Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What if scenarios

The curse of a scientific and intuitive mind is:

[this is a light hearted blog it isn't for real - well not all of it]
  • To ask lots of questions and then afterwards wish you hadn't as you didn't like some of the answers
  • To review all possible outcomes and weigh up the odds and how you'd react, knowing full well that you reacted differently to what you thought you would do this time
  • To make lists and more lists of things to do and then to discard them as time wasters :-)
  • To weigh up the pros and cons and then to not like the cons and so ignore them
  • To think of the worst case scenario and then add 10 degrees more despair to it
  • To immediately pick up on the big problem, work out what is wrong, come up with workable plans and yet your own life is a mess and you can't see where you are going let alone where you came from
  • You can sort out other people's emotional problems and leave owning half of them your self.
  • You argue in a logical way, points are presented each building on the previous and your wife and kids say "your always right aren't you!" Which of course I am :-)
  • You can talk and bore people to death on your specialised subjects which (I hasten to add) do not include train numbers or tram routes.

So a few musings before I hit the sack and am up again in 5 hours or so. No wonder I gave up working in the construction business. I love the company I just hate the hours they keep. Anyway, at least this way I can get a good day's work in and deliver some value. I've been feeling slightly under valued and unwanted recently so its nice to be the expert at something again.

Another long day

I am feeling quite knackered and was almost falling asleep at one point today. Anyway I got the main piece of work done now they want me to do some more - ooeer - not sure about that, the work is OK but the journey is a bit difficult or just nose to tail traffic all the way really.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Another Blog if you feel up to it?

Life Changing Cancer it is called and the lady who wrote it kindly dropped me a line before Christmas and I pop back to her blog and empathise but I don't have anywhere near the severity of cancer that this lady is dealing with.

I find the whole blog informative and balanced and as the lady concerned goes through Chemo at the moment, let's wish her well with the treatment.

Click HERE to go to the site.

Wow what a day

I am absolutely knackered I got up at 5:30 and was on the road at 6 half way into London and then turn left and got to the place really quickly. Had a greasy breakfast (don't tell anyone!). It was a good day but by mid afternoon I was beginning to fall asleep so decided to come back here and complete the last bit of the work.

All good fun! The drive brought back memories of the 80s when I used to work near the office I am at the moment. Spooky.

Oh and they finally communicated the redundancies to the business today!

Now what's wrong?

Wide awake. I mean wide awake and I want to be up early tomorrow to start this small job and blow me, I think I might be a little nervous about this - how strange I'm normally very confident but this is the introvert side of me coming out. I wont know anyone there at all tomorrow - which will be different.

Anyway, so much for trying for the early night. I shall get to the place early tomorrow and have a wander around and see how I get on. It's only three days work (famous last words).

Monday, January 29, 2007

Short Contract Start Tomorrow

Nice, a short three or four day contract - reasonably local to go after. That will be good although I haven't done this sort of thing for a while, I'll be wrestling with Microsoft Project for a while so that will be fun.

Hopefully I'll remember how to do it!

I've had to get dispensation to wear casuals as I can't fit my suit etc. It may go quiet on here for a short while.

Is it too early to retire?

Was out lunch time today. How easily I could get into the go to the pub for a beer each lunch time habit. I like the atmosphere of a pub. I presently really dislike the smell of smoke on my clothes though. I may have smoked in the past but I really do find it really obnoxious these days.

What I like though is the social interaction - so yes - you'd have to go to a local pub not one of these themed kid's pubs. Chatting with the locals, the Landlord and your mates is a pleasant way to pass a few hours, relieve yourself of a couple of £ GB Pounds!

The trouble is how easily you could settle in to that sort of life - it would be brilliant but it has its up sides and down sides. A beer each day would keep the pounds and inches on my waistline and I'd get home in the afternoon and only want to go for a sleep for a few hours :-)

Then there is the getting into a habit problem. Well, it is Tuesday and I should be at the Two Doves, or Blacksmith's Arms or Three Horseshoes etc.

I don't think I ought to do this, I'm too easily led and I'd end up pickled I reckon.

Straining your relationships

Easy to do. Not that I am particularly difficult to get on with but I can be terribly bloody minded these days and more self centred than I ever was. I've noticed that I am a bit more outgoing than I used to be - far more extrovert and can go off on a me me me trip occasionally.

So I would think that I would be pushing some relationships a bit too far with this sort of behaviour. I think it is a reaction to being alive. A sort of "stuff the humility lets get on and party attitude". :-)

So I just need to be careful that I don't overdo or push too hard. I might get away with it for a short time but people will soon get hacked off if I am like it all the time.


I don't like one of the things that I have now. I am really jumpy about anything I get that might be wrong with me, a blocked nose, a sore knee, chapped lips a cough etc.

I'd probably have not thought twice about anything like that a year ago, now I think, "What was that?", "Have I got....?" and so on. I suppose it is the opposite of the symptoms that may have gone undetected from Bladder Cancer as I could well have had it for some time but just not noticed it or the symptoms. Maybe I am over compensating for that. It does however make you prone to mile hypochondria as you just don't want to get anything else.

It is strange because you then worry about it. A small cough could be a sign of something else, like Lung Cancer and your brain doesn't help much as it takes off on wild flights of fancy about what you might have.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

All my clothes have shrunk

I'm still feeling (and looking) over weight and I've lost a little bit but trying to get into my decent clothes is a laugh. We are going out to lunch today and I have almost had to shoe horn myself into my trousers. I keep looking at my suit hanging in the wardrobe and wondering quite how I'll get back into that for interviews and the like. It looks like Mission Impossible to me!

I might have to go and find some of those "old man" trousers that do up comfortably just under your arm pits :-) Nah, maybe not...

If you keep a Journal

Thanks to G who reminded me in a round about way to publish today's post.

If you keep a journal and you don't need a blog to do that, every so often go back and read it either from the start or a particular month and then compare how you felt then to how you feel now. In my case, each time, I do see a massive improvement even though it is only 6 months on. For example seeing the poor old fella after his first operation not doing very much except sitting down and being bored, not allowed to lift anything and taking things easy to how I am now is also a good boost to your morale. You can see that you have gotten better and you can take comfort from knowing that you do get over these things.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Are You Alright Now?


Honestly what do you say to that question? I have given up the 60 second answer and gone for the "Yes thanks, a few more tests and they'll know."

Short of going around with a badge (or perhaps the Tee Shirt) it is pretty difficult to explain that you don't really get cured but you can become "Cancer Free" - that smacks of Political Correctness to me but there you have it.

I think there was a modicum of shock after I had spoken to the person I know who also has BC when they are 5 years in and still on maintenance therapy every 6 months. This is not a cheap disease to treat and whilst it is controllable you need to keep your eye on it as left untreated it is a tricky and aggressive little cancer.


Apologies for the somewhat mundane and bland feel to this blog. Getting and recovering from Cancer isn't glamorous and things don't happen like on the films and in the books.

I was determined to try and get an entry a day into here and yet, sometimes I look back and think - how boring so you sat down and scratched your bum today - does everyone really want to know that? No, I suppose not. The ordinariness (is that a word? my spell checker says it is) should say to many people that recovering from this type of cancer isn't dramatic, you don't miraculously get up and its gone, you just go about your day to day life and gradually get fitter, better and feel things are "getting back to normal". Normal for me is what you see.

I promise to try and be a bit less boring on this blog.

So What Made My Day?

I got a call from someone I have known for some time who didn't know that I had Bladder Cancer, but knew there was something wrong and that I had had treatment.

The call went along the lines that they were diagnosed in 2001, had the operation and have had the BCG treatment and are in fact in part 2 of 3 of their treatment at the moment. They are on their 6 month maintenance regime and everything is going well. The odd bad reaction to the treatment but other than that everything is fine.

I cannot tell you quite how upbeat that has made me feel, there is someone out there who has the same thing as I do, is a few years in advance of me, looks well and is recovering and I can speak to them. Wow, I hope that the tests in March are good.

Good news stories are hard to come by as you always tend to hear either the miracles or you hear the awful stories. Generally the 5 year mortality on BC is 70/80% or better and so I am hoping that I have responded to the treatment.

It really is good to have someone to talk to who has gone through all of this. Some people may look strangely and say "What, you have to carry that on for all those years?" The answer is easy really, the alternatives to not having treatment and the speed at which this could get you if left unchecked and untreated are not worth thinking about; 3 or 6 treatments of BCG a year may sound unpleasant but I'd rather have those than just let the Cancer loose in my body.

What kept me at my desk this week?

Until about 5.30 each day? Habit I reckon. I have been given 3 months notice and as it has never happened before I am sort of wondering what I should do. I spent quite a bit of time this week cleaning up my files and tidying up the files and folders on my laptop and making everything presentable. I finished off some reports and had the one meeting which I have now backed out of and finally I handed over a number of web resources that I had "reserved" for the business - well I couldn't keep domains with the company name in them now could I?

I had an interesting meeting tonight and it was amazing how many people thought that I was cured - as I look so well. How peculiar!

I should have spent my time on doing some other paperwork down the week so I will have to do that Saturday (today already) and my office is beginning to see space and desktops and clear areas in it.

Who knows I might actually get organised soon...

Friday, January 26, 2007

To add to that

I haven't yet worked out if all this directed anger is to do with being angry at getting cancer, feeling a lot better these days, something else. It is who I am directing my anger at that is interesting, those close to me probably notice that I am probably quite different these days and not at all angry with them or anyone else but things like rubbish service and/or stupidity (which both rank high on my list alongside Estate Agents and Double Glazing phone calls) really do get the Victor Meldrew in me surfacing.

If you hear cries of "I don't believe it!" emanating from me - run for the hills......

The Devil in me

No one gets off the hook these days. Try and have me over or upset me at your peril. A couple of people are trying to play silly buggers at the moment. One is an on-line shop who have been pretty dreadful for over a month so far and the other is someone who is trying to use me to get to someone else. I wonder how far I can take that one :-)

So what am I saying? Well, I don't think I play by the same rules anymore and I'm quite happy now to take the route that is in your face, or that is my route and no one else's. I'm not explaining this very well. How about I am going to give the first problem absolute hell and woe betide anyone who gets in my way - these guys are a bunch of misfits in charge of a business and I am going to tell them so and I may not stop even once I have got my credit back from them. Super aggressive for me but I think I will feel good after I have balled them out again.

On the second one, perhaps a different tack and not so aggressive but I will turn the tables on that as well. See what I mean? I'm just not in the mood to take prisoners at all and my anger with these people is not the explosive anger of old, it is controlled and assertive and used to do what secretly I've always wanted to do but been too reserved to do it. Have a go at these jumped up idiots and stick them in their place.

I am far more up for a fight these days (metaphorically that it) than I ever was before.

Bring it on :-)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Clearing out the mess and accumulated debris

My Office is beginning to look empty, clean and tidy again. You can see the surfaces of the desks and the drawing board. If I can alter the office around sufficiently I will put the cross trainer in here. A bit more filing tomorrow and a tidy up and it will almost look professional again. Almost!

At least I found some of the papers I had been searching for these past four weeks and it occurred to me that I might change the filing systems completely to gain some more space. Roll on the paperless office.

A bit scary

I had quite a bad night last night - I was awake for a fair while and I don't think it had anything to do with the anniversary as I didn't realise that until this morning. I think it was the film last night where Hugh Grant was a Doctor in the ER and someone got a Foley (a catheter to you and me) shoved in them. The actor did a good job as it looked like his eyes were out on stalks. However, I just had a bad dream and recalled the operation with all the usual nonsense that your mind throws in to over dramatise what actually went on. I'm certain the catheters and needles weren't really that big. Thank goodness for the alarm clock.

Checking back among the posts

I noticed that I hadn't mentioned that when you have the flexible cystoscopy that you also get checked for Prostate Cancer as well. Now - despite what you hear and what you think, it isn't that bad at all. They did mine after the cystoscopy and a few seconds and it wasn't uncomfortable at all. The Prostate can give you similar symptoms but that is a bit rarer. Because of where the Prostate is situated (right under the bladder) there can be complications I suppose. The other one is that under BCG treatment your PSA can go through the roof so you are advised not to have a PSA test whilst you are under treatment.

Six Months to the day

Yes 25th July 2006. Probably the second most frightening day of my life. Six months ago today that I had the tumour removed and it feels a lot, lot longer than that. It was by contrast with today's heavy snowfall outside my window, one of the hottest days of the year.

I suppose it was good that I hadn't really been counting down to this day - I just saw the date on my calendar and twigged it was the same.

I am still amazed that Bladder Cancer is the 4th most common in men and 8th most common in Women and yet hardly anyone knows about it!

Exercises this morning

OK so I didn't do 15 minutes - why? The pre programmed exercises are in 10 minute increments and I thought that a 10 minute jump would be a little too much in one go. So I have a cunning and devious plan to do two 10 minute exercises one at either end of the day.

The more regularly you do this the easier it becomes and the more consistent you become as well. I'm not seeing a huge change and I wasn't expecting to but I can get into some of my trousers now and I can also hold my stomach in a bit and I feel "tighter" - I can't think what else to call it but my muscles feel tighter if that makes any sense?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Exercise and the Discipline of doing it

I have actually been quite good. I now try and do 10 minutes on one of the pre programmed exercises on the cross trainer. It is quite good as it varies the load throughout the 10 minutes. I have been doing that for about a week now and I do feel quite good.

I think I might take that to 15 minutes tomorrow as I am now used to the 10 minute stretch.

Whilst the cross trainer is a funny action almost cross country skiing action I suppose, I can feel the exercises working across most of my body.

I just hope that I can keep it up (the exercise that is - you smutty lot) and get this weight off. Whilst I haven't measured myself (perhaps I ought to) I can fit back into some of my larger pairs of trousers now. the aim is to fit into my suit in a month's time so that if I get an interview I can actually look less like a sack of spuds tied in the middle with string and more like a well fed man about town :-)

Crazy Day

What a day, I haven't stopped as of yet - been on the phone or the PC all day so far and haven't gotten around to sorting out half the things I should have done by now.

I have a shed load of things to do and I really need to tear myself away from the PC long enough to do them but I keep getting telephone calls followed by e-mails requesting information.

Its worse than being at work!

Phew what a day so far

Non stop phone calls, sorting stuff out and just this minute stopped. Due out this afternoon if the snow has cleared sufficiently to do so...

Sort of said my goodbyes on the phone, rang around a few more people and generally chewed the fat about what is going on at the company. For a small organisation the feeling from shop floor to director level is pretty remote. It is as if you are talking to two completely different companies when you talk to both levels. I hope they fix that quickly.

The real concern is that there is a lack of faith also in one part of the company over the competency of the other and that isn't a good thing to happen either. Of course the trouble is that I can no longer interfere and the issue is one for themselves to learn. They are having some serious pain at the moment and there are bound to be recriminations and even reprisals dare I say.

The concern is that they get over the shock, hurt and pain soon and get back together and start making a difference. They all know what they have to do to get there.

Last Call for....


The last conference call presiding over my team and chairing the meeting. I don't for one minute expect that it will be much different to the usual and it will probably be downright tedious. But my last meeting none the less and another bond to break.

I am going to force the pace as I cannot see that they want me hanging around and putting my 2 pence worth in every time. Giving the Laptop back sooner rather than later will be a massive break as my e-mail account will disappear. Then let's see them trying to get hold of me.

How Dare you..


It was a BIG disappointment not to have the Tee Shirt on tonight but next time guys, next time.

Was out with my school friends tonight and "the one" who convinced me to write this blog - for whom I have to say thank you as it really has been a good thing to do and whether it has kept my sanity or has added to my madness who knows. If it has added to any-one's education, well that is good too and to have helped anyone else would be a real bonus. Thanks KP - you know who you are.

2 years ago we all met up last. 2 Years - what were we thinking? We always have a great night, the jokes range from the side splitting hilarious to the groans of old, past their sell by date, puns!

We have always got on so well together that to only meet so rarely is a sin. I put my hand up for the past couple of years (if not 5 maybe) when I just haven't been up to anything at all - I said it tonight and I've said it before - I wonder if it was the cancer that was slowing me up?

We have promised ourselves monthly meetings from now on so the 4th Tuesday in the month from now on is a lads night out. failing that, more nights out to see the local live gigs are in order.

Shall I repeat the jokes on the blog as I was asked to? No, of course not but there were plenty of Parrot jokes, Monty Python references and even the odd bit of Derek and Clive live to provide light hearted banter in between the serious stuff and the mundane.

A great evening and I enjoyed getting out and about again and the really good company of friends who could never insult you with their humour and whom you could never take offence at their comments - WHY? You know them so well.

We spoke of an evening we had many years ago where the most amazing things happened and booze (the ultimate leveller) arranged a common denominator amongst our parents and us. That had been a night to treasure - full of spontaneity. I think I can add this evening to that list of magical evenings as it was so good to get together again.

Of course, all we have to do is make this regular as we parted tonight with those same good intentions of two years ago to meet regularly. Let's see if we really mean it this time. We have too good a laugh not to make it happen.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Feeling sad as tomorrow will be my last conference call with the team. Whilst I may be hanging around for a while yet it will be difficult for them to move on or for me not to be a little resentful as I hear all the plans being made for something that I will not be a part of.

I'm still in a kind of upbeat mood about things but I am beginning to realise that it just won't work with me hanging around as the team needs to move on and to find their own way of doing things.

I feel a little sad about that and also that another colleague I spoke to today hadn't been told that I was going. For a small company they are a bit bad at communications some times!

Monday, January 22, 2007

2 B or not 2 B

The more I think about it, the more it takes hold of me. Shall I do something altruistic, shall I become a teacher, shall I go around doing good deeds? Or shall I just chase the money and get as much as I can whilst I am still able?

It really is a hard decision and can I make it given the time I have left (meaning lasting on the money coming in for my notice on redundancy not whether I'm going to peg out!).

If I have learnt anything in the past 6 months it is that life is more important and yet how quickly you can go back to it surprised me. I was quite happy to go back to my job - but it was enjoyable and it was interesting and it paid the bills but would never have made me rich! I felt that I could make a difference and, given my new perspectives, be a little more "life's too short" on a number of subjects :-)

Please God I don't end up as a life coach - I mean the money is great but having to deal with people who actually need you would be difficult.

Someone suggested I work at B&Q - they take on old people (thanks) and I know a bit about DIY. Those who know me could probably guess what the problem is here. 1. Joe Public and 2. Working for low lifes - sorry, no matter what you might say I can't do that.

So - what can I possibly do?

Rock Star - no too old and can actually play a few instruments and sing in tune.
Author - Possibly, but don't use long words unlessIforgettopressthespacebar.
Postman - Bit early in the morning for all that hard work - and there never was a "Confessions of a Postman" film was there?
Milkman - Been there, did that, good tips, but smelt like yogurt most days - yuk
Teacher - No I'd be done for manslaughter
Big Brother Contestant - Would not work would be done for multiple murder and probably get away with justifiable homicide.

You see - nowhere to go just too talented, too good looking and too old!

Good night

Things you don't realise

Like - some months ago I was complaining that I kept forgetting words and felt very slow - well that has gone but it must have happened gradually and there was no one day that I could have said - Oh look I got my brain back! Perhaps it was getting out and about again?

I also thought of the painfully slow way I used to get in and out of a chair or bed and whilst I am still careful I can motor around now. I can dash up and down the stairs and I can easily do 10 minutes on the cross trainer now. I'm going to keep to 10 minutes for a little while but it is encouraging. Driving the car is easier and I don't need to stop so often. I also don't need to keep rushing to the toilet as well and I have settled back into having a sensible amount to drink during the day.

Working on your fitness takes more time but I am pleased my brain is back to normal - if I could ever have a normal brain that is.

A Strange Morning

The start of a new week; I'm officially redundant and yet I've logged on to my PC this morning. I've agreed an amount of work to complete before I disappear and it is all very strange. The e-mail is eerily quiet, there are no meetings in my calendar yet the ones I usually attend carry on as normal.

I have very mixed feelings. I suppose I should get on and do the little tasks they want me to finish but my enthusiasm isn't that high this morning. I actually feel slightly guilty about not doing anything for them - which is a bit bizarre as what can they do about it? Sack me :-)

Yes a strange morning but I am looking forward to lunch time and meeting up with a very good friend again who had his Prostate removed last year at the same time I was diagnosed. He and I will both be looking for jobs this year. Because he has had similar (although not quite the same) experience it is good to chat through what has happened to us. Not surprisingly our conversations these days are much brighter than they were 5 months ago.

Speaking of which it is 6 months yesterday that I was diagnosed - it feels much much longer because so much has happened. Crikey 6 months...

And so - to work! or NOT - as the case may be :-)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Working on Levels with THE Tee Shirt

Well on Saturday I wore the "I'm Not Dead Yet" Tee - Shirt to the genealogy day and it raised many a smile as of course it works nicely when everyone in the room is tracing their dead ancestors and as I hadn't met some of my far flung family for two years - they could at least get to see that I was indeed in rude health.

But two years - I cannot believe that it was January 2005 that we last met - it seems impossible that it could be that long. I suppose I keep in touch on e-mail and by newsletter but - how strange. I missed last year through illness and I wonder now if I was feeling the beginnings of what I had then? In fact I think I said it before, that I haven't felt this well in many many years.

Will I be able to get my Tee-Shirt back for my Tuesday evening meeting with my mates who will appreciate the Monty Python meaning....


After a long time I turned up at my committee meeting today. Got a good reception and many were pleased to see me and to know I was alright. Interesting phrase - "Re you alright in yourself?" Perhaps I'll discuss that later on.

The usual stuff a committee is always difficult to run especially one as big as ours. The trouble is, as I suppose with a lot of these things, you really need to have time on your hands to "Do" things and I do plenty already. Nearly everyone on the committee has lots of demands on their time but how do you get others to "do" rather than us, the same old faces? I'm not going to solve that one for sure.

It is good to get back to this sort of thing as I have missed it and I have actually not been able to attend regularly for many years. Let's hope that I can from now on - it is a good cause.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nice Saturday

Yes indeed,

I drove to Barking for the Family History AGM and Fair - it only took about 35 minutes which was great. I used to take the train but it took so long last time to get home. I saw some far flung cousins and I could have spent hundreds of pounds on genealogy stuff.

It was good to get out of the house. I also treated myself to a big greasy breakfast.

Oh, and my confirmation of termination of employment arrived!

Nice day

Friday, January 19, 2007

Interesting Week Coming up

I am out on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Now Tuesday on not just once a day either. Tomorrow I'll be off to the East End to meet with some of my remote family - researchers of the family name. Sunday a committee meeting. Monday off out to lunch and out in the evening, Tuesday fixing some computers and arranging a meal and then out in the evening.

Could it be that I am getting my life back? I certainly hope so! I haven't been this active for a few years.

It doesn't go away does it?

Sometimes you can do really well and forget that there is anything wrong with you but it doesn't last long. I think about my condition every-time:

  • I go to the toilet
  • I eat anything
  • I drink anything
  • I exercise
  • I see anything that might remind me (Cancer Research leaflet/advert etc)
  • I see this site
  • I log on to some other site
  • I have nothing better to think or do :-)
It is the other side of having something like cancer that perhaps I didn't appreciate when I didn't have it. It is always with you and you are cautious and concerned - I know that I think twice about doing things. Strange as that may seem, it is a little defence mechanism and makes sure that you stop and think more often than you used to.

Anyway, there you have it, a strange observation you may think but one that is always there accompanying you.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Exercise - a passing fad or here to stay?

I have been using the cross trainer and I have now built up to 10 minutes a day at about 1/2 loading. I have not used any of the preset programmes at the moment.

I almost look professional limbering up and then doing my 5 minutes increasing to 10 a day.

Can I feel anything? Actually I can already. My leg muscles and my stomach muscles are beginning to feel tighter.

As long as it helps me to get a little fitter than I am and to fit back into my clothes I will be delighted. It is early days yet but I can see the few minutes a day growing. I see the reason people have MP3 players strapped to them, it can be boring.

Opportunity to do something different

I wonder if I dare try and do something completely different - not get back into the IT world or have to work in the City or do some other soul destroying 9 to 5. It is all about balance and getting enough money in and doing enough to keep mind and body and soul together. I've often fancied just packing it all in and going to do something like run a tea room or perhaps a mill and tea room - something like that. The biggest problem is whether I could actually work with "Joe Public" I reckon I'd be like Basil Fawlty and be yelling at the "guests".

Someone suggested that I go and become a lecturer at the local colleges. That would be nice.

Now What do I do?

Good friend turns up tonight. Fancy being a Director of my business?

Gulp! I'm hardly cold from the last job as of yet :-) A night to sleep on it is required!

Do I want to be a Director - me, Mr. Angry? Not sure if I would but perhaps I might be well suited now after all my problems? Who knows

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

See - Not THAT Bad

A couple of sandwiches, a possible job just come through and suddenly things aren't that bad after all. Mate coming over to buy me a drink as well!

Catch you later then

I didn't expect that to happen

I just got the call, about 11:45 am and the confirmation that I am redundant. I thought I was fully prepared for that and I actually do feel an emotional twang. It's not the money, it surely isn't the journey to and from Yorkshire both of which aren't particularly good. I joined because of the people and the products. They really are the bits I will miss but I will work with them again I am certain.

The company has a lot of soul searching and some serious growing up to do this year. Those who remain will have their work cut out to meet the challenge and it is the sort of environment that I actually thrive in when "backs are against the wall".

So - feeling a little cut up now that it is definitely over. I can now sit down and decide my future and what I want to do. I would have hoped that the Critical Insurance issue would be sorted by now as that is a factor in my future too. I got a letter saying that they had still not received the report from the Hospital and had now rung them. 3 months the Hospital have had the report to complete. Lucky I didn't need the money or was terminally ill - crikey, imagine if it was really bad and amongst all the problems someone had to keep chasing up this to make ends meet. Dreadful.

Anyway, I'm sitting here slightly shocked and a little saddened by the turn of events. I'll go and have some lunch and pick myself up this afternoon.

You Soon Forget

I was reading the story of someone who has just had their TURBT and as I read and recognised their experiences I thought how amazing it was that you just "get over" these things. Some are pretty horrible and uncomfortable and at the time make you feel wretched and yet, how soon afterwards all of that is forgotten. I think the only thing I can still feel is an ache on my hand occasionally where the cannula was. Other than that, the human body and brain soon recover from these traumas.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Terminator II - Judgement Day

Tomorrow that is....

I should be told tomorrow that I am redundant. No "I'll be back" although, I suppose that is always possible; it has been a rather stormy courtship.

Next to get my dark glasses and leather gear on - "Hasta la vista, baby!" - I'd make a great Arnie - maybe not then...

Panic Over I Think

That was a worrying 48 hours. I really hadn't expected the level of fear I felt that somehow the tumour was back or some such thing. I reckon it is a bit irrational anyway as these things don't grow that fast and I doubt they would have survived much given the treatment before Christmas.

I'll still keep checking and I can calm down a bit now. It really was quite alarming.

Monday, January 15, 2007

So far so good

No sign of blood at all today thank goodness. I will still be keeping an eye on things though - you can't be too careful with this.

Fright Night

Last thing at night. Was that blood in my urine? I wasn't sure, I had flushed the toilet.

There is nothing quite as terrifying as then having to wait until the next time you go to check. It may well have been but thank goodness this morning there is nothing.

The brain just runs wild - "what if I have to start treatment all over again?" "another operation?" "treatment has failed" etc. It is far more frightening than I would ever have thought.

I'll obviously be keeping an anxious eye open for any signs in case I wasn't mistaken. Anyway, all seems to be settled this morning and I am back to a normal yet slightly heightened state this morning too :-)


With myself sometimes. I need to snap out of my current lethargy and move a number of things on. The trouble is that there are so many things to do and I am an easy touch when it comes to helping people out that I leave my own tasks behind and work on someone elses to my detriment.

I thought that I had changed a bit more than this and had become a little bit more self centred and selfish. I must try harder to do the things that are important here and to say no more..

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My Bladder Cancer Journey: Kylie & Me

My Bladder Cancer Journey: Kylie & Me


Kylie & Me

Kylie has pulled out of her UK dates because she has Flu and I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't trying to do TOO MUCH. You see, I want to prove, like Kylie, that I'm alright and that I am as fit as I ever was and that "I'm back to normal" and so on. The truth really is that you may feel great but your body will soon catch up and kick you back down if you are not.

It is actually a long road to recovery and we shouldn't forget that. We try to take on too much in an effort to believe that we are back to where we were before it all started. My drive to Yorkshire and back took two days but I estimated that it would. I felt that, no matter how good I felt, I'd probably over estimate how good I really was. I could conceivably have got there and back in a day but 8 or more hours in a car would really be pushing my luck. So taking it easy was a necessity.

The exercises I am doing I am limiting to 5 or 10 minutes a day not a full hour workout. The reasons? You cannot go straight in at full effort - the reason you need the exercise is to build you back up towards your previous weight and fitness levels or even to improve on those. In the short time I have been doing this I can feel the muscle groups beginning to respond and the slight twinge as muscles that haven't done much for months start to get used properly again.

So Kylie and Me - we both need to be a little realistic and to try not to run before we can walk.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Good News / Bad News

I touched on this before. Many of the web sites you go to have people who, necessarily, will be having a lot of trouble with their diagnosis and treatment and are looking for kindred souls and they share experiences etc. I think I am right in saying that it can only be a very few who do that. We are not all Internet users through and through, it would seem a waste of their time to look for information let alone to share it and I came to the conclusion that not too many people who had had Bladder Cancer would be on line.

As a sufferer, I was expecting to go online and find out what was wrong with me, what the chances were (yes you do) and see what other people had gone through. In reality you are looking for uplifting survivors stories. You don't often see them. Sure you can get the statistics and you can hear remarkable stories but generally these are people with far more aggressive or advanced Cancer than yourself. I think I said that it made me depressed rather than uplifted.

Well today that changed as at last I found someone with the same diagnosis as me, the same history of operations etc and who is about a year in front of me in terms of where the disease is at. They were possible slightly more advanced in how near they were to having their bladder removed, like less than a mm! The good news is that their BCG worked and now they are on maintenance therapy which is brilliant news. SO finally, a real person who has had this and bothered to put it on the web for all to see - that is more like it.

I wonder whether I need to one day work out the balance of whether you want to find uplifting stories, the reality (statistics) or something else. I can't think like that yet - perhaps later.

An unexpected lunchtime trip out

It was a nice excursion. Friend called - has a half day, fancy some lunch, another friend nearby joins in and a few beers and a spot of lunch and a chat. spur of the moment things always seem to be better than those you could plan. I suppose there is no need to plan and think about it and so without time, no way to set expectations. I have to stop this psychobabble stuff, it was only going out for a beer after all - noting spooky in that!

Friday, January 12, 2007

What are the side effects sypmtoms etc

I still feel a little sore around my stomach area and I am adding to that by doing more exercises and stretching and getting back in to shape. It isn't painful, just there in the background. I don't appear to be going to the toilet anymore than usual at night now nor do I have the sudden need to rush to the loo like I did when I had the BCG treatment - all that has settled back to normal. The anxiety of going to the loo has passed and yet I always look and check for blood even now.

I feel better than I have felt for a number of years. The trouble, if there is any, at the moment is a sort of hypochondria. By that I mean there is an anxiety about anything that may be wrong with me. So an ache or a slight cough or anything like that becomes high anxiety stuff. I can give myself sleepless nights thinking about surviving one and getting "done" by another form of cancer. Morbid, probably unrealistic but you tend to think like that.

Other mental stuff is I am more extrovert than I have ever been and I have got past worrying too much about what people think about me although I can sometimes regret being so "overpowering" in a conversation. I am trying to stop that and I am trying to stop being "me, me, me" although that is difficult because it is all about me after all and if you have had cancer you'll probably understand that and if you haven't you have to forgive that sort of behaviour. It is not bragging rights it is more that you go through some "interesting" stuff which is quite challenging and I think you need to share the load or get it off your chest or something.

Right - anything else? If you change your lifestyle then you'll notice other changes which are dramatic to start with and then routine afterwards. Increasing my fruit and fibre intake has had an interesting effect but settled down now and I'm feeling better for that as well.

The black moods and massive mood swings are far less these days and I feel that the outlook is good. I still occasionally get very choked up when I see certain things on the TV, things that wouldn't normally make me cry or get a lump in my throat tend to now. I guess it is some sort of empathy with their suffering that I am feeling. I certainly wouldn't wish what I have had on anyone else no matter who they were as it is a combination of mental anguish and physical hurt. On reflection it may be character building and interspersed with some humourous moments but that is far from the truth in reality. The treatments are not optional, you can't chose not to have one of them etc.

I'm in between treatment and the next visit to Hospital in March - nothing is really happening that I can feel or see and the body is fighting its own battle in my bladder to see off the Cancer that remains in there. I can't tell or feel what is going on but that doesn't mean nothing is happening I guess. So I feel and look as healthy as I have done and the only thing now is to wait and that is its own problem as you just don't know how well you've done until a couple of weeks after the operation although (I believe) the Surgeon can give you some idea as there is a change in colour/texture that is sort of an indication.

So all is OK at the moment - almost a normal life now and interestingly enough I am getting more active than I have been for a good few years. My attitude to life (the universe and all that) has also changed I think for the better but I still don't suffer fools gladly.

Not a lot about Bladder Cancer is there?

I suppose after a while you get used to it. I still think about it all the time though. Yesterday lifting the machine and assembling and using it were all slight worries but you have to get back to normal - whatever normal may be. I have enough other things on my plate this week to have put most of that behind me.

I haven't really got much more to add about symptoms and all that at the moment, I feel quite well in myself still and I am gradually getting my strength back. I just wished I was getting my waist line back - I suppose that will take a little longer.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Grumpy Old Man

I have finally made it I can officially call myself a Grumpy Old Man now.

Today on a running desktop RSS feed ticker of News - NEWS mind you. came a gem about some minor "person of notoriety" I vomit if I have to say the word "celebrity" probably a D or E list one as I doubt anyone who has a pubic hair has actually heard of him. Apparently this little jumped up twerp stormed out of making a TV show because someone made fun of his wife who was also someone I'd never heard of before. HELLO BBC - this is not front page news, nor is the news that some baggage got thrown out of the Big Brother house. I am sure there are far more important things going on in the world than some over paid thick ignorant nobody walking out of a studio. If you are that upset just withhold his payment.

On a more serious note the third redundancy I've heard about this week is David Beckham - He is going to lose his job and I have no idea how he and his family will be able to make ends meet.

Exercise Equipment WORKS

I am absolutely knackered, got the machine upstairs and had to assemble it, was in quite a sweat and must have lost a stone building it. Wonderful, I'll go and order another and get some more exercise now or have I missed the point?

Unexpected Problem with Exercise Equipment

Just arrived and sitting in the Hall!

It took two big blokes to carry it in to the house and it is a big package and at 56Kilos it could cause some interesting moments with me trying to drag it up the stairs.

Now if I was fit I could do that but then if I was fit I wouldn't need the equipment in the first place so......

I might have to wait until my youngest daughter is back from school - she could lift it :-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Calm Down - Calm Down

I must remember that not everyone has the same enthusiasm I do for solving problems, project management, the intricacies of tacit knowledge management etc. I must learn to calm down and not be quite as explosive, pushy, know it all and so on.

Even if I DO know it all :-)

Back Home

And just confirmed what I said earlier but, officially they have to do this. I wore the "I'm not dead Tee Shirt" - it works at so many levels I think. Anyway, it was a pleasant and civilised affair. I think that they really feel bad about it but it has to be done. There was hardly a soul at the office and it was quite eerie.

Anyway, I have 3 months notice so I cannot complain really. Who knows what will happen next week. 2007 has turned out to be quite exciting. Oh yes, the journey was tiring but with my "posh car" it wasn't that bad - it felt like taking my armchair out for a drive.

I now have to wait until next week for the final final final confirmation.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

One of "Those" days

Today will be - I have a meeting online in a few minutes and then will have to travel about 225 miles to stay in a Hotel to go and meet my bosses tomorrow to be told officially what is going on. It seems an awfully long and expensive exercise to be told that your services are no longer needed. It makes you wonder how they could ever have gotten into difficulties in the first place! Last bit to spat out with some sarcasm please :-)

The blog may go quiet for a day or so....


I got a call to say my exercise machine will arrive on Thursday so when I get back from my trip I'll be able to set up my gym and get down to some work to get fit again. I can't say I was ever super fit but I was reasonably in shape and I feel like a beach ball at the moment. I seem to have put a massive amount of weight on around my stomach and a little around my chin as I can see that.

I can't see if "My Bum looks big in this" thank goodness. I am now just checking to make sure that I exercise in the proper way, ensure that I take my BP and other readings and also try not to overdo it.

An old Project Management saying is that it takes a woman 9 months to have a baby - you cannot speed up the process by impregnating nine women to have a baby in a month (I know try telling THAT to New Labour!). Anyway - the exercise is a gradual and progressive thing - I can't expect to go crazy for 10 hours and come out with the body beautiful!


I think that is the word I am looking for. It is how I feel right now. I'm accepting all that is happening around me and what is just about to happen and I'm feeling a little sad about it but at the same time I have a resolution that it is just another thing to meet and move on with.

I think once I get the definitive yes or no and the figures and the terms and conditions thrust in front of my face on Wednesday then I can figure out what I can do about it. As I've learnt these days it is no good second guessing things and it is no use worrying about them - that's rubbish because I am going to have some anxiety of course but I don't need to get quite as stressed out as I was earlier on with the condition or anything else that was happening to me. The trick is to try and relax and just let it ride over you. I mean it's not as if you are actually physically hurt when you lose your job. Anyway, I just have this slight nag of melancholy at the moment. Perhaps that will be gone come Thursday.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Not Just Me

I just found out another friend of mine is also facing redundancy. It really is a sign of the times these days I suppose. I remember leaving school and listening to my father and others about having worked at their companies all their lives and being proudly shown a watch or mantle clock as proof. I think the longest I ever lasted at one company was 7 years. the shortest only a matter of days. It was what made me take up the contracting role and start my own business - at least then change would be a constant and risk and reward could be properly balanced out.

Of course when you run your own business you can't exactly make yourself redundant but there you go - you can't have everything.

Anyway, I hope that he gets sorted out as well - whilst it is one of those things - you really don't need all that pressure and all of those problems landed on you at any time let alone straight after the Christmas period.

Someone was making noises about this was "all I needed after the illness" bu actually it really isn't that big a deal. I said your attitude on life changes and this really is one of those things you look at and sort of say "Is that all you've got?" - "Go on, do something that really hurts me". You see, you can't really hurt me anymore, last year I lived through some of the worst moments of my life and whilst I am certain there can be worse moments, losing your job really isn't that high up the Richter scale.

Why Not

Just do what we used to do when redundancy came around. Get the people you were going to make redundant, one at a time, give them their marching orders, get the security guard to go to their desk with them and pack their stuff and send them home. End of story.

this consultation process (so what bit of a consultation can you do with 50 odd people?) is a nonsense and disrupts everyone. Now say you were "at risk" but managed to consult and keep your job - just how would you feel? It tends to disturb the whole business and that is a major issue especially as you are already in the sort of position that means you have to get rid of 20% of your work force.

I'd rather know straight away and have it over and done with than all this mucking about. I suppose that would be some PC rubbish about affecting my human rights though - they've all gone mad :-)


Or lack of it more like it. I've made a couple of phone calls and sorted my e-mail, started a couple of documents and I just don't feel like doing anything right now. I've stuck on the radio and really cannot get myself motivated to do anything at all right now. If I could get up the enthusiasm I'd try to achieve a good level of apathy but I just can't manage even that today!

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

I have no doubt that there will be some repercussions in the coming weeks and months at work but I can imagine the dilemma facing everyone when you actually need sales and yet it is that part of the organisation that is not performing.

With one exception I've always felt that they looked at me as if I was from Mars when I spoke to them and it is one of those things as you get older. You have years of experience (that is what you are employed to bring to the job) and half the time people thing you are a raving loony or don't know what you are talking about. Which in fact brings to mind one of my favourite sayings which I have used in anger many, many times:

"Don't you ever get tired of being wrong?" It normally stops them in their tracks. I suppose it is politically incorrect these days to bring someone's defects into sharp focus like that. I'd better watch my step in case they fire me.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A New Beginning

Sounds like Star Wars doesn't it?

I was thinking that this potential redundancy may actually be a bit of a Godsend really. Don't get me wrong I actually love my job and I'm going to be pretty upset to go but I have to accept that - this is the way it is. There are the rest of the employees to consider after all said and done too.

Anyway, I was thinking, this gives me the opportunity to do something different - NO not working at B&Q - I reckon Joe Public and I would be having too many rows :-) Perhaps being able to do some part time work. Someone mentioned that I should perhaps lecture on Project Management at the local college? That sounds interesting. Or perhaps I could put my hand to something else.

Going back to contracting again isn't so bad as I'd be able to work flexibly again.

It WAS an interesting night

It was good to meet up and there were some very concerned people and I got a great reception. Even the "I'm not dead yet" Tee shirt went down well. Some missed the point until later.

All in all it was quite a good evening and there were a number of war stories that kind of cheered me up. My friend had a serious Thyroid problem many years ago and he was there right as ninepence and a number of my friend's parents had gone through and survived more serious things. Whilst I'm trying not to play down how serious the cancer I have actually is, I still don't look ill, I don't feel ill and apart from the weight gain and minor discomfort, I really am a lot better than ever I thought I'd be or that anyone expects me to be.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Could be an interesting night

A lot of people I haven't seen for a long time - no doubt I'll get the usual batch of questions so as good old Cub Scout I'd better be prepared. At least I'm giving its first outing to the "I'm not dead yet" Tee Shirt - cool - surprised the wife allowed me to wear it really :-)

It is easy to feel the victim

I've been putting together my thoughts on the job I have been doing for my company and the good and bad bits of the job. It has been interesting as I went back and looked at what I was asked to do and despite all the recent problems with my health nearly everything I set out to do in June (1 month before diagnosis) has actually been achieved. I was pleased to see that and I am going to present that to the bosses when I go up and see them.

By reviewing this, reading through all the past stuff, contract of employment and so on, I was able to pick up on some of the original stuff and also to realise that it isn't me not performing that is the issue it is the sales people not delivering their part of the bargain - like some work for my team to deliver!

I don't feel bad about it but I can see why so many people feel that they are victims and get upset - it is just another fact of life and I think I am taking it quite well because once you've been diagnosed with Cancer then frankly there isn't a lot people can do to you to upset you really.

You can probably yell out "Come on - really. Is that ALL you've got?!" Hey, maybe I'll do that next week :-)

Late One

I finally managed to snooze off at about 3:30 this morning after listening to some music. That meant I didn't get up until about 11:30 this morning and even then only because someone rang me.

I can't even say that I was particularly worried about anything - OK, I have a lot to think about with the Redundancy and awaiting the results of the treatment of course. Nagging at the back of my mind is whether an employer will take someone on with Cancer and whether I have to disclose that - I suppose wait until you get the pre joining questionnaire on that one. If I run my own business again then I'll have to make sure I cover that off myself.

Perhaps they are nagging in the background. I don't feel worried about it at the moment. Annoyed but it was inevitable I think given the poor performance of the sales team in the last quarter.


In case you were wondering what a TURBT operation looks like here are links to the AOL Health Web Site and two versions of the operation in High and Low Resolution.

You have been warned......

Web Site

High Resolutions Version of Bladder Tumour Removal HERE

Low Resolution Version of Bladder Tumour Removal HERE

Strangely I can actually look at these - anything else and I'd probably pass out - I have no idea why - I suppose because this was done to me so it is alright? Weird..

Funny Possibly

Well I thought this was quite funny - it is a video clip about some men in the bathroom - multitasking!

Enjoy click HERE

Where is the on/off switch?

Again, up in the early hours. It is nothing major I'm thinking about. A couple of flash forwards to March when I have the next Op. Some thoughts about what I'm going to say to my bosses when I see them next week and get my marching orders and that is about it. When I do sleep, I sleep for ages and as soundly as you like. But it is getting to sleep that is the worry. I'm not having coffee or anything late into the night although I used to be able to and still sleep. No alcohol and no other stimulant I can thing of.

I suppose it is a phase and with a bit of luck I'll get through this and end up with some other problem! However, a design with an on/off switch would be appreciated.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Productivity or distinct lack of it

Well - what did you expect telling me that I was "at risk" and being considered for redundancy.

I can't say that I've done anything constructive for work today apart from talk to some of my staff about their jobs which are thankfully safe. Me? I can work anywhere but I was so emotionally involved in the company's product and the people. Oh well, as I have learnt recently there is far more to life than this and it is just one of those things.

So I'm looking out for the high salaried, playboy job - you know looking after someone's yacht and going to every Grand Prix of the season etc. Somewhere there must be a job like that. If not I'd be rubbish at modeling tee shirts!

Another Day - another opportunity

Finally got to sleep about 3 and up at 9 so not too bad, had a walk feeling clear headed and have drafted my new CV and sent that out. I'll change around all my profile information on all my web sites and then set up the alerts so that those who know will know and I can start looking for jobs again.

I can't say that I was surprised really I wondered where the money was going to come from as early as November last year. Quantity over quality and a poor sales performance were bound to affect us further down the food chain. They'll have all found out now who is affected by the changes, I doubt it has gone down well they are a small family company in the middle of nowhere and I doubt it is easy to find work if they are let go from the business.

Anyway, it is an opportunity rather than a threat and it allows me to go back to running my own business again. At least that way I'm in charge. I've not sacked myself once in my tenure as MD :-) Perhaps I ought to - go on, I can take it :-)

Here we are again

Not that at this time of night I can actually do much about the situation or indeed worry about it too much. I have an interesting list of phone calls and things to do later today and I should get to bed so as to be fresh to do them in the morning but I can't be bothered at the moment. I'm old enough and experienced enough not to be too upset by all this sort of stuff, nor to overreact but it just goes to show, despite having expected this may happen given the loss of business just before Christmas it still comes as a blow.

I wonder what my team will make of it - they'll all find out tomorrow - it should make for an interesting afternoon.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sod It

Here we go again - sort out the CV, re-launch the company and the web site and get ready for the interviews, and the type of work (contract or permanent). Bugger, just as I was getting stuck into this job too. Mind you, if they can't get the work then it's no use hanging around. Then sort out the pensions (I have only just spent the last 4 months consolidating those!)

Oh well, I suppose it still isn't as bad as 2006 yet :-) I suggest you do not ask me to select your lottery numbers this year!

Happy 2007 You Are Redundant

Nice! Welcome to 2007 and I'm back on the heap. At least I haven't got Cancer! Oh bugger....

Actually - not unexpected as there was no way they could continue to hemorrhage money and lose work the way they were going and despite the fact I bring some stability to the role, I'd have had to come to the same conclusion sooner or later. Bloody shame - great company though.

Tee Shirt arrived

My "I'm not dead yet" Tee Shirt has arrived this morning - brilliant. No one would buy it for me for Christmas so I bought it myself. It was pretty impressive as I bought it online yesterday and it arrived this morning.

For anyone who isn't sure - the "I'm not dead yet" bit comes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where people are being encouraged to "Bring out your dead" and someone gets thrown on the cart who isn't yet dead.

I feel like adapting the Tee Shirt to my own ends and for it to be worn at appropriate times and occasions!

Yesterday - a Screwy Day

You get days like that, it wasn't much different to any other day albeit that I learnt a friend had Lung Cancer and was under treatment for that. my brain just went into overdrive and as I was sat at the PC it was as easy to write it down no matter whether it made sense or not.

I hope today is going to be a lot less active than yesterday.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I hate the way my brain works sometimes. It can bang on being "holier than though" it can be full of remorse, it can "not give a hoot" and it can tear you apart.

Bloody thing, I wish it would leave me alone sometimes, I could get on and watch EastEnders or Holly oaks then and understand them :-) Nah! What am I saying - I'd need 99% of my grey cells destroyed to understand those!

Watch out for your brain, it gives you no peace. It creeps up on you and tells you things are wrong when they aren't, it frightens you, it misinforms you and it scares you. Last night it was telling me that I probably had Bowel Cancer - today it told me it may have got that wrong. Trouble is I lost a lot of sleep worrying about something I know I don't have, nor do I have the symptoms of. Just what is the brain there to do? It doesn't comfort you or help you out much it sticks objects in your way and gives you complicated statistics to figure out or runs you through horrible life and death scenarios. Is it really meant to be doing that? Is it my brain or did someone implant it when I was in Hospital to constantly upset me, piss me off, challenge my feelings and paint the worst picture available?

I feel I'm fighting my brain more than I'm fighting the disease.

A Good Night Out

An early 2007 night out for some traditional Jazz. It isn't 'great' music but it is honest and down to earth stuff, good beer at reasonable prices, people who laugh at my jokes and asides (priceless) and just a good night out, no telly, no "reality sh1t" just some good musicians bashing out some songs and good company. It always seems a shame to me that people practice long and hard to be musicians and play wonderfully to unappreciative audiences.

Sometimes it is the very simple straightforward pleasures that are the best as well as those "spur of the moment" things and decisions. Long may spontenaiety continue.

It was good to be invited and to be reminded it was on; also so nice to meet some friends there both old and new.

Friends - An Amusing Christmas Present

A lot of people probably find it difficult to laugh at or with Cancer and also not everyone is exactly certain what to say to you. However your close friends know and so I was really delighted and had a good laugh when I opened a pressie on Christmas day it was a book:

"Taking The Piss - A Potted History of Pee" By Adam Hart-Davis and Emily Troscianko. I am just reading through the various chapters and it has some really interesting bits all about pee.

Well, you have to laugh - no really you do :-)

Fate Versus Lifestyle Versus Did I Deserve it?

I wrote this earlier and didn't publish it but then thought that the blog really ought to pick up on my "mindset" no matter what state it is in/ I'm a bit strange anyway - you just have to look at my collection of off the wall French film noir to see that. I think obliquely and laterally and sometimes if you are not on "my wavelength" or on the particular lateral thread I am thinking of at the time I say or write something, you will not get it and wonder why I am not under a Care in the Community Order. Be that as it may - it is probably worth publishing the stuff below so you get to see how your brain can drift off and think of the most absurd things.

This has been rattling around my head this afternoon. The earlier post where 25% of people felt that it was fate. I tend to sit on the 'it was my lifestyle' side of the fence and whilst I was considering that two things sprung to mind:

  1. This time last year I felt that the time had come to change my lifestyle. I had come to a point where I had thought that all the harm I must have done to my body ought to be stopped, reversed whilst there was still a chance and I did do something about it. However when I look back and think how many years I thrashed my body and all the hours I worked and the drinking and smoking etc then there was bound to be a reaction. I had decided that as I wasn't getting any younger I ought to cool it. I was obviously far too late to do that. However, I have had a massive change in lifestyle and I feel better for it - I've not gone Vegan but I am just eating sensibly, regularly, not fasting or feasting (something I used to do regularly - I could 'not eat' for days and not sleep either). It all catches up with you.
  2. The other thing I thought about was the "Did I deserve it?" argument and that is a bit of a strange one. I go back to the early days of Aids and the sorts of things that people said then and wonder whether anyone "deserved it". I perhaps brought it on myself and that cannot be denied so I think the answer actually is yes, I did deserve it. I knew some years back what smoking could do and I should have given up. The argument on whether we do enough to discourage smoking, how we argue that you shouldn't smoke in adverts and tax and other things can go on for ever and are subject for another day I think. I do reckon that I knew enough about things, had sufficient advice and could have made an informed decision. What I am certain about though is that smoking is addictive beyond a doubt and it is not easy to give up and stay given up. Someone telling you that you have Cancer is a very compelling reason to stay stopped though. On a last thought on this for the time being. All of my parent's generation and their parents smoked and it was in all the films and on TV it just beggars belief how we are reaping the whirlwind of that now not just smokers but all the passive smokers and those who were abused because they lived in the homes of smokers.

This all goes darker and deeper and is a real guilt trip for ex-smokers. Having brought this on myself and up to a point accepting that I injured myself I now have to face up to the possibility of actually harming other people - that really really does hurt and causes many of the sleepless nights and so much of the guilt isn't that I have Cancer, it is that I may have given it to anyone else. I can live with the former - I'm not sure I could live with the other.

It also occurred to me that when I was a child that I lived in a smoker's house and all my relatives smoked and everyone on the trains and buses smoked and so was it me or was it them.

And so, on and on you could go about this if you wanted. All these things play around in your brain whether you want them to or not. Then you start to consider the various facts that many people who get Lung Cancer (for example) have never smoked in their lives and you can then really start to get your mind swimming.

This is one of those rambling, nonsensical posts that will no doubt hit this blog from time to time. It doesn't mean anything really. It highlights the guilt you have as a "Cancer victim" and the guilt you then feel to others as an ex-smoker. It then goes on to look at your own victimisation as a child and these things go round and around in your head for hours at a time. I doubt there is anyone who just looks at it as an isolated thing at all.

I'm going to stop here as no matter what I write, or what I believe, this particular subject will just go around in circles. I guess it will resolve itself and each of the worries will find an answer sooner or later. Perhaps some never get answered or get answered at the last minute - who knows.

Today has gone a bit faster

At least today is going faster than yesterday - not that I am wishing time away you understand. I suppose because I now have some chunks of work to get on with helps.

Still a couple of hours to go but I reckon they'll disappear pretty quickly now.

I also hate Parkinson's Law so perhaps that is another reason that I find myself bored sometimes. Parkinson's Law is where you fill the available time with the work you have available. I tend to do the work and complete it as soon as I can. It can lead to gaps in work but I can fill those gaps with planning for the next lot.


Perhaps that would help - you despair when you read this sort of stuff though from today's BBC Health section CLICK HERE.

Apparently 25% of people think that Cancer is down to fate - Oh please.....

Exercise Equipment

I am waiting for my Exercise Equipment to come. I hope that it will ensure that I make it a discipline. Yesterday, I was full of good intentions about going out for a walk and never got around to it. At least I can have the walk come to me this way.

Most of the household are back at work or school today so it should be a bit easier than yesterday at work. I hope it also goes a bit faster.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Is it the Longest Day?


how long has today been - it feels like I have been sat here for days not hours. It is always the same on your first day back at work but this is ridiculous, its as if time has been somehow slowed down on purpose.

There is still another 45 minutes to go too. Blow this working for a living lark!

Loads more junk and reminders

Well the office is beginning to look a bit neater. I really didn't do a lot after the operations and so things got left in piles and, with the best will in the world, I really didn't feel up to anything like filing, throwing out and reading loads of stuff.

I'm surprised how much stuff there is accumulated on my desk and on tables and shelves. The recycling man is likely to get a hernia lifting all of this.

I keep finding the odd Hospital letter but at least I can get all that lot filed in a single place now too.

Having a Clear Up

A bit spooky - I just found last year's diary - the marker is still in the first week of July - after that there is not an entry at all - before that most days are completed with appointments etc!

I wonder what else I'll find in my piles of unfiled stuff?

Back to Work

It was hard work getting the head off the pillow this morning. The alarms went off on time and in sequence but the mind and the body didn't want to get out of their warm resting place.

Finally pulled myself around and walked the few yards into my office. A conference call in a few minutes should start the system back to normal and get things rolling.

I can't say that I am filled with my usual enthusiasm for the job at the moment. A few problems and some excitement will soon blow away the cobwebs.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Anti Climax

It always is after Christmas and you see in the New Year. What do you do New Year's Day - the same as you probably did last year or a few days ago, potter around the house, wash the car, clean up a room... Things go on just the same, perhaps I was expecting a huge adventure? Better not hold my breath then :-)