Archive for the ‘Titan Crane’ Category

It seems odd that, as I sat there all that time ago, talking about this event, I had prostate cancer inside me. I just didn’t know. And it’s not just fundraising, it’s a chance to raise awareness and to get people talking about it (Kenny Jones of the Who and the Faces talking about a different event)

September 6, 2014

And so dear listener, this blog has been an enjoyable write and (hopefully) read over the last few years but it may come to a frightening end next week; I am plunging – screaming – to my certain death into the River Clyde – some of you may know it as abseiling down the 164 foot Titan Crane in Clydebank.

Yes. I’m doing it for charity – Prostate Cancer UK – but that’s not the real reason I’m doing it. I’m doing it cos the gorgeous Dr W gave me it as a birthday present. For the record, she also gave me a bottle of good ginger beer, which is still chilling (listening to Bob Marley), a DVD of Jackass Bad Grandpa (No. No reason) and a radio in the shape of a green water tap….but, yes, she also gave me the abseiling gig.

Some people know a wee bit ‘bout the friendship between me and Dr W and she has taken me to places I never knew existed (No, not those, Skippy – I’m talking about Musselburgh Primary School when she ran the Edinburgh Marathon and Drumlanrig Castle when she ran Tough Mudder – but not those other ones…… [Chinese accountants…must think of Chinese accountants] ) and her role on D-Day has still to be confirmed (D is for death-defying…hopefully).a

Dr W is the catalyst. But to make sure it happens, I needed to do it for charity. And my selected charity is Prostate Cancer UK. Please have a wee look at their site:

http://prostatecanceruk.org/

About seven years ago I was diagnosed with it and I had it bad – scoring 8 out of 10 on the Gleason Scale which ain’t good. But I was lucky. After millions of tests (finger up bum, mini-cam up penis, what felt and sounded like a staple gun up my bum) they had decided it wasn’t at that time spreading. So I had options – surgery or radiotherapy. Now, if you don’t know what the prostate does, it’s more or less the gland that adds milk to sperm to make semen – kinda life-creating and fun – so I decided to keep it……well you never know.

And I think most listeners know that the only reason I was diagnosed was cos I was seeing my GP regularly having cold-turkeyed (alcohol basically) some six months previously. The distinguished social commentator, Hogan Sinclair, reckons alcohol withdrawal is worse than heroin withdrawal and having watched the later stages of the latter recently I would agree but I’m maybe not the most objective.

But to quantum leap the story……everything worked okay and everything is working okay….seriously……altho’ I may never be invited back to do the money shot in some movies of a certain persuasion (‘invited’? ‘back’?). Hey, quality not quantity, I thought as I had my third tomato of the season so far.

And so having put those things behind me (Aye. Right) I have moved on but I still have a lot to thank the Prostate Cancer for – including an amazing hour’s counselling (from Ann and Doreen) over two years ago that had nothing to do with cancer but helped keep me alive in another way.

They organise information talks, fund research, supply specialist nurses on a dedicated Hotline and peer support amongst other things because this is a serious cancer for men. It kills one man every hour and two of those are in Scotland each day. But it’s a disease that some men won’t discuss or acknowledge – they won’t talk about it. But I will. I am a media tart. [I mean what did I know about John Peel?] STV live or pre-recorded; the Record and the Sun; BBC Radio or Radio Clyde; or local press. And there is no question I will not answer providing I do not reveal personal details about family or anyone else. It’s the same when I’m talking about my alcohol dependency. You’ll notice very few comments at the end of this blog – but they do come in and I do answer them but individually…..or refer them to their GP……

And I help in other ways. It’ll come as no surprise to learn that I was part of the focus group and correspondents for the booklet – Prostate Cancer and your sex life and the section Sex when you’re single – because sometimes it can be very hard (ignore that!) when you want to talk about things. In my early days my cancer buddy was…….well, those listeners who’ve been with me since the beginning will remember her name……

So, yes, I still talk about these things and maybe some of those who tell me I should move on are right – but then the next question is asked or I do an information talk to a Rehabilitation Unit or…….and it’s like when the shout goes and you run up the stairs with keys and the alarm buzzer……but the events of Wednesday night can be told another day…..

Sunday, 14th September is the day currently in my head. Part of me is frightened but then a few weeks the good Dr W and I did the Go Ape around Aberfoyle and it was superb – rank brilliant – and the big thing for us was making sure you listened to the instructor and each of us, a lot of the times, made sure the other was properly buckled and in my case, I shouted ‘3,2,1 Go’ and went. My fear will be in going up the frigging thing and walking along it.

The Justgiving website is

https://www.justgiving.com/John-Thomson5

But I’m doing it for two women – Dr W (cos it was a pressie from her and you always want the giver to get some appreciation for the pressie) and my first ever grand-daughter (indeed grand-child) who I will not name for a while – but also for generations of men yet to come (Yes. I chose my word carefully)

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Possibly for the last time ever

Johnt850 – the Danny Dyer of flower giving.

Some music for you