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  • Writer's pictureAustin Birks

75 Not Out - My Journey Book Launch

So, my dear chums, this Wednesday saw the milestone achievement of chemotherapy treatment number 75. This has been a long process of evolution, with at different times different treatments for the cancers that needed sorting out. The thing is, when you have cancer and when you have beaten it twice, when it comes back each time, it is not the same as it was before, and requires individual strategies.

This is where the expertise of the oncologist really comes to the stage, and I am indeed blessed to have a giant of a man in my corner. Doctor Peter Correa has looked after me brilliantly, and I am delighted to report that I recently had the chance to thank him publicly, not just on my behalf but also on behalf of all my family, friends, and other dear chums from various parts of my life, as well of course on behalf of all his patients who have gone before, as well as those lucky souls who will have him at their side.

The occasion was at the book launch that happened on Friday, October 7th 2022. Long story short this is a book of blogs that I wrote when I had a different life, both pre and post cancer. The origin was that over a 12-year-period I wrote over 1,200 blogs for uTrack Software Solutions, where I was Head of Business Development and a Director.

The book is called “My Journey” and revolves around my experiences in the bus and coach industry. It is actually a book about the human condition in all its absurd beauty and madness. It made me laugh a lot when I wrote them and it was just great to have some 80 plus special people join me as myself and my very dear friend Mike Woods (himself a very respected poet with 4 volumes written) recreated a selection of the blogs to try and amuse the assembled audience.

And right up there on the guest list was Doctor Peter and his wife, and I was able in a few simple words to hopefully say a lot about what he meant to me and all those there who have been on my journey.

Dr. Peter also represented all those within the NHS who have kept me and countless others alive against the toughest challenge ever with Covid, that the NHS have confronted over the last few years. From cleaners to receptionists, nurses, surgeons, they all are part of that jigsaw, and they have all been magnificent in my personal experience.

So, as small Peruvian bear who marmalade sandwiches recently said to a most special lady…”Thank you Doctor for everything…”

It was quite a super day and I even flogged some books. Part of the proceeds of which will be going to a charity that my dear old dad founded to preserve the history of the bus and coach industry, the career that I followed him into. Big shoes to fill as well let me tell you.

The whole event was filmed and there are various segments available to watch a 1 minute taster, a 6 minute, and an 11 minute overview and the complete event at just over 1 hour. It includes presentations, interviews with attendees, and of course the blog readings that Mike and I hammed up to try and bring a smile.

So, inspired by this and some other factors I am presently writing a second book, all about living with cancer, from my experience.

This will see me writing a narrative book over the 4 plus years that I have been a patient. Of course, it will be based on the blogs and as ever I always see the absurd and humorous in my cancer life as these blogs are designed to show. However, I will not sugar coat, the content, it will be warts and all, although delighted to report that there are no warts at this stage (but do not worry there will be many other yucky things to share).

But as ever for every yang there is a yang. In the game of snakes and ladders that is cancer world there is always a cure and a remedy to be had and applied. Be that a strong glue to fix your cuts on fingers and toes. Paraffin-based steroid gels for leprosy like skin diseases. Oh, and do not get me started on the stoma bag poo fest, that is a book in its own right. So, my dear chums I will as ever keep you informed. I have written a few chapters and will now crank up the volume, in the meantime as ever my huge thanks to you all dear chums.

Check out the book and if you like it buy one. It is available on Amazon, and other on line outlets as well as Waterstones, just in time for Christmas.

Ha, over and out for now dear friends. Until next time, keep strong and remember no matter how bad things get, and lets face it they cant get much worse than this farce we now call normal, keep strong and never give up, never give in.

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