Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland showbiz writer Paul Martin reveals cancer diagnosis

Paul Martin said he received the diagnosis following a series of routine medical tests
Paul Martin said he received the diagnosis following a series of routine medical tests
Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

Broadcaster and showbiz writer Paul Martin has revealed he has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show, the journalist and father-of-three (41) said he had recently undergone a series of routine medical tests which showed a shadow on one of his lungs.

He said he thought "everything was going to be fine", however during a follow-up meeting with a consultant at Belfast City Hospital last Thursday he was told he had Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare form of cancer that starts in the white blood cells.

Mr Martin said one of the hardest parts of learning about his diagnosis was having to break the news to his three young children.

"I said 'listen, I've got some news to tell you, but don't worry about it'. I tried to put on an upbeat voice even though inside I was completely dying off," he said.

"I said 'daddy's got some news from the doctors today', I was careful not to say bad news, 'and they told me I've got cancer, but don't worry, I'm going to be okay.

"And the first thing my youngest boy said was, he turned around and said 'Daddy, are you going to die?' And I said 'no, I'm not going to die. I'm going to fight for you guys, that's why I'm going to fight'."

The journalist and broadcaster said he has received an outpouring of support since he received the news, however he finds it "incredible" how some people approach the topic of cancer.

"What's incredible, and I don't know if this is a good or bad thing or just human nature... but people are so terrified of cancer. They really are," he said.

"I've had a lot of people coming round and visiting me, a lot of good and reaching out on social media, and I think I've heard the word cancer, and although I've spoken to maybe around 100 people, I think I've heard the word cancer maybe twice.

"People say 'the big c', or just 'c', when they are writing in text - they're scared of even saying the word."

Mr Martin said he hopes to be able to beat the disease following treatment, but to be confronted with his own mortality at just 41-years-old is "very strange".

"It's just horrible... The news is so dramatic, I don't even really care what happens to me. I've had an amazing life," he said.

"I'm not going in that room [the consultant's] alone, I'm going in with three young children by my side. And they might not be there physically, but the impact on me is the impact on them, and that's where the real quandary lies. I'm not worried about myself."

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