Friday, October 31, 2008

You are not taking this seriously

That is and at the same time isn't true.

Only recently have I taken the disease I had seriously and I have a defence mechanism built up around me that takes away a lot of the things you may (if you have never had this) THINK about cancer. Thinking is not the same as KNOWING and here then lies the perception that perhaps I am not taking it seriously.

I have of necessity had to look early on at the worst side and taken a fully pessimistic view based on the facts and also taking the view that I was always going to get the bad news. In early days that was a realistic way to deal with it. then came the reassuring other people because it isn't just you who gets this. Much as I like to think I am my own person, many other peoples lives are lined to mine and they suffer to so you build a crust around this and they need (and so do you) a certain "attitude" to what you have.

Now I think back to this and it only slowly sinks in just how near this has all been. I take it seriously but life shouldn't be all serious now should it. If you can't have a laugh or do a good turn then you really don't deserve it!

You kind of hope

That both the European and US guidance on Bladder Cancer Management and BCG treatments are equally as good as each other despite the fact they are so different.

There are some key differences in TURBT and Re-TURBT and in BCG regime. Mind you, it worked for me so I'm not arguing about it just noted that it was quite a difference.

I know Steve had his BCG yesterday and can imagine the side effects he is going through. It is good to have it on a Thursday though as you get the weekend to catch up a bit. I used to have mine on a Monday and it could mean that on Wednesday I wasn't really up to it.

In total I had 24 BCGs, all full strength ones which, as I am young (I think I am young), were bearable and manageable. I cant imagine that you'd be able to take them if you were in a high degree of pain from them. Mind you, I did keep in mind that other people undergo far worse treatments and that I was lucky to be able to lie down at home and go through all of this.

Blogging Pays Dividends

In just over 2 years the blog, which carries a small set of advertising banners has paid dividends and $100 was popped into my bank this morning. That's about a $1 a week :-) That's about 60 GBP.

I am going to give that to charity and felt that the charity that I work for which, unfortunately looks as if we are going to be helping 100s more children in these uncertain times, will get this first tranche. There is another $30 building up (they pay in $100 tranches) which will also go to charity.

Thanks to everyone who has read the blog and clicked out to raise the revenue.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Long day and a wet walk home - I dropped a note over asking if it was raining - no was the answer. Half way home down it came so looking somewhat similar to a drowned rat at the moment!

Anyway, I had a lovely day out with some old and some new friends. A really old lodge formed in 1757 and a lovely time was had by all. I even won the raffle - again. That is every meeting in the last week I have won something or other!

I try not to read too much into that. I have tomorrow off, thank goodness - I might even get to see the rest of the family as they have been scattered to the four winds.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

All life's problems

Are really quite trivial in a way. I mean I was listening to someone putting the worlds to right and telling me how important he was and yet, why was he telling me? I live, alongside 6 to 8 million other people in and around the metropolis and there are another 50 Million of us dotted around the country and so what!?

There are lots of things in this world that you have absolutely no control of whatsoever. No one owes you anything and frankly no one really cares that much when all is said and done. Friends and family are different. I just mean the bloke in the street. The chap that opens his news paper and turns the pages with such velocity that he breaks the sound barrier each time, the arse with a phone that you obviously have to SHOUT into to make it work, the people who push in front or stand in front of you when you've been waiting, the people who haven't worked out what a handkerchief does and sniff and make gurgling noises on the way up to work each day. The guy with 5 elbows or the gawky kid who uses the wrong words to describe every day feelings. These people all live on my planet and I have to interact with them and yet, they don't matter either do they?

Suddenly life isn't about trivial stuff. I'm not saying I know what it is about but I was thinking back to this time last year and the way we were going to bring this fantastic idea to market and it was going to affect 20% of the world's market and then I realised that these people didn't have the intellect to comprehend the scale of what they were saying. Like the Bank of England estimating that the world was £1.5 Trillion Pounds down the drain basically. How many noughts is that? Does it mater a jot? Can YOU do anything about it?

So where is all of this going? I'm not sure - I certainly don't have the answer but I have really struggled with people these past few years. I've had to keep going - it hasn't always been possible to have "service as normal" but I'm relatively happy that I've tried to work normally in between and yet some people whinge about almost anything.

I knew I'd come out of this changed but tolerance (which is actually quite good considering) is not top of the skill set and you may wonder why I never took Diplomacy as a higher education subject! It would be nice, would it not, to find that there was more tolerance, more courtesy and more thinking about other people. I've been brought up like that, I try and be courteous all the time but this new generation of Londoners are certainly trying my patience. I had three people who were determined to keep chatting and occupying all the pavement which would have forced me into the road. Stopping dead in the middle of the pavement and then having to body check one of them was the only option. How difficult would it be for them to work out that other people were also there? I've said enough for today. Tomorrow is going to be a busy old day with all the meetings I have. I hope that at least I will be able to travel home without meeting the obligatory idiot on the train this time.

Snow in London

In October - first time for 70 years. I must have just missed it but after the theatres shut it was blizzard like and this morning there were quite a few snow covered cars. I was trying to work out what was going on as we just had a sharp frost where I live.

A good day today as I cleared so much of the work I was doing and now have a tidy but not clean desk. That needs to come about by the end of this week.

I'm getting quite excited as I am out tomorrow night to a very old Lodge in London which was formed in 1757 which is pretty old in Masonic terms. I'm looking forward to it as I know some of the people but they don't know I am turning up.

It is also a big day at FMH as they are having the London Ranks investiture. I have 2 people I know getting theirs so I am not sure quite how I am going to fit everything in as I may have to leave that half way through to get to the next meeting!

Friday I have off. I feel very tired today but I have been in overdrive for 5 or 6 days now and so I intend to take Friday off and chill down a bit if possible.

Saturday is the 1st Anniversary of my all clear!!! I am off to see a Genesis Tribute band and looking forward to that as a way of celebrating.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tonight it was Tim

Nice but Dim. Went through a tunnel and his mobile cut off then he phoned his service provider and started to give them a bollocking. Then we went through a bridge and another tunnel - guess what happened? Off the phone went again so he called again and got even more irate, threatening some regulation or the other. The place was in uproar at the end of the journey - a load of people gave him an ear bending as they got off the train. He, pissed as he was, didn't really get it - stupid sod. I wish "Mr Awesome" was on the train I'd have put them together as they deserved each other. What a pompous arrogant twat! You may perceive that I really wasn't that impressed with him :-)

On a much better note, we had a brilliant business meeting tonight. It has taken an age to get it to fruition but the value was fantastic and we can all move on now. This is something else we are doing and is very interesting as a concept but also as something else to work on. Did I say I had enough on already? I have more now...

Monday, October 27, 2008

This frenetic stage

I know I complain about fatigue and I know that I still do too much but it was interesting today to see how fast I actually work. no wonder they are surprised at me up at work. I can take a piece of work, get the comments and have it out again in a few minutes.

This surprises me too as I am rattling through my work and getting huge amounts done. It is difficult when I get into that sort of groove to stop and slow down such is the frenzy in which I can churn out work without loss of quality. Tonight, I am wide awake and my mind is spinning as it tackles the new stuff for this week - Paul Cezanne and puts into place Doctor Faustus and Cleopatra all of which are also making my brain do loop the loop.

It was 1 year ago that I was getting ready to hold a 2 day workshop and this Saturday marks that fantastic day I got the clear from my Consultant. And typing that I've come over all unnecessary (stupid). What a day that was in the early Winter sunshine. How pleased I was - how unbelievable it all seemed too. All my mates came out and we celebrated and I drank too much but hey - it isn't every day you get the right sort of news.

I'm out this Saturday and it will be a celebration and a half as I will be going to see G2 a Genesis tribute band at Charterhouse School in Godalming, Surrey. I missed it last year and went to my Aunt's 80th - this year I can go - looking forward to it very much they were absolutely brilliant the last time I saw them.

Wow, a year already - that has gone fast. I thought all my dreams had come true on that one day - luckily the most important thing - my health - remains OK. The other stuff is, as they say, history.

If he said Awesome once

He said it 50 times. There is nothing "Awesome" about meeting your mate off the train, or meeting at Starbucks or in fact going off for a few days to see your mates at Uni. 15 sodding minutes this kid was on his mobile for. "Yea Awesome" "Right Awesome" I was getting quite a twitch by the time he hung up. What a pratt!

So having now got that off my chest - the rest of the day has been one of blitzing through my work and now I am getting ready to go out again tonight and again tomorrow night - it isn't any wonder I get tired...

Everything seems to be like that at the moment though non stop. I suppose better that than doing nothing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Fear of Recurrence

How many people do you hear of who get cured / remission and then get a recurrence? It is worrying that the second time always appears to be far worse than the first. Often you hear that the second one turns out to be the one that gets them.

Apparently it is quite normal to be worried but it seems to be something that really should be picked up early if they continue to monitor you and test you. So that is a niggle - I'll be asking my Consultant about that in December I hope.

If you consider that cancer patients are probably likely to get it again you'd be expecting it. Maybe it is something, like side effects, fatigue, black dog and all the other stuff they don't tell you about.

"The Truth? You can't handle the Truth" well medical establishment -maybe we can.

BBC showing American Football

And it is live from Wembley - where did that come from? I've always fancied going to see it and so where were the adverts, I could have gone today - it would have been something to experience.

Oh well, I suppose I can watch it on TV in the warmth of the house.

Happy Birthday to

Well the blog actually....

2 years old already - perhaps the "Terrible Twos" will set in now and the blog will become unmanageable?

What a lot has happened since 2006 as well. At that time I had just started the BCG treatment for CIS having had two operations (I wasn't expecting the second one to be a TURBT) and was coming to terms with the unknown and the uncertainty of the diagnosis. Sure, I knew by then that if the treatment worked I'd have a good chance but the Treatment needed to work.

So much has happened in my life since that time as well. There is no way I could have envisaged I would end up working for a charity. I worked for that other bunch of low lifes who screwed up more than one person on their rapid, tragic and amazing climb to the heights of insignificance and lost the respect of everyone who dealt with them. Should they ever happen to find their consciences - I hope that it gives them a migraine for years.

There have been some amazing highs and lows and the emotional and physical roller coaster associated with getting cancer and recovering have been surprising to me. No one really ever talks about what cancer does to you. You see it on the news maybe and someone does something amazing with their remaining days or someone famous dies of it but you don't get under the skin of it, you don't pick the scab and let it bleed and really get under the hood and see how it works (am I mixing my metaphors?).

I am still trying to tell it as it is for it isn't a case of having it, getting over it and getting back to work. Someone recently published a paper saying that cancer was now so well understood for certain types that it can be treated as a serious life threatening disease. HELLO!!!! No it isn't like that at all, not one of my Doctors or Consultants have ever talked about the emotional side of the disease nor have they ever spoken about the side effects and imbalances in your body, the "other" side effects just don't get a look in. Realistically given the pressure on them they can't but somewhere along the line there ought to be the "handbook of cancer" or "Cancer for Dummies". Perhaps this blog and Steve's in the US will be a start to telling everyone - how it really is.

The stigma attached to cancer is going away although I still notice that some aren't particularly comfortable with it. The fact that you are more likely to survive is, I am pleased to say, gratifying. The not treating the whole problem must be addressed soon, it must be adding to people's stress levels and costing the health of the nation more if it remains ignored.

Today, after 2 years, I am very grateful for all the work the National Health Service has done. They got me in fast, did what was necessary and treated me OK. Sure there were a few things I didn't enjoy but, let's face it they are trivial and I am here to complain about them :-)

These days I am coming to terms with how ill I have been and I've put up this massive defence (defense in US) mechanism that acts as a force field to be able to take the treatment and operations. The personality force field isn't particularly one I like although I am controlling that to some extent now. Both are there to take away the horrors, make you feel positive and to protect yourself from people and from treatment itself, there can't be many times in life you actually let someone stick a pipe into your penis, without an anaesthetic so somehow you need to block it. Again, no one will tell you that the cancer patient will have done this and that the way they talk and react to you is different because of these sorts of things.

Anyway, after 2 years, happy birthday blog. Sometimes I don't know what I would have done without you. Other times, I've published and be damned and occasionally I've been too open and pulled my posts. I do however feel that the in general the stuff I have left up here is what it is like. you get 90 or 95% the remaining bit has to be mine and is too dark or too incorrect or full of bile to let you see. It really is the swearing, cussing, PC Incorrect stuff we all have hanging around as baggage and I'd rather not share that on this forum.

Has it been therapeutic? Yes it has it lets me let off steam and be informative. I don't speak for all of the sufferers of bladder cancer but this is what happened to me so somewhere, if someone gets one good bit out of it, feels they aren't alone or wants to know warts and all what it is like then this blog will have done its job.

28 months since I got the first signs and now - much to my relief and surprise - it will soon be time to close the book and open the next one.

OK no cold beer then

Despite a request that a couple of cans be ready when I got home as I wouldn't be drinking and I'd like to settle back with a beer after a long day.

Oh well if "I didn't have time" or "I decided to do something else" weren't exactly United Nations ways of answering the question I didn't get a beer.

I did manage to crash out and sleep well following all of that work.

I now need to spend today sorting out all of the paperwork and also work out what I need to do to complete my coursework this week - I'll probably do that this afternoon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What a day

Am I ever going to pay for this tomorrow. I have done so much work that I wonder how I managed to execute it. Today I had two meetings one after the other and managed to:

1. Not fall asleep - I had been at the Masonic centre for close to 11 hours when I left to come home!
2. remember I had the car and that Tomato Juice and Worcestershire Sauce were the order of the day.
3. Manage to make just a few mistakes during the day

I am going to go downstairs in a minute and crack open a can of beer and put my feet up! I deserve it. It was also nice to see my boss out of work and in another situation.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Wow what a buzz I am getting from this Degree course. I had this two hour tutorial and it feels like someone has stuck a 9Volt battery across my tongue or unlocked my head. Brilliant!

I cannot believe the stuff I was coming out with in class - it is so stimulating and I wished I had studied the Humanities a bit more when I was a kid. We had to do Technology and Engineering in those days (no bad thing) but how I would have loved to have this insight into art, history and books many years ago.

Broadening the mind is great - I hope my head doesn't explode though :-)


And be thankful. Not my words but when I got the all clear I felt very matter of fact - I was excited and I was taking it all in and winding down from being pent up and reading Steve's blog today where suddenly he feels wiped out you can understand why just think of the months of tension waiting to hear whether things had worked or you might have to go down a different road.

I remember telling someone that I was clear and saying it very mater of fact when he just said "Rejoice and be thankful what wonderful news!" It takes a little while although I think I was really crazy for the first 18 hours and then was taking it in after that.

I can't tell you what the relief is like. Imagine holding your breath for 3 months and then breathing properly again. Something like that I guess.

I need to remind myself to be thankful sometimes and when I get upset or depressed or fed up it is good to bring yourself back with what a brilliant thing it is to be alive and to be healthy (I'll say healthy I still need to get to healthy but you know what I mean). Is getting back to normal a good sign or should I use my experiences more positively and not forget them?

Rejoice is a great word - it really means celebrate when I hear it.

3 hours I could have done without

As the Internet and cable connections died. Great!

I had to connect up some old modems to find out what on earth was going wrong - is it just me that finds the phone help system ironic that when you go to report a fault it suggests that you look at their online help page?? But my Internet isn't working - well ring the premium line number then. You have to ask yourself what spreadsheet jockey and pencil up his arse manager thought that particular slant at customer management up. If it is their fault they refund you your high rate call charges?

Now call me old fashioned but I pay the bill anyway so why make me pay to talk to people whose salary I pay through me paying my bill. Some jerk has really got it all wrong don't you think.

Now I need to go and work out why only one of my computers is working - well actually I know why - it is just going to be ball breaking stuff trying to change all the settings - nice of Microsoft to help out and be so intuitive - but sometimes it really doesn't help guys.

Perhaps they ought to get together with my ISP and work out how to look after their customers?

A Day Off

Well maybe. I have a desk full of stuff here to get through - knowing where to start would be a good thing :-)

I'm still pleased to hear about Steve's diagnosis and it reminds me of my first and second trips. the first was pre-cancerous cells which took me a while to realise meant they weren't cancerous. They were a bit like teenagers - all screwed up! When I got the clear and on maintenance on the 2nd visit it was a bit like trying to take in winning a medal. It doesn't sink in for a while. Anyway - what great news.

I have a busy day tomorrow - two Lodge meetings - one which I am Secretary for and have had to do the Assistant's job as well as he is away which has been a nightmare. Straight after that I am an Escort for a meeting and I have decided that I will not dine that evening as I would have been up from about 6 in the morning arriving at the meeting at about 8 in the morning and having been there all day would probably just end up in a heap on the floor :-)

So I had better get on - I also see that a load more work has arrived in my e-mail so I'd better get onto that as well.

I am really pleased tonight

to hear that Steve - Bio Hazard Man - is to once again become a Bio Hazard as things checked out today. What great news and even I am breathing a huge sigh of relief too. What wonderful news I am so pleased.

Maintenance therapy now and I remember my Urology Nurse saying that if I saw her again that was a good thing. It meant that I was getting better and that treatment was working. There is still some way to go but isn't it great what they can do these days? Fantastic.

On another note I mad my tutorial tonight and I am so pleased and charged up about it. It is a fantastic course for making me charged up but - the trouble is, I am wide awake at 00:30 - I'll pay for it in the morning but I have a day off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Good - Sorted

I hadn't realised that I was the only one who noticed that I was losing momentum and not delivering - in fact the boss was a little concerned about it and was worried that I might be getting wound up about work which really isn't the case - some can be a pain but that sort of anger isn't like the Post-Cancer Fatigue stuff.

I laid out what I thought was wrong with me as I thought they should understand it and also that I had plenty of days in hand to have days off and control things. I'm pleased that they hadn't picked it up, I was controlling it and making myself worse outside of work.

I suppose working 16 hours a week on studies isn't really helping either :-)

Anyway, I feel very pleased about it now and a few days off starting this Friday will do me good.

Here's to Bio Hazard Man

Steve or Bio Hazard Man is about 18 months behind me in his diagnosis and treatment and is about to get the inspection that will determine the next stage of treatment based on what has already been done and what is left to do.

Don't underestimate how stressful it is to wait to hear whether or not things have worked out. It is like waiting for your number in a lottery but the stakes are a lot higher of course.

Here is Steve's wonderful blog about Bladder Cancer and I'm spending Thursday afternoon and evening thinking good thoughts and praying for the right movement in treatments for him and his family. If you have anything to cross then please do so.

I know there is a lot going on in the US right now but actually all our votes are with you at the moment Bio Hazard Man. Good luck.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Somehow we missed again

What a day - hectic is an understatement. Didn't even get to see the boss for more than 5 minutes and so will need to see him tomorrow. I think it is best I just write it down and stick it under his nose rather than do a chapter and verse.

Next week is half term here but I have meetings across the week. Somehow I need to wangle a few days off in between although I have no idea how I'll do that with so much stuff landing on my plate.

I've plenty to do and lots of little projects and somehow I have to get my study squeezed in this week too and a tutorial. Arghh!

Oh well better busy than sitting around doing nothing - but then again maybe once in a while to be lazy is no bad thing?

Monday, October 20, 2008

A tidal wave of things to do

You just can't believe how taking a hands off role for a short while results in nothing getting done :-)

I get kind of annoyed about it but I shouldn't. Some people work their way through life staggering between one crisis to the next. There is no learning from the last time or planning things out better next time they crash into everything are late mess things up and seem oblivious to the utter carnage they cause wherever they go.

On a lighter note - I had to tell a telesales person to stop reading from his script as he didn't understand that he was trying to sell me something that a Charity doesn't need - a merchant system :-) i tried to interrupt but we are a third sector business and I just heard him go back into the next spiel for someone who had raised a mild objection. I had to then explain that he ought to stop reading from the script for a moment and try and understand that we are a CHARITY and it wouldn't matter if it was free or not, we wouldn't use it. He got the message then.

Didn't happen

Full on day today - didn't stop from the moment I got in. Threw it down with rain and I am absolutely soaked through. The rain just tipped down and I was close to hypothermia by the time I got in. Everything is soaked through. Yuk

I will Have to sort out holidays and all that with the boss tomorrow. Off out again in a minute and covering for a number of people. All sorts if problems are going to arise soon as unless other people step up to the plate, I will be unable to pick up all these odds and ends and these are adding to a workload I just don't need.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Post-Cancer Fatigue

Is what it is called. I need to get this sorted out I really do. I cannot believe how much I am struggling just from the short (2 3/4 hour each way) drive to and from my parents. then I realised I haven't driven my indulgence for 2 or more months!!

Poor old car - must have thought it was its birthday!

Things to do

Tomorrow I need a clear the air meeting and to set out some sort of timetable to take time off from work. I am getting too uptight about work and all the other things going on and I don't need to be. So much is going on in the next two months and the next three weeks are chaotic.

I must have let the brake off as suddenly my diary is full of things to do and meetings to attend and in between work and study need some time but for someone who makes a living by being organised - my diary and everything is in disarray. A lot is to do with the obvious thing that I don't actually have the capacity to do this, I'm not fit enough and I still get huge fatigue issues. Whether it is mental (not being able to actually do anything because the brain isn't working) or physical must be tackled and trying to drive myself through it isn't working at all.

I have time available to take off as leave and I may as well use that now and get the rest I need. If I can work out a schedule I will be half way there I think.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Off for the weekend

It will be nice to get away and spend some time with my folks. A is off to see a University half way across the country and so going half way there is useful as well as they wont have to drive for more than a further couple of hours.

I think I just need to chill out a bit this weekend. There are lots of things going on all at the same time next week and I need to be in control to manage them.

Fed Up

I'm fed up of being not quite right all the time. I'm fed up of not having enough energy at the end of the week and sometimes even earlier in the week.

I'm fed up with a whole load of things at the moment and I really couldn't tell you why that should be. Nothing "feels" right and work is great but there is something missing, the course is great and I am enjoying it but again, I cannot quite put my finger on what is wrong.

A weekend away might improve things?

Missed my Tutorial

I met up with someone yesterday and it ended up as a bit of an afternoon distraction. Probably the thing I shouldn't have done was to see an old friend and invite him to join us for a beer because he was meeting a few other friends and it went on from there!

I wasn't late home but even so there was no way I was going to get to my tutorial.

Working at home today - this is the second time this has happened this past few months!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

O For Goodness Sake

Maybe we aren't going or maybe we are. This bloody dithering is a real pain in the backside. What the hell use is it making all these plans to be somewhere and then at the 11th hour (again) fannying around and changing them.

As most people who know me (and frankly this lot should know better as they live under the same roof as me) fully understand I don't do dithering and last minute changes in plan as it normally ends up in some almighty screw up that is beyond my control and you certainly don't want to get on the wrong side of me if you've wrecked my plans or put me out. Even I wouldn't want to work for me!

Just sort yourself out people and tell me what is going on. How many times have they done this to me this year? It's rhetoric don't answer me...

I really don't need to be angry this late at night either that is my sleep shot for a couple of hours no doubt.

Off to my parents for the weekend

A wants to go and see a University half way up the country. We might as well stop off half way and I have't seen my folks for about a year so better get along and see them I guess.

The trouble is it will be Friday night and we need to get around the dreaded London ring orad the M25 or as we like to call it the car park! So hopefully we will all get back on time so we can and sit in the queue earlier :-)

I hope my leg manages to keep together - I have been cramping up all today and most of last night too. Oh well let's see what we can do.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mad as a Fish

Catchy title, no where near reality..

Great friend asks me tonight - so - if all is clear - what are you going to do with the blog next year?

Gulp - blimey what am I going to do? It can't be My Bladder Cancer Journey for surely that will have passed into "My Bladder Cancer Recovery"? What will I need to do next?

I fancy a comedy blog but full of the day to day wit and banter from the nonsense you get at work and on the journey into and out of town...

I hadn't even contemplated that this blog should end but I suppose if it adds no value - other than "life goes on" to fellow sufferers it will just need to end with that as the last episode and move onto the next chapter in life.

How I look forward to working towards my Degree, my work in the Charitable sector and how I'd love to get into the traditional life of the City of London. Maybe that would be a worthwhile enterprise but let's not jump the gun just yet.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Move over Plaisters Hall - Hello Guildhall

I was invited out by someone who has held a watching brief over me these past couple of years and one of the nicest people you will ever meet to go to the Guildhall for a meeting and a meal afterwards.

700 or more years of history right before your eyes as we were in the Crypt of the Guildhall. It is a fantastic place to go and we had the most amazing meal and wines followed by a rather nice Port before coming home.

It is such a pleasure to get an invite to one of these splendid historic meetings.

Needless to say I am really quite buoyed up from the experience, I met some really nice people and a celebrity who really was a very nice person indeed as well as some very old friends.

I have a feeling that the meeting in December I enjoyed so much last year may be when I am in Hospital which WILL be a big disappointment as it is held in rooms re-built just after the Great Fire of London...

The City of London has some really good stuff going for it if you are a Historian :-)

I believe I will pay for this later this week..... Out again tomorrow!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Monday - Busy

I am looking forward to tomorrow as I will get to go to the Guildhall for the first time. I am looking forward to it immensely and will no doubt be suitably tired as a result.

I completed the first part of my Arts Foundation today - I am running a week ahead of schedule so that I can make up for when I have to go into Hospital. I have to say that I am really charged up about it. The first module has been about Cleopatra and this next one which I am not looking forward to so much is Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. The course builds right across the arts and not just History so a bit of English Lit will be difficult for me but interesting nonetheless.

Now to go and get my stuff ready for the morning. I have an interesting week in front of me as I need to try and balance all my meetings and activities with the problem that I have just realised that I have to find 2 weeks to take off between now and December as paid holiday (vacation). Oh dear, the only time any of us have is half term - although not A she doesn't get time off until Christmas. I have 3 meetings at half term so I am stuck, C and L have to have that week off but I understand are going out on 2 of those days as well.

It seems to be the case these days that we hardly ever get to do anything all 4 of us. This weekend it looks as if we will get away to see my Mum and Dad. It will have been a year I think since I last saw them and possibly longer for the girls. Even then A and C are off to view a potential University on the Saturday but at least we will get some sort of visit with them. I hope that it isn't too long in between.


I don't think there is a day goes by where I don't think about what I had and where I still go to the toilet and hold my breath in case there are the tell tale signs reappearing. I am constantly considering how I feel and I am constantly reminded that I have had treatment as I cannot find the right words to say. That is a big problem as I do a lot of face to face meetings and searching for the right word is terrible. I know that it will go away in about a month or so but it is really disconcerting.

There can be little more worrying than it coming back or indeed taking on some more sinister complications but it is good to know that I am being regularly monitored and that this next operation will (hopefully) be my last.

Day to day the fatigue and the memory and concentration problems are the constant companions of the disease or rather its aftermath. I'd rather have them and be Cancer free of course. You tend to forget that.

Trying to distract myself or work myself to a standstill kind of works but I'm not certain that working harder rather than smarter is a good long term solution. I turned another phase this week and beat the anger of dealing with a couple of jobsworths and perhaps I can move on a bit now and get past the fatigue and the memory bit.

The trouble is it is such a slow process getting back to normal. Also the play acting that you are alright is OK but when you get back after having been out at work all day and then out in the evening for a meeting and a meal soon catches up with you. Just annoying that the day they say you are clear isn't actually the day you are completely cured and back to the way you used to be :-)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Buzz

I still have it from Thursday and how interesting that my daughter A is also studying Art History at the moment. I get a run at Cezanne in a few weeks and I am really looking forward to learning a bit more about that subject.

Health wise - I'm hoping that the buzz is beating the blues and the fatigue. I think that it probably is. I just need to chill out a bit more.

I did say that I'd pay for it

There was a retirement do at the office and quite a nice party - one of the funniest speeches I have ever heard too. I said to a few last night - I'll pay for this in the morning as I have again had quite a busy week and sure enough I dragged myself out of bed at about 11 this morning.

Another busy week coming up too. I am out Monday , Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I think I shall keep the other evenings free so I can study and just get a break.

I can get a real run at the course work this weekend, I hope, and then starting next week I will be able to keep on top of it. There is a LOT to get through and each week we look at a different person and their "reputation" it is fascinating and already I am drawing parallels about this with my work as we have a reputation that we didn't build and it needs to be re-imaged to what the reality is. This is one of the interesting things about the work we are doing as there is a direct relationship between what I am learning and what is going on - there sure are some interesting coincidences in the world!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

And so it transpired that on the Thursday

He did OK. He didn't rip any-one's head off, he didn't call the obstropolous jumped up so and so what he thought about them - in fact he went on a charm offensive. Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.

Then after a full days work went to the tutorial which was inspirational and I feel lifted, really up for my course now. Some nice people on the course too. Yep, roll on my Humanities Foundation course.

I am surprised how little it has taken to get me diametrically of different attitude to 24 hours ago.

Such is the swing and ebb and flow of the exit from this disease. Even better note in one direction is my friend of heart attack fame had his surgery today and is due home tomorrow so that is great news.

Worse news on another front a friend who has had a recurrence is under some serious chemo at the moment - I wait to hear how he has got on.

Tomorrow should be interesting

I think I will go in but I am feeling a little raw edged still. Frayed nerves or not - I am going to go in and then I have my first tutorial tomorrow evening so I am going to catch a bus to the College and see how I get on. It is also quite near to where some of my friends are meeting and so I might pop in to see them afterwards.

Like all these things - I suppose I ought to see how I am in the morning - well in 5 hours time I suppose.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


That is what it is, I have this utter burning anger and it isn't for much of a reason it is just how screwy your head gets when you are tired and the fatigue kicks in. You can't really explain it other than just being mentally and physically tired and it doesn't matter if you sleep or relax it really doesn't get any better. It is unpredictable and gives you a paranoia about how everyone is getting at you.

It is strange but this week it feels like everyone is on my case. They probably aren't but work, home and even my inanimate objects are having a go at me :-)

Anyway, I will see how I feel tomorrow. I'm sort of in two minds quite what to do. I think I'd like to take the rest of the week off to repair my head - I will think about that tonight - I don't fancy going to work and having a go at anyone or biting some poor sods head off!

Decided on a short break from it

I have worked my backside off for a couple of weeks and had to react to last minute changes and despite all of these I have achieved the goals but at what cost. This seat of their pants stuff is downright dangerous. I mean how can a document be approved and after 19 versions (yes 19) go to the printers only to be recalled twice more for changes that is just someone changing it for changing its sake.

I know that the office is a bit of a throwback to the mid 20th century but sometimes it gets on your wick.

So I need to just walk away form it a bit. I haven't planned that out yet but I have some leave due and after all it is only a job. I really like it but the minutiae and the unbelievable pickiness sometimes beggars belief. Honestly guys - life is toooooo short for that sort of thing especially if you are running about 10 things at once. It ain't easy.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dazed & Confused

A pretty damn good track from Led Zep but how I actually feel. Good friend has just had a confirmed Heart Attack - he has been transferred to the top UK Heart Hospital. I need to sort stuff out and suddenly, I am having "work trouble". What I mean is that I now need some serious recognition and respect and I am not getting it. I feel "used" at the moment and I don't like it - which signifies that I MUST be getting better if I am beginning not to be "nice" to everyone.

I think that a short rest period or period of reflection may be called for....

Not certain but I need to walk away or distance myself from it. Today I felt I was being treated like a "member of staff" and I ain't that and I'm far more than the sum of my title so perhaps I need to take myself less seriously for a short while. I need to sleep on that overnight. I may need a short period of reflection I think before I get back into what I used to be.

I hope the above isn't obtuse - what I mean is that I felt I was being undervalued and not taken seriously or just treated like a jobsworth and actually that is so far from what I am that it hurt me to think that someone may have thought that.

Monday, October 06, 2008


I'm thinking of working out a schedule as I am getting this constant tiredness at the end of the week - I mean it isn't surprising as I am sitting here at 11 at night and still working and will get up at 5:30 in the morning!!

However, I need to separate myself from the job a bit I am quite involved but I also need some time to fix this sporadic way of working that is going on and the limits of my physical ability to achieve as much as I do. On top of that, study has just started and I'd like to be flexible about time to do that as well. So it seems the best idea is to work around how this can best be achieved.

I am getting so many job opportunities through at the moment which is very surprising. There is a lot of work for an old experienced, wrinkled and battle scarred program manager. Want to go back Dave? Sometimes the money looks great but not certain about the ethics of it all.

Two of us getting a bit morbid

I got a call yesterday - a friend in Hospital, Heart Attack maybe? Met a friend tonight his wife just had her 2nd Cancer in a decade, skin, cured, one swoop and done. His friend, inoperable Brain Tumour. Another friend, lost his father earlier in the year, wife had a terrible stroke (no one thought she'd live) but she did and was getting back together, now second operation for breast cancer in two months. My cousin, breast cancer, chemo, possible surgery. It just seems to be one thing after the other and it just doesn't seem to be slowing down, more and more people you know.

I remember being told that the older you get the more this sort of thing happens.

I have to say that despite moaning a bit about how I am I really ought to be thankful that I'm getting better and slowly getting there.

Goodness - did we depress ourselves tonight.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I wonder if

The reasons I get upset easily is to do with the reminder of what happened to me or what "could have" happened. Today - the Great North Run - all these people running for their friends or family who have terrible diseases or have died etc. It really upsets me I get quite choked up - I never used to.

I wonder whether it is the fact that it reminds me of how things could have been? Do they remind me of how it is or am I just very empathetic with these people? Whatever it is, anything like that makes me choked.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Saturday and getting organised at last

I'm getting ready for my studies which start tomorrow - the office begins to look as if I could actually work in it. The troubles of Friday are behind me. So trying to just ignore and blitz my way through work isn't going to have any impact. Perhaps I need to consider a day off a week or something to get myself back to full time work and not to be knackered half way through.

I'm as upbeat as I have been and I'm still confident about December and the results. My next set of tasks are to lose weight again. It fluctuates massively and to get work sorted out. Once I can lose a bit of weight I should be able to fit back into my work clothes again which will be good.

Off to start studying now :-)

Friday, October 03, 2008

I shouldn't be annoyed but

Some people are so backward looking, hate change, can't see things hurtling towards them that they could easily avoid and wear their ignorance as a badge of pride.

I met one on Wednesday night - the most obnoxious type of ignoramus possible who was rude to just about everyone. Then there is the work "jobsworths" who just drive me mental. It was bad enough in the 70s and 80s getting people to realise that they had to change but we are in the 21st Century and these guys are hardly out of the 19th.

I suppose that I ought not to be too upset or annoyed - they haven't worked in the commercial world and the third sector is very different but sticking their heads in the sand is surely going to be the wrong strategy.

I must learn to stop, don't get angry and walk about a bit. I'm actually pretty pleased that I don't have to attend any more meetings with one individual as I'm not sure I could stop being sarcastic - a very unfortunate trait of mine.

Whackety whack

Thought so - the alarm went - I gave it a look - thumped the off switch turned over and went back to sleep for a further 3 hours. A UTI - now I don't think so, it is just an urgency to keep dashing off to the toilet. It isn't as bad as three or two weeks ago or even last week but it makes you self conscious (am I leaking) and it makes you worried about being caught out somewhere.

At least I can work at home and at least I can get to the loo in a few paces.

I often wonder how long recovery may take. I really shouldn't be hasty should I - I mean in just over 2 years I am cancer free and stabilised so I should realise things don't happen overnight.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Here it comes

Wow - how tired am I tonight and the urgency to go to the toilet struck at the Station meaning I had to get off my train to dash to the toilet thereby missing my train and waiting 30 minutes for the next one by which time I was almost bursting again! Not nice, not happy. Off to bed and see how I feel in the morning....

Dragged out of bed

Here we go again - mind you I am not surprised. I knew I was going to be struggling this week and when the alarm went this morning it was a bit difficult to get out of bed. If I can clear my workload today - and there is plenty of it. I might be able to work from home tomorrow. I also realised that tonight is the only night that I am actually in as I am off out tomorrow as well!

If I don't take the day off I'll end up taking it off for the wrong reasons I fear.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I don't like me much these days

I'm really not happy with the outcome. I am belligerent, confrontational, sarcastic, aggressive, overly assertive and not really someone I like anymore?

I've sort of fallen out with who I've become in a way. I'm left post this experience with this "outlook" on life and "attitude" that, frankly, you would never understand unless you had been in my position. A whole new perspective opens up to you when you have been through this BUT only you and your fellow sufferers will ever understand the downright frankness of your opinions, the ability to say how you see things without really thinking too much about how other people "feel" almost a lack of political correctness if you will.

I find it quite disturbing as I nearly had a word with someone this evening who was wearing his ignorance as a badge of merit. Everyone knew he was an arsehole but no one was going to tell him - I stopped myself in time - a good thing actually as someone I know actually knew him!

How on earth do I get back to being "normal" again? Do I want to be normal? Have I some sort of insight? Maybe if I have I should keep it to myself?

Unlike me

Slipped up on some details on the paperwork over the weekend. A keen eyed chap has put me right but how annoying. The trouble is there was so much going on this last week I am surprised I got it all done.

Anyway, I am off out tonight to the Jazz evening. Another 1 1/2 mile walk along the same bit of road I have already walked up and down twice today! With a bit of luck I will get a lift back.