After working in the City, Colin was looking forward to his retirement and spent a lot of time preparing his exit strategy with a detailed plan of what he would do when he retired.

A month into his retirement, he developed pain in his back. Colin was subsequently diagnosed with a bleed on his kidney and a tumor. He underwent surgery to remove the it, however within two months the cancer had recurred. Colin had to face the distressing news that his condition was not actively treatable and that his life expectancy was limited. He was faced with the challenge that all his future plans were now at risk.

Colin made the decision that he was going to try and achieve as many of his plans as possible. He was inspired by friends who had previously been diagnosed with cancer and how they had dealt with their illness. Colin was not going to let his friends down and wanted to make them proud. Giving up was not an option. He had a conversation with himself and said: "Colin, imagine that you are already dead and every day that you get is an extra day".

Colin knew he would need both physical and psychological fortitude to get through all his planned treatments. He needed something to aspire to, something that he enjoyed. Visiting remote places around the world was one of his passions, as was fishing. So he set about arranging a fishing trip to Iceland. 

In June 2020, despite some opposition to his undertaking the trip, Colin embarked on his fishing adventure. He was supported by the team in Iceland who had helped arrange it. He was thrilled to catch more fish in one afternoon than he had ever caught before. The trip enhanced his sense of wellbeing and confidence that he undertook three further fishing trips to Iceland, although he was becoming weaker over time. Colin was very lucky and grateful to the genuine and helpful hosts who were always one step ahead of him
and made it possible. 

To help sustain him over time, Colin regularly looked at the photos from these special trips. They brought to mind the joy of spending time in amazing places with wonderful people. Before his illness, Colin visited Alaska, Antarctica, and Svalbard. Through the fantastic wildlife and landscape photographs from these trips Colin was able to relive and enjoy his amazing memories and remember fondly the good friends he had made.

Colin would like to share his story in the hope of inspiring other people with a life-limiting illness to make the most of each day and do the things they have been planning if they can. His advice is to take as many photos as possible to enable reliving those special moments and reactivating memories, which can put the amazing into every day.

Thank you for supporting us and allowing our patients to live to the full at the end of their life.