Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The final over

Less than three weeks ago I wrote of having a bit of a headache. Since then, a lot has happened. I went to hospital in Newcastle, where it was discovered that I have a brain tumour. I was going to write about all of that in a bit more detail but things didn't turn out quite as I hoped they would.

The surgeons operated on Thursday. Post operation was not a pleasant experience but I started to feel better. I had some vision impairment and felt unsteady on my feet, like I had had a couple of drinks too many. But I felt that the worst was over and I was on the road to recovery.

Then on Monday, yesterday, came the moment I just didn't expect. Two doctors arrived to give Olga and I the results of the tests on the tissue the surgeons had removed from my brain. There are two types of brain tumour, benign and incurable. They found that I have a fast growing incurable tumour growing from inside my brain. It cannot be stopped, only treated to slow its growth and maximize quality of life for as long as I have. The grave, male doctor gave me from a few weeks to a year. His female colleague said that sometimes people survive up to five years, but I think she was just trying to soften the blow. The only plus side was that I am physically fit and healthy, so there is a better than average chance treatment will work. Then we were left alone to digest the information and arrange a taxi back to Cockermouth.

There are no words to describe what it feels like to be given news like that. Tears didn't even come. Olga said she felt frozen inside. I think I must have felt it was just a bad dream and not real at all. I just sat there, looking at Olga and shaking my head in disbelief.

Why me? Why us?

The last nine years since I met and married Olga have been the happiest of my life. She became not just my wife but my best friend and my soulmate. She tolerated my geeky hobbies and never questioned why I needed a new radio. She has been a perfect wife.

Life has been great. We were starting to unwind towards semi retirement, planning to take more trips away and do more things together than we had the time or money to do in the past. Now the opportunity is lost. I feel so bitter and angry at being parted from her, leaving her a widow, with so many things we wanted to do yet undone.

In the taxi back from Newcastle Olga and I decided on two priorities. First, the treatment. We will do anything and everything the doctors say to give it the best chance to work. Second, we will live life from now on putting the two of us first. We will do what we want, if I can, to extract the most joy out of the time remaining, if possible, subject only to being available for the treatment. That, apparently, will consist of a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy and will begin in Carlisle in two weeks.

One of my first "practical" thoughts was that I should sell my radio gear, to help Olga get the best price. But she has said that I should keep it in case being able to use the radio gives me some pleasure during the time I have left. Of course, I don't feel much like using the radio right now. But I can't tell how I will feel once I have come to terms with this. Perhaps I'll beat the bugger, live until I'm 80 and be eternally embarrassed about this post!

What I do know is that my mind is slower. Typing is becoming more of a trial than a joy. I needed to tell some of you out there what has happened to us because I know some of you care. But I feel that now is the time to give the computer a rest.

Perhaps I'll want to write about the treatment, post updates on how I'm getting on. Who knows? But I think this is probably going to be the final over.

Thank you to all who sent their good wishes in response to my previous post. I'm sorry if I am unable to reply personally. From now on, written and spoken communication are easiest for me to deal with. Our address is on my website. Signs that some of you out there are thinking of us will help lift our spirits.



Anonymous said...


I'm terribly sorry to hear of your news. The fact that you can write with such composure after learning of all this speaks volumes of what kind of man you are.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you,

John & Mayra

F4FXL said...

John & Mayra said it all ! I hope you and your wife we'll be able to enjoy good times together and for a long time !

Regards, Geoffrey, F4FXL

Richard G3CWI said...


I am very sorry to hear your news. I just pray that the times with Olga will be longer than you expect.

Best wishes


VE9KK said...

Julian thanks very much for sharing this news. I have only been reading your blog for a very short time. I have come to find your an open and very honest person. As I read your blog entry I am speechless. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Olga.

Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hello Julian, I am sorry to hear that you have to face a serious problem. I really hoped that it was something innocent... I really hope you beat the bugger, as you said. My thoughts are with you both, wish you strength for the the treatment you will get. Best wishes, take care, Paul

BX2ABT / PA2BX said...

I am truly sorry to hear about your misfortune. Your SOTA posts always brought back memories of the holiday we had in the Lake District. You live in one of the most beautiful area's of the world. I hope you can hang in there long enough to enjoy the sceneries of the Lake District with Olga to the utmost. I wish you and your family all the strength and perseverance in the world. I will keep you in my mind.


Alex Hill said...

Very sorry to hear about your news Julian. I owe you a lot in terms of your advice and excellent knowledge as well as starting up aprogramme (WOTA) that has got all my family out on the fells. I'm sure my XYL would also like to thank you for getting me into APRS ;-).

If there is anything I/We can do then ask.

Alex, g7kse

Anonymous said...

Julian, I do not know if you are in any way religious, but never-the-less, i will pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Julian -

Long time follower of your blog, and very occasional commenter here. I first found you some years ago in the earlier days of my FT-817 ownership when I was doing lots of Google searches for information on it, and have been a reader ever since.

Obviously this is not good news, but I wish you all the best and lots of strength for a full recovery. Your critical perspective is unique and much-needed - both your blogs make great reading.

Best 73's from a fellow Brit living on the other side of the pond,


Anonymous said...

Horrible news, Julian.

Please be sure of one thing: There are many people here, like me, that you don't know but who do appreciate you through the blog.

Keep strong !

SimonF said...

May I just add my best wishes to the above and hope that your treatment is a success.

Simon M0TGT

Anonymous said...

One more thing I'd like to add Julian - its truly wonderful that you found such great love and companionship with Olga. She will be a source of great strength to you in the time ahead.


Lynn (D) said...


I didn't send a comment to your earlier post, but I'm sure you know our prayers were with you. With this latest post, they'll be even more so and for the duration.

May God grant you a wonderful time together with Olga and enjoy life to it's fullest as it sounds like you plan to do.

And if you choose to carry APRS along on your travels, you can still expect a few tag-alongs and possible messages as we all vicariously enjoy your experiences.

God Bless you Both!

Lynn & Marta (D) - KJ4ERJ & KJ4OVQ

Eldon R. Brown SR said...


My heart and thoughts are with you and Olga. Good luck my friend.

Eldon - WA0UWH

MrJoshua said...

Julian and Olga

Our thoughts are with you both.

I hope you can both spend quality time with each other enjoying life to the full, doing exactly what you please.

Take care

Josh - M0JMO - and Gill (YL)

MM1MPB said...

My thoughts are with you and olga. I havent had the privalige of knowing you for a long time but i have really enjoyed our friendship and getting me to try different things i would of never normaly done. Your a wealth of information and always willing to help others get as much out of the things you have the knowladge of. Take care and if there is anything i can do to help just let me know.


G4NKX said...

Julian and Olga:

This is a bolt out of the blue - I actually found out through the Aprs reflector, I hope your treatment goes well, I do know this - we will ALL be thinking of you both.

Good Luck Julian.

Railroader said...

Julian and Olga: My wife and I KD0ACN and KC0WNY wish you the best, We know what you are going through, several of my uncles and aunts and my sister died of Cancer . I have been trying to keep up with your APRS posting's and have enjoyed the learning experience even though I am just an appliance operator. I wish you the best of luck. 73's
Kay and Teddy Banks
Toronto, KS 66777

Tjeerd, PA3GNZ said...

Very sorry to read this about you.

Julian & Olga be there for each other.

Without words.

Tjeerd (Gose)

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Julian, I already had a bad feeling about it. Actually I was shocked to read this posting after all. I lost another radio friend years ago with the same symptoms. His brain tumour could not be cured as well. Hopefully you and Olga can do the things you would like to do before you feel too sick. I always enjoyed your blog and website and learned a lot from it. Shure we will miss your postings. If possible keep us informed...take care and make the best out of it.


Jason said...

Best of wishes to you and Olga. Keep fighting the good fight, OM.

Jason NT7S

Steve said...

Wow. I've been a silent fan of your blog for a while now and am shocked by this news. I wish you and your wife the best.

Thanks for all the great stories.

73, Steve N6SJM

Richard said...

Hello Julian & Olga

I thought it mighyt have been a stroke but I didn't want to voice such bad news... as things have turned out, it would have been 'good' news - how ironic is that!

I'm sitting here feeling completely numb and inadequate but there is one thing I can do and have just done, and will keep on doing and that is to include you both in my prayers.

Trust your hearts and each other and cherish every moment together.

Sincere best wishes

Richard F5VJD

G7DDN said...

Julian and Olga

Another silent reader of your most enjoyable blog here. I wish you both as much happiness as you can muster and please, enjoy every day. I too will add my prayers and thoughts for you both.

Chris G7DDN

Steve GW7AAV said...

Sorry to hear the terrible news Julian my thoughts are with you. I have been having a miseriable time of things myself lately but this kind of puts things in to perspective. Hopefully all the doctor are wrong and you can curse them for good time yet, in the mean time concentrate on getting every last ounce of enjoyment out of life.

Steve GW7AAV

David, K2DBK said...


I was so sorry to read about this. While I hope that the doctors are wrong, perhaps you will "beat the bugger, live until I'm 80 and be eternally embarrassed about this post!" and I know that I would be thrilled to hear that you've done so.

Unknown said...

I have been enjoying your blog for some time now and was very sad to read this news. I hope for the best! Take care.


Steve Nichols said...

What terrible news Julian. I've also loved reading your posts and praise VOAProp to the sky at all opportunities.

Can't offer much consolation, other than to say that life is a terminal illness - we just don't know how long we are here for.

So make the most of what you have - be thinking of you.

Steve G0KYA

kd4dra said...

Hi Julian,

Sorry to hear of this life changing event. I'll pray that you and Olga have the Strength you need to fight this.
Stand tall with your Rod and Staff and fight this beast.

Know that the strength of many are behind you,

Rick (kd4dra)

Steve said...

I've always enjoyed reading your blog. I've really sorry to hear your news. You've got your priorities right, make the most of your life. Too many of us just drift through life as though it'll last for ever.

ik7jwy said...

Julian, I hope that life can still surprise you, this time positively. Good luck, my friend and thank you very much for what you have done so far about Voaprop !
73 de Art IK7JWY

ON3URT said...

Hi Julian,
There are no certainties in life, one moment everything goes well and everything collapsed in another.
There are no answers to the question "why us?".
All I know is, that there is always hope, and when many people pray, there may be some help from God. And be sure, there are many ham's and
friends praying for you both.

Take care 73 and see you on frequency.


Fenris said...


I'm sure that all of us here are thinking of you and Olga, and wishing that fate can be altered.

Whatever the outcome it's been interesting reading your thoughts and seeing your life as shown through your blogs.

Keep fighting, sometimes you can win.


Brian G8SEZ

WD4CWG said...


Hang in there with all your might ... but enjoy yourself every day!


G8OSN said...

I'm sorry to hear your your news Julian. My best wishes to you and your family at this difficult time.
73 Brian, G8OSN

Anonymous said...

Do what you can to help yourself, continue to have a positive attitude that you will beat this, and prove the doctors and odds wrong.

I just worked Field Day with someone that was given an indication he wouldn't be here the end of June and he made over 800 contacts this weekend. Don't give up.

73 David K2DSL

Ed de la Rie // PE5ED said...

May it last at least half a century, both of you, keep your spirit up. There is still so much to do, discover, and love.

m3hxe said...


What a shock it was to read your news,Ive enjoyed reading your blog and your website for sometime now, it has been a wealth of infomation for me and always a pleasure to read.You are never afraid to say what you think, even on the more controversial issues many of which I agree with.

You and Olga have and will be in both my prayers and thoughts, and the prayers and thoughts of many others who know you personally and through our wonderfull hobby of radio.

Keep strong,take care and remain positive as difficult as it may be.

We are all wishing you the best.


Simon Oliver M3HXE.

Paul M0PCZ said...

Hi Julian, my thoughts and best wishes are with you and Olga.

73 Paul.

G4HYG said...

Hi Julian, I'm shocked to hear the news. Be positive and make the most of what time you have, many years I hope. You have many friends around the world wishing you well.

73, Chris, G4HYG

yo2ldk said...

Dear friend Julian,

even before we left no comments on forums, I always return with pleasure; untill now....
I know, not the advice you need now but, important is that you have found true love, you have someone to support you, you're done so many things and always interested in everything new in technology, how many others could be in ten lifetimes.
I noticed in this life that, when we are very happy, angry gods and send us as we can not suffer, but every second gained is important and should not be wasted with dark thoughts.Therefore, please look with confidence and hope in the future, without remorse and with the idea of ​​a fulfilled life, to get over these troubles and more easily
happiness, music and relaxation are the best medicine for the spirit and mind,So please, go somewhere together, in a sunny place, away from crowds and civilization, enjoy nature and everything will be better, you'll see
good and rapid recovery, to read as much as your beautiful words blog and we hear on the air many years, your callsign Julian
my best regards and many 73

alexander - yo2ldk

Anonymous said...

We must all enjoy all the time we have with our lovers, friends and toys at long as we can -- life is one day at a time...

73 -- Doug -- W6HB

jon_iz said...

This is the second similar account of bad news I have had in two weeks!
Simply... Fingers crossed, be positive, people have beaten such things before with a positive mental attitude.
My thoughts are with you both.

73, Jon, G7OMN/MB7UCW

takis perreas said...

Hi Julian!
Sorry to hear that.
I wish you and Olga all the best the longest possible.
You must keep strong for each other and DO NOT GIVE UP:)

PY3IT André said...

Hello Mr. Julian,

I'm a fan of your blog. I often re-twett your posts ans everbody enjoy it.

I'm praying for you.



Gerry Lynch said...


I'm really shocked to hear this. I hope you do indeed beat the bugger. All any of us can do is make the most of what we have while we have it. Enjoy every minute you have. My thoughts and prayers are with you.



trackster said...

You are inspiration to me and many others without doubt and have given so much, thank you. I wish for a miraculous recovery and to read your posts again soon. Take good care, Julian.

TF3AO said...

Julian, as others I'm shocked to read the news.
Wish you and yours all the best.

73 Seli TF3AO

Adam said...

Julian, sad to hear this news but you sound like you have plenty of fight left in you so I think you will have the best opportunity to beat the cancer.

I've got so much out of your posts on this blog and also the programs you've made.

Wishing you and Olga the best for the fight.


skids said...

Sorry to here your news Julian. Let’s hope the treatment can beat the “bugger” Stay positive if you can. Our thoughts are with you and Olga.

Chris & Jenny

SV1GRN said...

Sorry to hear bad news. My prayers and thoughts is with you to beat the bugger.

Casey Bahr said...


We barely know of one another having only shared comments on our respective blogs yet we have some level of fraternal kinship in both being hams (and I guess both having Ukrainian wives). In any case, this news hit me like a ton of bricks. I feel very heavy in my heart. Our warmest wishes are yours, to you and Olga. What little I do know of you from your writings I feel confident in knowing that you are going to face this trial with grace and courage.

Very best 73 OM!

joe said...

Your blog has come as quite a shock to me tonight I dont know you personally but the way you write the blogs I feel I do.
I wish you and Olga the very best,
From Joe MI0GTM

LY2SS said...

Wishing strength for both of you.
We are with you in our thoughts.

73 de Zilvis LY2SS & Klemensas LY3LP

Anonymous said...

Hi Julian, I checked my meager log after seeing the news on the JT65 Facebook group and didn't find a QSO. I was surprised because although I'm not a frequent operator, I have used JT65 quite a lot. Too, the K3 pictured at the top of this page means that we both have great taste in radios! My wife and I have the privilege of visiting your country again in November and though we won't be in "your neck of the woods," we will be thinking about you.

Benson NE4W

Anonymous said...

Hi Julian,

I am very sorry that you prognosis is not good. I wish you and Olga well. Thank you for sharing the news with us readers.

Best regards, Sivan 4X6IZ

Roger G3XBM said...

Tough news indeed. I hope you defy the odds and beat this some way Julian.
73s Roger G3XBM

Ruzbeh said...

I received my ticket last week, but have been a silent follower of your blog since 2 years.

I write this note with the deepest of empathy and greatest of respect for your courage.

A second opinion from a medical practitioner maybe a good idea.....

All the best!

Ruzbeh Raja
Mumbai, India

Philippe said...

Hope you will beat the prediction...


Anonymous said...

We at QRPpembrokeshire are thinking of you, and hope and pray that you pull through this. We know that there are a lot of people out there that are wishing you well.

Best 73.....

Chris said...

Julian I'm sorry to hear about your illness. I used your pages to get active on WSPR! Julian sometimes the treatments work more effectively and you may have many summits and years yet! Live healthily and be positive!

73, Chris.