Contributors

17 July - Winning the lottery

We won the lottery yesterday. When I saw the email this morning I thought wouldn't it be just my luck to win a million and not have time to spend it! As Olga says, what use is money if you don't have health? But the win was only a tenner. It won't change my life.

After our amble into town this afternoon Olga says I am walking more strongly. People we meet ask how I am and enquire about the treatment. When I tell them I will be travelling five days a week for six weeks to Carlisle and back by taxi there is always a sharp intake of breath, a comment about how expensive that will be and questions about whether an ambulance service can take me.

I stopped thinking about money when the Newcastle hospital registrar gave me a use by date. In any case, I don't consider it anyone's responsibility to get me to the hospital for treatment but my own. If we run up a bill of £3 - 4000 in taxi fares then that is no more than we might have spent having the kitchen re-done or the carpets replaced.

And the treatment itself is free. If this had happened to one of Olga's friends or relatives in Ukraine, they would have to pay the full cost of medicines as well.

So new carpets or cancer treatment? Not one of life's tougher decisions.