The Beauty of Being Wretched

Growing up I had no contact with cancer. My first exposure to its grim realities was a movie in the early 80s. John Hurt played the role of a man who was often reduced to vomiting in his sink. It shook me up and I always felt deep sympathy for anyone diagnosed. Over the decades […]

Lance Armstrong – You Really Let Us Down

I’m not into cycling and I was never too into Lance Armstrong’s book. I read a couple of chapters though and heavily identified with his chemo experiences. It was oddly comforting to read in print what I’d experienced. There is no doubt the book had importance. Two separate concerned friends gave me a copy. Others […]

Artificial Happiness and the Power of No Choice

We have a tendency to overestimate the impact that events will have in our life. Ask anyone whether they would be happier winning millions or losing a leg and you get the expected answer. Yet, Dan Gilbert’s research shows the peaks and troughs of both happiness and sadness flatten out after around three months. If we win millions, a […]

Wait Three Months and Things will be Better

There is no doubt life can batter you. However, those blows are transitory. Dan Gilbert’s research shows that we recover from most things after about three months. Don’t take my words for it, have a listen to Gilbert, a Harvard professor, who studies the science of happiness. He explains it so much better. No matter […]

The Loss of Wisdom is Such a Waste

A great conversation starter is: “What three people from history would you most like to have dinner with?” It sets minds racing on who was the most brilliant thinker, explorer, adventurer, leader, artist, singer, ruler or politician.  It is hard to weigh up the respective merits of science, medicine, philosophy, astronomy, art, culture or discovery. I’m fascinated to hear other […]

Fighting Cancer and Talking About It

Putting your feelings about life, cancer treatment and the dreadfully taboo topic of death out on the Web is awkward. Revealing your emotions for all to see feels like being naked in the town square during the mid-day rush. I didn’t ask for cancer and I’d happily have skipped the treatment. In fact, I often joke that cancer has […]

Synthetic Happiness – Win Millions or Lose a Leg?

In this video, Harvard Professor Dan Gilbert explains synthetic happiness. This odd-sounding concept is about the happiness we manufacture when we don’t get what we want from life. Given the way ‘crap happens’, that is a darn handy thing to know. So, please take a moment to wrap your thinking gear around this concept. Synthetic […]

The Lose Lose Proposition – Fighting Cancer and its Reality

I hesitated for ages before I could put anything at all down about my experiences with the Big C. I was diagnosed around two years ago. I have a nasty version – Stage IV tongue cancer. The survival stats are not comforting reading. The tongue and throat are really grim places to have things go […]

Seems Bad News Really May Come in Threes

I’m not a superstitious person. I have never given much credence to the old adage that bad news travels as a trio. However, that is just what happened last week. In the space of four days I heard that three people I know had been diagnosed with cancer. Wow. The first news was sobering. The […]

Me and My Mate Michael

Michael Douglas doesn’t know I exist. I’m sure he never will, but fate has joined us together in an odd way: Not only are we roughly the same age, but we were both diagnosed with the same cancer within a couple of days of each other. The Michael Douglas cancer diagnosis was big news. I have […]