Let me introduce you to my family – the Struts. It’s a large extended family and has its share of good times and bad times. I’m going to share everything with you over the coming weeks, so you’ll feel as if you’re part of the family. Some of the characters you’ll like and some you won’t. Some you’ll feel sorry for and others you’ll think got their just deserts. Let’s start with the Matriarch of the family – Olive.

Olive has been married to George for nearly 50 years and is in her 70th year. George is 69 and jokes about being the toy boy. The other character in the house is Uncle Bert – that’s what everyone calls him, even Olive and George. He moved in 5 years ago after his wife Ivy died and he is 75. Olive is in reasonable health for her age, drinks a little and smokes a little. She has a bit of a cough, but reckons that’s normal for someone of her age. She is 'down the Doctor’s' this week and she tells her GP, Dr Geddes, that her feet are swelling up and it’s keeping her awake at night. She’s also going off her food a bit. She gets some water tablets and a date with the nutritionist and goes home.

A couple of weeks later and Olive is still feeling what she describes as ‘off colour’ and is losing weight. She also now has a pain in her back and shoulder. This time the GP refers her to hospital for a scan or three. Olive has never really liked hospital and isn’t keen on attending. She wonders if she should tell the children – who are not children by the way as they are married with children of their own, all accept Brian – but that’s another story. She decides to ask George to come with her and not tell the others. Uncle Bert agrees to drive them and they arrive for a 10.00 appointment with Dr Jones, the Oncologist – funny name for a doctor says Olive, "I'm sure my Oncos are fine!"