Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Last Post

This was Terry's blog and whilst it has been the easiest way for us as a family to contact his many friends around the world in recent weeks, we now want to leave this blog as our father's legacy. This will be the last post that the family will be making here, it will remain live and accessible on the internet ad infinitum. We will continue to monitor for comments which will be published as appropriate until 29thth February 2012.

However we also want to make sure that his legacy lives on. We have set up an email address which anyone who wants to remain/be in contact with Terry's family can use. It will be administered by his children and we will respond to you as swiftly as we can, we would love to hear from you. The email address is . Over the coming months, we will also be looking at how to harness technology to make his many articles originally published on his blog, more accessible by subject matter, particularly his writing about CLL. If you would like to be kept up to date on the progress of this project, please send your contact details to the new email address.

Terry's Thanksgiving Service is still available to view at we believe that over 140 people around the world watched live on Tuesday, with more watching since.

Finally - in Terry's words "Trust in God and think laterally"

Karen, Richard, Angela and David.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

With thanks

We, the family of Terry Hamblin, would like to thank everyone for their kindness in recent days. We have been much touched by the many cards and messages we have received, the various internet tributes, including responses to this blog, and the great attendance, in person and virtually, at today's thanksgiving service. This has been, as you can imagine, a profoundly difficult time for all of us, but the clear articulation of the regard and love in which Terry was held by so many people has been a source of great comfort.

With our thanks

Diane, Karen, Richard, Angela and David Hamblin

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Service Details

A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Professor Terry John Hamblin, will take place at Lansdowne Baptist Church, Bournemouth, UK, at 1.30pm GMT on Tuesday 24th January 2012. All are most welcome to attend. The service will also be streamed live across the internet at the following URL.

Donations if so desired can be made in favour of the Bournemouth Leukaemia Fund, via Harry Tomes Ltd, Funeral Directors, (01202) 394340,

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Terence John Hamblin 1943 – 2012

It is with great sadness that we announce that Terry peacefully passed away shortly before 1.00 AM on Sunday 8th January 2012.

The family wish to thank everybody for their prayers and kind messages sent over the period of Terry’s illness.

Further details of the thanksgiving service will be posted on this blog in the near future.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

John 8:29-30:The Trinity

The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

So much of John's gospel emphasises the intimate relationship between the different persons of the Trinity. Even though the word "Trinity" is not mentioned in the Bible, you would have to be wilfully blind not to see it in John's Gospel.

No wonder many believed in him.


Two recent news items have drawn me to the idea of truth. We know that Pilate asked "What is Truth?" but he was talking about how truth is relative and we might all see it from our own viewpoint. No, what I am taking about is blatant lying.

The first incident concerned a convicted murderer; a farmer who had killed his wife and buried her and then sworn at his trial that he was innocent. Now some years later he had confessed and shown the police where the body was buried. At his trial he had just told lies under oath. Nevertheless he had a wedge of supporters who were crying about a miscarriage of justice.

The second case concerned a railway station manager in the New Forrest who had broken the safety regulations at a level crossing and been dismissed from his job. He was now seeking unfair dismissal in view of the fact that someone had left a shopping trolley on the line, and he had had to remove it. I remember the case on the Local TV news and it garnered a lot of public sympathy. We now hear (though not on TV) that this was a tissue of lies. There was no shopping trolley. Case dismissed.

A news item tells us that only 22% of BBC employees claim to be Christians. The largest group are atheists. I imagine that most who claim Christianity are tea-ladies and cleaners. The intellectual elite there are secular humanists. That being so, what is the point of them giving evidence under oath? In days past people feared fro their immortal soul. Nowadays they don't believe they have a soul.

What is the absolute standard of truthfulness? A man's word? Recent happenings have putrefied the word of politicians (expenses scandal), journalists (Levenson enquiry), the police (Stephen Lawrence case) civil servants (economical with the truth), celebrities (X-Factor), businessmen (Financial disasters) and scientists (global warming). The same can be extended to priests, who openly declare that they are taking office (and stipends) when they do not believe in God, and doctors who hide the truth from dying patients.

We know that eye-witnesses can be mistaken, photographs can be Photo shopped, and DNA can be contaminated. Criminals can beat lie-detector tests. Experienced judges have a higher conviction rate than lay-juries. Are they less gullible or more cynical?

Should we believe anyome?


I have been watching the Danish thriller, The Killing, continuing my exploration of Continental dramas with subtitles. What has particularly impressed me has been the acting of Bjarne Henriksen, who plays the father of the murdered girl. Whether or not he turns out to be involved, I know not, but the way he has dealt with the emotion of grief has been impressive. On Sunday, I watched the latest episode of Garrow's Law on BBC1 where Garrow says that he understands what a woman feels who has just lost her father. She protests that no-one could. But Garrow has just been bereaved of his friend and fellow-lawyer, Southouse, and is able to eloquently describe the feelings of grief.

The words sounded familiar and, of course they are very reminiscent of Shadowlands, the story of the bereavement of CS Lewis, when his wife Joy died. I recommend both versions, either with Anthony Hopkins or Joss Ackland. Both are based on the little book "A Grief Observed" finally published posthumously under his own name. "A Grief Observed comprises the reflections of the great scholar and Christian apologist on the death of his wife after only a few short years of marriage. Painfully honest in its dissection of his thoughts and feelings, this is a book that details his paralysing grief, bewilderment and sense of loss in simple and moving prose." says the blurb and it is very accurate.

In The Killing, the Lutheran Pastor makes the crass statement to the mother of the murdered girl, "At least she is now with the Angels." To which the mother angrily replies, "She shouldn't be with the Angels; she should be with me!" It ill betides any doctor or Pastor to meddle with a person's grief.

Very few doctors or pastors have no trouble with their own mortality. I know the Scriptures on this, and I had my moment of reconciliation with God more than 35 years ago when my father died, but I felt the pastoral counselling that I received then pretty useless.

I know a few old ladies who grieve terribly for their lost husbands of more than 30 years ago. It would be easy to say that they should put it aside now. That if theirs was a true faith that they would lost that burden at the foot of the cross, but I would never make that judgment. People are always different. There were many who waited for that long and longer for Jesus to take away that burden.

Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, had lived with her husband for seven years and then was a widow until she was 84. She never left the Temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying, waiting for the Christ Child.

Grief is unpredictable and although wew can remember to give a sympathetic hug, very few of us can find the correct form of gentle words to assuage it.

health news

I have finally heard from the Cancer drug fund. The news came through at about 5-45 this evening (Monday). The monoclonal antibody has been approved and I should be able to get it this week.

First I have arranged for my ascites to be tapped this week which should be able to relieve me from the abdominal pressure that I have been increasingly suffering from.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

John 8:28. Crucifixion is coming

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

Jesus knew how he was to die. Here he predicted it. The crucifixion is coming. They will know the answer then if they will only open their eyes.

Remembrance 2011

Gary Speed, MBE: the young men stand with red knees glowing
Perplexed as they applaud at Cardiff, Liverpool and Leeds.
He had it all; fame, kids, nice wife and home, success; still showing
Despite their grief, that these will never satisfy their needs.

Eleven eleven eleven; time to remember the dead and missing.
Black garbed crows with ribbons, wreaths and sticks
March fearlessly this time, ignoring boos and bitter hissing
Of the Muslims, students, and mad anarchists thrown in the mix.

We are not saved by this display of silent drinking and eating
Of scraps of desiccated bread and cups of inferior wine.
The precious act that we remember was totally sin-defeating
And it demolished yours just as it forever abolished mine

Saturday, December 03, 2011

John 8:26-27: tell them about the father

“I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.

Isn't it dangerous to be guided by the blind? Much of the Christian church is guided by the blind or at very least the near-sighted. Visionaries like John Stott, Jim Packer, Alec Moyteer, Billy Graham, Michael Green and Dick Lucas are old men now, but read their writings. Look out for Michael Ots our own home-grown evangelist if we are hear the truth about God.

We are all to be witnesses but some are called to be evangelists.

Up-to-date news.

I am sitting in my office looking out on a beautiful day. The sun is shining and although it is not hot, we have a temperature of about 53 degrees F and a soft SW breeze. The leaves on the trees are yellow and gold and the sky is light blue with small patches of white.

My wife is polishing the wood block floor and there is a delicious smell of polish mingled with a beef casserole in the oven.

I should hear about the monoclonal antibody on Monday afternoon. The delay has been because the chairman of the Committee (don't you hate that word) has been on annual leave and nobody has been brave enough to take the decision until he returns.

I was told by a patient who was an Insurance man that taking out Private Medical Insurance in the UK was not cost effective. Companies like PPP and BUPA were frauds against the general public. You can get a good deal through a company scheme, but if you have to fund it yourself, you would find it more cost effective to put your money in Unit Trusts via a PEP or ISA scheme that shields the growth from tax and draw on it when you need it. This is what I shall do if the answer on Monday is NO.

Talking of medical insurance, it seems to me that NICE has taken a strange view of what medication it should be supporting. If it were dealing with car insurance rather than medical insurance it would not be funding low cost items. We all have an excess on our car policies. The first £350 of damages incurred in an accident I pay myself so as not to lose my no-claims benefit. I can afford to pay that myself. It's the £10,000 write off bill and the £1 million damages when the other driver loses a limb that I want help with. So it should be with medical expenses. I can buy my own indigestion medicine, I need help with long term treatment for a handicapped child or maintenance therapy for cystic fibrosis or for cancer therapy.

My general health is quite good though I have to be careful only to eat small meals. My main problem is ascites - fluid secreted by the cancer and accumulating in the peritoneum between loops of bowel. At some stage this will need to be drained away with a thin plastic tube under ultrasound guidance.

My daughter the hematology registrar is on-call in Oxford this weekend. Among her patients is one who has a very difficult lymphoma with translocations on both chromosome 14s at the site of the promoter for the Ig heavy chain gene. On one chromosome the translocation is to BCL-2 and on the other to c-myc. This is a very rare combination and in the literature there are no long term survivors. It is ironic that I described the first such case back in the early 1980s.

My son, the F1 engineer, has finished his globe trotting to Grand Prix and in future will be in charge of procuring and providing at AP Racing. He has been thrown in the deep end with a computer glitch which he has sorted much to the approval of the CEO.

My older son, will be emigrating to New Zealand on Jan 7th. He has been head-hunted to do healthcare risk management there. Apparently his Visa came through in two days, so keen were they to have him. He is glad to leave the CQC which has become mired in an internecine dispute engineered by a two supposed whistleblowers. One is a passed over inspector, not clever enough to advance in her division (she can't grasp Bayesian statistics) and now angling for 'constructive dismissal' and the other is a Board Member who was appointed for her special interest in mental disease; her special interest being that she had suffered from it and was getting increasingly disturbed as the year went on.

My older daughter took voluntary redundancy earlier in the year and has set up her own company doing business analysis. In the meantime she is in partnership with her step-son in an arts and crafts business which is making and selling objets-arts around Christmas time.

I ought to explain what the monoclonal antibody does:

Every cell in the body needs to either grow or die. This is as true for normal cells as cancer cells. Each cell receives a growth signal from a growth factor which reacts with a growth factor receptor on the cell surface. This message is then transmitted to the nucleus where a transcription factor sets the cell dividing at its set rate. This will be different for a skin cell compared to a blood cell compared to a brain cell. Cancer cells will tend to divide faster.

The message must be taken from the cell surface to the nucleus by a series of second messengers. Mistakes (mutations) can take place in the growth factor, the growth factor receptor, any of the second messengers or the transcription factors. A common mistake is in the second messenger k-ras and it is known that these monoclonal antibodies, which block the epidermal growth factor receptor do not work very well if k-ras is mutated. Happily mine is not.

In view of the fact that my disease is very indolent (in its metastatic form it has been present for over 3 years) the cancer does not seem to be carrying too many mutations and I have every hope that EGFR blockade with this monoclonal will be successful.

In the football it is an important weekend for the Premier League. Chelsea have just beaten Newcastle and later today Man U play Aston Villa, Spurs play Bolton, and Man C play Norwich. These are all games that could go either way and the Champions will come from this group of clubs. England were fortunate with the draw for the European Championships and will not have to meet a really top team until Wayne Rooney returns from suspension.

In the News today is a report which suggests that 3000 women in Britain are suffering from so-called "honor beatings" from family members because of the alien "shame culture" brought into Britain by (mostly) Muslims. And Jacques DeLors, the instigator of the Euro, has admitted that it was badly introduced since most countries, including Germany, broke the entry rules.

For all Biblical Creation Society members who may be reading this blog, thank you for your prayers. Another explanation for why my cancer has taken so long to kill me is that I am being sustained by the prayers of Christians all over the world, and because in response to those prayers the Holy Spirit still finds me useful where I am am rather than in taking me home. If that is the case would you pray that he keeps me free from pain and keeps making innovative suggestions on how I may more easily bear this period of difficulty. In particular I should like wisdom on when it would be right to tap the ascites.

It has been a very eventful week with fillings falling out, dishwasher delays, eyesight tests, earwax bothers, monoclonal hold-ups, bad days, good days, CT scan, visits from children and grandchildren, reading too late some nights, sleeping too long some mornings, a fall down stairs, and difficult decisions; but the Lord has brought me through all this and does sustain me in the worst of times.

I have discovered that the nicer you are to other people the nicer they are to you.