If It Walks Like a Blog…


Arrrghhh. Shit. Shit and bloody bollocks. This is proving to be one of the hardest things I’ve written. Is it because of writer’s block? Is it because I have some terrible and terrifying news to impart? Is it even because of the nonstop distraction of next door’s builders starting their weekend shift at 8:30 in the morning?

No, it’s none of these things. Ultimately, my seething frustrations are spawned from admitting the need to provide the readership of this website with some kind of informational update. Like an inept escapologist I have spent the last six months wriggling and writhing to divest a straightjacket of reality. Firstly I insisted the website’s purpose is to raise and discuss interesting and debatable articles. Then after realising my diagnosis and prognosis provided a topic that people were interested in hearing about, I promised not to devolve into a daily drudgery report. If I was going to write about cancer and terminal illness, I would not sit around detailing my symptoms and treatments for the sake of content. I would write insightful articles that were interesting, humorous, and cogent. And they would be articles, not a bloody blog! I’m not a blogger! You can’t make me!

Well for several reasons, I find myself in a position now where I need to throw some information to the world, or at least the audience of this website. Not in well written, allegorical prose; just bland exposition. Not threading a motif through a connected theme; just dumping a hodgepodge of leftovers from my mental fridge that may or may not be past expiry.

You’ll notice there’s been a bit of gap since my previous post, and well, frankly, when you are terminally ill it’s just rude not to let people know you’re still alive every now and again. Firstly, I have been working on some non cancer related articles, but these are connected and I don’t want to post the first until I finish the last. Talk about making a rod for my own back? Secondly and more inconveniently, I have abruptly started a second round of chemotherapy. I’m nine days into the first treatment of a potential six. Six courses of chemicals that under other circumstances would come in bottles with skull and crossbones on them and you might clean your toilet with.

It’s bloody horrible. From day one I have been zombified physically and mentally; and while I may have given up physically, I had hoped to hang on to the brain for a little while longer. On top of the extra fatigue and shuffling gait (rolled eyes and arms outstretched of course; I have to provide a convincing target for my son’s Nerf based zombie apocalypse), I have been suffering horribly from an insanity inducing rash that has spread all over my head, neck, torso and crotch. During the day I can consciously try to resist tearing at my flesh in a futile attempt to relieve the crawling irritation, but through the night in my broken sleep, I often rip myself into full consciousness with searing pain as I rake unconsciously at the million pins penetrating my scalp.

As you can imagine, these side effects have had something of an impact on my enthusiasm and ability to write pithy articles on things like the relevance of religion in modern Britain. This would be why things have gone so quiet on the Who The Hell Does He Think He Is? front recently. I hope that over the next couple of weeks things will calm down a bit (if only my capacity for hyperbole), and I’ll feel like engaging with the world again, virtually, if not in person.

While I’m here regaling you with all those details I promised never to bore you with, I need to make mention of the incredible support I am getting while I go through this, particularly from my wife, who has shown why this situation is the only way around it could be. I would make a terrible carer; she has been an absolute rock. She has had plenty of motive and opportunity, and yet somehow she has resisted borrowing next door’s wheelbarrow and skip, and filing a missing persons report.

Lastly, and in a frustratingly unconnected tangent, I wanted to let readers know that for reasons beyond my ken, Who The Hell Does he Think He Is? has been whittled into the finalists of the Britmums’ 2014 Brilliance in Blogging awards in the Inspire category. Arrrghhh! I know! Blogging awards! While I consider The Big ‘C’ Blog as an aside to the greater Pulitzer prize purpose of my writing, I would be a bare faced liar if I didn’t confess to a degree of pride in having the validation of other human beings, especially ones that have nice little badges I can add to the site.

So. Anyway. I guess if it walks like a blog, and it talks like a blog….

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Tags: Award, Blog, Britmum, Cancer,

8 Comments. Leave new

Matt Purser
May 24, 2014 6:40 PM

Congrats on being shortlisted it’s well deserved, won’t say I told you so but there I just did :) (stupid phrase)

Have nothing more to add other than much <3 for you and hopefully catch up soon when you're a little less Itchy and Scratchy….


Mary Herbert
May 24, 2014 9:58 PM

Your strenght and determination is unbelievable, you are the worthy winner of the brilliance in blogging awards, good luck Eamonn .


Gah! Itchy Crotch! THE WORST! ;) Get Sarah to lather you up in sudacrem and make it sexy chemo rash. I hope at least that goes down soon. xxx

Carole Castles
May 25, 2014 3:21 PM

I am so glad to hear from you! I have been patiently waiting for some sign that you are still with us! Gosh – that sounds ever so slightly reverential – my deepest apologies. Many sympathies for having to endure the itching. There is nothing worse than a bad itch you cannot scratch and cannot satistfy. I am glad you have such a wonderful wife to support you, put up with you, comfort you, tell you to get a grip when necessary etc.etc.etc. I look forward to reading your potential Pulitzer prize offerings but am glad you have also catered for those of us who care about you by filling us in on what is happening with you. Try not to scratch the bollocks too much – could make matters much worse. I am off now to find out how to add a nice little badge to my own offerings. Now, I wonder what you would like….

May 27, 2014 9:52 PM

Fantastic news you got to be a Finalist, Eamonn. Not surprised though. I was dead chuffed to get thro as well. Hope you’re up to coming along the the Awards. xJo


hi eamonn finally got to look at yr website v good keep scratching the crotch :) not…

see at the shop regards ian

June 22, 2014 12:22 PM

I’m here to tell you Eamonn, it’s a blog and now an award-winning one. We missed you at the ceremony but sending good vibes for you.


Thanks Jennifer,

My tongue will have to be surgically detached from my cheek somehow or I’m in danger of being taken seriously one day. I’m going to write something about my internet ignorance too though. The Britmums’ experience has exposed me to a lot of great blogs, and has made me realise the word doesn’t have to be synonymous with banal (although it often is), and that there are some very talented people out there saying some very interesting things, and some of them are extraordinarily eloquent. (This is in no way me giving myself a back handed compliment as a recently self confessed blogger, award winning or otherwise!)


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