One Year Up! Here's to the next.

18 Apr 2012

So, I made it. Despite the gloomy prognosis when my lung cancer was diagnosed in April 2011, I have now passed the one year survival landmark. If you recall, when I started this blog I was originally counting in just days, then weeks and eventually months. So to have made it to a year is brilliant. 

I think I can say I feel stronger than I did a year ago - certainly better than when I was in the middle of  the chemotherapy. But I still haven't shaken off the cough (although I think it is better than it was) and I need to regain strength, weight and stamina. None of my trousers fit and I am the original 9 stone weakling.  I continue to rely on complementary methods but am continuing to see my oncologist regularly to keep my case under review in case there is something that conventional medicine can offer.


I've had a couple of nice celebrations of my first anniversary. Chrissy and I went out to a meal on a beautiful, sunny day in Sidmouth at a lovely little restaurant on the seafront. And, yes, I did rebel a little....and actually ate my first piece of bread for three months, relenting (very slightly) on my rather tough diet regime. Bread is the food I continue to miss most...but closely followed by roast potatoes, rice, pasta, pizza, puddings, cakes, biscuits and, of course, beer. So just a few things then!

I also had an extremely convivial gathering with three former BBC Parliamentary Unit colleagues: Chris Lowe, Jon Silverman and John Foster. We all worked at Westminster together about 30 years ago and spent an afternoon reminiscing and musing in an Italian restaurant, an old haunt near Broadcasting House. We had a wonderful time -- and certainly put the BBC to rights. I can't think when I last entered a restaurant for lunch and left 5 hours later. I have to admit to deviating just a little from my diet again.

Back to cold turkey

Now it is back to the regime. I've just sent off to Florida for another Cancer profile analysis, so hope that will show some diminution in the cancer cell activity. I do hope so as it would help provide the motivation to continue with it. I am maintaining the multi-pronged approach: largely raw food diet, no dairy, red meat or gluten, pancreatic enzymes, homoeopathy, and the juicing of vegetables and wheat-grass. 

The bike ride

A bad cold has left me floundering a bit with my attempts to increase my cycling mileage but I did manage 3 rides (14, 15 and 16 miles respectively) down in Devon. All were pretty hilly (1630 feet of ascent on the last ride) so I have those North Wales hills in my sights -- although there is still a very long way to go before I am ready for them. I'm off to Scotland shortly for a break and will, of course, take the bike, so look out for slow-moving MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra) on the roads around Findhorn. 

Yes To Life

Meanwhile, you're all proving very generous with sponsorship for the ride. The total raised has now reached £2,485 which is terrific. There's still plenty of time to donate at: Please pass on the link to your friends. It's for Yes To Life, a great charity. (for more details see my blog of 13th March


User Comments

Ben Gibbs - 18 Apr 2012

Well done ...

... and many well deserved congratulations Mike. To have documented your experiences in the way you have will have helped many others as well as yourself, I'm sure. Keep at it, and if you ever make it over to the great cycling county of Cambridgeshire, let me know (lycra notwithstanding!).

Bonnie Duncan - 19 Apr 2012


Hooray for this wonderful anniversary, though now I don't know what to do with the image of a MAMIL you've lodged in my mind! Smiling ear-to-ear is my immediate reaction, thinking of you and cheering you on.

Jim Webber - 20 Apr 2012

Good news

It is fantastic to read and be motivated by your blog. Please keep it up. Enjoy Scotland and don't punish yourself too much on the bike. I am still trying to psyche myself up for the Shotesham - Bungay hill climb!

Ewan McIntosh - 21 Apr 2012

16 miles?!

I could barely do that on a good day myself! Congratulations on being such an inspiration for others, too, as well as having made so many milestones this year. I hope the next year is just as exponential in improvement.

Sandy Leaton Gray - 22 Apr 2012

That's just great!

James and I are so delighted you've made it to the one year mark, and unbelievably impressed by your regime. Well done!

Elisabeth Abrahams - 14 May 2012

warmest congratulations

Dear Michael: Congratulations on the one-year anniversary. Your courage is breath-taking. I keep you in my rather irregular prayer practice. I cannot imagine what life must be like without potatoes. And I don't quite understand why! Would that I could get back to 9 stone. I've always understood the raw food diet was the best. Joe and I hope to be in touch with Douglas very soon. What a discussion we could all have if we could get together! Much Love from us both. -- Liz

Mei-Lin Tai Parsons - 23 May 2012


Title for your next book ..Positive thinking ( and karma ) , the Mike Baker way . Congratulations on your first anniversary , here's to many many more !

Meilin and Simon

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