Popular racecaller Alistair Cohen, who was diagnosed with cancer late last year, was in good spirits this week after a recent scan revealed an improved health picture.
The 26 year old, one of the fast rising stars on the SA racing scene, has had a torrid time of it recently after his illness forced him to take a sabbatical while he undergoes treatment.
The Sporting Post chatted to Alistair while he was undergoing his chemotherapy on Monday.
We asked him how he was bearing up and what he thought the future held.
“It’s obviously no fun doing this chemotherapy but besides a few nasty side effects it is not as bad as what some people have experienced. And after my scan last Tuesday revealed a positively improved picture, I feel a helluva lot stronger.”
Alistair said that his chemotherapy entailed a session every day this week and then another on Monday 6 March and Monday 13 March.
“The third cycle then commences on Monday 20 March with the same pattern,” he added.
He said ruefully that he had cut himself off from the daily horseracing routine as he was missing his passion.
“It’s absolute torture watching it on television and thinking I should be there!”
We asked how he had coped with the boredom and loneliness of his ordeal.
“My family, who are Durban based, have been extremely supportive and are right behind me. Neil Andrews and Dom Zaki have taken me into their homes when I have no family here in Johannesburg. They, together with Rob Scott and Clyde Basel, have been absolutely unbelievably supportive. One finds out who the people are that really care in times like this,” he said philosophically.
He said that he was reading Lance Armstrong’s book, ‘It’s Not About the Bike’, the story of how the cyclist fought his own battle with testicular cancer.
While nothing was confirmed yet, Alistair said that he would be seeing his Oncologist in early April and hoped to get the thumbs-up to return to work.
“I’m missing the racing. I’m missing the people. I’m missing the horses. It’s not a job to me. It’s what I love. I’m betting on seeing you all in April.”