My Cancer Journey Continues

An update for those who may be interested


The journey Continues

The time between treatments can vary; this last one is taking a while.

21th December 2016

Rules of Engagement.


My cancer still exists, this much I know. I mentioned in my last episode that I would be having more Chemo; clearly I’m not excited by this. As always, I will do what it takes to stay alive, for my family as much as me. New treatments are being trialled all the time, a new one for Prostate just being lauded. Too late for me, great news for those who are able to sign up. I’m not bitter about this, just a little sad. I still believe my turn will come.


I move on to the next phase of my journey with trepidation, although I have a kind of inner peace at the moment. I’ve just had my seventieth birthday, it was brilliant. I had of course not expected to make it. Just goes to show what can be achieved with a lot of determination, a caring family and a great medical team.



Waving not drowning


Watching the tide flow,

gathering momentum.

The ebb and flow of the sea

reminding me of my life.

I can never be away for long,

it draws me, calling me back.


I’ve bathed in many places,

Dived deep blue waters.

Swum coral reefs, met Ocean giants.

I have a need to feel deep water again.

The thrust of waves off a north shore beach.

Sail boats skimming across the Aegean.


I’m old now,

with only photographs,

and relived memories

played out on a screen.

Is there time for one more adventure?

One crazy last hurrah?


Does everything revolve

around things we can’t control…

 the ebb and flow of the sea. 


Another day in cancer world


Rising at a later hour, the need for sleep ever-present, as is the need for coffee on awakening. Outside, cold air an antidote to my slumbers; me and the dog set forth to greet the day.

The paths of yesteryear, the solitude of high places abandoned, I travel along beaten tracks now. Needing the pit stops of convenience more than the empty spaces I still long for.

On a terrace above the sea, I’m dinning on a breakfast of croissant, coffee and small talk….it seems enough for now.  The road less travelled left to others, should be easy; I’ve left my mark.  Later at home I build another day, dolling out the hours left to fill. Days left on my own need careful planning. Boredom can reduce one’s capacity for a life worthy of the name. Can’t let my imagination run riot; it brings the winter wolves.


We all dream alone

Lying awake,

waiting for the wolves.

They come at night,

hiding in the mist,

at the edge of reason;

on the outskirts of my life.

I’m only dreaming, I think….

therefore I am.

Soon, the fire in my blood will burn low,

the light behind my eyes will dim.

They will come.


If rain stopped play, I call upon my new friend ‘Netflix’ to find me an adventure. I live someone’s dream, of mayhem and unreality played out by Jason Stratham.  I‘m rendered speechless by the T.V. news, is nothing good happening in the world? So many wars, so much dying, so much anger on our streets.


I’m not unhappy; after all, I’m still here writing this. After waking up, everything else is a bonus. Today I will have soup for lunch, Heinz tomato. With two thick slices of bread and real butter, the salted kind. I like to live dangerously.


These are the quiet days; others filled with laughter are also on the menu. I have a granddaughter who seems to like me. I’m amazed how much joy I get sitting spellbound, as she performs her latest dance moves to Children’s T.V.  She’s only two, I hope I see five.

Some day’s, lunch is taken at a pub with friends. Talk no longer small, the clock spinning far too fast; there’s no substitute for good friends. We talk of days gone by, plan days to come, drink wine. This is my energy boost, the wine a blood transfusion; a renewal of self-worth. Our laughter not forced, flowing like a balm to my troubled mind. For a time I’m me again.


This afternoon I will visit the sea again, its ever-changing countenance never bores me. Even in winter there’s much to see. Ships still come and go, sailboats still skim across the bay; trimming their sails as the wind rises. The seas are bigger now, waves crash in; the power of nature undiminished by mans efforts to control it.  I’m a secret storm watcher; the power of them fills me with awe.


The Winter Waves

Rain beating a tattoo on the watchers,

a roll of thunder… clouds forming up;

ready for the overture. We wait with them.


Wind whipping the waves into a frenzy…

They charge in, sweeping all before them;

attacking the shoreline.

Crashing like cannon fire onto the beach.


The surfer, waiting his turn…

Oblivious to all but this moment.

He looks, he swivels, paddles… and he’s up!

Sweeping down the crest of the wave,

twisting backwards… then forwards,

looking for the tube to form as the crest folds over….


He’s in, crouching… hand outstretched;

stroking the wave as he glides through.

Heart pumping, adrenalin coursing through his veins,

poetry in motion; in tune with nature’s orchestra.


I’m shore bound, just a bit player

singing in the chorus to the soundtrack of this moment…


Riders of the Storm…into this life we’re born. Thanks J.M.


My treatment starts again in early January, scans, blood tests and so on. I will face the future as always…with hope, fortitude and the love of a good family.


© mikeverdi 2023
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Hi Mike, This is simply great writing. It is not sentimental or self pitying but honest and highlights the little things that get you by. The love of your family, the precious granddaughter and the desire to live to see more. The interspersing of the poetry works really, really well here. This is you coming into your own. Your own story. Your own strength portrayed in a clear voice. Your own unique determination. A living diary that keeps us all involved and part of your struggle. Priceless…so thank you for sharing. You know I wish you everything your heart desires… Read more »


HI Mike, your words here are superb. As previous people have said in comments you are not sentimental or self pitying at your situation. I read these words you shared with us and was gripped by every single one. I wish you all the best with your treatment in January and will keep you in my thoughts. The love of a good woman and a good family is worth all of the money and gold on Earth. I don’t know you as a friend, but know you as a superb writer. I wish you all the best that is possible… Read more »


Hi Mike. Long time, no speak. I was sorry to see that you’re going through all this. First thing I noticed in the comments. My very best wishes to you, your family and friends. A great piece of writing above. Philosophical and quietly positive. I hope you get to feel that deep water again. Affirmation of life. Take care and good luck with the treatment. Kev

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