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  • Writer's pictureAustin Birks

Sampson and Delilah, and No Blogs...

I recall, as a young child, being quite intrigued by the story of Sampson and Delilah; the idea of some superhero with long hair that symbolically represented his strength, being so much in love that he allowed his hair to be cut off, and his strength to diminish, and ultimately lose his life. Such is the power of love, something that has confused man and woman since the dawn of time, and indeed since the apple was offered to Adam and Eve realised that she was in fact vegan.

So, what has that got to do with, which has indeed been silent since January, 29th? Well, I have to confess that for some strange reason, I have been suffering from what is called writer's block. Strange, looking back, because in the last five weeks, a great deal has happened in my cancer world. But I have lost the will to write. It’s like the ink fell out of my fingers in a strange, typing kind of way. Funny thing is that the barren spell has coincided with the end of my blog-writing career at uTrack, where times have moved on, and so they should, as life has a natural order where everything starts and finishes. So, my 12-year journey of writing 3 blogs a week was suddenly, like an old locomotive train, quietly sidled into the shunting yard, to gather dust and begin to rust.

Unlike my good self, as I have clearly not started to rust yet, as far as I know. The funny thing is that while my brain and my fingers have withdrawn their blogging labour, my overactive brain has not. Indeed, this blog is my foray back into that wonderful world of creative expression. Do not get me wrong, there has been a shed load of material that I will now draw upon, but it is strange that it has taken me until now to return to the keypad and unlock Pandora’s box.

As it stands, right now, I am 6 days away from having major surgery. I am due to attend the Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield to undergo significant surgery. The cunning plan is for me to have all three cancers cut out of me in one fell swoop. Not unlike the public utilities, who will normally dig up a street for the gas board to go in and do their stuff. Then a few weeks later, the water board will dig it all up and do their thing and then put it all back. Only for the electricity guys to come along and do the same thing.

Well, fair play, in a great piece of joined up medical thinking, the road will be dug up from sternum to groin, and then 2 amazing surgeons will take it in turns to cut out the two cancers in the bowel, and the new addition of cancer near the urethra. It is a job lot as they say, and fortunately for me, I have two of the very best surgeons in the country operating on me.

Ironically, straight after my surgery, I will be back into the critical care unit, where apparently those poor souls diagnosed with the corona virus will be given priority treatment. Funnily enough, I’m not expecting too many visitors as it strikes me as slightly dodgy. Having said that, on a purely selfish level, if I get it, at least I’m in the best place.

As ever, my pint is always half full, and never half empty. Not that I will be touching pints for quite some time.

My expected stay in hospital is around 3 weeks, and then when I return home I will have left quite a lot of my insides at the Good Hope Hospital. Yes, I have been left under no illusions that part of my rectum, my bowel, my appendix, and a few other things that I cannot pronounce, but would score you a lot of points if you play Scrabble, will forever be left in the Royal Borough Of Sutton Coldfield.

So, like an old retired cowboy who had hung up his saddle, I find myself delighted to be back in the game. So please forgive my brief departure, I return inspired and motivated to share my journey with this cruel disease but stay with me my dear chums. I have much left to do, and no matter what cancer does I will continue to chronicle all that goes before me, as ever with a wry smile and a deep appreciation of the beauty of life, and the joy of laughing.

Onwards and upwards, my dear chums.

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Tony Riddle
Tony Riddle
Mar 15, 2020

As usual Austin a very detailed account of what you are going through. I hope the next bout of surgery will sort out this latest problem,and you can return to a better form of life. Tony Riddle.


Mar 13, 2020

So good to hear that the 'old' cowboy is back in the blog writing saddle, as eloquent and powerful as ever. Your words have always had great power mate, long may they continue to do so. Love as always xxx


Mar 12, 2020

Inspirational, witty and thought-provoking as always. Stay strong. 👊🏼❤️

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