When we first learned of Steve’s diagnosis, we jumped straight online to read everything we could about stage IV ocular melanoma affecting the liver. Sadly, everything we discovered was morbid and terrifying – hopeless prognoses from academic sources based on unsuccessful treatments with very few personal blogs detailing the journey of ‘survivors’. We were heart-broken, desperate for any skerrick of information that we could find to help us find ways to not only fight this cancer but to fight off the fear that this was the end.
It was then that I knew I had to start this blog, Walking the Plank, as not only a way of getting the story out there but to connect with others going through treatment of this insidious disease and to let them know that they are not alone. We needed to be a source of information, a legacy of immunotherapy immortalised forever in our words. It has also become a record of Steve’s journey, to remind us of how precious life is and what we’ve done for our future.
Now, for those of you who know me, you’ll know that I have been blogging for a long time. It wasn’t a stretch to begin writing about this but I did know that I wanted to do something special for Steve. It wasn’t just my story to share anymore.. it was his too. So, I started to think about what would make this blog one of a kind and to truly personalise it for my Pirate.
I decided that I needed a caricature of a pirate, one that looked just like Steve. However, a thorough internet search ended in fruitless frustration and I began to wonder what I could do instead.
That was when I enlisted the assistance of our dear friend in England, Chris Philp. A talented artist, Chris was the first person I thought of to help me with my idea. He listened to my suggestion and jumped on board with my idea, telling me that he doesn’t do caricatures but he does paint. I trusted his talent and of course, I need not have worried. Chris doesn’t do things by halves and several weeks later I opened my email to find this masterpiece in my inbox:
For those who know Steve, you’ll recognise him instantly. Chris did such a brilliant job, that when I finally unveiled the picture to the pirate himself, tears welled in his eyes… and mine.
Thank you, Chris. You have put a smile on this Pirate Family at such a sad time in our lives.
My Pirate Steve immortalised forever on canvas, and now soon-to-be in the design of our blog. Watch this space!
x Pirate Wench