Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Slowly as we go towards the 19th March it becomes very personal and as you are the only person who can have the operation, it becomes a self centred thing. No matter what support you are getting, the one who is taking the jabs and the stress and anxiety is me.

It is 2 weeks and 4 days away and yet I am feeling quite upset about it. I know that I feel well and appear to be fine but it is nagging at the back of my mind that this can reoccur.

A Good Evening Out

It was a good evening out and we had some laughs (as you do). A really nice, out of the way country pub with some nice beers and a very warm fire!

It is funny how many things get sparked off as you are reminiscing. Anecdote followed anecdote, humorous story led on to another and so on. It was a thoroughly good evening out and took my mind off the fact that next time we will meet I should have had the next operation and should be up and about again.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Out Tonight

In fact I have been out 9 nights in ten so far - phew - no wonder I am beginning to feel it

Tonight with my old school chums and no doubt we will have a goo laugh and a trip down memory lane too. I have been ordered to wear the Not Dead Tee Shirt tonight so I suppose i had better do as I am told!

A report on progress tomorrow I expect. At least it will take my mind off the insurance claim for a while.

Let's See What Happens Now

It is one of those sit and wait things now. I had a glance at the report and it sounded and looked pretty serious to me. I had been told that it was so but I have been blocking out quite how serious it is. Again someone asked me if I "was alright now?" earlier today. The answer is of course not for a long time yet.

I am hoping that I get some sort of answer soon just to settle the uncertainty. Like all of these things there is a nagging doubt at the back of my mind about all of this.


Finally the fax was routed through me to get to my insurers. Phew it has taken months to do this.

Monday, February 26, 2007

An Interesting Day

My insurance claim has been forwards and backwards a number of times. The NHS fax system cannot handle cheap rate call fax numbers! When trying to get back to the NHS about the partial faxes the Insurance company were receiving the phone led to nowhere so no one knew there was a problem.

where there's a will there are relatives - NO I mean there's a way (of course) and so I think I have managed to free the log jam and all sides can sort it out now.

Coupled with that I have got through so much work it is unbelievable. The trouble is that it doesn't look that much :-)

No Post on Sunday

I was in recovery mode on Sunday - I just had a lazy day and so did my PC as that blue screened overnight!

I have no doubt that work will get started again this morning - it is 1 am and again, I'm having difficulty sleeping properly - in that I am awake not that I have forgotten how to sleep of course :-)

So as usual - late - no sleep, brain in overdrive so I could be here sometime before I can get to bed.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Today was a good day

I was amongst the company of many friends and acquaintances and we heard from two speakers about Prostate Cancer and the new research etc some of which is very interesting indeed.

I was inundated with well wishers and I'm really pleased if not a little embarrassed to be the centre of such attention. I felt very spoilt today - very spoilt indeed but it does make you feel so much better after you've got over the initial embarrassment of it all.

A Friend on Chemo

I met a friend of mine who has been on Chemo for Lung Cancer. He has another two to go, has lost his hair and will afterwards go on to Radiotherapy. I feel a bit of a fraud standing next to him, you can't tell other than I'm a bit of a fat boy at the moment and not quite as fit as I thought I might be.

He is doing well and it was brilliant to see him this evening. He didn't want to say much at all and I guess that I can understand that too.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Waiting isn't nice is it?

I can remember that last year's operation was so quick and so was the follow up that I didn't really have time to think about it. I was told on Friday and by Tuesday I was being operated on. The follow up was a week or so after I was told they wanted me in and again I was so busy and distracted.

This time I've known I have had to come back in for about 4 or 5 months since I was told all about my treatment and follow up. I suppose it is knowing what is going to happen to me and just the thought of it that is upsetting. I don't remember being this worried last time. I suppose I had other things on my mind and they were far worse on both of those occasions than they are now. Maybe I'm concerned what the outcome will be too. I am very conscious though of the dread in my thoughts about this one.

I have to keep telling myself that if it is good news then I'll have to go for flexibles every 6 months (not nice but there you go) and may get away without a Hospital visit. If it is bad news then they'll probably operate there and then and we will move off down some other avenue.


Did I Say back on track

The wonders of modern day e-mail. I just got an apologetic e-mail back.

Did I say the 12th March. Nah! Try the 19th March instead. Mmm 3 weeks and a few days to go.


And Another Thing

Apparently the Hospital have completed the form and it was sent back in January and has been sent back a number of times since.

Strange and curious that one says they haven't got it and the other says they have faxed it through a number of times. Perhaps the sheets were upside down in the fax - I've seen that in the past?

Now Back on Track

Looks likely to be back to the 12th March now. It was going to be 19th or 23rd March.

Anyway- doesn't matter what day does it? I'm still not looking forward to it.

Good Day out Yesterday


It was a hectic day yesterday. More to come today as I try and sort out my presentation for tonight and get things ready for tomorrow morning. It can all get quite frenetic at times. I have a load of things to get done and just today to finish them. It just seems to have worked out that way. At least I have some sort of dialogue with the Hospital - not quite what I was expecting but a start I suppose. The trouble is they are pushing it back towards Easter which could screw up any chance of me getting away on holiday then.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Damn it they are pushing my admission back

At least a week maybe two weeks. So it doesn't need to be accurate to the 12 weeks then?

How should I know - it is only what they told me :-(

I think I might call in the morning as it just keeps slipping and therefore the opportunity to get a new job keeps slipping and so on. It is a vicious circle!

No doubt more as we progress on this!

What a Crazy Week

I thought that I had set out my stall a little better than this a few months back. I wasn't going to take on too much and I was going to take it easy and this week has just been absolutely crazy. Last weekend wasn't the best one I've had and I wasn't particularly impressed. The week has just been full of things to do and deadlines coming at me as stunning speed. It is Thursday, I have got to go and get ready to go out in about an hour. I am out for the rest of the day and probably won't get back until the very later evening. Tomorrow I am out again as I am Saturday. In each case I have to do some preparation work and I have yet to write a presentation for tomorrow. The trouble is it is relentless and an interruption here or there is enough to completely throw my timing

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Back from the party

Earlier than I expected. Still it has been such a rubbish day. Now the pressure is really on as I have to be out of here tomorrow morning and up to London and I have a conference call on Friday morning and I have to think about, research and prepare a 20 minute presentation for Friday night.

No pressure then :-) ????

Like watching paint dry today

I have sat here at my PCs - I have three of them - and have been hardly able to complete or do anything tangible today. Whatever I have started I've been interrupted on. I've answered e-mails, filed some stuff away and I don't even want to know how many times I've picked up a piece of paper only to put is straight back down again.

It has been so frustrating. I thought I'd get this evening to finish off and I have just remembered we are going out to a Birthday Party - this isn't like me at all - normally I remember things like that and can blast through the work on my desk.

Attrition hits ex-employer

It was bound to happen I suppose. Injection of cash, new plan to take the business forward, bye bye MD and hello new one. Additionally there were about 7 of us went in the redundancies and a further 5 plus the MD have just resigned and so there is a lot of collateral damage. For such a small company this represents about 35% of the workforce displaced since January. It will make them reel for a few more months too.

On the up side at least they can pay me off now.

It doesn't take much

to cheer me up. Back up on a high again today and yet up until last night I'd been quite down.

Easily pleased, that's me.

A Laugh

A week or so ago this happened and I had to laugh. Youngest daughter is 13 and growing up fast but English - well, it could be a second language to her - bless!

So it is lunchtime, I'm looking through a recipe book, No 2 daughter (13) looking over my shoulder. I turn the page to find squid - from behind I hear "Look at that, it's disgusting look at all those testicles!" My wife had to rescue me whilst I was trying to explain the difference between tentacles and testicles. I almost hurt myself laughing. Daughter, for some reason didn't think it was at all funny.

Luckily I suppose they know the difference in the Hospital.

No - don't go there :-)

I Must be Sh1t to live with at the moment (or perhaps all the time)

I can imagine that you can never quite know how I am or how I am feeling or whether I'll smile or bite your head off. I think I'm pretty good at being "normal" still with just the very occasional slip up and growl or snarl.

I've been saying that I have been getting it in the neck I suppose that I could have been giving it out rather than getting it?

It is possible

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Strange what picks you up

A good deed, a pleasant conversation, someone who had something similar to you, a funny line. a smiling face, a pleasant bar girl, a sincere word.

What a difference a couple of hours makes. As I get towards the date so my emotions flip flop between the ecstatic and the morose :-)

Anyway - it just shows what a group of people can do for your morale.

Lifted at last

Tonight was a great night. I run a business networking club and tonight was one of the best responses ever. New people and some who we hadn't seen for ages turned up. It was great to see them and it made so much difference to my demeanour.

Guardian Angel was there - always good to see my friend keeping me on the straight and narrow and all in all I feel really lifted as it was such a good evening.

Off out of the house

in a few minutes - going to see someone about some work I am doing for them. At least I might get out of the house for a short while and take my mind off everything else.

Any chance of getting some work done today

Has evaporated - I can't concentrate on anything at the moment. I've got one train of thought running around my head. It is going to be one of the bad days.

This is one of those days where your brain takes over and starts to beat you up - all sorts of things can get dragged up. Stuff from your past that perhaps you regret, stuff that hasn't happened yet and the consequences into the future. Stuff to make you question how you feel about yourself, your family, your friends, your life and so on.

I don't think that this is new but it is just heightened since diagnosis and I get into periods like this where all I do is try and break out of the torture my brain is putting me through. It's a malaise that just stays with you all day long. I think the scale of the issues facing me are such that this is the brain computing all the options and kicking around how to react to each potential outcome. The trouble is of course, you can't predict the future so why try. The other side of that argument is that you do probably need to work out what living with cancer is going to be like for you going forward and you need to manage it.

I'm making my head hurt now so I'll stop :-) You can still keep your sense of humour during these periods of brain over-activity. :-)

The Tension is Building

Again I can feel the slight rise in anxiety whenever I am made to think about going in for these tests. It has to be three weeks or more away and yet the thought of it is beginning to make me feel queasy this morning.

Pragmatism alone doesn't get to settle me down either. The uncertainty over the date, the impact of that date (employment) and that the insurance form hasn't been sorted to add to this. The results, well that has got to start to be a concern no matter how well I feel the results are everything and in being positive I mustn't be too upset if the results are not good.

I hate Hospitals anyway and so it is always difficult for me to go in. I find the Theatre experience absolutely terrifying and just the smell of the place turns me over.

I think you can see I'm not exactly looking forward to this.

A few more on the casualty list

Must be the time of life I reckon. Two phone calls, both guys of about my age - both got problems - not quite as bad but bad enough and they are now starting to go in and out of Hospital and be on treatment.

There must be a point in time where your body just says "enough" and it looks like it is now. If I were a car I'd have been scrapped by now!


Phew those last set of posts! Doesn't make good reading does it? I am going to have to do something about it.

How long have things been like that though? Was it a one off? How true are the things I've observed? Is it just me and so on.....

The trouble is I've known about this for quite some while and like many things that have happened in the past, once the novelty is over everything goes back to the old ways. The biggest rut you have to climb out of is the rut you are in.

There is a way out of this, I've known that for years too, I'm just not sure I want to go down that road at the moment.

Heart / Sleeve / Sleeve / Heart

I'm going to leave those last few posts there for a while I think.

Could be me getting all stirred up with the forthcoming hospitalisation. It could be something else. Perhaps it is a new found clarity of thought. I don't know but as I've put those posts up there I ought to leave them for a while and see if I still agree in a few days time.

I have to ask myself what I am doing up at 1 45 in the morning, with a glass of Scotch and writing this instead of being curled up in bed! And it's not the first time either.

Facing up to reality wasn't really in the plot at the moment - all I wanted to do was get to the next step and have a diagnosis that says go on maintenance. I'm not sure I need or want the emotional baggage hanging around at the same time but it looks as if I have got it.

And What is that all about then?

I think that everything has changed now. The party was just a nightmare - no one wanted to be there (except me). I felt like something nasty someone had picked up or trod in and its hardly complementary.

Then it struck me that there isn't a lot left that I have in common anymore. My taste in music, film, outside interests and reading are diametrically opposed to the remainder of the household. Whatever experiences I have been through are also alien and externally I don't look ill.

I could be wrong - I hope so - but I found that no one knew me at all this weekend. Asked whether they could name my favourite music, books and interests I doubt they could get more then 2 out of 10 right. It's not that they fill their heads with soap operas and lifestyle programmes either its just that there seems to be a total disconnect now. I can easily be sat at home on a Saturday expecting to see the family and all of them are out - all day.

anyhow, I'm whinging and griping on and for this one I have no answer or anyway forward to resolve it. It goes back to the whinge last week about not getting away. It's only me that sees that Easter is probably shot now dependant on what happens in a few weeks time. I'm valuing the support of my friends but goodness only knows what is motivating the remainder of the family. Perhaps it is me being some sort of arse and causing it.

So now you've an idea what Saturday nights blogs were all about - they were FAR worse than this - believe me :-)

OK - A bit Strange I'll admit

But I like music like this. From Antony & the Johnsons

Hope There's Someone - I had this playing when I went in for the first operation just as the trolley came to get me this was the last song I heard... Spooky indeed :-)

Hope there's someone
Who'll take care of me
When I die, will I go

Hope there's someone
Who'll set my heart free
Nice to hold when I'm tired

There's a ghost on the horizon
When I go to bed
How can I fall asleep at night
How will I rest my head

Oh I'm scared of the middle place
Between light and nowhere
I don't want to be the one
Left in there, left in there

There's a man on the horizon
Wish that I'd go to bed
If I fall to his feet tonight
Will allow rest my head

So here's hoping I will not drown
Or paralyze in light
And godsend
I don't want to go
To the seal's watershed

Hope there's someone
Who'll take care of me
When I die, Will I go

Hope there's someone
Who'll set my heart free
Nice to hold when I'm tired

So how would you like to have heard that as they were just about to take you down to Theatre? Yep, that's what I thought but I really like the song it is imprinted on my brain now.

Then one I listened to when I got home

Alan Parsons Project featuring Colin Bluntstone (who I saw last year with Argent - great).

As far as my eyes can see.

As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows approaching me
And to those I left behind
I wanted you to know
You've always shared my deepest thoughts
You follow where I go

And oh when I'm old and wise
Bitter words mean little to me
Autumn winds will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they asked me if I knew you
Id smile and say you were a friend of mine
And the sadness would be lifted from my eyes
Oh when I'm old and wise

As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows surrounding me
And to those I leave behind
I want you all to know
You've always shared my darkest hours
Ill miss you when I go

And oh, when I'm old and wise
Heavy words that tossed and blew me
Like autumn winds that will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they ask you if you knew me
Remember that you were a friend of mine
As the final curtain falls before my eyes
Oh when I'm old and wise

As far as my eyes can see

I've always like this one - if it wasn't for some other tracks I like I'd have this at the end of my funeral - no really I would but there's too much good classical stuff isn't there :-)

So now you've got two of the tracks and the third one coming up. So what's that about?

Saturday Night Revisted

I heard some songs on Saturday night and I thought that the words were quite appropriate.

So the first one was this by Robbie Williams. Called Feel.

Come on hold my hand,
I wanna contact the living.
Not sure I understand,
This role Ive been given.
I sit and talk to god
And he just laughs at my plans,
My head speaks a language,
I don't understand.

(chorus)I just wanna feel real love,
Feel the home that I live in.
cause I got too much life,
Running through my veins,
going to waste.

I don't wanna die,
But I ain't keen on living either.
Before I fall in love,
I'm preparing to leave her.
I scare myself to death,
That's why I keep on running.
Before Ive arrived,
I can see myself coming.

(chorus)I just wanna feel real love,
Feel the home that I live in.
cause I got too much life,
Running through my veins,
going to waste.
And I need to feel, real love
And a life ever after.
I cannot get enough.


(chorus)I just wanna feel real love,
Feel the home that I live in,
I got too much love,
Running through my veins,
going to waste.

I just wanna feel real love,
In a life ever after
There's a hole in my soul,
You can see it in my face,
its a real big place.


Come and hold my hand,
I wanna contact the living,
Not sure I understand,
This role Ive been given

Not sure I understand.
Not sure I understand.
Not sure I understand.
Not sure I understand.

Lyrics END

It all depends what bit you listen to and how you read it I suppose. Anyway, one of the things that grabbed my attention on Saturday night as I sat listening to the lyrics sat on my own... There's a clue!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Keeping Well & Feeling Well

There is something about these words isn't there? Like "take care" - a funny thing to say to someone as you part - "take care" - what do you think I'm going to do, leap under a train?

Keeping Well and Feeling Well are somehow wrapped up in the language of cancer. A lot of people say that having a positive outlook is a good thing and that I am going to agree with as I am definitely trying to have that positive outlook and yet, the nearer the operation comes the more frightened and concerned I am becoming - only natural you may say but it may be three weeks away but already I am beginning to get quite nervous and touchy about it.

Keeping well and feeling well are intertwined in a way. I've said often enough that I've changed the way I eat and I've started to exercise regularly - albeit last week was just wiped out with half term and doing other stuff. I want to get better and I want to be fit again and I want to be rid of this and so changing my diet, changing my habits and living differently are all part of "My side of the bargain" I believe. The Doctors do their bit and the surgeons and the specialists can repair the damage, set a course of treatment and put in place the best possible plan for your recovery - that's what they do. It would be churlish of me to go off and do something stupid like eating the wrong things, getting on contact with potential carcinogens and to have a lifestyle that would do everything to defeat the treatment I was under.

So - I'm doing everything I can on that front.

What disturbed me the other day was those who diagnosed with cancer that CAN be treated continued to smoke, eat rubbish food, drink too much and just continue as if it didn't matter. I can't believe that you could not think - given the prognosis - to change to give yourself the best possible chance. It's a bit like that footballer who given the opportunity of a new life with a Liver transplant carried on drinking and died anyway. I really hope that I never get to feel that way about things and betray all the work and hundreds of hours of NHS time that has spared me so far.

Not that impressed

Just reflecting on 4 months taken to fill in a form or not as in this case. I don't think I'd say anything against my specialist. I happen to be here writing this because of them.

Is the form that daunting or too long that it takes this length of time to complete? Is the poor person that overloaded that they cannot do it? Surely it must be standard practice to specialists especially those who have businesses and key man policies?

The frustration is that I haven't bothered to chase it up because it isn't that important in the overall scheme of things. However with redundancy looming large and the unknown of the next few months outcomes it would be good to have something to fall back on if it all goes pear shaped.

Insurance Called

We cannot do anything as we cannot get the Specialist to complete the form and send it back to us.

That is 4 months taken to not fill in the form. I'd prefer this benefit rather than the death benefit because it is more :-)

No really though - that is taking the p*ss a bit isn't it. What if you were really ill or terminally ill, the family might need the money?

The Long Goodbye

From Work not shuffling off this mortal coil! I've sort of completed all the things they wanted me to do now and it's time to go. I'm just getting myself ready for how I am going to do that. Tomorrow they have their Board Meeting so it is worth waiting until just after that as there are some formalities they have to go through then. I can then drop the suggestion on Wednesday and if everyone is happy I can perhaps get rid of the PC and other stuff and get a clean break at the end of February.

I'm remote enough from it now for it no longer to be upsetting to leave. The hard bit will be cutting all the ties and leaving them to their own devices once the kit is handed back.

New Week - Time to get organised

Yep, I'm doing something every day this week and it looks as if it is going to be a busy one with work stuff and clearing up and archiving loads of stuff in my office. I did a shed load of clearing yesterday and I am left with just a few files to sort out. Now I need to start on the three shelves of software CDs and DVDs I have. They might just be better suited being put into a CD file system rather than being left in their Jewel cases.

I'm also archiving and backing up the computers again and hopefully I'll get rid of my old company laptop this week or the next as I have almost finished the work I was doing for them

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saturday night was bad

I went to a party and felt as if I was the only person who wanted to be there. All they wanted to do was to get home, all I wanted to do was to enjoy myself. It hardly seemed worth going the fuss everyone made so I'm wondering why. Also hence there were many strange blogs yesterday and in the early hours of this morning. Nothing sinister just a bit more whinging than I normally am!

Missing Posts

If you wondered what happened to the last 6 posts I did last night - well I pulled them as they went over the line. If you read them, then you probably saw more of what I've been thinking about these past months than you should have. If you didn't read them, they were far too open when I re-read them in the cold light of day.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lucky Really

Those few layers of cells stopped it being a very sad story. But then yesterday I got a note from one of my far flung cousins who has had their bladder removed a long time ago and that's fine but now there are lots of complications and all sorts of things happening, most wholly unrelated - part of getting old. The thing here is that I don't have lots of things wrong with me, I've been well for 30 years and so I suppose I am lucky and shouldn't moan too much.

It's a big deal if you got something like this and yet, looking around there really are people far, far worse off than yourself.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Back to this changing thing again

I've changed. My outlook is different, my temperament is different, my worries are different and my ability to or the way I compute things is different too.

Outlook: I really didn't think I'd be here once I knew what I was diagnosed with. I know differently now but to think that I was only a few microscopic cells between one life and another is scary. Because I am alive and I am fit and I am pretty healthy I'm going to look at things differently. I used to be indestructible but now I know I am not, that I'm mortal and that my body didn't hold up to the onslaught that was my lifestyle.

What else? Not sure at the moment. I'm not sure if I want to share what is crystallizing in my mind with everyone reading this blog. At the back of my mind is the real possibility that where I am and what I do and how I live ought to be changed. I can't tell if that is a radical change or just a few things. I am no longer going in the same direction as everyone else and I'm not sure if I want to force myself to conform to what I did before I was diagnosed. Sorry that was a bit oblique but read between the lines and I think you'll get there especially those who know me.

Temperament: That is different these days. I still haven't equalised this out. Anger one moment, tears the next, huge highs and massive lows. OK the lows aren't that bad and they aren't that dark (they were early on) I'm happy to be alive, a little too extrovert for my liking and a little too loud and too me, me, me as well. One minute I ridicule my condition the next it is a serious thing. I don't know what balance to have and no doubt it will settle down with time.

It is difficult to hold a balanced view. I'm terrified of the stuff to come shortly yet I'll get through it. It's necessary, I'm not brave either. I have a serious condition and yet I can be dismissive of that too. I think that the settling down will come once the situation has settled down. Things are still unknown and still to be finalised and to be set out. At each stage things have gotten better. This next step could be good news and suddenly (if it is) everything will become clear and a plan can be put in place and efforts can be channelled and geared towards it and perhaps I can get down to "normality" whatever that will be then.

My Worries are different: What I mean by that is that I'm at a stage where I can sort out important things in my life like paying the house off and that sort of thing. I now have the flexibility to change the way I am living to suit whatever is thrown at me. I'm past caring about climbing the greasy pole at a corporate level, life became too short for working your tail off with my diagnosis. I may still need to work but I need to work smarter not harder and I don't need all the rubbish that goes with it.

The way I compute things: Interesting thing to say perhaps? What I mean by that is that I no longer think in the same way I did before. I'm no longer as cautious as I was before and I don't think too long and hard about doing something that I'll enjoy. I almost got agoraphobic at one point and I don't want that to happen again. I'm also finding somethings difficult to think about and to come to decisions about. I've already alluded to the fact (above) that I'm veering off on a different path and I can't quite understand that. Perhaps I've now got the chance of having more time to think and consider my actions and reactions and whereas in the past I'd let things go or tow the line, perhaps now I'm asking more questions and using the word "Why?" more often.

I don't like the idea of anyone getting hurt along the way but I foresee that as a by product. I don't think it is just the patient who suffers with cancer. I have a feeling that there is going to be more upset and disruption to come and that there is a price to pay. I can imagine in terminal cases that it brings people closer together or tears them apart. I have a feeling that something like that is going to happen eventually.

So, that stuff above reflects my thoughts on Friday night. I still need to re-assure everyone that this blog is the safety valve and my sounding board too. The process of coming to terms with my new found life necessitates me going through these questions and emotions - to share them on here doesn't always mean that I agree with them or that they will happen. Roll the caveats (no animal was hurt during the writing of this blog - the events and characters are fictitious etc :-) )

Of course, I may find out that all this "deep and meaningful" stuff really doesn't matter at all - just my way of coming to terms with everything.

Now I've Thought it through

it all makes some sense and I don't feel quite so bad about things. I can now quite happily move everything back to mid March and work from there. It is a nuisance of course but it will allow me to get rid of the old job and shake off the "baggage" that has with it. Additionally it will allow me to get myself in some sort of order back here.

I feel a spring clean of my office coming on and I have made quite a good start. What exactly can you do with a few thousand 3 1/2" floppy disks, I must have close to 500 CDs and a few hundred DVDs all containing computer software and files which need to be put somewhere or just thrown away. So I've plenty to keep me occupied and who knows I might just get myself organised.

Saying No

Despite all the things I have said about being more assertive and doing my own thing. I still don't say "NO" half enough. It really leads you into half the difficulties you find yourself in. If I'd have said no a few weeks ago I wouldn't have been worrying about getting a job.

Nothing to Worry About

Doh! As my old mate Homer J Simpson says.

There is me worrying about starting a new job and all that and there really isn't any reason to worry at all:
  1. I'm on PAID garden leave until the 17th April so what is the rush?
  2. By that time, whatever would have happened to me I'd be recuperated or would have had 3 treatments
  3. The way work is at the moment, I should be OK to find another job
  4. My health is far more important than starting a job straight away

There - it was; easy once I'd sat down and thought about it without any distractions.

Alone in the House

And back to my normal quiet self. Bashing on with this week's paperwork and planning out what I am going to be doing next week. Next week looks manic as I'm out every day by the looks of things. Yes 6 days non stop out and about.

So, today I am getting ready for that. I have a speech to do for next Friday - I suppose I ought to start that as well!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Don't lose your sense of humour

Guardian Angel was "on to me" earlier :-)

I need to state publicly that I have not lost my sense of humour nor have I succumbed to the "Dark Side".

It has been one of those weeks - half term, no holiday when I was expecting one, people wanting me to work when all I want is a holiday and so on. The anger of the situation is actually directed nicely at the pages of this blog. It works a treat for me to get it out of my head and onto this electronic paper.

However I have not lost my sense of humour - black as that may be!

Pent up anger and agression

It surprises me and I have no doubt a lot of people that I get really angry with things these days. I no longer care what people (that are not known to me) think about me and I can quickly launch into a broadside if I thing they are wasting my time or just downright rude or some other such excuse.

I think that I am actually a lot more relaxed especially with friends and family but know that I am also full on expressing myself and being "me with cancer" - it is a totally different "me" to this time last year for example.

But this anger thing is strange. I'm feeling quite calm here, sitting in front of my PC and banging out a few lines and yet I'm angry at the same time. I can't tell you what about - I think it is because I've got cancer and I've got to go back in and they are going to stick things in me again and I'm going to have to go through some other unpleasantness. Maybe it is that no one changed except me (I said this a day or so ago). Maybe it is that I've want to do things and "escape" a bit but the moral dilemma is that I still have to go on providing and "being there" and I'd be quite happy to pack my bag, jump in the car and go and walk around the Lakes or go to the West Coast of Scotland or something. Maybe that IS why I'm angry.

It is still strange though, pent up rage, anger, aggression and yet I don't feel like yelling or breaking anything just seething seems to work for me :-) Right this moment, I don't feel any anger at all. It's out now. On the blog and for all to see.

I can easily believe that a lot of people with cancer are angry though. You finally find some sort of truth about yourself and you are so far entrenched that you can't get out and live the life you think that perhaps you now ought to be living.

Thanks to an old friend for this saying "The biggest rut you have to get out of is the rut you're in".

I think if there is going to be a change it will be monumental though.

Impressive - Most Impressive

The London Eye that is. I wasn't certain I'd enjoy it but it really is good and the views on a day like to day are great. We cheated - we knew it was going to be glorious sunshine today and so booked late last night to go. You just turn up, stick your credit card in a machine which prints out your tickets. A spot of lunch and on the the Photography Gallery and then to China Town and the National Portrait Gallery.

It has been a great day out, I could have stayed on for more but everyone else was tired. Bless!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Poxy Uncertainty

I have just realised how much the forthcoming operation is going to mean to me - it is, as I expected, bang in the wrong place for me to start a new job. Redundancy complete 17th April. Hospital 12th March (expected) and then if OK, 2 weeks later 26th March results and (please let it be this) BCG immunotherapy would start following Monday for three weeks. Taking me through to the 16th April! What does that do? It means that until I have seen the results on the 26th I would have no certainty on what days I could start. I really couldn't start until after 17th April contractually and otherwise as the treatment would mean starting a new job and being off on the sick for two days in the first three weeks.

It also means that any idea I had of a holiday in April can also go by the way as well.


It isn't a rehearsal

Someone told me that a few years ago. "Life isn't a rehearsal; you don't get a second go at this!"

Yet try and get someone to change and do something even a little outrageous and tell them "life's too short" or repeat the warning above and it zooms over their heads.

I'm wondering whether to just go and do stuff myself - on my own or with someone else. Trouble is someone is going to get hurt if I do. So do I take my own advice or do I just stay doing the safe stuff from now on?

Anger Management

I could still easily rip that idiot's head off. Damn Snake Oil salesman. I hope he meets someone with cancer soon who explains the facts of life to him.

It's good to have a little rage every now and then.

Snake Oil, Pills and Anti Cancer Drug Salespeople

On a networking platform I've just read this utter b*ll**Ks from some MLM pill salesman about Cancer. Twat - he hasn't got any idea what it is about and what it is like. I want to go online and flame the b**t**d but I'd only threaten the git with physical violence.

These stupid kids who pick up some US idea that Cancer can be cured by taking some extract or other need to be strapped to a table whilst I borrow some of the more interesting surgical equipment I've had used on me and let me experiment putting these in to places where they should be but by an amateur. The bloke is a disgrace.

I will have fun if I meet him at a networking event as I will destroy the little git and reduce him to tears if he has any sort of brain. I'll carry on with my medication and he can carry on shoving pills, berries and snake oil up his arse.

I bet you can't tell that this guy sort of made me see red can you? So if you see any snake oil or pill salesmen (oh and the other ones sell shakes and drinks) just don't wait; smack them straight in the mouth and say that it came from me. What a useless waste of oxygen, time and space these people are. The trouble is the false hope they must give to all the people who buy this stuff. Can you imagine that these people live on the misery and despair of those who are going through the most horrible times of their lives. I feel I've wasted to much Internet ink on them. They should be put down at birth. Failing that they should be made to take their pills and snake oil and become the subject of the clinical trials they spout prove the efficacy of their potions.

Oh yeah - if you peddle this filth don't even think about commenting on my blog it will just get blanked out.

Aha that will be it

I think I figured out this a bit now but only a bit.

I've changed massively, it all happened to me and my brain is computing all the variables and my body is telling me how much it hurts, doesn't hurt, is uncomfortable and so on. I do tell the family some of this. my wife knows more of the times when I've been curled up in a ball but other than that, my condition hasn't changed them particularly. We know that whilst it is nasty and life threatening that now I'm under observation and treatment then things are manageable.

So, what am I driving at? I've only realised that it is only me that sees thing this clearly and sees an urgency to wanting to do things. Everyone else has of course, been supportive and sympathetic but their life HASN'T changed. That is it. They have to carry on as they need to, going to college and school and work. Its me that is struggling with all the permutations and mulling decisions and turning over why I couldn't see why it didn't matter to anyone but me that we didn't go on holiday this week.

I know a hell of a lot about my disease, my diagnosis, the percentages, the possible outcomes and the long term prognosis. I'm not laying down in an oxygen tent or in intensive care or a hospice so I'm alright and if you didn't know that I had Cancer you'd probably think that you'd met someone who was a little more livelier than you'd have expected.

So, I'm on the journey, the family haven't been affected half as much as I think they have. I've convinced those (including myself) that I'm not going to peg out tomorrow and so generally as you can't see the change then it must be that I'm OK.

Note to self - only you are thinking like that not everyone else is tuned in to your wavelength and they have no idea why it is a great idea to get away to a place you've never been to. So life goes on as normal - its just you that is no longer normal :-) Goes back to an earlier post about being selfish in a way. I feel I have changed beyond recognition in the last 6 months but obviously not to the folks around me.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The LAST thing I want

Is these Spam messages talking about Penis enlargement - Frankly I have enough worries about what the Hospital are going to stick up there next. Any larger and the catheter would have to be longer and any longer and well, it just wouldn't be fair :-)

So, can you stop the Penis enlargement e-mails and also the breast enlargement ones to as whatever tablets I have had already seem to have worked :-)

A nice evening out

With the wife and the girls and we went and saw Mary Poppins the stage show version. It was very good. I'd suggest you try and put behind any memories of the film and you are OK, the bloke that plays Dick didn't take lessons from Dick Van Dyke! Where did he get that accent from? One of life's great mysteries.

Anyway, it was really nice to get out. I was almost becoming agoraphobic I think. It takes a bit to get me moving these days but once I am out of the house I generally get into the swing of things and enjoy myself.

That's worrying

Sat down and listened to a James Taylor CD. Now I know something is wrong :-)

At least it isn't that lethal cocktail of Leonard Cohen, a Bottle of Scotch and a loaded revolver!

If anyone hears me humming "You've got a friend" give me a slap - nuff said....

Monday, February 12, 2007

It stops you making plans

I wanted more than anything this week to get away with my family as we had no time away last year (apart from a visit to my parents). I had it all planned, flying off on Sunday and back this Friday to Italy, France, Malta, Canaries, Spain etc. I even offered Brussels and Paris by Eurostar. Of course Valentine's day falling in the middle hoicked the prices up but it is no object when the idea is to go away as a family.

No one could make up their minds and there is college work and course work to be done and so, I'm not going anywhere apart from a London show that we organised yesterday! Not even Spamalot!

There's always a reason not to do something and I'm getting worried now that come Easter, I'll actually be doing one of two things. I'll either be part way through a BCG set of Maintenance Therapy or I'll be on Radio or Chemo prior to some more serious work being done on me.

I'm upset about that but I really can't go and be upset if everyone else thinks and acts as if everything is back to normal. Dilemma isn't it?

Of course, some people now want me to do a shed load of work this week and I don't feel up to that, I want to have some time away - I'm just not going to get it.

Come April I probably wont either and then I may be lucky and get away during the Summer. I should have just gone myself or have found someone to go with.

What is also annoying is that I'm trapped by a garden leave redundancy contract so I can't get on and do something else and I'm also a bit worried if I do start something before the time is up as in 4 weeks I'm going back in to Hospital and I really don't know what is going to happen then. It's all the uncertainty surrounding this. It gives you no easy way to plan out your life, actions, jobs and so on. I'm sure once March is out of the way I can probably get a handle on it again once I know what is to happen to me.

Maybe I ought to just take myself off for a week somewhere and relax. Difficult to know what to do really!

A Friend's Father Dies of Bladder Cancer

I hadn't realised that my Friend's Father/Father-In-Law had died as a result of Bladder Cancer. I knew it was Cancer and I knew it was over 20 years ago it was diagnosed. It had got out and about too so there were issues with that. That is probably the first person that I actually knew/know who has had it and has subsequently had a cause of death from the same.

Mine's contained at the moment - it's called superficial but it is anything but superficial - they are going to change that wording as it is very confusing. A scratch is superficial. Mind you an infected scratch can kill you too I suppose.


I've been dithering about today. I think I shouldn't go and read these forums for bladder cancer first thing in the morning nor last thing at night or every day from now on. Bless them, the people on there are so much worse off than me and although there have been a couple of great stories of cancer free results, most have far more serious conditions, side effects and so on.

I think that perhaps leaving that alone for a while and seeing if that is affecting me may be a useful ploy.

Must be the 4th Night

on the trot that I have been up at this time - what is it? 1 in the morning. I have no idea what is going on - it seems to be a recurrent thing. I'll try and change back to getting to bed earlier. Somehow I just don't feel tired. I stick my MP3 player on and I'll probably be awake still in an hour. Yet at 5 pm I was falling asleep.

I'm going to treat this coming week, as far as I can, as a break - we should have been on holiday - we are going out by the looks of it and off to London for a show. I'd like to have seen Spamalot (of course) however Mary Poppins looks like the one we got. I'd have preferred my idea - by now we would have been nicely settled in to a Hotel somewhere on the Med! No such chance - everyone else has things to do. I might just go and please myself. I threatened going with someone else - no one seemed worried.

I'd better go get some sleep if possible

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Go Away Cold

The nose and head type. I sound like a frog at the moment and I'm bunged up and whilst I know I am over the worst of this cold it is really sapping - I tried to do some exercise but because I can't breath properly I had to stop that. I've been trying to sort out some paperwork and just cannot concentrate either. Having too much time on my hands means that I am thinking too much and generating blog entries like the previous two and that is unlike me to be quite so down so far off from an event.

So - I am going to go and drug myself up for the rest of the day and see if I can shake this.

Other than that - I'm still feeling well and appear to be keeping fit and healthy and no recurrences or anything worrying going on.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Heavy Stuff

That last post was a bit heavy wasn't it? It's all about how you see it though - if you think how many people have General Anaesthetic in any one day - I suppose it could be statistically shown to be like flying or some such % per operation taken. However, it still isn't going to make you feel any better being wheeled down to theatre and going through the procedures prior to being put under.

The whole thing is not nice - necessary - but not any one's favourite pastime I suppose. The point is that as these things get closer the mind starts bringing it to the head of the list and the nearer you get to the date the higher the stress and the foreboding becomes. All the pragmatic stuff - you have to have this done - it is for your own good - at least we will know if the treatment has worked - doesn't argue the emotions - you just have to get on and deal with it the best you can. A good result will probably change my view. If it is good I think that it means no more operations under general but two exams per year under local. Slowly I come to realise what this means for the rest of my life...

Will I Wake Up?

I thought just after the last post that the thing that I have always felt, just as they put you under and the thing that probably frightens me the most is that the last thing I may ever see is the theatre staff leaning over me as the general anaesthetic kicks in and I close my eyes.

A morbid thought but I assure you that is generally the thing I am thinking about at that moment. That and all the things that I may have left undone, haven't documented and haven't told people where stuff is and so on.

No matter what anyone may say about things being better these days - this still worries the daylights out of me. Just one more thing to add to my stress levels when I go into Hospital.

Always makes me laugh that they are concerned about my blood pressure being high. Having to be knocked out and having a rigid tube shoved you know where and lumps cut out and something else shoved up there afterwards and goodness knows what else and you expect me to walk in and be calm and not worried or stressed? Perhaps some people are OK with this or it comes with repeated visits (please not too many for me).

4 weeks I guess

It should be 4 weeks from now that I need to go back in and have these biopsies. I'm pretty certain that I won't have the surprise I had last time of having a second operation or even more done than the first.

The little frightening bits have started creeping in already and the dread of Hospitals, needles, being put out and catheterisation are all looming up in the distance. I haven't felt this for a while and it is actually quite disturbing and it starts to play gradually on your mind and will reach a crescendo a day or perhaps a few hours before the event. I haven't had the letter yet but 3 months is around about the 12th March.

The trouble is it affects your ability to concentrate or to be assertive and commit to things. I can feel my conversations tending towards this and so every thing is preceded by after my operation or I'm not sure if I can do that - and the reasons are, I really don't know how I'll feel this time. Last time they assured me I'd be out in a day and need the week off but to take it easy as I'd be back to bleeding and would need to take it easy etc. Doesn't help does it? Last time of course I ended up back on the 3 weeks not doing anything trip.

So there you are, I am obviously beginning to psyche myself up for the Op and 4 weeks isn't a long time. I remember straight after the treatment thinking that 3 months or a quarter of a year was a long time to wait until they found out how successful the treatment had been and here I am staring down the barrel.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Being hit by a truck

One of my more used sayings but today I feel just like that. I can barely talk (a good thing some may say) and feel pretty rough. Not sure if I picked this up going to London on Tuesday - it is the sort of thing that happens unfortunately especially if you aren't used to squeezing onto packed commuter trains that are either too hot or too cold and you are pressed against people with the cold from hell.

Yuck - now I remember why I didn't like commuting to and from London every day!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Moral Dilema

So I get an opportunity to go for a contract or a permanent job.

A contract job I can get away with taking time off as I don't charge my customer and so it is down to me to pay myself sick pay and all that. Do I tell prospective customer that I have BC? I suppose it isn't relevant at the moment. Only March's tests will tell me what the long term will hold. I mean if it is good news then I'll probably be off for two days a week for three weeks every six months.

Now with a permanent employer what do I do? Lets say that I get to the last round and they want to take me on - I've mentioned nothing about current health and then the HR questionnaire comes through or the request for a medical.

If you know me you know that normally I'd volunteer this information to allow the prospect the opportunity to use that in their evaluation. I have no idea if I'd be discriminated against for having Bladder Cancer but you never know do you? What would an employer think if taking someone on who potentially is going to be off having treatment at least 12 days per year and also with Cystos and consultations you could add 4 more days I suppose.

It is looking more and more likely that the best way to go is contracting. I think I'd be comfortable knowing that it wouldn't affect the customer's bottom line where the employed route would.

An interesting dilemma.

Glad I am indoors

Snow everywhere and the usual travel chaos. I came down overnight with a stinker of a cold, a real sneeze, cough, sore throat and bunged up nose jobby. Lemsips are on the way. I was going to go up to the Chemist Shop but (and how quaint is this) it is half day closing where we live. Help is at hand though - Sainsbury is open up the road. In the meantime I have eucalyptus oil burner in my room - I can't smell a damn thing though :-)

I still haven't caught up on all my work yet but I am getting there. A few more days of this and I reckon I may have it licked. I've got a stack of filing to do but once that is done everything will start to look in order at last.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

You really can

Say the word Cancer to me. Honest you can.

It is very difficult I have to admit for people to say the words and I think we have to understand that and some people have already said that they don't like the word, it stigmatises you and it paints unwanted pictures in their minds. Also for some people suffering from it they don't want anyone to know. Fair enough.

A lot of people know that in about 5 or 6 weeks I go back in for the tests to see how the treatment has worked. Tonight, I saw a number of people who I am not going to see again until May. All are wishing me well with the "next step", "the tests", "the visit", the treatment". A friend of mine said to one, "it is Cancer and you can use the word". I think perhaps that was unfair because a lot of people do have trouble with those words and I don't mind but I really prefer the word to describe what I have to be used.

However, I have said that before and it was just so marked that I still feel like a fraud as I don't look ill or anything on the outside at all. In fact, as I've said before, I look better now than I did 5 years ago. That is my opinion by the way.

So just an observation that friends and people you know as colleagues and friends of friends don't treat you different, they all wish you well but they don't want to say the word and I think that is in case they upset you. It is a shame that I had to get Cancer to understand that I could have talked to some people I knew who had cancer and talked openly about it. I wish I had but the politically correct etiquette of the world probably means you'd be taken before the Court of Human Rights if you uttered the word even beneath your breath!

Holiday gone for a ball and chalk

I have no idea where the phrase ball and chalk come from I shall go and look it up.

I was informed this evening after having spent many hours sorting out short break holidays to anywhere in Europe, in any combination of days that No.1 Daughter needs to get course work done which is at least three days during half term which, being next week, falls across Valentine's day - really easy to get a room in a Hotel or a table in a restaurant that day too.

So my holiday is going to have to wait. Also, many attractions in the UK do not even open until Easter so you couldn't go and see much if you stayed in the country. They gave me a slot of three days and frankly to drive up to Beamish or go the Lakes or go abroad is hardly worth the effort and knowing my luck if I went to France or Belgium next week it would be half day closing or something.

So I shall have to dream up some other way of taking a vacation next week? Maybe I just ought to take myself off for a few days. Anyone fancy a few days away next week?

Went OK

That wasn't half as bad as I thought. Quite an interesting evening - had a few beers (as you do) and nattered about stuff that really interests project managers. It is almost as interesting as watching paint dry - almost.

I got to use all the long words I had been practising like "Governance" "Portfolio Management" and others - cool!

Will have to see what happens on this. It could be a really interesting job. The other chap we met was also an interesting chap. I was chatting away about this job that came my way earlier for a PMO Manager (Program Management Office Manager) Ssshhh! Is that the sound of paint drying (crack, crack)?

Anyway - it transpires that it is the permanent role for the job he is contracting for. It is a damn small world out there folks.

The City has been my main stomping ground for 25 out of the 35 years I reckon and it was good to get back amongst the rude, arrogant, in your face, spend-a-lots that frequent the square mile again.

Went to one of those bars that have sprung up these days. Went to the bar - "What bitter do you have?" Answered nicely by a young Italian I think "John Smiths Smooth" - "I'll have a Peroni then please" Well it brought a smile to them all behind the bar.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Feeling a little nervous about this

How strange - I'm feeling a little nervous about the meeting today. There is no reason to be other than the over weight bit at the back of my mind and whether this sneezing fit I am having is actually a cold on the way - I hope not - I don't need that either this afternoon.

I'll be off within the hour and will take my time to wander up to the City. It is a lovely day outside although quite cold and so it will be a pleasant walk across London Bridge and up Gracechurch street to Bishopsgate.

Somewhat Quieter Morning thank goodness

I have managed to organise a few things this morning so to give myself a little bit of time. Today is the first real interview - if I can call it that - I've had for a long while. In fact, even this isn't a sit down formal interview - the last one of those I had must be about 10 years or more ago. Nearly all the work I have done has been for people I know.

Now all I need is to shoe horn myself into my suit, make sure my shoes are clean and get off to London. My schedule just keeps getting tighter though as someone else has rung up today and they are interested in me setting up a Program Office for them.

The market is more buoyant than I have seen it since the mid 90s - let's hope it stays that way.

You meet the nicest people

On the Internet. I know a lot of people and I have no idea what they look like, how they sound, where exactly they live, how old they are, who their family are or what race colour or creed they are.

Some people I do know and have met through the Internet and we have subsequently met up. Some have sent their photographs and some have shared their family history with me.

So what am I banging on about now I hear you ask? Well I got an e-mail from a lady whom I have known on the Internet for many years. We share a connection that is over 350 years old when her family and mine were refugees in London in the 1650s. Together these two friends faced adversity we could hardly even begin to understand today, life threatening reasons bonded them together and brought them to England to live their life free from the persecution they had suffered through all of their lives to that date. So we have shared our ancestry online and I got an e-mail tonight asking how I was. Now here is the rub. This lady had bladder cancer many years ago and had some serious operations to sort it out. When I wrote to her last year telling her what was going on in my life I got some great e-mails back, very supportive and they gave me some real hope that I'd get through it. You see, when you are first diagnosed, you think of the one question - HOW LONG - of course it doesn't cross your mind that these things are curable. So my Internet friend - shall we say cousin, was the first person that I knew to provide me with that comfort that this is survivable.

I think that the Internet is good for that sort of relationship - we are friends across many miles - in fact across continents. We know each other as sort of cousins in a way and we share an e-mail friendship that made a real difference to me in a dark time.

I just thought that it was worth saying that I have no idea, nor do I care about all the preconceptions type stuff here, race, religion, politics etc. It is the sentiment and the humanity in the message that are important. The warmth and friendship of the words and the way they are written are and have been a great comfort. So cut my standard cynical outlook for a moment and consider the blessing of friendship in all its forms.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Struggled through that lot

Well that is the 4 reports out of the way for the old employers. Phew that took me some time to do and there is still a little bit more I need to complete. I can then give the Laptop back and forget all about it.

I must sit down and make a list for myself of all I have to do this week and tick the stuff off. It is a nuisance having so many little things to do.

At least I have a couple of extra hours a day as I am not travelling like I was last week so I can hang on for a few more hours sorting things out.

We had to get a new suit over the weekend so I can go up to London tomorrow and "look the business". I haven't worn a suit since August or September and so it was a bit of a shock to see how tight it was. The new one was carefully bought with two trousers sizes in place so that as I lose weight I can fit into the second pair.

So much to do so little time to do it

Suddenly I have a mountain of things to do and this week is turning out to be really busy and full of time constraints as all of these things need to get done by a certain time and date.

It doesn't help that I keep getting little things added into the mix either. No sooner did you think you had one thing cleared than another thing came up or someone wants something changed. I sat at the PC most of the weekend catching up.

Whilst the room is beginning to look tidier, the desk is beginning to groan again under a weight of papers. I am hoping that a concerted effort will get rid of this lot this week and leave me free to catch up. For the first time in a long time I have e-mails outstanding and minutes and agendas and so on are all over the place.

I think the paper shredder may be working overtime later today

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Exercises & Diet

I am now up to 20 minutes three times a week. Last week took a bit of a bashing as I was out very early and back late on three days so there was a gap in the middle of the week.

I've now wound up the system so that I get a better resistance on the flywheel and I actually get to puff and sweat which is what you should do. There are a number of routines available some that increase and decrease and some that do a couple of increases and decreases but the last two look as if you are going up Everest so I'll leave those for a while as they look like serious fitness levels are required.

I am still sticking to a diet of sorts, eating much healthier - lots of fruit and veg and yogurt (Pro biotic) and nuts etc. I never had a bad diet before so it hasn't been too difficult to just adapt that. I do need to just change it slightly again now to ensure that I am not overdoing the calorie intake. I'm worried that I must eat the right things to help my recovery and I don't want to do what I used to do to lose weight. I just used to starve myself! Well I only used to eat one meal a day and that was in the evening (I know that is wrong) but that was how I used to do it.

There was a good programme on BBC2 last week about diet - I am going to pull down the information pack and read through it. Internet is wonderful for that sort of thing. Remember when you had to go to the Ceefax [age and copy out a recipe you liked? Now you go to the shows home page and print it off or download it. Cool!

Life, The Universe & Everything

1:45 am. wide awake and there are no answers. It's midlife crisis time folks and there are actually so many variables to consider that it is making my head spin.

What am I going to do from this point on is the question I suppose. I think I have an opportunity here.

A real job
A vocational job
A mixture of both
Part Time contracting
Full Time contracting
Set up a business catering for my genealogical tendencies
Get that Tea Shop somewhere
Do some voluntary work
Go back into my old industry
Change career entirely
Do a simple job and be told what to do (not sure I could)
Go away
Move from the area
Pack up everything I do now and start off doing something else

As always, it all depends on money, circumstances and things like health, family, work, private life, friends and diagnosis. Perhaps I ought to wait until after March and the Op - at least I'd know the outcome then. I suppose it doesn't hurt to speculate, plan and work through the various scenarios to get it clear in your head. Dependant on insurance and other circumstances including whether the company will actually be able to honour my redundancy pay (it is looking shaky) will also determine my short term plans.

I suppose things will sort themselves out. You really do get knocked sideways and you also start questioning an awful lot of things that you took for routine a year ago. The striking of a balance is the next bit to get right. I have lists and lists of things and ideas and trial ideas lying around. Writing the lists helps me get things out in a logical way, evaluate them, challenge things and arrive at decisions - curiously enough the paper is relatively useless after it has helped me rationalise the information. I must learn to shred and get rid of it more often than I do then, they are piling up with loads of great ideas and curious thoughts too.

The other issue is whether anyone wants to come with me on whatever course or courses I choose? Just another variable to be slung liberally into the pot and make deciding harder.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Surprising Amount of things to do

microid: 63e757af246c23226d7307636540d4122ec4c09b

The thing about sticking three days of unplanned work into the middle of the week is that I worked until 2 this morning and I am back and at it today already trying to catch up. Filing and cleaning up the office. I can actually see the whole of my drawing board which is normally deep in papers. Impressive. I can see the wood on my desk but not right across it yet - perhaps later but they do say that "A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind". Which in fact sums me up exactly - the sick mind bit anyway.

Just to add to my woes my laptop has just blue screened half way through producing a rather complicated plan. I think I saved it a moment ago. What a bummer.

If that is the way Saturday is going to pan out you'd better wait outside my window you could catch some free IT equipment as it gets hurled out of my office window.


Friday, February 02, 2007

That's Better

I managed to get on with some work this afternoon and forget about the morning's little distractions. Still cracking away at the stuff I should have done down the week!

I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend I think.

One of THOSE days

I've had less and less of the bad days, I think you do once the treatment is out of the way. I've kept my side of the bargain and continued to eat well and look after myself but most of the horror bits are behind me but I still have to go back into Hospital and have the tests, I am hoping that this time things are a little better than the last time :-)

Today, for some reason has been a bad brain day. It is possibly that the last three days have been so filled with working that today when I am working but on my own in my office I've had time to think. I'm sure that the advert (see earlier post) really stirred me up last night and come to think of it my dreams were all about being in hospital again.

So there you go, you are never sure when one of "those days" is going to come along, you just have to work your way through them. It is a strange feeling though - most of the morning I have felt fine unless I take too much time to think about things (previous blogs for example) and it has been almost as if I've been fighting back tears that are just sitting there waiting for a weak moment.

The most peculiar thing is I'm not feeling depressed or anything like it today. One of those things to watch out for, let your guard down for a moment and back come all the doubts and worries. I'll soon get rid of them - I always do.

New Cancer Research UK Advert

I often wondered how it would feel to watch one of their adverts if you have Cancer.

I found out last night, the new advert is pretty good and before I'd worked out quite what I was watching the advert had delivered its message. It was a very good advert and one that explains the feelings when you are diagnosed and gives a lot of hope that many cancers are survivable.

It surprised me how upset it made me and yet I don't think now I'd know how someone without Cancer would view the advert as I can't put myself there.

Why was it upsetting? Being diagnosed is probably different for everyone. I remember looking down at the floor and acknowledging that I'd probably guessed what it was. I think I nodded my head and then drew a long breath and looked up again. I listened intently to what I was being told. Heard that it was most probably smoking related and in fact I was more interested in escaping so I could rush to the toilet as I'd just had the scope and everything was coming back to life after the local anaesthetic.

The only word I could use was numb. I was a bit traumatised by the scope anyway, I had been pleasantly surprised that I had managed to get through the examination and to find that whilst it wasn't pleasant it wasn't anything like as bad as I had dreamt it could be.

The shock doesn't take hold for some time afterwards. In fact, to a point, it is a relief that you finally find out what is wrong with you. I think if you have a good idea what it is already, then whilst you hope that it isn't what you think it is (if only it had been something simple) then you can deal with it. I'm not sure what I would have thought had I just been told straight out and I hadn't even considered I had cancer.

After a while, the numb feeling goes away and the trauma of having to go to hospital kicks in. Everything happened so fast that I really didn't give it a second thought. They were going to do what they could to get the tumour out, they moved really fast and the rest is recorded in the blog.

I think the full extent of what had happened to me hit home when I got home on the Thursday afternoon from Hospital. I just sat in a chair and had a good cry.

I think I actually had the biggest upset when I got home from the Doctor's that first time and when I knew that I was seriously ill. I'd guessed that for the week leading up to the appointment. Getting home and realising that I might have Cancer, that I might die and that I might not see my Children grow up, predecease my parents and so on was amazingly difficult to come to terms with.

I'm going to stop writing now as I have come over all unnecessary just thinking about it.

Anyway the advert is very good, what I meant to say was that it really got to me and I wonder how other people with cancer feel when they see it? It achieves what it sets out to but for the 1 in 4 of us who have the disease it flashes you back to the stuff above. Not sure if that is good or bad but look at the memories it kicked up and they were happily suppressed until I wrote this.

Where are the Kleenex?

My Diary Just filled up by Magic

Suddenly, I have lots of things to do and hardly any time left to do them. I need to sort out time to fit loads of things in and the three days worth of work were good but have eaten into what I had planned this week.

Half-term is coming along like a train and it looks like I am the only person who could make the whole week to go on holiday - the rest of the household have things on. So much for missing out on holidays last year and doing something this half term!

I suppose we will have to wait until Easter if I am OK then.

So next week is looking absolutely chaotic as I try and fit what looks like 10 days worth of work into 5.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Previous Post sort of reminded me about...

Spike Mlligan's Epitaph:

"I told you I was ill!"
Brilliant - I wish I'd have thought of it.

I said I was tired

Three days in and I was home late last night as I needed to check that things were OK. Today I went in early and by 3 pm I was absolutely knackered I could hardly keep my eyes open and a couple of times went for a nod as the PC mouse slid around - oh dear. Anyway, I had a chat and got off early and brought some stuff home. I am not used to the intensity of the work I was doing - very long periods of concentration and lots of figures and dates to work with so very high levels on those.

Anyway - If I needed a "wake up call" - terrible pun I know - this was it. It is back to the earlier blogs about needing to build up your stamina again and also on concentration levels - well today was proof, mind you it was a severe test as the work is full on and normally I'd be doing a series of things in a day and can manage them around how I am. Here of course, it is a piece of work set for you and defined so much harder than I was expecting.

Will I go back to construction again? I think not.

It sure was nice to get there early each day, get a newspaper and go to the greasy spoon for breakfast - you may not be able to do that every day but I made an exception. I have been very good on the Fibre, ProBiotics and all that stuff so a little of what you like doesn't hurt you.

Also, why does all the food that you really like have such serious consequences for your health? I suppose the good stuff tastes absolutely awful!