Doug 48


In April 2016 I was diagnosed with several tumours

In August 2017 I was given a prognosis of 3-6 months due to my different treatments not working and my cancer spreading.

In August 2017 I was prescribed my ‘last chance’ Chemo drug.


Today is a bad day. Only my wife will see me today as I will be unable to go out, and she will have to re-arrange her day around me.

A bad day starts with feeling sick, taking my temperature and painkillers to overcome the Arthritis pain in all my joints brought on by my Chemo tablets, keeping the tumours in my Kidney, Pancreas, Liver and Lungs ‘stable’. Tumours that are inoperable. Unable to walk any distance and struggling to do basic daily tasks like showering, brushing my teeth, even having a conversation, tasks like these will  leave me exhausted. My day will be spent on the sofa, not wanting to eat or drink because I don’t think I can keep it down. More painkillers and my Chemo tablet before going to bed for another painful restless night, just hoping that I will make it to tomorrow.


A good day starts without the sickness feeling but still having to take the painkillers to keep the ongoing pain eased. Today my wife might be able to go out and do something she wants to do. Today I might be able to walk further, possibly get out on my electric pushbike or go shopping with my wife who is my registered carer. Parking in a disabled bay with my blue badges I feel people may be judging me as a fraud. Seeing me walk away from the car or walk out of a disabled toilet, because I look fine to them. They don’t understand that I’m not pushing the trolley, I’m using the trolley to rest on, to help me walk. I might be well enough to cook a meal or visit a friend for a brew and a chat. I might sleep tonight, looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.


There are always people who will look at me and judge what they see in front on them.

Today I look like a slightly over weight 48 year old, carefree and with a smile on my face.


They weren’t there to dry our tears when we cried for days, because someone says it’s cancer, it’s inoperable, it’s spread, your treatments not working, we are stopping your treatment, you only have 3-6 months.


They weren’t there looking at me whilst I spent weeks on hospital wards, fighting Jaundice, loosing 6 stone in weight, unable to go to the bathroom by myself.

They weren’t there looking at me for weeks in my local hospice whilst the doctors tried to adjust my medication to get me to eat, drink, talk, sleep again after all the medication complications.

They weren’t there in the middle of the night to say ‘your doing great, your going to be ok, we will get through this’ when your so poorly all you want is life to end.

They weren’t there looking at me when I had to use a wheelchair because I was too weak to walk, or to help me get up from my bed and help me off the toilet.

They weren’t there to bathe me and dress me

They weren’t there when my hair started to fall out

They weren’t there to pick me up off the floor when I fell over.

They weren’t there holding my hand, stroking my back and giving words of encouragement whilst I spent all night being sick.

They weren’t there whilst we discussed what I want at my funeral


For anyone who says to me ‘you don’t look ill’ or ‘there’s nothing wrong with you’ I have a few of things to say to you......


‘You don’t know me, but would you swap your life for mine?’

Because ‘I would give EVERYTHING I have, EVERYTHING, to be healthy again’

‘I would love to be able to park down the road and walk to the shops and carry my shopping back to the car’

‘I would love to be able to get up from a toilet without having to use grab bars, or get out of a bath’

‘I would love to go back to work again’

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A day in the life of invisible disability