Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Rog T's Cancer Blog - A response to Brian Colemans tweets

For those of you who are regular readers and have read the previous posts on Cancer, you can skip this first paragraph.This is the latest installment in my occasional series about how I'm adjusting to living with a big C in my life.  For those of you who aren't, here's a quick summary. I'm 51 years old and in October 2011 I  had a prostate biopsy following two "slightly high" PSA tests - 2.8 & 4.1. The biopsy took ten tissue samples and one of these showed a "low grade cancer" which gives me a 3+3 on the Gleason scale. I'm now on a program of active monitoring.  In early February, I got the results of the a PSA test - down to 3.5 and an MRI scan which found absolutely nothing, two more tests in 2012 were at 3.5 and 3.9, in 2013 my test was 4.0. My latest PSA test in January  was a slight improvement,  down to 3.8, in other words the downward trend has stopped. I've no symptoms and sadly for a few people, if I'm gonna die soon, it won't be from Prostate cancer. Got the picture? 

This morning the last thing I thought I'd be blogging about this morning was cancer. I hadn't realised but the last in the cancer blog serries was written on March 2nd - -  Cancer is a journey with many twists and turns and of late it has been a smooth journey with  a sunny sky. But as with many things in life, we never quite know what is around the corner. When I write blogs it is because I have something to write about. As my PSA has been stable and my last biopsy was a fairly positive result, I have not had much to say. 

But I had forgotten about Mr Brian Coleman. For those of you who are not familiar with his career, Mr Brian Coleman used to be a Conservative Politician, until he assualted Helen Michael, a local business owner in North Finchley HIgh Street in September 2012. He was arrested, booted out of the Tory party, lied for six months to all and sundry about the circumstances, pleading guilty at the very last minute to avoid a heavier sentence. When the CCTV footage of the assault on Helen Michael, a very good friend of mine, was shown in court all Mr Coleman could manage to say was "That's not how I remember it".

Although Mr Coleman was booted out of the Tory Party, he did not resign as a Councillor. He has spent the last 2 years writing nasty blogs sniping at his former friends in the Tory Party. Here is a typical example -  -  in May 2014 he stood as an independent in Totteridge ward. He got comprehensively thumped, polling only 264 votes. All the time Mr Coleman has been completely unrepentent. He never apologised to Heleln Michael for his vicious attack. In fact he has sought every opportunity to snipe at Helen. I saw the medical report following the attack Ruptured tendon in her wrist, bruising on her breasts and arms. It was a vicious attack and this borne out by the CCTV.

Mr Coleman went uncharictaristically quiet. It did not last. Yesterday Mr Coleman was proud to announce a role in public life. He posted this message on Twitter

Great honour and privilege to be inducted tonight as President of Barnet Rotary Club for year 2014/15

I saw this as an insult to Helen Michael and women generally. It seemed to me that the Rotary lub of Barnet were condoning Mr Coleman and his criminal brutality. So I posted this tweet in response

It appears that the Barnet Rotary Club condone criminals who attack women. A very sad day indeed

Mr Coleman, clearly back to his worst responded with what I felt was a truly horrible comment

with your constant attacks on the Mayor and me and others it must be the hate in you rather than the cancer which is eating you

Now I'm a big boy and I can take such insults. I am healthy at the moment and whilst Mr Colemans insults are unpleasant, it is really water off a ducks back. I am however not one to allow a bully like Coleman to intimidate me. So I responded accordingly

Brian. Since you raised the matter, having cancer has made me appreciate my friends. You assaulted one of them.

 Mr Coleman wasred no time in making his true views know, responding to someone who was upset by his initial comment

he writes long rambling blogs about his illness for all the world to "enjoy"

It seems that Mr Coleman resents the fact that I choose to write about my situation and cancer, He clearly thinks I should shut up and meekly await my fate. Well sorry Brian, it doesn't work like that. Brian Coleman may dislike the fact that I choose to share my experiences.  He clearly doesn't understand that sufferers benefit from reading about each others experiences and take strength from each others stories. He doesn't realise that by exchanging information on treatments and strategies, we can take control of the situation and hopefully improve our outcomes. 

When I first got my diagnosis I was bewildered. I did not have a clue what to do. I was in a state of shock. I got lucky. I was going to a gym and having personal training to build up my fitness. My trainer noticed I was not my usual self and asked why. When I explained he recommended a book to me. It was called "Anti Cancer A new way of life". I bought it and it changed my whole outlook. I embarked upon a lifestyle change. It made me feel positive and also inspired me to start the "Rog T's Cancer Blog" series. Over the three years I've been writing this, I've had dozens of emails thanking me for tackling the subject, giving tips on combatting the disease and pointing me at relevant websites. I've also had half a dozen emails from people who have had a PSA test as a result of the blog and who have told me that it has meant they have been alerted to a problem before it became serious. 

Each of these emails is  a long rambling account, telling a difficult story. I've also carrie dguest blogs from fellow cancer sufferers, who have felt the need to share there story. I passionately believe that if we shar eour stories we are stronger. And then there is Mr Colemans tweet. Mr Coleman seems to have a different view. I have no idea what if any experience Mr Coleman has of Cancer. I have no idea whether he has ever felt the need for support. I have no idea if he's ever wanted to find out information to help him deal with a difficult issue in his life. I make no judgement of him as I don't know him. What I do know is that he lacks empathy with those of us who do need support. There are times when I feel weak and fragile. There are times when I am depressed by my situation. There are times when none of my frineds or family can give me the support I need. So I write long rambling blogs, which help me deal with my condition. I hope these help other people as well, I hope they read the blogs and feel "I am not alone, someone else is feeling this too". But primarily I write my cancer blog to help myself. No one has to read them, although many people do. The blogs are one of the more popular series on the Barnet Eye. 

What concerns me about Mr Colemans comments is that fragile people, who may seek to write a blog to help themselves deal with the issues they face, will see his comments and think "If I write a blog about my experiences, some idiot will launch a twitter tirade against me when I am at a low point".  So I feel have to write this blog today and say to the Rotary lub of Barnet, who have made Mr Coleman their president this. One in five men over 50 show traces of prostate cancer. That means that one fifth of your members are likely to be sitting on a time bomb. You have elected a president who is less interested in educating his members about the benefits of getting a PSA test than in settling some score with me, because I object to him assaulting a woman half his size in the High Street.

The local paper has picked up the story. I spoke to Anna Slater earlier, who was quite shocked at Mr Colemans comments. Here is the article.

 The purpose of me writing the cancer blog is to encourage people to get tested for common cancers and to see treatment early. Whether that is a PSA test, breast creening, cervical smears, self checking for testicular cancer, going to the doctor for that Mole that has become itchy etc, get it checked out. I have had a large number of hits on the blog since the local paper posted the story. If Mr Colemans idiotic comments means that someone somewhere decides to get a test and that saves their lives, that is good enough for me. Sadly I suspect that the only way Mr Coleman will learn is by having the experience I had. The feeling of loneliness and isolation as I was given my diagnosis is a very chilling feeling. I don't wish that on anyone. I sincerely hope Brian Coleman never has to feel that.Sadly though, many of us will and some of us find blogs like this helpful. So yes, I am guilty as charged, I write long, rambling blogs about my illness for you to "enjoy". I suspect that if you need to read  a blog like this you'll get it. If you don't need to read it, you probably have given up by now.

So I'll wrap up by saying this. No one writes a blog about cancer for trivial reasons. We write blogs to help ourselves and help other people. We write blogs to build a sense of communioty and to banish that feeling of isolation. Whether Brian Coleman gets it or not is fairly irrelevant. What matters is that those who may need some support know it is there.


Anonymous said...

Roger ! It shows just what sort of person Brian is !! That his thought process is so far off !!! How can I put this Deviant would perhaps Discribe it !! That assaulting a women is Acceptable , His open support of Hugh Raynor !! Is Acceptable !! , it just shows How Far the Moral compass has Drifted with Our Local Torys !! Brian's Best friend & chum ! Made an Award winning speech !! Concerning Gay Rights !! Nothing wrong with that !! But can't Even Be Botherd About Child Abuse !! There is Only One Priority with Some not all Our Local Torys ! That is Themselves !!

John S said...

Having had smart arse mocking comments placed on twitter about my own incurable cancer by another local Tory spokesperson. Who claims how well I am looking yet I have never met with this person since my surgery. The mocking of cancer sufferers by yet another low life local Tory comes as no surprise to me.

Surely we have all come to expect this crass behaviour from the bully boy Coleman, but his invitation by Barnet Rotary club only suggests his guttersnipe views are valued by others in Barnet that perhaps should know better.

Where our local Tories are concerned nothing is sacred.

Anonymous said...

Roger, what goes around comes around as has happened to Coleman politically. My own view on life is be nice to those on the way up because sure as hell you will meet them again on the way down. Coleman will get his come-uppance once again. Barnet Rotary Club should be utterly ashamed of themselves.