Sunday, September 30, 2007

The art of distraction

Going away for the weekend was useful and has distracted me from going in tomorrow. I plan to try and be as busy as I can be tomorrow morning before going in. I'm getting better at actually going in these days and I hope that I'll sleep tonight - never did before. I hope to do something constructive rather than playing endless games of Tetris or solitaire whilst waiting.

No doubt I'll be my quiet self tomorrow avoiding any eye contact and plugged in to my MP3 player.

I had a good weekend albeit the M25 was up to its tricks which delayed getting to the Hotel until late.

The one thing that strikes me is how tired I was when I got back, further proof of the general lack of stamina I have been complaining about.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Getting ready

To go away for the weekend with a few buddies. We did this a couple of years ago and had an interesting few evenings at a well known seaside resort. Of course, we are getting a little old to go charging around and clubbing.

However, it will be very therapeutic for me as I am with a very old friend and we will get some quality time together and chat about lots of things I'm sure.

Anyway, as usual for the UK will have to pack for sun or tropical storms so I'll be taking a rather large suitcase covering either eventuality

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Art of Catching Lobsters

If you ever get the chance to watch this film - do so. - it premiered this evening and I was gripped as soon as I started watching it. the "emotional baggage" that goes with cancer isn't all about yourself. The people around you, friends and family and more so your partner and your children go through a life changing event themselves.

You know that they are going through it but you can only watch and if you are rubbish at saying things (like I am) you don't let on you just beat yourself up that you - through your thoughtless actions of getting cancer - have upset everyone nearest and dearest to you. This IS what it feels like and you get a guilt complex about that too. Such is the grip of a nasty disease that not only are you fighting to get well you are also fighting the fact that you are making other people's lives a misery. That is how you feel - I don't think that is the reality.

I so have to choke back the tears when I see my daughter's first photography project around cancer and smoking - set in grainy black and white and half - way through the words "My Dad has Cancer" - there - I'm having trouble writing it.

The film deals with the affect a stroke followed by cancer has on the family and the aftermath of the terminal nature of the disease. It is heart wrenching stuff and, as you would expect, evokes the sort of response these films normally do until you realise that it was the wife who made this film and bares her soul for us to see the pain and solitude of the situation. Time heals all someone said. I just enjoyed the honesty of the film and as you can imagine I was hit many times over with the fears that we all with cancer feel in our hearts and minds. See it if you can.

Now - where's the Kleenex?

Sense of Humour needed

It is difficult to make a blog "sound" the way you meant it to. For example the last one was some of my sense of humour which is oblique to say the least.

:-) You can prefix or suffix stuff with a smiley I suppose :-) either that or I need to word things a little more carefully and not as they spill out of my head and onto the blog.

Anyone who knows me can understand that some of the stuff I can come out with can take a while for everyone to get and so please do read this blog with the realisation that not all of it is serious. In fact, the best thing you can have when you have any sort of ailment is to combat it with humour if you can.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wow - Magic Day

Fantastic - massive progress in where I am heading and a big leap forward in my attitude. I am so confident and so assured and I feel really good about myself.

I'm flying at the moment and I'm in demand. I'm useful and I'm helping people and I am doing all the things that I am really good at.

Tonight - work wise - I am on top of the world.

And yet. Deep inside myself, there is that nagging feeling that there is still more collateral damage to come.

I am a Myers Briggs INTJ personality. That is very rare - perhaps 1 in 100 at best. We tend to be visionaries and what worries me is I can see two outcomes. They are binary outcomes. Armageddon or I turn out to be Bill Gate's benefactor!!! Oh go on - I'm allowed to dream.

The New Me

Well it isn't really the new me at all of course. It is the more positive me. A more aggressive outlook and a more focused use of my effort and attentions.

I am determined to claw my way back to being me and trying not to concern myself too much about the past and concentrate on the future whatever that may hold.

I've made a conscious decision to really tackle my weight and exercise regime in such a way that I can mix work and exercise and not have one cancel the other out. I am also determined to get fit and to re-commence my eating regime. For all sorts of reasons and rightly or wrongly I haven't really done anything in a routine since the BCG treatments. First it was the party then the holiday and then full on with the job and other things and all else went by the wayside.

It is easy to get out of a routine. It is far more difficult to get into one. To do the things you are comfortable with is a human trait. It is doing things because they are outside of that zone which will be setting me my challenges - John F Kennedy's We Choose to Go to the Moon speech pops into my head to do things because they are hard, because they are a challenge and because they push the boundaries. Without setting goals and then achieving them are key elements in the fight back to normality and stopping the roller coaster.

My mate K was there tonight and I have to thank him again as it was his idea that I start this blog. It is everything and more I wanted it to be and it allows me to get stuff off my chest, tell people that it is normal to have whatever is happening to you in your cancer journey and it allows me to look back and realise just how far I have come in 11 months since the blog started and 15 months since I was diagnosed.

So I've had a good day and good evening and I hope that I can just build on that over the next few weeks. I'm used to being the manager and getting my own way and having everything just so - because it isn't has thrown me quite a bit - to get back to "old" (although I don't want old for the sake of it) ways is important as it is my baseline.

Out With the Lads

Went rather well - a bit of a bizarre evening as the sat nav took me to Rochester High Street and Not Chatham High Street. Eventually got where we needed to go and went to the pub and found our mate from Canada already there.

"What beer have you got?" "Sorry we haven't got ANY beer!" "Umm OK what about Guinness then?" - I think they squeezed one out. They had no Cider and some of the lagers were off and the lights in the toilet didn't work. However, that broke the ice and there was plenty of banter going on which was fun. One of the lads had a Video that was 27 years old!! It was made at our old school and is a very early black and white video recording. It is - well - rubbish but has some priceless moments in it, especially a thunder flash that exploded taking the camera off its tripod, deafening the cast, breaking two lamps and two windows in the process. How no lasting damage was done to people we do not know to this day. So the pub sat aghast whilst the lads reminisced about the play, the video, the damage and so on. The guy from Canada and I looked on blankly as we were not in it and were sitting open mouthed at the production quality. We are deciding whether to put it on You tube - it could be the only negatively rated video I feel.

We had a great time and were almost in tears reminiscing. Some hadn't seen each other for 35 years and so it was amazing how we all jelled back together, laughed like drains about the school days and forgot our standard stories or exaggerated them or both!

What a great evening and I thoroughly enjoyed myself - I didn't drink as I gave a lift to one of the guys and it was just a good crack with a nice curry and all for £20 a piece beer and food - not bad.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

YOU have control

That is what they say to pilots taking over the controls (especially learners).

The previous blog touched on something that I really hadn't considered recently but did early on. That is that you have no real control over what is happening to you after you are diagnosed. You have Yes/No choices (there aren't many maybes that I was aware of).

So consider that ride - I called it the Roller Coaster that you couldn't get off. As a cancer patient - you are in the hands of a series of people - you have no control over them saving you, your ongoing treatment as, unless you happen to be an Oncologist or Urologist, what would you know about it? The only things you can do are PMA (positive mental attitude), do what you are told and take your medicine and treatment. You can do other things as well, within your power to do, life style changes in diet and exercise and so on, you can get other bits fixed (heart in my case) and so on but these are minor things when compared with everything else.

Now, it has dawned on me that my life was entirely in the hands of other people and that is a bit scary. I had no choice but to do what they said, I took a kick in with losing my job and had the anxious wait for insurances and the like to be reviewed.

All these things are not the way you live day to day - I suppose we all know that we really aren't (if the truth be known) entirely in charge of our own lives but we like to think that we are free and can make our own choice and are in control of our lives.

Well - I haven't been for 15 months now and I think that I'm just beginning to realise that. It is time for me to take charge now. I cannot second guess the outcome of next week's tests but if it is good then life takes a new path. If bad it takes another path but whatever it does, I am aware of what I need to do, I am educated about my condition. I know what effects it has on me physically and what I need to do now is to step up to the plate (as our cousins say).

Step up to what? Well - how about leaving behind the baggage of cancer and making another path for myself? How about stop thinking too hard about it and getting on with it. Stop worrying about what a decision may lead to and go and find out? Lots of things like that perhaps - get control back over my life and live with the knowledge that I have survived a very serious illness and I may never (or I might) fully recover from that. So it isn't that bad. I still have all my limbs, I still feel good, I have my brains (some would argue that), my wit, my eyesight and so on so really there are a lot of people far worse off than me and it doesn't stop them doing things.

I'm not sure how I am going to be "this" positive about this all the time, I feel that I have to break this "victim/survivors syndrome" and get on with life. All the time I stay introverted is time missed from what is left of time here.

Grinding away

Today is one of those days were I am getting stuff done but it is a progression of small mainly boring things that need doing. Each on their own is hardly worth the effort but taken together they will get rid of this pile of junk around my desk and a backlog of things that - unlike me - I have just left on one side of the desk.

I will have to get into serious time management mode once I get out of Hospital next week. There is a part in that which no one likes particularly and that is to throw stuff out that isn't important. I used to be good at that and for some reason, recently, I am putting stuff into piles to "look at later". That pile is driving me nuts and when I look at it now - I could have binned most of it.

The worry is that these things just get left and build up and really I could be so much more efficient, like I used to be. My friend also has the same problem with getting things done - perhaps it was the weeks off work or perhaps something else, certainly the body goes out of equilibrium and perhaps that may account for it.

I need to get some control back again. Up until the illness I was in control and then I got on the Roller Coaster. It probably isn't going slow enough to jump off yet but perhaps I can start to exert some control over this whole thing - perhaps that is it?

Monday, September 24, 2007

The week ahead

It is amazing how quickly all these things creep up on you and how your emotions ebb and flow. I was a little better than I have been at these assessments but even so - the stress was obvious in the raised heart beat and high blood pressure. I'm OK now but feel a bit strange. That is most probably to do with this detachment defence mechanism that I use. This works by saying these things aren't really happening to you.

Now in the main this worked last year because everything was traumatic and pretty horrible and (please let this be so) what I am about to have - if the same as last time isn't quite so bad. Not nice (could it ever be?) but you get used to it. Anyway, I tend to go very quiet and become very inward and yet I was putting on a very brave face and laughing and joking in the assessment clinic.

I don't know - I'm OK - I am preparing myself for next week and tomorrow I'll be all bouncy and my normal self - tonight - I'm a little subdued and a little thoughtful which is no bad thing either.

With that - to bed - goodnight.

Well that's over


It took ages this morning as the Doctor was held up in the torrential rain and I arrived soaked.

Blood pressure was high but settled down. I must tell them to take the blood test first and then I'll calm down :-) Everything OK and due in 1st October. At least this time the time is right (checked that) and I have permission to drink so keeping myself hydrated after the awful time I had before. I was suitably impressed that I had remembered to bring a urine sample with a test kit they gave me 3 months ago - I followed the instructions to the letter and you have to make it the 2nd pee of the day. So I was somewhat amused when I got there that they wanted another one. As luck would have it - the delay allowed me to brew one up for them after all :-)

I'm getting an old hand at this - unfortunately.

I am just going to dry out a bit and then dash off to the Post Office. I think I also deserve a small bag of Wine Gums or perhaps Pontefract Cakes.

Assessment looms

Yes - so it does and I'm OK with that - a tad nervous if the truth be known but I should be OK. I won't make the mistake I made last time of almost running there and then wondering why I was in a bit of a state :-)

It is at 9 a.m. so that will give me plenty of time to walk home and take the rest of the day off quietly calming down.

I actually - again - have a lot of work to do and I have procrastinated all weekend. Mind you I was out most of Saturday and got on with a fair bit today so perhaps I'm being a little bit hard on myself with that. But I do need to hit some targets as I am out Monday night, Tuesday up in town, back here, out with some old school chums - some I haven't seen for 5 or more years and then I have some more work kicking off later in the week. Phew - so much to do before 1st October! I'm away for part of the weekend as well.

Oh well - no good rattling on here about it - I ought to be asleep and be up early to get assessed!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Year Ago

I was not too clever of course and I was a bit of a wounded soldier and was curled up for quite a while not exactly feeling great. Wasn't to drive the car for 4 weeks and all that so I missed going to my Friend's installation meeting. Well a year later and I was able to this time and I met up with a friend who I hadn't seen for some time. He had a heart attack the time before I was meant to meet him and so it was great to meet up and catch up with our "conditions", diets and medication - see I'm getting good at this stuff now. We are like a bunch of kids although I'm not sure if having a bigger dosage of a tablet actually means that your condition is more serious than the next?

On a sadder note my cousin is in hospital with heart problems and another Friend is awaiting some tests as he isn't well either. So I wish them well.

Another old friend was telling me about his recent bladder infection (and later kidney infection) and what they had to do to him - a flexible cystoscopy - when I explained what I had done to me and quite how the treatement is instilled regularly and that I'll probably be getting a couple of them a year for the rest of my life I reckoned I'd made my point..

Finally I saw that Marcel Marceau died this morning - the web site isn't reporting his last words though.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thoughts on just another step

You can understand when people say that they no longer want to have treatment. I can see that it can get to that point. They just want to say that is enough, I've had enough and that is it.

I feel that way now in a way - but I know that actually I need to do what it takes to get well. I'm young enough and mercifully fit enough to keep doing what needs to be done. However it is the stress for me more than anything else - and I hate Hospitals. I'm quite good in that I can now rationalise about this or be philosophical but it isn't nice and it isn't how people imagine it.

When you talk to someone who has been in Hospital all the "yuk" bits are skipped over - we talk about the food the cleanliness the nurses anything but that there was some bugger shoving a lump of plastic into my hand or worse.

Oh well that is a week and a few days away if I get through pre-assessment - just to think last time I went I had to have blood tests, pills and lord alone knows what... Fingers crossed that it doesn't happen again.

Middle Aged Rage

I am still fuming over this idiots e-mail to me. I thoroughly dislike being set up , I hate someone firing rhetoric at me. Now that it is found that it has absolutely nothing to do with me - have I got an apology? Nah!

Some people in high places - as my friend said - have no stature. Perhaps he is right. Maybe I have to hold the high ground and see how I shape up against him.

Life is too short already for this nonsense.

Anyway, I am off out tomorrow and I am looking forward to that and then I can have Sunday at home and Monday in for pre-assessment - yuk!

Oh well, that is just "another step" as someone told me. Each of these things are...

The Return of the Black Dog

My friend and I had a long chat this morning he calmed me down when the Numpty in the previous post had quite simply called my integrity into question. Probably the one thing you should never do to me is to question that.

Anyway, I was telling him that the Black Dog had a visit last night - no doubt caused by all of this and for the first time in a long while it occurred to me that I might not get the answers or result I want out of this next lot of biopsies. That was a shock moment and one that I hadn't got to thinking about recently. Last year - well it was all about survival, if I'd have had to lose my bladder well that was it but now, we have come so far, it would be a shock if things hadn't moved in the right direction.

To combat that, I thought the good thought - that it was clear and I wondered how I'd react to that news. I wasn't expecting to feel quite as emotional about that either. Of course, I can't predict the future or the outcome or indeed my reaction and so it was a bit of a waste of brain power really but that is the Black Dog for you. When you least expect it up it pops and the brain runs riot.

I like talking to my friend - we understand each other when we talk about our mood swings and our hopes and fears. It is really good to hear that it "isn't just me" going through this sort of stuff. The physical side of things is really the thing I can't quite take in. I am no where near as fit as I used to be and it transpires that the body reacts differently in the way it handles this and you handle it. I am intrigued and I will learn more about this but - basically - what used to happen before when your body was "in balance" isn't happening now and there are a number of things that need to happen to get everything functioning the same way as it used to.

More when I know more about it - it does sound intriguing though.

It isn't meant to sound like this but if you have had cancer, it is often difficult to explain some of the more subtle things that have happened to you. Having someone to talk to who has had the same - and is having the same - experiences as you is really helpful.

The Man's a blithering idiot

I have just spent 6 hours trying to respond politely to an e-mail from some blithering idiot who has near as damn it accused me of being some sort of Muppet. I'm not best pleased, I had other things planned for my time and this utter drivel and unsubstantiated accusations have not only upset me but left a very bitter taste as I have been trying to sort out a problem not of my making and suddenly it is my problem and my fault it happened in the first place.

Some people - anyway they have an offer to retract the e-mail by the morning now as I have written a War and Peace response.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Okey Cokey Internet

Has been driving me mad overnight. In, out, on, off, intermittent, mail works then doesn't, web works then doesn't.

Virgin Media are to the Internet business what Enron are to Accountancy and Audit firms!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

No matter how much care you take

Some amateur can undo all your hard work. Like a barrack room lawyer some dick has trashed some work I have done and all hell broke loose when I got home this evening! Strewth

Heads will get cracked and arses kicked tomorrow. The trouble with this sort of customer is that they believe everything some raving lunatic tells them and I end up having to go and sort it out. If half (no make it more than that) if 90% of the people actually stopped and thought about things before shooting their mouths off and creating a crisis out of nothing things would be a hell of a lot better.


Started already, lining up things for the week I am going to be knocked out for.

So many things I have on at the moment and I need to make sure that I have all areas covered properly!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Close to the edge

Not only a brilliant track by Yes but also a close resemblance to the way I feel.

I could say on the brink but let's say close to the edge. Of what you may ask?

Tears - constantly I feel and have felt very emotional and perhaps for the past year or more. Things that never upset me before, wipe me out these days. So sad things, early death, parents grieving for their children, starving people and that sort of thing now tend to get me "close to the edge". I have always managed to brass out any such emotion as it is important (in the way my personality works) to be the steady hand and the emotional rock. However; since having all this happen to me, I am as likely to blub as to be able to explain what is going on, how it affects the world and all the diagnostic and analytical stuff I used to do.

Part of the territory? It must be, stuff triggers me these days that would never have upset me before. I have to walk out of rooms or hide my face even for film endings where I know what is happening and I've seen before.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Long Day

Still at my desk and I have to be out early tomorrow. I'm mindful that I mustn't overdo things, I'm also now firmly of the opinion that I need to shed even more of my voluntary workload stuff. Frankly I should have dumped some of this years ago but no one else would do it and perhaps now is as good a time to find replacements. I really can't do everything and I expect that now the job has ramped up, I won't be in a position for a year or two to do as much as I do.

I pretty surprised that I somehow managed to continue to do it through everything else really. Crikey, I hadn't really thought about that. I missed doing some things this time last year - I am reminded only because this year I am doing them. Organising things and sorting out accounts and admin stuff really are beginning to give me trouble as I don't have sufficient time to do them. I'm sure I am missing something along here :-) like an appointment or some such thing.

Probably for the first time in my life I am having to plan more than I ever did as for some reason, recently, I just appear to forget things like dates and meetings although - so far - I haven't missed any - I just keep getting this "out of control" feeling. I hope I fix that quickly I am normally extremely good at remembering what people say and keeping appointments and doing actions.

The trouble I am having

Getting stuff done is just crazy. I have a pile of things to do here and I did reasonably well today getting most of them done but there are just so many distractions to cope with. I've noticed that I can get things done when I really put pressure on myself to do them but I cannot do what I used to do prior to all of this - which is just blitz through work and give myself thinking time and space.

Everything just seems to drag and take longer than it should and I think it because I haven't worked properly in an office environment for a while and also that this job has some many facets.

Anyway, I made a good start today and I hope that I can give a bit better tomorrow but I have a meeting screwing that up first thing in town.

Tension rises

I'm very conscious that it is just one week to my assessment and two weeks to my "procedure" as these things are called - it is still an operation as far as I am concerned - if they knock you out and cut lumps out of you what else can it be? No don't tell me, it is if they have to cut you open you can call it that I suppose.

Anyway, a year ago I was getting ready for biopsies when they redid the resection. Since then I've had the BCG treatment and another operation and some more treatment and so this is the next 6 monthly one. I really hope that this is the last one though. It is just one of those things but I don't fancy having this every 6 months from now onwards. Of course if results are good then it does mean a change in the way things will happen. Again, not sure if the alternative is any nicer, just quicker and I have had it before and whilst the after effects aren't particularly nice - I think I know how I could deal with them. The other thing is that the treatments gradually take longer and longer between them meaning that you don't have to screw up your short term plans.

So 1 year and it is interesting to reflect back on how stressed out I was then to how I am now. Don't get me wrong I still have a lot of respect for what I have/or had - it can kill you let's not forget that. The difference now is that things are under control, I am being monitored and if we find that it is licked now - then we can really go and celebrate. I'm still not convinced that everything is exactly as it should be and perhaps this time I can get the answer that I want and that means I can get on with things.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hope I can stay awake

Off to my Friend's 50th party tonight - luckily I am not driving or I think I'd have pulled out - I am absolutely knackered after last week's training sessions up in Scotland. Just more proof to me (if no one else) quite how much all this has taken out of me. Tuesday is the anniversary of the 2nd operation which could be called by some to be a re-bore of my bladder they scrapped so much of it away.

In fact that was some period during my life when I think about it, I really did take a battering then. Anyway - it isn't happening in a few weeks - I will have to look back to my blog and see what I was thinking might be happening to me in a year.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Journey Continues

Entering the countdown for the next milestone in my journey and it is just coming up to two weeks to go.

The "nag" at the back of your mind says this will carry on - treatment, biopsies - until a decision is made, the hope part which is much larger reckons that this will be the proof that we can move on to the next stage of the treatment.

I don't mind saying that I really hate going into Hospital and all that stuff - it has to be done but I'm always amazed how some people treat it so matter of fact and work wise, sat there reading their newspaper and just getting on with it. I hate every minute of it but then I've had my fair share of Hospitals when I was a kid and in those days the stuff they did to you was enough to put anyone off.

Right - back to work - I'm not getting paid to talk to you lot :-) Oh of course, I'm not actually getting paid anyway!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

So Who Won?

Traveling in my own country I need a passport, I have to be fully x-rayed, my laptop checked, my shoes scanned, my belt has to go through separately. Check in needs to be a long time before the flight as it takes an age to get through.

Of course I don't get this on the overground or underground (despite the attacks a few years back) and yet the airline industry must be losing passengers to this extra security and their inability to check you in and out fast enough. The train (which is now so over priced you cannot believe it) takes almost as long to get where I went and you can plug in your laptop and actually work on that.

So 9/11 - who won - everyone flying and there are millions of journeys give a constant reminder of the day where we said we would fight these acts by carrying on life as normal.

Yeah - right!

Other than this I had a great time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Marking the beginning of the venture (proper)

It has been three months since I started the job and this week the whole thing has started to gain some momentum as we all head up to Scotland and get the partners trained in rolling out the service. We have a gala awards dinner in November which we are sponsoring part of so that we can start to get national exposure, more partners are signing up and customers are wanting us to get going as soon as possible.

There are still a few things to be put in place so that we can get going full steam ahead. It is getting very exciting now with the prospect of getting the service out there, some national exposure and a controlled ramp up of the business.

So I'm off to Scotland a little later today so that we can start the training and get everyone using the systems.

I doubt I will have internet access up in Scotland so it could all go quiet here for a while.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Surrounded by Lovies

You know - marketing types this morning. Trying to organise sponsorship and awards ceremonies etc. It was quite interesting.

Not sure I'd like to be in that market myself as it was all a bit artificial.

Mind you the Bucks Fizz was pretty good and the food was exceptional so it does have its upside - I imagine the diet is blown but it will be anyway this week as I will be at a Hotel. Who can resist a cooked breakfast?


I am flying to Scotland tomorrow.

11th September!

Oh well not to worry eh

I wouldn't normally do last minute

But tonight I suddenly realised that I am out tomorrow morning off to London and hadn't even printed off my notes or addresses!

Just doing that now at 1 in the morning.

Oh the fun of it - I'm normally very good at doing this sort of stuff too. Just recently have I become disorganised.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Getting nearer

It is getting nearer and nearer. The thought about going back into hospital again is not a good one but I am nowhere near as bad as I was about this before. I think the session I did with my Hypnotherapist really made a massive difference. I'm not getting as bad as I was about this last time and in fact I believe that I might even be looking forward to the opportunity that this will be the last hospitalisation.

The results of the tests, if clear, will mean that the next time they need to check me - it will be under a local anaesthetic. OK that isn't pleasant and it stings a bit for sure! However, it will be preferable to the trauma of Hospital and it shouldn't involve all the other stuff - like injections and cannulas and so on.

It has been a funny old journey to this point. Strange that I have hope that this is a turning point coming up. Hope that I can get on to maintenance no matter how grizzly it sounds to have the BCG treatment or how the side effects kick in. You'd rather have that than the alternative.

I spoke to a friend who has 12 tablets a day and he asked the Doctor could he possibly give some of them a miss - the Doctor replied "If you want to die, yes".

We agreed that this was a pretty compelling reason to take the tablets! Even I - who hates any drugs at all - now take my tablets.

Reflections on the week

Well it was a good week - I suppose anything would be compared to the last few weeks. Things finally started to come good and so work looks a lot better. I'm away later this week off to Scotland for a few days which will be interesting as it marks the launch of the business into the public domain.

This should also mean that I start to get some cash flow into the business as well - always useful.

However - the downside is that I am so tired. I had been out 5 days out of 6 and so that probably didn't help things. So overall I am getting far more positive (despite the fact that it is less than three weeks before I go back in for biopsies) but I am feeling quite tired.

I am surprised (still) how much it has taken out of me.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I've been out to Dover and back today and last night I was with another perspective partner for the business.

I am as tired as you like this evening. I had a few minutes snooze earlier - an early night is in order.

I'm still surprised quite how much stamina I have lost. I can't keep going for long periods of time working as I used to nor can I recover as quickly. I'm hoping that keeping well will help and exercising just add to that.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Out with the old school chums

Last night, that was good except we have a new barman who put brandy in a scotch glass and vice versa. That made for an interesting first taste!

A good evening - I do get really tired these days - it never used to be like this and whilst many have less sleep I appear to be sleeping longer.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

So how do I tell someone

To go and stick their asinine problem where the sun don't shine.

You go and do a batch of voluntary work only for some idiot to start digging you out.

I can't believe this guy - I've sorted out bucket loads of problems for him/them in my own time and all he can do is wag the finger at me. I ought to break that off and shove it up his - oh well you get the picture.

Never teach a pig to sing - it takes ages and upsets the pig :-)

Just like a Pro

Met up with some "older" folks at the Jazz night (as you do). We were chatting about how they haven't seen me since April and what had happened etc.

We were rattling off drug names, side effects and Mg taken etc., like no ones business. Gee it is going to be great getting old as long as you can pronounce (or even remember) what medication you are on, how much you are taking, what the side effects are, how you react to them and how many doctors you know.

I couldn't compete - in a drug filled Olympics for how many tablets consumed in a day I am just a young upstart a mere amateur! LONG may it remain so.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An evening out

On my own - well with some friends - but on my own (without the family).

Off to a Jazz night - I used to be a regular but missed a lot of these because of the treatments.

Looking forward to some decent beer and music - in that order.

The Okey Cokey ISP

In - out - in - out.

All day long the internet is there and then it isn't - what a way to run a business.

Another 2 hours worth of mucking about and finally I am re-connected.

Back to Normal - almost

Wife and girls out of the house. All quiet, no shouting up and down the stairs, no opposing music styles being played in different rooms.

Finally peace and quiet and what happens? Yes, the internet ups and dies and I've spent the past couple of hours sorting that out again.

Virgin Media - pile of poo more like...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jane Tomlinson

When I said a few weeks back that my friend and I were sitting talking and using the word fraud about ourselves and how we had survived our cancer, I hadn't got an example but today with the sad news about Jane Tomlinson's passing - you might better understand what I mean. This was one feisty lady when told she hadn't got long to live - she spent her last years cramming in a lot of fund raising and awareness work.

Her obituary is HERE. An ordinary mum and housewife who went on to do extraordinary things and to raise over £1.5M.

Looking up

This week has been a little better than I could have imagined. At last some movement on the partners for the business.

At last some people who are actually aware that they have got to put some work into an idea to get some money out the other end.

Signatures going onto paper and after all is said and done a healthy number of enquiries as well.

You know you are getting old when

Your daughter calls you in the morning to tell you that she just passed her driving test! Good grief - she has just dropped her mum off at work and is driving home on her own - brave girl. I wouldn't have fancied doing that (driving solo) less than an hour after passing my test.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A New Week

Let's see how we get on. Businesses should be back at work this week, kids back at school or college.

It has started already so perhaps I'll get some work done after all.


1:30 in the morning and I can't say I'm wanting to be awake but I am. I'm thinking of nothing much in particular. I've decided to get up rather than disturb and I've found my way in here to see that one of my PCs has seized up - only the one running an overnight batch job (of course) so I'll have to do that another day.

I'm annoyed about some of the petty things that happen in life and I guess there is a bit of me realising that the kids are growing up - oldest has her driving test on Tuesday!

I'm just getting old and don't want to. I also am having the mid life bit - you know - I've probably lived for longer than I'm going to live :-)

I have a very bad brain for that sort of thing :-)

Anyone want to say pull yourself together or anything equally crass - get in line!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

What the hell is wrong with me

Having got the last bit off of my chest - perhaps I ought to get back to the reality of the situation and that is I am beginning to use the "D" word and recognising that I am actually quite depressed at the moment. The euphoria of being out of imminent danger has worn off. The huge life style change hasn't really happened.

Nothing is quite as I want it to be. It is all somewhat of a let down at the moment. Don't give me any of the old, your lucky, you survived and all that as it isn't that. It is a whole combination of things and events all happening at once. It is the realisation that things move on. That I probably won't change the world. That so many things that may have appeared important actually no longer are. It is the realisation that perhaps I've taken a turning off of the road that my friends and family are travelling along and I'm now lost somewhere.

Whatever it is - I know I'm here and I know when to ask for help, the trouble is it is very personal. It is also a spiral thing in that you get worse when you try to pull yourself out of it. I'm not in a bad one, don't get me wrong, I'm just having difficulty keeping everything together, in some sort of perspective and in some sort of order based on how "really" important or urgent each of these things to be done or sorted out actually are. It is also to do with the next hospitalisation and how inconvenient that is.

I also believe that you'll only understand this if you have gone through something similar - it won;t make sense if you've had your tonsils out or some such thing,

Things that make your blood boil

I have a guy at the moment who wanted to know about partnering with my new business. Now - remembering that this is a business that has been invested in for 2 years by a number of people who haven't seen a return yet and are therefore - what I term - real entrepreneurs. This arse is upset that I've sent him a document where he actually has to invest some capital to get money out the other end.

I am SO looking forward to this "entrepreneur" calling me tomorrow. As you can imagine I will be my charming and considerate self.

OK - maybe not. There is no such thing as a free meal. People who think that they can make money by not putting in any effort need to go back to their day jobs. It is a sad fact that 80% of the people I meet who call themselves entrepreneurs don't even have standard Employers and Employees and Public liability insurance. None of them know about basic health and safety at work, legal and statutory requirements or anything else but have the damn right audacity to tell me that they are entrepreneurs. I wouldn't trust many of them to sit the right way up on a toilet (thanks Rowan Atkinson).

There are so many people you meet who are just a total waste of Oxygen. Unfortunately what I'd like to do to them is illegal but a Vet would get away with it if it were an animal!

Getting towards "that" time

Almost a year ago when I was told I'd have to go in again. That was about now but the Op was 18th September I think. That was the one where I should have been in for a day and when I woke up they'd turned me into RoboCop :-0 well, maybe not.

That was the one that prompted this blog but, if I am truthful about it, that was probably the defining operation and meeting as it showed that the cancer was limited to the bladder, showed the kidneys were OK and the operation got rid of nearly all the really nasty stuff that was in there. I then had the treatment, the next operation and this last lot of treatment. It is amazing to me that a year has gone by already and that I am going to be back in for yet another operation. It seems a lot shorter time than that but the dates don't lie.

So heading towards anniversary two - that operation was a complete surprise to me but - it is standard practice so I understand to re- do the area and whilst I was somewhat beaten up after that - at least I was given every opportunity to survive. You can't ask for much more.

I'm nowhere near as worried about going in this October. I'd rather not but there is no option. It now becomes a matter of fact going in for operations. If anything, it gets slightly easier because you know the worst is over (unless they find something nasty you wont have to go through the hell of the first two ops). There's still the stress to deal with but that is probably manageable now and again, because you know what to expect, you can work your way around that too.

It will also be fun trying to find out what "rules" they will apply this time before they let you go home! I must remember to ask what the rules are so I can cover that one - they changed each time so far depending who was in charge. Inevitably, once I do get home I'll be laid up for a week anyway but let's hope that it is good news and this is the last time I need to go in under general anaesthetic. Mind you - having this sort of thing done under a local is no fun either.

Having said all this - you do start to get stressed out a bit as you get nearer the date.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Same old same old

Had my mum phone up yesterday saying that I sounded a bit down on Thursday - which is true. I'm a bit better now than I was but it is a combination of things that are working all at once.

Not enough time - but when I do get time it gets wasted on trivial things like PCs which are still irritating the hell out of me especially as I can;t get pictures off of my video camera onto the PC - heaven alone knows what is going on with the PC as I can hear it whirring away and there are no programmes active! Then there is the unofficial help desk - another friend needs their PC sorted out - that takes time and I don't say no often enough.

Somewhere along the line I have got to put my foot down and also drop off some of the things that I am doing.

At least some good news on the job front with my first partner signed up on Monday and with a bit of luck my second later in the week. That will be a relief.