Monday, December 31, 2007

Another Resource

This is an excellent resource. I'd like to thank one of the people who kindly stopped by this site who obviously has a lot to do with putting together this excellent resource on Kidney and Bladder and the other related Cancers

Same but different

I looked back at last December's posts. There I am, still having problems getting to sleep and still thinking and wondering and planning. Mmmm, perhaps then there is a case here for letting things happen? My Mantra of "those who fail to plan, plan to fail" may be wearing a bit thin if, after all that planning last year, I failed anyway?

But, let's look on the bright side of this - last year I had Bladder Cancer, this year I don't have it any more. Last year it was a roll of the dice whether the treatment would work, now we know it did. I had a great job then, I don't have a job at all as far as I know. I can go and do what I want next year. Life is an opportunity this year coming not a lottery.

No matter what else has gone on, I need to remember and give thanks for the ability to even be here writing this blog on New Year's Eve 2007. Happy New Year to all in 2008.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Well that didn't work

I am still up at 23:35 and unlikely to get to sleep much earlier than a few hours time. I have been working on whether to submit a paper for a conference to be held in Chicago later this year.

I wrote an article some years ago and a fellow researcher has been urging me for a few years to submit this for review and if it gets accepted to go to Chicago and present the paper to a conference of international researchers. It would mean altering plans for holidays around but perhaps it may be worth thinking about.

I'm not sure if Chicago in August is quite what I was expecting - I was half hoping to be in New Zealand!

If my paper got accepted then I would give myself a big leg up in terms of wanting to follow my new research based career! It is a lot to ask of the family - a little selfish or self indulgent but I think I would really enjoy it.

Another night of sleep loss

I don't know why my mind wants to start undertaking massive calculations and what if scenarios as soon as I get to bed? It just does these things and I end up awake 3 hours later!

I am going to try very hard to get to bed early tonight and to not do any work before hand that gets my mind buzzing. It is so disruptive to my normal day as I end up sleeping in and then missing breakfast etc.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Back on subject

I suppose all these things going on have a bearing on my well being. However to get back to the subject and the bladder cancer and all of that. I was surprised that I felt like I was overheating at my friend's house the other day, I had to keep stepping outside as I was too hot. I get this a fair bit and I think it is the treatment. My immune system appears to be able to cope with people around me all having colds and so far, I haven't had one this year.

I find warm houses a problem and yet I have not found problems with hot days? Strange. I am still feeling tired and can fall asleep in my chair at almost anytime. I then go to bed feeling tired and get the thoughts rattling around and cannot get to sleep. That throws me out for the next day time wise and the cycle starts again.

Other than that, I feel OK but I know that I am neither fit nor what I would call well. By that I mean that I know I don't have cancer and that I am getting better each passing day but I am not fit, nor do I feel quite right - out of balance perhaps is the right way of saying it. I just feel not 100% If I were to put a figure on it I'd say 75%. Something isn't quite right and it may be everything getting to me at once, it may be an imbalance in the way my body is fighting one particular area of problems and other areas needs some TLC. Who knows? I think that I will just have to work slowly to tackle each area. Fitness, Diet, Physical and mental agility, whole boy wellness.

It is quite a peculiar thing to say that I don't feel completely right I suppose - but it really is as if there is something missing or something not in the right place. You can't put your finger on it and it isn't all the time. Often it is a malaise or melancholy but generally it is a listlessness or a form of procrastination. I know once I get myself up and out that I will enjoy going somewhere - I just sometimes don't want to get up and do anything.

I'm aware of these things so I can deal with them - I doubt that it is any different for anyone else coming out of an 18 month fight - I would think your whole body and your mind are shot to pieces with all the things that have happened to you. Trying to keep up appearances and lead a "normal" life are probably as taxing as anything else you do.

It will be interesting to see how I deal with this in the coming months.

An overactive mind

I seem to sleep during the day and lie awake at night. Last night I was running through the various scenarios for the potential litigation that I will be involved in at some point during the New Year. did I do everything right, have I acted to the spirit of the contract and all that good stuff. After 3 hours or so running the scenarios around in my head, challenging every possible defence and coming up with arguments for those I finally got to sleep. That must have been about 3 this morning.

It is one of those things I suppose - it isn't going to just go away and it needs to be faced and I am torn whether to just set to and spend a few weeks preparing the case or whether to wait and see what happens. Initially I am happy to let things take their course for the first week of the New Year as there are other forces at work and other creditors will be claiming their money. I can wait for that to happen and then make a decision or can strike first. Waiting is probably best but for no longer than a week.

I do find though that I am spending far too much brain power on that rather than on getting on with things here. Now that Christmas is over I can spend some time getting myself ready for 2008 and decide whether I take that career change or not. Tempting as it is to make the change - you and I know that it will take a lot of thought and planning to make sure that I can actually turn a buck doing it.

So that leaves me trying to work out ways not to keep consuming brain power on something that may or may not happen. It is a distraction I could do without at the moment. I just hope that the the situation gets resolved one way or the other and quickly too.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still tired

It really takes it out of me - I am nowhere near as fit as I was a year or two back. Someone suggested it was the Statins I am taking as they have gradually felt more tired the longer they have been on them. I'm not convinced - I do get some of the side effects and so perhaps I ought to consider this in the future. I will get back to a regime of gradually building up my exercises again in the new year and hope that it helps me to overcome some of these periods of fatigue. Perhaps it is still the "healing process" going on? Who knows, all I do know is that I am pretty lucky that I don't have to continue this round of parties and eating and drinking for too much longer now. The last one for a while is this afternoon and once that is out of the way I can perhaps just take a long rest.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Call from US, NZ and some good news

Great to hear a few distant relatives (in terms of miles) on Christmas day. That cheered me up so much I had my Uncle on the phone from the US and my cousins from New Zealand. Christmas day was one of cooking and looking after my guests. They all seemed to have a great time and it was nice to get some "time off for good behaviour" with the phone calls from the family.

Today we went to my sister in law's house for Boxing day afternoon tea. It is close to midnight, I am back and feeling very tired now. I intend to get some time off tomorrow but we have yet another evening of celebrations tomorrow! I wonder if I can take the sheer level of food and drink battering :-)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Gammon is done

The vegetables are prepared and just the last minute things to do on my check list and all will be ready for Christmas Day. Later, as we have done for every year for the last 17 we will be off to our friend's house. The children have all grown up together and so for 17 years they have met up at Christmas Eve and we have started Christmas off with bang.

When the children were younger we would get home about 9 - nowadays we are lucky if we get home at 1 or 2 in the morning!

It is always a great evening out and there is always far too much food and drink available. Once we are on our way then we will know Christmas has begun properly.

I'm pleased to be celebrating yet another Christmas. I feel very humbled that two of my fellow warriors who were diagnosed about the same time have died this year. I shall take some time out to remember them tonight at about 9 pm.

At Last

The new keyboard and mouse have arrived and suddenly things are a lot better and the typing actually comes out how you type it! Nice one.

It takes a bit of getting used to but a wireless keyboard does mean you can move around a little which is great.

The Mouse also works well being an optical one so you don't need a mouse mat and it works on about any surface.

Well that should keep me busy for a while. Well it is Christmas Eve and there is work to be done. not least of which is working out how to set up DVD RW disks for recording TV on and also to go and prepare the food for tomorrow. I also spend the afternoon preparing the Gammon and other such things.

Best wishes for Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Career Changing Thoughts

I have been giving some serious thought to this changing career move I reckon I could actually do this given my determination and also a serous desire now to get out of all the trappings of the rat race. It still makes me see red that people take your service and don't pay the bill. I expect that later next year they wont be quite so smug about having done that The trouble is the sheer amount of effort you have to go to to get back what is after all yours in the first place.

Whether pursuing your dreams or having a vocation actually puts money in your pocket at a rate enough to provide for the family still needs to be worked out. I intend to do plenty of work on whether it is feasible over the next few weeks. I hope to inject a serious amount of realism into the plan but if I can I will branch out into a researcher for family and local history. That would encompass a lot of the experience I already have together with my interest in the subject. If I could get paid to undertake research for those who cannot get to the archives we have in abundance in London, then it would be great as I could pursue my passion for History with a job I'd adore doing.

Now to see if the numbers actually fit together :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday and letting go of work

Time to be getting on with life, the universe and all of that!

I have pulled out all the Christmas CDs and started playing those and need to sort out last minute thing along the way such as food preparation and I must get around to putting up the Christmas lights. We have a problem every year in that my wife has a birthday very close to Christmas (it happens every year) and so we don't really get into Christmas until about now. That means that everything is left and we end up cramming a lot into the few days before. At least we aren't sitting around I suppose?

I have ground my own coffee beans and made some real coffee today which has cheered me up no end. I like coffee but have been very careful about how much I consume since diagnosis. I am now a moderate drinker of strong espresso or just filter coffee and we get the strong small French beans which have been roasted to a dark black. Nice :-) I used to drink far too much of this stuff and the filter would be on all day!

So - I am working on slowing down, relaxing and letting go of the baggage I am carrying from this enterprise. I'll see if that is possible over these next few days.

We have a house full on Christmas Day which will be nice. I am looking forward to cooking the meal and to having a sleep later on :-)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Now to get on with Christmas

It has taken until the 21st December to get to a position of standing still and finally there is a way forward for the business which means that the almost start again Which is a shame for them as in about 6 months time this will all happen again and they'll need more money or more time.

So, time to shut down the PCs and take a week or two off from worrying about it. I'm sure all the troubles will be there in 2008, it is just that I won't need to worry about them by then - apart from endeavouring to get my money back through the courts or liquidator.

It is the season of goodwill towards men - meaning all men (and women of course) - and yet I feel an exception or two appearing on my list! I tend to hope that the lives these people have wrecked come to them in their dreams or that somehow they will get a Scrooge like visitation of past, present and future and realise that through their greed and selfish actions they will be bringing destruction on themselves in the future. But then I was was an idealistic and a bit of a romantic about such things. I think everyone gets their just deserts - perhaps thee guys have to live with it every time they look in a mirror? I really do hope so.

Entering a new phase

That is the view so far. Some are for it, some against it and the dice have been rolled and they can make up a new business and move on.

Great, that means that they can decide what to do about my contract and then we can get on and sort this out once and for all.

At least there has been some movement and we can all get on with our lives again.

A Good Old Moan

I was out with a friend of mine and we had a good old fashioned moan and bitching session about where I find myself now and also where he also found himself.

We had a few laughs I have to say. Both of us were at another venture a few years back that had similar problems and both of us lot time and money and had to build up again. I was relatively lucky in that one as I only had a small amount "owing".

The fun really got going when I was explaining part of the problem and it suddenly became clear to me that there was an even worse problem that had arisen about the way the company had undertaken its business and what it was about to do. They cannot make a clean break and dash off into the distance as they would effectively take the debts of the first company with the new one. I am certain no one has spotted this so far and believes that they can take away the intellectual property of the old business and make it the new businesses without the necessary value being placed on it.

I wish I had pursued a career in Law - the things that these guys are doing would fill a shelf :-)

They are all in conversation today about saving the business and I imagine that they will hear bad news from the investors and will need to rethink their position. They have blindly gone off believing their own spin and now - finally - they may "get it".

Again, I keep getting contacted and people want to drag me back to the undertow. I'm watching from a distance, vulture like, to see what I can rescue from the situation as one of the creditors.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A year ago and an interesting review

I looked back at my posts from a year ago. My - life was different then. I was having sleepless nights, wasn't particularly right physically and was wondering about 2007 and what I was going to do.

The year has been great really - soured by recent goings on but other than that to have the clear announcement really is the best thing that could have happened. Sure, getting the insurance money was a bonus too and that just allows us to consolidate everything. Heaven forbid that this comes back - but unfortunately it can - and we have to be ready for that, but at the moment, I've got the all clear. I know a lot of people who would rather have that than the position they are in now.

I think that after a year I have changed. I am not sure I like myself as much now as I feel that I am being more selfish than I ever was in the past. I've always gone out of my way to give my time and help people and I find myself holding back these days and not offering to help as much and taking more of a back seat. I don't like doing it but feel I must. Some of my relationships with friends are being strained - it could be me, work or just that this is the collateral damage I always thought would happen as I turn into a "cancer warrior"? A guy I know who survived cancer welcomed me to the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" the other day. The survivor's bond is a strange fellowship. Those who haven't had cancer probably wont "get it". A friend who almost died from DVT did get it... I don't suggest you try it unless forced to!!

I still can't quite come to terms with things at the moment. I do feel that now is a major turning point as the business (not mine) crashes down and self destructs around me. Someone suggested teaching - I am looking at becoming a lecturer and I am waiting to hear more about that. I fancy historical and family research to be the thing that I would like to do in the net 10 years. It isn't going to make me rich though but then again, the last venture was going to do that and never did.

You have to kiss a lot of Frogs until you find a Prince!

You don't know how lucky you are

A true statement I find. Someone know just had their daughter die - taken ill one day, dead the next Another person, got the news that their cancer has spread.

A healthy dose of reality is needed occasionally to re-focus my mind onto important things. We all make the mistake of thinking that sometimes trivial things are important when perhaps, it isn't those we should be concentrating on. I don't know many people who can live that way - I don't and yet I have enough reminders to make me do so.

Perhaps my mid life crisis or knowing what is right and resisting changing to follow what I should be doing?

The case of the missing "S"

I hope to soon have a new keyboard. This one has a sticky "S" and it doesn't always work properly meaning I have to go back and edit my posts (or pots). So if something has looked strange these past 4 weeks or so - now you will know what it is.

I have a new keyboard on order.

I have just had to invest in a new printer. This new printer has cost me less than the purchase of 2 of the 4 required cartridges for my old printer. It is cheaper to buy a completely new printer and run that than to use the old one - which at two years old has now had its day! I'm not sure how environmentally friendly that is but commercially it makes sense for me to replace this new printer after the second set of cartridges I put into it. I hasten to add that these are laser printers, ink jets cost far more to run. I also get cash back on the purchase of my new printer meaning that it cost less than £150 to get a really decent colour duplexing laser printer! Amazing!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tidying up my mind

Needs to be done. I have so much stuff buzzing around that I need to get rid of all of the past stuff and give myself room for the new stuff.

The new ideas for next year are formulating in my head now and I need to spend time testing my assumptions and the market to make sure that they are indeed viable and that I am not kidding myself that a market exists for my services when it may not do.

On the health front I met up with some people that I hadn't seen for ages and everyone said how well I looked. I suppose that is true. I do feel remarkably well these days.

The stress of the past months is going away a bit but it remains to be seen quite what the business decides to do as whether or not I get paid will materially depend on whether or not they continue trading.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Leave it out and leave me alone

After giving me such a hard time and even publishing one of the worst personal attacks I have ever read, today I get a phone call in which they are trying to pave the way for me to come back to the table and start negotiating again????

Are these people insane? The biggest difficulty with these things is that you can never get a clear break from things. I am actually trying to get the hell away from it all before it explodes. I am also trying desperately to get that space you need between the disappointment of one thing and to give me the time to get enthusiastic about the next thing I want to do. Constantly having reminders about what should and should not have happened - it is all a bit too late for that.

Apparently the deadline has been extended to this Friday for a decision. Perhaps after that - the thing can die and everyone else can move on.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Two days and no posts

Stunning. I did get away from it this weekend and feel a bit better for that. I am trying to leave the last couple of months worth of trouble behind me and we were out on Friday and it was my wife's birthday yesterday so we did nothing - no work, no cooking or anything just had a lazy day.

It was tempered by news of a friend whose daughter died unexpectedly last week, taken ill on Wednesday, died on Thursday of bacterial meningitis. An awful tragedy as she was quite young. That put it all back into perspective for me on Saturday morning after not having the best of weeks.

Work can go to hell as far as I am concerned - and they probably will this week by the looks of it. The cold sweat of just how deeply in trouble they are is dawning on them. In an attempt to shoot the messenger and have a go at me, the management (although I doubt you would call it that if you met it) have managed to drive people that they need away from the negotiation table and send them scurrying off to the hills. I have to sit back now and watch it happen, I have written off getting any money back and I'm sure not going to get any of the time back!

Time - that is the thing that has been giving my mind such a work out. I wondered why I was so angry about everything and it is that - someone has wasted 7 months of my time when I could have been doing something more important, constructive, enjoyable etc.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Give it a rest

I certainly intend to do that this weekend. Tonight we are off to a Black Tie do locally and the menu looks great - well it isn't Christmas Fare!

Champagne reception and wine included I am looking forward to spending some quality time amongst friends. Apart from the Christmas festivities themselves - I am out next Monday and that is my lot.

Today I have been working out what I want to do next year and have started gathering detailed information to work out a business plan. I'm not going to say too much about it right now. It is something that I have always wanted to do. If I can make money doing it and, I might even be able to get an academic qualification on the back of it too, I shall be delighted. It would satisfy my want to follow a more controlled and academic career - one perhaps I should have followed from school days. That is a long story too. Anyway, let's see how the number crunching and business plan turn out.

So back to tonight - just about to go and get ready and then a relaxing evening, nothing to do tomorrow except write cards and start the winding down process.

So this new job

I think it needs to have nothing at all to do with medicine or anything (you know) downstairs :-)

I suppose I could go and work in a shop - but unsuspecting Joe Public and I would come to blows over some sort of trivia I have no doubt.

I think that I still have too much pent up anger to do anything in customer relations or help desk or anything like that.

Philanthropy probably wont pay the bills.

Journalism? Possibly - I don't like the way I write particularly but I could perhaps change that?

Go back to being an Electrician - my - I wonder if I could even remember how to do that after all these years? Good tradesmen are always difficult to find.

Oh well - I imagine that all of this will shake itself out in the next few weeks. I grow tired of corporate incompetence and all the self serving, self centred, ignorant and dangerous people. The good bit? I have met some really nice people with great ideas, strength and enthusiasm and we have had a good laugh along the way as well. A silver lining in that amongst all the greed and excesses of human behaviour these guys were beacons of humanity.

I have found it, if I cannot be chief test pilot for Mother Care then I could perhaps be head of Quality Control at a Brewery? Nice job....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Looking forward

I am trying to get away from all this nonsense but keep getting dragged back - I suppose that the reality is that I can walk away but the idiots who remain need to have a go or keep throwing rocks at me. The sooner they sort themselves out (next Monday I believe) the sooner they can move on and I can.

I intend to keep an eye open for the next few weeks and see what transpires and then to perhaps completely change my profession next year. I'm getting far too old for all this constant hassle and ego games that appear to take the place of business acumen and sense. It wears me down and I neither want or in fact deserve any of it.

So, what to do? It has to be something pretty neutral and that pays the bills. I fancy doing research or something totally different - I'm fed up of having to sort out problems (I've been troubleshooting for 30 years) and no matter what I do - people are stupid enough to get themselves into bother even when you tell them how to get out of it or tell them not to get into it in the first place.

So perhaps chief test pilot for Mother-care or something similar may be worth trying for?


It wasn't quite how I planned things. I decided that I ought to go to bed early and so get some sleep and just make a break of things. Overnight roadworks did it for me! Pneumatic hammer going off well into the early hours of the morning and next to no sleep for 4 hours.

At least I managed to rationalise yesterday's news and sort out a way forward from there.

I think I will give going up to London a miss this afternoon as it looks as if the roadworks will be back and also I am tired enough as it is this morning.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Now the truth comes out

The end game indeed - these guys are now not going to pay for any of the work I did.

At least I can get the hell out of it now and start to sort my life out. I think that they might have made a wrong choice deciding to not pay anything. We shall see how big their lawyers are I suppose.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hardly worth holding my breath for

The much awaited "way forward" from the business arrived and addresses none of the major issues nor the short term cash flow problems and dresses up and spins its way around using words like "key to our success" but never quite explaining how that would be achieved.

It looks as if the business will continue but it will stagger towards its goals and never be fully comfortable with itself nor be able to function properly given the way it now presents itself. Most investors will, I am sure, move away and go and do something else. I'm not fussed either way now. I've gone past the caring bit and am almost past the worrying part too now.

Someone said that "I didn't need this given all the things that had happened to me" - maybe that is true but it has taken my mind off things. What I am happy about is that I have met a lot of interesting people whilst doing this and I am going to look forward to working with them in the future.

I think the next few days will see the levels of apathy increase (if that can actually happen of course!!) the investors are drifting away now and the end game is truly in sight as those with the money leave and those who have already invested and have sunk cost brace themselves for the storm coming. Cash is king in these situations and many people have to consider digging deeper into their pockets to maintain their investment - not nice.

Time to move on and 2008 looks to be an interesting year. I can look forward to building on a foundation of steadily improving health and can invest my time into projects and opportunities that I want to be involved in.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fatigue and combating it

I was speaking to someone yesterday who reckoned that I was suffering from what some might call a sort of post traumatic stress syndrome. well I suppose that could be true. I think it is a combination of things and one of them is the utter relief of the outcome of the cancer clear prognosis. I hadn't considered how much you fight this thing mentally until I thought about what she said to me.

I have often said that you need to use your mind to help you and that it was always two battles. The mind is powerful and if you can imagine that there is a constant dialogue going on about whether or not you feel up or down, accept or deny what is happening, psyche yourself up or down to take good or bad news etc, you must be using up massive amounts of your reserves to fight your cancer with your mind. Additionally lets consider the physical side too.

I'm a relatively fit 50 year old and have been doing some exercise but - the impact on your body isn't one of wasted muscles and can't really be seen - they certainly stir up you insides around your bladder area. I'm sure that your whole balance is shot to pieces and with Immunotherapy actually making your body fight the cancer (or keep it away) the other areas of your body are totally out of balance with that.

Anyway, I am coming to the conclusion that at the end of this week I am switching off and I am going to take some more time for myself. I am sure that all I need is to turn off the computers, get my walking boots on and enjoy some of the local countryside, a few pints of real ale next to an open fire and also to get into the Christmas mood too.

It isn't easy to switch off but it is something I must do.

The 2nd Christmas Lunch

Out of the way - we had a lovely time and it really was a good meeting with over £1000 raised for charity as well.

My third in as many days awaits later today and it will take my mind off of the disappointment of the past few weeks with the job.

We might actually know later on today what they are going to do about things.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tired and Weary

It is amazing just how tired I am feeling. I am absolutely certain that this is the the relief of the situation and the job and everything else all coming to roost.

I want to get on and do things and I am dragging myself around to do other things as well. I could sleep for a week but I am not sure it would sort this malaise out.

I am going to try and come to terms with this down the week.

A Good Day

Despite the rain which fell down as I was half way to the station. Despite that I did have a great time. The icing was to win the raffle - I won a gallon of Whisky - 4.5 Litres! I was pretty impressed with that - it should provide me with headaches for many years to come!

I managed to catch the second to last train home and there was hardly anyone on the train and the rain has stopped by the time I got home.

I am feeling a little tired now though - We are off out for Christmas meal number 2 in a few minutes. I have another one tomorrow! Three in three days - I will be sick of the sight of Turkey by Christmas.

However, I need to work on this fatigue - I am certain that it is the job and the worry of it all. Time off - that is what is needed.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Rain and Public Transport

Annoying is what it is. I live a fair way from the station and today, of all days, no one is around to drop me off to the station and the rain and wind are coming in. It is just typical!

So - that said - I hope to arrive not too much like a drowned rat to what is always a lovely Christmas meeting and just relax for the afternoon.

It doesn't matter how much I convince myself that work doesn't matter I still keep thinking about it so I do hope that I can lose myself this afternoon and not worry about it.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Lunch and onwards

My friend and I had lunch today and hardly talked about our health - which is great as we talked about work and futures and other things and at last I felt good again. I feel sick to my stomach over the business side of things as it look totally shady and dodgy to me now.

Not to worry too much about it I can get on and do something else now. I have almost decided that unless there is some compelling event to make me want to stay there that I shall move on and do something different. I have the diary from hell for the next week. I am actually out every day except Wednesday! A lot of that is at Christmas events. I start tomorrow with a Lodge meeting, then a family lunch on Sunday, another Lodge meeting on Monday, out with school chums Tuesday, Wednesday is a rest day - Thursday is with some old work colleagues and Friday is a black tie do locally. I also have a meeting on the 17th to go to as well. The trouble is I may not make something else I have planned that evening.

At least it will take my mind off of my present troubles.

Tired and Fed Up now

I'm getting mighty fed up with the uncertainty of the situation with work at the moment. Every time they attempt to "communicate" they make things worse. Divide and Rule and blatant self protection are key components of their strategy (if indeed they have one).

All this does is make everyone more anxious and it wears me down as I get no nearer to finding out if they will pay me or indeed whether they have the ability to pay me. They are a little perplexed why I don't appear to be wanting to do any work at the moment? Working with amateur and little people wasn't where I wanted to be but here I am and like many I am pretty annoyed that they can't deal with the situation they got themselves into.

I hardly need the pressure and I am now working out ways to get on and do something else as I don't see much of a future there.

I said I'd give this venture 6 months and funnily enough at 6 months all looked great. It is less than 3 weeks ago that the business shot itself in the foot and brought itself to its knees. So at 7 months - perhaps the ideal is to get on and out of this and move on to something that I might enjoy and something that I can get on and do myself and not have to deal with amateurs.

I need to still work on how tired I feel - it is in no short measure due to me having to keep working through strategies for a business that - at the end of the day - looked at them and decided to take the illogical route out. I think they have caused me to lose enough sleep and caused me enough worry. I just need to go and take some rest and build myself up for something new in the New Year.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I am so tired. I have been yawning all day and just wanting to get to sleep. Unfortunately I cannot for the moment as I am waiting for a phone call and a delivery. The last thing I need to do is miss either.

I'm guessing that this is the culmination of the past month's stresses and strains and - it wouldn't surprise me - if it was also something to do with the great relief that not having cancer means. Perhaps you build up a level of stress or you are "fighting" by that I mean you are standing up to things mentally and physically and this may be a wave of relief as well as the reaction to the stress of the business over the past few weeks.

I will try and get some more rest and also to get away from thinking about work for a while. The fatigue is marked though, I really feel drained and so I suppose it is lucky in a way that I am not spending time on the road and driving around the country.

Picking up and moving on

This is what I could be doing from anytime in the next week or so. I'm waiting to hear whether the business will continue or not. If it does, what my part will be - if any.

It is all rather surreal at the moment. It is a no-mans land of indecision and posturing between business and investors. As long as they keep at this - nothing really gets settled. If they get anything settled this week or next we wont be able to move ahead until January anyway.

I'm sort of sat here doing nothing much as the situation could all change at any minute. Realistically, I probably need to be planning for my next job though as if it goes on any longer, the chances of being able to rebuild get more distant.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jazz Night

My goodness - I have been going to the Jazz night for 19 years :-(

Next May marks the 20th Anniversary of us going to the Jazz night and it was just before we moved into the house we live in now. Blimey - I was just 31 years old when I first went So many people have come and gone. My friend - who invited us to start with would have been retired 20 years next year he tells me!

EEEeeeeekkk. I am getting old :-) and so is he.

I cannot believe that I have been going out on the 1st Wednesday in the month (most of the time) for a Trad Jazz evening for the best part of 19 years - now that is a commitment.

It is a great night out and just an escape from every day stuff. Cheap beer and a really nice bunch of people and good live music. You cannot fail than to be uplifted by it.

Long may I continue to go and enjoy it. The trouble is the band only comprises one member from the original bunch now!

Ongoing Side Effects

This is the ongoing side effects not the ones you get at the time which are (or can be) severe. I've spoken about these before. The BCG side effects seem to be that these days I am quite warm. It feels as if my body temperature is up a degree or two but it isn't. I wonder if my circulation is better perhaps? I certainly feel warm and find warm rooms uncomfortable to sit in. I need to have fresh air or a cool room.

Colds - I am probably tempting fate here. I don't think I have had a cold since July 2006! I certainly don't remember having anything other than a runny nose perhaps and I was really worried about catching things off the children when I was having treatment and I never did.

Tired - I think that may be through work - last night I slept the whole night and so I was pleased with that.

Visiting the toilet a lot - I didn't need to get up during the night which is the other side effect. I go to the loo more than ever when I am in treatment and for a few weeks afterwards. The problem is that it can be every 30 minutes and so planning is essential. I can probably last 2 hours now but it is very noticeable that dashing to the toilet every 30 minutes is the norm!

Aches and Pains - Not really painful but more nagging and twinging reminders and a general uncomfortable feeling. I can't wear tight trousers and so have now graduated from jogging bottoms to elasticated waist trouser. I should be alright next week for getting back into something like normal clothes.

So a list of the problems - none of them that bothersome.


I got back and just missed the delivery man who was dropping off some good I have bought. Hopefully he will be along tomorrow and drop it off.

Well it was a nice day with my parents and I suddenly realised that I must have lost about 1/2 stone or possibly more in the month since I last saw them. I think the treatment and also the stress I have been under must be attributed some of that.

Visiting your parents is great a I still get spoilt so I can forget calories, Cholesterol and the like. Glad I didn't get any Castor Oil or Cod Liver Oil thrust down my throat though.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Off tomorrow

To my parents for a couple of days. I've had enough of the last month and all the positioning and politics and nonsense and I realised just how tired it has made me and fed up too.

A few days just doing nothing else will take care of it.

As someone once said the problems will still be there later this week and probably next week too. They got themselves into the mess and they can get themselves out of it.

Some interesting stuff on this web site

If you can stomach it that is.

The Site is here

It actually shows you someone getting treated with BCG - so I'd suggest that you only watch the video if you really are OK with squeamish stuff.

Other than that it is a very interesting web site.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

So when do you start feeling good about yourself?

I ask this only in as much as today, probably for the first time since I got the clear (1st November), I can actually sit down, without a pile of work to do that I haven't and probably wont get paid for and just think about myself and my health.

All that has happened since I got the news has been just about the most ridiculous and basic management blunders that I have been running to fix and when I fix one, they rip open something else and I go and fix that. Well, the end game is afoot on that in the next few weeks. I am leaving them to it and will spend my time working out quite what I want to do next. They robbed me of my celebrations and the last 3 BCG treatments were a bit of a respite and a good excuse not to get too involved, travel around and just get agitated with some of the morons who have brought the business to its knees.

So what about today then? Well - in all the chaos - I see that it is now December. I haven't bought one present, written one card, or done the yearly newsletters either. Ooopps! So I reckon that one of the first things to do today is to work out my time for the next couple of weeks and to set aside plenty of time to do those. I need to wade through the wreckage that is my office. There are piles of unfiled papers which need putting away properly, post it notes are everywhere and I need to consolidate all the things they say to do and make one definitive list of to dos.

And relax and party are on my list of things. I haven't relaxed and partied and celebrated and generally been able to feel good about myself and I feel cheated over that. Luckily, a number of friends have lined up some outings in London and locally so I am looking forward to spending some good days and evenings out with them.

It is about time that I got selfish - I intend to do that.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Off for a nice evening

I hope so anyway - to a friend's house for drinks and some food - he is an excellent Chef so we can be assured of nice food and good company too. I could do with that after the last couple of weeks of turmoil.

It has been a month since I got the good news and I don't think I have stopped working, losing sleep and worrying since then. Tonight will be a real break from all of that.

DO I feel a weight lifted?

In a way, now that I have resigned part of my duties I do. Of course, now there are people whinging that I resigned! Perhaps they should have thought about that earlier. Anyway, as it was, I didn't have much in the way of a choice really.

I'll feel a lot better in a few days time I am certain. By then there should be a consensus on a way forward and perhaps many will have taken a "reality pill" and come back down to earth.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Few Beers

Last night were just what was needed to cheer me up. We also had some seafood which was great - nothing quite like Cockles, Mussels and Prawns to go with your beer.

I really needed that and it was good to get so much off of my chest about the job and the hassle.

So good did I feel that I wrote my resignation and posted it off about half an hour ago.

I can't say that I feel immediately better now that I have done it because I know that there are some people who have to stay behind and take all the flak that is coming down the track at them.

I will probably feel good about it tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

And it continues

This is unusual to feel quite so rough on the Thursday following the treatment. This isn't the typical side effects though. This is fatigue caused through a completely disturbed sleep pattern, ache around my stomach area and still the need to be quite near to the facilities.

If any of the main side effects persist then other action needs to be taken like get back into hospital. These are just aches and pains.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

No Wonder Some People

Give up on their treatment. I can still feel this one. Cumulative effect is spot on. Did this ever give me something to moan about. I was really slow getting out of bed this morning and feel really knocked about. I like saying like getting hit by a truck but it is as if you get knocked over and you feel bruised and battered.

Thank goodness that I don't have to go back until late January 2008. At least I get Christmas off. Who would have thought that you would have a bigger set of side effects when you didn't have cancer than when you did.

I'm still not complaining - if it keeps me healthy I can cope with the occasional whack from a truck.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

That wasn't so good

Blimey - that was a bad one. I was OK until about 7 last evening and then it was like having a 2nd treatment all over again. I was dashing to the toilet a lot and had all sorts of wreckage dropping out of me :-( I managed to get to sleep again about 10 which was good.

I woke at 3 am and found that I couldn't sleep, I managed to hang around for a short while but kept having to get up and go to the toilet and then decided that the best thing was to go downstairs. I had an early breakfast - about 5 am and some more tablets and have sat in my armchair all day until now. Thanks goodness for Paracetamol and Ibuprofen!

At least that is the last one this year. It really has left me very sore around the stomach. I hope to get a good night's sleep and to be a lot brighter tomorrow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Last one this year

Just going to get myself fed and watered and then start the preparation. Thank goodness it is the last treatment of 2007. I remember having the six treatments and then thinking after three - only another three to go. At least this way, the whole deal is done in 14 days - well 15 if we include recovery tomorrow.

Work proves to be challenging at the moment. The boss seems to think that digging into the minutiae will save him from the big problems coming down the way.

Oh well - perhaps I just walk away from this if it isn't fixed by Friday. Seems hardly worth the effort really and the guy is not worth trying to help.

Well here I am

2 in the morning and wide awake wondering quite what on earth my mind can really be doing at this early (or late) hour. Of course it is work again. My mind is going like crazy on this business trouble we are having. Not the trouble - if it all comes to nothing - so be it. It is more that if it comes about that we get things going again it will be a manic 3 or 4 months.

My mind is going through all the plans and operational stuff a business needs to have in place. Something that I wish the previous people had put their minds to!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

One of those days

I managed to trudge through getting my expense up to date. That took all afternoon! It is amazing how much it all came to. Tomorrow I intend to try and clear my desk a little more. Here's hoping.

Does it really matter - revisited

You know, somethings really do matter to me - more now than before I got cancer and people and their trust and their respect matter to me. I hold ideals and morals about how I deal with most people (until the point at where I have tried my best).

I'd like to really go out of my way and teach someone a salutary life message - but it will hurt so many other people around that one individual. Bit of a dilemma - bring down the house of cards myself or let it fall. Try and help or walk away?

It matters to me that one person may be able to wreck so many lives and yet not be reviewing their own actions and the damage they cause along the way Stop that person doing damage and those around take the fall too.

Life really isn't fair - we just try and be as fair as we can I suppose. If he makes me feel this bad
then perhaps I need to walk away. I didn't cause the problem, maybe I shouldn't be the one to prolong it either.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Does it really matter

And is it important and do I care?

You get to reevaluate things and you get a new attitude - I don't know if it is insight so much as just having a reference point that is now a lot different to other people's. For example, does it really matter about some trivial problem - or to get worked up about it or to need all the stress and hassle when, there are worse things in life?

I now have - perhaps - too much of that attitude - if all else fails I can walk away and get on with the life I have left. Problems are not problems - what is the worst that could happen?

Don't get me wrong I still get involved in all of this stuff on a day to day basis but I have the backup of being able to say "enough is enough" I can walk away and it won't hurt me or the family. That is a real luxury to have. I still like the idea of having a powerful job and making a difference but if I had to give that up, then perhaps I would now. Life isn't a rehearsal.

Yes I did remove a few day's worth of blog entries

Apologies - I was venting some frustration about the people I am working with and realised that it was inappropriate to question their sanity in quite the way I did.

However - as you can gather it is 1 in the morning and I have had very little sleep this week - you can imagine that I am not impressed that their actions are causing me to lose sleep.

Other than that - I am still a little bit stingy still after this week's treatment. Only one more to go this year! This time last year of course I was having my first lot of BCG treatment and was in a lot worse state than I am in now. I look back on the year and consider myself to be very lucky indeed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Not a good night's sleep

Caused by concerns over the business and also the treatment. I tend to be very warm on the Wednesday following treatment and feel as if I have been hit in the Stomach or just below. Whilst I am glad that I didn't have the typical week 2 effects - I do think that this one is a little worse than normal. However, better to be whinging because I don't have cancer than whinging because I do (I think that made sense).

Anyway back to work!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Difficult not doing anything

I found today quite difficult - not doing anything - I tried not to answer the phone either.

The trouble I now have is that I actually don't feel up to tomorrow's round of problems. The business stuff really is a mess and I can jump in and sort it out or perhaps - what I ought to do - is to leave them to it.

I think I may just give them another few weeks and if they come to their senses then I can sort things out for them - if not, perhaps I need to let them taste the foul medicine.

Life is too short to work with people who aren't taking your advice and digging themselves a large hole. I don't like seeing people fail but perhaps that is what is needed?

Perhaps I should take time now to make all those lifestyle changes I promised myself?

Not the worst by any means

That Catheter hurt this time which induced a stinging and a sharp pain every now and again meaning that you wince, double up and have quite a sharp intake of breath. Perhaps the Nurse, on her own, was rushing about? It meant I looked a little comic walking out of the Hospital and was pretty much unable to do anything except lie down yesterday.

The side effects were moderately bad this time, not the worst I have had on a second one as before - thank goodness - but significant enough to make me feel very tender around the middle this morning and I am still getting the pain described above to remind me as well.

I followed the usual routine and so Ibuprofen and Paracetamol have done their jobs. I have left the phones on answerphone and intend to take things very easy today. I overdid it last week and so this week I intend (as far as it is possible for me) to do nothing for the rest of the day.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Have had the Shower. Laid out the pills by the side of my bed. MP3 player there as is my notebook to make sure that I capture what happened to me at each treatment and in case anyone need to know for emergencies.

This treatment can result in some very serious side effects and it is worth keeping a note. I don't publish that set of notes in here as it is boring and a little gory and detailed. You know, how big and the composition of the bits falling out of me :-( Yuk!

I am just waiting a few minutes before setting up the old towels, bleach tablets and bottles, disposable gloves and detergent wipes in the bathroom. I have an old towel under me in bed but I haven't needed that since the first lot of treatment - then it was needed because of how much work the BCG was doing.

Morning flown by

Which is great and why oh why do people insist on calling me as I am trying to get my last food and drink down my neck prior to having to have no fluids for 2 hours? I don't like to be rude but I did have to hurry them along a bit.

So this is the one that in the past sort out the men from the boys eh? I'll probably end up being a Mouse on this one :-) as someone once said it isn't for sissies!

I was about to go on about it but, it hasn't happened yet so perhaps it is best to just see what happens. I hope the catheter goes in better than it did last week though :-(

Oh well, just 1 1/2 hours to go - time to go and get all of my stuff ready.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

One for the mathematicians

After tomorrow's treatment can I actually be half way through?

With a course of 3 treatments I doubt I can say that I am half way through if I have had two but it is halfway in time of course. It was funny that someone said that it was halfway and in fact it is 2/3rds of the way!

I am getting ready for it to be bad - like both previous times I think the body over reacts to this one. The first one it probably gets quite a surprise and this time it is ready to fight it off.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I didn't want to be working but find myself doing so again. Why do people use their own initiative and then find that their initiative is wrong.


As for me - feeling OK - Getting ready for Monday andtreatment No.2. And if you know anything about my previious treatments - this is the real shaker of a treatment - I reckon the body just goes into meltdown on this one :-) MMmmm Looking forward to that as a Turkey looks forward to Christmas

Friday, November 16, 2007


Middle of the night - blimey it was a bad one and I could hardly move I was then awake for three or more hours as my brain went back to the earlier meeting.

I think that these Statins can give you cramps - I don't want another like that - it still hurts.

Still have the job

Not a surprise really. It was emotionally charged - but at least common sense erupted in the end!

I shudder to think what they will come up with next.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Today should mark a turning point

Finally we get a room full of investors together and I can address some of the problems that they face.

It seems crazy to me that we are going into a meeting where two sides know what they want to get out of the meeting and yet one party is going to be very disappointed, perhaps upset about it all.

Me? I will either have a job by the end of the day or I wont. If I don't have a job then I doubt that there will be too much to worry about as it isn't the end of the world. It would be disappointing but not the end of the world.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Slow day

I was slow up this morning. Yes, I had been for a few beers last night but I felt very tired - I put this down to not resting enough yesterday.

I expect next week to be worse and to knock me about severely - I plan to definitely not try and work on the Tuesday next week.

What a nice surprise

A friend from years ago turned up and drove a long way to see us.

We didn't actually go for the bubbly. I had offered to buy some Champagne but no - no one wanted any.

But it was really great that we celebrated. I do have a problem though I just cannot drink like I used to. I really notice that now and it has only been the past few months that have proved it to me.

It is time to change yet another part of my life then - drink will have to go the way of salt and fatty foods.

Yeek - what is there left for your old age :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


What was that just came flying out? That was a shock - you forget that this stuff strips your bladder lining and a great big piece just flew out.


Note to self - "I must stop being so Cavalier about my treatment"

I forget how serious this is - perhaps a defence mechanism but I need to remind myself occasionally that this is serious.

You Forget

How this feels and how it makes you feel afterwards.

I know though that despite feeling I was OK and didn't want to lie in bed that it was the best place for me.

As it was the first one - things weren't so bad. I has some blood and bits but nothing overly grizzly. The stinging and aching were worse than I remember. I am also expecting next week to be far worse. The 2nd one has been the worst in all cases previously so I am going to prepare for that for next week.

I feel like my lower back has been hit and it feels bruised and my joints (Hips, Knees, Ankles, Shoulder, Elbows and Wrists) ache slightly.

Other than that - I don't feel too bad at all.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I had quite forgotten the moment the catheter goes in for the first time and muscles its way past your Prostate and pushes past the little sphincter and into your bladder. Eyes watering and those stress relievers earned their money today.

The Urology Nurse is great though and things are over and done soon. I am between the end of the first session and getting ready for bed. I have done my normal thing, had my tablets and so on and thought I'd jut top by here.

I found out today that I am on the European Protocol. I get three of these, a nine week break, another three and then wait twelve weeks and horror of horrors I have to go back in for another operation and biopsies. I was pretty upset about that, I thought I was going to get a flexible cystoscopy - not nice but to have to go through all of that again and a week off is something I wasn't expecting. Something I will have to live with though I suppose.

Right I can feel stinging again and need to go a lie down.

Well - Here I am

All scrubbed up clean and ready to go. In about 30 minutes I'll have had the procedure and can come home and do my usual turning and bleaching the loo and all of that stuff.

I suppose this time I can actually say that It is easy to work out. After today, I am already a third of the way through. Next week 2/3rds (you could say half way but 2/3rd is much better) and then 14 days time it will all be over for a while.


I have just about got all of my things back into the "action" position. All I need to do now is get the pills ready and my note book so I can jot down my symptoms etc.

Not looking forward to this

I suppose I should be grateful that I didn't get much warning about the BCGs.

The problem is that it is only a few hours away and I know that I am going to feel rough for 24 hours if not a bit longer.

I must focus my mind on the fact that last time I was there that I had bladder cancer and this time, I don't. That means that what we did then mean that I am cancer free now and that it was those treatments that made it so.

Nothing quite focuses the mind as having a BCG instillation.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

So back to BCG

Funny how a friend of mine thought these were injections - he was quite shocked when I told him what was really going on!

There is never a good time for things to happen. Tomorrow really isn't a good time but the guys will have to learn to live with it.

I'm not sure when my man arrives back from Canada as all the plans he made without original reference to me are all gone to pot - I did warn that this might happen but towards the end of the Month. I suppose it is good to get it out of the way. I doubt I will feel that happy about it tomorrow.

I now need to prepare myself for these and get all my stuff lined up ready. As my Urology Nurse said to me last time I met her. "You shouldn't be disappointed if we continue to meet as it means that you will be getting better!" Too right I am - I no longer have cancer and I still can hardly believe it.


Elgar's Nimrod will be played tomorrow at the Remembrance service.

That one piece of music reduces me to a shaking mass and so it should I think.

Every year I stay at home and I watch the 11th Hour of the 11th Day and I do remember. As a family we lost 15 or more of my relatives to make the world free as it is today.

I absolutely know that up until Nimrod is played I will be OK. After that I will be "in bits". My family will be at the local church on Church Parade with the Rainbows and Girl Guides (I am proud that my children are young leaders in that organization)

The sacrifice is just beyond imagination.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Unexpected things

How nice is it that someone you really like just turns up and gives you a great big kiss and says how wonderful the news is?

A very old friend of mine did just that tonight! How fortunate I am to have such friends!

How do I explain the lipstick on my collar?

The downside of being cancer free

Is that you think to yourself that it is all over and in fact it isn't - there is the maintenance to be gone through and there is a bit in the back of your mind resenting the fact that I am going to be "curled in a ball" for the next three weeks or as someone said to me - 15 days I suppose that is so when I get three zaps on three successive Mondays.

Now - I know what you are thinking because my brain is saying the same - it is just so strange how your emotions get in the way of the unavoidable logic of the situation.

I get annoyed with the fact that my emotional brain just is never satisfied. I suppose that is the thing that makes us all human!

Friday, November 09, 2007

A bit of a shock - Zapp

I have an appointment for Monday - to Start my 3 maintenance shots.

I really wasn't expecting them to be this fast and so I get my first Zap on Monday at 2 pm

It would have been difficult enough over the next two weeks with the travel schedule I had been set (not that I had agreed to it). Now it is impossible.

That will go down lead balloon like on Monday.

Back to reality

Some people make you scream. My boss phoned me up whilst I was having breakfast to ask me where I was - so I told him that I was sitting in a chair eating my breakfast. A he didn't quite get that - I told him that it was very tasty but getting cold. The next comment drew what can only be called the most aggressive thing I have said to anyone in a long time - which was that he wanted to know where I was not where I was. During part of this conversation I asked why he wanted to know and what level of granularity he felt that he would like the data in, was I perhaps permitted to go for a p1ss I believe passed between us at one point.

It has been a hard week and it is going to get harder next week and for a few more weeks to come. I think that we managed to get a change in the business before all hell broke loose. Something not quite like all hell is actually going to break loose next week but it wont be as bad a all hell - if you get what I mean.

Of course - the next blog will tell you some more of why that is going to be difficult!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Better - much better

I managed to stop the ball spinning today and so I hope to have the right amount of time to sort out the things I need to do this week.

Life is going to be a bit hectic for the next month at least. Trying to bring order to chaos is great if you have people to do it. If you are just a couple of you then life gets hectic indeed.

I must go and get ready - I am on the road for a couple of days now.

Not sure I like this being all clear - it means I have to work for a living again:-)

Slowing Down

Got to slow down. The job is annoyingly stressful at the moment. It doesn't need to be at all - it jut is because it is the transitional period between one way of working and another. Bringing order to chaos is difficult it is like stopping an Ocean going Super Tanker. Apply the brakes and - something might happen in a weeks time :-)

The trouble is that it needs this injection of energy and determination and we are fighting each other - me to take on my job and the other guy doesn't want to lose it or let go easily (even though he knows he must!)

So - note to self - calm down and slow down and say No and mean No.

I know all of this - I just need to practice what I preach. It should be fun.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Full circle

Imagine - if you will - a small village in the middle of Yorkshire - quite sleepy really - a pub - a few restaurants and a nice Church. That is where I used to stay and work a few villages away.

As you may remember - the job I loved and I got made redundant earlier this year was in an adjacent sleepy village.

How spooky is this?

the company I now have the pleasure of being a director for is based no more than 400 yards from the place I used to stay.

Spooky if you think of all the places I could have chosen to work.

What are the chances of that?

Modern Medicine is Wonderful

To think that I had a serious tumour and CIS and a bladder full of cancer - isn't modern surgery and medicinal practise brilliant in that some 15 months later I can tell you that it is gone?


And the winner is

Well - me actually.

It feels like a night at the Oscars - The Nomination for those patients most likely to be Cancer Free are.....

And after I get the award I have to list out the thank yous.

I'd like to thank:

My Consultant
Her Team
Nurses and Staff at the Hospital
Urology Nurses
My GP (well one of them anyway)
My family
My Friends
My Insurance Company
My Employer at the time

And everyone who knows me, has said a kind word, encouraged me or helped in any way.

And so on and on it goes.

Still I am amazed that I am clear - now begins the next phase of the plan. Keeping me cancer free and getting fit and healthy again.

As for my Agent :-) He'll just take his 10% as usual no doubt!

We really are Poo at doing parties

I have no idea why this is. My Uncle and Aunt had an 80th Birthday party and we had a good time but, our side of the family just aren't party animals. My parents never were and I grew up not really going to or contributing much to family parties.

Now - as a young man - I did some serious partying and going to gigs and concerts etc but - we don't as a family and we never have thrown parties for anything - excepting my 50th which, as you know, was brilliant (for me and my mate G - we enjoyed ourselves!).

I'm disappointed that our family is so fragmented and that we don't get together that often - We used to say Marriages and Funerals (and Christenings). Tonight I saw my cousin's children for the first time in 12 years! I gave up going to the Genesis 30th anniversary bash at Charterhouse School. I felt bad that only I managed to get there and my immediate family didn't.

I find that particularly sad. I know my wife's family better than I know my own. I believe there are some historical reasons behind all of this but, you know, it would have been just lovely to see everyone together just one more time and that is, unfortunately, the sort of time we are entering. My Uncles are brilliant and together with my Dad are the three stooges (sorry if you aren't old enough to remember them). They have to be the funniest men on the planet and 10 or 15 minute in their company you are likely to wet yourself laughing. What I would give to have everyone together for a party. That is highly unlikely. My Dad doesn't go out much and we all live such busy lives and we all have such different backgrounds and live mile and miles away now.

I respect every-one's right not to be close - but on occasions, like tonight, I really wanted to have all the family there and to enjoy each other's company like we used to 30 years ago. I felt that it would have been nice for them and for me to have had that - however - I am always treated well and always fussed over so I really shouldn't complain. You know it would have been good to celebrate my news with my own family don't you think? Or am I being just a little bit "edgy" on that :-) ?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

For every good one

I was thinking today, as you do, for every time my Consultant said good news to someone on Thursday, how many other people did she deliver not such good news to?

A young girl who went in before me was hardly in there for 2 minutes came out with a smile, I know I did. Some of the others didn't look that happy.

Something to ponder I suppose. It must be a difficult job. There you are delivering good and bad news. You'd almost want to arrange your appointments to get all the bad stuff out first and then do nothing but good news for the rest of the day.


I referred to Kubler Ross in some of my earlier blogs HERE and HERE.

This is where you go through a number of emotions until finally you accept your fate, adjust and then learn to live with it and then go beyond that to accepting it.

I'm almost in the last phases of that. I'm really happy about the results and I am delighted that I am now free of cancer. I am guessing that I am going to be disappointed in some weeks or months time to be having the BCG treatment again BUT I just need to temper that with the reason I am on maintenance. We are a strange animals, never satisfied with what we get given. I will certainly not be liking the fact that I am on maintenance and the flexible cystoscopy is not my favourite thing to ram up my Urethra but there you go - needs must

I'd rather be having that than having the last 15 months of tension and stress.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Do I really want all this hassle?

The new job is one of the biggest challenges I have ever undertaken and it will demand of me a lot of time and effort when, perhaps, I should be concentrating on getting out and celebrating and doing things I have always wanted to do.

I actually want to do this though. It is a real challenge and quite interesting in the way I am having to be quite tough and determined in the face of someone who "just doesn't get it". Lovely person but has no idea why Company Law was put in place and why I have to follow it. Tidying up after him is a joke but you know it is going to eventually come out OK.

I'm enjoying this. Straight out of one challenging situation and into another.

It gets better and better

The feeling that is. I can hardly believe it even now. If you want to feel on top of the world then - actually - I wouldn't go down this route at all - but it does make you feel brilliant and you just feel better and better.

I wonder when the euphoria wears off?

What do you think?

Do you reckon that it is time to fill in some lottery numbers today or would that be tempting fate?

Wednesday appointed to the board of Directors
Thursday - all clear - I get my life back
Friday - ???????

What a week - yesterday was Christmas - in fact it was all of them rolled into one!

Laugh or Cry?

I wasn't sure which to do - I laughed a lot more than I cried though. Or perhaps was wearing my very best "Bemused" grin.

We did what any red blooded male would do and I ended up at three pubs in total. So the pub crawl was complete and I got home about midnight. Not bad considering I started at Lunchtime!

I don't really have much of a hangover to speak of either which again - I really should have considering how much I drank yesterday.

Maybe I am allowed to have that one night off!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I didn't expect to get the reactions I got. After 1 /3/4 hours wait - I got to see my Consultant.

Handkerchiefs ready? All clear - or "no abnormalities found" as they say.


Thanks to all my friends who turned up, phoned and just turned up for the impromptu celebrations.

I was shaking so much when I came out that I could hardly hold my phone. Now I have tears in my eyes writing this.

Again thanks to everyone who just turned up - it meant so much to me.

Have to sign off now as I can't see much through the tears of being at home and being cancer free.

I can't tell you more than the fact that I am just shaking even now and getting very emotional about it.

I cannot even begin to explain to you the utter relief I am feeling or the joy at having so many people come along and join in my celebration of life.

Here we go

Thursday morning. I am up early and a little nervous of course. Only 3 hours to go and I can find out what my future holds.

It isn't quite like going to the Palm Reader though.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Year Ago and Tomorrow

A year ago I was thinking about my forthcoming BCG treatment, wondering how it would affect me and being worried about those who dropped out of their treatment.

I am really quite nervous about my meeting with my Consultant tomorrow. In a way I am looking forward to seeing her and understanding what the results are and what happens next. I'm not sure how I am going to react to whatever news they may have.

Will I be elated, bitterly disappointed, unfazed or what. Only tomorrow will tell. If it is good news - I hope that I don't blub! Perhaps walk home with a stupid grin on my face.

It is really strange how I feel - I am on a bit of a high given the news earlier today on the job front. But do I feel all excited / nervous because of that or tomorrow?

I'll let you know tomorrow.

Well that is the job sorted

I went into the week with two outcomes to the last two days. I'd have a job or I'd get sacked. The former is the outcome and I am quite pleased about that of course.

In fact the result is really even better than that as I am now the COO of the company which is pretty exciting and pretty daunting all at the same time.

So given how I was a year ago - I don't really suppose I could have expected this outcome.

Blimey - waiting for it to sink in.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A hard day at the office


That wasn't particularly pleasant. It wasn't intended to be - I just had a meeting that can only be described as mildly confrontational and at sometimes crackling with electric as we strongly voiced our opinions and concerns. The upshot is that the issues and problems are out on the table and tomorrow we can get on and do something about them.

Even better is that I will be asked to get heavily involved and sort this out. Enough said for the moment. Another day full tomorrow. At least it keeps me busy and not thinking about Thursday's appointment.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Next few days

Are going to be hectic as I meet up with the guys from HQ and go through the operational plans.

I doubt I'll get much time to do much here so that will give you a rest :-)

It is a crazy week really as I have so many things to get on with and this set of meetings are going to be tough as well. At least when they are over it will be time to go and get my results and find out another bit of my future.

This is the sort of week that will fly past because I'll be so busy.

Rather that than stuck doing nothing I suppose!

Getting your life back

It is probably too early to think about that but on Thursday will I get a nod that says you can go and rebuild your life and get on with things knowing that this is what happened to you before and here is what is going to happen to you from now on?

In a way I'm slightly dreading going - I'm not sure how I will take whatever news they have for me. As I said in the previous post, perhaps it will be the impetus I need to snap out of my inactivity and sort out lots of these things that are just getting left on my desk "to be done"?

I think this time it isn't survivor's syndrome as I feel quite good about myself and I still have a very positive attitude. I'm certain it is that I am just getting nervous about the appointment on Thursday and what the outcome of that may be.

It would be good to start re-building though and to be a little bit more in control of the situation.

Passing the Milestones

Nothing I hope like passing any other sort of stones given my condition :-)

I was thinking about the fact that, I "think" I know what I am going to be told on Thursday and yet, in reality, I cannot second guess this. It is an important step to be told what is going on and to then be able to plan.

So at the moment, whilst I believe it is good news and all the indications are good, until I actually hear what my Consultant says, all bets are off. I am really in a state of limbo and unable to plan as I don't know what she is going to say to me. If it is good news then I can guess that I'll go onto Maintenance. If it is bad news then I will have to look to be doing something else.

It may be just an excuse for my inactivity it may actually be what is causing me to be like I am at the moment which is uncharacteristically indecisive, procrastinating and just not getting things finished or delaying getting things started.

I am sure that getting the answers and then knowing which way to turn will be a major milestone and will free my mind from all this conjecture and will allow me to plan ahead a bit more.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I Wonder

How many people find out that life has changed after a serious illness or some sort of event - perhaps escaping a plane crash or something like that?

I say that only in as much as I have changed and yet, family and friends have stopped me going off and doing something else. I considered that perhaps I would like to travel or live somewhere else and then realised that I would still need to have medical attention for a while yet. The considerations of enjoying the work I do are also now paramount. I do enjoy this job but if it ends tomorrow well, I can go and find something rewarding to do rather than just go for the money.

I'd somehow have felt that I would throw myself into other projects but I just don't have the energy to do them. I get easily distracted and I can (and have) sat here all day and done nothing and then wondered where the day went to. I'm still therefore not as fit mentally or physically as I think I am. Not to say that I am still ill, just not as well as my brain thinks I am.

I think that the trouble is I still feel 20 years (or more) younger than I am - my brain tells me I can climb Mount Everest and my body can hardly ascend the stairs (a bit of an exaggeration but you get the gist).

So - the mind is willing but the body is weak. I'll know this week what my future holds and perhaps then I can get some plans together and actually action them!

Whatever it takes

I've said a couple of times that despite my own squeamish nature, some of the posts in this blog are a little - well - grizzly - to say the least.

I suppose that you get a little blase about what happens to you as everyone else who has this also has these treatments and tests and challenging moments.

I remember talking to my brother and hearing him go very quiet at the end of the phone and my Mother also seeing her quite horrified by what I'd be telling her. I wouldn't tell my Dad as he would pass out :-) He and I share the same hate of anything medical!

So an apology that this blog is quite graphical in that respect and back to the title.

I was just feeling very sorry for my bladder, my prostate and my wedding tackle! My bladder has been scrapped and scratched and had cancer, followed by having to heal it self from all the scars and scabs and then - what did they do? They instilled chemicals into the bladder that are highly toxic and just when it recovers from that they take some more cuts and stick some more of this BCG in as well. It is a bit of a "Sledgehammer" and I think my Doctor called it brutal and rough.

Then every time they have inserted anything into me my Prostate has had to take a pounding and frankly because of the peculiar way the urethra is configured the insertion of anything tends to straighten that out and it needs to go back to where it originally was set.

So all in all - it feels like getting kicked in the crotch many times a year. Perhaps if all is OK it will have been worth it? I would hate to have gone through all of this just to find that you were back to square one. Some people do of course.

Given all of that - to be better you do have to do "whatever it takes"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Someone else I know with cancer woes

I met with an acquaintance yesterday and I had heard that he hadn't felt particularly well.

He has had a set of biopsies for Prostate Cancer and won't find out the results until Friday. Perhaps it is my age and so everyone around me that I'd know are more likely to start getting diseases like this. I suppose there will come a time when everyone around me is dying too.

However, I've sort of said that I'll be happy to discuss things if he wanted and that being diagnosed isn't as serious as not finding out until it is too late.

I suppose it is only natural to focus on the negatives, like I did, when you are this early in on your cancer diagnosis. It needs a lot more of us Cancer survivors to offer some support at this point in time for our friends. I really could have done with someone to talk to early on

I hope he wants to talk and that I can spend some time discussing it with him, I can also introduce him to my friends who have been through this to sort of explain what it is about and how it affected them. Like all such things, there is another dimension to this in that he is getting married in the New Year.

Someone used that cliche again yesterday that "why is it only the good guys who get cancer?" A strange thing to say - almost complimentary in a weird way :-)

Friday, October 26, 2007

The party goers have all gone

The place is a mess, there is jelly and ice cream everywhere, ripped wrapping paper, spilt drinks, half eaten pastries and the smell of beer going stale in plastic cups!

No - not really, but it is the end of our 1st birthday and time to hit the sack and see what next year brings us. It has been eventful - losing my dream job and then convincing myself to do this one. Ups and downs in my health that really were preventable and coming to terms with it all.

Tonight I have just finished preparing for a big meeting tomorrow - I am a Secretary of a Lodge and with about 200 people turning up tomorrow - things can get exciting! The good news is that I have finished working as there is a new guy taking on the DC role. He has done a lot of the work that I used to do. this is good as normally I would be up until 4 in the morning completing his work and mine.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. It will be hard work but I will meet some good friends and I'll be "asked after" which is very nice.

Finally my friend who had cancer at the same time as I did was on the phone this morning and he just wanted a rant down the phone. It is incredible just how angry people make us these days. It can get quite frustrating having to deal with people who ask dumb questions but don't listen correctly to the answers, who have trouble thinking "off script" and who are just basically dumb arses :-)

I think we were having the "is it me, or is this bloke an idiot?" type call. We were discussing Employment Agents and Agencies. I was impressed that there is new evidence to state that you can now use Agents in place of Rats and Guinea Pigs in medical research because the Scientists don't get so attached to them!

Right off to bed a big day tomorrow and I hope an enjoyable one too.

Anniversary Stat

There have been 1063 posts in the past year! That is not far short of three for each day.

Blimey :-) I wonder if they accidentally injected me with a Quill?

Happy Birthday Dear Blog

I have to say a big Thank you to my friend KP – thanks K for getting me to do this blog – it has been helpful in so many ways and it has been therapeutic. Listen up readers, that is the sort of help your friends give you that is invaluable and practical and you can leave the sympathy in one corner and deliver me that sort of support anytime.

So big breath....

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Blo – og
Happy Birthday to you

I reckon that we ought to have a series of highlights like they do on TV of the best moments from the blog (my best moments that is). You can always use the comment field to vote for your favourite if you are that way inclined.

Scar Wars – Where it all started really

The Prequel – Not named Scar Wars I for some reason and published after Scar Wars II & III

The recovery

Scar Wars II – Revenge of the NHS

The recovery II

Scar Wars III - The Sting in the Tale (or Tail)

Scar Wars IV - Delayed

Scar Wars IV – A Scrape in Time

Scar Wars V – the one without a sub title

Some of the funnier stuff

Kicking the Bucket and squeezing your balls

or the Flying Catheter

At least the Hospital knows the difference

Book or blog titles

Bladder Farts

My Favourite and one dedicated to KP who takes credit for getting me up to write the blog – He wasn’t sure what you needed bleach for when you were being treated His line of questioning made an assumption that you used bleach on your todger. To KP I dedicate this answer!

And Finally with the Olympics in mind I leave you with Peeing for England

The events of the past 15 months have altered the way I feel about myself and all those around me, how I interact with my world and how I express myself. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to share my experiences and I’ll continue the blog as long as it serves the dual purpose of healing me and bring help and I hope some enjoyment to others.

Here is a little test for you to do

I am an INTJ personality type. Earlier in the week, given that I took this test 3 years ago, my friend and I decided that we felt that we had changed our personalities because of having lived through cancer Well – spookily enough I haven’t.

That really surprised me as I would have said my attitude had changed incredibly but that’s my attitude not the way I think and act. So how about you?

Finally, in the past year I have learnt to understand my condition and to roll with the shots. Even now, when I think I have climbed the next hill and gotten off the Roller Coaster, something else comes along and challenges that. It really isn’t something that you had yesterday and is gone today. Cancer isn’t the frightening and scary word it used to be – not nice but it isn’t as you expect it to be.

I am impressed with how much I have moved on and with how well I am compared to just a year ago. Then I was just about to start BCG treatment for CIS, I was warned to expect things to be quite shocking and I ended up working from home most of the time. Now, the CIS has gone, the precancerous areas have gone and it looks as if the next stages will be to make sure that it never comes back again. I hope so, I hope life changes to become less of a daily think about bladder cancer, how it affects me and what it does to me and more about living, getting on with life and building on the blessings I’ve had thus far.

A friend questioned whether I actually thought I would die. The answer is that yes I did early on, then I found out more and realised that I could survive this and I was expecting to have radical stuff done to make that happen and gradually I came back from that brink over the period of the treatments and those dangers are receding.

A thought passed through my head driving this week that as I passed through the lovely countryside with its autumns colours, the thought questioned how many Autumns I would see. The number 15 popped into my head. A year ago I would have settled for that, now I would be severely disappointed it that were the case. However it did make me think that I should appreciate everything that much more as I have probably seen more Autumns than I am going to.

On that sober note. I leave wishing you happy 1 year’s reading and let's do it again this coming year.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Beginning to relax a bit now

All is clear again and so I am beginning to relax. The hesitation in going to the toilet is strange - almost as if catching your breath I often wonder why you'd do that considering that there isn't an awful lot you can do if you happen to be bleeding anyway. Strange.

So I am hopeful of continued progress. I really wanted to go to London to see a friend of mine receive his London Honours up at United Grand Lodge. I cancelled just in case. A hard decision but a realistic one when it comes to it.

I had quite forgotten that my wife and youngest were off to see Billy Elliott this evening in London so I have spent the evening at home. I thought that I would catch up on some of my films on DVD but the phone has been ringing off the hook this evening.

Next time perhaps.

A big day tomorrow

Yes I can hardly wait. It is the Blog's first birthday. There will be a special blog entry tomorrow to mark the fact and I guess some celebration too. I can't imagine that jelly and ice cream are going to be on the party table but perhaps a retrospective instead.

Clear Again and an interesting thing

Thankfully today was clear again and so I am getting a little more confidence that it was my own stupid fault I was bleeding again last weekend. You never stop learning and everyone says "take you time" and yet I felt I was fit enough to start exercising again.

Anyway, so things are better - great.

Now the interesting thing. Do you think that your personality type changes after you have been through a traumatic or life threatening experience?

I would have said yes, it does. My friend on Tuesday also felt that he had changed. Well, here is the surprise. I re-did my Myers Brigg test and surprisingly I am still the same type INTJ. Certain percentages have changed but not massively. My friend too has changed very little except in one area. The "J" part is Judgmental - both of us showed a rise in this area.

So, what has changed then? I guess attitude. I need to ask my daughter who is taking Psychology to tell me why this would be.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Off Limits

No matter how much I pour myself into this blog, there are bits that are bound not to appear, there are blogs that I have written, read the next day and pulled and there are many that just never get past the edit.

It is pretty obvious then that there was a blog I wrote a minute ago that didn't get to be published and that is because it goes too deep or opens me up too much or is, in my view, very personal about myself or my family.

Over the past year I like to think that these have been kept to a minimum and I reckon 20 would be about right.

So the earlier blog - was about insurance and payouts and then got morbid and didn't seem relevant somehow. Others would be where my soul would be fully on view or the very black stuff from a long time back. I think it would be fair to mention it and refer loosely to it but to share some of it really isn't for here.

So with this rather sombre blog I'll close for the night.

Something is paved with good intentions

I wasn't going to do any work today was I! Well by 10 O'clock, there were e-mails to deal with and then a couple of contracts and a letter of intent, someone hadn't got an address so I had to find that and suddenly it was 4 O'clock and the pile of stuff I was promising myself to do is still there.

I must make time for myself. If I learnt one thing it was that things can get done without me but, I look and act well so it is back to normal.

I am actually going to pack up now, walk away from the screens and go and sit downstairs and hopefully fall asleep for an hour I lost so much sleep last night and with the early calls this morning didn't really catch up.

If there is anything that I can say has changed in the past 15 months it is that my stamina isn't there any more. I know I am not fit but I can do something about that when they let me and I don't go off injuring myself. I eat properly and yet I get tired quickly. It takes a long time to repair your body and to get everything in balance. I've seen what can happen if you get any of these wrong and so I just have to be patient and build back slowly.

I also have to remind myself that I am 50 despite the act that my brain thinks I am 30 still.

That is better

A fitful night's sleep. Then two early morning phone calls which were enough to drive me mad - both people who had forgotten something and needed to ask me what to do! So up with the lark and so much for a lie in today :-)

I'm still clear this morning and I am taking a day off of work and concentrating on resting and relaxing as everyone else in the company are on training duties!!

One of the callers wanted me to pop into London which I declined.

Hoping for a good - quiet and restful day

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Perhaps cancel all engagements

I am seriously considering not doing a couple of things I have planned for later this week. I have something on at the weekend that I must do and I need to make sure I am ready for that. I was planing to go to London later this week but, really, if I am honest with myself, perhaps I ought not to do it.

It will mean letting a friend down but then I know he will understand why.

I just caught myself running up the stairs and thinking afterwards - FOOL! I just don't feel ill or anything I actually feel very well and so making myself slow down and taking it easy just don't work.

A blip NOT a setback

So I am reliably informed by a friend of mine. A blip is something minor which this is.

I was out with my friend who had cancer and we had a very long and enjoyable lunch. He now knows what has been giving him a rough time and that is great as he can work towards sorting that out

I am happily peeing as normal and have been all day. It is quite a relief I can tell you.

I should have been at the Out patients today but that is now next week so I suppose that is some relief, I can explain what happened and probably will get told off for not taking things easy!!

Feeling a lot better and my mate and I set the worlds to right, had a nice lunch and a couple of beers and coffees. A nice day and so far even better without any traces of blood or anything else.

Overnight Report

All is OK this morning - I had a couple of trips to the toilet - drinking as much as I do these days, an overnight visit isn't unusual The late night and early morning ones are clear, the first one wasn't but it also wasn't a bad one.

Today I am taking it easy and seeing how I get on.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Blimey - done it again

Some more bleeding and a few bits of debris.

Bit of an idiot and should have taken it easy tonight. Will monitor this and take some action if it carries on I actually think that I need to consider doing a bed rest day or two to stop this and also plenty of liquids.

I knew I'd overdone it as soon as I carried those cases up the stairs.

Trying to take it easy

Not as easy as you think though. I just humped three heavy bags up the stairs before I thought about what I was doing!

I go back to some of my earlier blogs that mention how you don't feel unfit or even look it until you try something that you really shouldn't have done.

As someone said to me tonight it is a bit like a hysterectomy (I didn't think it was but his words not mine!) Told not to pick up things or do anything for 6 weeks, you feel OK, lift something and put yourself back to where you started and begin all over again!

I hope that I have learnt my lesson!

Ongoing but minor

Well it appears that generally things have settled down although a large lump came flying out a little earlier - at least nothing like Saturday's episode. I wonder if being hunched up over my desk isn't helping? I need to be drinking more liquid but don't tend to do that in the office.

At least I am out for some of the day tomorrow. I'm with my friend who has had and gotten rid of his Cancer problems - but not the aftermath and the Black Dog bits.

It will be an interesting day of discussing treatments, how we feel, how our brains are coping and so on.

I'm looking forward to getting out and perhaps cheering myself up a bit. I haven't lost my general cheery outlook but my confidence did take a sever knock with this last episode.