The Bucket List

You’ve read about the things that I’ve done on my List for Living. Zooming down a zip wire, glass blowing and being driven fast around a race track in a sports car. Well, now you’re going to be able to hear me doing them!

My radio documentary, The Bucket List, is on the BBC World Service tomorrow (Monday) at 9am and again at 8pm. I’m so excited; I can’t wait to hear it being broadcast.

It’s not just my programme. The Bucket List has been produced by Rebecca Maxted, the award winning maker of beautiful radio. I have to admit that she did all the hard work.

It all started off with a chance compliment about my hair. Only I had no hair. I was wearing Raquel, my short blond wig at the time. Now, many months later, our documentary all ready to be aired. It’s about much more than just my List for Living. I interviewed some amazing people. Just a warning though, it may make you cry.

Ahead of the documentary being broadcast, you may have seen an article I wrote for the BBC News magazine.

If that’s how you found my blog, then a big hello and welcome along!

There’s been an incredible response to the piece. So many lovely, heart-warming comments. Also I’ve had many offers of help for my List for Living including two marriage proposals!

Thank you.


21 thoughts on “The Bucket List

  1. Hooray! Will it be available to listeners in the States?? Congratulations!!


  2. Then I’d like to ask you to marry me too (even though I am already married)

    How about trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the most ever marriage proposals?

    How about adding that to your bucket list?

  3. I have my tissues at the ready and am looking forward to listening to the documentary. If its only half as good as this blog then it will be wonderful!! Can’t wait.

  4. Helen I have been following your updates religiously but not leaving any comments. My regret-eth! Marriage proposals sweetie? Spill the jellie beanies?!! I have just been brought into for brain tumour removal, as a direct link from my breast cancer, just 2 years since first diagnosis. This girly cancer is getting too big for its god-ugly boots…! So pleased with your progress on your list for living – you are STEAMING through :-) So far I just want to get another doggie!! Lots of love to you angel nose. Eeeeeek for radio broadcast xxxxxxxxx

  5. Hi Helen,

    (I was just sent your BBC article by a friend & this was the reply I posted. My reply is NOT to be taken the wrong way. I’m just a little (ok massively) passionate about this topic ;-))

    I love & hate this article. Sorry.
    Why? I hear you ask….

    Well, I get sent Bucket List’s from people all over the globe because of what I do. Unfortunately, most are written by people who have had the c-bomb diagnosis or an equally big life-threatening scare. Just like The Bucket List movie, it took a cancer diagnosis for you firstly, write your list & secondly, then live your list. Why do intelligent human beings need such an emotional slap & to be given a ‘use-by date’ for them to do the things that truly make them happy? Shouldn’t we be living like this anyway?

    I want people to wake-up, act as if & be happy for life, NOT just happy from the time the bad news is given until the time where the Bucket is finally kicked.

    But good on you for packing all this (very) random stuff in & writing one in the first place. I wish more people would do the same. Hopefully, you’ve inspired other cancer sufferers to do the same as you did. But more importantly, I really hope that your article has shouted out loud to the people who have not been diagnosed….yet.

    Trav Bell – The Bucket List Guy

    P.S. I’d love to get your comments as to why most people wait until it’s too late to write their Bucket List

  6. Hello Helen

    Just listened to the broadcast and enjoyed it very much, though yes there were parts that brought a tear to my eye.

    What struck me right from the beginning was your excitement at moving into your home – that really drew me into the piece. Long may you enjoy the delights of DIY!

    All the best


  7. Hello Helen,

    So glad that I listened to the broadcast this morning, it was very special, and brought back many thoughts and memories. I too am a cancer survivor, (39 on diagnosis) and am thankful for every day, I do things now, which in the past I may have waited to do.

    Your zest to enjoy life is a joy, and I hope that your sharing your experiences may help many others to understand how important it is to be ‘allowed’ to live with cancer.

    So glad that you have your new home, how exciting, enjoy. I always wanted to live in the country too, and we took the plunge and moved to France, to a part renovated stone barn.

    God bless you Helen


  8. Have just listened to the broadcast on the World Service. It was very moving. The lady you spoke to who went wedding dress shopping with her teenage daughter brought a tear to my eye. I was glad to hear you say that you may change some things on your list for living. I’ve mentioned before that my husband was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue back in 2006. What a wake up call that was. We have been working hard ever since to remain the party people and are quite successful to date. In the past couple of weeks we have been to see The Undertones, The Manic Street Preachers, have been to a 60th Birthday Party and stayed up until 5.30 a.m. laughing the night away, are going this weekend to see local bands in a local pub and am just off to eat a piece of delicious mint aero cheese cake made with love by my friend and brought to my dinner party on Saturday night (even though I am going to get weighed in the morning at my slimming class). All of these things have been enjoyed to the full with great friends. I wouldn’t change a minute of it for any foreign shore or any far off sight. Best wishes, and thank you once again for letting all of us share in your experiences.

  9. Hi Helen,

    Still reading your blogs as I have from day one- but I can seldom think of anything meaningful to say.

    Even though we’ve never met make that three marriage proposals. If you have an overwhelming desire to marry a fat bloke in his 50’s who is a railway enthusiast please let me know!

    Somehow I feel you will be able to do considerably better for yourself- but keep ticking things off that list!

  10. Hello Helen
    No 4 on your list – play netball game again. You would be very welcome to join us on a Thursday evening or Friday morning in Maidenhead. We play under the All England Netball scheme called ‘Back to Netball’ Basically whatever your level, age etc. all comers are welcome to attend, join in and play. It’s brilliant – I joined a year ago (after a 40yrs netball interval) I’m 60yrs now! I am the oldest at Maidenhead – all the other girls range between 20 – 40yrs. It would be another ‘tick’ on the list for you! Am not sure where you are based but there are other clubs – just Google ‘Back to Netball’ We are a friendly bunch – see how you feel about it. “Keep on keeping on”

  11. I didn’t know about you before I heard Pick of the Week this pm. I was about to turn off the piece about the radio play (I, too, have untreatable cancer and sometimes get sick of hearing about it) but I stayed and was astonished to hear that you had it, too. Just wanted to say Go, Girl! You are inspirational. I don’t have a bucket list – I am 64 and have done most of the things I wanted to in life – but I know the value of looking, listening and loving more than ever before. Love and best to you.

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  13. Hi Helen! I hope you’re feeling well after the chemo and that you have been having fun with your bucket list. My husband and I were interested to read that you would like to have a mojito in Havana. I’m British and my husband is Cuba; we live in Havana and we would love to help you achieve this. If you are able to visit Havana, let us know and we would be happy to take you on a walk through Old Havana to try to mojitos at some of the best cocktail bars…and why not a daiquiri or a pina colada while you’re at it? We wish you all the very best as tick off the fun items on your list!

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