously in knowing what to expect. Although as we both know, nothing can accurately describe the pain along the way. Keep in touch hon and all our best to you and yours too x

  2. You’re an inspiration to us all (although I can hear you vehemently denying it).

    Best wishes for a considerably better 2021.

    Blimey cuz, don’t go all soft on me, not after all these years mate!
    Our best to you all too x

  3. A lovely post.
    A year to forget in many many ways… but despite the very hard times, the fact you’ve taken some positives along the way is nothing short of remarkable. I agree with Eric – you’ve been an inspiration both for bravely and humbly dealing with the horrid times but also for being honest about how tough those times could be.
    Very proud. Lots of love xxx

    Thanks Rach – lovely sentiment xx
    Ps. Judging by the posting time, seems it might be a tad gin-fuelled? 😉

  4. Good job you didn’t loose any more weight as you might have been back to wearing flares and platforms/wedges , have a great Christmas and New Year, all our love and best wishes Neil and Marie

    Wouldn’t that make a great picture mate.
    Or maybe not ;-0
    Best to you all too x

  5. What a year, eh? Your blog needs to be re-titled: not Big Wozzer but the Wozzer Formerly Known As Big. The doom and gloom of Covid-19 have been relieved by the 1-0 result of Wozzer v Larry the Lump. Have a great family Christmas. Looking forward to a New Year of being back on hugging terms. Love to the wonderful Samros and Nisa.
    Love, Mo & John.

    Ah, now there’s a thought. Gotta be sure to keep the weight off first !!
    Yes – ever so looking forward to another catch up in the New Year. Love from us all xxx

  6. Wishing the indomitable Woz and family a fun filled holiday and excellent new year.

    All the best.
    Paul B. xx

    Thanks for the note Paul. All our best wishes to you and yours too x

  7. Kia kaha Wozzer! I agree with all those comments above, you are an inspiration and have shown courage throughout a tough time, what strong wahine you have behind you to support you through as well, hugs and love to you all this Xmas season. It was wonderful to catch up with you on the MacMillian Morning tea too xx

    Susd’ay Kels 🙂 Sometimes I wish my song saa wasn’t so strong – beats me up no end of times. I love it really! Best to you and Andy too for the holidays. And yes, the Macmillan day was great – lets catch up again in a few months xxx

  8. You are an amazing man Woz and you have dealt with your cancer with your strength and humour. Congrats on the knockout with your first fight and no matter what happens, you will continue to kick arse.
    Much love to you and Samros and your family and I wish you all a fantastic Christmas and a safe and healthy 2021.
    Take care and one day we will get that drink,
    Love Di

    Hey Di – thanks for all your thoughts and wishes. Yep – some how we’ll get that drink together 🙂
    Have a great Xmas and New Year. Woz xx

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