Phil Finn’s cancer fight

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ACE newsman Philip Finn, former New York reporter for the Daily Express, has died from cancer of the oesophagus. This is how he explained his illness in an email to his friends last March.

Hi Family, Friends,

Sorry for the delay in responding to all your kind messages. There are enough cards, prayers and lit candles to burn down the Vatican. And that's great because it's gratifying so many people not only care but are pulling for us

Our backup is global. James and Kathy Colquhoun (Ann Marie's brother, sister in law) and son Gary top our Scottish supporters'club, and near Royal Troon on the West Coast our oldest friends, The Gilfeathers, are just as hearty, along with daughter Jo in Paris.

Jimmy Sutherland in Barcelona has put us first, even ahead of Lionel Messi. And in South East France we have David and Jan Richardson toasting us (on a daily basis) in  locally produced red wine. And mention of wine brings us to our  old Manhattan mucker, Allan Hall, now earning his Euros in Berlin.   

Words of great comfort and advice, too, from Mick and Lilly Brennan in San Jose, Costa Rica. And down in the Caribbean we have George and Margot Gordon sending us calypso greetings from Antigua. 

South of the border in the Mexican zillionaires' playground  of Cabo, Ed Diddle interrupts the sweet life to call daily. Old mates from all over Britain have sent our spirits soaring.

Now to business: We are in the second week of radiation treatment, getting zapped once a day five days a week. It is tiring, but painless and only takes a few minutes. Had the first chemo treatment last Thursday, a two-and-a-half hour session at a brand new facility round the corner from our golf club.

As one who has imbibed from as far afield as Salford to Santiago (and multiple other places East and West) it was  a vastly new experience ... chemo is not Heineken, and it certainly ain't Boddingtons. It left me Saturday and Sunday in a very weird state. But we believe in the old bromide: We are only doing it for your benefit. Right!

There is another long session tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan 21), and it is not the kind of happening which preceded so many happy hours spent in the Lando, Crown and Kettle (Ancoats, Manchester), Eamonn's or dear old Costello's, off Third Avenue.    

It is a tough regimen, but so was being bombed by the Germans, and we came through all that with colours blazing.

That's why all your warm thoughts, messages are so greatly appreciated. And another great plus for us was bolstering our friendship with Patty McAleece, a volunteer at the Oncology Centre, whose care and concern, makes us even more envious of that lucky old sod, husband Jerry.

We can just hear our old foreign editor, David Richardson, muttering to Jan: "Is there much more of this crap?"

No there isn't.  

But we hope we've got the message across how deeply we feel and appreciate all your tremendous support. And to Jack Mullins: Your Dear Abby gag had us howling with laughter.

Love all round, 

Ann Marie and Phil Finn, jr., aka Lord Ace.

I’m a transvestite, jokes Lord Ace


© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre