Saturday, October 31, 2009

That was nice

A day out with the in-laws and the family. Up to Covent Garden - within sight of my office and then on to see Sleeping Beauty which was nice enough. Ballet is OK but they do overdo the pas de deux bit in the last act - we managed to get back in time to get A off to work on time despite one of the trains being cancelled.

Covent Garden is always lively enough at the weekend and it was a bit of a shame to have to dash back.

A nice Saturday for a change.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Day Off of Work

I woke as normal at 5:20 but I'd had a bit of a disturbed night. The problem is one of sustained energy and I've been out and about two or three times this week. When I woke up I just felt tired out and wanted to go back to sleep. A good 4 hours later I was fine.

It at least gave me a rest and time to do some work at home including some of my other business work.

I really could do with a number of days off work to try and catch up with other things that are backing up. I think that I will try and sort out some time off next week and once again find that I have so many things on that my work and social life are somewhat at conflict with one another.

In other news - a new car is on the cards as Mrs F and A have test driven a car that they like and no one can find anything wrong with the other car and no one has confidence in it anymore.

We are off tomorrow to see Sleeping Beauty at the Opera House Covent Garden so looking forward to that although it is right next door to my office so a bit of deja vu there then!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mr Angry and my Anger Management Course

I cannot believe how angry I am these past few days. I finally want to BURST and give people a piece of my mind. It seems so absurd that such trivial things become major issues and listening to the bleating going on just makes me want to go sort things out for them.

Of course I am too polite (most of the time) to do that but every now and then someone catches the "benefit" of my acid tongue.

I really wanted to go and slap someone around today who patently had no idea what they were on about and wittered away and really needed divine intervention by way of a lightning bolt or a large stick of dynamite shoved up their backside to try and reverse the flow!

I was confiding to a friend tonight that I really needed to decide what I wanted to do as I could so easily walk away from my job tomorrow to stop me physically biffing someone for being a prize arsehole or, a jobsworth! People really can irritate the hell out of me sometimes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Was a very busy day and I was out at lunch and later on in the evening out with the old school chums - hence no posting.

I was tired as anything today and work was OK I suppose. Tomorrow is a crazy day as all sorts of things happen in London and I am off to a meeting for an artistic company to look at what they might be able to do image wise for us and then on to a meeting of my other business concern. My mate is off to Dubai for a month and so it is the last chance I get to see him before he goes.

It is all rushing about - and it doesn't stop as next week looks to be filling up too.

Health wise - I'm OK - I met lots of people yesterday who are happy about my situation which is good. I just hope that it continues.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Been A Long Day - Happy Birthday Blog

Yes it has been a long day for me and it is the Blog's 3rd Birthday today so well done blog! We are out of the terrible twos now and past the turbulent threes and into our fourth year.

I went out today around 2 pm and have just got back. We went over to Essex for a lodge meeting and had a great time - most enjoyable. It is one of the great joys of vi sting that you can just sit back and enjoy yourself. I met some lovely people and had a great evening.

We got back here in time to have a last beer at my local.

Tomorrow - I'm off again for a lunchtime event and then out in the evening with my mates from school! I will be completely wiped out by tomorrow evening and it doesn't stop there either - more later on this week too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Conflicting Advice

Well A is back and that was an expensive lesson to learn all around. The car is now dumped on the drive and is looking sorry for itself. Hopefully we can get it fixed quickly and get it back on the road.

Depends on who you listen to on what the trouble is and how difficult/easy it is to fix it.

Did we take out tow cover on the car?

No of course not. A is now stuck on the hard shoulder of the M25 and will probably need towing home. Apparently the garage couldn't work out that the flickering battery light was a failing alternator - no shit Sherlock!

So we have to wait now to see what the action is going to be. Probably a hefty bill for the tow and the repair bill. Great.

At least we had the breakdown cover I suppose. Mind you I'm still less than happy about making a journey of that length in a car that wasn't fit to do it. I'm sure that they knew I would have questioned the decision given those facts.

Oh well - let's hope everyone learnt a lesson this weekend.

It may not be apparent

But one of the huge things that happens to you is that your self esteem and your confidence take a terrible knock when you get Cancer. It takes lots of conscious effort to do things you used to do before and take as granted. Not so much everyday things but for me, if you look back, getting onto a train, working a 9 to 5, going to a concert and other things brought on panic attacks and an attack of the jitters.

You can't always build yourself up and you can't as easily switch on the charm. Being and playing the part of host (like yesterday) takes a massive amount out of me these days both physically and emotionally. Sure I'll recover but the build up to such things and the events themselves tend to be little ordeals in their own right.

So if you wonder why I have huge mood swings in my writing it is most probably that I'm in preparation mode for something when I could be low or after an event when I could be high. What you don't need when you are low and forcing yourself onwards is yet another piece of news or event to make you feel worse than you already are - such as the last few day's posts. There were a series of events last week that did little to improve my overall outlook.

Anyway, that is behind me but remember that you aren't always delivered the real me in any of this stuff, sometimes it is clearly linked to how I feel and my level of self esteem and confidence at the time. That can change quite quickly.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

And so ends

One of the busiest days of the year made no easier by worrying about my daughter and getting a shocking onset of the glums. I was with a friend this afternoon who is dying and is under care of the local Hospice. He lives life for every day, to the full and just gets on with it. he isn't going to die this side of Christmas and maybe not even next year but if he got a nasty cold or Flu or some infection that could well see him off. Now that's the sort of thing that happily isn't my situation but I think it is fair to say that he and I fully understand that attitude and most people who haven't had a critical illness can only imagine.

I have a pessimistic view and I reckon that something will get me sooner or later. I've had a guy I know die this week, I've talked to this chap today and sometimes I am just a bit down. Today though, I was really doing well, I had my table in stitches and we had a good laugh and I hope that everyone enjoyed themselves. Flocky and I worked really hard to make sure everything worked well and it did!

I'm probably feeling more up than down at the moment but it is just one of those things. Just because everyone is out to get me doesn't mean I'm Paranoid - or does it?


Nailed some shut eye about 2:30 after hearing that all was OK and that the car was fixed and back on the road.

Up now, showered and soon be ready to go off to my meeting. There are only three of these a year but they are a lot of hard work. I thought that I wouldn't be doing this one this time but ended up staying on another year. Perhaps I will get away next time.

Living on my own

In a house full of people. It's a bit like that episode of Star Trek where half the crew were in a time shift and no one could see them but they were actually there.

It is getting a bit like that here. No one tells me what is going on, somehow I have to use my psychic senses. Things just happen and I'm told afterwards if at all. People just wander off and don't say goodbye, goodnight or sod all. I can be waiting up for one of the girls to come home and be told didn't I say they were staying over at .... perm any one from 50 names. I suppose I just had to guess that A was driving to Wales this weekend.

We don't even sit in the same room anymore which can be a bit bizarre, the magic room syndrome and either I'm going crazy or that is just the way it is these days. I can sit in one room all night and not see another soul and yet they can be heard moving in and out of the kitchen and up and down the stairs. I can enter a room and someone will leave. Sometimes I enter rooms and the TV is playing to itself like the Marie Celeste of houses.

I've actually got to the point where I'm sort of past caring about it. I haven't quite played their game back on them yet like just disappearing off and then telling them later but perhaps that may be a future ploy.

I'm just sitting back and doing the "people watching" bit and wondering what the hell has happened here? It is like a train wreck happening around me all in slow motion and I'm wandering through it and all chaos just washes over me. I cannot imagine that I've changed so markedly that no one needs to talk to me or consult me but perhaps I'm completely non approachable now and perhaps there is something downright scary about me. Whatever it is that is going on here feels pretty strange and it seems to be the way that everyone reacts. I wonder if it is like that film The Sixth Sense and I'm really a ghost and no one knows I'm here and I died sometime ago? Maybe I died in July 2006?

By the way - I am writing this sober and without the aid of mind bending drugs in case you were wondering :-)

I'm just moving around in a different place to all these people that are my family - how strange is that?

I can't get away this side of Christmas myself unfortunately - I have something on each week to screw me up. I felt I needed to get a break to sort myself out a bit. I've decided not to try and walk through any walls or doors just in case my assertion is wrong!

Now to hang around and see what the hell is happening to my daughter stuck awaiting the breakdown man.

That is the end of a night's sleep then

Big girl A is stuck at a service station somewhere along the M4 - can't get the car started and needs to call the breakdown people. Pretty lucky then that breakdown cover was taken out just a few days ago? That's what I thought too......

That is either amazing foresight or - oh I see - so a warning light has been flashing and no one has done anything about it - you've sent my daughter off in a car that now is stuck in the middle of nowhere just gone midnight and you'd like me not to worry (now that you have woken me up) and come back to bed as I've got a heavy day tomorrow.

Perhaps you note the sarcasm in my voice? I get pretty p1ssed off that somehow everyone is sorry about it now and I have a daughter in the middle of nowhere crying her eyes out. I bet it turns out to be my fault somewhere along the line! Guaranteed that one is.

She isn't answering her phone - maybe she is talking to the breakdown people. But what were they thinking about why not run the car into service and get it checked out for goodness sake, how difficult can that be? They knew she had a few hundred miles to do this weekend - although this is the first I've found out that she was going away for the weekend - that also tends to happen a lot. Maybe I don't listen to anyone?

I suppose I had better get ready to drive down there if things don't go right. Bloody typical - they'd have known that I wouldn't have let her go in a dodgy car if I had known about it and fixing it isn't a problem - hell its not as if we can't afford to service a car.

So I have had my rant and that is probably my sleep gone for the next several hours so I might as well have stayed up until 4 am anyway.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What have I missed

The preparation work is done. I've completed all the paperwork fro tomorrow and I can hardly believe it. Normally I am struggling on until 3 or 4 in the morning. I suppose I've had a whole day off to do it and also I have a new assistant in young Flocky who has taken miles of the pressure off me this time.

It will be interesting to see quite how it goes tomorrow. Numbers are OK but slightly down on normal perhaps because it is half term.

Anyway, we will see I am looking forward to an interesting day and having a couple of beers and a glass or two of wine as a reward!

It's been 4 years

One of the very worst things I had to do. Had A & L with me with my parents in a Flower Nursery place and got a mobile call from my cousin. My Uncle had just died - my Mum's younger Brother. I had to tell my Mum what had happened. I'd taken the kids up to see their grandparents and this happened. They were great really and they did what they were told and let me get on with things and make sure that all was as well as it could be.

It was also useful for my mum to be "doing something" and so we struggled on that day and I remember coming back a week later and going to the funeral. I did one of the poems and as tough as I like to think I am I had to fight to control it. The place was packed and being at the front I hadn't seen everyone come in and so it was a shock to turn around and suddenly see so many people mostly standing.

My uncle was a really nice guy and it still seems a shock that he is no longer with us, he was quite young when he went and I remember the vicar saying that it was probably better to have this quick death and remember him as he was all happy and laughing than for him to have endured a long illness or to have spent a long time slipping away. I can see that. I can see that we will remember him like he was in his prime. Strange way of looking at it. It is funnily quite comforting to me now to think of it like that.

4 years ago. It was only a short time later that all my troubles started of course.

Oh well, life goes on - there but for the grace of God go I....

Doh! Missed it again

One of the things I have always wanted to do is to go to an American Football Game. I missed it last year (or was it the year before) when it was on over here. This year we have the Patriots Vs the Buccaneers (Tampa) at Wembley on Sunday. When did that happen? Oh well, at least we will get some TV and Internet coverage I suppose but I've seen nothing about this until today.

What a nuisance.

I suppose I had better get back to the grind ready for tomorrow. It was nice to get a few beers with Flocky at lunch time and a Ploughman's lunch (I imagine the Ploughman wasn't too happy about that though). Interesting talk about how the mind continues to beat me up even though I'm pulling clear of the disease.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another day off tomorrow

I need it as I have to get ready for the Lodge meeting on Saturday and I also need a break. I'm not really enjoying work at the moment, just a blip I am certain but there is little to do at the moment and it is all slightly anticlimactic after the forum.

I forget that "people" don't move at the same speed I do....

I must remember to update my diary as I have a crazy few weeks coming up and already my time for the next 6 to 8 weeks appears almost to have evaporated.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gotta Laugh

My Uncle sent me some funnies, this one sort of hit the mark - but I do have a dark sense of humour

Q. What is a terminal illness?

A. When you are sick at the airport.

This can go with "I'm Not Dead Yet" Tee Shirt :-)

Feeling a little bit down

As you do whenever you say goodbye to a cancer warrior you know. He told me some time ago that he had esophagus cancer and was doing well but unfortunately the surgery and treatment didn't work and so it has been a long battle and finally he died on Tuesday night. He was just 72, younger than my dad by a long way and it somehow doesn't seem fair but then life isn't exactly fair.

I'm feeling a bit down about it because I knew him and because on occasions like this you tend to think about your own mortality. He was diagnosed sometime after me and he was really confident about things too. It kind of gets to you more and you get the twinge of survivor syndrome and to be honest with you you say to yourself "thank God it wasn't me" and those sort of things and it seems pretty selfish really but that is the way it is.

I enjoyed my day off work though and spent some of the time in very good company and we had a few beers and a spot of lunch which was also most welcome. Tomorrow I really don't fancy going in to work but perhaps I will take Friday off and get myself ready for my big Lodge meeting on Saturday.

The Blog is three years old on Monday and I will be off out so may not even get to post on its Anniversary. What I am amazed about is how I've actually managed to continue doing the things that I have when sometimes all I have wanted to do was to lock myself in a room and feel sorry for myself. I'm glad I have kept active but as I keep banging on, I do find I get very tired quickly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


That was what I was furious about on Monday. I just re-read my post - I was pretty angry writing that but I can see why. All the injustices in this world and all the hurt caused through selfish behaviour - will we get to account for it at the end of our lives? Will there be a Judgement Day where we will have to account for our conduct during our time on earth?

I can't say that I've been a perfect specimen of the species but I have always tried to be honest and true to my beliefs. I wonder what these annoying, cheating, thieving, lying toerags will have to say for themselves, perhaps they will continue to deny that they had ever done anything wrong.

BTW - I'm not that good - I doubt that Mother Teresa will have to move off the bench for someone like me :-)

A Day Off Tomorrow

I have a good few days leave to be taken before the end of the year. I have decided tomorrow is as good a day as any to take off and frankly, I need the rest. I managed to once again fall asleep for a couple of hours tonight at home. It is hard work being tired :-)

Work is beginning to get irritating and so many things these days appear to me to be bland and irrelevant. I find most things these days just trivial and inconsequential and if there is a positive side to having had cancer it is that most other things that may have been "important" really aren't when you boil them down. I tolerate most people, I get on with them and yet I'd really love to ask them why on earth they are miserable and sad and whinging when there is a lot to be thankful for just being alive.

It seems to me that you should enjoy the experience and the sensations and yet so many people don't. There was an interesting programme on TV tonight all about what makes me, 'me'? There were a few bits that threw me but it was an interesting look into consciousness and I wondered whether having had a critical illness that you become more reflective and more aware and indeed more questioning about yourself, your faith and your confidence and a host of other such things.

I suppose that I might be a bit different to a lot of people anyway in that I do a lot of reflecting and thinking and I don't just get on with things or let things happen. I wonder if I have become a "better person" if there can be such a thing? I feel that I probably have and that maybe only those near enough to me will have seen the change. I know Mrs. F. thinks I've changed. I can't say that it has done me many favours though in some areas and some relationships have fallen apart and some have blossomed and my temperament is so much better. I probably get angry these days but mainly with fools and people who should know better, jobsworths especially hack me off but overall, I am a gentler and more sympathetic person I like to think.

And as Samuel Pepys would say - and so to bed. Tomorrow I hope to catch up on some more paperwork and see if I can get some of this desk tidied up.

One of "those" Days

A letter from a dying friend's wife was disturbing in its open and honest acknowledgement of the fact of the matter situation. Another friend facing the decision of what to do with the rest of his life now his past may finally be able to be put behind him. Another seeing his child about to take up the challenge that my youngest has just completed. Another with Bladder Cancer finding out what the future holds.

Another Monday and people's lives everywhere playing out in the way that they do. Where I work in a charity I am always amazed at how those who have money ask to be assisted and those who don't and could do with our help are too proud to ask. Funny old world and a disturbing fact of life. Those who know how to play the system can get an awful lot out of it. Those who desperately need assistance cannot get to it through denial in some cases and inability to articulate their need.

Life is bloody unfair sometimes and it can make you quite angry. I''m really annoyed that one of my colleagues has an angry letter from someone that is bang out of order. It is rude, callously composed, personal and untrue. What can we do about it? Not a lot - the author believes he has a case to go to law and that will be fun indeed. They wont let me go around with a small baseball bat and explain the facts of life to him. He actually stole money from us and when we found out and stopped it, is making my people's lives intolerable through his dishonesty.

Selfishness like that makes my blood boil and no matter what problems he may have - and I think you can probably guess what they are - you don't need to bite the hand that fed you when in fact you are clearly in the wrong and got caught out. I thought it even more amusing that the guy played the Big C card. Well let me come and talk to you about the Big C matey and let's compare notes about it - I'm sure you can tell me why it makes it alright when you have the Big C to go around slagging everyone off and making fraudulent claims! So, when I calm down :-) it might be worth saying that no one took my offer up for me to go and see him or to even chat to him. A shame in my view I really want to face out one of these cowardly ignorant people and just give them a complete broadside. it will do no good as they are generally so ignorant it takes them a couple of years afterwards for them to realise that you've insulted them.

To add to my bad day my Chairman has also managed to p*ss me right off with some transactional analysis nonsense he wants to play through my committee. I'm not having any of it.

So finally I boil down to the worry and that is I am getting too like my old self. I've been here over 18 months now and I'm getting back to my cut loose ways that I used to have in my old job. I really don't do fools, jobsworths and the like and I am surrounded with incompetents, amoeba and other soap dodging, Politically Correct liberal wet good for nothings that in a short period of time I will explode and explain just what a waste of O2 these people are and how Darwin missed out a whole sub species that will never evolve but will continue to maintain their leech like qualities forever.

Other than that - it hasn't been such a bad day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Keep Banging on about being tired

But it is a complete constant and rules my day-to-day life. Yesterday I slept in a bit and in the afternoon came downstairs and sat down and promptly fell asleep for a further 2 hours! Last week was quite full on for me. I was mentally and physically spent by Friday. I can lay some of this at getting old but even so I'm only 52 for goodness sake. It has to be the after effects of the treatments I've had for cancer and the work my body has had to do with repairing itself.

I am however now beginning to enjoy being cancer free and enjoying the feeling of a healthy - yet tired - body.

I am hoping to get some time off work soon and need to check how many days I have. A holiday would be nice if I can squeeze one in.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Zombie Day

I was definitely Mr. Zombie today - I was asleep on the train there then cleaned up the room and everything else at work and sorted out loads of things. By the late afternoon I was really struggling to keep awake. The train journey home went in a flash as I was asleep for most of it and then I got home, had a bit of tea and when everyone went out must have had 2 hours sleep in my chair. I'm off to bed in a minute to get a good sleep.

I have done so much work this week - I am looking forward now to a reasonably quiet time so that I can recover.

Wipe Out

Oh my - what a day - absolutely knackered and just settled in gone midnight after 2 days of intensive work. I don't mind the work it's the re-work I hate. I got to my second meeting as it was wrapping up but in enough time to square away some of the "head 'em off at the pass" questions.

I am absolutely shattered and need to get to bed and then go to work somewhat dressed down to go and clean the place up! It appears to have all gone down well. Let's hope so.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Like a hole in the head

I needed today's news like a hole in the head. I kind of knew it was coming but my friend dropped me a line and asked whether I could book a room and as it happens I managed to do it but today was the second busiest day of the year for me and tomorrow - when the meeting is needed is going to be hellish.

Now - everyone knew that it wasn't a good day, that I couldn't make the meeting without a LOT of difficulty but they went a head anyway and they realised that as I was running this huge event that none of the usual rooms would be available - as I am using 4 rooms for the event.

Given that they've had 6 (yes six) weeks to organise this it doesn't bode well for this team binding together to get things done on time which is what the meeting is about really. I hope I get there in a half decent frame of mind!

Whew - what a day - setting up the conference and syndicate rooms the food, the exhibition areas and my "bosses" changing the slides at the last minute after I've printed out the handouts and after the delegates have gotten their packs.

So - tomorrow - the big day - I've got the best punchlines but I haven't got the key note speech this year :-( just some statistics and figures which I hope will be just what is needed. Other than that my job is to "drive" the IT all day long.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Luxuriate in my wording

My Consultant has a duty to write to my GP (General Practitioner - my local Doctor).

Nice words:

"I saw Mr. Ferdinando in the clinic today. I am happy to say his recent bladder biopsies showed no evidence of malignancy or carcinoma in situ. He remains well and had no problems post operatively. We will continue to monitor his bladder and I will arrange to see him in six months for a general anaesthetic cystoscopy and biopsy with urine cytology beforehand. Yours sincerely etc"

I am reminded of the words in the film Blazing Saddles where Taggart says to Hedley Lamarr after a particularly interesting soliloquy where he said "My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Taggart then says "God darnit, Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore. "

I have no idea why that drifted into my mind at all but there you go randomness is as randomness does.

Monday, October 12, 2009

You did what? You used your own initiative!!!

What do people think about when they disobey perfectly good instructions and go off and do something completely different to what you asked them to do?

I was asked to make a reporting framework so that everyone reported the same and I could do some analysis. In fact most of the people who asked me were those sending data in. I spent a long time doing that, designing the input forms, preparing the presentation slides and ensuring that there was a level playing field for all. Not only did these guys get the stuff in late they completely changed the way the figures are reported and totally screwed the data set!

Thanks guys - no - don't worry it only means hours more work for me to put it right - no go on - sit on your arses whilst I do it for you.

I'm less than amused with just a few days left to go and all the other spanners thrown in the works, the last minute minor changes that will mean there is bound to be a cock up on Thursday. 11 months I've been working on this and three days before the day they want to change their bloody minds! It surely can't be me can it?

Rant over!

Tired, Tired, Tired, ZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

Today, despite having plenty of sleep the previous two nights I was completely and utterly out of it again this afternoon. I just dozed off in my chair. i knew it was coming - I felt really tired and whack I was out for quite a time.

It is probably the biggest single difference I can say that I have physically wrong with me (YES - I know my head is pretty damned screwed up). :-)

Whilst I am out of condition I feel I can now spend some time getting myself back to a level of fitness and weight that I am comfortable with. I just need to work out some sort of schedule in a life that isn't particularly good at fitting around a schedule. I could do with a few months free of working up in town and just concentrating on perhaps training every day and making sure I get out and about in the fresh air rather than on over heated trains and in airless offices.

I'm not particularly upset about the tiredness but I do notice it as it invades so much of my time and now - when I should be in bed I'm here wide awake which messes up my sleep patterns and throws the rest of the week out.

Luckily this week sees an end to the full on effort I've been involved with and takes me into a slowing down period towards Christmas. i have a lot of holiday available which I ought to take so I did a schedule today to find that I haven't actually got one week that doesn't have me doing something in it.

As for my mental state - I'm sort of neutral at the moment. I haven't had a disturbed night of strange dreams and what ifs for a little while and whilst I'm still not certain what I want to be doing with myself for the future, some of the immediacy of the want to decide has gone away and I'm content for the moment. I'm sure that will change as I have a meeting later this week on my other business venture which may dictate the way the future will pan out.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nice - Pleased about that

I got a really nice and unexpected letter this morning - I've been made a Grand Officer in one of the Orders I am in which put a smile on my face this morning. I hadn't expected that at all.

I've spent a lot of the day sorting out my stuff and have only just realised that on Tuesday I need to have my accounts ready and they are just lying here in bits at the moment - oops. Tomorrow will have to do for them.

It is the beginning of a very busy week for me and I'm hoping to get through this and just relax a bit afterwards. There is a pretty heavy Lodge meeting coming up in a few weeks time that I need to keep an eye on but other than that I should be able to start to settle down as the rush will be over until the New Year. As someone reminded me yesterday - it is only 11 weeks to Christmas. I couldn't even begin to tell you where this year has gone!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Poor Brain and other Dilemmas

I was fine at work today but a tiny bit slow first thing after consuming far too much red Wine the night before.

Work was OK and I got on and was happy to get the day out of the way.

I got home to find an email from someone I know and who is also one of our volunteers at the charity. He has been operated on for Bladder Cancer and had a pretty hard time of it. I've offered whatever help I can give to him as I think he could do with a bit of support and seeing a survivor. he knows me although we are good acquaintances not friends. He says he will soon go on Chemo so I'll check that out and see.

On my brain - well it can't have escaped your notice that I'm pretty much unsettled at the moment. I have a potential opportunity coming up that should excite and motivate me but will mean leaving or altering my current job. I'm so under utilised in the job that I am in that it wouldn't be a problem to move on or to perhaps split my time accordingly.

I can't quite get to the bottom of exactly what it is that is troubling me, it is the whole thing not a single area to put your finger on. I'm not depressed and neither do I feel the need for seeing a shrink either as it isn't (or I think it isn't) the sort of thing that warrants that. It is some massive jigsaw puzzle of cause and effect scenarios to work through each action having some other knock on effect on some other part of the problem. The solutions vary from the simple to the hideously complicated, the plans from the weird to the just plain off the wall, the various scenarios for what I could be doing with the "opportunity" I have and the experiences I have been thorough play around in my head all the time.

I really don't know what I want and to rely on serendipity isn't my style it needs to be planned and considered and tested and then executed.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Oh boy - one of those days

That has just ended at 23:25! Oh boy am I ever kanckered but I was very pleased to talk to someone and get some of my troubles off my chest. A good friend tipped up and we ended up drinking a few bottles of red at the local wine bar and finished off with a curry and another bottle of red. I actually believe I drank more as tonight it was my turn to have the magic auto refilling wine glass?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What a difference a day makes

24 little hours - NO - SOMEBODY STOP ME! This isn't Karaoke for goodness sake :-)

You may perceive that I feel 100% better than I was yesterday and almost my old strange peculiar self! Yowsa.

I had a good evening but my friend is looking very old now and perhaps rather than him giving me a lift home I should be giving him a lift there and back! He is 80 after all!

I'm beginning to formulate a plan to take myself forward from here and I reckon the thing that holds me back all the time is I test in my own mind about the impact my actions will have on others around me. Every time I per-mutate the odds and the different ways things could pan out if I made this or that decision. I'm not quite as worried about what people think about me as I used to be but I temper all decisions with that very criteria and acid test.

You see - going through my mind is to take myself off (on my own) for a week or two and "test" myself. Do I really want to walk away from here and go off and do something radical? Do I want to try and reengage with my family and friends. Am I living the life I really want to? Did I choose a life that I now regret and just want to change? And so on and so on go the questions bouncing about in my head. It is a constant assailing of my senses and there are no right or wrong answers nor logic to the way that the questions materialise and affect the way my next pattern of thoughts and plans are formulated.

It seems that I am just open to all ideas and all avenues of thought and action at the moment. I think I need to explore them all the sane and the insane, the logical and illogical, the bright and the dim, the planned and the unplanned serendipitous.

I am toying with the idea of taking myself off for a week or two - I have no idea where - to go and find myself. I'm a "late 50s" child so don't have the "benefit" of any drugs or alcohol background to play on my mind. I do have a brain that is constantly giving me grief about survival, normality and the nagging question of "Just what do you want to do with your life?" thrashing away in my mind many times a day.

Given that so much is going on in my head all the time, I find it very difficult to imagine that any deliberations are going to want me to settle back down to the Status Quo prior to Bladder Cancer.

I always thought I knew the answer and yet I find that it is still too difficult to look at straight in the eyes and to do what is right for everyone. To do what is right for me and me alone seems to be self centred and selfish to say the least and yet, by doing the ting that appears to be the most selfish and hurtful may it in the long run be the right thing to do? the short term hurt can be worked through. To continue the way I am going cannot be good for those around me in general or myself in particular.

I fear the collateral damage that bladder Cancer has dealt out so far and will (more so I have no doubt) into the future. It may be an inevitability of how my past was built that will be the undoing of the past but it may lead to a new future. I dread the collateral to other people and not to myself.

Cancer ripped up my rule book and threw away the index. All that I built and saved for was torn apart in short order. Things - material things - aren't so important really, if the house had burnt to the ground but everyone had escaped then that would have been a result. Life - not things - is important. I get that, I want to live a different life (or I dream I do). I don't live a different life because domestics haven't changed as I have changed, they have been constant (and may have needed to be so to continue "normal" house whilst I was ill). Now the house is the same as it was before BC and to me, nothing has changed but I most certainly have.

It is all a big heap of dung at the moment and whilst I'm enjoying life, am back to my old happy go lucky self and all that good stuff, I feel incomplete, a huge piece is missing and the next part of the journey is to discover (or rediscover) what the spark was or is, will be or what I want it to be. The brain nags me that I haven't gotten away with this, that it is going to come back and "get me" and that I had better live this next 10 or 15 years that I may have to the full. Only those that want to come along will come along. I know that many will not want to. That is my dilemma.

Off to my Jazz Night

Mind you it is tipping it down with rain and so for the first time in a very long time, I am getting a lift there - Once before - last month in fact - I got the bus as it was throwing it down then as well.

I hope to get a few beers down my neck and enjoy some trad Jazz prior to returning to the mad house at work tomorrow.

The alarm

Sounded at 5:20 as usual but there was no way I was going to make it and so I went back to sleep until just gone 9 and mercifully awoke to find a big improvement in the state of my cold. I've still got it but it is a lot less heavy than yesterday and all the symptoms are less.

Luckily I can work from home and I have plenty to get on with. My sense of humour might need a day to be repaired though. It does get me quite angry when no one actually makes a decision and sticks to it. Not my style. Sure, find something that doesn't work and change your mind but as usual, we spent hours in pedantic semantics and ended up with exactly the same message but worded in a different way.

It is my Dad's birthday today - I need to give him a call. It is also Jazz night and I'm looking forward to going to that and having a few beers and some good honest entertainment from talented musicians.

Tomorrow, as they say, is another day. All hell breaks loose this next week as we run up to one of our major events of the year that somehow, I have ended up arranging and organising. It isn't my job to do it but somehow I have inherited it. I've been trying to get the guy who owns it to actually own it. He doesn't and I'm worried he will seriously affect his job by not doing it and me doing it for him but I can't get him to see it by being subtle. He has even told me that I'm best suited to the Job (which IS true) but you can delegate the tasks but not the responsibility. Bless the lot of them, there aren't too many "managers" in the place and so maybe they don't know what I'm on about.

Well - I suppose I ought to go and do some work.

The Girls at work

Gave me a right ear 'ole bashing this morning when I appeared at work bunged up with a croaky voice and sneezing and coughing. I managed to get through the meeting but it wasn't a pleasant day as I was sweating and trembling and trying to work my way through it. I left about an hour early and ended up sleeping for three hours or so when I got home. I'm wide awake now of course but still coughing and so I think I will work from home tomorrow.

The train journey was a laugh this morning as all the lights went out and stayed out so we couldn't read our newspapers - a very strange experience.

I've definitely gone over and beyond the call of duty today though and I hope that they appreciate it. Mind you I couldn't believe the committee changing everything with just a week to go. Unfortunately I wasn't at my normal temperate and joyful self on a couple of occasions and told them so. The trouble with a committee of more than one is that they wish to discuss it. The Roman conquest did not have meetings and networking events they killed anyone who disagreed with them. I cannot imagine that being quite that radical will work with my people though!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Working out

What IS important is fun. SO what areas can you look at?

Your faith
Your family
Your lifestyle
Your ambitions
Your friends
Your location
Your social life
Your hobbies and pastimes
Your real needs
Your dreams
Your desires
Your attitude
Your risk profile

Just a few of the things that are churning around in my head. It is interesting to jot these down and think to yourself how important things are to you now and before and how they will be in the future.

Silly things like I used to like cooking but I barely do that now
I can draw and paint I don't do that now
I can play piano, guitar and trumpet and have those here - I don't play them now
I like music but I on;y have that on in my MP3 Player going to and from work and at the Hospital
I used to like family History and I hardly do any of that now
I read books but nowhere near as prolifically as I used to

It worries me that these are just a few things that I realised that since BC I no longer actually do. My piano, guitar and trumpet all gather dust and I'm just no longer interested in things that used to be my hobbies. Worse than that, it isn't important to me anymore even though I strongly believe I should go back to doing them. My photography is restricted to holidays only now as is my video camera. I no longer enjoy driving although I do have a nice car to drive around in.

This is why I am searching out what has changed and trying to understand why I no longer do these things. Nothing really replaces these but I don't seem to have much time to myself. perhaps a bit of Parkinson's Law creeping in and me filling the available time.

I was considering what I might like for Christmas (Well A has asked me for a list as she needs to save up - she is a planner like me) and I could hardly think of anything I actually want. material things now don't mean that much. It seems strange to me at the moment to go out and see something that I actually want to buy and own.

I used to love cooking and these days I just don't enjoy doing it or just don't do it.

My faith took a severe pounding as I don't get the "Why?" bit at the moment nor do I understand how it can be a test either as some say. Maybe that answer will materialise during my deliberations on what it means to survive. Who knows?

It sounds all doom and gloom but I'm not like that at all. Somewhere there is a nagging in my head that is looking for reasons and for piecing together all that I've learnt this past 3 years. You know that everything has changed but outside of my reality, perhaps it hasn't changed at all? My family hasn't seen any changes or have they had to make too many. No one has said that "you don't cook anymore" or anything like that - I doubt it was really noticed by them.

It is the other dimension to Cancer and the way it messes with your head. You want to go and tell people you are special and share your insight but only a few people are genuinely interested. You want to change the world but you don't know where to start. You'd like to escape and run away but you are frightened that you'll lose your friends and your family and die a lonely man.

I've been trying to figure a lot of this out for a long time and I'm gradually getting to the point where parts of the jigsaw are coming together. All the pieces are sorted out but I don't have the picture on the box to help me put it all together.

I hope that I do work it out soon as the list of tings I used to like doing but do no more is growing and it isn't being replaced by anything.

Fighting a cold

I'm just hanging around waiting to get my last Lemsip of the day to see if I can knock the backside out of this cold overnight. It is really annoying that I've got it right now. The next few weeks are pretty hectic and I also want to try and work out some time to myself as I think I have a few weeks vacation/holiday time available to me to be used before Christmas.

I'm wondering whether I take myself off somewhere for a while and just work on what I want to do and where I go from here. No one seems to have the same time off, A has different term times to L and Mrs. F. which also clash with things I am doing so perhaps I will see if I can go somewhere and chill out for a while.

I need to sort out my diary to do that of course because I have loads of meetings and things already penciled in.

I hope to get back to work tomorrow if I can get rid of this cough and sneezing cold.

Reflecting on being clear again

Each time I get a clear it means that I am:

  • Less likely to get a recurrence
  • More likely to continue to be clear
  • Moving further away from the horrible stuff that happened to me
  • Gradually getting my strength back and repairing my body
  • Able to plan a bit further in to the future
  • Less plagued by dark thoughts and self doubt
  • Building some optimism for the future

I'm still getting to grips with:

  • Being quite fragile when it comes to emotional stuff on films and TV
  • Getting or feeling angry at people who are self centred and selfish
  • What on earth I want to do with what bit of my life remains both professionally and personally
  • How I feel about myself

It was interesting to see "how I feel about myself" being on the list because I recognise that I don't feel particularly good about myself at the moment - it is one of those things that you deal with a lot with staff and you need to be sure that they feel good about themselves but also that they feel good about their colleagues or you can get problems.

My low self esteem is really about not having worked in a "real" job for the past two and a half years. I've been 18 months in this job and was messing around for about a year with the lame brained one. It just doesn't feel that I have done much whilst I have been ill and not really been anything other than looking after my own sorry arse. The family are provided for which is a blessing, at least I got that right and had insurance in place for a living death.

I'm just not terribly satisfied with my current life, my current job and many other aspects of my life. I think that it is all part of a major reevaluation you go through when you have a chronic illness. Some probably come to terms with it really quickly or pragmatically argue that it is just something to deal with, get over it and move on. In my mind it is far from that. What sticks in my mind are the regrets and the decisions I took when I was younger that "may" have contributed to where I am now. Like working quite so hard, smoking all those years ago and that sort of stuff. I used to work really hard and drive myself to do a great job. Did it actually achieve anything? Am I reaping the excesses of my youth?

It is a strange dilemma. Someone hands your life back to you after you had been threatened with the alternatives. You get it back, not in quite the same shape your remember it and suddenly you have to decide whether to keep on with the same old same old which you were leading up until the time of diagnosis or go and do something different.

The older you get the more ties hold you in one place. Friends, clubs and organisations, work children, school, their friends and so on all tie you down. I'd be tempted to move further out into the country or to the coast or abroad but that probably isn't going to happen. There is an underlying need to make the most of this "opportunity" but as already discussed on this blog site, there is the fact that the only person likely to feel that way is me, no one else lived through this and what it did to me. Their experiences are likely to be very different and apart from some changes that they have noticed (I'm much more laid back than I used to be) they probably wont understand the desire to make some sort of change. I just wish I knew quite what that change actually was or is!

Stupid Cold

What a nuisance - I've got a streaming cold, a real classic, nose running, sore throat, headache, watering eyes, sneezes that knock your block off and coughs that rattle your ribs.

Bugger it, I really didn't need this and I'm off work - well no one would thank me for catching this. I am trying to do some work at my desk but with little effect really.

I am drugging myself up as I have a meeting I should be in tomorrow. The trouble is, if I am anything like this I will just have to miss it as I don't want to stick them in a meeting room with me coughing and sneezing all over them.

So it has sort of put the kibosh on doing anything for a day or so as I do feel pretty rough at the moment.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Great a cold

Here it comes sneezing and coughing, sore throat and nose. Bloody ill people why can't they keep their colds to themselves :-)

That's the trouble going into hospital - it's full of sick people. If they put ordinary fit people in there it would be better.

I really could do without this right now though. I've got to make a decision whether I go to work tomorrow if I'm like this as I'll give it to everyone else and wont be popular at all.

Bloody typical, I'm not amused - as you can tell.

A new day has dawned

The early up for the Japanese Grand Prix meant a 5:45 start but it was an interesting race but I have to say I wasn't feeling great and Mrs F. and I both have that stinging at the back of the nose and throat that preempts a cold. We think perhaps sitting around in a Hospital waiting room for close to an hour didn't particularly help. So I'll keep an eye on it as it hasn't gotten any worse this morning so far.

I am still pretty neutral over yesterday's result which surprises me still, I thought maybe I'd lighten up overnight or realise how good it is or something like that but - obviously not :-)

I've all day to get myself excited I suppose! Actually I have a load of things to do like stuffing envelopes and sticking stamps on - whoopee! At least I wont have to do it for too long as good old (some say) Flocky Bicep will be take over from me this time next year and have a go at this - it will be a reward for some of his more risque comments :-)

So back to how do I feel and what do I want to do? I really just don't know - I'm just not reacting to it at all neither positive nor negative and somehow that in itself is OK and yet I am surprised by how calm I am. Oh well, I have all day to think about it.

Officially - I'm a Low Reactor

There was no huge smile, no whooping, no celebrations of any kind today. It may sound strange if you haven't had Cancer to think that you would react in a low key way to what is, after all, pretty good news.

Clear of Cancer. I remember the first time I heard that being very emotional and quite shaky but that was tempered with the need for BCG follow up and maintenance.

In a way if I'd heard the word Remission or something similar then that may have caused a bit more of a celebration. To have to go through an operation once again next year is a bit of a blow but I'd rather do that and be sure than to have the half chance that something worse may have happened.

But don't get me wrong about what a major step this is, it is just that I'm not having a party to celebrate or any such thing. The threat of BC coming back is still very real and so a muted response is called for at the moment.

I was interested to hear from my friend last night though that he thought that this year I have started to look well, the strain is off of my face and the colour has returned. Many people have said I looked drawn and some said I look positively ill and grey when I got this and the few months afterwards.

I thought it was a surprising reaction of mine today I was all ready to party and do some deep thinking after this particular result. I think today I am feeling relief and maybe tomorrow I will be feeling a little more upbeat about things.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

All Clear

Well it wasn't quite how I dreamt it but it was all clear nonetheless. It was strange because Mrs. F. Wanted to come along for the walk and normally I go on my own. It was suitably blowy and autumnal and there was a 45 minute wait to be seen as my Consultant had been double booked and was apologetic about that.

So all was clear and she remarked that it had been for some time. She wanted a 6 month appointment and toyed with the idea of a 6 month flexi or perhaps even a year but she felt that we should do 6 months, have full biopsies her "Gold Standard" and so a further rigid cystoscopy. They aren't fun but if that is what it has to be, that is what it has to be. Fed up with these? Sure but then it goes with the territory so I have to accept it.

We walked home and I had one beer as Mrs F was with me! I feel tired at the moment, I'm sure I have been in a high state of anxious anticipation and am falling asleep here typing this. I think I will wander downstairs and fall asleep there :-)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Let he who is without cast the first stone etc

It must be me or the new me but why is every one these days straight in with both feet? I just read a post on a web forum (a Masonic one) where an innocuous post about a subject many would find interesting was tirade on by some self styled "politically correct cybersleuth". Frankly the guy should get back to the bathroom and work on his wrist technique!

You can't say anything without some smart arse coming up with some old twaddle about you shouldn't say this or do that. Heaven alone knows what makes these misinformed, misguided half wits mine, or anyone else, judges.

If I learnt just one thing in the recent past it was that life's short enough as it is without all this holier than thou cyber bullying. What I do enjoy is facing these do gooders down face-to-face as they wear a very thin veneer of respectability and are generally extremely sad and worthless people. I suppose somewhere there is a place that they fit into society but I find it extremely difficult to know exactly where that is. Even slime is life.

What brought that about? Just the constant attitude that anything exists to be pulled down and humiliated - it is a pretty sad fact of life that TV promulgates this behaviour and that people who should know better decide to copy it and think it is right.

Well I won the loudest shirt contest

It was Jeans for Genes day today at work, pay a couple of pounds to dress down. It was a bit of a shock to most - I have a hawaiian shirt that can actually melt your eyes so fierce are the bright blues, oranges and yellows. It beggars belief and there were double takes a plenty. I bet with my colleague that I would have the loudest shirt and he turned up in a normal Tee shirt!

Anyway, it was so bad that I daren't take my jacket off on the train in either direction :-)

The fun of it all. Anyway, charity benefited even if my colleagues eyes didn't.

I'm feeling quite good especially as my mate NC is coming over to pick me up and we are going to have a beer and a curry tonight. That's rather unexpected but nonetheless welcome. So I am looking forward to going out in the near future and tomorrow, of course, going to see my specialist to see what the outcome of the last lot of biopsies were. Fingers crossed!

I hope to be imbibing of a few more beers on the way home if the news is good.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


What a great afternoon and evening I have just had. Lots of people think Freemasons are nasty people and have some sort of weird thing going on. Well tonight I sat next to my host, a few people I have met before and some new people and one of them was a reasonably high up guy in the overall scheme of things but actually I didn't know that straight away at all. The Master was one of my Charity Trustees and he was not only a very nice man but also a very interesting raconteur too.

The common denominator is that we are all similar people - not clones or identical fits - but we all have common moral beliefs and so it is ever so easy even for someone as introverted as I am - to get on and chat to someone as you can talk about anything and nothing and the "rules" and the "borders" of what we can and cannot discuss are part of the understanding we have. That is what is great. Later on I found out that this guy is really high up in the F1 community and he knows a lot of the top people and it was great to ask questions and hear about how F1 started and some of the people this guy knew.

I feel really charged and revitalised now because my friend invited me and because we had such a gas. It was a little cramped at the festive Board (banquet) but there were good reasons (post strike) and so everyone mucked in and got on with it. In fact it just made the evening go with a real swing.