About

Hi there thanks for having a look at my blog. Now you’re probably asking yourself ‘who is this Mike Parke lunatic and why is he doing this?’. Well on 23 August 2010 I was diagnosed with Terminal Stage 4 Malignant Melanoma, which had metastasized to my Brain and Chest i.e. tumors, have spread around my body from an original ‘primary’ site and developed there. My intent through this website is take to take my family, friends and anyone else who might be interested on a little journey explaining how all of that came to be diagnosed. This will then turn into more of a Blog, otherwise known as a ‘Web Log’ – I didn’t know what it meant either – of mine and Kady’s lives, how we have and are coping with things and what we’re doing to make the most of the situation and live life to the fullest.

I have found as I have worked through this blog various things continue to drop out of the multitude of medical and emotional related situations we’ve had to deal with. Identifying them and ‘chewing the fat’ through here is proving to be particularly cathartic for me and really helping me to, as the cool kids would say ‘keep it real’.

It is my hope that this Blog may not only prove useful in keeping those close to me up to speed, but also be of assistance to others who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in a similar position. I don’t promise to have the correct answers as of course everyone is an individual and we all react differently, particularly to such a damning event as a diagnosis of Terminal Cancer. I would however like to give people some food for thought resulting from my own experiences which they can use as they wish.

I strongly encourage anyone sufficiently interested to subscribe to this Blog, that way you’ll automatically receive an email whenever I add something. The email subscription box is just above and to the left of this paragraph.

Also, I am trying to do various things to help raise money for charity, both myself and by supporting friends and family who are also doing things. Please have a look at the links above and to the left under the title Charity. Both extremely worthwhile causes, this website has had over 20,000 hits, even if everyone only gave £1 it would go a long way to helping a lot of people.

LEGAL

Right, I hate to have to do this but it’s the world we live in now.

Throughout this Blog I am expressing entirely my own opinion, where I attempt to quote someone else then even if I don’t explicitly say it, what I’m presenting is my written interpretation and understanding of what they said and they cannot be held liable. If there is a mistake then it is mine and not that of the individual, my excuse is that the Whole Brain Radiotherapy (more about that later) I have received does now make me very confused at times. To underline the point and it pains me to do so, I’ll start with the words of an irritating lawyer I once had the displeasure of dealing with and you can quote me on the below throughout this whole Blog:

Without prejudice…

37 responses to “About

  1. I would like to add your blog to my website http://www.survivingmelanoma.com
    I receive many e-mails from all over the world and would like to be able to share blogs of melanoma warriors across the big blue globe. Do you know of other blogger links I could share as well? I am a stage 4 melanoma survivor and have been NED for 3 years and 4 months – Stay strong and fight!

  2. hi Mike
    I read your story in Take a break and simply had to pass a link onto you.
    This is for a clinic in Rome called the shen clinic, they offer various treatments and have treated and helped many who have been deemed medically terminal with various forms of cancer.
    Please take a look at this link, I felt I needed to pass it onto you and I truly wish you all the very best.
    As an army wife too, I live and work in Germany with my husband.
    Here is the link http://www.theshenclinic.com/
    wishing you and your wife all the very best, Lisa

  3. laylalayla

    PS Forgive the literary evaluation. I can’t help being a writer.

  4. laylalayla

    Mike, I’ve read your story. It has all the elements of a really good yarn. I’m in a similar situation, cancer stage 3c, a few cells short of 4. I managed to get into remission for now. If you haven’t already cancelled your BUPA please DO NOT. I am sure a trip up to see the experts in Harley St would be in your interest, check out London Oncology Clinic (now known as Leaders in Oncology Care) on google. The cyberknife, at the moment only available privately, might be a better option than the gamma knife. And they can use various chemo agents and other biologics like Avastin that havent yet been approved by Nice. My cancer is ovarian, so I an clueless about yours. But if you can, I’m pretty sure it’s worth the trip. Please if you want more info e-mail me at kirsty_white15@hotmail.com.
    And whatever you do, keep on trucking, keep on fighting. Keep on writing. All my very best wishes are with you and Kady.

  5. Morag Payne (Magowan)

    Mike,
    I was shocked to stumble across your blog. You are truly inspirational. Love to you and your beautiful wife. Morag xx

  6. Hello Mike, Dr Gareth has sent us the link to your website and have started to read your inspiration commentary. Gareth is raising money for your charity at our event on 30th January, ToughGuy™ Braveheart II.
    We would be delighted to welcome yourself & Kady as our Special Guests to the event with hospitality and facilities provided. You would have an amazing day at our Help the Heroes Sanctuary. Let us know the best way to get more information to you. Best wishes to you both.

  7. Mike, the only problem in attending this event is that metastatic melanoma in the brain doesn’t play like normal brain tumours. It’s a bit like comparing oranges and apples.

    Marsha xx

  8. Hello Mike,
    Neil sent me the link to your pages and I have avidly read each step of your journey.
    I have just been looking at our headlines and came across this link and wondered if you were interested.

    http://www.wlv.ac.uk/default.aspx?page=25089

    Wishing you, your family and friends the very best of luck and treatment.
    with warm regards
    Katharine

    • Hi Katherine many thanks for your comment I’m not sure I know which Neil you mean? Do you work for Wolverhampton University?

      It sounds like there could be utility in attending this event, are many people expected? It would need us to juggle plans we currently have.

      Mike

      • Hello Mike,
        Thanks for your reply.
        Neil is my son (marquee builder) and yes I do work for the university. I can find out more details tomorrow and would be delighted to give you any assistance you require.
        with kind regards
        Katharine

  9. Hi Mike good to hear from you, glad you enjoyed the wedding. I had a good chat with my Consultant the other week about flying, the outcome was not good… He was adamant that any kind of flying is not a good idea at the moment. Even though the pressure changes are relatively small in a light aircraft he still seemed to think it was a really bad idea. I’m seeing him again next Monday so will ask if he still feels the same.

    It’s a shame because the weather is beautiful for it at the moment, was at Stonehenge yesterday and there were all sorts of aircraft buzzing it, I was very envious! Fear not I shall take you up on your offer at the first opportunity, bloody missing it!

  10. Mike Durand

    Hi Mike,
    Hope things are OK with you. The wedding was great.
    Don’t forget that offer is still open to take you flying, It’s going to be a freebie so grab it !!
    Regards,
    Helen and Mike.

  11. *I take exception to the second “except” – can whoever moderates, moderate for me please? tyvm!

    • Moderated! Yes it really helps to meet other people in a similar situation, Doctors can understandably be very clinical which gives you the facts, but does nothing for the morale which is where other people come in.

      Thanks for the congratulations, aside from the physical effects of the drugs and the obvious waiting for treatment, things really aren’t too bad. It would be very easy to get depressed but I’ve got plenty to think about to keep me ticking over.

  12. Mike, you have a “melanomate” – Jackie (Marsha) – who is also a friend of mine. We met on the Macmillan site – she was the first person I plucked up the courage to speak to in the chat room, and the rest, as they say, is history. Anyway nothing more exciting than that to add except to say I REALLY hope you are doing OK, oh, and congratulations to you and Kady on your recent marriage :)

  13. Sarah Knight

    Hi, it’s Sarah (Trudy & Steve’s Niece), been checking out your blog, which i think is amazing how you have put all together & your a real inspiration to people. It’s lovely what you’ve done & hope many people take the time to read it all, very emotional. Don’t know quite what else to say! Lush wedding pic’s!
    X

    • Hi Sarah, great to hear from you and thanks for your comment! We’re just doing the best we can that’s all! Glad you like the wedding pics, we’ll hopefully get some more up in the next week or so.

  14. Hi there Hannah, yes Murray mentioned you to me on Saturday just before we went our separate ways from our sailing jaunt. That’s incredibly kind and thoughtful of you, thank you so much. Of course I wouldn’t mind and I can do so some work with the charities to try to get some funding for fuel, t-shirts, freebies etc. I’m not too sure I would be up to much assistance with training at the moment but I’ll definitely try and Murray might want to get involved too. Sound like it will be fantastic fun! Kady and I hope to get over to Tunbridge Wells in the not too distant future and we should meet and talk!

    Mike x

  15. Really enjoying reading your blog. A wonderful idea and so inspirational how you are coping. Thanks again for an amazing day at your wedding. been off the radar since then as on Ex Broadsword (old Terra Firma). Treat!!! Your wedding was such good fun. A right old Signals reunion for lots of people. And great to see the Corps pulling together in so many ways. Spk soon. Big Kisses lyndsey

    • Hey Lyndsey really good to hear from you. I’d forgotten all about Terra Firma, bet it’s good fun being on the other side of it, you must be really enjoying it! Yes it was a good day although I have to admit there were so many people and so much going on that a lot of the day passed me by. I’d love to do it again but as a guest this time! I’m glad you enjoyed it and really glad you and your bloke could make it, was really good to meet him if briefly, we should meet up in the not too distant for food and chat if you ever get any time. Take care xxx

  16. Hello..
    You may be wondering who on Earth this is, I am Joannes best friend. Murry and Jo have told me your very inspirational story . Myself and a group at work are yomping up the 3 peaks in May 2011 and have been discussing what charity we should be raising money for when doing it.Jo and Muz have been keeping me up to date on everything that you have been up to and most recently this awesome website and your just giving pages. Would you mind if we do the three peaks challenge in aid of your three chosen charities and I direct people to your website? They are each fantastically good causes that are all very close to my heart…… You can kick our butts in some army style preparation training before the event to get us up to scratch….
    HanXX

  17. Ah I see, I’ve just bought a Sony Nex 5 which is a really good ‘bridge’ camera, using Aperture software which is Apple’s equivalent of Photoshop although you don’t need a 6 month course to use it. Am tempted to buy a full on DSLR though, the whole photography thing is becoming more and more interesting.

  18. Parker!

    Honoured my picture got a show on he banner. I must say in public just what a wonderful day your wedding was. Despite the sideways rain spanking off everyone’s face, it all came together in true Army style. A testament to the relevance of the Services in our society and to how well you are thought of as a human being and friend.

    I know you’ve just celebrated your birthday (to which you got an expensive text message from me); I look forward to wishing you again next year.

    • It’s a great picture buddy what camera and software do you use? Why was the SMS so expensive, were you in SA or somewhere equally exotic?

      • Just got a basic Sony SLR. Use Photoshop, but to be honest I manage all my photos in Microsoft Live Photo Gallery.(think the 2011 version is now out – and FREE) which has a fantastic edit suite in it that is all you need to refine pics quickly.

        ‘Expensive SMS’ jape was just taking the piss put of the fact I didn’t get you anything.

    • Ps. I’ll be here for it!

    • Thanks Seany, I just saw your picture and thought wow, that will make an awesome banner!

  19. To those reading this blog: check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPyPAdfbJlE for a video of Mike and Kady on the news on Friday 8 Oct 2010. Then dig deep and go and give a few pence to one (or all) of Mike’s charity pages (links currently to the left hand side of this page). Cheers.

  20. Karen Boyce

    Hi Mike and Kady,
    The blog is a fantastic idea and I have found your ‘Just Giving’ page, what an inspiration you are, keep up the fight, both of you and enjoy life.
    Fantastic wedding by the way and your girls were angels as always.
    Best wishes to you both
    K

  21. Mate, have shared your Channel Five vid on my FB profile page with your three just giving websites as comments to it with an explanation of the story, so hopefully it will turn into bit of a virus and get everywhere if we all push it hard. Just changing banks at the minute, so will be transferring some money top the sites asap. Hope the Würsts did the trick for you bud. All the best to you both.

    Gladders

    • Cheers bud that’s good of you. Didn’t quite make the curry wurst last night but it’s definitely on the menu for this week! Cannot wait!

  22. Hi mate. Are you going to add links somewhere to your Just Giving pages? I’m going to publicize the blog and would link in nicely. Hope your baldy head is feeling ok. See you Thursday or Friday.

  23. Mike, I really think how you and Kady are coping is an inspiration. If I can do anything to help, please let me know! You said you were interested in art? If you want any lessons on developing photos in the darkroom (college has an enormous one!) or drawing or anything like that let me know! Thought you might be interested in trying something new and less energetic than flying etc!

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