I HAVE CANCER
I’m Mark Winter, and I have Stage 3 bowel cancer.
According to the stats, my chances of surviving beyond five years are 60%.
I was a college lecturer for 30 years, and I’m a Corbyn-and-beyond socialist, a keen cyclist and an enthusiastic cook. At the age of 59, I was making plans for the future.
Cancer smashes plans and expectations. It rips apart the old you, and creates one or more new versions of yourself. This new self has to face up to major physical and emotional changes, often more than once over the period of treatment.
THE DARK DAYS ARE OVER – FOR NOW
I’m in remission, waiting for my final surgery. I’ve said goodbye to cycling 16 miles a day on my daily commute, as I’ve retired early from my job as a college lecturer.
I’m now married, I’ve made a will, and put things in order. I’ve had to give up control of major parts of me – my body most obviously, but the self that thought it could be independent and self-reliant.