Jim and Michael Thompson
Jim and Michael ThompsonImage by: Victoria Middleton Photography
Jim and Michael Thompson
10 June 2021

Michael's Story: My dad is more my hero now than even before.

3 minutes read time

"I remember the day my dad told me he had cancer like it was yesterday. We were all relaxing in the living room on a winter’s night, we had spent the last month raising money for Movember for the first time. Dad then told us the news, he had prostate cancer. The room was silent, it seemed like that silence lasted forever. 

The most difficult part of someone you love having cancer is watching it change them. When I was younger, I imagined my dad to be the strongest man alive, my hero, he was always there when I needed him. Since his diagnosis his strength has begun to fade slowly. When we helped my sister move to a new house recently, he couldn’t do as much to help as he could’ve done 4 or 5 years ago because his cancer has sapped his strength, this was an upsetting realisation for me.

However, he has found new strength, that I don’t think he even knew he had in him; the strength to fight in different ways and keep on going when other people may have given up. His motivation to help other men, encourage them to get tested so they don’t have to go through what he has is nothing short of inspiring and I am so proud of him. He is more my hero now than even before. 

This last year has been so difficult for us as a family. We are a very close-knit group and love nothing more than spending time together, even just a lazy Sunday in the garden brings us happiness. To not be able to do this has been a challenge. It is even harder knowing that my dad is on limited time as I want to spend as much time with him as possible. Ever since I was little, we have been close, and a lot of this is down to our love of football and Newcastle United, we would always go to games together. Sometimes dad would do the 5 hour round trip, sometimes a lot less than that depending on his less than legal driving, in a day just so we could go to the match. I still remember the first game he took me to. Newcastle v Southampton at home. The tickets were a present for my 5th birthday, and I couldn’t have been more excited to go see the game with my dad. I got so swept up in the stadium and atmosphere that I total forgot to watch the match. At one point we scored, and my dad turned to me and said ‘What a goal! Did you see that?” I obviously nodded my head in agreement but to this day I have no idea what he was talking about. 

" Even if it is just talking rubbish and watching the football with my dad, every one of those moments is precious and means the world to me." "

Although we did our best to try and keep in touch during the pandemic, through virtual get togethers, regular phone conversations, it was never the same as sitting down with a beer and watching the football together, and during the lockdowns I would’ve given anything to be able to do that with him. Now that things are easing up, I plan on being round at my parent’s house as much as I can, or as much as they will let me anyway! Even if it is just talking rubbish and watching the football with my dad but every one of those moments is precious and means the world to me."