Dartford man starts hilarious blog to break taboos around cancer

Nicky Boardman with wife Kerry and son Ethan.

Dartford man starts hilarious blog to break taboos around cancer

Some of the drugs Mr Boardman has to take for the condition.

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A Dartford man who suffers from a rare terminal abdominal cancer has started a "gallows humour" style blog to take away the stigma around his illness.

Nicky Boardman, 34, of Birdwood Avenue, started the blog called 'Too Upbeat for Cancer' to let his family and friends know what was going on with his condition so he didn't have to keep repeating himself.

The popular blog has had 25,000 page views in the last six weeks, some from spots as far away as Indonesia and Estonia.

Mr Boardman, who was diagnosed last year, started the blog in April after a 10-hour operation and a 10 week stay in hospital.

The father-of-one, who is married to Kerry, said: "I now have no clue what will happen now following the mind-boggling operation that saw a 5kg tumour and all or part of half a dozen organs removed, but I’m still here.

"People don’t think it happens to young people, and young people don’t really know how to cope with it.

"The blog’s really just trying to break a lot of the taboos about cancer and hospices and illness."

Mr Boardman explained he records "everything - every horrible fact, every bowel movement - so that people can hear about it" in the blog.

Since his first post in April, titled ‘The Day My Bum Fell Out’, Nicky has been detailing the course of his illness, trying "to be very factual about it and not gloss over things".

He said: "People don’t like talking about death, and they don’t like talking about cancer, because those are things that frighten them."

Apologising for "the sweary bits" and "graphic details", he nevertheless believes that "if you know what’s coming, or if you know what somebody else is going through, you can cope with it a bit better."

Mr Boardman's blog journey all started with a seemingly harmless Facebook post late 2012 which said "I appear to have a miniature brass band trapped inside my bottom".

At that point the former store manager at Bluewater was ignoring the signs of his illness.

He was diagnosed with the disease on May 14 last year.

Now, following a course of chemotherapy and his operation, he is re-exercising skills he learnt years ago writing for his university paper.

He said: "Positivity and humour make a big difference.

"I don’t think anybody’s ever got better by being negative about their illness.

"I’ve tried hard to turn something really horrible into something a little bit more positive, where I can maybe give something back to all my friends and medical professionals that have supported me."

EllenorLions Hospices in Coldharbour Road, Northfleet have supported Mr Boardman with in-house care, emotional and psychological support, and financial advice since he got ill. 

He added: "I wish that people understood a bit better what hospices have to offer.

"I think to me, and to pretty much everyone, a hospice is where people go to die." 

The hospice has offered play therapy to Ethan and is helping the family get on with daily life. 

To read Mr Boardman's blog visit www.tooupbeatforcancer.com or follow Nicky on Twitter @nickyboardman and to find out more about the hospice visit www.ellenorlions.org

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