Saturday, February 28, 2009

2 in the morning

In fact well gone 2 - about 20 past as my back ups for the PCs have begun. I have finally pulled together the bits for tomorrow. Not sure about the sneezing fit I am having typing this though - blimey, I nearly blew my head off with the last one!

So it has taken me the best part of four hours or more to plan what will happen tomorrow. At least I am well prepared which is the main thing. All the paperwork is now done and the bags are packed ready to go. All I need to do now is set my alarms to a little later than normal, make sure I get up and arrange to be back at the Hall by 9 tomorrow morning.

I will be so knackered tomorrow (today) evening when I get home....

Friday, February 27, 2009

A bit of a RANT earlier

I needed that - I almost ended it with "I've not been well you know" or other such sickism :-)

You really can't believe the bare faced stupidity of some people. I wouldn't mind, we all pay subscriptions and it is all voluntary and yet somehow it is as if life depended on it.

Whilst it IS in my nature to fire off a smart ass one liner, it isn't in my nature to not sort this out. I suppose only another year of this and I can relax a bit.

Roll on retirement in June 2010.

WTF? Disorganised people

Really hack me off. I have been out today at a meeting and there is a meeting tomorrow that I am Secretary for. How can it be that people are ringing my house and leaving messages for me on the eve of the meeting when they have known about the meeting for weeks and weeks and in fact the date is fixed by the week in a certain month so it isn't difficult.

So why phone me on a Friday night and then expect me to phone before you go to bed when I actually wont get in until you've been curled up for an hour or two. Of course, your message then means that I have to resolve some situation or other and I end up working way into the early hours to mitigate that and you turn up in the morning all fresh faced and I've had about 2 hours sleep - no wonder I look like sh1t sometimes.

It makes you mad that this sort of thing continues to happen and I thought I would retire from this in June but have another year to run.

I think it is 8 messages in the 4 1/2 hours I have been out.

Tempus Fugit

By heck - where has the day gone? I've been thrashing away at my PC and paperwork all day and it still isn't done yet.

I can see a late night coming on yet again. The trouble is that there is a sudden rush of people who realise at the last minute that they haven't done something and I get a hail of phone calls all wanting me to sort it out. The fun part is, I am not around tonight to take their calls or sort it out for them.

Oh well an emergency on their part should not create one on my part.

Feeling OK today, still not heard anything from the Hospital which is nagging away at the back of my mind. It would be nice to know what is going on. They have written to my GP saying they are going to re-do maintenance but that was before they realised I had already had that last year.

Home a day off

Tempered with the fact that I have a pile of my own work to do is the fact that if I am honest, I really don't have a lot to do at work at the moment anyway.

By that I mean - everything is under control and the work that needs to be done is planned out. I have a good day coming up on Thursday when I will be presenting the work of the Charity to a number of people. There are a number of projects that I am starting that will see the year through.

The current discussions, which the Hospital by not telling me what is going to happen, are making a mockery of, will determine the next year's arrangement. I started at the beginning of April last year. I was actually looking at the original advert from a year back last night :-)

The arrangements are that, given they want to stick me on maintenance and not on observation, that I would have close to 50 or more days off this year. That's about 2 1/2 months and that it would be unfair on them to have to pay me sick pay for those. In addition, even though I might be deemed a "special case" the way that the contract of employment works is on three sicks you go on a sort of disciplinary procedure. Short of going around the office and telling everyone what is wrong with me (some know) that too would cause issues.

The best way forward is some form of contract or potentially to go part time but even that might prove hard to manage. I have put forward a document, contract and prices which are based on what I know from my last consultation. If that doesn't materialise then it would look a bit strange if I have priced not to be at the office and then I am.

For all sorts of reasons, not knowing complicates my life and I'd really like it all to be simple and straight forward from now on? :-)

Today is full of strange things for the Lodges like accounts, sorting out paperwork and checking on things. I need to sit down and get on with that without to many distractions. It is always unfortunate that this meeting and tomorrow's come one after the other like this.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hanging around waiting for something to happen

Strange as it may seem, I'm worried about NOT having any treatment. I've psyched myself up to have it and nothing has happened. It really is a strange old feeling because - in a way - I'm not missing getting whacked with BCG Immunotherapy treatments but at the back of my mind is the worry that if they wanted to do the precautionary stuff, why aren't they doing it?

It would just be nice to know what they have planned for me so I can also plan my future a bit better.

Uncertainty isn't great and I'd rather get any "shocks" out on the table now. If they are going to wait and scope me or biopsy me or treat it, just let me know - please :-)

It may sound silly but planning out your life around how well you might feel is actually quite difficult. I know what to expect so that if I know a start date I can work out that I am going to be better travelling and attending meetings than others. If I don't know I have to keep putting things off, just in case. I've been ruled too long by BC and was hoping that perhaps I'd dictate some times and plan things this year. looks like I am wrong.

Oh well - what will be will be I suppose!

Got to work

Felt somewhat worse for wear but managed to just about scrape through the day. I was nodding off at many points during the day and took myself out on a walk about a number of times. Thank goodness Friday is a day off as I'm just not sure I could have hacked another day of it.

Interestingly that is three Fridays off in three weeks but, I have had good reasons. The boss realises that I am struggling and is OK with it. He can see that work gets done and I am working as hard as I can but I just don't have the stamina for a full week.

We instigated a diet change today - shed loads of fibre and the like. That will now continue and I will try and get my body back to working properly and then try and get back to the balance.

Incidentally this was published today - it isn't rocket science - surely everyone should know this? However, eating properly reduces your cancer risks CLICK HERE.

I still think that it is all about balance and achieving what is right for you. It is difficult to find the balance that is right. Exercise, diet and not living like a hermit. Easier written than done, I can relay the problems and the issues with body balance that changing what you are used to or trying to eat what you may think is healthy without doing your homework. The near scare of almost being diabetic was more of a shock to me than the cancer! At least I pulled back from that one. The trouble is if you overdo it you have to wind back and sort out what didn't suit you and build again.

Anyway, I'm just going to have to get on with it and muscle on through it. You just can't do subtle when your fighting this one :-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Try again

I will try and see what tomorrow brings. It is one of those things I suppose - I read with disbelief that I am likely to get an attack of the "Chalfonts" now I am over 50 but that wasn't at all funny I have to say. Just because you are 50 doesn't mean your body can take unilateral strike action whenever it wants and without my brain's permission! :-)

I think that I will just have to work out a strategy to deal with everything going on and to alter my diet yet again to cope. I obviously need to continue to change my lifestyle gradually to help build me back up to being a fit person again. I think Homer and the Duff man have been leading me astray all along :-)

Right, bed, rest, sleep.

A beer with Flocky Bicep

My Facebook message gave it away and Flocky knew I was at home (Facebook isn't encouraged at work). We met up for some beers and grub at one of my local Public Houses.

It was quite civilised and we had a few beers and some food and generally chatted around the usual, life, the universe and all that.

It was nice to get out. I cannot believe how run down I am. I still have the outward appearance and energy levels I used to but instead of being able to work full on for weeks, it could possibly be measured in hours these days.

If things weren't difficult enough with my ears still ringing and the deafness clicking in and out, the onset of an outbreak of the "Chalfonts" was the last thing I needed.

I feel that I just never seem to get well. I just get myself up and fit from something and thwack, something else comes along and knocks me down. Whether it is getting old or just the fallout from BC or a bit of both - who knows?

I just wish I could have a week where I felt good every day.

That wasn't good

After I wrote the blog things got a little nasty and I ended up feeling pretty crook. I didn't go to work today and my ears are ringing again. It is one of those stupid things and just demonstrates that I am still run down and still not quite right. I won't say too much about what then transpired but it rhymes with Farmer Giles!!

Post has just arrived - no word from the Hospital. No news is good news? Sometimes I suppose. I'm not sure what this means though. It is 5 weeks since I was there. Perhaps they are going to do the three month wait before treatment? I wish they'd tell me one way or the other.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

You both can't be right

So I met up with two guys - one at lunch and one in the evening. One says I look pale but a little better than last week when I looked positively cr@p and the other that I look great. One saw me last week the other in November.


Actually I'm a bit miffed as I ended up not getting home until 10:30 or so and have just eaten at 10:30 and I'm catching up with the day's events.

No word from the Hospital - I can't say that it is helping keep me steady at the moment - I really like to know what is happening.

On to p of that I am not feeling particularly great right now - I feel very tired and in need of hours sleep. I'm sure my body is screaming at me to go to bed for a week and I'm not giving in to it. Who will win the battle? Time will tell.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Of course

Now it is near midnight I am wide awake. Surely your brain knows when it is time to switch the lights on and off?

Obviously some malfunction in my mind on that one.

I was rattling away today to sort out my treasurer's notes now I have my files back - it is quite funny in a way as it appears that the file is a week or so younger than the crash - it is still good but wasn't saved where I thought it might have been so perhaps it is a version before the crash. At least I have managed to recover to today's position and my bank balances actually balance - phew!

Off to bed now to see if I can get a reasonable amount of sleep for tomorrow - I am out lunchtime which will be nice. I can do with a bit of a laugh and a joke.

Back to work and tired again

About 2 pm this time, I could barely keep my eyes open it just hits like a wave from nowhere. Asleep on the train on the way home so managed to get some rest. The thing is I don't feel physically tired - I feel really quite good walking to and from the station at both ends of the day. It just seems to be when I am sat at my computer at work.

Interesting week as I am taking Photos of the team and at the end of the week have two Lodge meetings one after the other on Friday and Saturday. The Saturday one is a biggie so I am taking Friday off to prepare.

Off out tonight and glad to say I can catch up on my accounts as the spreadsheets were recovered - yippee.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Late night

I tend now to find that if I have a few naps during the day that I lay awake at night. I have experienced this problem, along with others, since the trouble began. I'm still suffering some tinnitus and ears that keep going pop and clicking in and out of deafness. It seems to be OK one minute and not the next but is gradually getting better.

Tomorrow - the start of another week and I will take Friday off as a matter of course I think. I just found I have a batch of holidays to take off by the end of March and if the treat me too then I wont have many days to try and do that with.

Additionally I dropped a note to the Hospital today to see what has happened on my treatment. It has all gone very quiet at their end and whilst no news is good news - I am now wondering quite what they are going to do with me. I was certainly expecting to be in for maintenance by now although the note I got last time did question that after I had already had a year's worth.

So - off to bed and to see if I can actually sleep this time.

Cancer Buddies

I thought that THIS was interesting in today's BBC News.

A quote "People say they know how you feel, but they don't" from Ray Bryant kind of summed it up. No matter how you imagine it to be, it isn't anything like you thought it would be.

I still go back to the frequent catheterizations and explain that it isn't like you think it was going to be. In fact a number of the experiences just aren't in your every run of the mill day experience.

The buddy scheme and to some extent I hope recording what goes on in this blog - even the dull and boring - gets us away from the stigma and prejudice attached to cancer. Life goes on for more of us these days. Also, how you cope with treatments and what you do may be useful to someone else. No one told me at the hospital and tricks to combat the side effects. I devised that myself. That is the sort of thing that needs to be recorded so that others don't have to go through the same problems.

Combating tiredness

I still find it surprising quite how much energy has been sapped out of me these past 31 months. I struggle to do a full days work at full speed unless I am really into it and excited by it. In the latter case, there is every possibility that I will pay for that with a day off work at some point in time. I get home so tired that I just about get a chance to eat and if I sit down, I sleep.

I have been trying to work out some sort of habit to get into that would involve some serious exercise to see if I can combat the tiredness with physical activity, losing weight, generally getting fitter, lowering blood pressure and so on. All the good things that exercise, added to my careful (but not Hermit like) diet already do. I had worked out that getting home from work would be a good time to do this. First thing in the morning should be avoided - it does more harm than good I am told. Anyway, it seems only logical that as I leave for work early that when I get home is the right time.

Why don't I? Because I am tired and listless and yawning and ready to fall asleep straight away. Before, when I was exercising every day (in the morning) I was actually working from home which made a big difference to me. Of course I wasn't doing myself any favours :-) I used to get up and then go do my exercise before Breakfast and then had a Shower. Then I could crack on with work, do my BP measurements and stats etc.

Working like I do now doesn't give me the personal time I had back then and I am often out - I was out three nights this week! That is irregular and so schedules aren't really going to work even though I need them for getting the habit of exercising.

I need to come up with something creative. One of the guys at work goes to the Gym, three times a week and in the nicer months, also goes running at lunch time. I don't fancy that at all as it would break my day up too much.

I'm sure I will come up with something.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Still not a word

I suddenly thought that I haven't received anything from the Hospital. I think I'd better drop an e-mail over to them if I haven't heard later this week. It seems strange that there isn't anything and it will be 5 weeks since I was told to go back onto maintenance.

A quick e-mail halfway through the week should suffice I hope.

Nice to have my old laptop back and with a new hard drive it has a new lease of life. It is actually my favourite machine as it has a big screen and is wide screen which I bought because I was away and could watch DVDs on it.

I have re-built it this afternoon - no great issues - lots of updates and patches to add and miracle or miracles, the man in the shop managed to save my files from the hard disk - which is great and so I don't need to try and do three years work again :-)

Mind you - let that be a warning - the hard drive is dead and yet he managed to pull off all my old files. Impressive stuff indeed.

To have or not to have that is the question

I re-read some of my posts and also noticed that Steve talks about having Bladder Cancer.

I wonder whether either of us actually do? I suppose it is pedantic semantics but they cut mine out and it hasn't come back for 18 months. Sure I'm still suffering from the after shocks and still being treated to keep it away but do I have it? I suppose it is as easy to say to people that you are "suffering from Bladder Cancer" as that is what is actually happening?

I still think that I AM suffering from Bladder Cancer even though the Cancer itself isn't there anymore. Of course, we all have the possibility of it coming back though, that really is the fear factor on this one.

I'm a little less buzzy today thank goodness. I am getting pretty excited about this business venture I have been working on for some time and it is all coming together and taking shape and finally we realise that there is a real leap forward and we can go and do something now - as we are, off the drawing board now.

Still - exciting times are ahead on that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday - A Good Day

You know Andy P's news was great and it encourages all of us who have this funny old disease called cancer to look towards that day when we can say goodbye to the Hospital and the Doc for good.

Until that day - triumphs, like Andy's, makes it all more bearable.

Today I have been on a buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Yee Gods, have I ever been on a high caused through a meeting of minds on our business proposition and I was centre stage for a half an hour.

Tonight the curry club crew went out - 7 strong we were - and the most marvellous curry and good company was enjoyed by us all.

I was a little bit lively to start with but managed to suppress my adrenalin fueled buzz from the previous meeting thank goodness.

We had a great day business wise.

Just a good day - I am now home - very, very tired. Off to bed in a minute - I doubt I will need a nightcap to sleep!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Time to Celebrate

Just had an e-mail from Andy P. It is great news - the best. He woke up without all the usual paraphernalia, and was told that all looks clear and he didn't need the biopsies, he has to go for a flexi in 6 months.


WELL DONE ANDY - WAY TO GO (whatever that means?)

That is the best news possible and I suggest choosing numbers on the Lottery immediately he is able.

Blogging mid afternoon - on a work day?

Yes, I finally had to give in and leave at 2 pm. I went for a walk and still kept falling asleep at my desk. That's dangerous for me but also other people so I decided to come home. It took all my concentration to stay awake on the express train as I might have ended up 60 miles away in Hastings if I'd have fallen asleep. I played loud music but still managed partial snoozing!

I am home and had a call just as I got here so I am in this sort of half life at the moment. I have that "stuffy head" which is screaming for sleep but not right this minute. I actually plan to wander downstairs and hit my favourite chair and have a snooze there after writing this. I am yawning away.

Andy P has hopefully had whatever it is by now and is drinking that nice cup of clear fresh water and fingers crossed all is working out well for him.

Me - that is it - I HAVE to go and get some rest - I have a big day tomorrow and must be ready for that.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dog tired - again

4pm and I was nodding off again at my desk, I had a double espresso - it did nothing! So I stood at my desk - making the place look untidy. I got my train, promptly slept all the way home (hope I didn't snore) missed a few phone calls too - I don't think my phone went off it may have gone to answer in one of the tunnels.

I see Steve K in the US is also suffering from tiredness. It is the one thing that I noticed either post BCG or Post operative. Strangely enough last year I was having massive fatigue and wasn't even able to get out of bed. I used to have to have the day off as I could sleep for hours.

I put it down to Post Cancer Fatigue and also that you whole body after BCG is out repairing cells, kicking out old ones and I think that the analogy to having post traumatic stress disorder is also - in a way - true too.

I think the only way out of this is to exercise, continue to eat properly and to ensure that you don't try and do too much. I certainly noticed that a few late nights and the payback is a few days afterwards as I can hardly keep my eyes open.

Andy P is due in to Hospital tomorrow and I have dropped him a line. He has had his TURBT and is going in for the 3 month check up. Lets' all wish him well and hope for a good outcome. Andy's staging is a lighter grade of cancer (can there be such a thing?) and he had a TURBT to get rid of it. Tomorrow he will find out the initial visual details and perhaps in a few weeks time hear what the next steps are.

For us all it means long term care, review etc. Which also begs the question - what on earth is happening to my treatment. I went to the Hospital on the 22nd January and it will be 4 weeks tomorrow and I haven't heard anything??

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday - are you SURE it isn't Friday?

By 4 pm I was nodding off at my desk. I managed to hold off until 5 when I met my friend and went for a few beers and had my first Burger for what must be a year or more - Good Old Burger King!! We had a few beers and a burger, and got the 9 O' Clock train hence I am writing this at 9:45. My friend's wife also dropped me off home which was very nice indeed.

We had a long and interesting chat tonight and it was nice to get home at civilised hour. We often only just make the last train home! I suggested that we must be getting old if we were home by 10!

I cannot believe it is only Tuesday - so tired am I. I hope I manage the rest of the week :-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

A first

This year - I actually drove my car for the first time in 2 months I guess. Was a bit surprised how fast it was and managed to out score the traction control at one point. Ooops. Nice to be back in the Cat though even if on a local journey.

Dear oh dear though I have been yawning all the way through the evening and the tinnitus is driving me mad today. I got to my destination in time for my ears to switch into "muffled in a tunnel" mode! Great - it made conversation very difficult indeed.

I can see that by the end of this week I will be having to have another rest as I am also out tomorrow night now too.

There is an underlying fatigue to just about everything I do these days. The utter fatigue can just switch on and you hardly know it is coming as you tend to feel tired all the time. Tonight - I just kept going and I am through it but there will be pay back somewhere and it will turn up when I least expect it.

I've started to have mild cold symptoms again today but so far it is just a runny nose - I want it to stay that way if possible. Not sure if I could cope with a second cold this year.

Still nothing in the post

It is getting to be a bit of a waiting game. They haven't done this to me before and I am a bit surprised but perhaps it is that there isn't too much urgency and they will fit me in when they can. The later it gets now the nearer the operation will be to holiday time though so not sure about that.

I can only guess they are also catching up after the backlog caused by the weather too.

Whatever they are doing it is leaving me a bit in "no mans land" and I'm not a great lover of being hung out like this as I can't get on and plan things.

Work was a bit flat today - I couldn't get into my normal wit and repartee - I have been told to try harder tomorrow, so I will!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I wonder what the hold up is?

I heard from Andy P and he will be having his procedure on Thursday, in the morning and I'm glad that his BP has returned to normal.

Steve K has finished his BCG instillations on the day that this was published. It describes a "danger receptor" that may kick-start an immune reaction to cancer in the body has been uncovered by UK researchers.

Well Steve and I can tell you all about that with out BCG treatments because that is just what it does. Perhaps this will help us in the future and treatments will become more effective? Let's hope so for future sufferers. It would be nice if the could prevent it in the first place of course but the ongoing research certainly seems to be getting somewhere.

A bust week ahead for me - not sure if I will feel quite so keen come tomorrow though! I feel I could do with a break and I've only worked 4 days!!


I again find myself sleeping in and although feeling the better for it - I find losing those hours annoying. I suppose it is just the body doing a repair job and I'll probably be grateful for the rest. I have a full week ahead of me and there are lots of things to be achieved.

Friday will be good as I have a meeting with my colleagues in my venture company and then I am going off for a curry evening which I intend to fully enjoy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


It was a strange day as I was working most of it. I have been running some figures for a business I am involved with and needed to get some more details and my friend and I spent a lot of time going into the figures which I have just completed. Of course, I've done it again. I have been working all evening with figures and my head is doing mathematical calculations a plenty so I hope that I will actually get to sleep without too much trouble.

Everyone who sees me says I look well - which is good - at least the outside looks OK then! From the inside I still feel somewhat worn out. My ears are still giving me problems but again are getting better but ever so gradually.

As for the rest of me - I think all is OK but the wait to hear when treatment begins is unusual. Perhaps they are considering something else? Who knows - it will come soon enough but I'd like to know so I can plan things out.

It is half term week so Mrs. F. and the girls are off - I hadn't realised that until perhaps a day or so ago! I am at work next week and so will have to plan for time off together next time.

A full on day today

I am running another bit of work with a friend and we are meeting up today to go through some of the details. It is a strange thing working on a Saturday and back to my old days doing a bit of work at the weekends and evenings to catch up on things. This is a business plan and so it needs quite a bit of work to ensure that we have entered the figures correctly and also that they are realistic.

At least it will keep me out of the office for the day but not stop me working.

I've not heard back from the Hospital and so assume that I can go to work on Monday and be OK for going out Monday evening too. Perhaps I'll gt the letter next week?

On a sad note, the celebrity who had Cervical Cancer got the bad news yesterday after it having spread that there isn't a great deal to do and time is limited. Not sure quite how I'd feel about being given an 8 week diagnosis? Puts my problems into perspective.

Friday, February 13, 2009



I got the PC booked in, got some Valentines goodies. Then had a Bacon Sandwich and a cup of tea and hit the local pub. Called a friend of mine and ended up getting home - by taxi at 8 this evening. Ouch - I went out at 11 this morning.

However, I have had a very nice day out. I ensured I had plenty to eat as well as drink.

Slightly disappointed to find that my eldest is off to see her boyfriend tonight and that no one actually thought to let me know. I'm pretty sore about that - how difficult can it be to say that???

Dysfunctional can easily be applied sometimes to life here. I don't mind the fact that it happened but to tell me afterwards isn't exactly useful.

A day off

I think I deserve a day off - a lie in this morning was nice until some numpty started phoning. However it was a good two or three hours longer than normal and so was still a good start.

I am just catching up on e-mails and everything else that has happened this week. Steve in the US has had his last BCG of this set without issues so that is good and he can relax for 2 or 3 months now. Not much on my case at all really. I still haven't heard back about their deliberations on Monday. I wonder whether there is a quandary brewing up as I have already had 1 year's maintenance and they want to do a second one. I suppose it must be a borderline case?

I am aiming to go down to the Computer Shop in a little while to see if they can save any of the data on my hard drive. If they can it will be a bonus - if not then a new hard drive can be fitted and I can reload the OS, drivers etc.

If they cannot find the two or three files I was working on then I am sort of screwed up and will have to work out quite how I present the accounts that I had actually completed and balanced for the last two years :-)!!

A nice slow day is required and sitting here blogging is not in today's list of relaxing activities.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A very long day

It is 11 pm now. I left at 6:10 am. I had a very good journey to work, caught the connection - don't tell Mrs F but I then found a Greasy Spoon Cafe and had a full English Breakfast and two large mugs of tea before arriving at the venue.

The presentation went OK and the only problem was that I overloaded it with cases studies so I overran slightly :-) Anyway, I can repair that. We came back to London and got to the office in an hour and then went off to a Lodge meeting and a very nice meal at the Radisson in Covent Garden - Seven Dials. I had been invited out to another meeting on Wednesday night but I was worried I may have been post treatment and also that I would have today straight afterwards. A good move considering how tired I am.

Fast train home and when I got here a 1 1/2 mile walk home in the snow and sleet and slush. Remarkably one side of the road was covered and the other wasn't so it wasn't too bad a walk.

I am having tomorrow off - I need a rest. As for the remainder of my body - well my ears are ringing still but I feel a lot better I think for having gone back to work.

It was interesting as someone who is not in my office told me that the whole office has perked up which is a nice compliment - I hope I can live up to my hype!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One of those days tomorrow

It will be an interesting day as I am giving one of my first presentations to people who may use our services rather than talking to people whom I am trying to get to part with their money!

Then back to the Office and out for the evening. Interestingly they say there may be a little snow - Hope not too much. I decided to take Friday off as I would probably be too knackered to get up after this week and wrapping that up with a late night.

At least that gives me an opportunity to get he laptop sorted and to prepare for some work I am doing over the weekend.

I've heard nothing from the Hospital - I know they were looking at my case on Monday - I wonder what they decided to do???

Suppose I'll find out soon enough.

Bitter Pill

Bitter Pill, Biting the bullet and other such cliches spring to mind.

I thought it was quite funny how I can sagely give out advice:

"You should calm down a bit" "Get a job with less hours", "Take it easy now" etc

And yet ask myself to do it...

That is a TOTALLY different thing. I'm not absolutely sure I know what I am fighting against here. Consider what exactly would I be doing if I were back fire fighting on some of the jobs I used to be on. Away for a week at a time, working long hours, Hotel food day and night, too many beers and not enough good food. Things wouldn't be sustainable given treatment, fatigue and other such things.

I am being a real stick in the mud and resisting this change and I really would feel a fraud just "doing the minimum" and taking the cash and yet it is what a great deal of people do. I've had huge responsibility and real pressure and stress and targets to meet and all that stuff which I thrive on but taking it easy is probably the hardest, most stressful and difficult thing I have ever had to face in my career. It just never happens.

Funny old world isn't it?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The hardest thing for me to do

If you know me - you'd know that the hardest thing for me is the drop out of light speed I have experienced in the past few years.

I've been what some would call a 'high flyer' although I'm - in my estimation - a troubleshooter who just uses common sense to sort out problems. I've worked with some of the top 100 companies in the world, I've been right up there - full on - working my bum off and being rewarded accordingly.

What is so difficult about slowing down, going native, doing the 9 to 5 and just doing what you need to do all the time and just being like "everyone else"?

I can't see it :-) Everyone I know can see it and tell me to slow down, take it easy, relax, do what you need to do, do the minimum, you've earned your rest and all the other phrases.

I have to tell you there is nothing quite so difficult as jumping from Light Speed to Impulse Engines only! The sudden stop is totally disconcerting and the idea that at 51 I am scrapyard material is truly one of my concerns. To do a 9 to 5 is again quite alien. To have time for friends and family is also foreign territory. To be in the house in the evenings and not just at night is a bit of a novelty too.

I suppose it is like stopping work and going into Retirement. What am I going to do and how am I going to cope with the change?

Today - I did do just what I needed to do and felt that I had delivered a good day's work - for some time I have felt that I haven't done that.

I am sure that this is just another string of things I need to come to terms with. Gee - 51 years old and wondering where my Zimmer Frame is...

Still not right

But I am forcing myself to be. It is hard work being the office comedian but I keep getting moments of deafness and then clear and I still have tinnitus what a nightmare. This, of course, limits my ability to time jokes or think fast on my feet but we have had some laughs today which is encouraging.

Out tonight with my old school chums and looking forward to having a few beers.

So - work - well it is OK - I am at 75% pace at the moment and that is also OK. I have worked out to take my coat on and off on the train as it is so hot. It is like sitting in your front room with the fire on in all your outdoor gear. I really don't know how people manage it.

I am glad I gave up the Uni thing now though as the pressure is off and I can get my work done and not worry about running back here to do the next stuff. The reason is I am so tired - it really does take it out of - not surprisingly.

I hope to hear from the Hospital tomorrow about what they are going to do to me... I have also decided to take Friday off so that I can ease in rather than go crazy - I have a very busy day on Thursday too so don't fancy trying to drag myself up on Friday morning.

Monday, February 09, 2009

For one minute

I nearly came home this morning - they run the trains at steam bath temperature (it can't be good for you). I had coat off, tie off, buttons undone and thought - I can't go on like this. It was a real claustrophobia moment. However, some deep breathing some music and just rationalising my thinking made it OK. I really don't like trains and being packed in at this time of year. How on earth people get on the train with scarves and hats and overcoats buttoned p the whole journey I don't know.

Coming home was OK as I got a reasonable seat and was able to settle in a bit and also I was going home!

I suppose it was just a blip although sometimes I do feel strange on trains especially underground ones. Maybe I've had enough - I think you probably do - I've lived in and around London my whole life and it isn't really an "old person's city" not that I'm that old but I enjoyed it when I was young and now it doesn't hold the excitement it used to, I certainly cant play hard all week and I'm not certain I'd enjoy it.

See what tomorrow brings I think - I hope the rain stops - it is pretty heavy and persistent out there at the moment.

It saved the best until last

As I got out of the station it hammered down and has been all the way home - lots of little floods around - I imagine with the thaw that will just get worse! So I have arrived home wet through - not good. A quick change and hopefully none the worse.

Funny old day at work part good hearing part bad - managed the meeting and was OK with that - gave the boss an alternative way of employing me so hope that they can do that rather than me taking on a full time and ending up not working half the time :-) If you get three sickies in a row then you are on disciplinary as an employee (which I am not) so I explained that it would mean 1 lot of treatment and they'd have to do that! We agree to find an alternative to this as it isn't fair on either party.

Twas an OK day I think.

It looks as cold and miserable out there

As I feel this morning. I'm wearing my walking gear to work as it is raining and miserable outside.

It will be interesting to get to work and I suppose I'll have the inevitable stream of people coming up to see how I am. So just remember to tell them you are OK and they will go away - let's not bore them with the facts and how I actually feel.

On another matter, it is amazing how people can't get on with one another = I have a dispute between two grown men to try and "manage" - I think banging their heads together might be a way forward. The trouble is - whatever the history that has gone on - I am no party to it and so can't hope to work it out and help them arbitrate. The Reason? I don't have time or patience for that sort of thing anymore. The sort of stuff that is left in my armoury would be "Get a Life", "Aren't you two a bit old for that?" and that sort of gun ship diplomacy.

Right - the dark, cold and damp morning awaits my emergence back onto the real world.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Work - What's That?

It must be close to 6 weeks off work mustn't it? I can never remember being off that long even after the TURBT #1 which was pretty traumatic - I think I was working about 3 weeks after that for sure.

Well - I wonder if I will remember what to do? I don't actually fancy going back at all at the moment. I'm sort of nonplussed by it all and don't have the enthusiasm or energy. Maybe tomorrow I will get the buzz off of my people - they say they have missed me!

We will see I suppose.

One of the strange things about today has been that both girls have been out and so we had the house to ourselves which was quite nice. We went on our circular walk - it looks great in the snow and isn't too slush filled at the moment. Tomorrow could be different.

I;m still up quite late and need to just get my bag ready for tomorrow along with all my papers so that I can be ready to dash off in the morning.

Whew those boys can blow down a Storm

The Scots were on top form - as we left at about 1:30 in the morning the piper was doing his party piece of pretending to be drunk playing the pipes - or maybe he was? No actually he was really funny and a most impressive musician.

I had a GREAT day out. The full Burns Supper, We got in at 1 pm and was greeted with a large tumbler of Scotch - very nice. It was a double double by the looks of it. Then a couple more before the meeting that started at 3 pm. We didn't finish dining until 10:45 and then went on to a club and carried on to about 1:30 as I got home about 2.

I am feeling remarkable well considering the quantity of scotch, beer, wine, port and more scotch and beer I had. My ear is much better :-) perhaps I should have been doing the scotch, beer, scotch treatment all along? and I can hear small noises now like my Vitamin C tablet fizzing in the glass this morning (I'm taking 1000mg daily of these).

SO, apart from missing the Rugby yesterday the meeting and the company more than made up for a really enjoyable day.

I was picked up and dropped off in my friend's Land Rover which is a full off road LH drive vehicle so it was a very strange trip to and from the place sitting in what is normally the driver's side. It was excellent at tackling some of the slush filled lanes.

I feel very much uplifted by the experience and much better today than for some time.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I need to raise my game today

I am off out of here at 12:30 then heading off in this lovely weather (we had a fresh fall of snow last night) to the meeting. We are going early so we have plenty of time for the journey (it is cross country from us up some "interesting lanes") and so my host can set up as he is Secretary of the Lodge.

I just went to check my wallet and I don't have enough money in there!!! Interesting - I wonder if Mrs. F has borrowed some for herself or the girls there was plenty in there earlier in the week! I will have to see what is lying around the house.

I'm certainly not feeling my normal chirpy and chipper self this morning and I'm not sure why. I'm still not much improved - my ears are clicking and popping again in and out of deafness - my stomach feels somewhat strange and I feel weak but that is maybe just coming out of this period of illness.

I need to grab myself something to eat and then go and get ready - we will not eat until this evening and I can imagine I'll be having the stomach rumbles if I do not.

I have no doubt that I will have a good time but I also need to be a sociable animal too. I hope that the Scots will make it down to this meeting through the snow and ice. They "make the meeting" with their Kilts and different Masonic Regalia, and for the meal afterwards. It is going to be a great day but I just need to raise my game.

Friday, February 06, 2009

What's gnawing away in the background

You know what it is? The little voice in the back of my head - you know what it is saying?

It is saying "How come, the last three lots of biopsies were clear and yet this one isn't?"

"Are these atypical cells down to the treatment, to the way they did the biopsies (I still reckon the cleaning lady did them!) or are they the beginnings of a recurrence?"

That's the bottom line, that is why I'm a little bit more upset than I probably need to be is that there is the very minutest doubt in my mind that this might be the start of a come back for the Big C. Now before you all rush and tell me it isn't, because it actually isn't, there is no use telling me, you need to speak to the little voice at the back of my head because in the back of everyone's head resides the little voice called doubt, the pessimist, the nuisance maker, the naughty kid in the classroom and all those things rolled into one. A little Sniper, firing off and sowing little seeds of doubt into your sub conscious just when you are about to go to sleep or when you are at your most vulnerable. The little voice tells you - you are going to die or other such niceties :-)

Sometimes the little voice is right and that's why I don't block it out. Sometimes it says that things don't look right, that's too good to be true, it is completely politically incorrect (good for it) and it questions everything and ridicules and challenges most things that I do.

I try not to take too much notice apart from the occasions where it has actually saved me from doing something I may have regretted but at the moment it is quite insistent that why should these results be different from the previous ones unless someone knowing that there wasn't cancer present really went and had a good look.

Mild Atypia it may be but then they use the word Superficial Bladder Cancer and I can assure anyone reading this that it is hardly superficial if you've actually got/had it!!

I think I will have a chat with my Urology Nurse when I next see her or I can e-mail and get an appointment if I am that worried about it. Normally my Urology Nurse will have the answer and she is discussing my case with the Consultant on Monday.

An afternoon full of popping ears

Every few minutes at the moment it is very strange all the pops and gurgling going on inside my head. Crazy times. I hope it settles down. Been in touch with work today and it looks as if my feet will not touch the ground next week there is so much to do.

Must be "something" about my shower

A couple of days ago my ear went deaf in the shower and today it popped back to almost, but not quite, normal. I suppose it is as you move your head around or stretch your head back it loosens up the tubes or something (obviously a technical term) and whilst I still have a bit of tinnitus it is much further away in the background. It is surprising how quickly you grow used to the noise in your ears, it was just downright annoying to start with now I can block most of it out.

I hope that it continues so that I am a bit more "with it" than I have been. I've been terribly slow - things have taken an age to get done and my brain isn't as quick as it used to be and I guess all the usual symptoms you get when trying to work when you have a cold or are ill.

So, the weekend beckons and work next week - that will be a shock to the system as I haven't been since the middle of December. People will wonder who I am.

I am looking forward to tomorrow with a Burns night supper and real Haggis and Highland Beef, a Piper and all the bits. It was great last year excepting that I had to drive myself and so was unable to join in the revelry. This year, I have a lift there and back and so I will be able to enjoy a few drams. It will be a long day - we are leaving here at 12:30 and probably wont be back until the wee hours of the morning.

So, things looking a bit better this morning and I hope that it will continue.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Getting back to work

I have made a commitment to go in on Monday as I have an important meeting that day and later in the week and need to prepare for them.

I actually feel a lot worse tonight than I have for a little while and young A has had to go to the GPs today for a very bad ear ache and is on the same sort of antibiotics I was on. I can only assume it is the same thing. The Doctor spoke to my wife and reckoned if I am not hearing properly in a couple of weeks time to come back and see him. Perhaps I have done some long term damage to my ear - although I have had almost full hearing back with it a couple of times it just keeps clicking in and out.

I hope that this clears up in time to go back though as it is just dragging on and on.

Keep taking the tablets :-)

Might be something else happening now then

I got a letter confirming my mild atypia today - I believe that means the same thing as atypical cells :-)

As it was the first post we have had for 4 days I checked with the Hospital to make sure I wasn't due in on Monday. apparently not. They have been checking to see whether I had undertaken a full one-years worth of maintenance - which I have of course. Based on that, they will be making up their minds what to do with me on Monday.

It is therefore possible that the treatment plan will change given that it is to really rid me of the atypia. I now have to wait and see what they plan to do with me. from what I gathered last time it isn't the maintenance I had before which was 3 BCGs one a week , wait 9 weeks, 3 more one a week, wait 12 weeks, rigid cystoscopy, results back in 2 weeks and next course sorted from there. It sounded like (poor deaf person I am at the moment) that it would be 3 BCG at 3 monthly intervals with a rigid scope at 6 and 12 months.

Whatever it is, it means I don't have to worry about being off work next week on Monday and Tuesday. The week following is a different thing of course.

I don't think it is anything to concern myself about other than what regime I get put on and that it "does what it says on the tin" and gets me completely clean and clear. Whilst this doesn't sound like a big deal having mild atypia, it IS a big deal to me and it needs to get sorted. Hard to bring my mind around to the positives when I know I have to go through some more pretty serious treatments before we can be happy that it isn't the beginning of a recurrence.

Indeed, the fear is that this mild atypia is indeed the commencement of a recurrence although no one has said that or even intimated that to me. It sounds like a normal thing. Let's hope so.

How are you getting on now?

Met a lot of friends last night and each ask how I'm getting along and I noticed that the ones that "would" be interested I could tell them a bit more about what was going on and the other ones I could just tell them that things were OK, I was cancer free and that they were keeping me on medication and observation (that's almost true and enough information to be getting on with).

Steve Kelley puts a very good point here that there tends to be two reactions to people who have cancer and - uncomfortable as this is - they are:

1) You are going to die. Just a matter of how soon and how awful the process.OR
2) It's been removed and won't come back and really the whole thing is over and can be forgotten about.

These would be reactions from people who have never had cancer or don't understand some of the ongoing issues with it.

It is a sort of binary thing, you're ill or you're not. Of course, if this blog and Steve's blog say nothing else it is that the disease itself has far reaching affects on your life and with Bladder Cancer, which is treatable it can come back, it is like that and the biggest threat we live with is every time we go to have an operation or get checked is the worry that it is back. Again, you can treat that, although the thought of having a neobladder or a bag to go pee in for the rest of my life isn't high up on my list of things to do before I die.

It isn't, cut, cut, snip, snip all over and done with, it isn't a cold and that was what amused me last night. Very few people are as clued up about cancer as those who actually have it. I was surprised to find people who have it, although I don't talk to many of them, don't really have a clue about their Bladder Cancer, a lot of people take it all in their stride and get told that they are having this or that and go off and have the treatment and yet probably haven't read up about how it works, what it does, ways to alleviate side effects and so on. I wanted to know everything about it.

So back to the point - 90% of the people at the meeting last night only really wanted to hear that I was OK, over the worst, on the mend, doing well. 10% were interested in the ongoing but, frankly, there aren't many who would be interested in the detail - who would?

If I was to be really cruel - I can recount the stories of the Flexi or the BCG treatments - only a very few of my friends know about the grizzly bits. But it is fun occasionally to drop in a bit about having the BCG and how they instill it with a catheter with no local anaesthetic. You can see the guys curling up, going to grab their groins and going "urggghh" and pulling faces. I do stop it there though as if I were there I couldn't listen to what was going on. Amazing what you put up with and amazing what people don't know.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I shouldn't be fed up

The last post says it all some poor kid under 30 is in deep problems with cancer and there is me whinging on about my hearing and how I'm not at work and how rubbish I feel. I always did say I felt a bit of a fraud just having Bladder Cancer. I still feel that a bit - maybe it is the strange way that I deal with it? How did all those poor kids go "over the top" in WW1? they must have known what was out there but they still did it. Again, that's a strange way of dealing with it too.

Not sure that is relevant but it came into my head after watching "My Son Jack" on DVD - one I got for Christmas. Lots of people worse off than me but I still complain and as a few blogs before this probably note - it is after all - all about ME and perhaps I ought to realise that.

I was out tonight and again, was pretty deaf and it showed and I was really struggling to get things sorted out and then I got a lift near to my house and the walk across the main road and the snow was a whole new adventure! I think that whilst I feel guilty not to go into work, frankly I'd be surprised if I can actually get more than a few hundred yards without losing my footing or losing my balance due to my ears and the affect this is having on me.

Part of me says go to work and the other part is saying - are you an idiot? - How well do you think you actually are and what on earth are you going to achieve by doing this? I'm sorely tempted to go in on Friday if things are OK just to say hello. I may even just go in for a few hours if I can, show my ugly face and retreat. Frankly it is absolutely treacherous outside and they don't pay me enough and it isn't important enough. The snow will have to have gone significantly before I even venture out that far.

I fully intend to go to work next week - treatment - if we ever get any post and it is planned for me - permitting.

Anyway, I don't know, I'm just p1ssed off and annoyed and find this whole "being ill" stuff very difficult to deal with. I've said before that up until 30 months ago - I hadn't really been ill for 30 years and so coping with being ill, having a condition that could have (and still might) end up killing me are all new things to experience alongside, long periods of illness and all the other associated cr@p.

Saw this which amused me

Apparently this is a real photo:

These workmen are installing bollards to stop nurses from parking on the pavement outside the Royal Hospital in Belfast. They are cleaning up at the end of the day. How long do you think it will be before they realise that they can't go home?

My Topsy Turvy World

Had a shower this morning and POP - deaf in my left ear. Not water in there - I'm very careful about that. So I'm back to being partially deaf again this morning, there isn't any pressure on the ear and it is crackling and popping away in there :-) it just means that I'm still not fixed yet.

On a sad note I see that a young "celebrity" here in the UK has got major problems now with her cancer and it has spread and has been described as "Aggressive" which I imagine is another one of those words you really don't want to hear when you have cancer. Like "Riddled", "Inoperable" and so on. In a way, whilst it is a tragedy for her and her children and she is only in her late 20s, it is a wake up call for me. My goodness, how would I cope with any of that, I'm really lucky in that it is under control and that brought my upcoming treatment into some sharp focus. What this next lot of treatment does is very much a belt and braces approach to the situation. It takes the approach that whilst we all probably have atypical cells, the ones they found in me ought to be treated as potentially nasty and so lets Zap them anyway.

Topsy Turvy world? Choppy Waters and back on the Roller Coaster - it will be OK in a few weeks when I get the timings of my treatments, get back into the flow of that, sort out my exercise and eating regimes and get fit again and begin to feel well and good about myself. This last month's turn of events has really laid me low and whilst I sound fed up and annoyed I'm still optimistic and looking forward - I know it will all change and sometimes, with something like this it can be in a few hours and the colds gone, your hearing is back and you feel good again. It just seems to be taking a long time to come along.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Medium Depressed

I'm in a sort of no mans land at the moment. I haven't quite fully recovered from this illness, the hospitalisation (I swear I still feel tender in and around my bladder area) and the sluggishness that being stuck inside brings.

It isn't massively depressing and it isn't upsetting as such. It is draining and dragging. I've rapidly moved on from having stopped my University course and had some good comments back on part of my last assignment but also (and I must have been ill) I missed a part of the second question out - which is so unlike me. It was good that I left that and walked away when I did. It was weighing down on me.

Health really is my biggest concern at the moment. Just getting back to being fit again would be good and I need to plan out quite how I want to do that. Like many I hate exercise - it is repetitive and boring and just feels utterly pointless. I'd far rather do long walks and be doing something to get fit but you cannot structure those too easily where I can with my cross trainer. It is far easier to get in the habit of not doing exercise than doing it. I learnt that I shouldn't be doing exercises first thing in the morning and that ideally I should have some food inside me and so this really means I need to consider doing exercises in the evening when - of course - I get in from work after 12 hours out of the house. You can see the problem here. When I was exercising before I worked from home and was able to do 30 or 40 minutes a day every day. Well, if I am serious about getting fit then I need to schedule it and I need to ensure I do it. I remember to take my tablets, my pre and probiotics and my Vitamin C all the time now and so to stick in 30 or 40 minutes of exercise must be possible? To stick to it might not be. Of course then there is cooling down and having a shower as well so I need to put aside an hour at least and perhaps 3 to 4 times a week would be reasonable.

I used to do a lot of cycling but again, I haven't gotten around to that in a while and walking is OK but you really need to do a good distance and the light and weather are against me. It is nice for walks here but country walks in the fields and lanes where there is little light at all at this time of year.

Diet also needs to be looked at a bit more seriously too as I tend to eat well at home but with meetings out I do tend to have quite a bit of food like three or four course lunches, wine and beer, port and a cheese board - a bit like this week coming! A big meal tomorrow and another on Saturday.

I'm certain that I'll need to get onto the heath kick again if I am to drop my blood pressure and lose some weight but more importantly just to get my fitness levels up.

Glad that

I didn't go into work today it looked horrendous, people falling down as the roads and pavements weren't gritted - ludicrous and the hospitals now stretched because of all these falls! With the slight balance problem I have it would have been murder getting to the station as there are two bits of the path and pavement that are steep and I can guarantee they would be like sheets of ice (doh!) well they would be of course.

Despite getting cold and that the trains aren't working properly and with everything else I'm sort of glad, in a way, that I still have problems with my ears and still slightly blocked up.

I do hope to get out of the house tomorrow afternoon and evening if I possibly can as there is a Lodge meeting and I'd like to attend that and do "my bit" in that. At least it will get me out of the house and talking to some adult company rather than being stuck in here.

I am going to a Lodge meeting on Saturday where we will have a Burns Supper and I am really looking forward to going to that again. I went last year but was unable to drink as I had the Cat with me. This year I am being driven there and back which is great. They have Haggis, Neaps and Tatties and Gravy (whisky) the ode to the Haggis is done by some Scottish Masons who come down especially for the weekend. After we have had the meal we go off to another location and have what they call a Harmony which consists of singing and tales and jokes mixed with some more drinks of course - it is a lovely meeting.

It still is all about me then?

Anne posed a question or perhaps provided a thought that's pretty important to realise. Here is the quote:

"It may help to realise that the desires of those around you are less about you and more about themselves - their fears and what the 'new you' means for them. In reality all you can do is be courageously yourself and invite them to address their own issues with that. They have their own journey to the acceptance you have found and it's not your job to make that journey for them."

Those who read this blog and actually know me, may well see what problem I'd have with this straight off. That is that by my actions I've set off something that I didn't want and that I have no control or influence over. Those around me having to deal with something that I have makes me feel guilty that it has happened and that their lives are affected. It's OK to mess me around but not those who I know and love - that isn't fair is it? Mind you what is fair? Cancer isn't fair anyway and just look at this - it affects loads of people even if they haven't got it! Nasty pernicious disease.

Balance that with, I had no control over getting Cancer (and we can argue whether it was self inflicted at another time) and the quandary becomes clearer:

In my way of thinking - I have affected the lives of those around me. They have to live with that and the consequences of something that I have caused. In my normal day to day life I would be mortified if through my actions I did something, anything that would detrimentally affects others. I feel somehow responsible.

Anne's point is that actually, I can't do an awful lot about that, it is what it is and whilst I can empathise and do whatever I can I can't experience their journey for them, feel what they feel about it (if they feel anything at all about it that is) and do much about it at all.

If I accept that, then it tends to ease some of the pressure I put on myself and explain some of the concerns I've expressed in my blog. I think it also reinforces the feeling I've had for sometime that whatever is going to happen will and there isn't a great deal I can realistically do about that.

In a number of posts going right back to 2006 I've often said that I thought it was all about me, that it is a selfish thing, that only I have to go through the treatment, only I have the mental anguish, only I am sick etc. Then I counteract that with concerns for all the people that are affected by my illness and so the fight goes on in my head about this. Is it me, is it the family, is it my parents and relatives, work colleagues, friends and so on.

You can't help what has happened to you, if it had been the other way around and it had been someone I know, then what would I have felt like? I have a number of friends in the same boat as I am and whilst we all speak the same language and outwardly project the same sorts of issues with our disease, I don't have a relationship issue with them in the way that I think I would with someone in my family getting it.

I think though that Anne is indeed right about one thing. If I hadn't actually had cancer then I probably wouldn't see what all the fuss was about and I'd be getting on doing my own thing as apart from sympathy and empathy, what else could I actually do? I'd know about the treatments and the operations but not have to live through them and so they would be out of my experience and in some way distant from me, it would be a wholly different thing to live through.

It's all about me still but it is less about trying to solve everyone else's problems. I cannot do that - neither can I change their thoughts, their feelings or anything else.

Well it has given me an interesting way of looking at things and I think I have to agree with Anne's statement. Whether I like it or not, it's probably exactly what IS going on and everyone else happily gets on and does their own thing here anyway.

A new way to look at things

On my last post there is a comment from Anne you can find it here. It is very interesting to me as it actually has made me stop and now think differently about a situation so thanks Anne.

Whilst I do tend to do 360 Degree stuff at work and when I am planning things I didn't apply it to this blog or my situation. Which is strange but then I use different techniques at work and when I am just living :-)

For example, I'd be looking at stakeholder mapping and how people will react to change as part of a major project or program plan but at home, much as I'd like to apply project management principles to my home life, that just doesn't happen. The nearest we get is running a family diary and notice board in the kitchen - even then it is fallible and could you imagine me holding the family progress meeting once a week. Producing an agenda and minutes and actions plans "So, Mrs. F. How have you progressed with the transportation and logistics issues we discussed last week?" "Do you mean did I get the children to school, get the shopping, tax the car and fill yours with petrol? The answers is yes!" - I'd deserve that :-)

So what I might want to do is to apply a little thought to how other people are dealing with me rather than how I think I am affecting other people and turn the question on its head and also the approach to rationalising it.

I'm rather pleased that Anne put it in a question that I had considered and discarded. I'm off to go and give this some serious thought and will put out my thoughts and ramblings when I've done that. It always surprises me that when I'm at work I can come up with these questions and when I act as a Consultant I'm able to take all these different views and yet somehow, because it is me, my family and my situation, I am not able to. The answer of course is that I cannot be detached from my own thoughts, and who I am. In business, it is what I do..

I feel like a weight has gone off of my mind for a while - maybe I've found something that I don't need to beat myself up about? I'm very good at doing that.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Not a lot changes

I went and looked at 2007 February posts - they were a bit more oblique then as I couldn't say much and the blog was anonymous at the time. The reason? Well I was going through the redundancy and I didn't want that to be googled and at that time I was also going through the Insurance Claim and just trying to sort it all out.

It was only 7 months in and having been well and truly knocked about by then and after having the first 6 treatments which were no holiday either a lot of things were setting in. I was in a right state back then.

I am nowhere near as low and depressed as I was then - my goodness, when I look back and see it now, I was going through all sorts of problems and they weren't easy to rationalise at all.

There was a lot of oblique references and I was having all sorts of troubles with understanding what my mind and body were doing to me.

I wonder how other people seem to just cope with this or whether they really have the issues I experience?

I was interested that Mrs F reckons that I (she used we) have changed a lot. I can't see that anyone else has changed that much. Me - I'm larger "than life" than I was before, more empathetic and more tolerant and in some ways - more so at work - a non panicker, if there is such a person? Perhaps a bit more assertive - which can be a bit of a character fault I think, I do try not to be like that but occasionally I get on my box and give it some. In other ways I am more emotional - more likely to get upset at things that before never troubled me - for goodness sake don't show me Bambi's mother dying - you get the picture? In other ways I'm fragile too. I don't take well to bad news and set backs or to being ill at all.

I'm not so sure everyone else has changed. They may have adapted, they may even like the new me, I think the family do as I am rarely angry these days and I am affable, helpful and that is a different me. I don't see much to have changed them other than they aren't on their guard and things are more fun in the house.

I'm not certain that everything has panned out yet. I think that it will take me a while now to reconcile work, ongoing treatment (the acceptance of being treated long term) and my business and personal life need to settle down properly. I have always mentioned that I feel there will be collateral damage here and it is a feeling that I am going to do something really stupid that ends a friendship, starts of a feud or breaks apart a relationship which plays on my mind. I feel it more than know it, I believe that there is some sort of pay back for getting my health back again?

If that sounds strange - it goes back to those early days and how at each stage you "think" things will unfold. You do the scenarios in your head, the "what ifs" and you play each one. The worst case scenario would have probably meant that this blog would have finished about 6 months ago and be left online as a sign of how it could end. Alongside that scenario were many things about my family and friends, what I'd do, my legacy if you will.

Then there were other scenarios, leading up to the one I am in now which includes the phrase: "So you've got your life back, no more treatment, just observations, your health is in control - what are you gong to do with this new birth, this new life you just got given to you?"

When I answer that one, there are many outcomes to the question, many roads and many consequences of the actions that I could take. In reality, they are the questions and the scenarios I play out that do keep me awake at night and make me think long and hard about consequences not just for me but for everyone. Me, I want to just go off and let off steam for a while and celebrate and enjoy myself, not have to work too much and catch up on loads of things I missed when I was working hard, long hours, away from home and having little home or social life.

The collateral damage may be that it is too much of a change for me or for other people to live with. The flip side is that I may not want them to live with it myself and that really does worry me that in my mind I can see myself being quite that rebellious or uncaring about people but I'm wondering after all these years whether I should be more selfish than I am? If I am to do that, then I wonder how far would I go in concentrating on me? Can you really celebrate your well being at a given time every day? Are you allowed to be happy once a week? If no one is prepared to let you be yourself (your new self) then perhaps you have to go and be your new self somewhere else?

When I said not a lot changes - I'd say after I got the first good signs and realised that I'd probably survive this, these thoughts started to rumble through my mind. They are more structured now and grow so each day.

I fully expect that something will trigger off events that is totally out of my control. Some event at work, home, social etc that will then make the decision for me and one of the scenarios in my head will start to play itself out. I can't predict the future nor can I change the path but I wish I could stop my brain working and permutating each and every move as it may never happen :-)

A look back to April 2007

My goodness I went through a load of trouble then, blood pressure, possible diabetes, exercise, no salt, dietary changes and redundancy from my old company and the introduction to the dick heads I worked with after that for a while.

Life really was a roller coaster of a ride, changing hourly almost some days, tortured by the black dog, staring at a less than certain future both health and career wise.

The mind has a great way of forgetting that sort of thing and what I like about the blog is the ability to rewind and go and look and then say to yourself, it isn't so bad at the moment.

Of course, I still hate being a victim of BC and being weakened by it and the treatment and now this cold and my ears still aren't working properly! I wonder if I have done some serious damage or whether it still needs to clear. Many people I know who had this before Christmas say they are still suffering from it :-( It doesn't sound good at all.

I need to remind myself I am improving, I need to remind myself that I have very little pressure in my job, social and academic life anymore and I just need to concentrate on getting well, doing what I do well at work and elsewhere and relaxing, removing the stress and pressure I put on myself and just get well.

It's easy to keep gong back into "the victim" role and it is too easy to be overly reflective and inward thinking and so a gradual break away from that must start to happen.

We would like to inform you that

The UK is officially closed until further notice - with a further 4 to 6" of snow on the way, no transport running and snow like we haven't seen for 18 - 20 years or more, we might as well just shut up shop until it thaws out :-)

If you wanted to pick a more inappropriate day to

Go back to work then today would be it. It started snowing around 5pm yesterday and hasn't stopped ever since. As is usual in the UK, no one was ready for it despite being told at least 5 days in advance. The trains aren't running, airports are closed, cars wont start, roads are blocked, schools are closed and so on.

There was a good chance that I would have gone in today but getting myself chilled to the bone to struggle into work would be rather stupid. L is happy as she is with her friends having a massive snowball fight by the sounds of it and A gets a day to do her mini project in support of her University entrance. She has been doing some strange photography in the garden mainly involving time lapse photos and shaking snow off of tress and other items? Don't ask me whilst I might be thought of as creative, I don't have the "eye" for a good photograph. I do OK but A can take a similar shot to me and it will be much better, have a centre of attention, good focus etc.

So - I doubt that tomorrow will see a major improvement in the transport system so perhaps I might finally make an appearance on Wednesday. If I do that I have an evening meeting here that will mean I'd better do a half day.

At least I may be able to do Thursday and Friday this time.


L is off for a month on her World Challenge later this year to Argentina. A has booked to go to Italy for a couple of weeks.

GULP - that means Mrs F and I will need to actually talk to each other and probably go on holiday together too!!

I'm all for a few weeks in a quiet pool side hot location - I think Mrs F. fancies a wander around the Baltic or some such "activity" holiday.

I guess it is going to be a case of Love, Honour and Negotiate!!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Day interrupted

Why organise something if you can't actually cook! My Sister In Law, decided to have her mums 80th birthday party this Sunday despite us trying to arrange it sometime later in March when everyone could get there! I had a day interpreted by phone calls about how to cook various things but eventually I dispatched A, L & Mrs F. to go sort it out and I arrived with lots more bits (ingredients that had been forgotten) a little later, In fact WE cooked the meal, I carved and A & L served!!! Which was what we were going to do when I had originally planned to do it here.

You may gather from this that I can actually cook a bit! My Grandfather was (I believe) something of a Master Chef or similar and my Dad is pretty handy too. Again, with me, it's like my painting, I don't do enough of it to be really good at it but I can whip up a pretty good meal.

Anyway it was an OK day and as long as you can laugh at your insane Sister In Law - and we can, then it is OK. I had a few beers, the food was good and there was cake, banoffee pie and trifle if you wanted it too. I was absolutely stuffed when I came back. I liked the comment that they thought I looked well and that I had lost weight since they last saw me on Boxing Day. I'm not surprised I lost weight as I almost lived on soup for two weeks when i was really bad.

So, that disrupted the work I was planning on doing this morning. Blow me, when I got there my ears played up again and I was partially deaf again. It really is that in between state when you get great hearing followed by this sort of dull noise. I now have about 100 envelopes to stuff and get posted. I'll see what the snow is like tomorrow - I might venture up to the Post Office to get them all posted.

We got home before the snow came which looks to be a good 4 to 6" worth at the moment and more is predicted. needless to say, I will not be going to work tomorrow. Many is the time I have walked 30 minutes to the Station and then stood hanging around for 30 or more minutes waiting for a train etc. With my level of fitness I very much doubt that my body would be up for that sort of shock treatment.

Neither one thing or the other

I had the same thing yesterday as I've had for a few days now which is my hearing returns after a quick blow on my nose in the morning although it seems fine without that this morning but it fades away as the day goes on becoming worse especially mid to late evening.

I've still got the occasional cough and sneeze and I suppose that it is the final throes of the original cold and also clearing out the muck in my head.

It's a sort of no-mans land stuck between being ill and back to normal. I'm trying to balance whether I go to work on Monday given that we are probably going to have winds blowing in off of Siberia and Snow. My ear aches now, heaven knows what a blast of cold air would add to the experience. Much as I'm loathe to do it, I think another day or so is best to settle things down and then, perhaps, go back part time until I feel up to it.

Knowing that this country almost halts when a single flake of snow or even the "wrong sort of snow" arrives, I could place a good bet on the trains being frozen to their points, the roads gridlocked and me freezing on an open platform after my mile and a bit walk there. To say nothing of slipping and sliding my way to work when I am slightly dizzy from my ear problem anyway. It really is a no brainer.

I'm convinced that I am fit and healthy and can climb Mount Everest (which I can after a number of Beers anyway of course!) when I should be realising I cannot. I actually don't realise I can't do it until I have overdone it and isn't that always the way? I shall listen to my little voice in my head who tells me that "That isn't a good idea!" :-) I should also start acknowledging that it isn't necessary to be there tomorrow - why risk it? What's the worst that can happen by not being there? Easy to say and type all these things but if you are anything like me, you don't want to let anyone down and you want to do your bit and all that good stuff yet, like me, you'd probably give someone a bit of grief if they struggled into work in the condition I am in at the moment! :-)

Other than this - I find that I am feeling kind of OK. I'm not great but I am certainly no where near as bad as I was a week or even two weeks ago!

If I don't go in, I'll have only lost some money for the day. I reckon if I try and struggle in I'd probably be off work for longer.