Loughnane winning his cancer battle
GER LOUGHNANE, a man who fought numerous scrapes during his celebrated time as Clare hurling manager, now looks to be winning his biggest battle of all.
The Banner legend was diagnosed with leukaemia last June but has now revealed that he's close to full health again following intensive treatment at St James's Hospital in Dublin.
"The way I look at it is that I've done all the treatment for leukaemia," Loughnane has explained in a lengthy interview.
"My form of the disease was such that it needed four different phases of treatment. Two to kill the leukaemia, and two to prevent it coming back. Each phase consisted of about six weeks -- five weeks of chemotherapy and one week at home for your bloods to recover.
"I've completed those four phases. My bloods are now coming way, way back up again but still not up to what they will be when I'm in total full health.
"But they're at a stage where I can do anything that I want to do. I'm getting my strength back now and I'm going to take it that this illness is never going to come back."
Loughnane isn't taking his future health for granted, mindful of how cancer can recur and offering the view that "you're never out of the woods", but he added: "If you get an illness and you get the treatment for it, you just can't spend your time living in the shadow of it."
Loughnane is taking early retirement from his job as a national school principal in Shannon but says this would have been on the agenda anyway.
Recounting the first day he sensed that something was wrong, when out hunting with his two beagles, he recalled: "I was running down the field and, bang -- it was like I got a puncture.
"I couldn't get to the gap before the dogs. I was just stuck to the ground."