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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March, 2003, 09:18 GMT
Tumour Diary: Planning ahead
Ivan Noble
BBC News Online science and technology writer Ivan Noble was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in August last year.

Since then he has been sharing his experiences in an online diary.

Last week's scan result has given me my life back, for the time being at least.

By the time that this is published, I will be in Germany reporting on the world's biggest IT fair, CeBIT 2003.

Round one has gone to me, but it does not mean that I have won the fight by any stretch of imagination
Last time I was on a reporting trip was six weeks before my diagnosis.

At the weekend we started making holiday plans: to see my wife's family in Germany at Easter and then go to a friend's wedding in France in May.

I want to continue with this diary.

After all the e-mails I got last week, I realise that I should have bought shares in breweries and tissue manufacturers before I published my result!

That result means that round one has gone to me, but it does not mean that I have won the fight by any stretch of imagination.

So from now on, as long as there is any interest, I will be writing every month instead of every week, for publication on or around the 15th of each month.


Lots of people have e-mailed me with suggestions about how I can look after myself better.

I am going to try to spend more time on my tai chi and I also want to tighten up on my diet.

We have not heard about any large-scale scientific experiments concerning the effects of nutrition on cancer therapy, but I am working on the assumption that eating better cannot do me any harm and might do a whole lot of good.

I have been told about a centre in the US which combines conventional cancer treatment with dietary improvements and I am trying to find out if there is anything similar in the UK.

The diet the US people propose sounds fairly strict but by no means weird, more or less a detox diet.

Despite all my treatment, I am still overweight, so I am sure it will help in that respect if nothing else.

Over the six months that I have been writing I have heard from so many people who are either fighting cancer themselves or have someone very close to them who is.

It is dreadful that we still have not wiped out such a destructive disease and I wish the very best of luck to all of those people who are trying bit by bit to eliminate it.

And I hope that my good fortune shows that even with some of the most serious and deadly cancers, victories are possible.

If you would like to send an e-mail in response to Ivan's column click here or scroll to the bottom of the page to submit your comments.

Well done Ivan. I'll think of you when I chink my wine glass with my husband tonight. I don't think you realise the impact your diary has had on the people reading it, you have provided hope and substance for a lot of sick people. God bless you and your family now and forever.
Tracey Scott, UK

Now I make sure I don't do too much saving up for rainy days
Sandra, UK
I am so pleased for you. You have been given a gift - the knowledge of just how good life is. Do everything you ever wanted. I was widowed at a very early age and now I make sure that I don't leave things for "one day" or do too much saving up for rainy days. One should enjoy the sunshine!
Sandra, UK

I normally read, and choose not participate in a column like this, but I find your story truly mesmerising. May you and your family savour every moment together.
Jon McLachlan, UK

God bless you and your family, that is such wonderful news, "What lies ahead of you and what lies behind you is nothing compared to what lies within you." Gandhi.
Rachel Breman, UK

Woo hoo!! You must be stoked... I am so pleased for you; feel like I know you from the diary you have been keeping. I hope that everything continues to come up roses and that you enjoy CeBit... wanted to go myself... mutter...
Rosie Brent, Scotland

As a woman, it is heartwarming to see so many men able to express true compassion to another man. If you met face to face would there be more than a "You alright?"/"Yeah alright" type of exchange? Men out there think about it; when you are not hiding in anonymity of the internet, let your friends know how much they mean to you. It is good for you and doubly good for the receiver.
Anne, UK

Did anyone see the recent Grand Designs programme on Channel 4 with the couple from Surrey? As far as I can remember the guy on there had a brain tumour and he was treating it solely by diet. If anyone knows this couple, it might be worth trying to put Ivan and them in touch. From what I can remember he was diagnosed a couple of years ago?
Mandy Beechey, UK

I was worried you may just disappear into cyber space!
Sam Kimber, UK
Oooh!! I am so PLEASED that you are going to continue writing this column, even if it is only monthly instead of weekly....it's better than nothing! I'm so used to "connecting" with you every Thursday, I was worried you may just disappear into cyber space! I have a feeling that your life may be lots lighter and brighter now! I shall still say my prayers for you and yours every night though!! xxx :)
Sam Kimber, UK

I cried. I lost my husband to leukaemia four years ago. It is good to know that some people still make it. Stay positive.
Heather Ford, UK

I got a real kick out of seeing your name on the report yesterday from CeBIT 2003. You are back where you belong, I guess the daily grind looks pretty good from where you are...
Simon, UK

Ivan - my wife and I are so pleased for you. My wife knows how your wife has suffered through all this; probably more than we, who have had cancer realise. So today this note is for her. We look forward to your monthly bulletins.
Dave Draper, UK

I will eagerly await the 15th of each month to catch up with you and see how things are going. Not only has it been a moving and fortifying experience to share the last six months with you, it has also been an immense source of strength to those of us close to cancer. Go and get on with life and treasure every moment.
Hannah, UK

I bet you have never been so excited to go to an IT fair
Simon, The Netherlands
CeBIT, eh? I bet you have never been so excited to go to an IT fair. Well done on holding it together through such a trying time. It makes me glad to know we will be sharing this planet for at least a while longer. I imagine the world looks a very different place to you now - probably more vivid. Enjoy!
Simon, The Netherlands

You were one of the people we've constantly prayed for at a prayer meeting held weekly at our church. We thank God for answered prayer. It was with joy and gladness that I read that the latest scan shows that the tumour has shrunk. We'll continue to pray for you; I believe that the Lord has a purpose for your life and that might be to give hope and encouragement to others who are unwell or facing some affliction.
Adedapo Segun, UK

Nice one Ivan! Give it a KO in round two! Having followed your diary from late August I recently felt it was in danger of becoming something of a soap opera-type addiction. For this reason I really respect your decision to write on monthly basis - no one's life should be entertainment to others. I'd also like to thank you for giving me the kick up the backside I needed to start doing the things I've always wanted to do. Your insight has given me a new value to life and I recently decided to start up my own Live Music Night. What kind of music do you like? Maybe I could take a couple of requests! Thank you.
Alastair Evans, England


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