My luck has run out: Coming to terms with the return of aggressive cancer 195



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On Sunday we reported the loss of Adele Horin, a dear friend and writer. The news of Adele’s death has come just one week after the prolific and respected writer posted her last article on her widely-read ‘Coming of Age’ blog.

Today, we are sharing that blog with you as the 64-year-old came to terms with the return of her cancer.

As women tend to do, I’ve attributed my moderate successes in life to luck. Yes, hard work and intelligence do play a part, but luck stands out as queen of the trifecta.

I was lucky to be a baby boomer born in Australia. Modest talent took us a long way as we rode post-war prosperity.

I was lucky to have excellent public schools – my parents never endured the angst of the private/public debate. Private was out of their league and it didn’t matter.

I was lucky in my parents. Typical of their generation they were early school leavers – but they were bright and valued education. My mother was an early escapee to the workforce and I was always so proud of the interesting job she held at Parliament House in Western Australia. She was always my role model and at 87 still is.

I was lucky being one of the 10% or so in the 60’s who went to university. But more than that, I also was accepted as a cadet journalist on the West Australian newspaper. These days you need a PhD, a series of unpaid internships and other outrageous requirements. It was hard in my day, too. But I believe what impressed them was I’d been editor of the school newspaper and my incredible coup in nabbing JT and the Jazzmen, the hottest group in Perth at the time, to play at the school ball.

I’ve been so lucky in my love life – remaining friends with my first partner, while deeply loving my current partner of 30 years, the father of our two sons who I could not be more proud of. How did we raise such decent and interesting young men?

I’ve been lucky in having a fulfilling career in journalism and when that finished to have started a blog which has brought me so close to many readers in a way I’ve not experienced before. I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of ageing with me.

But dear readers, my luck has run out. I’m not going to be one of those feisty octogenarians I so admired.

I want to say it’s unfair. I never smoked; I’ve been too much the ‘good girl’ all my life. But the lung cancer detected in 2014, operated on and treated with chemotherapy, has raged back. The prognosis is poor. I hope for miracles and I look at Clive James with hope. Whatever happens, I’ve been so lucky.

But right now dear readers, I’m too sick to continue to write the blog. Maybe I will be able to re-start it again. But if not, I want you to know what a privilege it has been to be part of such a thoughtful community. I valued your comments and your following. You’ll still be able to access my writing and readers’ comments from the past two and a half years at the same web address.

Growing older is a mixture of good and bad.

May you have the good luck to enjoy a vibrant and engaged long life.


Originally published here.

Adele Horin

Adele Horin was a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald for nearly two decades. She reported on a range of social issues, from child care to aged care, and wrote a weekly column. She then wrote a blog called Coming of Age about baby boomers. She tackled subjects as diverse as the love/hate relationship with her Seniors Card, sibling rivalry over elderly parents and their money, suing nursing homes, and how not to dress like an invisible woman. As a baby boomer she lived through most of the subjects she's written about, including when to cut your adult children off the financial drip. Her blog can be found at

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