"Today I go into hospital for the day to start my third monthly cycle of a six-month course of chemotherapy treatment and so far I have been pleasantly surprised that my side effects have been minimal. Indeed, apart from being largely confined to the house while my immunisation is virtually nil, a bit of tiredness and the occasional bout of nausea, I have absolutely nothing to complain about and much to celebrate.
This weekend I shall be visited by my children, Adam from London, Becky from Sussex and Matthew from Mirfield for Father's Sunday and next week my son William and his wife Eve will be visiting from Australia for a three week stay with us along with Eve's parents. I look forward to seeing them all. There is also a family barbecue next week at my brother Peter's house to celebrate the birthday of four siblings this month.
It is during such trying times in one's life that one's perspective is placed under closer examination and is reappraised. According to Chinese tradition, the year 2014 is the 'Year of the Horse' and having been born during a previous Chinese 'Year of the Horse' (1942), this year is my lucky year.
The most important thing which I have learnt this year is the simple truth that there is never a need in this world for anyone 'to be alone.' I have been reminded of the true importance of family and friends who are always there for you during times of trial, providing you don't actively keep them out of your life. To have the support system of people for whom you care and love is an immeasurable asset in one's armoury of survival and is the most precious of all one's possessions. To know that you are cared for and loved in return is equally priceless.
I am blessed to be loved and cared for by so many people and I'd go so far as to say that discovering this anew has almost been worth having cancer for. I want to thank all of my family and friends who are making sure that I do not travel this road alone. I am truly grateful for all your prayers, touched by your concern and greatly appreciative of your advice and ongoing support. Knowing that there is always someone beside me to turn to is the most reassuring of blessings to have and is an experience which isolation can never allow. Above all, I thank my wife Sheila for her love and constancy of goodness in all she does for me; she is my rock.
One thing about having a diagnosed terminal illness is that it does provide an additional opportunity to truly help another in their time of doubt. I want to remind everyone out there who has a health or happiness issue that there is never any reason why any person in this world should ever feel alone 'unless they wish it so.' I want to say to anyone out there who is concerned about their health or happiness in any way to keep family and friends forever close, especially if you want to remain close to your heaven on earth and your God in heaven. I love you all. Thank you for being there for me." William Forde: June 12th, 2014.