Saturday, May 30, 2009
I then went on to have a meeting with some of our team to reassure them that things were happening and that we were making some progress. Unfortunately they have done their piece of work and we cannot get them involved again until we get the next stage started. It is all a bit fraught at the moment as it also impacts on what I want to do. As circumstances would have it, I got a call from young Flocky Bicep and after I had had a few drinks in London, I made my way past packed pubs full of people spilling out into the street, to the station, hopped on a bus and ended up at one of my local pubs with Flocky and another mate of mine. We had some very pleasant beer, some seafood (I know but can it hurt once in a while) and so we ended up talking about everything and nothing all night and left on last bell.
I am pretty much convinced that I ought to apply for that other job if for no other reason than it was implied that I should :-) if that makes any sort of sense?
It would be a brilliant job to have but is a complete immersion in the day-to-day activities in Freemasonry and as such is a high profile job and comes with certain commitments to fulfil.
I see in reality that it is me not willing to commit. In a way I can understand that and in a way I can begin to see that perhaps I actually do need to do this. The money is OK for the job as opposed to where I am now which feeds and clothes us but that is all. It is still a lovely job to have but in my heart of hearts I'm not the right person it is all a bit round pegs and square holes or vice versa.
It is a beautiful and it beckons a lazy day in the garden and the opportunity to sit down and think about this job...
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Anyway, it went well but I was absolutely wiped out after that and so came home a little earlier.
All in all a good day and I felt at last that I was back to my old useful self as everyone enjoyed the day. I have to say that I was really buzzing and feel good about myself and what I achieved.
Things are good (ish). This job that has come up is causing me to rethink things. It throws other things into a bit of confusion. The new venture "could" take off and if it does, it would be great to be involved and perhaps make a few bob doing that. If I should get this other job then I'd have a real dilemma on my hands it is very high profile.
I am still having thoughts about whether to apply or not because of the quandary it would put me in if I did get the job and then the other thing kicked off.
I suppose that it is a nice problem to have.
Health is fine, I'm feeling like I am losing weight nice and slowly, I feel fit and until I wrote this had almost forgotten that I am due in within the next couple of weeks. I wonder where the letter has got to?
I was handed it by someone who casually gave it to me. Now I work with, and have lots of time for him. he is also in aforesaid other organisation and high up the pecking order there.
So, it kind of says "you really ought to be applying for this job". Now the spook is that as I walked past their offices, knowing that the job may be available, I wondered why no one had approached me to do it. Well today I got my answer. They didn't say anything but why hand me the advert directly if you didn't want me to apply for it.
It is a wonderful job, a great opportunity and I think that I will have to go for it. It is just too good to miss but more than that - it would actually cover the bills and so far I cannot say that what I do at the moment does that to any great extent.
But - and there is always a but - I would feel terrible about leaving the guys I am with now. However, I don't see why I couldn't come and offer my expertise and perhaps even join the Trustees or some such if I was allowed to.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
A bit like the Matrix. No one can tell you what it is, you have to experience it for yourself - which - I wish on no one - ever - even my worst enemy. The sooner we sort out curing it, the better it will be.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Today has been about booking my trip in St. Petersburg (Russia) and working out the details, costs and all that. It hasn't been easy but we finally made up our minds and have gone with one that is challenging physically but we have decided not to go out on the first evening as we will have done close to 12 hours touring with just a 30 minute lunch stop. The next day would also be around 10 hours. SO to go out for a show or to the ballet may just wipe us out. We also realised that we would already have been going for 3 days before the 2 in St. Petersburg and still have Tallinn to hit the day after we leave. So a total of 6 days in 5 cities - at least I won't have an excuse to put on weight as we will be walking around each city rather than sitting on coaches like we were a few years back.
In a way I am looking forward having a busy time and getting out and about. I'm sure my feet wont feel they belong to me by the time we are finished.
Feeling a lot better than I have for a while, less tired today and a day off tomorrow will make things better. I had Friday off - even though I was doing some work at the time.
I can spend tomorrow catching up with loads of odds and ends now that I have the holiday tours booked and sorted and under control.
Friday, May 22, 2009
The diary is ready, the annual review is in its last draft today, I have an article for the quarterly paper to be out by next Friday and a further article for one of the Provinces.
The next thing will be getting information out to each Province for the Annual Books! That will be fun. One more committee meeting and we can then get a break.
8 weeks to go until my holiday!! Excellent - I can't even begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to that.
Today and the weekend are all about getting the stuff packed and sent out for the next big Lodge meeting.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I met up with a friend and he was telling me how much he admired my courage fighting the big C. As usual, as you do, I explained that it was nothing (a massive understatement) and that it was what you "had to do". He was with me shortly after I returned from Yorkshire with the first symptoms and remembers sitting with me in the local pub garden as I suddenly took up smoking again after having given up some long time before and also how I drank far too much and was extremely worried.
I leaned on my friends so much that night but it was then that another friend suggested that I tell people rather than keep it locked up to myself.
I am looking forward to a rest and the Monaco Grand Prix which, once again, I have missed attending. One day I will go to this event. I will however enjoy watching it on Sunday. Many years ago I actually walked the circuit. Believe me, you would be hard pressed to believe that a saloon car could make it around, let alone an F1 going 100s of miles an hour!
Watching is OK :-)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I am pleasantly surprised that I can get up and do an after dinner speech at the drop of a hat these days. I already had some words prepared for a talk after dinner but I am really warming to thinking on my feet. the odd little joke thrown in too.
I actually think that whilst I was pretty good a raconteur before, I really am a lot better these days and I don't really get phased by the occasion. I think I have been around long enough that (in fact) people are a little scared of me even though I don't want them to be. I think surviving also gives you a sort of "so what" look at the world but also, it helps when I speak about the charity because I can tell you what it is like to have some of the problems people face first hand.
Anyway, I am home - a bit tired now after 2 nights on the trot out. One more tomorrow and then I can have Friday off - well not off as such - more like I will work at home.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Me? I'm happy to miss them out and then write to the Doc and ask him if it is OK to miss the medication like this? Perhaps they do it for some other reason. Maybe to P*ss me off.
I have to say the office saw a bit of the "Mr. Angry" today when I got the revisions of my work back to find that they had corrected almost back to the original and had also gone back on the design concept agreed. Old habits dies hard and these people need to keep fiddling around with stuff - there isn't a pragmatic one amongst them. So I grudgingly put it all back the way it was.
It is a little better than last years which went to about revision 18. I am only at revision 8. The longer they do this the nearer the deadline gets and I have 250,000 of these to be printed and sent out!!!
I am now very conscious of how close everything is getting and the complete lack of time I have to fit things in. If I have to go to Hospital before I go on Holiday then I will need to try and arrange things for a few weeks time. However, I haven't seen anything as of yet. Do I call or mail?
Anyway, I am off out to meet my school chums tonight and so hope that I will think about what the best course is over a nice beer (that's the warm British stuff!!) :-)
That's the diet blown but that is OK - I have started to loose a little weight. it is gradual and I'm just eating less of everything and making sure that I have a good balance of everything. Minimum 5 a day fruit and veg and I've cut right back on Coffee and sugars etc. I'm still tired but I should be used to that by now. I'm taking Friday off as I know I will have had enough this week!
Monday, May 18, 2009
The last 4 days have been busy - they always are in May as the season closes down and the Masonic summer recess begins. It is crazy at work and in Lodges around the country. We get inundated with things to do.
I'm beginning to get myself ready for my own date with destiny and my next operation as that is due in June - and should be in a couple of weeks time. I don't want to ring them but maybe I ought to because I don't want it anywhere near my holiday as I need to be fit for that.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
What surprised me is how "uncharitable" people are in this particular circumstance. Please, please, someone befriend this guy and help him through the difficult times but the charity is going to have to pull the plug and his old friends have deserted him. As I alluded to yesterday - I now have the problem that I can't give huge tracts of time - I don't know him, it would take me 2 hours travelling each way to go and see him and yet those near and local are showing prejudice against him. Instead of helping, they are contributing to his downfall and continued decline. That is so anti everything I stand for.
Unfortunately I don't have the time to help and that is what really annoys me. His "friends" have abandoned him just when he needs them to be strong for him.
I hope that none of my friends ever needs that level of support. On the other hand, if they ever did, I hope that I would be the person who would stand by them and try and turn their downward passage.
I get on fine with everyone, I help everyone out as I have years of experience with all sorts of office automation and I get things done. It is a job like most people do I suppose. Turn up do your 9 to 5 and get paid. That is not what I do and never have just made up the numbers. I need to have the buzz and stress to get me going and delivering my best. This doesn't have that. If I said that it needs another 2 weeks to do something, then I'll get another 2 weeks - no negotiation or anything. Deadlines are always achieved. A panic somewhere in the office is - invariably - no such thing and I can sort it out for someone.
I don't know, I should be happy that I have a job in the current climate. I should be happy that they think highly of me but surely there must be something else to get my attention. Maybe, just maybe, the job has got me through the bit where I needed stability and now that BC is taking a back seat I find that I am hankering for the lively days.
Friday, May 15, 2009
No really - I do feel that I've become in act and deed, a charitable person. However, there are some serious problems associated with that attitude:
- Money (salary) is 80% less than I used to get
- I can't help everyone (a problem I haven't been able to address yet)
- Use my expertise but I find the job a bit less than riveting stuff now I have sorted things out.
I like to try and return things to society. After all I am here on borrowed time. I really could do with sitting down and talking with a few friends about this though.
Something in my mind is stopping me getting too involved. I don't fancy getting hurt in as much as doing something for the beneficiary to fail whatever I do is hard work. Also, I have my own life to lead. My own "problems" to solve etc. If I go off looking after others what are my family going to think / do?
Another problem for another day - too difficult to answer right now!
That call was about a lapsed brother who had really fallen on terribly hard times and something needed to be done. Financially, I can arrange something but emotionally and committing my time? Hesitation. You see, I do so much with my time that I wondered how could I commit more than I already have? I work most days. I tend to be "sort of" working when I go to Masonic meetings and when I am out. To actually support someone is an even bigger commitment on my time and this person has really deep alcohol and other mental problems.
I'm actually not that well equipped for that. I think I can talk to anyone about anything but an alcoholic is difficult as I'd feel so betrayed if they didn't commit themselves. I know I couldn't walk away and just get more involved.
At the end of the day, I have family and household to look after and then it really struck me.
What a puny little insignificant person I am. I have enough trouble keeping my own head together and keeping my family fed to then use spare time on what many people would dismiss as a lost cause or a waste of time. I don't see it like that but, in reality, it probably is.
It is difficult to explain really. I should be generous and charitable but I could only afford time for the one person. In my job I support 1700 + beneficiaries and about 30 staff so the one person shouldn't be so bad but it would take time and I haven't got that.
I now realise that I can't Shape the World or do much else. If I assisted this one case - which I intend to try and do- it may backfire on me. If it got to a point of choosing - which way would I jump? Should I be charitable to all or am I allowed a private life? Do I deserve it and am I helping or not.
Let's get away from how these people end up the way they do. Do I lose what I have to tackle poverty and uncertainty,, only to find that everything else I hold or held dear may disappear through trying to do good deeds?
Thursday, May 14, 2009
This is excellent news and should add weight to the fact that it may be a pretty nasty thing but it can be treated most successfully. There are a number of us who can say that now. Keep the faith and do the right things, trust your medical team, look after yourself and above all keep a positive attitude.
I was so pleased when I got in to see Steve's e-mail arrive in my inbox and it just means that he can now go off and celebrate and perhaps relax a little having the summer off.
That was nice news to come home to late at night here.
Well done Steve.
Almost a year to the day - this is one of those major milestones in the treatment of this particular disease which if passed means that treatment continues in a maintenance mode and recurrence of the cancer starts to recede. I'm 2 years in and about to go for my 2 year check. Again, if I am clear then recurrence becomes less likely (but doesn't go away entirely).
The odds just get better each time you go for these. So if you pray (or even if you don't - keep in your thoughts) do so for Steve and a favourable outcome. His blog is a really useful piece of work for anyone suffering from bladder cancer and I cannot recommend it to you highly enough HERE.
SO nothing more about me today - I'll be raising a glass to Steve later this afternoon hopefully around the time he will be being seen (in more ways than one by his Consultant). Wishing Steve all the best and a weekend off celebrating and relaxing.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
My DJ and Tuxedo have arrived - I suppose I ought to go and try those on and make sure they fit.
I suddenly realised I have next to no time at all until I am meant to be in Hospital and I've not heard anything. Maybe I ought to warn them that I wont be around if they want to do it in July!
Monday, May 11, 2009
I suppose that I don't think about it as much and gradually I am used to spending longer periods of time not thinking about what might or might not happen. I can't say I have control back as I don't and I feel pretty tired still but all of this is manageable. I'm fit although I'd like to be fitter. I am alive, I am existing and today I thought, for the first time for a long time, a little bit sorry for myself. Just a little. You see Steve is about to have his check and apart from urinating fire for 24 hours afterwards, he also had to have a CT scan with an IV Iodine trace. I have never had to have one but I thought about it as I had an IVU X-Ray (similar) and really really really hated every minute of it. It isn't the same thing but I can't even begin to tell you how bad I felt and I was almost close to tears. I was walking to work, headphones on and all on my own and shook myself out of it. The backs of my hand where the cannula tends to go started aching and it all came back to me. Perhaps because of the news I heard over the weekend too about this guy that I know.
Generally, I don't get this and I was fine for the rest of the day. These little flashbacks do tend to bring back to me how much I went through and there is a fear of having to go back and do it all again. Imagine, if you will, that my fear is actually finding out that I need to repeat everything I have been through before. Right now, I'd find that hard. indeed, very hard to cope with. I'd do it of course but to know what I'd have to go through, rather than not knowing makes it different. I must say I am not looking forward to June and the next Operation. I will however, make it known how badly I felt I was looked after in December and ask that I be put on the proper ward this time rather than God's Waiting Room...
I was feeling the other day that it might be difficult for people to get their head around why I am like I am and yet it takes just a few moments to make me quite serious too. Someone noted that i hadn't been providing the Joke du Jour for many days. I need to re-establish the liveliness of the office again.. Tomorrow I shall attempt to do that.
Lots of sneezing everywhere today - Hay Fever not Swine Flu I hasten to add. I'm just about to have my last evening of Lodge of Instruction until September which gives me Mondays free for a while but this week is still chaotic.
Steve goes in for his test later this week and prayers and thought must be with him this week as he comes up to 1 year. I'm certain that things will be alright but I wouldn't blame him for being very nervous - I was pretty bad.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I found out on Wednesday that he was due for an operation to take our a Kidney and a Tumour in his Stomach. I found out today that they stopped short on both as the Tumour was too near to a main artery and then they also decided not to take out the Kidney either. He may now have to go on Radio as he has had max. Chemo.
I hope that things will be positive but I have a horrible horrible feeling about this and the way it was expressed. He comes home on Tuesday and so I suppose I will find out more then.
On a more positive note, I find that I am really looking forward to our holiday. I have been sorting out my new DJ and Tuxedo, shirts and stuff as well as our tour of St. Petersburg. It has taken an age to get a specification together and to get what we want to do priced up and then to compare all the possible variants. I suppose that the next thing to "manage" is getting the biopsies done in June and hopefully get a verdict to go onto poke and peeks rather than these full blown operations and general anaesthetics.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
It was a busy old week and not going to the Spring Fayre and to the annual Church Service tomorrow are conscious decisions as I don't stop now until Tomorrow week with something or other on every day.
A bit miffed that one of my mob at work has decided to do a full review of my work after I have spent 6 weeks perfecting it and changed everything despite my request to look for obvious typos not content changes. Why can't people leave things alone, I may as well not be employed there if they want to write this stuff themselves. Perhaps I just send it out to them to provide the content and I just collate it - I think that may be a plan and I ask them to write it and I just manage them doing it.
Other than that I need to sit down and do loads of work today and tomorrow to catch up with all the things I missed out recently.
One other thing I need to consider is to actually put by some time for one of my other business interests. I really need to allocate a day a week to do work on it. I think that everyone in the team needs to do this so we can get a move on and make things happen. If we don't the impetus will be lost and the idea disappear back from whence it came. A recession is the right time to bring things like we have to market.
Lots going on. Lots to think about and in between times, it must be getting near to the point when I need to go into Hospital as well. I suppose I need to manage that considering I am going on Holiday in July and I need to be pretty fit by then as I see it being a real physical time walking around the various Baltic capitals and in one case having 6 days on the trot viewing major sites before a 1 day at Sea rest period.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
I can never quite get it right because right now, after having had about 30 minutes snooze, I am wide awake. Typical.
I have decided to miss out the weekend's activities as if I don't I will never catch up with the work I have piled up.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Had a great evening at a Lodge meeting. lovely people but my friend's father just died and much as I wanted him to be able to talk to me, he just couldn't and I feel bad about it. He is a very private person. I've known him for years and still don't actually know his wife's first name!!! But he was hurting and I couldn't do anything to help it at all and I feel very bad about it but if he doesn't feel comfortable talking to me or asking me to do anything then so be it. I did offer and I don't want to impose myself on him. I wouldn't have liked it.
We "Brits" are a funny bunch. We don't do hugs and kisses and back slapping (well youngsters now do) and we really don't do physical contact at all and we aren't particularly good at talking emotions and feelings. I feel a bit liberated as I can talk these sorts of things to close friends at least.
So, I felt kind of useless and that I couldn't help or just listen to this poor guy's grief. Expected or not, it is still your Dad/Father and whilst we all "have to go" it isn't nice and I just felt as impotent as the sort of people who couldn't talk to me about my Cancer. Mind you, I did go and ask and offered whatever I could do. Just words - maybe - but I meant it.
My very close friend gave me a lift home. He is great, he is a Samaritan. If you don't know what they are or what they do then go and look at their web site HERE. He listens to people who haven't got anyone to listen to them and has some major heartbreaking conversations with people who are the lowest ebbs of poverty and distress and generally contemplating suicide or who just don't know what to do next. You can bet there are cancer patients in there and those who are terminal etc.
He and I have known each other for 36 years (or thereabouts) and we are a little remoter now than we have been but are still very good friends and we care about each other a lot. If I go past my school mates, this is my longest and closest friend and we have so much fun and serious time behind us having worked and played together for years. Since the children have grown up a bit we have sort of grown apart a while. I kind of hope that it is transient and we will grow back together a bit more soon.
We see a lot of each other and for 6 months of the year are hardly out of sight for more than a week.
Anyway, I'm just in Awe of this guy as he takes the sort of emotional battering I have been through in the past few years every night and also has a day job. He also works at Christmas with the underprivileged and he can go where I can't. I can't cope with the sorts of suffering these people see as Cancer has just softened me up and worked me over. I tend to go to pieces really easily when I see how desperately bad things can get and I am glad that, there but by the grace of God, I haven't been or will ever be.
So - starting with a new phone and a lovely day out I end up with a tribute to my very good friend K. He is beyond doubt the epitome of all that is good about our society. I still don't give him a hug though :-) Society is lucky to have people like him who draw no salary and give freely of their time to undertake such a service. Kudos.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
A quick few shorts in the Lamb and Flag and home. I am tired but not completely wiped out. My shoulder is a lot better. My new mobile phone has arrived all stainless steel and glistening and that is on charge for a good few hours before I sort that out.
I am out again tomorrow evening and all hell is breaking loose at work as we enter the last 24 hours of a 5 year Festival event and none of the figures add up properly!! Doh! I reckon it is just a keying error. I need to spend time looking through hundreds of lines of figures to find it though. Deep Joy!
Glad to see that things progress well for many of my connections and this month is important in many ways.
Still have loads of things to review about getting to St. Petersburg and touring around there. I feel that my brain may just go into full melt down by the end of the week.
Monday, May 04, 2009
This year, thank goodness, it wont happen this month but goodness me, I will have so much to do and this week is already fully booked. I could be booked out on Saturday and Sunday but, I think I may give those a miss as I have so much other work of my own to do on top of the Charity Work and my Masonic things. In addition we had our business meeting last Thursday and now need to really step up to the plate to get our business plans sorted out.
So a massive amount of work and things to do in the next two weeks and I just hope that I can stay fit enough to maintain the effort. Time will tell.
Generally I feel that the next couple of months are going to be quite important one way or another in terms of what the future brings. My upcoming operation for biopsies will be the first time when no treatment has been performed and so the outcome will be interesting scientifically but obviously holds far reaching implications. I think that I also need to spend at least one day a week on my other business opportunity (perhaps 2).
So one way or another, I'm in for one well of a few weeks.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
We then went to a friends for a barbecue, the first of the season and whilst it is a pleasant enough weekend with plenty of sun it cannot be called warm in the evenings.
I've still got this shoulder strain giving me grief but other than that and over eating last night, all is well and looking forward to a day off tomorrow for May Day bank holiday. From Tuesday onwards, life gets crazy for a few weeks as I get into a whole round of Masonic visits and events.
Steve is on his countdown for his 1 year check up and no matter how you feel and how well everything goes, you still have apprehension and so thoughts are with him for the next few weeks whilst I am out enjoying myself.
Friday, May 01, 2009