A quick update

01 Sep 2012

 So sorry for the lack of news but I've been so listless, lethargic and breathless that even pressing keys on the iPad felt like breaking rocks.

I am now home again, returning on Wednesday afternoon from the Brompton. After much wavering, the decision was that since the chest drain hadn't released that much fluid - and that fluid wasn't infected - it was not worth doing a bigger chest operation because of the pain  and risks involved. It might seem a counsel of despair but I think it's a realistic assessment of the underlying state of my cancer, which has deteriorated.

I've been so grateful to my old Cambridge friend, now a lung cancer consultant, for helping to guide me through this difficult time. Mark has been so generous with his time coming to visit me between his busy shifts at Papworth Hospital. Today he and his wife Gerry came to visit me. As she's a cancer nurse, between them they gave lots of useful tips about pain relief and dealing with breathlessness.

I now feel I am building a support network and I had a really good visit from the palliative care nurse from the Princess Alice Hospice. Ironically , Chrissy has been a therapist volunteer there for many years. How would we manage without the hospice charity movement?

I now have oxygen and nebuliser machine at home. These help with breathing and clearing the airways.

One other, less conventional, bit of my support network involved breaking a long-held principle. After boycotting Rupert Murdoch as much as possible I have finally succumbed to a Sky Sports subscription. Since I've also finally given up my gym membership, it does feel like a big shift towards being a couch potato!

As you will know, I find having to do things so slowly (climbing stairs is like an assault on Everest) Very frustrating, but progress now is going to be measured in an extra length of the corridor or a walk into the garden not an extra 10 miles on the bike. But I have been looking into getting a static indoor exercise bike, if I can find one with easy enough settings. It might help reduce the elephant-man swellings on my legs and just possibly encourage a little expansion of the left lung. 

This iPad keyboard has a mind of ts own at times and makes editing tricky, so apologies for errors.

Once again the number of hits to this blog is growing fast and so too are the number of responses. I love reading them. Thanks.

I'm still hoping to write my patient's guide to what makes a hospital stay bearable or unbearable, but it'll have to wait a while.

User Comments

Allison Allen - 01 Sep 2012

your update

Always so positive Mike - you're a beacon for us all. I hope your good friends help, but do stay focused on beating the so and so! Enjoy Sky - nothing like watching others exerting themselves to make you feel virtuous :-)
Thinking of you

Gary Duffy - 01 Sep 2012

With you in spirit

Hi there - just wanted to send the most of positive of thoughts from across the pond.....long way away in Sao Paulo but with you in spirit and full of admiration for your fighting spirit! Gary Duffy

Neville Coles - 01 Sep 2012


Look - Sky is great - come to Combe and make my day tomorrow - Arsenal v Liverpool - we are neighbours and I am a Head - new school year Sunday chat !

sue Emmett - 01 Sep 2012

Best wishes

Keep up the fight Mike - you are made of sterling stuff. Enjoy being at home. wishing you the absolute best. Sue

Alison Green - 01 Sep 2012

I am humbled

I have been following your blog from the beginning. I am saddened that things have got so bad. I am humbled to by your tenacity. That you attempted your bike ride shows inner strength. Hang in there Mike and keep telling us like it is.

Joshua Rozenberg - 01 Sep 2012

We're all rooting for you

I'm not surprised that the hits and responses are growing fast: if the warm feelings about you from those who know you and those who don't could cure your cancer, you'd be back playing sport instead of watching it on TV. It's wonderful to see that your innate and longstanding goodness has not deserted you, despite everything you are having to put up with.

Sue Littlemore - 01 Sep 2012

Sky High

I am so pleased for you to know you are back home again and finding good care and support.
I suppose we can forgive your Sky subscription, but if you start tuning into ITV , well then we`ll know you`ve really lost it ....

Geoff Barton - 01 Sep 2012

Autumn update


I've missed you and worried about you, so am so relieved to hear from you. My only disappointment is your succumbing to anything relating to Murdoch!

You've missed the grimmest GCSE results season I remember, and we've missed your heady common-sense. But you've had plenty on your mind..

Thank you so much for your brilliant education analysis, and so much other stuff that you've taught me. I was never really a football fan, but I now watch Ipswich Town FC through your eyes.

With every best wish, and with huge admiration for your work,

Geoff Barton

Catherine - 01 Sep 2012

Wishing you the best

I am a relatively new reader but look forward to each update. The frank account of your experiences and the overriding positivity your words convey are an inspiration. I think we can all forgive you for the Sky subscription, just about. I hope someone reading will be able to advise on an excercise bike that might be suitable for your needs. Wish you all the best.

Lee Pace - 01 Sep 2012

Hi there!

Hi Mike
I've been following your blogs for a while; nothing short of inspirational! Education in bogged down in statistics, politics and negativity, reading your updates make us all realise what truly matters!
Keep up the fight!

Sally coates - 01 Sep 2012

Dear Mike
I don't know you but aim totally inspired by the bravery you show. Enjoy the Sky subscription my husband succumbed years ago.

Liz Lightfoot - 01 Sep 2012


Hi Mike, I was getting a bit worried when no blog entry appeared, knowing you might have been having surgery. It was so lovely to see "New Beating Cancer Blog entry' pop up. It's terrible that you are having such a hard time doing simple things when your mind seems to be sharper than ever and your writing certainly is. You really are a triumph for the human spirit. Your family must be very proud of the way you have kept this blog going even at the worst of times. Not much to report. Headteachers say English GCSE grades are rigged, Ofqual says they are perfectly fine and Gove says the whole exam is not fit for purpose anyway. So stick to Sky Sports! Thinking of you. Liz

Mark Slade - 01 Sep 2012

On your bike - as your old pal Norman T might have said

Dear Mike
So good to see you again today and we admire so much your strength and positivity. It looks like the iPad is holding up well too. A thought about a bike - you can get static rollers for your own bike which might feel better to ride. I am sure everyone's going to be delighted you're home. Other readers may like to know, but will not be surprised to hear, that you expended lots of your precious breath this morning giving Gerry and me tips on how to get to Hampton Court along the river, where to have lunch and you even provided a ticket to get in! I hope the fans of both kinds are a big help. With all our love to you and family. Mark and Gerry xxx

Rebecca Hanson - 01 Sep 2012

The rotten molar.....

If only the essential dentistry finally takes place during the much anticipated September reshuffle, then perhaps the healing could begin and we could all get Sky again....

I hope your well deserved jumping the gun on that front is a good omen Mike.

My sports entertainment has been at the Youth Athletics League finals in Manchester today. Wow - those kids are an absolute credit to everyone involved with them.

Frances - 01 Sep 2012

Keep positive

I wanted to write to you to say well done for staying so positive and strong. I lost my wonderful mum to stomach cancer in June and she too had your inspirational fighting spirit. She wrote a blog on Wordpress - her name was Jan Fairley - you should give it a read, I think you would have liked her. Good luck and god bless.

Jan Murray - 01 Sep 2012

Thinking of you...

Hi Mike, just catching up on your blog and sorry things are so hard for you at the moment. Glad the Sky subscription is making it more bearable! Jan

Jonathan Furness - 01 Sep 2012

Best wishes

Dear Mike,

I've followed your educational journalism for well over a decade since qualifying as a teacher in 1999. In fact it was Stephen (Heppell) who pointed me to some of your articles whilst I was working at Ultralab.

Following your blog is more than inspirational and incredibly moving. Your positivity is a huge credit to you and many other cancer patients.

I'm so glad you have so many friends and family offering you so much support.

Liz's post prompted me to send you an article written by the very excellent Michael Rosen which you might be interested in reading...

Amusing and pertinent, if only it wasn't true. Sigh.

Best wishes,


Harry Ziman - 01 Sep 2012

Chin Up

Well done Mike, keep going.

Richard Carr - 01 Sep 2012

1st September Blog

Hi Mike, I think I'm the only one left without a Sky Sports subscription...!

Thinking of you and will miss you on Friday at NET if you're not there.


Estelle Burton - 01 Sep 2012

The home heals

There is nothing like your own bed and being with the ones you love. Forget old Murdock he isn't worth the effort but watching some good sport is.
Thinking of you and your lovely family
Estelle Burton

Sylvie - 01 Sep 2012

You are amazing

Hi Mike
There is nothing wrong with TV. I must admit it is the only thing that kept me safe after surgery simply because it's there and I discovered a few comic series like the vicar of dibley which I found hilarious and kept me company through the hours of the night when I could not sleep. My husband loves watching sports on TV. It's not my thing but down here we need to take our pleasure the way we can.
Mile I am so happy you are home again. That's the best place. I am sure millions would welcome your hospital insider guide but stay home for the moment. We could contact the rough guide and lonely planet though. I wanted to let you know that I intend to I intend to print your entries about your hospital stays and circulate them around amongst my colleagues in the 3 different hospitals I'm working at if you don't mind. You describe beautifully what is the experience in our hands, and you give me the strength to try to carry on with one of my pet projects, creating more local support and awareness. I was full of ideas after chemotherapy but life and local resistances got the best of my ideas. You remind me constantly why I wanted to try it, and I am constantly grateful to you. Mike I wish you all the best.

Tom Kealy - 01 Sep 2012

Somerset woodies

Hi Mike,

We have missed you down here in the workshop in sunny, well mostly wet, Somerset. Everyone here sends their love. I am so sorry that each move is so hard for you, your fantastic determination and spirit is wonderful to see. Glad to hear that you are home, our thoughts are with you and your family Mike.
PS. When you get bored of sky sports, try this link, its a wonderful way to make a bench, (except I haven't got a big enough saw!), done by a fellow Parnham student Mike Jarvi. PPS. Health and Safety warning for woodworkers at home - do not try this in my workshop!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3utt2Y5aH0

Brenda - 01 Sep 2012

So glad to hear you're back home, Mike. I've been checking regularly for the latest instalment on how you are. So, judging by the rapid response rate, has everyone else.

isobel urquhart - 01 Sep 2012


I'm new to reading yr cancer blog but have relied on your educational journalism for years. I was a teacher, teacher trainer and until recently an education lecturer, and your thoughtful and balanced reporting has been a drop of sanity in the often heated and partisan discussions of educational issues. I'm old enough, for example, to have been all round the phonics wars countless times in four decades, it seems! But as others have said this blog puts all that in its proper perspective. Thank you for sharing this honest account for which I have so much respect. I hope you enjoy the sport - (I'm watching MOTD as I type, not having Sky) and that you manage to get hold of that static bike.

Emily Selvadurai - 01 Sep 2012

Thinking of you

Glad you are home Mike. Enjoy the sport. God bless you. Lots of love Emily xx

Brenda - 01 Sep 2012

Back home

So glad to hear you're back home, Mike. I've been checking regularly for the latest instalment on how you are. And, judging by the rapid response rate, so has everyone else.

No need to worry about becoming a couch potato. After all, you wouldn't be any ordinary spud. No, you could be (all together now) a Bakered Potato.

Note to self: must try harder.

Best wishes, Brenda

John Dunford - 01 Sep 2012

Sky's the limit!

So glad to hear from you again through your blog. We had been concerned that you were having an op and no news had emerged.
Great to know that you are home again - so much better to be there.
We'll allow you to watch Sky Sports -so much better than reading about GCSE results, a story that is unlikely to go away for some time yet.
We're thinking of you lots,
All the best,
John and Sue

Sara Nathan - 02 Sep 2012

Sorry you've had a grim August

Amazing you have held out agin sky sport for so long - hope you have gone the whole hog and got sky+ as well - then at least you don't waste precious time on adverts!
Thinking of you

Simon Gallimore - 02 Sep 2012

Sky etc

never mind Sky sports catch a bit of the Paralympics on C4 - pretty damn amazing and inspiring. And great entertainment too - especially from the velodrome. Sending you waves of positive energy. Simon

penny - 02 Sep 2012

north sea air on the way to you

Good morning Mike. on my way down to the beach for my walk and visualisation and alternate nostril breathing and whatever else it takes! The seagulls are noisy this morning and the day is grey so may avoid the sea swim. Carl is on a shoot in France,so I don't have his heady motivation as he throws himself into the water with his 'Merde, comme il fait froid.. et zut alors mon dieu!' He is developing his political poster campaign in Roubaix, the industrial and pretty depressed Nord Pas de Calais. I think there is perhaps a healthier disrespect for political leaders than over here, perhaps partly because of the lack of reliance on 'truth' from the tabloids. I can't help thinking this same projec would be placed more carefully in public spaces in the UK than outside 'la Mairie' where it is currently being installed in France. So glad you're home. If the static bike happens, leave all the windows open won't you.. double the oxygen intake if possible. You won't be surprised to hear that Reka is biking and camping in North Yorkshire this weekend with Lisa and gang between chemo. I was due to join them but got stung by a weaver fish and although not serious, is a bit tender to pressure so am off my bike for a couple of days. I had this thought the other day as I was looking at the edit for Carl's 'vote for me' images.. we could do one with 12 people having cancer treatments.. a photo and a slogan about more informed cancer care? What do you think? Reka, you and I could be the first 3? Don't reply, just think about it for now. Thinking of you Mike and sending the warmest wishes. Penny x

Tom Kealy - 02 Sep 2012

Somerset woodies

Hi Mike,

We have missed you down here in the workshop in sunny, well mostly wet, Somerset. Everyone here sends their love. I am so sorry that each move is so hard for you, your fantastic determination and spirit is wonderful to see. Glad to hear that you are home, our thoughts are with you and your family Mike.
PS. When you get bored of sky sports, try this link, its a wonderful way to make a bench, (except I haven't got a big enough saw!), done by a fellow Parnham student Mike Jarvi. PPS. Health and Safety warning for woodworkers at home - do not try this in my workshop!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3utt2Y5aH0
All the best, Tom.

Kev Richardson - 02 Sep 2012

Emma oldboys

Hi Mike

Glad to hear that you can enjoy the sport at home now- with cricket, tennis and football on the go at the same time-Lynda gives me stick for watching too much. Also saw that our Peruvian exile was moved to respond-I've not heard from Ade E for ages.
Great writing and thanks for sharing it. Keep battling. Love to Chrissie and the girls as well. Kev & Lynda

Lesley Killin - 02 Sep 2012

There's no place like home!

Hi Mike

Like you, I am amazed at how many people are now reading and replying to your blog. It makes me feel very priviledged and proud that I know you! I am so glad that you are back at home now - it is always the best place to recover - and that you are surrounded by so many people who can help you live your life in a positive way. Hope you are enjoying watching the Paralympics; what about Richard Whitehead's run - wow! We are going next weekend to see Athletics and 7 a side football so we are all looking forward to that. You have earned your right to be a couch potato - enjoy it! Love to Chrissy and the girls.

Lesley, James and Ed x

Liz H - 02 Sep 2012

Dear Mike – of course you must enjoy your Sky Sports with a clear conscience! You’ve given Mr Murdoch another opportunity to feel humble. And thank goodness you are getting such professional and caring support. You frequently refer with pride to your wife, and as a reader from afar of the blog who doesn’t know her, I’d like to express my admiration for what you’ve told us about her career, her volunteering and her loving care for you. I do hope she has her own sources of support as she goes through this journey alongside you. Very, very best wishes to your family.

Andy Day - 02 Sep 2012

Glad to hear you're home

Hi Mike, glad to know you are back surrounded by home and family. I allowed myself Sky sports on the condition that I didn't derive any pleasure from it. As a follower of Aston Villa they have played their part for the last 2 seasons and met the challenge manfully. And this summer England's cricket team followed suit. If, by any chance, there is an irrepresible surge of delight, I put a £1 in the jar for BBC commercial arm to buy a DVD thanks to Rupe. Hope your team brings you some smiles (hey - neither of us were good enough for Dempsey in the end) and get out into the garden to soak up some of that sepia September light. All the very best to you and the family and look forward to your next profoundly moving blog.

mike writes: I love your approach. Fulham did much same for me this weekend. I like the idea of the penance jar.

Bob Eggington - 02 Sep 2012

Good on you, Mike. Thinking about you.

Adrian Everitt - 02 Sep 2012


I don't know if Sky are covering the cycling Tour of Spain (La Vuelta a España), but if they do you should tune in. It's a fantastic race so far, and today's stage to the Covadonga Lakes is one of the most beautiful and difficult anywhere. Chris Froome is third at the moment, but doesn't really look as if he has enough left in his legs (after all that galloping up and down the Tour de France climbs). Alberto Contador is within striking distance, but the current leader - Joaquín Rodríguez - has been performing miracles to keep his leader's jersey every day so far. Today's stage should be tremendous, and tomorrow's, too. And then next Wednesday and Saturday have some more monster climbs. Catch it if you can!

And, by the way, the Spanish word 'vuelta' not only means 'tour', as in a bike race, but also - in the phrase 'dar vuelta' - means 'to turn around' in the sense of reaching a turning point. It is often used to refer to overcoming adversity. So, thinking of you, it's a word and a hope that comes to mind.

And now it seems I'd better catch up with Kev. Last I knew, his eldest son, Joe, was just getting married and setting up in New Zealand. So I'll have to find out if he beat me to 'grandad' status. (I got there a few weeks ago!)

Love to you and yours, from darkest Peru.

mike writes: they do show it and now I will hav to catch it. Thanks for language lesson - I love things like that

magali - 02 Sep 2012

Welcome home

Hi Mike, welcome home and thanks for updating us. Your blog is brilliantly written - even when you are exhausted or off your head on morphine! I don't know how you do it.

When I was stuck at home in the weeks following my op, it really helped me to write down a few things to look forward to each week. It might be a friend visiting one day, a nice meal and glass of wine one night, a DVD I'd been meaning to watch for ages another night. It really cheered me up.

With love from the madhouse
Magali, Steve, Louis & Ava xx

Andy Bryan - 02 Sep 2012


Mike,so glad you're home with the family and still so positive and brave.Thanks for the update.Watching Sport doesn't count as a sin. Take Care. Andyx

Jim Webber - 02 Sep 2012

Sky is the Limit

Really Mike - how dare you. I guess the lure of Ipswich and Fulham live on weekend of 6/7 October was just to much to resist. I am sure that I will eventually succumb - just as soon as they start to screen a reasonable number of Colchester games.......
It is so good to hear from you and pleased that you are out of the hospitals.

Linda and David - 02 Sep 2012

Missing you in Devon

Spoke to Chrissy this morning, what a wonderful bloke you are truly inspirational to us all.
A bit gloomy in Devon today but still quite warm. We have been to Beer on the bike with some friends and went mackerel fishing, caught two, the price for the boat hire was £20 for one hour, so fish fingers much cheaper!
Your garden is fine and certainly does not need watering, hoping to see you back soon. Much, much love from us and the oak trees!

Julie Kissick - 02 Sep 2012

I've read your latest post & responses Mike & I echo the comments made by Joshua Rozenburg & Alison Green. Your tenacity & good nature are humbling & inspiring & if the support you have could change this situation for the better it would. So many people are sharing this time with you & wishing it could be different Mike. I just hope that helps in some small way.

Mike: it does help to know so many people are wishing me well, especially when darker thoughts threaten to creep in.

Rebecca Hanson - 02 Sep 2012

The Last Leg

I don't know if you've seen 'The Last Leg' (on at 10:30 each night in association with the Paralympics), but if you want to have an unPC laugh about what bodies which aren't functioning 'perfectly' can and can't do I recommend it.

Well done Adam Hills & co.

Cathy - 02 Sep 2012

Wishing you well

Hi Mike,
good to hear you are home even though things are still tough. I hope you are comfortable there and enjoy every sporting moment. With every best wish to you and all the family. Cathy

Dominique Robathan - 02 Sep 2012

Hi again Mike

Mike you contributed to inspire me to go to the Olympic Park and I went to some paralympic events yesterday with a friend. The whole thing: the upbeat and friendly atmosphere, the smooth travelling, the cheerful and helpful volunteers, the architecture of the park, a complete cross section of families, quite a few with disabled members including children, all having a good time, the professionalism of the athletes made me feel proud of living in England. I saw 7 a side football, goal ball which is a ball game for blind people, as you probably know, where the audience has to be quiet for the participants to hear the bell that is inside the ball, but the most fun was wheelchair basket ball. It is quite boisterous with wchairs crashing into each other, very skilfull and the crowd is led into american style cheering, singing, stamping feet, mexican waves. The coverage on channel 4 is great as some other bloggers have said and I thought that the opening ceremony was very inspiring, beautiful, intellectually challenging and smashing preconceptions of so called normality. I don't suppose you saw it but If you have a chance to go on I player it's worth it.
Thinking of you, Christine, Rachel and Louise.
Much love,

Kay Symons - 02 Sep 2012

Mike, good to read such a frank and elegantly-written account and to keep up-to-date with how you are,even in such tough times. It'll be great if you do a patient's-eye view of hospitals. Wouldn't it be brilliant if they could all be as good as the best? Bit like schools, really. Thinking of you.


Steve Smith - 03 Sep 2012

Thinking of You

Dear Mike, Apologies for not leaving more messages, but I just wanted you to know that I keep reading this excellent blog and follow the ups and downs of the treatment. Don't feel too bad about Sky - you've held out for long enough. Nothing happening in the higher education world! All the very best, Steve

Andrew Bethell - 03 Sep 2012

Hang in there

Mike I am appalled that I have failed to comment on your blog which I have been following on and off since it began. I have never been much good at adding comments on blogs (the Guardian threads usually appal me). However, I have been following your spirited battle with what sounds like a beast of a cancer. I would expect nothing less of course, and yet you are not only fighting a robust fight but have had the patience to write about it so elegantly and with such honesty. Recent developments sound grim and I send you very best wishes. As Geoff Barton says, we are in a particularly infuriating phase on the education scene with Gove clearly hell bent on re-making the system in his own ghastly image. We need your calm and brilliantly informed view to make at least some sense of it. Keep tapping the iPad. It has taken me two years to work out how to edit, and I still find it a pain. But there is so much else to enjoy with that piece of kit.

Ivor Gaber - 03 Sep 2012


Hi Mike

Thanks for your blog - as ever both uplifting and amusing - , even when the news is a bit glum But hey, hold off on that Sky subscription - I don't think it would be good for your health watching your former 'stars' Messrs Johnson and Zamora, failing to recapture their Cottage magic down the road at the Bush.


Cate Vojdik - 03 Sep 2012

Thinking of you

Dear Mike,

I can only echo what so many others have written before me. Despite my lack of comments (and awful correspondence record), I've eagerly awaited each of your blog posts and have marveled at your lovely, honest, elegant accounts of your journey. Your incredible gumption and inimitable spirit continue to amaze and inspire. But then, you have always been an inspiration, not to mention such good fun. I've been thinking about the pics of you modeling the Wolverine hat back in Ann Arbor. I have such warm memories of that reunion weekend with you and Elizabeth--the three of us representing for the MJF Class of 2000.
You, Chrissy and the girls are in my thoughts. Ivan and I send much love to all of you.
Big hugs,

Melanie Fanstone - 03 Sep 2012

Enjoy being back at home with your family. I - in common with lots of your former BBC colleagues - am thinking of you and reading your news. With all the tough stuff that's going on it's wonderful that the perfect copy just keeps coming. We wouldn't expect anything less! Hang in there.

Alban Thurston - 03 Sep 2012

Friends in the unbroken circle

Echoing the tributes, big man, especially from Joshua Rozenburg. Mark & Gerry dropped in on Saturday after visiting you, and gave reports of your grit & courage. Esteeming you hugely; your shining goodness & strength of character inspire me in a new challenge, which involves being nice to Conservatives. (Not to Govey, obviously: even I have some standards. Maybe freedom from that terrible necessity is another consolation for / relief from dropping out of teaching! But I digress..)

This blog is of astonishing value; you can't help carrying on super-contributing, can you? Take it very easy, you big lunk! In deep affection, AT

PS If he can't be Bulgar'ed to recover his first season's form with us at the Lane, your man Berbatov might need to share a pillow too, and 'blog' in his performance remotely from his iPad. Energetic for him... just saying...

Graham Game - 03 Sep 2012

Thinking of you

Glad that your'e home Mike. I'm sure that your'e worried about our safety here in darkest Essex, but I can reassure you that we are OK. The lioness has gone for now. (any serious journalists reading need to know that I have heard from a reliable police source that it really was a real lioness - they tracked, then lost it!) A static bike is a good idea - I have an exercise bike with computer you can try or maybe you'd be better off with a turbo trainer. Happy to help source either way - let me know.
Love & Blessings - Graham & Maureen

Sean Coughlan - 03 Sep 2012

New term

Thinking about you as the news diary gets busy again. It might not be the journalism you expected, but you're still keeping your audience informed, educated and entertained. Example for all of us.

Neil Bennett - 03 Sep 2012

SKY and the Championship

Too much Premiership trivia on SKY,Mike.

But let's hope they cover Palace V Ipswich - guaranteed second win of the season for the Eagles

Alban Thurston - 03 Sep 2012

Unbroken circle of friends supporting you

Echoing the tributes, big man, especially from Joshua Rozenburg. Mark & Gerry dropped in on Saturday after visiting you, and gave reports of your grit & courage. Esteeming you hugely; your shining goodness & strength of character inspire me in a new challenge, which involves being nice to Conservatives. (Not to Govey, obviously: even I have some standards. Maybe freedom from that terrible necessity is another consolation for / relief from dropping out of teaching! But I digress..)
This blog is of astonishing value; you can't help carrying on super-contributing, can you? Take it very easy, you big lunk! In deep affection, AT
PS If he can't be Bulgar'ed to recover his first season's form with us at the Lane, your man Berbatov might need to share a pillow, and 'blog' his performance in remotely via iPad. Energetic for our/your Dimitar... just saying...

kim - 03 Sep 2012

gym membership

Oh Mike! I know how hard it will have been to give up that gym membership!. While the rest of us were using match sticks to keep our eyes open and eating fried breakfasts at teachers conference hotels, you were off running and then cycling across miles of the surrounding countryside. You always deserved our traditional blackpool fish and chips night. Sorry I haven't commented before. I am a bit out with the ark about these things. Always been thinking of you though. Visiting Sue on Thursday.

Tony Halpin - 04 Sep 2012

Thinking of you Mike and wishing you every comfort.What you're doing on this blog is incredible and the least Ipswich Town could do in response is to go on a decent run. Used to stand on the terraces as a kid during the Robson era and have always had a soft spot for them. All the best to you. Tony

Katie Finigan - 04 Sep 2012

Mike I am always thinking of you and look forward to each thought provoking and inspirational blog. Hugs from me and Paul

Fiona Montague - 04 Sep 2012

Welcome back!

Hello Mike, I am addicted to your blogs, as is Maurice - I am thinking of you more than most times at the moment, as organising the next event - you enjoy your couch - you might like to know you have inspired me to take up cycling!! Edward on a seat behind me, wobbly at first but getting there. Much love from Maurice myself and Edward.

Victoria - 04 Sep 2012

New reader

Dear Mike,

I saw a link to your blog on Twitter and read your most recent post. I then started reading from the beginning, and 30 odd minutes on, I've just got to September 2012.

I am very saddened to hear that things are not good at the moment, but very much hope you feel better soon.

Your blog made me really think some things - hearing how healthy you were pre diagnosis has made me consider my own lifestyle - which could be healthier.

It's not very much, but I hope you can see the good your blog is doing.

Wishing you all the best,


Naomi Rose - 04 Sep 2012

Couch potatoes

Mike obviously you and your readers come from a much greater interlectual plane than I. My life's ambition has been to be a couch potato, but the confounded children and mortgage foiled my plans. George has started his second round of chemo, and is now under the excellent care of Dr Jeremy Steele at Barts. I think I should bring him round to share your sofa as it sounds like Chrissy is doing a much better job than I. Plus we don't have Sky Sports, though George has developed a worrying passion for Masterchef. I am still waiting for him to produce a meal from the show. I am sending you my very best wishes and thoughts to keep strong and as ever I am super impressed with your blog. Love Naomi.

John Izbicki - 04 Sep 2012

Your Blogs

Hi Mike,
You have been and continue to be an example to us all! You will get over this blip as you have got over the previous ones. Thought of you in Ireland from which June and I have just returned after a spot of baby-sitting over there. Keep your spirits up, Mike. You have a million friends who support you from afar. Warm wishes to you always!

John Andrew - 04 Sep 2012

The tenacity and spirit you've shown throughout your illness has been humbling to all those who've read your blogs- and no doubt a great help to many others in a similar situation.If determination alone could beat this cursed disease you'd have won the battle long ago. Keep fighting .Our thoughts are with you.

John and Sara Andrew

PS Don't feel guilty about taking Sky.We took the Murdoch route years ago because out in the sticks our terrestial signal was non-existent.

Tim Miles - 04 Sep 2012


Hang on in there Mike.
Starting a new school term tomorrow, with Ofsted imminent. But what you're doing puts that well into perspective.
Glad to hear you've got Sky. That means you'll be able, from time to time, to watch the amazing transformation in Forest's fortunes. We'll try to be gentle with Ipswich when that comes around. All my best wishes. Tim

Michael Makin - 04 Sep 2012

Thinking of You

Dear Mike,

We're all thinking of you here in Dexter, MI. The school and university terms began today, so lots of educational issues on our minds. We admire your strength and will power.

May ITFC delight us with some good results this autumn, and may that England catching you wrote about recently get better quickly.

All our very best wishes, MLM

Alison Banham - 05 Sep 2012

Dear Mike
We are in complete awe of your strength and determination. It's humbling to read your blog - still witty and upbeat, despite your setbacks. We, Mum and Dad included(they often chat to your parents), wish you everything you wish yourself.
On a lighter note, Sky Sport has to be better than daytime TV!
Hockey season is looming in our house again - surely more umpiring than playing this year!
With much love
The Banhams and The Suttons

Jon Silverman - 05 Sep 2012


Mike, still banking on seeing this season's Fulham-Utd match with you - and a pizza beforehand. All my thoughts with you, Jon.

Steff - 05 Sep 2012

Glad to hear you're home Mike. And enjoy your Sky Sports! Everyone needs a little comfort telly now and again!!


Lorraine and Anthony Russell and the girls - 05 Sep 2012

Pleased your home

Dear Mike

Pleased you are home. Anthony has been wanting Sky Sports for years - to watch all those Brentford FC matches! Enjoy!

Our very best wishes to you and the family.

With love from the Russell's x

Réka Pataky - 06 Sep 2012

Hi Dearest Mike
I am so glad you are at home.
Thinking of you and talking about you loads.
I am pedalling for you up here in sunny Yorkshire. Take Care

Ben - 06 Sep 2012

best wishes

I'm doing some stuff with the CIPR today and thinking of you. Glad to hear you're home and to read about the professional and volunteer support. Try the Rugby League on the box - it's strangely addictive. Sending you very best wishes.

Branwen - 06 Sep 2012

autumn sunshine

Mike - I've been amazed by your fortitude, especially over the last few weeks of hospital visits. I hope there is a real indian summer of warm sunshine so you can enjoy plenty of time in the garden

Michael Sparkes - 12 Sep 2012


I can't belieeeeve you said your ankles and feet are starting to look like mine!!!!

tim devlin - 16 Sep 2012

in admiration

Hi Mike. All good wishes.I read your blog in admiration. I hope I never know what you are going through. But if I do I, like so many others,will have the benefit of your blog. On a personal note you very kindly recommended my services to an excellent charity of which you are a trustee. I am meeting them tomorrow. Thanks. Again in admiration wishing you the luck you deserve so much. Tim Devlin

Simon Coe - 23 Sep 2012

Sadly Missed

Mike, I know that it's too late now and that the gap of several years since we were last in contact is entirely my fault but I feel the need to record my sorrow at your passing, my condolences to your family and friends as well as my admiration for all that you have achieved. Rest peacefully, Simon.

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