24.11.2002 As some of you know from previous postings, under various pseudonyms including sred, old red and cfs I have Cancer. This disease is nothing if not democratic. It can strike at anyone, including Barnsley fans of long standing like me. I was originally diagnosed in 1996, in October, and had an operation to remove a tumour in my thigh that weighed 2.2 kilos, or just over 4.5 lbs for old uns like me. It was diagnosed as a soft tissue intra muscular liposarcoma, a very rare cancer, with only about 100 diagnosed each year. Having had it removed, I had the standard treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I had seen most of the Barnsley games before my diagnosis was confirmed, but none then until the last two home games against Oldham and, of course, Bradford City. Things then went pretty much OK until September 2001, when a small tumour was diagnosed in my neck, which was surgically removed, and follow up treatment of radiotherapy applied. At that time a small lump in my groin was identified, but thought to be a cyst. In March this year this was re-scanned and on the evidence of a small increase in size - a fifth of an inch to be precise - it was decided that this was another tumour. Because it is inside my pelvic cage it is difficult to remove without significant damage, as part of my pelvis will have to be cut off to allow access to remove it, and the nerves in that area will probably have to be cut, which will probably result in the loss of the use of my legs. So my consultants decided to simply monitor it, as it was not, of itself, life threatening. In June this year I found a lump in my back, which I ignored as it did not feel like my other tumours, which had been soft. This lump was very hard and boney, so I thought (hoped !!) that it would not be another tumour, in fact it was diagnosed as such following a CT scan in October, and the REALLY good news was that the scan had also identified another tumour at the bottom of my right lung. Both of these were operable, but the complication of the third tumour in my groin meant that surgery was not considered an option, as the surgeons would be unlikely to want to take two tumours out whilst leaving a third in place. So my consultant at Cookridge said that chemotherapy was the way forward, as the spread of the tumours had to be stopped. An appointment was arranged with the top bod at St James in Leeds, who would go through the options with me. This took place last Wednesday, and did not, I have to say, fill me with confidence. He seemed to be saying that, as chemo had not worked back in 1996, evident by the spread that was now occurring, it was unlikely to work this time either. I asked him how long sarcoma sufferers tended to survive once spread had started, and was told on average - a year !! Now given that I had had, what turned out to be, a tumour identified in September 2001, simple maths told me that I was already ahead of the game. I asked him how long he thought I would survive, given my history, current situation, state of health etc., and was told "well at least another year". As you might imagine, this was almost as bad as being told that Parkin was coming back with Spackman as his assistant. So there I have it. As Georgie said "Live your life and live it fast, Live every day as if it's your last, You might never come this way again". I am not totally convinced by the arguments put forward by my doctors, and there are many discussions to undertake, and a lot of water to flow before I depart this mortal coil. And therein lies a problem. I actually need an outlet for my thoughts, and this board has become something of a friend to me. John Diamond published his thoughts in a Sunday paper when he was struggling with Cancer, and I know that this benefitted others as well as himself. Now I am no John Diamond, but I have been told that I have a readable style, and I do feel that writing down my thoughts will help me, and it may be humourous and vaguely interesting to some of you. I promise not to be morbid. For those of you who do not want to read them, then simply ignore the postings under the thread of Dear Diary by Steve S. I do hope that this will be a series of postings that lasts many years. If not then so be it. I have had a good life, with Barnsley FC very close to the centre of it. It has been a friend, a comfort, a joy. It has been a bitch, a harlot and a source of absolute frustration. I wish all of you striving to keep the club afloat for future generations the very best of luck. To those who would find this difficult to believe, there are worse things than John Dennis coming back on the new board, there are worse things than being relegated. But there is nothing worse than losing your best friend - this club cannot be allowed to die. I will keep you posted.