Upbeat Gaybo hopes for best in battle against cancer - 'He is doing well. The treatment is ongoing'
Ireland's most-loved broadcaster Gay Byrne is upbeat and positive as he comes to terms with his cancer diagnosis, telling the Sunday Independent: "The treatment continues and we hope for the best.''
Gay was his usual sanguine self as he talked about his illness - echoing the thoughts of millions of well-wishers up and down the country who hope for his return to the airwaves in full health.
Last November, with typical understatement, Gay revealed to shocked listeners on RTE's Lyric FM the disheartening news that he was suffering from cancer.
"I shall not be with our listeners on this day next week. Have to go to hospital... They think they may have discovered a bit of cancer in the prostate and they think it may have moved up into my back.
"I've had the most wonderful, fantastic, robust, good health all my broadcasting life," he said in usual breezy style during his enormously popular show on the classical radio station.
"It's my turn now... many, many people much worse off. Thank you for your good wishes," he signed off.
Now, nearly three months on, Gay is in the throes of cancer treatment, but he is tough and resilient and well aware that he is undergoing the same difficulties endured by so many who are touched by the disease in this country.
And he is aware that prostate cancer is very treatable and the chances of a favourable outcome are quite high.
In short, Gay is not feeling sorry for himself but ongoing medical treatment obviously interrupted the usual Christmas and New Year celebrations - a favourite time of year for the couple who were married in 1964.
"Everything is on hold while we do our best to look after Gay," his wife Kathleen Watkins told the Sunday Independent yesterday.
"He is doing well. The treatment is ongoing. Do thank the many people all over the country who have been in touch," Kathleen requested.
"We got all the notes and letters and cards. We read all of them. Thank you. Thank you to all those kind people.It's so much appreciated."
The broadcasting legend is being looked after by his devoted wife at their home in Ballsbridge and there is lots of help and encouragement from the family - as well as the good wishes of an entire nation.