Although there are plenty of negatives that come with social media and the modern world there are also some positives. It gives people a platform to share their thoughts and emotions, somewhere to vent anger, frustration and disappointment. Or in the case of scooterist couple Dixie and Jules King it’s given them somewhere to let friends and followers know about the scariest battle of all.

The couple have been very candid about Dixie’s ongoing battle, his condition and how it affects them both on a day to day basis as they live with a terminal illness. That public united front kickstarted a Go Fund Me campaign and has helped Dixie to realise a dream which will raise much-needed funds towards research into brain cancer.

Here are a few questions we put to them as we found out about Dixie King’s Pensive Moods.

Iggy

An old Kings Scooter Workshop flyer, the number is no longer in use though.
Tell us a bit about you and your scootering history: I’m from Worcester originally, I got into scoots about 1983 and have been riding them since 1986. I’ve always preferred Vespas mechanically, but love the Lammy styling.

Readers may know you from your workshop, what can you tell us about that? Jules and I have been running Kings Scooter Workshop in Bletchley, Milton Keynes for approx six years now, specialising in used scooter sales, scooter repairs/servicing, second-hand parts and accessories etc.
Unfortunately, due to my illness, we can now only offer only a few used parts.

There are a couple of reasons behind this Q&A, firstly you’ve just written a poetry book. Is it something you’ve always had an interest in or dabbled with? I have written a few poems before now, but since being diagnosed I have found it a great way to express my feelings and experience of the whole ordeal.

For those readers who maybe haven’t been following you on social media you’re currently going through quite a public but personal battle. Can you let SLUK readers know a bit about your condition? I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiformeterminal. Brain cancer.

When were you diagnosed? I was diagnosed in Sept 2019 after having flashing lights in my left eye and not being able to pick up my coffee mug. The docs thought I’d had a mini-stroke at first.

What’s your prognosis? My prognosis then was 12-18 months.

Is the condition hereditary? No reason for it, just bad luck.

 

 

How did you cope once you had a diagnosis? As soon as I was diagnosed, I went straight into practical mode, getting the house jobs done, so there’s less for her (Jules) to cope with when the inevitable happens. Jules is now my carer, with medications, daily appointments etc. She’s been so strong, but I know she struggles with it, just won’t admit it.

It’s fair to say that the way you and your wife, Jules have dealt with your illness has been inspiring to watch. I’m sure there are plenty of behind-the-scenes tears and fears but how is Jules coping with things? Yes, there are plenty of sad times, tears and worries, but we do what we can, when I’m up to it, making memories.

How is your condition being managed? I’ve been on chemotherapy since Oct 2019. I’ve had three lots of radiotherapy and two brain ops to remove tumours, the last in Feb 2021 was to remove another tumour they found. They also had to remove part of my brain to stop a cluster. My chemo has now been stopped as it’s not working, so they’re trying one last shot of radiotherapy. The latest prognosis in June 2021 was 6-9 months, it’s now 3-6 month…

Have you been able to get out and ride at all? I had to give up my licence when I was first diagnosed, so I’ve not been on a scoot since the Isle of Wight 2019 (my GTV 250). Jules has recently got me on the back of her GTS HPE for a few short runs, big smiles again!!!

What’s your favourite rally? My favourite rally has to be Big 7 in the last few years, we were going this year but as it was cancelled Jules organised a ‘LITTLE 7 rally’ in our garden, a great night with a handful of mates and 7 tents in the garden, another memory.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book? All the poems in the book relate to my personal experiences and emotions during this horrible ordeal.

How did it feel to get the first copy of your book? Regarding the book, getting the proof copy was such an amazing feeling and achievement for me, knowing I’d written it and done something useful that may help others.

All the proceeds of the book are going to charity, which charity is it? The proceeds from the book are going to The Brain Tumour Research Charity, in Milton Keynes, to aid their good research work.

Would you like to thank anybody? I would like to thank everyone who donated to my go-fund-me-page, who have helped make this possible. You have all been amazing and so generous. I just hope my book helps other sufferers and carers and also raises awareness of the struggles faced by cancer patients.

Is there anything you’d like to add, or feel people should know about living with a terminal illness? Everyone deals with a terminal illness differently. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Yes, I get angry and frustrated but it’s happened, I can’t change it. All I can do is deal with it my own way, trying to be practical, trying to make things a bit easier, more organised around the house for Jules when the time comes.

We’ve all gone through some major changes in the last 18 months and we’re looking forward to some kind of normality. What advice would you give to people still stuck in a Covid-induced rut? Don’t take for granted what you have and live life to the full.

Dixie King, July 2021

BEST OF TIMES (This poem is about the life that cancer has robbed me of)

You sort the packing, I’ll sort the scooters, fuelling, servicing, getting rally ready, looking forward to a weekend away.
2 stroke, 4 stroke, mates, scoots and beers.
Packed up, ready to roll, rally day’s finally here.
Wet, windy and sunny, we’ve ridden to all.
The thrill of the ride, down dales and up hills, smiling to ourselves, chatting on mics.
Getting strange looks, some odd, mainly likes, we know where we’re going, allegedly… guided by the sat nav, probably.
All over the country, inland and sea, that buzz as we ride, knowing what will be.
Made it in one piece, only a couple of detours.
Stop at the gate, tickets handy, best boot forward.
Forward to the melee, but not the bands, old mates, new friends, beer and laughter.
Even better when the weather’s a belter.
Not enough sleep and dodgy burgers.
Another rally done, more memories made.
Tent’s packed, scoots packed, beginning to fade.
Long ride home, tired and sore.
Roll on next weekend, let’s do It some more!

Why do we do it, do you have to be told? Without this life, we’d only grow old!

A few words from Jules

It might not get spoken about but we all know an illness like this is just as hard for the partner/family. How have you been coping? Honestly, I’m not. That’s the simple answer. The changes in Dixie are hard to cope with. I have to put on a smile and be positive, even on the hardest days. I still have to go to work and act normal, even though I want to just curl up at home.

You’ve both shown a truly united front through this awful time. Have you got any advice for other couples who may be experiencing something similar? If there is nothing you can do about it, there’s no point and it’s a waste of time being bitter. You have to make the most of the precious time you have left together.

If you and Dixie had one last chance to do something nice together what would it be? Being at a seaside rally, in the sun. We were planning a Dunkirk area war graves tour etc. as well but travel insurance quotes of over £2500 for Dixie were ridiculously out of reach.

How can people get hold of My Pensive Moods?

My Pensive Moods is available now, it costs £15 including UK postage. To get a copy you can join the Dixie King – My Pensive Moods Facebook group by clicking this link. Full details of how to order are on there, payments go direct to GoFundMe for the charity. 

The book is 119 pages, hardback, A5 size and good quality

It contains 57 poems, some hard-hitting, but hopefully an inspiration to other sufferers and carers.

 
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