Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

An Unintentional Bucket List

with 7 comments

Unintentional Bucket List

Unintentional Bucket List

Isnt Life strange???? I have been diagnosed with this albatross of diseases and my life has taken a left turn since my diagnosis in March this year. Suddenly my son thinks I am about to fall of the perch and insists we do this camping gold exploration trip in the gulf area of Queensland. It was  a dream of mine for a few years to take my son and wife into this area and suddenly in June, just after my TURP, there I was with my son and my wife plus two of her mad sisters observing the transit of venus. It was a great trip that I have reported on in a past post.

Fast forward to August when at last a lot of the symptoms I had been experiencing have finally settled down and I am given the all clear to head to Brisbane for further treatment, finally I can have a pee without pain and sleep with only two interuptions each evening. The side affects of the ADT are still a major issue with me and I think I have the problem nailed. I suspect the daily intake of the drug Ananadron and I experiment with my dosage time to try and get some quality in my day.

Suddenly I am asked to meet an old friend who is travelling from Darwin to Sydney by car. He wants to see me at the Pink Hut Sapphire Mine near Emerald. I havn’t seen this friend nor his wife for nearly thirty years. We used to be like brothers in our youth and we meet and have a great time (nothing has changed) he is still the same and I hope I am too.

Seafari II

Seafari II

My daughter asks me to come to Cairns for fathers day in September this year so my wife and I head off and do a bit of camping along the way. I got to sail my old yacht “Seafari II” out of Cairns for a day and we watched whales cavorting about majestically. I had mental doubts I would ever again be able to set foot on the old boat let alone go for a sail, this was absolutely magic for me. Returning to Cairns I am on the helm, we are towing a 3 meter tinny and with a dirty hull I still managed to get over seven knots out of the old girl coming back (what a day).

My wife and daughter on fathers day present me with tickets to see John Butler perform in Mackay at the end of September with my son and eldest grandson (three generations) who are big fans. Later in the weekend my daughter was able to get seated tickets for her,me, my wife, and a mate to go to Brisbane to see Jimmy Buffett perform at the new Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens Auditorium on Friday 21st Sept. This was my birthday present for the 22nd September when I turn 65. These tickets sold out within two minutes of opening sales. How lucky can I be, I have been a huge fan of Buffett for over forty years and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to go to a concert of his.

At the moment I am helping to teach my eldest grandson to drive and as we go about the countyside I cannot help but reflect on the past. He was born with a life threatening illness and spent the first two years of his life in a hospital cot in Brisbane where I prayed that god would take him and end the suffering. When he kept fighting back I prayed that god would let him live long enough and be healthy enough to come home and fly a kite on the beach with me and give him some quality of life. We flew that kite more than once for the next twelve months but a year later he survived a serious car accident but unfortunately his mother and a friend were killed and the drivers life ruined in a jail sentence. His illness sent him back to hospital for major surgery where an infection set in and he spent two months in intensive care as a four year old. He died three times and was brought back to life ( I know this as my son, his other grandparents and my wife and I were at his bedside for most of the time). Here I am right now teaching this kid to drive. I have watched this child defeat some incredible bad odds throughout his short life. Here he is with his old grumpy grandfather still flying kites on his way to become an adult. How good is that. Thank you God.

I dont know if this bucket list has ended just yet. Things seem to be popping up unexpectedly all the time, For most of my adult life I have felt that somebody else has been in control of my life when major events or decisions have been made. Whoever or whatever has been responsible it has made my life a wonderful satisfying journey and I look up often and thank the helmsman. For now at least, for me life continues. Here’s to my life. bloody prostate cancer and all.


Lee aka Popeye

Written by Lee

20 September 2012 at 12:00 am

7 Responses

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  1. As you say, God answered your prayers for your little grandson. Praise Him….He is a God of love
    Continue to hold you in prayer… the God who holds the whole world in HIs hands with care and love


    20 September 2012 at 6:17 am

  2. Have the best time at Jimmy Buffet! Wish I could be there with you to see it. Xo

    Megan Oliver

    20 September 2012 at 8:09 am

  3. Well written Pop I been noticing that you’ve
    had this bucket list happening and good
    on you for it. I think its important to
    make best of the challenges this life sets us
    After all no one knows what the future holds, some in your situation may have taken self
    pitty instead your still out making the best of it
    while you can. And as for what I’ve done I’m
    NO hero I had incredible support all around me and even though there arnt too many sure things in life here’s one you can be sure of, that the family will be behind you the entire way and we will rise to the challenge together

    Jesse Stanfield-Gallagher

    24 September 2012 at 6:27 pm

    • Thanks Mate: You ARE my hero although you dont except it. Mostly life is the older and wiser family members mentoring the younger members, you have been an inspiration to me and many people of our community without knowing what it was you showed us. I have never in MY life seen anyone as determined as you to survive the odds. When I feel down and depressed my thoughts go directly to what you have endured and I immediately see straight through whatever imagined problems I may have had at the time. I know many of my friends in this community have experienced the same feelings at their low periods.In this period of uncertainty with my prognosis with this disease I have your example to help me through the dark periods when my mind goes into reverse and all I can think of are the negatives. YOU my young mate have helped me more than you realise.

      Mate I pray that things continue on the up for you as even the doctors and specialists have no idea what the future holds for you. I am proud to have had you as my grandson, friend and hero over these years and I hope that this relationship continues for a longer time to come.
      Cheers Mate
      Lee aka Popeye

      Lee Gallagher

      24 September 2012 at 9:58 pm

  4. Tears stream down my face….I am speachless…..I love you guys….so much


    11 October 2012 at 7:48 pm

  5. Uncle lee; there isn’t a time to this day that
    I have never not been proud of you!
    Every memory I have of you brings me
    Complete happiness!
    Your strengths are incredible and your
    Courage cannot be measured on a million
    Metres of tape;
    I am like most of my family; following you
    Praying for you and smiling knowing
    That your a brave and have a huge amount
    Of strength, will and your determination!
    I remember Jesse and to this day I am so
    Grateful that I’ve got great memories of
    The both of us;

    Uncle lee; I love you
    And I am behind you every step and every
    Second of the way; and all these blogs
    Make me realize just how lucky my dad is
    To have you as his brother
    I know he looks up to you and loves you
    And as you go through this journey you
    Are not alone; remember that myself and
    The rest of the family are here to support
    You and your wonderful family!

    I miss you and hope to see you soon

    Jessica bate

    8 November 2012 at 8:19 pm

    • Jessica: What lovely words from you I feel embarrassed. All I have ever done in life was to try and be true to myself. There is an old poem called “The Man In The Glass” which has been my motto throughout my life.


      When you get all you want and you struggle for pelf, and the world makes you king for a day, then go to the mirror and look at yourself and see what that man has to say. For it isn’t your mother, your father or wife whose judgment upon you must pass, but the man, whose verdict counts most in your life is the one staring back from the glass. He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest. For he’s with you right to the end, and you’ve passed your most difficult test if the man in the glass is your friend. You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum, And think you’re a wonderful guy, But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum If you can’t look him straight in the eye. You can fool the whole world, down the highway of years, and take pats on the back as you pass. But your final reward will be heartache and tears if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

      Jessica: Thank you for your kind words. I love you all and am proud of you and your family.

      Lee aka Popeye


      8 November 2012 at 10:38 pm

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