Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
I’ve only got months to live
9:30pm Tuesday 14th September 2010 in Health
Father of two Gary Halloran, from Silver End, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer after years of playing gigs in smoke-filled pubs. He tells us how his love of music and his family have helped him cope with the unimaginable heartache
MY love of music is partly why I have only three months to live. Ironically it’s also music that is now helping me keep my spirits up.
I’m a non-smoker fighting a rare form of lung cancer. I say fighting, because although three types of chemotherapy failed, I am determined to battle this disease mentally.
I’m trying to enjoy my last few months to the max and that means not moping around feeling sorry.
I am young – well 45 – and have everything to live for. I have two beautiful young children, aged ten and seven, and a wonderful wife, Fiona. What upsets me is the prospect that I will not be here to see my little ’uns through school and get settled in life. That is what breaks my heart, but I have to stay strong for them.
I’m in a similar position to Roy Castle, who died in 1994 aged 62. I’ve played gigs in smoky pubs with my band Silver End Pink Floyd and my previous band, Wartz N All. It’s these gigs over many years maybe that has caused my cancer.
I support the smoking ban, but I don’t feel the need to blame others for the disease that is now ravaging my body.
At the same time, I can’t help but feel hard done by, knowing I won’t see many more birthdays.
But every day I play my guitars and try and learn some new songs. Music lifts my spirit and I am continuing to play gigs.
I cherish every minute I spend with my children and, as a family, we’re just trying to lead a normal life. I have decided to leave my guitars to them.
I’ve had to churn out a will and when we arranged my funeral, it was just surreal, and making light of it made it easier to deal with. But then there are moments when the reality hits me and it makes me sad.
When people ask what music I will have at my funeral, Fiona and I laugh.
I am a mad Pink Floyd fan so, of course, it had to be one of their songs – Comfortably Numb.
I’ll also have Angels Calling. by Rooster.