Saturday, May 31, 2008

Over Analysing

That can be a problem. Trying to find answers to things that may not need answers, trying to understand what you are going through. I know some people who just get on with everything and act as if nothing is there or happened and take it all as it comes.

Me - I like to try and work out what it is and why I am feeling a particular way and often why I should then be doing contrary to what I think I should be feeling. That's me - I think too much :-)

I thought the last couple of posts were interesting as they are the beginning of a change in me. I met someone Thursday and I said to them I was enjoying my job and they said "you can see that" and I do, it is a great job. I can see that light at the end of the Tunnel and I can feel myself changing and becoming more positive and more optimistic - it is most probably relief. Relief that the end is in sight, that this chapter is drawing to a close, that I am building the foundations of a career where I make a difference. Every time I do something, I am helping someone. Great feeling to be useful and valuable and to have that valued.

So - two things then, relief that the end is in sight, delight that the career, what I do most days is way beyond expectations and that all of that in turn is leading to a new beginning (in a way). The last two posts? Well perhaps you have to say goodbye to the "old you" and give it a good send off, have a wake and move on? I can't change what happened but I can get it off my mind, stop worrying about it as it is, after all history, and move on confidently to face the challenges, surprises and opportunities of the future.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Post Traumatic Stress and shock

I never gave myself an opportunity to grieve (if that is the right word) over the diagnosis of having cancer - I didn't lose a bit of my body but I took an almighty blow to my self confidence and I found out I was mortal. I realised I had probably been the architect of my own downfall and had reaped what I had sowed but I determined to do whatever I needed to do to combat and win against this.

Humour and self deception have got me through - let's face it, how can you see the positives in getting some of the treatments which really should shock you. You make a positive spin on it and of course that is the right thing to do. You know, like I only have six more treatments and one operation left to go and if clear then I can be in remission or whatever.

The previous post is all about the knowledge that he light is at the end of the tunnel. That I can see an end to this now, that I have to put up with this next lot of treatment, that perhaps I'll get some of my life back and that I may actually get over this fatigue and tiredness that claws away at me.

So I feel that the release I seek is more a case of actually having the emotions that perhaps I should have had 2 years ago and getting the whole thing off my chest. The release is just that, having lived with this for so long, to be able soon to say it has gone and I don't have it anymore or perhaps it is no longer a threat or perhaps that I can put it behind me and not think about it every day are the emotions I am going through now.

It will be a release and it is the release that I struggle with. There have been so many positives, it hardly seems possible that there is a down side but there must be, it IS a worry no matter what you say. You do fear for yourself and those around you. You do realise that you are mortal and you do have to come to terms with that as well and many of these things are presented to me when I am far too young to have expected to deal with them.

Anyway, whilst I still feel that there needs to be some sort of release of emotion somewhere, I still have no idea how it will manifest itself. I am beginning to enjoy life again although stamina is the one thing I could do with - I was out three or fours times this week and I feel it.

Survivor syndrome - perhaps - more delayed shock I feel, as if walking away from a huge wreck and wondering how on earth did I get out of that?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Strange thing - a growing feeling

I really just want to go and have a really good cry somewhere and let it all out. I have been feeling this for a long time and I am thinking it is a release of some sort, I just want to get id of all the stuff that has built up and let it go and move on.

I think I have done it professionally - although I have a morbid interest in seeing my previous lot get fried at some time in the future.

This feeling though is different. I'm not a particularly emotional sort - my profile confirms that I am bit clinical and a bit of an "ice man" but right now, and for a few weeks, I feel the need for a complete release. The trouble is that I think it is going to be like a dam bursting and that I am going to completely crack up.

I don't particularly want to do this alone but I don't know who I should inflict it on either if you get my meaning? It is the most peculiar feeling - it is something that I can feel and am controlling. It is brimming under the surface but at the moment it gets to no more than a wet eye as I think about it.

Part of the healing process? Massive relief? Whatever it is, it needs to get out. I just need to understand what it is and to let it release without damaging me or those around me.

A Late one again

Not used to this getting late trains and getting home at 10 in the evening even if it is work related - absolutely knackered. Last 's fright with the debris hasn't recurred although there were some "bits" that fell out, at least I didn't get the "port" with them :-(

Thanks goodness that the BCG isn't until Monday week. Well I need to get to bed - I had an interesting late meeting and then bumped into some old and then some new friends!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oh Sh1t

I have had a great day at work and I was feeling a bi strange on the way home but got here and had a nice dinner and then my Nephew phoned and we went for a beer, which was nice. We beat USA at Soccer (we call it Football) and had a nice laugh a few serious bits and all that - so I went to the toilet and I am peeing lumps and scarlet! Twice. I haven't checked yet - I have just got home and taken a glass of water and a tablet.

I will check later and hopefully it will just be the odd scab dropping off.

I have my appointment to start BC - 9th June which is later than I thought but fits in better with everything else.

Now to tell myself that it is only 6 of these BCGs to go. I was originally expecting at least 12 so I can use some reverse Psychology here somehow - maybe :-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Days Flash By

These days - I can hardly believe that I've been to work today I was really hard at it all day and the poor old boss can't keep up. I've suggested that we sit down for 30 minutes and take stock tomorrow. That way I can get my next set of objectives and get cracking on those. I have an inter charity meeting tomorrow which I am going to enjoy.

They must be getting used to me as well as we had a bit of a laugh today about"my jewels" - I look after some medals - called jewels and said that "the light had gone out on my jewels" meaning the display light - they obviously took it to a different meaning altogether which was funny.

Anyway - happy as Larry as they say.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Miserable Day

It is wet and windy and quite horrible outside. I'm sort of OK this morning - I had some more debris drop out of me overnight which was a little larger than I expected but it isn't anywhere near like Saturday's episodes - they were quite frightening.

I am getting on with the odds and ends I need to here to clear my desk. I realise that if I am going to be on treatment that it will knock me about and I will loose 2 days a week again - only for 3 weeks but I will need to be super clever with my timing as I have a number of things to accomplish.

Something I need to get used to at work. I completed those preliminary documents before I went into Hospital and no one has had the opportunity to read them yet!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Debris and fall out

Today was a strange day really as there was still the odd spot of debris followed by nothing then a load of debris and nothing and so on. I guess that this is just the scabs there is very little blood this time so just all the last bits dropping out.

I'm not as worried about this as I am getting used to the possibility that this is what is going to happen for a day of two whilst the final remnants of the scabs work their way out.

I am hoping that tomorrow I will get to sit down at my desk and do the work that I should have done yesterday and today. At least I won't have the excuse of having the motor racing and the golf stopping me!

Next weekend it is the local music festival which I hope to get along to at least one of the bands playing. I may well then be on Treatment - I wait to hear this week about that. At least if I am that ill get that out of the way and I can sort out holidays with the family.

Overnight OK

Apart from being up every 2 hours going to the toilet with the sheer amount of liquid I drank.

All is clear and has been since last night! Phew, worrying even though I knew what it was. Today is again going to be an easy day as I will just relax and take it easy. I have a stack of things to do but being hunched over my desk isn't going to make things right today.

It is really quite scary and alarming seeing blood and bits escaping your body but it is over again now. I tend to be OK with it when I know it is going to happen - post operative, post treatment but when it is out of the blue (so to speak) it is very alarming and very upsetting.

That will do for now. Have calmed down a bit and will rest up for the remainder of the day - thank goodness it didn't happen at work or last weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Got worse before it got better

Yuk, it was pretty bad the next time I went to the toilet and even though I guessed what was going on i was still disturbing and it actually made me feel ill and almost sick - I think that is just a natural reaction to the unnatural situation that it actually is.

The time after things had settled down and it was mainly debris that fell out and wasn't too bad and just a few minutes ago it was hardly noticeable. I have been drinking a lot of water and just sitting down which is the best thing to do. Off to bed now for some more rest and hopefully that will allow things to settle down.

I was on a call with a friend earlier and he invited e out n Monday week to a meeting and suddenly I realised (after saying yes) that I may not be able to go as I could be on treatment by ten! I hope to find that out next week.

Anyway, feeling OK now but these things are quite a shock and stark reminder of what it used to be like.


I wasn't expecting that as I haven't been overdoing it - well maybe lifted a box yesterday but that was in the morning and it is early afternoon and I've been to the toilet a number of times today and this last one was a bit grim - although not dark blood (a little goes a long way).

So I am slightly disturbed by that and just taking it easy - I need to make sure that I am getting sufficient liquid through me but take it easy as well. I am not as worried about it as last time as I actually got the letter and the confirmation that all is OK so this is most probably the scabs coming off from the biopsies.

No matter what - it still the most unnatural thing you can imagine and even if you know that it is to do with the recovery it is still something that must be pre-programmed into out brains.

I watched the qualifying from Monaco and I am now watching the support race. Unfortunately I am not there this year!

Friday, May 23, 2008


I am so tired I can hardly believe it. Bed beckons - I have a pile of post to catch up on. But for now - sleep is the order of the day!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A weekend off - well almost

I cannot believe how much work I have to do to keep up with all my commitments. It used to be fine when I worked at home here for most of the time as I could fit an odd hour in here and there. Of course now travelling means that I tend to get in, have a coffee, sit down, have a meal and then try and answer about 50 e-mails and go to bed!

Phew - no wonder I hardly get anything done. The weekend is the Monaco Grand Prix - I was hoping to go this year but maybe next year. What will be nice is to know that I can get planning soon and decide on a holiday destination and can fill in my calendar.

So as it is bank holiday weekend I am planning to spend a day of that just catching up, it is going to be raining and miserable and windy so Sunday will be OK to watch the Grand Prix.

I'm feeling quite well and still feeling great about the result although somewhat subdued in terms of only a few of us have celebrated the fact. Next weekend sees the local music festival here which I hope to get out and see some of this year.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sinking in

It took me a while to let it sink in. I've been "cancer free" since about October last year really as that is when the biopsies were taken and in November I got the first clear. So that is 8 months already and if I have this lot of treatment and I am clear again that will be about 14 months or so roughly.

The relief of only having 6 treatments and 1 operation is palpable I can tell you! I was psyched up for the 12 more treatments and the 2 Operations and this is a big bonus. The regime has changed - it used to be for three years but the way they look at it now is if you do not recur then you can come off the treatment.

So there you have it - it is quite something and I am happy but not screaming around or anything - just inwardly very pleased with the way things are going. Now I need to sort out the remainder of my body - weight, blood pressure etc and I can look forward to a little bit longer a life than I thought I was going to have a few years ago.

Life is very good at the moment, I really enjoy my work, I am getting back my old self confidence and I am really getting on with the job I have as well.

I just need to know when they are starting my treatment and I can then plan out the whole thing - I reckon I will be in Hospital on the 16th December which is C's birthday - but maybe I'll be able to roll my recovery straight into the Christmas period!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sobriety - a Relative thing

Actually - I did have one more than I normally do but I am home, early, relatively sober and will be hitting bed in a minute.

I really can only partially explain how happy and elated I am at the moment. Ecstatic almost. I didn't expect to be quite so "unleashed" but it is such great news and when you prepare yourself for the worst (as you need to do in reality) and despite all the hope when you actually get good news you tend to be - well - rather pleased about it.


How about that - all clear, actually said that rather than no anomalies found. Fantastic, brilliant, really pleased - suddenly all the aches and pains go away.

Back on maintenance and here is the really interesting bit. If December's Operation proves clear - that is it - remission or whatever they call it these days!

I am so happy I could kiss the wife - oh no, maybe that is going tooooo far!

You may detect I am somewhat pleased with the outcome.

Here we go and a new keyboard

Thank goodness for that a keyboard that does work! The last one was a false economy - I liked the idea of wireless until it didn't work properly.

Well - 10 minutes to go before I am off to the hospital. It is a bit more nerve wracking than I remember - I suppose last time I was hoping that it would be clear. This time I have been clear since November (or think I have) and so it is a bit worrying about what I am going to hear. It can't be all bad as I have already bee told it was looking OK. Of course, the microscope will tell.

This time last year it was precancerous and full on treatment, anyway, still a little nervous but hoping for the best which would be my friend BCG :-)

Monday, May 19, 2008


I am absolutely cream crackered. Of course I need to realise that I went back to work and I had two full days over the weekend too. I also easily forget hat it isn't yet two weeks since I was in hospital.

I find that hard to believe - it seems so long ago. Anyway, not to worry. Tomorrow I will hear what the results are and I can then set course for the next part of my life!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lovely Day

So nice to meet everyone again and so many people concerned about me and asking over my health and they were so pleased about the outcome. I have to say that a couple of times it was actually good to get reminded that last year I was not quite as well as this year - in fact I had CIS and the next batch of full treatment was being conducted. A year on meeting some of the people I hadn't seen since last year, they were pleased. One lady prays for me every week, I thanked her very much and I feel very humble that someone should take the trouble to do that, but we both agreed it must have been doing some good as I was looking pretty good compared to last year.

You tend to notice that. I cannot see the difference but those who don't see you regularly all say how well I look and that my whole persona is even better - well that is good.

On a sad note, Pepper, the Hamster, went to Pet Heaven yesterday. Just as I was going out I noticed he wasn't in his sleeping sawdust mound and looked in the cage and there he was, slumped in the corner. Now I had a little tear as Pepper was about 30 - or perhaps 34 months old and that is pretty good in Hamster terms and he has been a good little fella. He didn't bite, he was entertaining and I quite liked him (I am not a pet person at all really). He gave my daughter a lot of fun and responsibility and so I am grateful. However, I don't think or like to see any animal having to spend time in a cage and I really hope that it is the last animal to be treated that way. Again, there is something loose in me these days, recently, that doesn't find keeping an animal in whatever way that may be, justifiable. I wouldn't want to live my life in a cage and I don't like the idea of subjecting a small animal to that, even if it is a better life which I cannot imagine it is. I don't know why I feel like this these days, I just don't find it warranted and I feel it is bordering on the cruel.

You look well

Yes indeed, nice to hear that isn't it? Lots of people I haven't seen for a few months and some I haven't seen for a year were saying that last night. No doubt that will also be today at our annual lunch for which the sun is out (it nearly always is on this particular day - thank goodness).

It is nice to hear that people actually think you look well or you're very positive and all that. I am sure it is the job as well. I really do enjoy it and I even got paid for last month. In fact I got paid last month, more than I got paid for the whole of last year! From a charity - oh the irony :-)

anyway, we had a great day out at our Lodge meeting it was first class and a great meal afterwards. We only have 4 meetings a year - we now get 6 months off and so it will be dreary November the next time we meet. Mind you I have other meetings to go to as I belong to other Lodges as well and so my year doesn't finish until July. I have a big meeting in June and one in July and I think that is it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cramp Attack

3 in the morning and I just about got it in time - it wasn't a massive one but I got it in the right calf muscle, then the left and then the large thigh muscle on the left and I have never had an attack there before. Luckily the only one that was of any significance was the right calf which still hurts even now.

It is annoying to say the least as I have been having twinges all week since I got back from Hospital. Maybe I ought to resort to wearing my DVT tights? I have enough pairs of them now after all the operations!

So I wasn't that happy at all about it. The builders are here today to do the outside of the house and predictably it is raining! They seem to be getting on OK. Unfortunately I am out this afternoon, C and L are off to a Guide event and A is out working so they'll be left to their own devices for a the afternoon. I have a Lodge meeting to go to and I am the chap that has to keep the meeting flowing. So have been doing a fair amount of work to make that happen as we also have a visit from one of the big noises in the Province so it has to be right.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I could barely

keep awake this afternoon - I was as usual cracking on with stuff and blow me I nearly fell asleep at my desk about 3 pm. Luckily it is early day on Friday and so I got away smartish, got my train and had a brief nod on that.

I am still getting these miniature spasms in my legs, like deep cramp which only lasts for a second and then goes. If I move my leg no problem. I am guessing it is where they strapped me into the stirrups. Last time I was badly bruised, this time I didn't have any of that in fact I thought they hadn't beaten me up as much. Perhaps this is some damage from the stirrups?

Anyway, at least I am only getting those and nothing else. Otherwise, I am still stinging a little when going to the toilet but less so each time. I'll just get back to normal and I'll be on the Treatment which will knock me for 6.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

First Day Back

Knackered. Worked like a loony to get everything done and there is more tomorrow. The fun part came when I got a call saying the meeting I was going to was a little earlier than I was expecting and so I ended up having a good few beers before the meeting which I hadn't planned on. As I was the only visitor I had to respond to the visitor's toast - which was OK and these guys drink like fishes. The meal was great and we caught the late train home. Luckily got a lift back here.

I am very tired and need to finish off now to get to bed and get some sleep! It was an exhausting day and my mind was up for it but my body was screaming at me by the end of the afternoon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back to normality

I had a good evening with some friends of mine - we had a few beers and some laughs. Tomorrow morning I have to go back to normality again and get the train and go to work. I can imagine tat the 5:30 alarm call will come as a rude awakening :-)

I also notice that there are no sandwiches ready in the Fridge so I will have to sort those out in the morning too.

I imagine I will be wiped out come tomorrow evening as I am going out after work!

Friday will be a nightmare day and I have a meeting on Saturday which I am organising and then a meal on Sunday to go to. I will be a mess come Monday :-)

So much for taking things easy!

Blood Pressure - Again!

I was a little concerned that my BP readings were quite as high as they were last week and the week before. Even my own readings here were not giving me cause to be happy.

I checked m BP readings from last year and they are quite a lot higher than I mistakenly remember them so it was good to find that I had a low reading just now when I checked. There is in fact a marked drop in all three readings. However, one Swallow does not a summer make and so I have set up a sheet to remind me to take regular readings and jot these down.

The Nurse and I laughed at the first BP readings as she said "these are high" and I said that "you can hardly notice my White Coat Syndrome, can you?" - "hardly" she said, well it broke the ice and of course the next readings were about as normal as you get for me not quite 120/80 but not far short. Today's readings are 125/85 which isn't bad as last year I was regularly 140/90 sort of area so it looks as if the tablets are working alongside the lifestyle changes.


must be the quickest ever- I have to go and see my Consultant next Tuesday in the afternoon. She has already told me that things looked OK but the microscope will confirm that (I hope) on Tuesday. Normally I can wait anything up to 4 weeks.

It may be a quiet time for them as there were only 2 of us being operated on last Wednesday.

I wonder if the pessimist in me would question whether they are getting me in early because it is bad news? I can't imagine that they would have done the tests by the time they sent the letter though which must have been posted on Monday by the looks of it.

Well, if that is next week I could be on Treatment as early as the 26th May or more likely the 2nd June as the 26th is (of course) a Bank Holiday.

9 weeks after would be just after the August Bank Holiday so at least I could have a summer off of treatment again. Nice! The downside to that may be that the next Operation would be around the 2nd week in December but that wouldn't be too bad as I could have time off then and just roll into the Christmas holidays.

Not at work

I made a decision not to go into work today. I feel almost guilty about that but there isn't anything I am doing that is time pressured particularly and even if it is, I imagine I can pick up with it and get to hit its deadline. The important thing is to make sure I am feeling OK prior to returning and I think I probably am near enough to do that. In terms of fitness or stamina - that will remain to be seen. I am sure I will be as tired as you like come Friday evening after only having done two days :-)

So I am spending today just tidying up and getting ready to return to work. I have a number of small things to sort out which I imagine will take me into the early afternoon and then I can make sure everything is ready for my return to work and I can set my alarms for the crack of dawn.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Facing up to your Mortality

Went to the funeral - for once a funeral on a glorious sunny day. It is surprising what you don't know about people. I knew this chap 25 years and didn't know half of what he had accomplished.

You only let people know what you want them to know or what you ask them I suppose. This fella had come through the War - WW2 that is - with two wounds one where the shrapnel was still stuck in him. He never, ever mentioned that to me at all.

Still, it was a good send off and we went back to the house for the drinks and food (does it give everyone something to do? Probably). Met up with a number of people you only ever see at Weddings, Christenings and Funerals. Some people I hadn't seen for 8 years or more.

It is always a leveller to me and one guy and I got talking -I haven't seen him since is wife was taken seriously ill and she was there today - she has a cancer that "just appears" and recently had the 3rd tumour removed. They had no idea that I had had my problems and so it was an interesting and somehow closer conversation.

We remember our friend with great affection and he was an interesting man and full of a sharp, glint in the eye wit. It is a sadder world without him today. However, I can count myself lucky to have know him and shared his company and that I am again reminded of my good fortune as a survivor, I must not squander the second chance I have been given.

Now - I really must set myself up, shake off the seriousness and get ready to go out drinking - and thereby enjoying - my life once again.


Well I spoke to the boss and he is cool with my proposal. I said that I would definitely be in on Thursday - I have to be elsewhere in the afternoon anyway and that I would see how I felt tomorrow morning. If I feel up to it I'll go in. I might just go for half a day to get used to it.

I'm sort of OK but I imagine that everything is settling back down to were it used to be located inside of it feels that way anyway!

I must get rid of this damn wireless keyboard it is driving me nuts trying to type with it.

Off to a funeral a little later today and then I am going to go out with my friends from school tonight for a beer or two.

Monday, May 12, 2008

You tend to forget

How tired you get, quite how exhausting going out for a few hours is and I am amazed just how dozy I was. OK you may say that I am dozy already but - I was at a practice for our Lodge meeting and whilst I wasn't actually expecting to do any words tonight I ended up filling in and I realised that the after effects were making me tired and forgetful or at the least quite slow in remembering things. I as also a little unsteady on my feet so I am ringing into work tomorrow and will not go back until Wednesday - I want to be back by Thursday just so I can get a day or two back under my belt.

I think last time I did go out on the Monday following but my Operation had been done on the Tuesday and it had been much earlier too so almost a day and a half extra recuperation time.

I also need to remember that I don't need to be in work tomorrow or indeed for the rest of the week if I don't feel up to it, there isn't anything earth shattering to be done and if there were I could probably negotiate to do it at home. I will talk to them tomorrow and get their take on it.

Strange sensation day

Well bits of my anatomy are coming back to life and I remember this now from last time. It isn't painful it is just the strangest tingling sensation as if you have pins and needles inside your body. It is as if all the bruises are coming out and all the pipes settling themselves back into their original position before the solid tube was shoved in them :-(

I have been sat down at my desk for an hour and I can really feel it now. How utterly bizarre.

Anyway, I decided not to try and go to work even part of the day tomorrow. I've just seen the time too and I should have rung in but I will do that tomorrow. It is a friend's fathers funeral tomorrow - if I can get someone to drive then I'll go, I'm not to drive until the earliest this coming weekend.


It seems hardly possible that this is my 5th operation in 22 months! It hardly seems possible that in that short space of time I could have gone through all of this. It really is a strange journey and it is something that rules my days and governs my life and actions although I am pleased to say not in the way I thought it might have done.

Along the way, the additional health scares - real and imaginary and the lifestyle changes I have consciously made, together with the job from hell have all added to an interesting and action packed time.

Looking back the very best that could have been an outcome for me was to be where I am now - on maintenance, no recurrence and still having a bladder and being able to use it. The worst was death and in between there were other various options In a way thank goodness it was Bladder Cancer which is very treatable.

I look back and realise quite how traumatic a time I've actually had these past 22 months. I've tried to say it as it is, both mentally and physically, in this blog. The dark and nasty black dog days are very few and far between now and emotionally I am under much better check now. I like the fact that I have managed to see the funny side and to remain overall positive about the outlook and the treatment and the eventual outcome. Would I cope with a set back? Probably although to have come this far along the line to be set back would be a big disappointment.

I couldn't have foreseen the eventual outcome on the work front would be where I am now but the change in direction, the job satisfaction and the less stressful nature of that work have allowed me to refocus and reassess what I was doing, perhaps how I was damaging myself and now, I can have one less worry in life. I really fancied having a bundle of money to retire with in a few years to allow me to go off and do my own thing but that isn't to be and whilst it would be nice - I actually think I'd prefer my mental and physical health to be intact.

What else? People. People are great, I have friends who keep in touch via my e-mail, phone call, SMS and it was lovely to get notes dropped over. Some people have disappeared - not many - but they are coming back now. I understand that - I'm probably as guilty of that as anyone.

I was surprised that I didn't get to do lots of things I thought that I'd want to do. Life carried on in many ways and whilst we pushed the boat out with a Cruise last year, I haven't gone and done or reacted to this in a way that perhaps is portrayed as the way you should? I haven't planned to climb Mount Everest, run a marathon or travel around. I'd love to go to the Monaco Grand Prix but there is still time to do that. I haven' felt inclined to do any of these things and if anything I actually hold myself back from them rather than doing them.

I've appeared to have lost or just not got back to my old well organised self. Tings are getting slowly back to normal but I am nowhere near as organised as I used to be and it takes me ages to get things done and I spend ages doing not a lot at all really.

I've noticed that I am far more tolerant and far more empathetic these days, I enjoy my family more than I did before, I probably appreciate acts of kindness and notice them where I may no have before. My compassionate side is markedly more in evidence now, I was never an emotional sort excepting that I was often passionate about things I believed in. So even now I can get quite distressed when reading some of the cases I have to write about at the Charity. I have a very low tolerance level for trite, shallow and vacuous things. Soap Operas, Quiz Shows, Talent Shows and fly on the wall stuff, most journalism (well asking the bleeding obvious) drives me to distraction and I cannot believe that today's world is full of people who I don't know who are called celebrities who are asked to comment on lots of things they know nothing about and who people appear to take as gospel. It is a funny old world. Meanwhile in Burma all sorts of tragedies are about to unfold but we want to know what some football star who earns millions of pounds a year thinks about the state of Jeans as a fashions statement? Mind you - it could be me. I don't mind sport and entertainment but don't feed it to me as news or some sort of informed opinion.

So perhaps all this has brought out the extremes in me - maybe I am far more emotional, more opinionated, certainly more outgoing than I used to be (although I do have my long quiet moments too).

Whatever, I am glad to be here after 22 months and to be able to put down my thoughts and to be able to be going in the direction I am. So far, each set of tests has moved things on in the right direction and I still think that I am not taking it seriously. But then the chap in the bed opposite me had a Kidney removed and that looked serious to me. I thought to myself that I had got off lightly. To have Cancer is very frightening and to have to go through the operations, the tests, the treatments and so on isn't what you'd like. Normal people, shudder when they hear what is done to me and I think it is normal to have those things done. I thought these things were horrible but when needs must and you have to have it done, it becomes a matter of routine. The mind has wonderful ways of making this acceptable to you. I get told that I am "keeping up the fight" and other such cliches and I don't think I am. Of course it is life threatening and nasty but you mustn't look at it that way. The down side of this is that you forget that occasionally you DO need to take things easy and that you do need to recover and so on. Invariably, as I convince myself that I am alright I do forget these things and so need to remember going forward that your health is everything and that it is better to take an extra day off here and there than to try and return too early to work etc.

So, a bit longer than I thought it would be. I'm pleased to be here and I can convince myself that for the next 14 months or so, I should be continuing to make progress. I initially thought that I may be going to the Hospital for the rest of my life. Perhaps I'll need some odd scopes but at least the treatment could be over and done with within 14 months - that would be brilliant. If there is a relapse then we go back on the roller coaster again. I've made plenty of changes to the way I live and so I hope that doesn't happen but I need to keep in mind that whilst it is disease that can be treated easily it does have a recurrence rate that is high. The odds state though that if it hasn't recurred withing a certain period then things do have a bright outcome.

The twinges of recovery

I had quite forgotten this bit of the recovery process. The back of my hand where the cannula was put in is now a lovely purple and yellow colour as the bruise works its way out. I also have what can only be called mild tingling as my urethra recovers from its trauma and right across my waistline I can feel a dull ache. No doubt also the results of bruising and being stirred around last week. In fact it isn't that long ago is it? I forget it was only 5 days ago.

I'm guessing that this is due to sitting at my desk and so I will be getting up and walking around a bit more as I am obviously not ready to spend long hours at a desk today.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lucky Guy

I should remind myself as often as possible that I sure am very lucky. Caught early on, I feel that I am well on the road to recovery with this - I cannot imagine that anyone who knows that they have got to continue to have the treatment that I do and knowingly will have to have at least another 2 operations would see it quite like that. You have to be there :-)

I think I should perhaps allow myself a retrospective later this week so that I can take a look back over the past 22 months.

It seems strange to think back to that time and getting my dream job and then this. It somehow seems longer in some ways and shorter in others. I've come a long way since those days, I shall spend some time considering how I am now to how I probably thought I should be. How surviving makes you feel and some of the joys and disappointments too.

Nice Day Again

It is a lovely day again today, the sun is out - it is pleasantly warm and just the right sort of weather to recuperate in :-)

I'm again feeling OK, still twinging around the groin area and it still isn't an easy task going to the loo but it is a lot better than the first day and getting better each day. The first day just after the operation is always a bit of a nightmare as you pass blood and bits and the bits and the blood tend to make you sting and the first one is like passing razor blades!

It isn't that bad. I'm certainly hesitant and also try and let gravity do its bit as poor old Mr. Bladder has six cuts and scabs on it and I don't need to be opening those up like I managed to do last time.

So - other than that - I am looking forward to phoning in tomorrow to the office and seeing what work I can get on with. I might even plan to go into the office for half a day on Tuesday - I'll check with the powers that be tomorrow.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I am trying to get by without the pain killers and anti-inflammatory pills today. So far it seems alright although I can feel things a bit more.

The main headline news is that I feel fine albeit that I can now feel the soreness around my middle and groin area where they pulled me about - perhaps some bruising coming out, the sore throat and coughing associated with the general anaesthetic is easing and apart from that I am doing OK.

A bit annoyed that I cannot get over to see some of my cousins later today who are over in Essex. With the best will in the world, if the traffic is held up anywhere along the way I am going to be struggling to hold on.

Had a nice call from a friend of mine which cheered me up not that I am down at all.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Taking it easy

I am doing exactly that this time. I actually feel very well indeed, perhaps the cocktail of drugs they whacked into me but I do feel quite well. I am drugging myself up with Ibuprofen and Paracetamol (reminds me I must have a few more) as I have some stinging and soreness. Guys, if you know what it is like to slide onto the crossbar of your bike and hit the handlebar stem as well with your groin, you;ll get an idea of the sort of pain I had to start with. I am now just dealing with the twinges and stinging afterwards but it isn't as bad as the last time and my legs don't hurt as bad as they did last time either.

I watched all 3 Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday - well probably not - I maybe slept through half of each one. Today I am going to try and spend some time watching spider-man - no doubt with the same result. Not to worry, as long as I am remaining still I will making sure the wounds heal up. Six biopsies taken apparently. The bleeding stopped yesterday and my liquid intake was probably close to 8 pints - unfortunately of water :-)

Anyway, I do feel well which is great.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Was dealt with quickly so had a bed but didn't get Operated on until late in the afternoon so stayed overnight.

Home early (after breakfast) am OK, sore - of course - but OK. Still very hot so lots of liquid need to be drunk.

Visually all looks OK. Will know in two weeks they said.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Final Preparations

Just had a sit out in the garden - it is very nice today 24 Degrees C about 75F so a very pleasant day for early May. It looks set fair for the next few days as well which is great. In fact it seems every time I go in it is warm - it was a heatwave the first and second times and I got a heat rash - let's hope that doesn't happen this time as that is a nuisance and takes quite a while to get rid of.

I'll be getting there in about an hour I suppose and I do hope that I don't have the wait I did last time and the straight to theatre routine. Oh well, we will see.
Bag is packed, house is locked up and I think I have covered off all the things I need to do before going. I have to say that I am pleased with the Hypnotherapy session I had to get me calm before these things. Ever since I had that done, whilst I still have some anxiety, it is nowhere near as bad as how I used to suffer.

Oh well, I had better sign off now, go and double, double check my bag (I remembered my comb this time) and get ready to go.

Hope you are enjoying your holiday

Mmm. So someone will get a shock when I tell them then :-) I thought most people knew that I was going in - maybe the other people in the office will tell them. I'm sure they will feel silly enough when I re-appear next week doing my John Wayne walk impersonation.

Well it cheered me up reading that this morning. Some more people who also think that I am off somewhere enjoying myself will find out the difference tonight at the Lodge meeting when they'll let them know.

I've done quite a bit of sorting out for that and so it will be interesting to see if they all get seated properly at the meal - I did the table plan and that they get the food they asked for. Just a shame I cannot be there as I ordered Steam and Mushroom pudding (there's something you don't get every day!). Of course I won't be having any of that - I'll be getting whatever is around tonight.

Right, enough of this frivolity - I need to go and get ready.

Well here we are again

I have had a light breakfast and from now on can only drink water which is good and means at least I will not get dehydrated as happened a couple of times before.

I am taking myself in this time as it hardly seems the right thing to do to let C come in with me and sit for hours whilst I go into being Mr. Quiet - I can do that on my own easily enough. She will come along after work and see where they have taken me.

My music is loaded and I am keeping myself busy doing a few jobs this morning. I will distract myself long enough for everyone to leave, then go and have a shower and then pack my bag and get ready to leave at about 11. I am due in at 11:30.

I'm not as worried as earlier times but it still isn't something that I enjoy doing. Lets hope that they have a bed ready for me this time rather than going straight to theatre. Going straight to theatre really is quite traumatic.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Slight Nerves but OK otherwise

I'm a little bit fluttery but otherwise OK i am just going off to bed and hope for a good night's sleep. I have to be up early to have breakfast and then I can potter about, pack my case and do other stuff before going.

Strange as it may seem it is again going to be a hot day tomorrow - I do choose them - I just hope I don't get the rash I got last time I was there.

Bed calls - I need to get some rest

A day to go

I'm not as wound up as I normally get and it could be because these operations and treatments are becoming a routine thing. I know what to expect and there aren't any hidden "nasties" out there. It is just one of those things you have to do.

I can - I suppose now count these down like I can with the maintenance. If the results of this are OK then I will have 6 more BCGs, an Operation and if that is OK, a further 6 BCGs and a final Operation. Viewed that way it isn't too bad.

Of course, once I know what the outcome of this batch is and the likely start of any maintenance, then I can do some planning. It is likely that treatments would start in June and September and the next Operation just before Christmas.

The rest of the day is all about planning and making sure I have completed all of my tasks of which there are quite a few still.

That Time of Year

Nothing quite like a walk in a Bluebell Wood in early May.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The run for the post

Surprisingly the work I needed to get done, really didn't quite get done and through no real fault here I think. A few miss-communications along the way appear to have occurred which means that tomorrow I will need to catch up with about 30 minutes worth of work on my part.

I need to get my MP3 player loaded with the tunes I want to play and get myself ready to go in. This time I am taking myself in on my own. As log as I can keep a level head, I think I can do this. If they keep me in, getting home may be fun. I cannot walk really but there is a bus from the car park almost to home so I might try that. I hope that they will let me out on the same day if at all possible they did the first time but not last. I don't like staying there for the overnight bit but there you go, needs must.

Surprising what you now take to be normal. I'm still not looking forward to that cannula though - who does?

Final batch of work to be done today

I have managed to get through quite a bit of work and I am now on the final run in to get this lot pulled together before Wednesday.

At least tomorrow I am working from home which will be a blessing. I also found out that I can access my e-mail from home which is great. I need to make a note to myself to remind me to do that on my return - set it up that is.

Well - must away and get on as this blog writing is taking me away from my other work!

Back to earth

Sending out notices to a number of the Lodge members about one of our member's funeral arrangements. A stroke victim and you have to feel for the family as it isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened.

I shall see how fit I am to go to that. I know I'm not allowed to drive for a week or more afterwards.

I've just written the e-mail and now the letters so that everyone will know. Sad thing to have to do but there you go. We all have to go sometime.

I still love this music

I had this and Carole King, CSN&Y in my MP3 player when I went into Hospital. I don't have too much Joni Mitchell or Linda Ronstadt but I have plenty of spin off stuff of the era.

Do you enjoy the lyrics? Here are some from tonight's show courtesy of JT. Actually this one is about a suicide but such a lovely song never the less. Music still means a lot to me. If you are as old as me you may recollect that despite what my Dad used to tell me, you can actually hear the lyrics and the songs stand the test of time, it is so good to hear them now. The surprising thing is that most of the people who sang them actually survived their years doing some serious damage to their heads with drink and drugs.

Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Won't you look down upon me,
Jesus You've got to help me make a stand
You've just got to see me through another day
My body's aching and my time is at hand
And I won't make it any other way Oh,

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Been walking my mind to an easy time my back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it'll turn your head around
Well, there's hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground Oh,

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you, baby, one more time again, now

Thought I'd see you one more time again
There's just a few things coming my way this time around, now
Thought I'd see you, thought
I'd see you fire and rain, now

A Late Evening

It is a James Taylor evening on BBC Four channel. It is really interesting as I came in on the end of this. I thought James Taylor, Carole King and the Eagles were great, Jackson Brown and then CSNY - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and so at this early hour in the morning I am sitting up watching a great documentary all about the West Coast and now it is James Taylor's Sweet Baby James and all that. It takes me back to just leaving school and getting interested in music and spending late nights around at people's houses and flats listening to music, getting drunk and smoking American cigarettes!!

I think that perhaps I should have cut back on the smokes! But then we all smoked in the 70s.

I used to think that "You've got a friend" and "in my mind I'm going to Carolina" are just fantastic tracks.

Whilst it is late, the evening is just so fascinating that I am somehow drawn to keep watching. Sometime I wonder why I bought myself a state of the art DVD recorder which I could kick in to record all of this. I'm just like a moth drawn to a candle...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Something you can't buy

A very good friend of mine told me something along the lines of "You cannot buy stature". It then dawned on me that the reason I was OK about the past things - tribunal going against me and so on is that, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that these guys will ever succeed.


  • They have shown themselves to be untrustworthy to everyone who has met them
  • They haven't kept a promise in what must be a year now
  • They say one thing and do another
  • They speak big and act petty
  • They have little or no respect for themselves let alone their investors
  • They think that they are ahead in the game but their competitors actually have customers

I could go on but the more I think about it the worse it gets as they have no credibility left and they need to explain to new investors why so many old investors fell by the wayside. Then they need to explain why it took them another year to put right the software after they launched it and then they will have to explain the trail of company names for the past 3 years. Also that if it is such a great idea why is everyone else heading for the hills.

I can content myself with the conversation I had last week with a couple of my partners who I introduced who have reversed away at high speed leaving only those who invested years ago to stay and watch on with morbid interest. At this point the Vulture's aren't circulating but they are perched watching. There is the sort of morbid curiosity building as at a car crash or disaster scene, it is horrible but at the same time you are drawn to look at it. Well some people are.

So - you can't buy stature and you can't buy most of the things I'd like to think I stand for. Today's society seems to be all about selfishness. The one thing you learn if you have to rely on people is that they are the ones to treat properly. Annoy them and you lose just about everything. Lose your reputation as a fair person, a decent and honest person and you may as well go and retire as you cannot re-build it. These guys have bitten the hands that feed them so many times and this time tried to sever the whole arm. They mistakenly think that is how to take them to the top of the food chain but Hyenas still have to pay homage to the Lions (my thanks to Eric Cantona for the inspiration).

My guess is that the reputation damage these guys have suffered and will continue to suffer will make it almost impossible for them to continue in the future. Those who think it is a good idea and have been with them for years are sitting back and waiting for it to happen - if it does fine, if it doesn't - fine, they have businesses to run as well and it doesn't make a lot of difference one way or the other.

As for me, I am writing it all off, putting it down to experience and walking away. I'd like to get out there and assist in their downfall but they already have major problems and a rotten core which will eventually tear the business apart. Anyway, life is too short and there are others who can take up the fight now. They have real money and real contracts in place so they can resolve what they want to do and do it. Most probably sat back to see what would happen in my case before committing to move.

Dont worry - be happy

I find the massive moments of doubt the difficult things to deal with. I alluded to the almost daily worries and concerns that assail you after you have been diagnosed with an illness like cancer. Of course, we know that I've survived it. But the mind worries that if you've suffered one type of cancer then "perhaps" you are more susceptible to getting another and every ache and pain is worrying. My legs hurt - instant diagnosis - bone cancer! My mouth bled the other day - instant diagnosis - mouth cancer, I had a very slight cough - throat cancer. I think you can see what I'm driving at. Every little thing isn't little anymore its a big thing, it is worrying it is the first signs of cancer.

Paranoia you may think and yet it is generally the first thing that pops into your mind when you are not being upbeat. Being slightly down makes you like this. Being happy dissolves a lot of it away, not all but a lot.

Approaching Wednesday's operation I can see that I am getting a little quieter, a little more withdrawn and that I will be less than great company on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. I am looking at this quite positively as if this is clear then I will only need to have another 2 operations after this one and so can count them down.

Given that I thought I'd be having this sort of thing ongoing for many years I can approach it like this. I would be very upset to find that I had to keep on doing this for 20 or more years.

Finally on these points. The most difficult thing to get used to in all of this is that I'm not normally ill and rarely have days off sick. It comes as quite a blow to find out that your body isn't doing what it should do and that you can't run like you used to, lift weights or do the things your mind reckons you can. I'm no longer a "young" man physically - my mind disputes that of course. I find being ill, or having to be an ongoing patient very difficult, it isn't the sort of thing I want to make a habit of.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Working on my own stuff now

This weekend - a bank holiday one thank goodness means that I can concentrate on getting my own work done. I used to work the whole lot together but now, I need to give myself time in the evenings and weekends to complete it all.

Hopefully I can get it all done by Monday there is a fair amount to do and not much time to do it.

At least it will keep my mind off of having to go in on Wednesday for my Op. I'm lucky that they let me work from home on Tuesday so I don't have to go up to town then.

I'm feeling OK. I doubt I will be feeling quite as good as this next Saturday but there you go.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hectic Life

We are coming to the end of a campaign and the money is being finalised, life is chaotic as everyone strives to complete their bit on time. Me? I'm the new boy and I have been picking up the actions that drop off the side. I'm really enjoying this job so much but there would have been no way I could have afforded to work in this area years ago.

Tomorrow we review the last month's work and I am sure that so far the quality and quantity is shining through. Someone said I had done a lot of work and I said that I wasn't getting paid to sit around chatting :-) That raised a few eyebrows when they said but you are the PR man!!

Well, in that case, maybe I am! We will see how tomorrow resolves itself. I am off out tonight and again tomorrow. The weekend is for me to catch up on all my work prior to going in to Hospital next week.

Someone thought I was going on holiday - I didn't have the heart to tell them what was really going on. Perhaps I will tell her quietly tomorrow...

Anyway, what can I say - I really do wish I had been doing this job a few years ago.