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Journalist thanks former newspaper as he reveals terminal cancer diagnosis

simon-rickettsA former weekly newspaper journalist who went on to a career with the nationals has revealed he has terminal cancer.

Simon Ricketts, pictured left, announced the diagnosis in a post on his personal blog.

In the piece, the 48-year-old former Watford Observer journalist said he considered himself “lucky to have worked for a local newspaper I loved.”

Simon, who now works for The Guardian, has also spent time at the Daily Mail and The Independent.

Wrote Simon: “I consider myself lucky. I always have. I think of my life as a privilege. I was born into a family who surround me with love and support me in whatever I do. I am wrapped in the consuming love of a beautiful, talented, hilarious, woman, who has made me the happiest I have ever been.

“I have friends so true, so clever, so talented, so committed, so funny, so uplifting to know, that I’m almost embarrassed to have been given such gifts.

“I have worked for my local newspaper that l loved, and for now I (will continue to) work for the national newspaper it was always my ambition to join. I’ve been very, very lucky.

“While this is probably a shorter time on the planet than I was hoping for, I cannot truly feel too cheated. I really can’t. And, hey, I’m not dead yet. I’m not giving up. I plan to extend my life, by whichever ways possible, as much as I can. Let’s see how we go.”

Of his diagnosis, he wrote: “The doctor said I have about ‘one to two years’ left to live. It might be more, it could be less. She did seem to stress the ‘one’ more than the ‘two’ but that might have been how I heard it in my brain, which was spinning inside my skull as I sat statue-still in that chair, while my entire body felt like it was being filled with concrete.

“Of course, this is not something I wanted to hear but I had a feeling it was coming. And the past few days have been heartbreaking – but not so much for me. More for those who love me.

“I’ve said it before – being ill is a drag. Losing the sense of control over your immediate future and perhaps your body is difficult. But let me tell you, the hardest thing, the bone-achingly hideous thing, is to see the faces of those you have to tell. The shock, the sadness, the tears, the denial, the sudden focus-pull, a bit like this. Watching that can almost too much to bear.”

Simon added the cancer was on his stomach and pancreas, as well as being “dotted elsewhere, hanging around inside me like violent gangs at a series of darkened bus stops”.