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Thread: Life is short and all too precious

  1. #1

    Life is short and all too precious

    A few of you will know that recently a member of the SD lost a tragic battle against cancer. Cyril was a close friend and hunting partner of mine and lost a hard and courageously fought battle against what started as bowel cancer a couple of weeks ago at the age of 32. I think it is important to share the details as warning to us all that this is not just an illness that strikes people in their later years.

    We started stalking together a few years ago and fumbled our way through many a shared stalk together and ended up with more laughs than deer. About 18 – 24 months ago despite having a very healthy appetite Cyril started to loose weight and wasn’t as keen to head out hunting. After some tests it was revealed that he had bowel cancer. I can only imagine how he and his family felt as I was gutted for him. He under went an operation and some chemo and his spirits returned, it wasn’t long before we were out stalking again. I noticed when Cyril was getting over a fence that he was opened pretty much from belly button to sternum and I asked about it. His reply was “they had to take a couple of aul glands away too”, this is never a good sign. His first bout of chemo didn’t do anything to stop or reduce the cancer but the second round of treatment did. Looking back on it now I have to take my hat to him, he would get chemo bottle fitted on a Thursday and we would be out lamping later that night without a complaint or ill word spoken.

    He received some good news at Christmas 2011 that the cancer seemed to be in remission and went out and got himself a 2005 defender ready for some serious stalking and lamping. Soon after that he started to complain about pains in his back and shoulders and wasn’t as keen to head out. He called me on St pats night 2012 to say that he had some bad news that the cancer had returned and was in his spine and bones. Despite this set back Cyril was positive and started to enjoy getting out for a shot again.

    Towards the end , I would call up for him and prop him up in the front of the landrover and head out lamping well into the early hours of the morning, I was glad to take him out hunting and enjoyed the company and it was only when the Minister at his service spoke of these nights and how a friend kept him out to 0300 did it become clear how much these small things meant to him. I was disappointed that he was too unwell to get out for a final stalk but then again life is often unfair.

    The reason for this post on a public forum on what can be taken as a personal / private experience is to act as a warning for us all. The day Cyril’s wife confirmed that he was terminally ill, I say confirm as from the point he had the lymph nodes removed it was never going to be a happy ending, I was standing talking to a doctor on an bowel cancer exhibition at a local agri show . The literature and theme to the exhibition was that from 60 years onwards people should be wary and seek medical advice if they notice any changes. I thought it was ironic that I was on a bowel cancer stand and a close friend was given a few months to live at the age of 32.

  2. #2
    Hi KSB

    A very sad tale indeed and for this to happen at such a young age.

    Indeed a lesson to us all to get out and do things rather than watch TV where people pretend to do things.

  3. #3
    i agree 100% i was going to book a boar hunting trip for my 40th next year and thought whats the point in waiting, i am heading in january for driven boar and i am really looking forward to it.

  4. #4
    KSB, I am sorry to hear of the loss of your friend at such an early age. I found your post particularly relevant to myself on a number of levels, I lost a shooting friend at 42 to brain tumour, nearly lost the wife to the same at 42 also. Next week I am stalking with two old friends one has been fighting cancer for the last 8 years, and each time we go stalking the thought passes that this might be his last trip with us, the other friend has serious heart problems and I think this might be his last trip.

    As you say life is too short, and don’t think that health problems will only occur once you are in your sixties. Some research is now putting life style as having a component in as many as 7 out of 10 cancer cases, too many people think that getting cancer is just down to luck but if you live your life right you can tip the odds in your favour.

    My thoughts are with you and your friends loved ones, too many dying young.


  5. #5
    My brother-in-law aged 37 was diagnosed with skin cancer 2 years ago, just before moving to Australia through work. They removed over a dozen nodes from him. It has since returned and he has just had bone scraped from an elbow joint and had it replaced which went well. However, there are now 3 small tumours on his brain for which he is receiving treatment. He has just run the Edinburgh 10k and doing another one in January. He runs daily but says he also feels very tired afterwards.

    He joined the Royal Signals when a a teenagery and saw active service in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places prior to that he cannot talk about with the Pathfinders and also the Paras. He was shot at many times and is mentioned in an officers written memoirs for saving his life in an ambush, again something he cannot really talk about. He has a partner, a 3 year old daughter and 18 month old son. One of the most decent and fittest guys I know...

    Point being there is no justice in the world and regardless of how fit and healthy you are it can still strike at any time...

    Very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend KSB...

  6. #6
    sometimes you have to wonder about the overall plan, when you see some of the scum bags walking around our planet and the good guys that have been taken young.

  7. #7
    I lost my best friend just a few weeks after his 33rd birthday. It's hard and always the nicest to go first.

    Life life whilst you can, it sounds like your friend left a great legacy.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ksb View Post
    sometimes you have to wonder about the overall plan, when you see some of the scum bags walking around our planet and the good guys that have been taken young.
    No argument there mate...

  9. #9
    I see plenty of them in my line of work. Make you wonder. We just have to go for it.

  10. #10

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