My palliative care nurse will be here in a moment. It’s her first visit, I expect she wants to check that I’m dying properly. I think I’m making a pretty good fist of it, all things considered. Although I certainly wouldn’t recommend it, and to be honest, I am somewhat pissed off about all the things I will miss out on. Especially grandchildren, I was really looking forward to the grandchildren visiting.  But on the whole, I think I’m coping pretty well with it, so hopefully she will be satisfied that I’m doing it properly. 

I should really be at the Winchester Science Festival right now, but I’m still in a quite a bit of pain after just getting out of hospital again yesterday. So I thought I might type up a few words to explain what has happened to me, how I’m dealing with it and why I still feel that I don’t need to delude myself with pseudoscience, quackery, the paranormal or religion in order to cope with my impending death. It has become very apparent to me, that science does not have all the answers yet, but of all the myriad of answers out there, I still think that science holds the best options, and even if they don’t benefit me, they’ll certainly be the best options for future generations.

Not wishing to give too much away in the foreword, but you’ve probably guessed by now that I have been unexpectedly diagnosed with a terminal disease like cancer. You’d be right, and it is cancer, and it is indeed terminal, but in order to retain some sense of suspense in this blog (in true Douglas Adams style), the exact date of my death will, for now, remain a mystery. I’m on tenterhooks myself.

To begin the tale, we’ll have to go back to when I was working at Oxford University. 

Chapter 1: Balliol College, Oxford

Crispian Jago
June 2016

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