Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year

I was in London yesterday - we had a good few beers and a curry after a meeting and blow me - I couldn't believe how much money I got through. I certainly cannot drink as much as I used to though I was feeling very slow indeed as I started to refuse drinks

Today I was up early, posted the documents and then went off to sort out a database problem. That took ages. I did divert on the way back and have a couple of beers and some rolls as I missed lunch hanging around waiting for stuff to get done.

It was really whilst I was sitting down and doing my usual - making notes - today that I decided to move on to the next stage in the process and fully assemble a commercial plan for my new venture and to get something moving on that. Tomorrow should see the start of some serious work on the business as I spoke to someone yesterday who really put the current situation into perspective for me. I have been focusing on how unjust things have been but I really should sweep it away and get on with things. Not easy - I need to realise that it isn't personal, that they really are going to fall even harder if they continue to act like they do and also that it isn't that important.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Earthquake - what Earthquake?

I didn't hear it or feel it but I got up at 1 in the morning just after the quake struck but it could only have woken me - I would have had no idea what was going on otherwise.

As with most of the larger natural events - it looks as if I managed to sleep through this one and the Hurricane in 1987. Which reminds me - I've lived in this house now for 20 years in July - goodness - where did the time go?

We don't get extreme events here in the UK but given the BBC's coverage you would have thought half the country had tumbled into the sea or something. A few Chimney pots crashed to the ground and one person was hurt. I'm not sure that it takes up that much space when the deaths by RTAs was probably in the tens of people.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Putting things in order and to bed

I finally wrapped up the documents today for the Tribunal and they are ready to be posted off. That is something out of the way. I have completed the Witness statement and have that ready to go too.

I feel that this bit of the problem can start to be shut down now and that moves are taking place to resolve that.

I now need to move on the other areas and get closure and also to move on with my career and my new venture. I've been side tracked enough these past few weeks with spurious jobs that haven't gotten anywhere. I've sent off my CV and that has gone nowhere and the job for this week didn't materialise either. I think I need to go back to making my own luck from now on.

The next thing is to get back into some sort of work routines which have been sadly missing these past few months unfortunately.

New Look

Someone commented that the blog was Pink - which I did originally from the Breast Cancer colours. However, it is about time we had a change and so a more blue hue has been chosen.

Strength Comparison

I haven't driven that sort of distance since before I was diagnosed. Perhaps the longest I have done was 4 hours divided into two journeys. So it was an interesting comparison on my overall levels of fitness before and after.

Yesterday's and the day before journeys of 6 and about 8 hours were eye opening ones for me as I realised that I can now only realistically drive for about 2 hours at a time before needing to get a break. My legs were almost numb by then. it could be my footwear as I have noticed that they tend to give me a numb foot occasionally so I need to perhaps drive around in different shoes and see if that helps. The amazing thing is that I really needed the breaks where years ago, I would have been able to perhaps do the 6 hour trip with one stop and the 8 hour one with 2 or perhaps 3.

Overall I really felt the drive and even my nice car, which is very comfortable, didn't help me much. Sure it flies along at great speed but didn't help in the comfort department if my leg was going numb on me.

It was a marked difference. What do you expect? I can hear many shouting at me. Well, I really wasn't expecting to be quite so tired and weak as I was. At least I can start to work on that a bit more now.

Feint Light

That something will happen about the Tribunal before going to the full Tribunal itself. I certainly hope so as it would make sense given the paperwork I have.

We will have to wait and see what happens on this. There is only a limited time available to settle and so let's hope that they do something about it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Back from Uni

Nice campus down at Falmouth - place was full of students (Art and Design types). An excellent place though almost brand new and fully equipped for photography.

A had her interview this morning now we have to wait and see. So far - all the others have given an offer. It is a long way there and back so we stayed at a nice Hotel last night. I would like to have stayed longer but perhaps if she gets a place we can. It took 6 hours down and close to 8 back although I did come along the scenic route.

One up One Down

Heard over the weekend that one friend has Esophagus Cancer and they have shrunk the tumour and will operate in the next few weeks. Also today that one of my co BC sufferers got the clear and is on maintenance.

Well - the first is looking quite good so far - fingers crossed. Dare I say = there is a lot of it about.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Too much hassle

It often feels that to go and chase all the money owed to me is too much hassle but I figure that I should do this even if there is little chance of collecting as some other poor person may also end up being ripped off. It also annoys the hell out of me that someone actually thinks that it is acceptable behaviour to use your time and expertise and do this.

These people mess up your mind but I'm beginning to think, in the overall scheme of things, that they will turn over one too many people and someone who is bigger and less subtle than I am may intervene. I love the way these guys are always playing the innocent as well. After 2 years or more of mismanagement - somehow it ends up as being my problem!

Anyway, a few days out will help this week I hope.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


It was a good meeting yesterday - so good in fact that I didn't have a chance to post a blog. Someone asked me why I did this blog yesterday. It all started when a friend of mine suggested it; that was way back in October 2006.

Since then it has become almost a daily ritual. It may perhaps surprise most people to know that I don't keep a diary normally.

We are preparing to go away as my eldest has an important interview at a University the other end of the country so we need to drive and stay there. Her photography work continues to surprise and amaze us and the project she had to submit just to get this interview was as much as a single 3 month module on its own.

my documents for University have also come through so I am reading through these.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hell- we were on form tonight

I went to m friend's daughter's 18th birthday party - we arrived late as both daughters could not interpret the detailed instructions - I am being given a lift home - if I need you to pick me up - I will call.

So I get dropped off at home and no one is here and the phone goes off saying they are outside. Outside where I inquire? They are outside the place I was in 30 minutes previous as the girls had been so busy watching their programme hadn't interpreted the data I gave them correctly.

we got to the party fashionably late and encountered an audience who were up for "my sense of humour" and so I enjoyed myself. The wife looked to the heavens and the daughter's just wanted the floor to open up.

We kept the masses entertained which was what was needed!

Another good evening - I am now going to be working for an hour or two as I have a meeting to attend to in less than 8 hours time! It only happens 3 times a year but tomorrow is one of those times!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Excellent - you wont have to hear from me for a few days next week as I am away. I know you will be relieved :-)

How busy am I this week

Crazy, I am out again this afternoon and have to come back and then get changed and off to a party - tomorrow I am out at the crack of sparrows for another long meeting. That would make me having been out every day this week already! Phew.

On an interesting note I went back over some of my documents and noticed that the tribunal notes from the ex-employer stated I had written something some months prior to getting the job - so I had but also - so had they so it added another 6 documents to my argument. excellent.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A really nice night out

Especially as I didn't have to drive - a friend offered. We had a great evening and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The wine flowed freely. The beer came from a never ending tap and we just had a whale of a time.

Whilst much alcohol was consumed, with the meal and plenty of bread and cheese to mop it up - I am feeling quite sober really. Anyway - a good time had by all, my friend hasn't heard about all of his investments with the mob I am in legals with either! Well, there's a clue I suppose!

Another friend dropped me a line - he is also going for scans - I hope to see him on Saturday and fingers crossed that he is OK. There is a lot of it around unfortunately.


Have sorted out stuff for the Tribunal with their brief and all is cool on dates etc.

Will be interesting as the disclosures all look back to front to me. Oh well - we will see what the first transfer does for every-one's nerves. It is like playing Poker but you have to disclose your hand first. Interesting.
Off out soon and looking forward to a good evening and a few beers too.

Out and About

It was an interesting day yesterday - I went to sort out some software problems, was bought lunch - nice and then had a few more beers - wandered home and had a few more beers and suddenly the amazing properties of alcohol kicked in and nothing looked that bad after all.

Of course, trying to actually get going this morning is a bit difficult.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A good night out

It was indeed a great night out and I did thoroughly enjoy myself. I do once I get off my arse and get going. I could do with the world stopping for a week or ten and just going away and letting every body else get on with it.

I still end up organising and doing and organising and I'm the one with all the problems!

I had a nice talk with a friend of mine who stared at the man a few years ago with a massive heart attack. He is fine now and has some great views on life, the universe and all of that. Anyway - I must dash as I need to be ready to go out in the morning and I need to prepare myself for seizures in my legs again - can you believe that they hurt like hell still? I really am still feeling as if I will cramp up at any time.

Oh well - let's see how tonight goes !!

Oh Great

Tribunal has been postponed for a month! Just what I needed.

I'd better go see what they want to do with the Witness Statements and Documents then?

What a week and it's only Tuesday!

Cramp - Twice

Last night was not good - I was off my food - unlike me - didn't feel great - probably writing the Witness Statement which sickened me doing it.

Abut 4 this morning I got the wide awake bit and ouch - cramp left leg - a really bad one - the sort where you scream and invent new swear words! Bad - I tried to get out of bed - my leg gave way - I crashed into my exercise machine and gashed by right big toe, so I ended up lying on my back trying to undo the large knot that was my calf muscle and staunch the flow of blood from the right toe!!

I finally managed to settle back down after about 2 hours only to get the right leg do the exact same thing at 8 in the morning.

I really don't need or deserve this right now - I really could do without it. I need to get this ugly nasty stuff off of my desk and into the Tribunal people and leave it for them to sort out. I certainly could do without all the other nonsense going on at the same time too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

That is

Another day just writing up what happened. I think I will do a review and call it a day in the morning and then get this over to the them and see what they make of it.

This is making me ill, I haven't got the belly for this sort of stuff anymore - I may have gone through all sorts of stuff but I really don't care for this petty bickering and greed of some people or their need to bully their way around this sort of thing.

Oh well - get to bed and relax I can finish this off in the morning and that will do - there are other things that need to be gotten on with.

Whoops - I'd better go to bed

I got a lot of work done today but I am still at it and it is almost 1 am. Time for bed I think.

Preparing all of this stuff for the Tribunal is tedious but it is at least making things straight in my head as to what happened and now I a lot happier that things will play out as best they can.

Closure - I need closure on this stuff. I have also to remember that sometimes the Dragon actually wins.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sleep on it

And I did and things are much clearer this morning. All the obfuscation these guys put up is a smoke screen. I need to prepare things pretty swiftly but don't need to answer some of the more obscure stuff they put in to their statement. I just need to concentrate on what the facts are.

Good - that is a weight off of my mind. I shall try and get it finished by tonight and then I don't need to worry about it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A friend in need

Is a nuisance - get rid of him (thanks Tommy Cooper!).

No really, a friend of mine turned up today and we went through some paper work that I was having trouble with and I think that helped sort out something that had been bugging me. We then went off for a few beers and I felt a lot better after that as I was able to get some of the worry off my chest about the Tribunal and the nonsense going on there.

I came home and had a few beers and feel nice and sleepy now :-) Which is good as I don't want a sleepless night worrying like I did last night!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Oh well

The documentation is through and they are going to fight their corner- perhaps I shouldn't have expected anything else. It has annoyed me quite a bit that they have dragged a load of unnecessary stuff into the response to obfuscate things. I suppose that is the way they work.

So feeling pretty miserable as a result but will hopefully cheer myself up a bit over the weekend.

A bit better night

The cramps didn't materialise into much more than just a set of twinges although I was up a number of times over night. I tend to forget that the treatment does that. The brain is pretty good at forgetting little facts like the amount of times you need to trot off to the toilet!

Anyway, the main thing is that I didn't wake up with my muscles tied in knots last night and yet this morning I can still feel a slight low down ache in my calves. I shall have to take myself off for a walk or something later to see if I can sort that out.

The deadline has gone for the response and I have heard nothing so far. That determines the next actions I have to do and so with a bit of luck I'll hear today or Monday on that as if I have to produce evidence - I will need to go and get that copied and bound and posted off ASAP.

I am feeling a lot better about myself these days, it helped to talk to two friends over the past week who have been through similar experiences and realise that they are getting on with things - I'm getting on with things now and hope that I'll soon start getting "closure" on some of these.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ouch again

Mmm, I've got cramps in my legs again tonight - not bad but I can tell they are there! I am still suffering slightly - my mate said to me that I didn't look 100% today and I was a bit whiter than usual.

Oh well, take thing easy - get to bed early and also I mustn't forget to make the phone call I forgot last week!

And I mustn't forget to drop a note to a contact who left me a message last week and ll those e-mails to deal with. I need to give myself a stern talking to in the morning and get on with the growing list of to dos I have here.

Disturbed Night

I get this occasionally - cramp in my calf muscles. It seems to be after the treatment but also - and I am almost convincing myself about this now - as part of these Statins I am taking. Granted, I'm not back up to full fitness yet and so perhaps now that I can start to get myself back into shape this will go away again. However, I'm not enjoying the 3 am wake up with cramp and the yelling and stretching and massaging my leg back to normality. It always seems to happen on or about the 2nd or 3rd day after treatment too.

On a lighter note, I am looking forward to going out to lunch today with my friend. It is a milestone day in some respects as it is the deadline for a response to be entered by my ex-employers. Once that is known then we can go forward again to the next step and see what happens next. Going out will mean that I am not stewing over what the response is. In a way I hope they miss it or realise that the defence they are going with is stretching the imagination a bit!

So - hopefully a good day ahead and a pleasant lunch time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Still a little painful

I tend to forget that the after effects can go on for a while after treatment and I'm certainly feeling a few twinges. At least this is the last for a while.

Tomorrow is the deadline for my ex-employer to get their response back to the Tribunal and so I guess I will hear on Friday whether things now move forward to the full hearing or whether there will be a default judgement. Either way now suits me and I can prepare the next step of the process.

I out with a good friend tomorrow to discuss the latest in both of our recoveries and to talk about 2008 and new opportunities. It will be a good meeting whatever as we enjoy each other's company. Looking forward to comparing notes again.

Another one

I just spoke to an old friend who had a lump examined under ultrasound yesterday and now has to go and have biopsies taken on Friday. It is the waiting around for the results I told him which was the worst bit.

He hadn't realised what sort of cancer I had had - so he drew a sharp intake of breath when I told him. Modern science and medicine these days is such that you stand a very good chance of survival. I was surprised that some forms of cancer are coming down in their rating and you cannot insure against some of them if they are at an early CIS type stage! In some cases of course, they can now fully cure cancer which is brilliant. A lot more of course live in remission.

Anyway, I do hope that they find it is non cancerous and sort it out and I hope that he stops smoking! I can understand that he is stressed to bits too so I hope that I managed to give him the survivor's view!

I don't envy him the waiting. I remember the last lot and even knowing that it "looked" OK it was still a worry. A wonderful day too for me of course but 3 or 4 weeks of concern.

A good evening

Another old friend turned up last night and we had some good reminiscences. At one point we were laughing so loud I thought we were going to get chucked out of the pub.

I was doing the "every 15 minute" trip to the loo, which must have seemed strange - I've needed to go a few times before but not like that - it is one of the side effects of the treatment, it will go away in a few days time.

Had a brief but interesting conversation with my friend who didn't set up as self-employed but as a Limited company - I need to go and think this through now. I cannot decide whether to go self employed, a limited business change my existing business or quite what. Thinking cap on for the rest of the week.

I'm still a little bit sore but not too bad considering the side effects on Monday night. I am hoping that I can start next week without having to worry about anything and also getting my Monday and Tuesday back to useful employment now that I don't have the treatment to contend with.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A quick post

Before I go out and meet up with the lads. I deserve a beer, I really do. I need to make sure that I am also quite near the toilet too :-)

No really - it will be good to meet up again - it seems ages but is only a month since the last one. I hope to get some good data out of one of my friends who is self employed. One of the key things I got from the weekend course was that it may be worth me doing that than having a company behind me. Of course that opens you up to liability issues but the business isn't one where I will be buying massive chunks of equipment or owning anyone money so it shouldn't get to that.

Anyway - I'd better go and get ready and make my way over and enjoy a few glasses of warm british beer.

Treatment News

So yesterday was the last of this batch - my goodness I have had 18 of these - I'm sure the Urology nurse has seen my tackle more often than the wife :-)

Anyway - so I asked what the next steps are if all is clear:

Another batch of BCG like this one - which is 3 followed by a 9 week wait and another 3 and then operation and biopsies 12 weeks later. If that is clear, repeat the same one more time. If that is clear - then that is it! No 8 years worth and longer periods in between operations etc. I imagine that there would be some visual scoping and tests along the way.

That was a surprise - I was expecting a lot longer but modern practice appears to be this regimen. I could be finished with all of this around about this time next year in that case. Amazing.

A change in the wind

I am up, I am hurting (you'd better believe it) and I'm feeling good about myself at last.

First, the treatment was instilled quickly and easily and with minimum discomfort - better than the previous two but the side effects this time were immediate and started bang on 2 hours in. I am pretty uncomfortable right now as not only is the area sore but also there are occasional spasms of my bladder and urethra. Interesting and these things are strange - imagine if you have had a muscle spasm or twitch and then transfer that downstairs - a very strange sensation (where do you change the batteries?).

So I am going to leave his PC alone and go and rest up in a few minutes as I know I need some rest - I should have stayed in bed longer but someone put the phone back in my room and someone called about 45 minutes ago so I was awake then.

Other than this - I am feeling a lot better knowing I don't have another one of these next week and that things seem to be changing, my outlook is better and I notice that I am beginning to look outside of my own little world which I've lived in for quite a while. I am not feeling so thunderously depressed as I was and the weekend seemed to do me good - perhaps I had someone who had suffered the same stuff as me and so I was able to get a lot of it off of my chest. It was very therapeutic and I feel like a huge weight is lifted off me. I also think that the course I went on also made me confident that I could make a living at it and that I could be successful (not being nasty but a lot of people hadn't thought it through before they went).

I've written off for details of a BA Hons History Degree that I think I'd like to study and I have the details of the Professional Genealogists course too. If I can make the figures stack up, then I will look at this if the other job that a friend has lined up doesn't materialise.

So whilst I am not feeling great this morning physically I am feeling very positive mentally - more so than for a long time. Long may that continue.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Unsung Hero - Heroine actually

Is my wife. Today she will run me up to the Hospital and double park to wait for me to have my treatment, she drives me home, keeps an eye on the timings and puts up with all the side effects such as me being grumpy or tired or lazy or sleepy or wide awake or insomniatic and just about everything else. I can't imagine that it is great to see me in the state I'll be in later today or to hear me grunting and groaning every-time I try and move to make myself comfortable.

She has never once complained about it, she has just got on and been there all the time and she has cheered me up when I've needed it too.

I will have to start acting as if I deserved all of this attention.

Right - off to get ready for the last one this session - I'm sure that I'll be back on this stuff again in June or July if all goes OK with the Biopsies.

Suddenly it is all matter of fact

I was just reading the previous post. It sounded more like a press release than me talking. Such is the ongoing normalness of such things like treatment and operations that it is just something that happens to me now.

Before I used to be all wound up about it but it appears to me to be part of my every day life now.

My friend in Canterbury asked me if I feared anything these days? I thought that was a strange question but I was able to answer that no I didn't fear anything now. I can still get angry or anxious but I don't fear things anymore. There is probably a good reason behind his question but there is something quite refreshing about being a cancer survivor. You don't take prisoners anymore and you deal with shallow people in a very assertive way. You don't worry too much about things - what is the worst that can happen?

Having said that - I am pretty bent out of shape by the stuff going on around the Tribunal but again, what is the worst that can happen? The worst that can happen is that I lose the case. Is that fear or just anger?

Anyway, I am just surprised at myself for being so matter of fact about getting the treatment, having an operation and all of that. That is a big change in less than a year.

So here we are - final treatment of this session

Count three months from today - about the 6th May - and I should be in Hospital getting biopsies and we will see just how effective things have been. The longer you go without recurrence, then the greater the chances are that you are winning the battle. There is chart somewhere that explains all of this but, it generally shows that your odds of recovery improve greatly as time goes on and there are no set-backs.

By continuing to treat and then pulling that out over a period of time the treatment continues to renew the bladder lining and so lessen the chances of recurrence.

Anyway, final treatment and in a few hours I'll swing into the usual patterns and rituals to see me through the day. The last time, this third one proved to be the worst of the 3 so I will again be on my guard. You have to treat them all with respect.

Not a criticism - just an observation

When you get Cancer - your friends are too close to you to know what to do about it as they have been hit about as hard as you have (in a different way). SO I don't want it so sound at all as if it is a criticism, in fact, I only realised this the other night talking to my friend in Canterbury. Those nearest and dearest to you get thwacked with your Cancer diagnosis themselves and they have to deal with it too. I'm annoyed now that they went through that and that it has taken me this long to realise.

What was amazing was that those who I knew well but I wouldn't put them into family and friends category came in closer whilst the close ones moved away slightly.

I'm not sure that this post is making sense or being sensitive enough about this. Just an observation that in getting my diagnosis it hurt the circle of my friends and family. It didn't send anyone into misbehaviour (apart from me) - I don't think anyone got angry or bent out of shape about it, we don't do emotion as a family and it is rare that voices are raised or doors slammed etc. My friends have been great but I hadn't thought that my diagnosis and treatment would upset anyone else but me - it does tend to be a personal and selfish experience in my humble opinion. It does affect other people around you and we all deal with it differently.

I'm annoyed with myself for not seeing this until now - sure - I've had lots on my plate but it isn't at all like me - I am pretty good about this sort of thing. Some would say that I was superficial but they'd just be scratching the surface!

All is OK now - I think that it is just an interesting subject to explore a bit deeper when I get time. I never asked anyone else how "they" felt about it as it seemed to be so personal to me.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I've been so often I didn't know the half of it

I have been to Canterbury a lot of times. For the Cricket - for work but not since I was a youngster have I been in the centre or in the wonderful surrounding streets.

I was a lovely walk to the IHGS offices through some period streets, buildings all out of square and regular shape as they sag with age and display a character new buildings just cannot. I shall have to take myself off to Canterbury again, armed with a camera and a good guide book the streets should come alive and tell me their history. It looked marvellous and I eaves dropped a number of tourists and their guide talking about one building. Fascinating stuff.

It isn't that far from me but takes a good 1 1/2 hours on the train. It takes that long by car too unfortunately. However, the whole town looks great - the traffic has always been a problem and I think I have spent more time on the ring road than in the town.

So there you have it - another wonder explored and a place to go on my to do list.

The course was a useful one I thought - you needed to contribute and yet not too many people did. I felt that a number hadn't really thought through their business strategy and were somehow hoping that by a miracle it would all come clear and they would go home and start trading in Monday. In reality I actually felt I could start trading on Monday as I have already covered off most of the bases. I Won't of course, as Monday and Tuesday are probably going to be spent in a darkened room with the last of my current batch of treatments.

Anyway, having met A's mentor and had a longs chat and having done the course and seen those who I am up against as potential competitors (and having met those taking the course) I can see that there is a market to be achieved out there and it just needs a few more major decisions to be made as to whether to incorporate or not or whether to trade in my own name (self branding no corporate branding) that needs to be decided. Having an interchangeable or two businesses is also a possibility but then there are two set up and admin costs and split equipment charges etc. All very confusing and perhaps the most difficult decision to make.

Thought Provoking

An interesting day and lots of information that I can say I already knew - perhaps 80% of what i heard was as I had expected. The 20% though was interesting. Afterwards I spent a great evening with someone who I have a lot of time for and that I am growing to like more and more. A's mentor in the photographic world. A lovely guy and a kindred spirit. Isn't it great when you meet someone you can relate to and share similar experiences with?

A good day out in Canterbury and I'll say more as it sinks in - for now - it is late and I need to go and get my beauty sleep!

Treatment day on Monday and that is the lot for a while - yippee!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Looking forward to tomorrow

Off to bed now as an early start and I am looking forward to having a day of working out whether I ought to be doing family history research or not. It will be interesting to hear what others have to say about it and whether there is a living to be made or whether it is all just so much wishful thinking.

Well - I'll find out tomorrow.

Come on Brain!

The one thing that I have noticed is how "slow" and forgetful I am these days. It could be the treatment it may be the Statins it may be just old age but blast it all, I forget things that I never used to forget before! Like making a phone call that I should have done this morning - my alarm went off but that isn't a lot of use when I wasn't even anywhere near to hear it go off! I've just recalled that I should have been doing something. I thought perhaps I should be out somewhere or doing something and when I went to look, there it was a missed phone call. Blast it!

If there is one thing I miss it is my previous ability to have all my tasks worked out and to tackle them - these days I write out the list and promptly forget where I put the damn thing!

Anyway - I am looking forward to tomorrow so much. I am off to Canterbury to go on this course and I will see how I stack up against the competition and what the "experts" reckon on taking up a researchers role. I have printed off some business cards as a temporary measure so I can hand those out and start networking early. I just need to check train times and get my stuff together for the morning and I can go off and enjoy myself. After the meeting I am going to be going out for a few beers with a very nice guy who is helping my daughter with her photography and lets her use his studio and facilities. As he wont allow us to pay for the materials I ought to at least buy him a slap up meal and a beer!

Friday again

Where did the week go to again? It is Friday and suddenly another week has gone and I couldn't tell you where the time went.

I fixed my CV up this morning and whacked that off to my friend. Let's see what they make of it? It is amazing how many really interesting and complicated projects I have been involved with over the years. I was quite impressed once I wrote down a list of some of my achievements. I haven't put them on m CV as they aren't recent and yet - these are all household names and well known businesses and buildings. These days, the recruiters tend to go on the first page only of your CV - you could turn water to wine or make gold from lead and they wouldn't notice it :-)

It will be interesting to see quite what they make of my experience and also what sort of value they put on that level of experience and expertise. There aren't too many have sat on both sides of the fence or who fully appreciate the needs of the builder and the IT personnel too.

Way over left field

Well that was a bolt out of the blue. An old friend of mine just called - they are looking for someone who has a good background in construction and computer room design and implementation and also has good IT skills too. Strangely enough, there aren't too many people can do all the building work and understand the IT piece too. Can I send my CV in tomorrow? Well I suppose I can and see where that goes. It is a bit strange as there have been a number of e-mails and phone calls with people after my services.

I ought to follow this one up as it is a massive corporate and household name and that in itself would be interesting to me. It wouldn't do any harm I suppose to go and look at it at least. Perhaps that is what I need in the short term - someone to think for me?

I got a lot done yesterday - I am still up because the oldest has been out to a concert in London and has just got back! She seems happy enough as the band gave away some freebies and she got a handful of them - the freebies that is!

Still no news about Chicago although the registration has now commenced there is no program published either as of yet. I hope I hear soon as that will also determine what I do this year too. I can then get to and plan what I will do about holiday/vacation in and around Illinois. Buffalo/Niagara and Rochester are all within striking distance so perhaps spend some time driving around the lakes.

Anyway - it is late and I need to get off to bed as I have to get myself ready for Saturday and my course and work out train times and so on.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Breaking the bonds

Gradually I can feel myself making positive progress forwards. I'm not quite as focused on the baggage dragging along from the past at the moment, maybe because I have done something about it? This morning feels a lot better and I don't know, perhaps as I actually talked to someone about it last night or that in a week their response to the tribunal should be through and things can move on. Production of some hard evidence would be useful I suppose.

It was a good night out last night - I really enjoyed myself and the only thing is that this morning I still ave this sore throat and very very slight cold. It is just there in the background - I expect the immunotherapy is beating it up as we speak!

Lots of things to get on with today and I've already sorted out one batch of letters and posters to send out for the Easter Egg hunt which is looming large this year.

I now need to get cracking on a load of labels and addresses for a mass mailing I have to do - thank goodness that most of the stuff now goes out by e-mail.

Well - I'd better go and get stuck in to that I suppose.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

So many things to do, so many excuses not to do them

I got the table plan and dining cards sorted out and then two people cried off so had to re-do the lot. It is too late now - if they can't get their act together then so be it! They will just have to be sat where I put them and tough luck.

It was quite amusing some time ago when someone forgot to tell me until the day he was dining and I put him out of order with his rank and position - after the meal he was quite indignant. To which I used the now famous words "Did it make your food taste any different?" and "Well, it was hardly life threatening now was it?" I believe he may have complained about me but who gives a toss! Life's too short.

Talking of which, I still cannot get my a**e in gear. It is just so easy to get distracted or lose time over the day - it just bleeds away - a bit here and a bit there. I've been mucking about with this dining plan for about 3 hours. It should be a 45 minute job at most. I've spent time reading some blogs, looking at a few web sites. OK I did a little bit of research on shopping carts for my potential new business too but as my old boss used to say "Never confuse effort with achievement".

Mind you, I'm not feeling that bright and have been yawning most of this afternoon and have taken tablets for this sore throat which doesn't seem to be going away although (touch wood) it isn't getting any worse either.

At least the meeting this afternoon will cheer me up.

Slightly Empty yet Overloaded

I saw a blog post from someone also with BC who was in "burn out". They'd got to a point where they had information overload about their condition, had lots of recurrences and more procedures than you could count on two hands. The upshot was that they were just staring at loads of paper, reports, and their job was messed up as there was no continuity through the amount of time off. Finally, they had been concentrating so hard looking inwards that they had forgotten everything else that was going on around them. That's about the time I reckon I'd just go and lie down somewhere or try and get a break.

it made me stop to think and consider that this is a lonely disease and quite an introverted one at that. I have this blog - it has been really good for getting stuff off my chest no matter how trivial it may appear. This is an outlet for much of the anger, aggression, sadness and minutiae of the things I go through. I can see that there is a build up of negative energy in the way things have panned out for me. I'm particularly disappointed that I never really got to celebrate being given the all clear and that I cancelled a lot of things for the business (and I use that term in its loosest possible meaning) that I worked for. I had a lot of focus last year on that and it took my mind off of what was going on here. I was busy and up until the end part enjoyed that. I don't have that enthusiasm at the moment nor can I get that sort of enthusiasm for this new venture. It is as if that spark has been extinguished.

What am I getting at here? Only that I begin to recognise the barriers in my way and the things I now need to overcome to get myself back on form and back to somewhere near my old self. I presently have too much time to think and analyse rather than getting on and doing. I hope that this weekend will convince me to either go or drop my business plans. Whatever way the decision goes, at least another hurdle can be navigated and things can move on.

I don't feel like I'm burnt out, I do feel like I am overloaded with detail and fact and that I am taking ages to come to decisions (not surprising considering the thought that went into taking the last job and the outcome so far). I am probably doubting my own abilities and I am still coming to terms with things round the disease, even now!

More as I work my way through this. It isn't new information, it is what I have been struggling with since December in reality. Oh well - another set of things to overcome and without my magic wand none of them will go away easily. Perhaps knowing what all these things are will make it easier to deal with - I certainly hope so, I'm not enjoying life at the moment, it is full of conflict (real or imagined) and I don't need that. I guess some of that will iron itself out in the next few weeks - let's hope so.

Dawn Breaks

The sore throat is still here but hasn't got any worse and the sneezes are at bay at the moment. I shall take a few pills to see if I can shift it as it is quite annoying.

I'm up early as I set my mind to it and I have a stack of things to do today - not least of which is to work out how to do some partial labels in a mail merge. That will be fun.

I'm off out tonight and have to do a table plan and sort out the dining and so that is also something to get on with.

I've been OK so far this morning - I still feel sore around my middle but no debris falling out of me so far today.

I will not overdo it today though - nice and easy with the recovery. Only one more to go and this time next week I should be looking forward to a couple of months rest before the next phase!

Onwards and upwards

Certainly - I have been taking it easy today and tomorrow I intend to get cracking at last and get some more off of my to do list sorted. Today I have taken it easy but i needed to as I have been having quite a bit of debris falling out of me and whilst things are a lot less sore than last week the debris tends to give off a little stinger every now and then.

I spent quite a bit of time on the new business plans today. I'm looking forward to the weekend when I go on the course run by the IHGS - Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies. I think this will give me the "acid test" that I need to determine whether this really is a viable business opportunity or whether I am off on some dream. I tend to think that I can put myself to this, I certainly hope so and I really want to make a success of it if I do. After the course I hope to meet up with a friend and have a few beers and perhaps grab something to eat too.

I'm a bit worried tonight as I have been sneezing a lot and have a slight sore throat. I don't think that I have had a cold since July 2006! All this immunotherapy has seen to that. I need to be careful as it can be one of the side effects or, if I do have a cold, I have to be certain that they will let me have the last treatment - they don't want to confuse the side effects with a cold that looks like flu that is! Fingers crossed it is just me stirring up the dust in my office :-)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ongoing Treatment

I was told a bit more about this as I explained that I was due for a Flexi but cancelled it (the right thing to do). Apparently, in the short term - no flexi at all!

I get the operation for biopsies and then further treatment and then another operation for biopsies and on we go until they are happy. The reason is that they need to look at the cellular level for the tests. The flexi can only give an overview of what is going on. So - whilst I wasn't happy that it will continue to be operations I am glad that they don't take any chances on this.

I was wondering whether there ought to be a customer rewards scheme for the Hospital - I go there often enough I could collect loads of points!

Anyway - all I need to know now is the ongoing treatment regime so I can understand that as the period between treatments slowly extends. The nightmare would be to get this to recur and have to start it off again! Let's not go there shall we :-0

Recovery from treatment 2

Well I certainly know I've had this treatment. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as I was expecting and was less than last week's in some ways. The treatment definitely worked though and there were some large bits of debris which were really the only eye watering moments. The catheter this time was OK - you'll never get used to it but it was much quicker and nowhere near as painful as last week.

I'm pretty sore around my middle - I would have said feeling like I had been "Kicked by a Mule" but I have no idea what that feels like so let's just say it feels as if someone has punched me just below the stomach and just above the Crown Jewels :-)

I intend to get a day of rest again. I could sit here and start to "do things" but I'd only put a strain on my middle and I don't want that. All I want is severe thumb strain from using the remote to dodge day-time TV - whoever invented that ought to be cathertherised and made to watch it with lots of fizzy drink!!

Anyway, only 1 more to go and then I can relax for 3 months. Then I have to have an operation. More of that next post!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Here we go then

Off now to turn off Phones and PC and then it will be a shower, loose clothes, get the MP3 player ready, the pills are there, the notebook and hold onto the rails and strap myself in for he free roller coaster ride!

Here we go treatment day 2

Well the Giants won but I really couldn't stay awake long enough to watch that.

Even now, despite getting off to bed early I still feel a bit tired this morning. As usual I feel OK if not a little tentative about going to get the treatment. As you may recall the 2nd one is often the one that gives me the most side effects and that in itself is the bit that is most difficult to explain to people in the suddenness and ferocity of them and also how quickly they go too.

And it is just like that - for a few hours afterwards everything is OK and it creeps up on you and all of a sudden it is as if you are aware that just about every bit of you is having some sort of trouble. It is that quick and I think that it normally comes on about 4 to 5 hours after treatment. It tends to last for a good 4 hours after that and then subsides. Overnight you know you've had the side effects as it is almost as if you are getting after-shocks from then to remind you as they finally subside into your memory as you subside into fitful but later deeper sleep.

Typically side-effects include being very sore, difficulty urinating (you need to go, you can go but it feels like glass or emery powder is included), aching legs, arms and lower body, sweats, generally hot sweats, occasionally cold ones too! Urgency, wanting to go every 5 or 10 minutes which is not the right thing to do you need to try and hold back if possible otherwise it just hurts more. Unable to get comfortable; this is caused by the aches and sweats and you just cannot get into a comfortable position. When you finally do get somewhere near bearable - you guessed it - you want to go to the loo again!

Anyway - we will see how I get on. I have most of my standard pills ready by my bed so I will make more use of these today if I need to.

Other than that today feels relatively normal although I need to remember to eat early and hopefully I wont get harried by phone calls which used to happen a lot - perhaps I shall just let them ring this time.

Superbowl Tiredness

Sorry - got to go to bed - too early and not even half way through the second quarter.

And yes - we do like the New England Patriots over here, or the Dolphins, or the Giants. The trouble is - it is on when it is live too late for us :-(

Come on Patriots!

Right - off to bed - treatment in 13 hours!

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Just 24 hours or so until the next treatment and the countdown starts now really. A number of phone calls and e-mails arrive that wish me well for tomorrow. I am - or feel I am - recovered enough to go for treatment and so the worry I had about being too sore to go is no longer there.

I've a few e-mails to review and some paperwork. Tomorrow I intend to get 2 major postings completed and some more of my to do list completed. That will allow me to have a few days off recovering. This one, the second, is generally the worst of the lot although you may recall that the third one from the last series took that particular spot last time!

i shall be taking the rest of today off and just sitting down and getting myself ready for another hectic week ahead. I am gradually making inroads to my to-do list so who knows, perhaps next week will be the week I can see what the original colour my desktop was!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Now I thoroughly enjoyed that

What a great evening. I met up with a nice group down from Scotland for the meeting and one of them handed me a Mark Token - a penny because we had never met. How nice was that? It is a specially struck coin that is handed out to candidates normally (in England) and so I have a lovely memento. I imagine it has similar uses in Scotland - someone I know has his penny always on him. I have a nice collection of these now and this one is very special because of the meaning behind the giving. A token - wondrful, charming and memorable.

The meal was great as it was part Scot and Part English - Scottish Beef for roast beef and a Haggis - piped in and addressed properly in the old tongue. Then slashed up ready to eat. It was fantastic and I have to admit (don't tell the wife) to having two extra portions! We had Neeps and Tatties and gravy (whisky) too.

So I had a great day out and it was a lovely meeting and a lovely meal Great company and a shame that I could only have a little to drink - they are off out drinking until the wee hours tonight.

Well - I am cheered up a lot by that and it is nice to get out - I do sometimes find that it takes me a while to get out of the house - but once I do I generally feel a lot better for it and for making the effort.

Where does the time go?

Getting ready to go out in a minute and that will be Saturday done for. I hope an interesting and enjoyable day as I won't be doing anything. That is the plan anyway. It is the first time that I have been to this particular Lodge and centre - it is a bit of a drive and a bit out of the way which is great.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to that but I didn't get half of what I wanted done this morning again although, having said that, I have managed to get rid of a stack of unwanted e-mails. I also have one of my old e-mail accounts closing down so I have taken the opportunity of removing it from my e-mail systems and hey presto - spam e-mails are down to perhaps 1 or 2 a day now. Excellent.

I am working my way through about 6 months of "to Do" lists and I should be able to return about half a Brazilian Rain Forrest into recycling by next week!

I'd better go and get myself ready now - Time flies.

Now I remember

Why I unsubscribed to a number of Fora (I suppose that is the plural of Forum) some years back. These are great places to find researchers or people who share similar interests to you. So genealogical fora are good places to find out about other research and get hints and tricks but, and here is the big but, there are so many posts that are not of any interest to anyone else but the person who posted and perhaps one or two other people around the world so you have to trawl through pages of stuff to find a snippet of good stuff.

It reminds me of a story someone told me about a Princess trying to find the right man to marry - "You have to kiss a hell of a lot of Frogs until you find the right one!" I like it - not kissing frogs you understand - the story!

I actually see that these fora are going to be good for me in the future if I pursue the genealogy business. Consider where else you could get captive audiences for your words of wisdom? Let's say there are 20,000 on a single forum, I only need 1% of them to remember my name and pass it on to a punter to start getting a "reputation" and building a network from there. So you have to be there but separating the wheat from the chaff is the difficult thing. Ho hum.

Friday, February 01, 2008

There may be trouble ahead

But while there's moonlight - oh go on - you get the picture.

I'm feeling - TGIF right now. What a week. I still haven't quite recovered from Monday's treatment - I hope that I don't end up going to get the next shot on Monday tingling like this or it will be "interesting".

As for the tribunal stuff - well, we will have to wait and see. Apparently there is no chance of arbitration and they are submitting their counter and so what will be will be (Thanks Doris).

I have an interesting weekend - I am out tomorrow for a Lodge meeting and I am looking forward to that immensely. I am also beginning to get on top of understanding what I want to do next or think that I am getting there. So the plans are crystallising in my mind about what I want to do, how I want to do that and I need to flesh that out some more. I have the training course next week which will help me get to that decision faster.

So I am going to have a bit of a relaxing weekend and try and forget all about the nonsense of this week and move on.

The Centre of Attention

No longer is everything revolving around me, I've got the clear diagnosis and only every now and again does it comeback and remind everyone - like now - under treatment with quarantined bathroom and me lying in a darkened room etc.

Normality is something we have always strived to maintain in the house and I think that we succeeded but things are back to normal now - it is just I haven't caught up with that yet!

I must try harder to tune in to what is going on outside of and around me, I have become very insular and very self critical and inward looking. I try to be normal here, at home, I struggle to do that elsewhere.

I feel a need to redefine myself, reinvent me and yet I cannot do that whilst I am still analyzing what has happened, what I feel like and what I want to do. Frankly, I'm not sure what I want to do.

Further thoughts

Is being given the all clear an anti climax? Do the things you've told yourself to help your recovery mean you will actually ever go out and do them? What is it all about?

Interesting isn't it? I'm readjusting to the fact that - in reality - life hasn't changed that much. I'm both stronger and weaker from the experience and that in both the mental and physical side of the meaning.

Let's take the physical side - I'm feeling a lot weaker in terms of strength - I don't know, let's say to put up a shelf or do something that is exerting. Also stamina - I can't do things for any prolonged amount of time. The only thing that I would say is that I do seem to be able to manage to walk for a long time or exercise - albeit I need to get back to some routine in that area after this batch of treatment. Where I feel I am stronger is my ability to take the treatment and ability to handle the hospital and things they do to me. I couldn't imagine them doing that before. So what is that? Physical pain is easier to handle than it used to be.

Mentally the roller coaster ride I go through most days is the obvious outcome. I go through huge mood swings daily. These used to be weekly if you look back across the blog you'll see the ups and downs. A lot is caused by FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). These seem to be things that I was never fearful of before - work, what people think of me ,has my judgement really gone, do I mightily p*ss people off these days, paranoia, edginess, nervousness etc. They are little things that gnaw away endlessly undermining your self confidence - and that is the last thing I need eroded.

Before BC, these things were still around of course but afterwards they are magnified and are like huge barriers to get over and just when you get clear and are in an upbeat mood - along comes something else to send you back from whence you came. I'm not overly worried about these things, I know they are here and I have to deal with them. They arrive generally one at a time and you have to get over them one at a time. You can clear one only to have it get back into your head a few hours later. Such is the position I find myself in now that just when I get on top of something or try and finish something off - an event happens that tumbles me back down again. These are like ongoing disappointments, they are annoying and niggling but not like a wall of despair or anything like that - just like splinters really.

A lot of this still has to do with how shabbily the people I worked for treated - and continue to - treat me. Their posturing and white noise and general venom take their toll on me but I should know better. These aren't "reasonable" or "normal" people and yet as with all of "their sort" they are the "bully" and their tactics are those of under the surface terror. Sorry to sound dark about it but - real business people don't act like this. At the risk of sounding like "the victim" - it did get to the point of me asking myself whether I actually deserved this or not :-)

So, each day at the moment is a constant fight to keep on top of and above all this negativity and to try and get back the real me and whilst I know I can never be what I was before, I wouldn't mind getting back my drive and enthusiasm as well as my motivation and to kick this constant procrastination into touch. Oh yes and at least some of my phsical stamina as well please.

Deep and meaningful? Perhaps - I'm sure some reading this would advocate bringing back National Service - it never did them any harm :-)