Saturday, June 30, 2007

We had a good day out

It was a nice day and a superb meal. Parents and Kid brother and family were all here - it was nice to see them all and to enjoy catching up with all the news. We went up to a country pub and the food and beer were good. Took the posh car but everyone said I drove too fast - well why have a car that can go fast and all that if you don't use it? seems strange to me.

I hope everyone went away happier that they had seen me and found that it was true - I do look a lot better, I am certainly a lot thinner and a lot fitter than the last time they saw me.

despite what I said about not doing too well down the week - I suppose whilst I am fitter - I may not have the stamina I used to have. I need to work on that I suppose. I'm am absolutely certain that I really don't know how much this has taken out of me.

On a note of interest - the UK goes Smoke free in about 40 minutes. Being an ex-smoker - I don't mind people smoking and, whilst every time I see someone smoking it worries me they may get what I had or worse, you can't tell anyone - I doubt I would have listened. I now don't want to be a non smoking bore either. However, what will be good is to come home after a beer and not have my clothes stink of smoke. I was amazed today that one person smoked in the pub and I caught a whiff of it in the restaurant (which was non smoking) it quite turned me - I suppose because I wasn't expecting it.

It will be interesting to see how the ban goes.

And so where was I Thursday Night?

At a pub on Cockspur Street and earlier half way between Haymarket and Cockspur Street.

MMmm. You never know do you?

A good night's sleep has made a difference.

Friday, June 29, 2007

And so to bed

I am absolutely knackered. I still have to remember that I am still not as fit or as young as I used to be and yesterday was a long hard day in more ways than one.

Folks coming tomorrow so need to be awake and with it

Not Poisoning Me

Phoned the doc - blood tests are OK - they are not poisoning me - keep taking the tablets.

Actually I have not heard back on whether to start taking Aspirin? I shall have to ask the question when I go and get my repeat prescriptions sorted out..

All good fun. I'm not happy about the fact that I have to take pills for the rest of my life but, apparently these are bringing my blood pressure down and reducing my cholesterol (which wasn't bad anyway) and a number of other things - so it is good for me.

Oh boy

Am I ever tired this morning :-) It was one hell of a long day and quite a long night too.

I'm a little bit slow this morning!

Surprise surprise


Wiped out.

Oh my goodness - what a day.

Phew- 01:10 in the morning - just got in.

I should have no problems sleeping tonight!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Off to London

I haven't been up to London on business for absolutely ages. Well - apart from going up to get this job that is.

So I have two appointments today. I am quite looking forward to this.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

You think of some strange things

Last night - again a Tuesday night - hardly any sleep again - it must be the reaction to the treatment. Wide awake but thinking and working out in my head whether I owe an apology to my family for putting the through all the problems of last year?

I was sort of running through in my head making some sort of speech - like at an awards ceremony - thanking them for being there for me, putting up with me and feeling very emotional about it.

And it plays a bit on your mind. I remember being very frail last July / August and people mentioned (now mind you) that I looked drawn and despite my attitude that I was a bit down. So you then think, to yourself, blimey, what damage did I inflict on those around me? We are all happy now but I was in no fit state to do much.

There is an opposing view that they wanted to see you better that it brings out people's compassion but it must also be a worry to them as well (you never want to think that you'd give someone stress - I wouldn't but I bet I did). Yeeks.

So really some things to ponder over - I'm of course grateful for everything that has been done and there I am as well wondering if I have inflicted some sort of pain on them. And then you can counter argue did I deserve to get ill, was it my fault? Then we can really go and stretch our minds on that one. I think that may be worthy of some thought and another blog altogether. Did I deserve to get cancer? I'll give it some thought.

For the moment though - did I inflict pain on those around me or was that just an outcome? Wow - what a terrible thought. I'd never do it willingly or out of malice.

No I need to go away and think about it some more. Cancer works on all those levels. It doesnt just affect you, it affects your family, your friends and that is why it is such a feared disease. Whether you want to or not, every body gets to be ill with you.

Saddened to learn that our friend died

Last week. He was diagnosed with Lung Cancer last September I think because it was when I was in for the second time.

It hardly seems fair, he was a lovely guy, we all got on great with him, a real gentleman and someone who had led an interesting life, had so many stories you wouldn't believe and who will be sorely missed. I don't think I ever met his wife, perhaps once, and now he is gone. 10 months was all he got. That is the other side of the coin. I don't think any of us realised when we saw him in February that it would be the last time we saw him.

Life's like that - it can be damn cruel.

Deadline Met

Oh my goodness

I just finished - I have been at it all day and my computer must have been groaning under the size of the document - phew - a real marathon but I have completed it now.

I am up to London tomorrow to meet with some potential partners in the morning and another in the afternoon so I am going to be busy as you like.

I shall have the day at home on Friday and I have another deadline to keep for that day as well.

Roll on the weekend and a bit of respite!

The pressure is on

I have a deadline to get a document out by tonight, it is just gone 10 and I am just about to get started on it. That is cutting it tight but that is the way things are at the moment. I need to do a few more days work on this project and get it wrapped so I can concentrate on other things.

My folks are coming over this Saturday so come what may I am not working on Saturday at all. I've worked the last three weekends and as it is my Mum's 70th Birthday and followed by my 50th a few days later I will get strung up if I do. It will be nice to see my folks again, I haven't seen them since Christmas I think? Maybe we did go this year - I can't remember (Hey 50 year Mind meltdown has arrived).

As you can see I will soon be catching up to my Mum's age

When I was born I was a 20th of her age, when she was 30 I was a 1/3rd of her age, when she was 40 I was 1/2 her age, when she was 60 I was 2/3rds of her age and now I am 5/7ths of her age. So if we both hang around long enough I should eventually catch up and be the same age?

Maths wasn't my strong point at school.

Putting the brakes on

I find myself working all sorts of hours and at the strangest times, I have no real timetable except the regular eating, drinking, taking drugs (no not the mind bending ones) and just burning energy and enthusiasm.

I'm a right little dynamo. I guess that might all change next week when the BIG FIVE O hits. I worry that like my children's Hamsters, I will have this last three or four days of crazy activity before slumping knackered in my wheel at the end of the week, being wrapped in Kleenex - stuck in a shoe box and buried with my predecessors at the end of the Garden. Life is tough in Hamster town. You get a nice cross made out of lollipop sticks and they struggle to remember what actual day you were bought from the Pet Shop but you did well if you lasted over two years.

Perhaps I think too much. Perhaps I ought to go to bed? Good idea.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Title Deeds

A Nice package arrived this morning. Confirms that mortgage is paid off and additionally the title deeds to the house were enclosed.

Cool - we actually own our house. We've been here 19 years this Sunday!! :-)

This is another one of those things that I can now tick off my list and say it is done, I no longer need to worry about that. There have been a few this year. I suppose I could put last year down as the worst in my life and that this year started off as being perhaps the next worst one :-). In fact, in a very strange way, I'm beginning to get my life back and things are coming under some form of control (I am saying this before speaking to the Doc after my blood test - perhaps I ought not to tempt fate).

Things that are beginning to go right:

House - finished that
Insurance - sorted out
Job - new exciting and demanding job
Health - cancer free, fitter, losing weight, blood pressure and other heart stuff under control
Holiday - after 2 years we get a break together
Head - Not nearly as angst ridden and tortured - back being an optimist
Family - everything seems to be much happier - the oppressive atmosphere (caused by the illness I reckon) gone
Treatment - Challenging stuff - stops recurrence - could totally eradicate this over time
Luck - the depth of this line ____ any deeper and it would have been so different.

So there you go - how to change your outlook and you way of thinking, putting it all together, counting your luck and blessings and valuing the days. The change in my demeanour in the past few months is amazing.

That was different

You never know with these treatments. At one point in time I felt really bad last night. It was just after I had eaten and it felt for all the world as if I desperately wanted to go to the toilet. Yet I knew that I had been a few minutes before. This sort of reaction I remember from my first flexible cystoscopy and from my first lot of treatment. It is a warning sign that you are about to get very sore indeed.

That wasn't wrong and I did start to feel most uncomfortable. The trick is to try and not go to the toilet as there isn't much to get out of your system and you really need to have something in your bladder to wash out the debris. I managed to get past this by going to bed and lying down and also by having some tablets.

I suppose for about an hour I was lying around - pain is probably too hard a word for this - constant stinging would probably be right. Again, it is uncomfortable but painful? Probably not.

I finally felt full enough to go and lo and behold there was a fair amount of debris that needed to come out. I was glad I had the experience to wait to achieve that. In the past it has been agony passing these bits without sufficient pressure to do it properly. It sounds awful but it isn't so bad.

I feel OK this morning - after the episode above I hung on until about 11 pm to go again and just laid in bed (this is a good ploy - I still tend to want to move around too much). That was fine, very little stinging but everything looked a little swollen and beaten up. This morning - well it isn't normal but I don't feel too bad and I'm up at a half reasonable hour of the day.

I'm in two minds whether to start having some pain killers when I stop drinking - two hours before treatment (or perhaps three) just to get myself ready. I'll see how next week goes. I have a feeling that I had this sort of reaction last time. I just need to go back over my notes and see if I am right. Certainly the second treatment of each course was the worst and yet I remember another one like this last time as well.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Kick the Bucket and other gems from the treatment room

Despite being a bad one we did have a bit of fun.

Whilst I was trying to get comfortable on the table the sharps bucket was nearly dislodged by my rather large trainers. I was still trying to get comfortable and told the nurse that I was having great difficulty getting set for her and that I didn't want to kick the bucket*.

She laughed and then suggested that I lie back and squeeze my balls! I hasten to add - these are my stress balls. The two nurses are really good at making you feel relaxed - let's face it you don't want any sudden moves when they are armed with a catheter now do you?

* UK slang for dying

Watney's Red Barrel

You must remember that - in the UK Watneys Red Barrel was a beer that was weak but you seemed to find it everywhere and it was pretty grim stuff to drink. Obviously somebody did as it was a best seller.

a bit of graffiti:

"If you think the bottom is falling out of your world, drink Watneys and watch the world fall out of your bottom!"

Which is exactly how I can describe tonight's episodes :-)

Whack - ouch - Whack Whack!! Ouch :-)

Oh boy - is this treatment ever beating me up. I'm just going to go to bed now but no major side effects (like the flu and the aching) but it really is stinging and being downright uncomftable.

No pain no gain I suppose. I know I'm going to be low tomorrow :-)

Here we go - treatment No.4

I am just about to go into my ritual for this lot of treatment. I've had an early lunch and stopped drinking at midday. Treatment is due at 2 - so far it hasn't happened on time except for week 1 when it was near enough. This week I should be first in the queue as the other two guys were on three shot maintenance. If all goes well then that is what I should be on I hope in November of this year.

This lot marks the beginning of the downhill stretch. 2/3rds of the way through the treatment and it will be 4 down and 2 to go. It is a funny old thing really. The next 24 hours are bizarre if you were to be a fly on the wall. I get the treatment get home and my wife has a kitchen timer she puts around her neck. I lie down on one side and after 15 minutes the timer goes and I hear "Turn over" which I do and so on for a hour. The timer brrring away every 15 minutes. At the end of that hour I have a piece of toast and I drink a glass of cranberry or some such stuff, some water and have two paracetamol and two ibuprofen. I then have a further hour lying around (roughly) and can then go to the toilet.

There the bizarre ritual of putting bleach in the toilet and keeping everything else scrupulously clean goes on for about 6 hours. Luckily we have a toilet downstairs as I try and keep this one off limits because the BCG is pretty nasty stuff by all accounts.

With that - I must go and get ready now.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Why drug companies do it?

I just noticed that one of my box of pills comes in 30 days supplies and the other in 28 days worth.

What is the point in that? Why can't they standardise on a particular amount - it completely throws trying to get everything synchronized - I suppose it helps those poor hard up drug companies by ensuring that I have to go to the pharmacy more often....

Another long day

I'm still excited with this job and all but wow what a long day today has been - I have a stack load of work to do and next to no time to do it,.

I'm enjoying the challenge of this new job - particularly I'm enjoying the idiots that you always get when you have a new and quite novel service and they just don't get it. Someone even fired off a major broadside about whether we had done our homework on the service. I don't mind but it was a totally unsubstantiated pile of smelly stuff and had no basis in fact. I did write back and explain the error of his thinking but it does annoy me that people who don't understand find that the best way to deal with it is to tell me that I haven't thought it through.

Most people who know me would tell you that it is the one thing I actually do. Ho hum, people no longer amaze me by how unbelievably stupid and thoughtless they can be. Better than that I really don't give a toss these days what anyone thinks - that is totally their business. Just don't expect me to be diplomatic anymore :-)

Either it is a sign of getting old or I really have had a shift in the way I deal with this. In the past I'd probably got wound up about it - now - it doesn't matter but I do like to fight my corner and do that no holds barred.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Feeling Good

I really am feeling well these days.

A combination of job, immunotherapy, lifestyle and feeling good about myself these days too. I'm amazed how well I've picked up the job and been able to run that in parallel with the treatment and the other stuff - with a bit of luck I'll be able to complete that work by the end of this week and leave myself free to do some other stuff.

I'm off to the boss's place in Kent now - more work to pick up and do for next week but better that than being quiet.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Another Blood Test

Out of the way. Indeed what they told me about getting there around 2 pm was spot on. I arrived picked up a number, took my jacket off and my number was called!

Now that is great. If I have to do the fasting one ever again (frankly I hope never to have to do one again) I shall remember that and whilst I might be hungry come 2 pm at least I won't have the waiting around.

I've got a great bruise - not where they took the blood but from where the bandage came off!

I was also quite pleased as it rained on the way back and so I had to pop into the pub and a pint was only £1.55! I queried it but no that was the right price. So I had three - well it was cheaper than two pints of normal beer at £2.70 a pint. It was like - buy one get one free almost and the more you spent the more you saved :-)

Some people save so much they fall over afterwards - remarkable.

Phew what a night

Got back home about 00:45 after waiting ages to speak to the person who will run our bar at the birthday party. Anyway that is all sorted out now. At least we have "real" beer for the evening - when you get to my age, you kind of like warm real ale not this deep frozen near absolute zero frozen urine resembling stuff they pump out these days. It is so bad that they have to put an artificial head of froth on the beer as well. Yuk.

Today is going to be interesting as I will be doing my presentation for the first time to a "live" partner.

Mind you they've just phoned and postponed for an hour! Oh well, it may be that sort of day :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another Full Day

And I'm off out again this evening - I have to go and sort my party out with my co-host. We need to get the bar arranged and the food and all the logistics sorted.

I'm still juggling with the two jobs at the moment and the third one - thank goodness - has disappeared off into the distance.

Suddenly it is just one month to the party, less than 5 weeks to my holiday and time is pressing on. I have to get this project finished next Friday or I can stop worrying about what they might do to me in the Hospital as I won't have any wedding tackle left to work on anyway :-)

As usual it is the job that pays the least amount of money that is the most important, nit picking and time consuming. That's life.

But not as we know it Jim!

Another full day

I'm going to be busy as you like again today. I'm ramping up my efforts and beginning to get to see some results from all the effort I'm putting in. The pile of paper appears to be shrinking, mind you I am back to having three PCs on my desk which is a bit limiting space wise too.

The new PC is tiny and it suits me fine to have it separate from the rest as I can then keep all the new business stuff on there and just get on with the other stuff. It also means that I can actually carry it around - as the other one needed you to have been doing bench presses.

Well I'd better get back to it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Been a funny old day

I have worked my butt off today and managed to get a lot done on all three job fronts. I had a visit which took up some of my time but I still managed to get things sorted out and done.

The trouble I do find is after you have put a bag load of effort into to something and I mean many hours, to get someone slag off what you have done is a bit rich - especially when they ain't paying for it! Anyway, enough said about that.

I had some interesting e-mail exchanges, telephone calls and other things going on as well so a full and busy day - lots done, still lots to do and it probably won't stop there either.

Must go and get some sleep so I can be ready for tomorrow.

Crikey where did the morning go to?

Good grief, I have been banging away on the keyboard all morning and I've just looked up and seen the time. I have a stack of work I need to get done and it is taking far longer than I though it would as I am finding problems with the information and am having to go back and do some research.

Despite that I am feeling rather good and I feel well. I have a feeling that the immunotherapy is making me feel this way and I guess it is doing me good all around as my immune system builds up to overdrive.

The strangest thing about it is that my skin feels warm and smooth (in a bloke sort of way!). Again, I can only attribute that to the treatment not anything else before I get the advertising agency on to me for some revitalising skin cream!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Selfish or Shellfish

Either way one can be inward looking and the other not come out of its shell.

I only say this because sitting downstairs on the kitchen counter is a note for my Wife to attend screening tomorrow and I didn't know until I saw it and suddenly I realised that perhaps I should ask whether she wants to be driven there and back and for me to sit in the waiting room whilst she gets the screening test.

She hasn't told me that she is going. No one has.

I feel bad about it but perhaps they don't want me to be bothered?

I, on the other hand, feel that I should know and at least offer (which I have done on a Post It Note) to drive there and back. It is the very least I can do.

A MUCH better experience this time around

I feel so much better than I did last week. It must be something to do with the reaction you have to this stuff as the first week you hardly notice it at all, the second week you get absolutely flattened and the third week you can cope with it. If it follows the last lot of treatment then the next three will be the same as this one. It takes a little while to sort yourself out afterwards. You just get fit again and you get the next one for six weeks and after that, it takes a week or so to get back to (and settle down to) normal.

Coming up to the 1st Anniversary

It was about this time of year last year, before Wimbledon, that I first noticed that there was something wrong. It only happened once and I saw blood when I went for a pee. That is very disturbing but it happened once and I drank plenty of water and was very careful that I didn't over exert myself. I had just carried a very heavy and quite awkward sanding machine up and down the stairs and felt certain that I had done myself an injury.

Looking back, there was also a few small clots later in the week but I'd put those down to healing and they were minute dots and could almost be put down to an overactive imagination.

The key dates though will be 2nd July - the day it started bleeding and never stopped. 7th July - when I saw the Doctor. 21st July when I was diagnosed. Interestingly it is the same day (this year) that I will be celebrating my 50th Birthday which, last 21st July I wasn't sure I'd actually see.

Other dates would be 25th July - first operation. 15th May - all clear.

Shaken not Stirred

Thank goodness - nowhere near as bad as last week's treatment and remembering last year the same thing happened the 2nd treatment was the worst. The side effects were there but no where near as strong, the slight fever and aches were just in the background. I'm up at a decent hour in the morning not half way through the day and I'm feeling OK. Not great but OK.

Things ran a bit late and so I was 35 minutes late for the treatment. Next week I go to the head of the queue as the two other guys I started with are on a different maintenance schedule.

I felt quite strange about going for this treatment and yet there really isn't anything to fear or be worried about. A bit like my upcoming blood test later this week. Of course it isn't pleasant but these things have to be done. I was talking with the Urology Nurse and we were saying that it isn't so bad having this treatment it is actually the thought of what they do to get the treatment into your bladder that is the thing that frightens most men particularly. I'd rather have this than a blood test! Or any injection for that matter. Once you get over any embarrassment and once you realise that it isn't so bad - it is easy enough to live with.

Monday, June 18, 2007

All unecessary

How strange, I came over all sad about going to get the treatment in a short time. I don't think I've felt like that before almost fearful and tearful at the same time.

I'm OK now but something must have crossed my mind about it - how peculiar.



Yes after 25 (well 26 years actually) we can finally say goodbye to the mortgage and the house is ours! A huge weight off of the family and me.

I'm relieved about that but not overjoyed curiously. Perhaps how I managed to pay it off rather than how is at play.

Right now I'm on the routine for my treatments. Stopped drinking and now I'll work my way around to getting ready and getting everything in place. Bleach, old towels, toilet paper, medical wipes, anti bacterial soaps, book and reading glasses (well you need to sit there for a while!). Get my meds sorted out too and I mustn't forget to take my late night pill - I only just remembered last time!

I have my notebook to jot down the timings of everything and any reactions - always useful if there should be something happen.

I'm lining myself up for a bad one again. I know that the first lot of treatments followed roughly the same pattern as these but you cannot take anything for granted.

So pleased with the mortgage situation and reasonably so with everything else - I just hope after the recovery I can get the rest of the work I need to get done completed this week!

That wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be

I managed to get the appointment over about an hour earlier than I planned which means I can eat and have a drink before treatment - I was begining to sweat on that one!

I have to stop drinking at 12. Eating - I suppose I could do that anytime but not sure if I could eat and not have a drink afterwards!

I'm going to be half way through the treatment after today. That really is a useful marker in these things. Some have said that the treatment is horrible and yet I can say that you really do put up with a lot if your health and indeed your life depends on it.

Anyway, must go and get ready now.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Busy Busy


I worked all day today - I have so much on this coming week that I don't know quite what to do first. Treatment tomorrow and I'm preparing myself for a bad one like last week. The trouble was that it took me out for most of Tuesday and I could do with doing some work on Tuesday- I have a load of targets to meet as three jobs are all going on at the same time.

These are jobs that need to be done and the end dates are this week and next week - of course that coincides with the new job's demands too.

Should be a fun week capped off by a blood test on Friday - I don't need that - well I suppose I do - or the Doc wouldn't have asked but it just wrecks another half a day.

That was good

Friday was an interesting day - I had my first Regional Director's Meeting - Mmm. Had the launch party very nice, good food and a lovely Hotel. Went over to see some old friends on the way home and now safely back - we drove through some pretty atrocious conditions. I think it was quite a turning point in the business - it has gone from an idea to a working service and now needs to be built as a business. No one person can do everything that is needed and so we need to lean on each other a bit. It should be fun.

Lots of things to do and little time to do them (as always).

US Grand Prix tomorrow so will sit back and watch that in the evening and get myself ready for Monday again. It comes around really quickly but I am so busy that the days are flying. Anyway that will be 1/2 way through which is a blessing. I also have the week from hell as all three jobs I am working on are claiming my time.

It was great to see my chums and their little daughter - about 8 weeks old and son about 3 1/2. I haven't seen them for a number of years and certainly not since I got the diagnosis.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Well today is the big day

We launch the service or rather we launch the business I think is more the case.

Lots to do and some heavy work this afternoon at the first Regional Director's Conference.

I can see I will be having some fun as we thrash out our strategy for the next three months.

C and I are going and we will pop into some friends who don't live too far away from where we are going. Hopefully it will be a nice few days.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

So what about my health?

Well I am feeling very well if slightly over weight - I'm not actually overweight it is just that I haven't lost any these past two weeks and tomorrow with the launch party I'm not likely too either! The BCG has made me think twice about exercising too soon after it and frankly I didn't feel like it at all on Tuesday or Wednesday. I think that it was quite a shock to the system this week. Even so though I am feeling remarkably well and I think the job also has a big factor in these things. You feel valued and you have something to do.

I've got the new tablet PC all sorted out - what a beauty it is as well, handwriting recognition so I can use it like a note pad. I just need to get up to speed with that of course as it recognises most of my writing but it is speed and accuracy that I want so I can use it to take notes in meetings. I can type faster than I can write into it at the moment.

That was a bit of a digression from the subject wasn't it :-)

Anyway, feeling great and despite the pummeling I took on Monday and Tuesday - I'm OK. Next Monday - half way through the treatment. That is important to me as it will mean that it is all down hill from there.

Oh No

Next week is absolutely crammed full of stuff. I have a few other projects on the go and - typical - they have now turned urgent just as I am trying to get the new job on the go. What a nuisance. Oh well I am seeing the guys tomorrow - they will have to do without seeing me face to face next week and rely on me being on the phone.

All good fun. The trouble also is I need to get my blood done so that is hours out of my schedule too. Damn and blast.

Overcame that problem

And I managed to get a good night's sleep at last. Perhaps too charged up about the job? Who knows.

At least I am ready for today - I have a shed load to do before going to the launch party tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sleep - and the lack of it

I have no idea what is going on but I am still feeling really perky and feel as if I could go for another 24 hours. I am bgining to wonder if it is some sort of side effect or is caused by the very long time that I rest after the treatment. I tend to sleep for about 14 or more hours across Monday and Tuesday.

I really do want to get some sleep tonight and it appears to be as far away as ever.

Ho hum.

Ooh Nice New Shiny PC

I decided that to do this new job properly I ought to have a new PC. Well, I got a tablet PC, one you can write on with a special pen and that does handwriting recognition. That is great. I also was surprised to get a digital TV set up with it.

It is all shiny and new and taking ages to configure properly. The amazing thing is that this is probably the smallest PC I have ever owned yet it is more powerful than my other two combined!


That's your insurance buggered too

Apparently - cannot cover me for bladder cancer or anything relating to it nor will it cover the rest of the household if they are affected by that either. In other words if something happens to me, they are not covered if it relates to the BC!

I thought that might happen.

Second Tuesday Night in a row

No sleep - not a wink. Last week I thought it must be adrenaline what with starting the job, needing to be up early and all that but not, last night I was wide awake all night. I finally got a few hours between 6 and 8 and I'm not particularly tired now.

I wonder if it the side effects of the treatment? Last week I probably only slept a few hours from Tuesday through to Thursday. I'll keep my eye on that as I don't feel particularly tired and perhaps my immune system is up at peak? who knows.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What is all that about

Sometimes you wonder. Can I make a meeting tomorrow. Well given about a few hours notice no not really. E-mail is no substitute for picking up the phone and talking.

It does drive me barmy that it is treated as if it is a done deal. If I e-mailed it will happen.

Many years ago I got all the way to my office - 75 miles away to be confronted with an e-mail sent on a Friday night to attend a meeting at 9 on the Monday in London. Which was pretty rich as I read the e-mail at 8 and was at least 2 hours drive from London. My subordinate learnt a few new words when I phoned him.

It looks like I might have to do some education here.

Still not quite right

I do tend to forget this - even now after what? Close to a year of having this.

These treatments aren't like taking an Aspirin - this is something beyond most people's comprehension (thank goodness) including my own most of the time. I have to remind myself that drastic diseases need drastic actions. So having side effects and all that go with the territory and I don't know why I expect that it will be plain sailing or easy or something like that.

I still haven't got it into my head some of the fundamental stuff. It is perhaps the way I have approached it and tackled it that does this.

Anyway, I'm OK now yet still a little bit aching and stinging but I can feel it improving. I haven't had any tablets today to control it - perhaps I should have?

I'm hoping that I will feel a lot better tomorrow as I have a lot to get through.

24 Hours later

And things are just slowly settling back to normal. It can really beat you up and every now and then you get a little stinger to remind you about things.

I don't recall this before but I've certainly had all of the side effects they suggested I would this time.

A friend phoned up last night and once I answered thought better of it and will phone tonight - you just can't tell how you will react with this stuff. I certainly sounded quite rough last night though.

That was challenging

Not painful but challenging. I'm only just about coming out of the aching and drained feeling I had last night.

It feels like Ive been punched around the stomach and lower back and my legs and shoulders ache - not a lot but enough to notice, I had the slightly feverish "flu like" symptoms last night and on top of that there was only a little blood this time but plenty of ooze (shall we call it) which is the bladder lining. The problem - as you may imagine - is that passing anything like that out of where you normally only pass liquids does lead to a few tears in your eyes as it does tend to sting. Hence drink lots of fluids to help get the stuff out as fast as possible. I took my tablets anyway and have also learnt not to go to the toilet too often as that really doesn't help either.

Sleep and rest are the only way to get through this so I've probably slept for 14 hours but do feel better for that. Through all of this you have to tell yourself that you are now a 1/3 of the way through the treatment and next week you will be 1/2 way through. Only 4 to go and I get the Summer off!

Monday, June 11, 2007

This Just Arrived - Cheek

The trouble is I recognise nearly all of them and already forgot who sent it to me!


1. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

2. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

3. No one expects you to run--anywhere.

4. People call at 9 p.m. and ask, Did I wake you????

5. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

6. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

7. Things you buy now won't wear out.

8. You can eat supper at 4 p.m. .

9. You can live without sex but not your glasses.

10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

11. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

12. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.

13. You sing along with elevator music.

14. Your eyes won't get much worse.

15. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

16. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.

17. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

19. You can't remember who sent you this list .

And you notice these are all in Big Print for your convenience.

A bit better than last week

Although it was 30 minutes late - I was lucky as I bumped into someone I knew who helped me pass the time.

Nowhere near as bad as last time thank goodness. Before I get into the next phase, I've just had my bit of toast and Ibuprofen and Paracetamol I thought I'd write down that it was much better this time.

Treatment #2

I've just seen the time and this morning has been really busy and time has marched on. I need to go and have an early lunch and have my last drink before the treatment.

Back to my rituals and setting things out and I should be a little better prepared this week.

And now for something completely different

Tomorrow will be interesting as I work out how to balance the work I have to do with the new job, with the consultancy I am doing and with some other work that just doesn't seem to want to go away!

The treatment will mean that I will be a third of the way through after this next one. I have to watch out for this one as the last time the second one was like getting hit by a truck and then the truck reversed over me. I hope to be ready for it this time.

It will be interesting to see quite how I am going to fit all of this in.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Slept Well

I needed to as I'd had little in the way of decent sleep all week. This coming week is going to be going at a frenetic pace as I get up to speed with the new job and work out how to re-schedule the stuff that I also need to be doing.

The great thing is that I'm in the early stages of building a business and it is really exciting. The bad thing is that all else goes haywire whilst you are doing it.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Off to bed - the week is catching up on me and I am as tired as you like. I even slept through half of the Canadian Grand Prix qualifying - unheard of.

A little bit concerning

I have a copy of the letter that went to my Doctor from my Consultant. It says a different thing to what I was told!

I was told precancerous and yet the "small area shows CIS" sort of shook me a bit. I thought that precancerous was non malignant where CIS was pretty damn nasty really.

I don't think it is anything to worry too much about as - let's face it - there was more CIS than anything else around last time.

So - I might just seek a clarification of the point in the letter just to make sure that what we spoke about and what the letter actually says are one and the same thing.

Today was great - lots of interest and pleasure that I was back to being in a situation where control was the watch word.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Been a test of stamina

This past three days I have been driving a lot, in and out of meetings and - living out of a suitcase.

I remembered to take my tablets though but the diet sort of went all over the place. Those cooked breakfasts were hard to resist - so I didn't resist - oh and black pudding as well this morning.

I've been feeling the effects of the treatment all week so far. Not massively painful, an occasional twang of discomfort or a sting and I don't remember being quite so stinging last time. The worst of this is you just get over the last one and it is time for the next one.

It is a crazy day tomorrow, my Lodge is meeting and it is the most important day of the year as the new Master goes into the Chair. So we get lots of guests and more members than normal. This is one of the largest meetings I can remember of recent years. I hope that it will be good but I have lots of work this evening to make sure it runs properly.

Hello Blog - I missed you

My my - withdrawal symptoms :-)

Not really - had the most intensive three days you can imagine. Really enthusiastic about this job though. I shall be getting stuck into this when I get past treatment 2.

Right must go and catch up on the 250+ e-mails...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Taking it easy

It was Lad's night out tonight and we all took it pretty easy on the drinks front. I've to drive a fair way tomorrow and we all decided on the better part of valour - boy are we getting old :-)

It was so funny tonight as we worked out some of the worst jokes we had ever heard. The best ones are of course, politically incorrect and perhaps the stupidest ones too.

I daren't even tell you some of the remarks I got about my treatment. I had to dry the tears on some of the comments. Your friends tell it as it is and there are no pretences. I like that. I reckon only they could get away with such insensitive stuff. I'm glad they treat me like that and I'm glad that we are all enjoying the relief of my condition.

Defeating the object

I was chatting to someone who told me that now I was on Statins (Cholesterol reducing) that I could have butter and cheese and so on.

I've consciously given those sorts of things up or reduced them to very low and my cholesterol is fine anyway.

It seemed a strange thing to say but I can see why you'd think like that.

A Hard Pill to Swallow

But it could do some serious damage if you threw it at someone

I saw this and burst out laughing - I could have done with one of those last night :-)

Getting Ready for work again

I've got out of the habit of work. It has been 6 months since I last worked "hard" for a living and so tomorrow will be a rude one! I have to be up in North London by 5:30! So that is a 4:30 latest start. Luckily that is all the driving I am doing until Friday when I drive back around the M25 (London Orbital Motorway - or the largest car park in the world).

We will be travelling quite a distance going to Wales in the morning and then onwards up to Cheshire after that and then coming back down again.

It will be interesting to see the interactions between us as there are 4 of us starting - I've met one of them already and he is totally different to me.

It is induction training and that in itself will be interesting as I already have most of the stuff here and I already have a very good idea what needs to be done.

The only trouble at the moment - I can't get all the demo software to load on my PC. Possibly because of some of the more "interesting" software packages I have loaded from the last business.

Slow Morning

There was blood and bits last night after I'd written the last blog. A bit surprising but then reading the notes again, the cumulative effect would make that happen. I was tired more than anything and my joints were aching and I'm still a bit sore too. I had to get up during the night but that was clear as it was again this morning. I haven't been drinking enough this morning I've noticed so I need to go and put that right.

I'll be ready for next week now then. I hadn't expected to get straight back into the routine but that was what it was like between 2 and 5 last time. I can only hope that I don't get worse than this next time as it was hard enough then.

1/6th of the way through the treatment. It is surprising how fast it will go.

I'm in readiness now to go away for a few days and start my new job. It should be interesting and challenging all at once. If this flies it will be better than any adrenaline ride. Mind you we have a few months to go before it does that.

Monday, June 04, 2007

It's surprising what you forget

I hadn't remembered quite how much this hits you. I've just had the blood and gore started and my muscles and some joints ache. I've just come into my office to tidy up before turning in for the night.

The cumulative effect obviously is working as I never had this on the first instillation last time.

It's not as bad as the second time, last time as I've taken the pills and been lying down not doing anything. Even so - it is strange how the brain blocks out quite how bad it was. Even when I go back and read my notes (which are remarkably accurate) I still didn't get the feelings coming through that I feel now.

Believe it or not - I am one of the lucky ones - I don't get the serious side effects. You could have kidded me!

Sharp intake of breath

It was a bit ouch this time, a bit of a sting on the way in and you always get a sharp intake of breath as the catheter goes past your prostate.

I'm just coming up for the two hours and to take my mind off of wanting to dash to the toilet (which I do this time) - I decided to quickly jot something down on the blog - note to self - do not have soup with lunch next week!

Pressure is building up and the body wants this stuff out as fast as possible. Side effects - only a very slight aching in my joints - very slight. I think I had that first time only last time. I've taken my tablets and I'm getting ready for this next bit of the ride.

It was a bit sad today as the chap before me was on his "last chance" medication and if this didn't work then it would be radical surgery. Me - I'm pretty lucky and this is treatment worked last time lets make sure and repeat it.

Excellent - I've used up the time and can dash off to the toilet now :-) Bye

Next step

Shower complete, pills by side of bed, notepad by side of bed, medicine notes by appointment card, just the minor things left to complete before I get on my way.

Now to get the old sheets and stuff together and makes sure I have enough cleaning agents around as well and I'm ready. I'm a bit too early so need to push back this little routine by perhaps 30 minutes next time.

That's Lunch and the last drink for 3 hours

Water heater is on - ready for a shower, appointment stuff is ready - stress balls (I really should call them something different) are ready and I've just got to get myself chilled out for getting this done.

The next step is to get myself ready, set up all my pills, bed covers and stuff so that I only have to get home, do my turning, and that is me settled in for the day. Water jug, notebook, book to read and bleach ready. Other than that there isn't much that you can do really.

Back on the treatment

Only a short time to go now - I'm OK about it today. I didn't like the idea yesterday but today - different attitude and I'm just getting myself ready to get back into the routine.

I need to get myself a note book so I can keep track of timings, fluid intake, symptoms and so on. I've got my last one here. It starts at treatment two as the first treatment was a non event really.

I have the treatment at 2 pm which means I cannot drink after 12. I tend to eat early so allowing me to have a drink by 12 and then have a shower and get changed into some casual clothes. My wife drops me off at the Hospital and then struggles to find a place to park so she normally ends up double parked somewhere. As I have to be treated within a certain time period, I am normally pretty much on time and so I can be in and out in 5 to 10 minutes and then can be driven straight home.

The BCG has to be inside you for 2 hours. The first hour you turn and do 15 minutes on each side to make sure all areas have been covered. After 2 hours you can dispose of it. Lots of Bleach needed and then I go to bed - it is probably the best thing as I drug myself up after the turning and then there isn't a lot to do afterwards. I found getting up and moving around made me feel far worse. In that 2nd hour I also drink up to three pints of water or juice to help with the washing out process.

After I have slept for a while I might go downstairs and eat. Again, plenty of liquid to ensure that you wash out your bladder. After 6 hours they reckon that the BCG is out completely. I continue with the bleach on Monday night up to 11 pm.

SO - it will soon be time to get ready and go through my little rituals. I'll let you know how I get on.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Now I'm not so sure

It is Sunday evening and some of the bravado has gone and I'm not really looking forward to tomorrow.

I've had a good afternoon, sat in the garden, it's been warm and sunny and I've had a few beers. Now, I'm not looking forward to tomorrow - who would be? The planes have been whizzing overhead from the Air Show and all in all it has been a relaxing day but with too much time to sit and think!

The old reality check has kicked in and - all the brave face stuff can be put aside. It was last November and December when I had the last lot and - come to think of it - the days were quite pleasant and mild but the after affects were pretty serious.

I was saying earlier that I can handle this next lot better - and I'm sure I can. I have a better attitude and outlook this time, and I'm sure that is right. Fitter and healthier too. The upshot is that this stuff is pretty harsh and whilst it is better than Chemo it really does beat you up.

Knock the brave bit on the head for a while - this is not going to be a thing that you'd want to do willingly. Sure it cures you but it does feel like you turn up for a beating sometimes - if you get my meaning. Who would want to voluntarily go and get their "equipment" kicked in once a week for 6 weeks?

Anyway, I'm allowed to be a bit tentative as it is me who is going to go through the treatment. As I said earlier - I'm more prepared for it this time - but I'm also more respectful of it too.

No doubt tomorrow will bring some more thoughts and ideas.

Knowing what to expect

I actually find that OK now. After I had the hypnotherapy I have a different attitude to this. I know that it isn't going to be pleasant but at the same time, look how different it is to the last time. This is going to help me get rid of this and there is no letting up on what is to be done.

The last time I had CIS - which is Grade III - serious stuff indeed. It is a very aggressive form of cancer! So given that - and the BCG wiped that out, then this lot of treatment is going to reinforce that. Some may question why you need it but this lot of treatment is working on stripping the bladder lining and growing a new one, this time without the malignant cells and without any other malignancy or premalignancy in there.

I'm fitter both physically and mentally than I was 5/6 months ago and so I am hoping to be able to cope better with this. Last time I didn't drive for 6 weeks. I'm not looking forward to the blood and gore bits (who is) but that means that the BCG is doing its job.

Getting back to a work routine

Is going to be difficult as I start whilst having the treatment so I am going to have to work around that and to be able to produce the right sorts of results.

My induction training starts on Wednesday but first we are off to a Partner Presentation at the Millennium Stadium in Wales (nice). Then off to Shrewsbury and then onto Warrington to do the induction training.

I'm going to have to play Tuesdays by ear as they'd like me to be at the Reading Office. I'm not sure that I'll really be able to do that as the morning after is when you either get up and feel OK or you lie in a heap. I've a feeling that this time I'll get the next level of side effects. They say that the effects are cumulative - I expect that the first one will be OK and it will be the 2nd one again that flattens me. We shall see, it starts tomorrow. As usual the work I was expected to do last week hasn't arrived and somehow I will need to fit that in as well. I'm not too worried about that, I can sort that out and I can invoice for it so it will keep money turning over in the business until the money flows from the work I am doing now.

So this coming week it isn't going to be too much like work but the week after, once I have had my induction training I'll need to get back to the disciplines of getting up at a certain time and structuring my working day. It should be a bit of a laugh at least.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

That was a good day out

I dropped the family off at the coast and went and did a couple of hours work then picked them up again and then we went to one of these large designer outlets and spent some hard earned on some clothes for the cruise. We needed some jackets that convert from being fleece lined and waterproof to just waterproof. They are nice I have to say, warm as you like. That should keep off the sea breezes and enable us to get on to the glaciers and be ready for wind, sun, wet, cold etc.

A very nice day and next time - perhaps they'll remember to take some sun cream! It was also nice to take the Jag out for a decent run! Poor old car hasn't had a long run since January went I went to get my redundancy notice!

Sun is shining

A nice day out there - we are off to the coast and I'm off to see the new boss. We might as well combine the two as he lives near the sea.

Over the last few days I've noticed that it has been a turning point in my outlook and the whole family. Everyone seems to be just that little bit happier. Great - long may that continue.

Friday, June 01, 2007

By Heck

I've lost some weight! You only notice when you get to do things like put a suit, shirt and tie on.

I am in a notch on my formal belt and that is comfortable - my trousers are almost too big now. Shirt - no problem doing the collar up this time - I could even get my finger between the collar and my skin - and my waistcoat was loose and my jacket feels big as well. Now I only wore these a month ago and they were tight as you like then so I reckon that I've lost at least 1/2" round my neck and an 1" or more perhaps around my waist. The Doc said he thought I looked a lot fitter and had lost some weight. A quick glance at my chart shows that I've lost about 2.5 Kg in the month which is about 5 1/2 Lb.

Excellent. I am pleased about that - you don't notice when you wear casual clothes as they are baggy anyway, stick on a suit and tie and suddenly you are pulling your belt in and all sorts.

I appear to have lost the flabby areas around my waist, around my neck and just below my arms. Well that was an unexpected surprise - I am pleased.

Another meeting this afternoon

I am going to our Provincial Meeting for the Royal Arch or Chapter this afternoon. I'm getting promoted and so will be part of the meeting but I won't be actually doing anything like carrying a sword or anything like that so I can relax and enjoy myself.

Tomorrow I have to drive down to the coast to meet the new boss so I'll be taking it easy tonight.


The strangest feelings overnight and this morning. I'm not downright sad and I'm not unhappy either. I just feel slightly sad, as if I am leaving somewhere and knowing that perhaps I won't be back there again. It really is quite peculiar.

Perhaps it is apprehension for the job and what I'll have to do? Maybe it is because I've now drawn a line under all that has gone before? Perhaps revealing who I am on the blog? It is bound to be something deep in my subconscious and it was as if a switch had been clicked it was that sudden. Maybe the next step in medication and realising that I'm on these pills for life. Perhaps it is the utter relief that all of the worries are now in the past, the cancer's gone, the insurance is settled and I'm employed again?

I've heard of the "wave of relief" perhaps this is what it is. The bad times are gone and in a strange way you kind of miss them being there. The realisation that the things that were constantly on your mind no longer need to be there. The acceptance that these things played on your mind far more than you thought they did. The pressure and stress you heap on yourself are also there and the person you portray to the outside world is no longer false - you can stop being the actor and be really cheerful now.

Well that is deep and meaningful enough for a Friday I think.

Profile Information

I've published my profile "about me" information now. You can see that off to the right hand side of the blog.

I decided that I wouldn't do that originally in case something prejudiced the goings on with the insurance and of course the employment situation. As you may realise, there was a lot of doubt about that and if somehow things hadn't worked out then perhaps I'd have needed to work on that without the blog being part of the complication. I also felt that I didn't want everyone to know until I had told them myself. With the job front there may have been cause for some sort of tribunal and again I didn't want anything messing that up either.

So now - you know who I am and thanks to everyone who assisted me keeping it that way.