Five Years Since You Came Along

Five years gone since you came along

To a place you don’t belong

Blues and trouble is what you bring

Blues and trouble that’s your thing

I’ve got a new album called Midnight Kitchen. The lyric is part of one of the songs.

And there’s a kernel of truth to the words, as it’s been around five years since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The fall of 2017 was dominated by me coming to terms with the news that an ugly slug had found its way into my prostate. At the time I had little idea I was the proud owner of a prostate, why I had one, or what it did.

"How long have I got?"

When you’re told you’ve got cancer, the natural assumption is that it’s game over. So, doctor, I remember saying, how long have I got? She was looking at my notes and said, I see you have a daughter, how old is she? I told the doc she was fourteen. Well, she replied, I think there’s a good chance you’ll see her through college.

The daughter is now 19, as of my writing this, and starting college. Because of COVID and the lockdowns (my least favorite band), she took a gap year and did some traveling. Now whether my oncologist factored in a gap year as part of her calculations I’m not sure, but I’m still hoping I’ll be around when she graduates. That will make me 71. The Bible tells us man’s lifespan is typically three score and ten, and I figure any years given to me after 70 are gravy.

In writing this I suppose I’ve set myself a benchmark: Will Jim be around when the daughter finishes college? Stay glued to this website to find out!

Hoping for another 5 years or more

And of course, it’s not just cancer that can get you. To stay fit and healthy, I cycle everywhere around my city. Not long ago a pedestrian, looking the wrong way, stepped out in front of me on a crowded street. My bike and I were splattered all over the road, leaving me dangerously close to the wheels of a cab. With my knees grazed and my ankle cut, I shouted at the man, who I think was a tourist, then pulled myself together, apologized, and sent him on his way. Suddenly cycling didn’t seem like the healthy option, but I was back in the saddle next day.

But as my wife wrote in my birthday card, life is full and there is much to be thankful for: "Trips to Edinburgh and Azerbaijan, album to launch, nights out with friends, time with the family, sending the daughter on her next adventure, books to read, love. Being 68 doesn’t look too bad at all."

I’ll drink to that with the hope that I might have another five years left in the tank. Watch this space.

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