Chris Harvey is a very independent man – he knows what he wants and is more than happy to achieve it by himself.
But when he was diagnosed with skin cancer two years ago, Chris quickly realised that he would need to become depended on others – a scary thought but something he has learned to accept.
Below, Chris explains what he has learned since his diagnosis and how his life has changed.
“Something I realised I have to do is ask questions,” the 70-year-old tells us. “It doesn’t matter how stupid you think a question may be – ask it. If there’s something you want to know, from either a friend or your oncologist or whoever is treating you, ask it. That’s one big lesson I have learned through this.”
He adds: “And don’t be frightened to ask for help. I don’t like people helping me. I’m the person who always helps someone else, but sometimes it’s got to be your turn to ask for help. And you’ll be surprised how welcoming people are. Some people are just waiting for you to ask for help, but don’t like to ask you if there’s anything they can do.”
Since his initial diagnosis, Chris’ cancer has spread to his lungs, spine, and liver. He explains how his treatment has affected his daily routine: “I used to do a lot of things – I used to walk miles with my dogs. But it’s all now come to a stop because I just don’t have the energy to get up and go out and do it. That’s the sad thing.”
But with the tough days, also comes days full of smiles.
“I’ve got three granddaughters and I live for seeing them as often as I can,” says the pensioner. “It’s wonderful having them girls in my life. I have a reason to keep going.
“Some days it is hard, some days I do feel really down and miserable, and some days I’m quite good. And other days, I just sit on the settee and watch the world go by.”
This interview was part of our podcast. Listen to Chris’ full interview in Cancer Campion Podcast Episode 3.