Hello I’m Mike Ross, I live in Omagh, Co Tyrone. I immigrated to Canada some 40 years ago. I lived you know, a good life in Canada, my kids have grown up there, my family is there and regrettably through life circumstance my wife was diagnosed with the same type of cancer as I was diagnosed with two years ago.
I have always been into Country Western more so in the resent few months it just come to be especially when you have to climb up through an attic – laughing. Derry, I never foresee myself, – can I do this, I can do this, I can ………..
Bernie: Michael and I had a very good, close childhood so when I heard he was diagnosed, I was luckily able to come over once a month at least to spend some time and each time I came because, hanging out here we used to have lots of discussions and just ordinary chats and some of them were very kind of sad and some were very positive and I just started to remember when I took that flight back to London the things he said and obviously I was holding back the tears like the rest of my sisters were doing constantly and there are just small things like “don’t cry on front of me, you need to be strong Bernie, tell the rest of my sisters, Im not having this, I cant bear to see you like this” and em and I’d say Michael see ya Michael I’ll see you soon and he said you know the next time is going to be even harder Bernie so I just remembered all those things.
So this wee song came and I said Michael I think you can sing this and so when we came back and there was a lovely chap up the road called Aidan and he was fantastic on the guitar and I said maybe you could play with Michael and low and behold Michael takes the guitar up and remembers everything that he played when he was young. That was it and then we, Aidan said he knew a guy called Eamonn Caren in Derry and within a week we were up there, did a quick session and they didn’t even have to fix Michael’s voice it was just crazy even they said and so we put it on YouTube as a special tribute song with the lyrics and a bit of a background story to it so people understand because it did come as a shock to us in January because we thought Michael was here when he came over, we were going to have another, well a retirement with our brother . It wasn’t to be so it was a big shock and so Michael and this thing, it just dawned on me not only has he got cancer which he doesn’t complain about he has the extra burden of trying to be strong for us and you know I just think so many people out there are probably that are suffering from cancer have got that same burden as you will and it must be so hard for them to have.
Mike: I look at it as a burden for my sisters than for me. I want to bring understanding to everyone that palliative care is an end to a means it’s a way of being able to manage the situation with expectations that are acceptable to everyone without having to be depressed or a fit in the mold. He’s palliative care, he’s gonna go soon, its not about that, its about the journey of getting there and looking after those people that survive after me and making sure that they are in a good place because I think its better to help the family at this time than me