Politicians aren’t discussing Britain’s woeful cancer survival rates

27 June 2024 11:13 pm

Last week, amid a flurry of election policies and debates, a striking report found that cancer survival in England currently…

The diary of a dying man: Graham Caveney’s poignant cancer memoir

15 June 2024 9:00 am

With months to live, Caveney looks back on his childhood, muses on favourite writers, decries NHS underfunding and rejoices in his beloved partner, Emma

A war reporter bravely faces death – but not from sniper fire

2 March 2024 9:00 am

As a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, Rod Nordland learned to expect many dangers, but a brain tumour wasn’t one of them

Could I be pregnant?

9 September 2023 9:00 am

At the age of 59 I thought it was time to get my body thoroughly examined. So last week I…

Tales of the Midwest: The Collected Works of Jo Ann Beard, reviewed

12 August 2023 9:00 am

Violence and death are balanced by hard-won, transcendent joy in Beard’s remarkable stories that merge fiction and memoir

Communing with an ancestor

13 May 2023 9:00 am

Ian Marchant, diagnosed with cancer in 2020, takes comfort from his ancestor’s diary (1714-28), recording a full life as farmer and mainstay of his parish

My week alone in a mess of morphine foils

5 November 2022 9:00 am

After commuting to Marseille for nine days of radiotherapy, I spent the week alone in the cave, in bed, in…

The 100-year-old opiate had lost none of its potency

15 October 2022 9:00 am

Our neighbour Michael is a keen and knowledgable attender of vides-greniers, the equivalent of our car-boot sales. His focus is…

My battle with an ant

8 October 2022 9:00 am

At eight o’clock in the morning a nurse injected me with a radioactive marker and told me to go away…

The joy of morphine sulphate

1 October 2022 9:00 am

Two football friends, brothers, Mick and Pete, came to visit last week. We’ve been going to matches together since 1969,…

Richard E. Grant’s tribute to his wife leaves us shattered for his loss

1 October 2022 9:00 am

Richard E. Grant pulls off a feat here. The title is twee but the content isn’t. With unselfpitying dash the…

When the bone pain gets bad, my inner NCO keeps me in check

10 September 2022 9:00 am

In Frederic Manning’s classic Great War novel, The Middle Parts of Fortune, the shattered battalion shambles out of the line…

Bittersweet memories: Ti Amo, by Hanne Ørstavik, reviewed

3 September 2022 9:00 am

This is a deceptively slim novel. Its 96 pages contain multitudes: two lives, past and present, seamlessly interwoven. The narrator,…

A dying doctor’s last words

27 August 2022 9:00 am

Facing up to the prospect of one’s own mortality is always jarring; but when you’ve spent your life trying, and…

The power of prayerful washing-up

16 July 2022 9:00 am

My days pass largely in a state of inanition. The fit and able-bodied express their sympathy, claiming it’s much the…

It is time for me to ‘get right with the Lord’

11 June 2022 9:00 am

‘But you look so well!’ How many times have I heard that lately. Kindly meant by most, but for a…

The art of oncology

28 May 2022 9:00 am

The main side effect of the six-month course of chemotherapy was ‘fatigue’. The main side effect of the three-monthly hormone…

The call of opium-based analgesics and introspection

30 April 2022 9:00 am

On the morning of my last day in England, I drew back a curtain and there in the garden, browsing…

The nature of luck

23 April 2022 9:00 am

I was walking across a fallow field to the pub with my two grandsons. ‘What’s this?’ said my 11-year-old Oscar,…

The call of a blackbird’s full-throated song

26 March 2022 9:00 am

Speaking pretty good English, Dr Tayeb came straight to the point. Was I eligible for the ground breaking new cancer…

The cancer care timebomb that desperately needs to be fixed

13 March 2022 7:00 pm

As many as 100,000 patients had a cancer that was missed, or had their diagnoses or treatments delayed during the…

My oncologist has a new weapon in his arsenal

5 March 2022 9:00 am

‘We’re at war!’ said the taxi man as I installed myself for the long drive to Marseille. I put a…

Sister, where are you? – Clover Stroud mourns her beloved sibling

5 March 2022 9:00 am

‘CERTIFICATE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY,’ the freshly issued death certificate read. In the craziness and shock of grief for…

Christina Patterson overcomes family misfortunes

19 February 2022 9:00 am

The journalist and broadcaster Christina Patterson’s memoir begins promisingly. She has a talent for vivid visual description, not least: ‘We…

Would my scan results be a death sentence?

18 December 2021 9:00 am

At the desk I gave my name and showed my Covid vaccination pass and the woman told me to take…