Sunday, August 31, 2008

24 Hours

To go to treatment and I'm not thinking too much about it apart from noting it down here. I am wondering whether to work with the very real possibility that these three could be the last and that way I can work my mind into "only three more to go" and so on down to "last one!"

Of course, that isn't to say that this is the lot and I won't need anymore of course. Considering how vigorous this was initially and how they couldn't believe the biopsies and the way they had managed to tackle this, I suppose I ought to be prepared for it to come back? As I said before it can do that but the longer you go without a recurrence, the more likely it is it will have gone altogether. The other good thing is that it is relatively slow growing and can be caught (although I am guessing not in all cases).

Already I am feeling much better about the future and I am beginning to pull out and away from my normal demeanour perhaps back to somewhere and something like I was 5 or more years ago. I strongly believe that I have been "ill" for some time before I actually got ill. On reflection I was getting lethargic and lost interest in lots of things and didn't really want to get involved in anything.

It is a strange thing to say but the changes happening to me at the moment are quite surprising. I know I am getting better. I can feel my attitude and outlook on life and general confidence and self esteem are rising. It is about time - I'm getting slightly less cautious about things concerning my life and my future. There are less reasons not to do something - so less objections to suggested evenings out, going visiting and socials which I have tended to avoid (even if I do enjoy things once I am there).

My only challenge at the moment is to get beyond the fitness, fatigue and exhaustion stage which is probably the most annoying thing as it just happens often without any warning and it can just wipe you out. I think the one thing I do need to do is not take on so much at a time and to pace it properly. Trying to continue on like I used to and doing too much just isn't going to help.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mountain of stuff to do

I have sat down at my desk and looked at a complete mountain load of things I need to get done. It is a bit daunting when you see quite how much there is but I just need to work my way through it all. That isn't easy when I keep getting trivial interruptions and also that the remainder of the household seem to be using my office a lot today!

I just hope I can get through all of this stuff in the next few days as my desk and my large work table / drawing board are disappearing under all sorts of paper, boxes and CDs, DVDs etc.

It is amazing quite how it gets like this. My desk at work is ordered tidiness but here it looks as if a small bomb has been thrown in to the room.

I'm surprised at how Monday's treatment hasn't been playing on my mind and it was only really in the last few days I began to think about it. Whilst I am not looking forward to this - I can, I think, take the view that these may the last ones of these I have to do. I might well need a yearly flexible cystoscopy but that is probably going to something I can deal with slightly differently to these and I understand that they are done locally too which is a great weight off my mind as having to get to the first Hospital we went to which has very little parking and is a fair drive away, at least this one is so near that I'll be able to get home quickly and suffer in silence rather than squirm inside a car or taxi for 30 or more minutes!

Anyway, three more to go and perhaps this episode can be placed into the experience drawer and life can get back to whatever next it will throw at me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Weekend, Rest, Treatment

My - hasn't the gap between treatments flown by? It hardly seems 9 weeks ago I finished off the last lot.

I feel tired but happy today - work has been hard and hectic this week but they like the work I do and how much I do. The next few weeks will be trying for us as I try and squeeze 5 days work into effectively 3 and a half days!

Lots of things going on as well that I must turn my attention to. A is off to Uni and her flat becomes available on Monday. She won't move in until later as I will be having my treatment on Monday and there isn't really a great rush for that.

I am trying to see what my schedule is like for the rest of the year and I am trying to sort out days and dates when we are all together. I've probably got to accept that it will not be that often.

On another note - the people I used to work for (oh no I didn't that's right :-) ) have been in touch with the people that I introduced them to (or didn't as they will have me believe) and it looks as if they have been somewhat shafted and are having to do something else which is fantastic and wonderful but they can't say what it is yet :-)

Maybe, just maybe they'll have got the message for it was a year ago now that we all went up to Scotland to get trained after it having been launched in June 2007 and here we are almost in September 2008 and they have - well nothing. Tragic isn't it?

What on earth were they thinking? Oh well, I suppose I ought to thank them for allowing me to break with the old world and join the Third Sector. What a difference.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baggage Handling

Not at the airport, in and around yourself. What a load of stuff we accumulate and things that we "have" to do and yet, the world would squeeze by without me and things would have gotten done and suddenly all the trappings and possessions seem to be trivial. Some things are nice to have, some things I wonder what on earth I was thinking. Stuff just accumulates and builds up and it is is beginning to get in my way.

Suddenly things are changing again and the course has altered again. Not sure where I'm actually going but there is a change in the wind and that's refreshing in itself. Maybe I am finally coming to terms with the events of the past few years?

I will just have to see where it leads me - it isn't clear but I felt I really turned a corner today.

Fight back

I had a dream last night but this time it was different. For a long while, a familiar face (I have yet to place it) beats me up and I am defenceless to stop him. It is a short and sadistic - no blood - punching and kicking affair and I lie there and take it.

Not in last night's dream. The shock on his face when I laid into him was good to see. It is perhaps a poignant reminder that these past few weeks and months of fatigue and tiredness are transient parts of my recovery and that it isn't going to stop me from recovering or drag me back. I just wont let it and that is final. As you'd expect from me the punishment was short and effective and that was it, no gloating or sucker punching.

This guy's gone the way of the black dog and if he comes back he'll get more of the same. The road is forward from now on and it is time to shake off some of the baggage that has accumulated these past 2 years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Went OK

I was tired today and it wasn't helped by rescheduling a meeting forward to today. As usual - chaos ensued and I just managed to get things sorted in time.

I felt tired enough to fall asleep in the chair for 20 minutes when I got in though.

I'd be off to bed now but one of the kids has decided to take a late shower which is a lot of use when I am trying to get to bed!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to work

I will get back tomorrow and prepare for the next 3 weeks of interrupted service with my treatment. Right in the middle of it we have a major meeting that requires my attention and there are all sorts of pressures to get things done as well.

I suppose I ought to be looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow but in reality it is the effort required to get to and from work that appears to be giving me some of my problems. Perhaps I can work out some arrangement?

Positive Thinking

I've always tried to be positive and yet recently, as I realise that I am coming out of this part of the journey, I find myself - not worrying - that would be too much to say - but at the back of my mind is the concern that there is something else out there which is going to get me because this one didn't.

I know that is a strange thing to say but the nagging feeling is that if you get one cancer, are you likely to get another one - are you "more susceptible" perhaps? No one seems to have answered that and I don't like thinking about it but there it is this little voice in the back of my head saying those sorts of things. It isn't black dog invading my mind and dreams and making me depressed or anything either. Just one of those things that niggles in the background.

I'm still positive and upbeat though and if it wasn't for the fatigue, disturbed sleep patterns and other reminders of how weak I am, I'd be pretty certain that I'm on the right road. I need to remind myself that it has taken 25 months to get this far and that this is a long term thing. It isn't getting over a cold and going back to work exactly the same as you were before it. This totally changes you physically and mentally.

Another missed day

I was wide awake last night and couldn't get to sleep and knew that I'd be in no fit state to go to work so I e-mailed at about 1 in the morning telling them that. It is a real nuisance but part of the territory. I have to admit to myself now that I really cannot expect to be fit and healthy and manage to work as hard as I did yesterday and not suffer the consequences of that afterwards.

I'm OK but I do know that I've overdone it. The trouble is my ability to go out for an evening or even have a few beers is limited and I find myself tired or wide awake or like now, having the hot and cold sweats for no apparent reason.

Frustration at the way this hits me is another thing. It annoys me when I can't go to work but then again, I need to realise that this is all part of the fallout of having cancer. It is a long fight and when you get to the end of the treatment, like now, you let you guard down and forget just how poorly you were and just how much it has taken out of you.

Slowly it dawns on me how tired travelling to London and back every day makes me, let alone the work I do. Treatment starts next week and I know what that will be like for a while. It is a long road back to being fit and healthy again - I have to realise that being free of cancer doesn't mean I am cured, or recovered from all the mental and physical stresses and strains of the fight.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

So tired was I that

I didn't actually post my Friday message until just now! I went to bed and slept for the Gold medal :-)

I got up Saturday, took the sample in, repaired this guys PC - gee did it have some viruses on it, went to a 50th party and have been wiped out today.

Anyway - now a little less tired I am retiring to bed.

Tomorrow week the treatment starts and that will bring its own interest - I was talking to some people last night about the "ability" to have the treatment and I really do hope that these three will be the last. It would be nice to set off with a clean sheet in 2009.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stop messing with the Gravity Switch

I am convinced there is someone playing with the gravity switch. By which I mean this on off of fatigue I keep getting. It is just as if someone turned a switch. I feel absolutely wiped out tonight. I got home, fell asleep n the train and as I got in and sat in my chair.

It is the most amazing feeling as if a weight is pressing down on your whole body. You just don't want to try and get up and move against the force.

It is 9 in the evening and I write this just as I am about to go to bed as I just want to go and sleep.

I've got someone wants me to go and check out his PC or something and I have to get a sample into the Hospital in the morning and I must catch up with a huge backlog of things.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What a good evening out

I didn't really want to go but decided that I should get out as I was being a little bit negative about things.

Good thing to - I thoroughly enjoyed my evening and had a lovely meal, in good company.

What struck me was that one of my oldest friends was wondering whether we had fallen out?? Oh my, what had I done? Well - I just hadn't been in touch and for 6 weeks which is just amazing. Of course I haehaven't fallen out with him. Just time has disappeared and in my current inward looking phase I have just let work and tiredness get in the way of other things which are - frankly - rather important. I must be on the look out for that. I am concentrating so hard on me that I am not taking into account other people. Note to self - sort that out sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Work is frenetic

Which is good - but wow - do I ever feel tired. There are about 5 main projects all in different stages of readiness and I am juggling to keep all the balls in the air.

That is fine but I also need to make some room for all my work here at home. I've been that knackered that I really haven't achieved much in the way of progress but I intend to this weekend. We have a bank holiday on Monday but that has now been booked with people coming around. So just Saturday and Sunday. I have lots to catch up and do and I've been invited out tomorrow evening. I suppose I ought to go to that.

A isn;t back from a brief holiday with her pals.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I stopped off to meet some friends at a Pub in London and just stayed for a few. I am so tired now that I am off to bed early again.

I have a full day of it tomorrow and so need to be up early and getting prepared.

I wish I could spend a little more on work here but perhaps this weekend I can set myself up to catch up.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fatigue coming in again

Hit me over the weekend and again today - luckily not at work but I just fell asleep in front of the TV and so came up here to knock out a blog, catch up with some e-mail backlog. Got a call someone wants me to fix their PC for them. No use telling retired people that I work down the week and as usual, I said I'd help out!

I really cannot keep up these days. Thanks goodness a bank holiday coming up but realised that I am about to go back on treatment Monday week! I'll need to get my sample in this Friday or Saturday then I suppose! They do a cytology test on your urine these days to make sure there are no traces of blood. I believe that they have the ability to actually test for BC as well at the same time too.

So back to being tired and how to combat it. I suppose the only real way to do this is to work on fitness and trying to be clever with time. I have lots to do and yet I really am not managing my time well. Work is something that I concentrate very hard on and that I get in and don't stop until I go home. I do however go home on time every day - but I don't have a break at lunch time and just blitz my way through the day. I am guessing that I ought to start to have a break at lunchtime :-) As I have my University course starting in a month, I will make time every day to do something. I need to sort myself out this weekend to get my course books and set aside my time to myself to get stuck in. I'm pretty excited about the prospect but not about the time I may lose around Christmas with the operation - although perhaps being stuck at home I'll be able to really get stuck in?

I'm going to take myself off to bed and see if I can get a good night's sleep and see if that helps me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekend without a blog?

Well almost - I went out Friday evening and just haven't felt brilliant since. I feel the fatigue coming on and it is as if I am ailing from something but not quite.

I don't seem to be able to sit down and concentrate on doing things that I should do. Mainly such things as getting back up to speed with all my administration work. I'm going to have to sort things out soon as already I can see a back log of work.

I didn't even get around to doing any blogging this weekend. The Olympics kept me amused and it has been two good days but the real reason is that I just don't feel like doing anything at all at the moment. Maybe I will snap out of it later.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I must be getting older

Or perhaps more sensitive to information. Everyone seems to have cancer or know someone who does. It just seems to be one of those things that I'm tuned into I suppose. The trouble is that a lot of the ones I am hearing about are really aggressive and sudden and nearly everyone of them has been terminal of late.

I'm thinking to myself "there but by the grace of G-d go I!!"

I'm actually feeling very well indeed. I could do with losing a few pounds but other than that and the tiredness which isn't as bad but is in the background, I'm OK. Long may it remain that way.

A day for losing my sense of humour and for celebration

A Level results day so A went off and got her results which were better than expected and more than she needs to go to Uni. She is out with her friends enjoying a few drinks to celebrate. Not all did so well and so whilst we are pleased there are some worried faces and clearing but it looks as if they are all sorted with a place.

As for my loss of humour. I bought an online season ticket months ago and use it every day - yesterday it sort of didn't work so I went to change it just like it says I can. Now here is the "BUT". You can't just change it because you bought it on line we need to see the receipt - no matter that the ticket has my ID card and name written all over it!! So I dutifully get that and go in early this morning. They want 15 minutes to sort it out! I need to be put on the system and I would have missed my train and so I go and wait for my train and 15 minutes later when the train is due they cancel it (they wait until the minute it was due to do this). I then go over the platform and get another train which is of course really crowded and get to London where I try again to sort the ticket. Oh no, I can do it but it will take me 15 or 20 minutes and it isn't issued from here you should go to your home station - I explain that I had already done this.

Leaving work early so I can get to the station in time, I am surprised to find my ticket now works quite nicely at both ends. When I get here though - the ticket office is closed!

You couldn't make it up could you. Modern IT has moved us nowhere. 20 years ago you could walk in to the station and they would replace a faded ticket straight away. Now you need 3000 NASA scientists to programme the tea machine! Utter pillocks the lot of them and a load of "jobsworths".

So, rant is over, I am going out to lunch tomorrow and then in the evening we are going out to my friend's 51st party! Cool.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A nice birthday

My Daughter L. We went out - 8 of us and had a lovely meal in a country pub and it didn't cost the earth. Very pleasant and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Note to self - we must do more of that sort of thing it was really enjoyable much like the holiday...

Work was OK but got some bad news as a friend's father has a very nasty cancer indeed and I don't think that anyone has accepted the prognosis. All clutching at remote 2nd opinions and the like at present. From what I have heard and know, it isn't great news.

I'm reminded that my cousin is going through chemo at the moment but doesn't feel up to talking. I'm in two minds whether to write and empathise - I feel a bit of a fraud when it comes to my cancer compared to some of the terrible things other people have to put up with.

Another opportunity to get out on Friday when it is a friend's birthday (who I had the joint party with last year). Tomorrow A gets her A level results. We hope for good things and that she will go on to University. If she does, I think it will be the making of her, she has changed so much this past year. She really is turning out to be joy in both her attitude and her performance. She works really hard and deserves to do well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Small World

So I met up with a friend who is going off to Florida this Friday. Where are you staying I ask? Blow me if it isn't a few miles from my Aunt and Uncle!

I spoke to the boss yesterday - he asked if I got my tan sitting in the garden or away. Told him I had been to the Azores - guess where he went 2 months ago???

Life is full of little coincidences - Same town/city in Florida - same town/city in the Azores - how bizarre.

Of course I should have been in Chicago this week (lucky it wasn't last week looking at the weather) but that didn't happen! Maybe that was pre planned too? Perhaps that is taking it too far :-)

I wonder sometimes about fate, coincidence and other spooky stuff? I knew I had something wrong with me some time before it happened and I do tend to pick up on tenuous connections before most people. Maybe I am just paranoid :-)

Working from Home

Typical - it has cleared up now - nice a bright although they say worse is on its way. It looks stupid now but I've been working since 6:40 and so will get more done today than I probably would have anyway.

What still at home this morning?

Afraid so - the wisest should be building Arks! I walked no more than 150 yards and was soaked through. Came back, got changed - walked less this time and decided to give it a miss! That's two pairs of trousers, socks and shoes soaked through and a third isn't going to prove to be any better given it is stair rodding it down outside.

I'll e-mail the office and work from home today - it is easy enough to do and I have plenty to get on with. Now to see if the remote working system actually does!

I think 3 or 4 years ago I would have battled on through but I can't be spending hours in wet clothes or getting chills or hypothermia - and believe me - I reckon that was possible this morning.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Oh Dear

A good acquaintance died whilst I was away. Funeral was today and so I missed it. Terrible - they only found out it was cancer 5 weeks ago. Dreadful for his family and a big shock to have such an aggressive form of Cancer.

On the work front - today was great to get back into things - I was tired though. I managed to just about sort out my e-mail although I have a bit more still to do to really catch up.

I've got confirmation of my University Course. I need to plan things out now to cover that. I am giving up some of my more strenuous admin jobs next year thank goodness. In a way I was able to use them to help me through.

August and we have rain and gales! Oh to be back in the Azores :-)

I also now need to lose some weight too and so I am being careful on my diet and I will be ramping back some exercise. Of course, treatment looms in just a few weeks time to halt that but I want to be prepared and fit for December's operation. I'd like to come away from that and recover quicker because I am fit.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back to Work

Tomorrow - not sure I want to go back though. I fancy a week off doing nothing. We did something every day on the Azores and whilst they aren't large I drove nearly very day somewhere or the other.

The nice thing was that I didn't think too much about anything to do with work, health or anything. It was nice to get away with the family.

The Azores are a great place to go. Get there before anyone else discovers them. they are as I imagine pre tourist Portugal was like, mixed with Madeira and a little bit of Iceland all thrown together.

Well - better get to bed and get ready for an early start tomorrow.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Back to Blighty

Wet and wild and cold :-)

Had a good time and one of the best holidays I have had in years. More later but back nicely tanned, relaxed and not sure that I am ready for work on Monday though.....