The final over

Less than three weeks ago I wrote of having a bit of a headache. Since then, a lot has happened. I went to hospital in Newcastle, where it was discovered that I have a brain tumour. I was going to write about all of that in a bit more detail but things didn’t turn out quite as I hoped they would.

The surgeons operated on Thursday. Post operation was not a pleasant experience but I started to feel better. I had some vision impairment and felt unsteady on my feet, like I had had a couple of drinks too many. But I felt that the worst was over and I was on the road to recovery.

Then on Monday, yesterday, came the moment I just didn’t expect. Two doctors arrived to give Olga and I the results of the tests on the tissue the surgeons had removed from my brain. There are two types of brain tumour, benign and incurable. They found that I have a fast growing incurable tumour growing from inside my brain. It cannot be stopped, only treated to slow its growth and maximize quality of life for as long as I have. The grave, male doctor gave me from a few weeks to a year. His female colleague said that sometimes people survive up to five years, but I think she was just trying to soften the blow. The only plus side was that I am physically fit and healthy, so there is a better than average chance treatment will work. Then we were left alone to digest the information and arrange a taxi back to Cockermouth.

There are no words to describe what it feels like to be given news like that. Tears didn’t even come. Olga said she felt frozen inside. I think I must have felt it was just a bad dream and not real at all. I just sat there, looking at Olga and shaking my head in disbelief.

Why me? Why us?

The last nine years since I met and married Olga have been the happiest of my life. She became not just my wife but my best friend and my soulmate. She tolerated my geeky hobbies and never questioned why I needed a new radio. She has been a perfect wife.

Life has been great. We were starting to unwind towards semi retirement, planning to take more trips away and do more things together than we had the time or money to do in the past. Now the opportunity is lost. I feel so bitter and angry at being parted from her, leaving her a widow, with so many things we wanted to do yet undone.

In the taxi back from Newcastle Olga and I decided on two priorities. First, the treatment. We will do anything and everything the doctors say to give it the best chance to work. Second, we will live life from now on putting the two of us first. We will do what we want, if I can, to extract the most joy out of the time remaining, if possible, subject only to being available for the treatment. That, apparently, will consist of a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy and will begin in Carlisle in two weeks.

One of my first “practical” thoughts was that I should sell my radio gear, to help Olga get the best price. But she has said that I should keep it in case being able to use the radio gives me some pleasure during the time I have left. Of course, I don’t feel much like using the radio right now. But I can’t tell how I will feel once I have come to terms with this. Perhaps I’ll beat the bugger, live until I’m 80 and be eternally embarrassed about this post!

What I do know is that my mind is slower. Typing is becoming more of a trial than a joy. I needed to tell some of you out there what has happened to us because I know some of you care. But I feel that now is the time to give the computer a rest.

Perhaps I’ll want to write about the treatment, post updates on how I’m getting on. Who knows? But I think this is probably going to be the final over.

Thank you to all who sent their good wishes in response to my previous post. I’m sorry if I am unable to reply personally. From now on, written and spoken communication are easiest for me to deal with. Our address is on my website. Signs that some of you out there are thinking of us will help lift our spirits.


Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

31 Responses to “The final over”

  • Julian, I was shocked to read this this morning. I am so sad, and words escape me at the moment. I wish the best for you and Olga and you will be in our prayers.


  • N5TGL:


    I was looking through your post here and on your site just the other day for an update and didn’t see any. I was saddened to hear the outcome. I went through breast cancer with my wife, and all I can say is that cancer sucks. I also have a employee with stage 4 lung cancer. It is a rude, uncaring and uninvited guest. Did I say guest? I meant son-of-a-bitch. However, I’ll tell you as I told my wife, “you can’t stop living your life”, that’s the best advice I can give. Don’t let the prognosis destroy your will to go on.

  • Peter KG5WY:

    God be with you.

  • Bill W1WH:

    Julian, you and Olga will be in my prayers every day. May God give you the courage and strength to fight this battle. Nothing is impossible with God.

  • Micel Homsi OD5TX:

    I am saddened by this post.
    I hope that you will be able to recover soon and enjoy a good life with Olga as long as possible. My wife’s uncle was given a few weeks to live back in 2001 ( pancreatic cancer ) and Thank God he is still with us today .

  • EI4GXB:

    Julian, I am so sorry to hear your news and your bravery is to be commended. God willing, you will make it through this terrible time for both yourself & Olga.
    Best wishes

  • jeff herr WW6L:

    keep on going.

    i have been reading your blog for quite some time. it is a welcome part of my morning routine. thank you so much.

  • Phil KQ4D:

    May God bless you and be with you both; my sincere prayers are with you.
    When I read of this I tried to imagine how you must feel and was unable to do that. Other than this I just don’t know what to say.

  • Doug KB8DNQ:

    Hang in there. My wife is a 2x surviver of cancer.
    We will keep You and your family in our prayers.

  • Steve:

    Gerson Therapy. I am not a fan of western medicine, especially outdated treatments l ok ke chemo and radiation.

    My pdayers are with you and Olga.

  • Michael- KG0E:


    May your days be bright, may your thoughts be of all of us who care so deeply about fellow hams. You have written with remarkable knowledge about our hobby and passion. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

    With sincere wishes,

    Michael Goddard, KG0E, Howard, Colorado

  • Mark:

    Hello Mr. Moss, I was stunned this morning when I read your post but with that I am also amazed at the miracles we read about everyday. Here is hoping on one of those miracles for you and that you live a long life together with Mrs. Moss.

    73 My Friend,


  • Phil - N4LNE:


    I was shocked and saddened to read your post. I have no words of wisdom for you other than to get up each and every day and fight the demon living inside you every minute of every day and to live life to it’s fullest.
    I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    Thank you for your posts and for sharing your life with all of us.

    Good Night and good Bless

    Philip McCleary

  • K4TOJ - Tom:


    I have enjoyed reading your writings as I saw them on When I saw your first post about your issues, I too thought it was a stroke. I wish it was that instead of this latest prognosis. I agree with those that say continue to live your life to the fullest. Be responsible, but do whatever your means will allow. Enjoy Olga, your family and friends, every second you can. Fulfill as much of your bucket list as you can. I wish you great luck with the medical treatments as they, not anything else, are your best chance at recovery.


  • Steve Shinn KC6YFR:

    You and Olga are in my prayers.
    God bless you.

  • Ian Boot, ZL1TXZ.:

    Julian,the best of British to you. With Olga (She sounds like a lovely lady) by your side and with your attitude, you have more than a fighting chance to beat this. We never know what is around the corner. Go for it,
    Ian ZL1TXZ.

  • Clive GM4FZH:

    Shocked to hear the sad news. Let’s hope there is some reprieve and hope to hear you on the radio soon. I often saw you on APRS and thanks for that packet contact in January.
    Make the best of it and look after Olga, enjoy yourselves to the full but also enjoy your hobbies.
    My thoughts are with you – from Clive GM4FZH from just across the Solway Firth.

  • Ron n3tlq:

    Julian, may God bless you (and with Olga it seems he already has)! Fight the good fight, and I’m hoping to be reading your updates for many years!

  • wilf james rs180566:

    hi julian keep your spirts up we retired to fr 14 years ogo we are know 84 and my wife has had every medical emergery going so dont let it get you down cheers wilf

  • Jeff N1KDO:

    Hello Julian,

    I worked with a man who had beaten an “uncurable” brain cancer 10 years prior. His cancer had been declared inoperable, and he was given 6-12 months. He did not like this outcome, and looked until he found a doctor and hospital that could fix him.

    While there is life there is hope. It is my hope and wish that you beat this.

    Best 73,


  • Ron W8VZM:

    Please don’t give up. Live to the fullest as you plan to. You may not know it but you have impact on others. A lot of that impact you may not be aware of. I will keep you both in my prayers and ask for this that is in my email signature,
    “Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage”.
    It seems you already have done so as you are exhibiting both. Godspeed

    Ron W8VZM

  • Joe ws4r:

    Julian I am so sad and shocked to hear this news. Fight with all your might. There are “miracles” to be had. You and Olga will be in our prayers.




  • Demetre Valaris, SV1UY:

    Hi Julian,

    I do not know what to say OM. I am shocked. I just hope these doctors are wrong.

    73 de Demetre SV1UY

  • Fred W0FMS:

    Sorry to hear this, but I’m glad you got it and are continuing to get it aggressively treated. As long as you feel well enough to do it, continue to treat it as aggressively as you can. Don’t suffer, but fight as long as you can! Whether there is a heaven or not may be debatable, but in any case the next stage will be a very long time indeed. Get the extra time on the Earth if you can, please! (Radiation works well on brain tumors. Keep it shrunk down as long as you can.)

    If you want to play radio, play radio, but do spend more time with the family. I’m healthy now, and frankly in the summers I don’t do much radio (as many can probably tell by my lack of blogging lately)– because I have to spend more time with housework and the family! It’s well worth it. Ham radio needs to primarily be fun. Too many hams make it too competitive and too much like work. Don’t be that ham.

    I wish you the best. Don’t sell all of your radios though. If you wife loses a hundred quid or so on your HF radio but you can *enjoy it* to the end it will be well worth it to you *and* her, trust me on this. Make advanced plans for friends to take down your antennas… but realize that they should likely get them for free for the effort.

    73, good luck… Fred W0FMS

  • John Greene AJ4NA:

    Be as optomistic as you can, I survived the big “C” and have been free for 10 years. Most doctors are pessimists, and give you the real downside of everything. A friend of mine had an inoperable tumor, and it shrank as soon as the treatment started. Things happen if you believe. May God be with you and the doctors as you go through the steps forward in the process.

  • Denny M3HSJ:


    The very best of British to you and your family, I sincerely hope with every fibre in my body that you beat this.

    My sincere wishes to you all and the very best of luck.


  • Joe VK6AAO:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you

  • Mark W3LZK:

    Dealing with a chronic pain disease, (RSD or is our friend) is nothing compard to what you have to deal with. But this I do know, my faith and the love of my family has enabled me to go on when on days I don’t really think I can. May GOD find his way into each of your lives in this time of need. I’ve only been reading your post for about 6 months, but you are truly a man of wisdom in this hobby, may God bless you and your wife.

    73 de Mark

  • Ken N1NEG:

    Here’s a talk from a guy (one year ahead of me at MIT) who beat incurable tumors. May his story help you…

    73 de Ken

  • Miguel xe2ngt:

    You and Olga are in my prayers.

  • Neil VE3NGS ZL1NZ:

    This is so terrible Julian. Please stay strong. My thoughts are with you and Olga.

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