Welcome to Ben’s blog

This blog was written over 10 months of 2012 and early 2013 while Ben was battling with stage 4 malignant melanoma (an aggressive form of skin cancer). He originally started it as a way of keeping family and friends up to date with how he was feeling and how treatment was going, but it soon began to get followers from far and wide – including many that had never met Ben. The blog’s readers responded to the constant positivity, honesty and sense of humour that pervade his writing right up until his last few days in this world.

Ben’s words are still of tremendous value to anyone trying to come to terms with, or better understand the experience of living with terminal illness. I’d love you to stick around to read some of what Ben had to say.


Sally, Saskia and Ben

Ben, Saskia and I

There are several ways you can approach reading the blog. You can use the Search Bar or Tag Cloud on the right to read about key themes, or use the Archives list to read through the posts in chronological order. Alternatively you can click on the links below to dive straight in to some of Ben’s best posts:

On how it all started

On brain tumours

On ‘the enemy’ – malignant melanoma

On the importance of staying positive

On radiotherapy and what it involves

On symptoms, side effects and taking a holistic approach

On the dark days

On weebles!

On Ben’s last days (by Sally and Ben)


Group Photo by White Light Photography


9 responses to “Welcome to Ben’s blog

  1. David

    God bless you. I’m fighting my own battle with Metastatic Melanoma. I look forward to reading Ben’s blog. I’m keeping friends and family aware on Caringbridge.org. Thank you for sharing.

  2. In honor of Ben and all those fighting melanoma, please consider making the “Pledge to be Pale” on change.org. I learned about melanoma when my mother was diagnosed, with it and I hope to create a movement not to tan. Please join in – copy and paste this link in your browser: https://www.change.org/p/united-states-surgeon-general-pledge-to-be-pale?recruiter=24323311&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

    and make the pledge!

  3. Jane

    Looking forward to reading your blog! Ray Merrill, a friend of mine, has an incredible story… he was given a terminal diagnosis of stage IV melanoma and given 2 months to live. He decided to look at other options. Today, he is cancer free! Watch his video here: http://player.vimeo.com/video/102593529 and learn more about his treatment at http://www.perseuspci.com.
    My hope is that others can find hope and healing in the same way that Ray did!

  4. Gillian

    Hi Sally, I read and replied to Ben’s blog this morning as I am a melanoma survivor to date but as Ben rightly commended on we all live in fear of the time it may return. I must send you my sincere apologies as I was not aware that Ben lost his fight and I really do want to say that his blog was so very emotive and informative that it truly touched me this morning. My thought are with you and your daughter, all the very best.
    Kind regards Gillian

  5. Sally

    Hi Gillian. Thanks for your lovely comments. It’s great to know that people are still reading Ben’s blog and finding it useful and inspiring. No need to apologise about the mix up – blogs like this can be a little misleading if you don’t start reading in a certain place.

    That’s great that you’re melanoma free now. Wishing you many more healthy, happy years ahead!

    Sally x

  6. Pamela brown

    Hi sally, I have been reading bens blog for for a while & still am , in a way I became obsessed with it , knowing this is what would happen to my husband, he was diagnosed five year ago with melanoma , and has been through so much just like Ben , I wish we had done a blog, I always said we could right a book with everything he went through , sadly sally just like Ben he lost his battle on 24th November 2017 he was 49, I always new it was going to happen , he never wanted to hear the bad news , he let met hear it , even right up to the end he did not want to no he was so scared, he just did not want to die , he wanted to live and be with us his family just like Ben, so sally where do I go from hear I miss him so much . Love pam. Xxx

  7. Sally

    Hi Pam, so sorry to hear about your husband. It’s rotten disease, and I can imagine how difficult these past 5 years have been for you too.

    From now life will keep going, allow yourself to grieve, to miss him, and also find and make opportunities to talk about him and celebrate him with your family. I’m no expert and only have my experience, but I found that talking, and sharing and remembering were how I got through. Why not write your own blog? I wrote one called thesewidowsshoes.com – it’s still there if you’d like to have a look. I kept it private for a while, then shared it with a few friends and then finally felt I could share it publicly. It helped me to work my feelings through I think.

    I also recommend seeing a grief councellor. I saw one who worked for the hospice Ben died at for a few sessions and that helped me tremendously.

    Next Wednesday will be 5 years since Ben died. I have a new partner now who lives with my daughter and I. Ben is still part of our lives though – we talk about him often and his family are still as much in our lives as if he’d still been here. That keeps him close.

    I send you all kind wishes Pam and hope that you can see some light through your grief before too long.

    Sally x

  8. Pamela brown

    Thanks sally for replying I feel honered to hear from you , I am to be going back to the hospice where Callum my husband died just like you for counselling, also I have read your blog aswell and will probably continue to do so for a while, just like I read bens and still do, and yes sally it’s a rotten disease it ruined our life’s and the life of so many others. Thanks sally love Pam. Xxx

  9. Sally

    Thank you Pam. Take care. Xxx

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