Wednesday, September 30, 2009

People can be real arses sometimes

It is difficult to know where to begin sometimes but some people are really stupid and lack common sense or indeed any logic or balance to their arguments. I read with some incredulity today a complaint made against our charity ranting on at us about not providing support when it was blatantly obvious that they had cheated the system and we had found out.

It is more unfortunate that I am not allowed to bring my baseball bat out of retirement and do my Charles Bronson bit in explaining to these people not only the error of their ways but the utter waste of time they cause us and the diversion of our good services into some amoeba brained, sub educated, mindless, self centred moron. Believe me, my list of adjectives and scorn have yet to be let loose like the torrent from a broken dam. What an arsehole. Mind you, we do get them and disturbingly regularly. If we could just round all these oxygen wasters up and throw them in the sea we could build a new continent and perhaps save the planet through them being stifled and not allowed to spout hot air. These people should get the hell out of our way and let us actually concentrate on those who need our assistance.

So - you can probably tell I was in a pretty foul mood today as my colleagues are all dedicated professionals for whom this is all in a days work. To me it is an utter afront and an attack on those who are there to help people in the darkest hours.

I was so tired today though and even though I had a long sleep I still awoke tired and had a sleep on the train in and out of work. I hope for a reasonable night's sleep tonight. Tomorrow I will be off to the Guildhall in the afternoon and I am looking forward to a really interesting meeting and to a nice meal and the odd glass of Champagne and Wine followed by a nice Port and some splendid cheese.

A got her Uni timetable today and was up for Fresher's week activities. It looks to be a different time and day each week and so will be challenging for her time management but I really hope she will enjoy the whole experience.

L is happy at 6th form and knows what she wants to do and knows what she has to achieve to get to the Universities of her choice. She wants to teach - an interesting profession, one that I would have enjoyed I think but after 10 or 15 years in industry. Good for her and there is a marked difference in her since she returned from Argentina. It wasn't a huge difference people told me there would be at the time because she is pretty bubbly and the funniest bundle of laughs. No, she has matured that little bit more and under all the usual is a determined and well thought through plan to get where she wants to go. She has got her job (well both have got jobs now) and she is doing well in that and the transition to 6th form discipline, no school uniform and subjects she actually wants to be doing has seen a big change in her in the past month.

Saturday is the BIG day and I am hopeful of a further clear outcome and for some good news on a change in the way things will go from here on in.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Couple of days to go

To find out what my future holds. It is kind of obvious but then again, I didn't get the right answer last time and so I suppose I ought to be prepared for not getting the right answer this time :-)

I'm still tired but I think I broke the back of the work that I was doing today and may well have done enough to ensure that I don't need to be "full on" for the next couple of days.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A hard day again

I suppose that as I am effectively still doing two people's work that it would be hard. I was furiously whacking out stuff today but at least my Welsh and English document was signed off and ready to go to print today.

We now have this big do on the 15th October that I am preparing for and getting scripts and facts ready for all the participants. The weekend really did me some good though and I felt up for the challenge. Tonight we started our Monday night learning session - LOI or Lodge of Instruction starts now and goes to the 2nd Monday in May so I am pretty much booked out every Monday until then.

This Thursday I have again been invited to a rather splendid Lodge meeting in the Crypt of the Guildhall in the City of London. Last year it was a fantastic evening. I particularly like the champagne being poured as you come out of the Lodge and the wonderful feast of a meal we have there in the Crypt. One of my friends from the weekend away will be there for his first visit and I can only begin to imagine how much he will enjoy it. The Master happens to be one of the members of the Charity's Council so at least I will have something to say to him.

I'm feeling OK but I am not sure if I can keep this level of effort up for the next two or three weeks. It is going to be full on.

Saturday's appointment is looming and I am hopeful of a positive outcome. I have announced that I will be carrying some cash with me so that I can visit the pub(s) on the way home. Here's hoping that I DO spend some money then.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I am a little concerned that I am once again feeling tired although I can't say that it is like last week where I was expecting something - didn't get it and then almost out of the blue was laid low. I'm feeling a little run down tonight, slight cough, faintest sore throat and stinging at the back of my nose and what feels to be a cold coming on. I hope that it isn't anything like that though as I really don't need that.

6 days until I find out the results from my tests and I really hope that I will be able to celebrate continued good news.

It was great to get away for the weekend with the lads though. I hope that they enjoyed it as much as I did.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tired - I should be

Wales was a three and a half hour journey each way. It was a shame that the candidate just didn't feel well enough to come and so finding that out early in the journey I relaxed and enjoyed an interesting day in the car and at the old folk's home in Porthcawl in Wales.

It was very hot in the room we used and so we were all fighting to stay awake. The meal afterwards was really good and they had a brilliant cheese board especially one that had mustard seeds in it. I was home by about 11:30 and so have had a reasonable few hours sleep. I am off in 15 minutes to pick up my passengers and head off to Margate for the Annual Provincial Meeting. No work for me this year - the first time in 10 years and so I can just enjoy the meeting and have fun. Afterwards we will head back to the Hotel, check in and get changed and go off on the town :-) Not quite On The Town (New York, New York) style though!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun Weekend Starts in a few hours

My daughter comes and picks me up and one of my friends and runs us up to a Pub in the country to pick up our lift to Wales. We are going to South Wales to one of the Masonic old people's homes. There we will have a meeting and a meal. I am doing a lot of floor work with a chap today who is taking his next step in Freemasonry at the tender age of 94. He isn't wheelchair bound but there is a fair deal of walking involved so he will be in a wheelchair for the ceremony.

We then travel back tonight and I guess get home gone midnight. I then have to get up and pick up the driver of today at 8 in the morning and take him and one other to Margate for a large Provincial meeting there. We are booked in at a Hotel overnight so that we can go out and taste the unusual nightlife of the area. KL and I have been a number of times and have had some of the funniest times.

Poor old Steve in the US had his BCG yesterday and got one of the rogue ones that get you every now and then with all the side effects. Getting hit by a Truck is definately what it feels like. This is the last of the series and in December he will have another poke and peek session to see how things have progressed. If clear, that signals NO BCG which I can assure you is a great relief to hear, even if you have to hear it by letter which I did! There's isn't a lot you can do other than lie down and drink plenty of water and let it take its course.

Another hour and a quarter and we will get going from here. Not sure if I fancy the journey but with three of us in the car it should go quickly enough.

That's different

A bit better today, a few hot flushes and even broke into a bit of a sweat that alarmed the work colleagues enough to tell me to sit down much to my amazement and amusement but apparently I did look like poo and they did look worried bless them.

Oh well, not too much to do in the next few days - Wales later today and back - a 5 or 6 hour round trip I guess and I'm driving to Margate on Saturday which will be fun. I am looking forward to that - it is always a good laugh. I can't believe that it is two years since I was last there though! But then it must be as last year we we were the banner Lodge and did all the hard work! Good grief time does flash by.

My laptop was not fixable but the hard drive has arrived in a new shiny case meaning that I can extract the files from it which I will have to do tomorrow and when I get back from the weekend. I hope to be able to pull off some of the finance files which were backed up but not in a way I can easily work out how to decrypt them!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

That was a tough day

Hot flushes, croaky throat, lethargic and tired to name but a few of the things that I went through today. I definately wasn't my usual self although my sense of humour did return later in the afternoon.

It is Council day tomorrow and I hope that I will get a little time with some of my committee to run through stuff. I have worked myself to a standstill today trying to get as much catch up done as I can. It is a crazy place to work at when they are still making changes right up to the last minute. They'd have been surprised if they had ever worked for me as all this would have been done months ago.

It is Steve's last BCG treatment for a while tomorrow and our best wishes for a low misery scale event.

I am off to Wales on Friday for a Lodge meeting where I am an officer who does some floor work for one of the ceremonies. You may recollect that we initiated a 94 year old at the last meeting. I will have the privilege of taking him around the Lodge (in his wheelchair) to do his 2nd Degree. It is a long old trek over there and back in a day and we probably wont get back until quite late, perhaps even the early hours of Saturday morning.

I pick up my colleagues at 8am on Saturday to go to Margate where we have a Provincial Meeting at the Winter Gardens. We are staying overnight on Saturday so that we can have a lads night out. Flocky, KL, GW and myself. KL and I have done this before and had just the greatest ball of laughs imaginable. As long as you take it for what it is then you should find that you have a good time.

I've been tipped the wink on a few more restaurants that may be OK. I am looking forward to an fun night out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Losing your rudder

I often sit down and wonder "what if" and today, being stuck at home with a brain that is working but a body that isn't I began to consider what on earth I am doing at the moment.

When I got bladder cancer I was pretty much at the top of my game in terms of taking what I had learnt from the industries I had worked in and then gone on to channel that into a pretty unique way of managing (not unique in terms of ways people manage but in terms of a suite of software that actually worked the way companies worked). I had years of experience, I could win work because people tend to buy people and I was setting out future plans and directions for a business that should have seen me retire having built it up to its rightful position. Unfortunately I got Bladder Cancer and then got made redundant.

I went and did something else then, totally out of character but it seemed a good idea at the time. Once I peeled away the thin layer of varnish I knew differently and then I set up the family history business which is still sitting in the back ground here and I've been working on my other start up venture in the background as well as working at the charity.

I'm as competent in my present job as I will ever need to be and having never been an operative doing the same thing year in year out, I am beginning to tire of that quite quickly. As these guys aren't dynamic, a lot of what I have as my core competencies will never be allowed to see the light of day but if they do, and a couple have, they will be someone else's idea.

I blogged about wanting or perhaps needing to get out of the Jet Stream life I was in before I had Cancer and I needed to as it would have been difficult to maintain my work rate given the issues I have had both those I knew I might have and those I actually had.

At the moment I just seem to be in the middle of nowhere. I'm not the industry leading, powerful, energy ball that I was and what I do now I know I will find will not interest me for much longer. I find 9 to 5 and commuting on the same train and same seat and seeing the same people is grinding away at me. I still enjoy the job but I can do so much better than this.

The crazy thing is, I don't know what I want and I've got a good 13 years to give to some industry or other. I don't fit into many organisations because I'm not trained to do that, I go in and fix tings, set them up properly and then walk away and into the next trouble spot. Damn, I miss that cut and thrust and then again, I think to myself that perhaps I just ought to take the pay and take things easy.

There isn't an answer to this at the moment, it is a quandary that I've had to live with since I got BC. There probably isn't a right answer. I know other people have an opinion but this job doesn't hold the responsibility or the opportunity to do much in the way of improving the organisation or myself for that matter.

Let's see what news I get on the 3rd October as that will probably help me to build some ideas.

A 2nd Day off

I cannot even begin to tell you what this fatigue is like. My head works fine but my body just will not do much more than the basics. Sure, it carries me around but don't ask me to run or jump or do anything active. I'm not out of breath but I am unbelievably tired. I have a dull headache and the feeling that I've been indoors for too long and not out in the fresh air.

The symptoms are very much those expected of post cancer fatigue. The thing is there just isn't anything left in the tank. There's fuel and air and everything else but when you put your foot on the accelerator the engine hasn't got any power.

Reading up on it, it is all about hormone imbalances, problems with things like your adrenal gland and therefore not enough adrenaline when you need it and a whole batch of things that don't mean an awful lot to me. The answer is it takes time to get back these things and to be prepared for these odd days of fatigue.

I know it happens and I know I've had them before. I guess I could fight my way past these and go and try and get to work but who am I kidding? I couldn't get to sleep last night and when I did get to sleep it felt like a very short time until the alarm went and once again I couldn't get up and about.

I am just going to have to live with it. I do curse the fact that I cannot put in long hours and keep a sustained piece of work going. Then again, perhaps I wouldn't be in this situation if I hadn't been like that in my earlier years?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fatigue again - where did that come from?

Out of the blue, this morning, someone turned on the gravity switch and I woke from a fitful night's sleep (it has to be said) with a headache, slight dizziness and the feeling that someone had super glued my body to the bed.

I don't feel a great deal better now at lunchtime and the headache is still here and the dizziness is slight, the tinnitus which is often part of my everyday life these days has ramped up and is quite loud and I feel completely out of it. I purposefully didn't do anything yesterday as I realised last week that I ought to take Friday off and preempt any of this fatigue feeling. The driving and a few late nights were ringing bells in my head (not the tinnitus other bells).

Also this morning my appointment for the Hospital has arrived. 3rd October. Yes, that's a Saturday which is very unusual. However, it is local so I will be able to walk there easily enough. If it is good news I have to walk past two pubs (at least) to get home so that could be interesting.

I can't believe that I feel quite as rubbish as I am at the moment but there you go. It used to happen like that but hasn't for a long long time. Just a little reminder from my body not to overdo things or to remind me that I'm not out of the situation yet.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

An Anniversary Missed

15th September, last Tuesday was one year to the day that I had my last BCG instillation. I am amazed that it is that long ago but it was. The next anniversary of note is in October when this humble blog turns three years old.

Things move on again and I notice that I'm gaining more confidence that perhaps this can be put behind me a bit now. It is terribly difficult not to live with this every day as there are reminders every day. Every time you meet someone you haven't seen for a while they ask you how you are. this blog, my general state of health, going to the toilet (yes you still look to see if there is blood every time), the daily tablets and other such reminders.

The other issue is still the most difficult one to live with and that is that whilst I'd like to make the most of my good fortune, no one else really realises what it actually means to be alive when you thought you might not be or perhaps felt that you'd be ill for the rest of your life.

I continue to work on how to square that problem and so far none of the solutions I've come up with are actually that palatable. I know that those around me have no real idea of what I've gone through and I've probably no real idea what they have gone through either. I'd like to go off and do something different and I'm not certain they want to do what I want to.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Straightforward simple explanation

I found this little gem online all about Bladder Cancer HERE. I wished I'd have found that one earlier on. I dared look up when they call you "in remission" as I'd really like to hear those words in a few weeks time it would be more than 2 1/2 years since they found anything cancer related inside my bladder.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I want a bit of respect

Every now and then it would be nice not to end up getting it in the neck for stuff that I haven't been involved in. I'm going to be obscure here. Imagine if you will that something happens, I have possibly heard about it but no one has spoken to me, asked my advice or asked me to do anything and then, when they are half way through a problem arises and suddenly, it's my problem? Worse than that, I get talked to as if I knew all along it was my problem and to say the least, tonight I got pretty pissed off with it.

I'm happy to help but the problem doesn't need to be fixed tonight as the delivery man who has to pick said problem up hasn't been contacted but time is running out and no one has done anything about it and now the instructions which (in my humble opinion) are simple enough to follow haven't been followed. In addition, rather than asking for help they've gone off and solicited someone else's help and that is my problem too as they haven't got back to them. despite me saying that I'll look at it in the morning things still aren't right about that either.

So, in no uncertain terms I've expressed the view that it ain't life threatening, that it can wait as DHL or UPS or FEDEX aren't exactly going to turn up at midnight if you haven't even called them with a reference number either and obviously, as I'm a bloke, that is wrong too.

It really pisses me off and it doesn't matter who it is, when the accusational tone of voice is used towards me if it isn't even a problem under my ownership or even on my radar as this particular thing isn't. I live and breathe the world of body language and tone of voice and talking to me as if I were some naughty child or misguided adolescent is hardly going to gain my unqualified assistance and help me to look favourably on working out their problem for them.

I very much doubt that a good tone has been set for the weekend but I should be getting used to no one talking to me these days or even being here. At least if they aren't here they aren't accusing me of not doing something that through some clairvoyant level I should have picked up when I was at work.

So, that's my little rant over for today let's hope no one tries talking down to me again this weekend or they may well regret that. I was in such a good mood too during the day.

A bit better frame of mind today

I wasn't greatly impressed with work and also my other colleagues on my other venture who I felt were not gracious about the lack of progress when they had in fact not made any progress either. So I am looking forward to sorting them out after I had a go last night.

Today I had a sleep in and the nice thing about that is that I MUST have been tired as I am in a much lighter mood now. I also managed to get a lot of things done this morning and al my various admin tasks are now done. I now have to do my financial stuff though and hope that I can find the back up of the file I did as my other laptop died on me!!

It seems that Steve's 2nd BCG has gone well and so there is just the one more left next week.

The weekend beckons and I am looking forward to getting a load of things sorted out especially these financial things.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One of 'those' days

Well yesterday was one of those days where my sense of humour took a bit of a pounding and even I failed to see the funny side of whatever control freaky thing they have here that means you have to change everything when it is put on your desk even if it was changed according to your wishes last time it was on your desk.

It is the worst kind of management and I very rarely did that to anyone who worked for me. I may have made one set of comments and suggestions as a peer review or actually questioned the technical or commercial content of a document but I never felt the need to fiddle around for the sake of "being the boss" or any other anally retentive reason either :-)

That is what I employed the person to do, as I often reminded them about making decisions and managing their time and projects. If I wanted to manage it myself I would have done it myself and not employed someone to do so. These days it is so easy if you don't want to make a decision you can email or text the boss who makes it for you and then you aren't to blame if it goes wrong.

It was also funny that a small presentation I prepared was remorselessly added to over the past week and became massive. When in discussion I asked how on earth did they expect me to deliver the presentation in 10 minutes, the penny clicked that the original was exactly right in terms of content and timing!!!

Anyway, that's me ranting away this morning - everything takes twice as long as it should. There's never enough time to get it right first time but there's always plenty of time to go and correct it afterwards.

I'm busy as you like today though, I have two appointments and will be home late and I am seriously contemplating taking tomorrow off to catch up on my paperwork and get away from here for a few days :-) I think I have convinced myself that I'm taking it too seriously if I'm not enjoying the work.

Steve is having his 2nd of 3 BCGs later today and as I will be meeting some colleagues for a few beers this evening I shall raise a glass of beer or similar. Steve will no doubt be lying in a darkened room taking it as easy as he can and letting the BCG do its amazing thing. Only one more after this one and hopefully a good length of time off until the next poke and peek to see how he has got on. Good luck Steve. I don't know where the thought just came from but it occurred to me that Steve is "Taking one for the Team" today so as most of the BCG brigade will know what it is like we should, as a team, see if we each can remove a little of the discomfort and share it around a bit. I have to say I felt quite a twinge just writing that last bit.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Testing my sense of humour

My boss, bless him, left a changed document on my desk that had been finalised and signed off and that I had produced, set and published but he changed it - AGAIN!!! Now it isn't unusual in our place because we are committee driven and have to be politically and legally correct in all we do. however, it is normally funny but I wasn't amused this morning as it just was so unnecessary to do it. It was changed for changes sake. As are many documents unfortunately.

Then the Welsh document arrived and we had to work on that and loads of other stuff that I'm good at but really "aren't my job" if you get my meaning.

So it was all a bit fraught and a bit wearisome today and didn't need to be.

I can't see me attending the Hospital until October now and I suppose that isn't such a bad thing. I had an interesting conversation with a chap last night as his friend has cancer and he was explaining just how tired he was and I was assuring him that this is indeed the case. I hope I reassured him and gave sound suggestions as to how he could assist his firend.

Tomorrow is Steve's second of three BCG treatments. 2/3 rds of the way through as I liked to look at these things and just one more left after that. I need to make sure, as I am out tomorrow (again) to raise my first beer to him. It is a year since my last lot of them and I am hoping that I will never need to see them again but you never know.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Well there's your problem

Apparently my appointment got missed and so I have to wait a while until my Consultant, who is just off on holiday, returns to let me know the ins and outs of the results. I've said that is OK as I am sure if it had been anything else I'd have been in at light speed like the first couple of times.

Working at home today is not going as well as it should do as the emails are coming in thick and fast and I am having a little trouble trying to concentrate on what I should be doing - minutes of my meeting!

With a bit of luck things will calm down in about an hour and I can get on and finish it off. It is a miserable day outside and I hope it cheers up a bit when I go off to give this talk later on.

High Profile Deaths

Such as that of Patrick Swayze from cancer really feel like body blows. I'm not saying that other people you know don't but so well publicised are these particular deaths and Patrick was no great age either (as if age makes it alright - it doesn't of course). Suddenly you are confronted with news of so and so's death from Cancer and the level of exposure means you rarely miss it.

You then get the standard 'cancer phrases' wheeled out "bravely borne" "courageous fight" and all that stuff.

For me, it just reminds me how lucky I am and how pleased too that I don't have to be facing my mortality right now although we all know that it could come and visit us at about anytime.

The more you look around, the more stuff can kill you or make you seriously ill without all the stuff we manage to inflict on ourselves!

Work from home

Well eventually I convinced everyone that me going into work and returning a few hours later and then having to travel again would actually mean the best part of 5 hours travel as I am due out tomorrow to give another talk this time to a Lodge in deepest Kent. Kent is a funny place it doesn't look big until you actually have to drive somewhere. If you are on a main road it isn't so bad but on some of the side roads progress can be slow.

I haven't driven down to this particular place for many years but it will be nice to go down, almost to the coast to give a talk. I feel quite harried and slightly stressed out as I have a lot of work to do of my own but also have other stuff leaking through that really isn't mine but it needs to get done. My colleague is back in Hospital I am told which isn't great news. I spoke to him on Thursday and he wasn't great but it appears that on Friday he ended up back in Hospital once again. They need to sort him out but if it is what I think it may be he will be off work for a long time. Fingers crossed they actually find out what is wrong with him.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back in the land of the living

Got to Lincoln and had a nice day there and then off to my parents in beautiful sunny weather and we had a good day out on Friday.

Things are moving on a bit and the years are beginning to tell. Still no news from my Consultant so I will write to them and see if I can speed things up a bit.

I'm pretty tired even though I didn't do a lot but then I haven't driven the car for any great distance for quite a while (apart from going on holiday which wasn't a long journey anyway). I was close to 5 hours in the car on Thursday, 2 on Friday and 3 yesterday.

Start of a new and chaotic week here at work. Steve Kelley in the US has survived the first BCG of this session but got a delayed reaction so things started late and finished late. I had a few of those myself when nothing appeared to happen and then in very quick order things changed. Thoughts and prayers for Steve's next two treatments will be great and this Thursday and the next and that will be that batch over for him.

I'm busy as you like here. My colleague isn't well again and I can see us having to get on without him for a fair old time if it continues. That will mean adjusting my workload significantly.

Watch this space I guess.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How quickly the body/mind forgets

I saw Steve Kelley's blog this morning and he is about to get another 3 BCG treatments (1 a week for the next 3 weeks). Steve hasn't had these for 6 months and so was reviewing his notes and getting himself prepared for the treatment.

It takes a fair amount of courage to mentally prepare yourself for having these treatments and a lot of the routines I used to do were all about building yourself up for the treatment itself and being prepared for the inevitable side effects when you returned home.

Now I can look back and state what a great thing it was as I am clear. I feel well and I feel that the treatment was in no small measure responsible for this. Mind you, try telling yourself that at the time and it is often difficult to be thinking positive thoughts as the nurse inserts a catheter into you to instill the BCG.

But back to the title. Until Steve posted his blog, I really hadn't thought much about the treatments - I am certain that my mind just put that set of experiences in the "Too difficult to deal witth" section of my mind. It brings it all back to me especially the one that really pulled out every side effect in the books. They say that efficacy cannot be measured by the strength of the side effects and yet these first treatments really did a lot in terms of stripping out the old bladder lining and encouraging new non cancerous growth. I still marvel that someone ever considered that sticking BCG in your bladder may have such a profound outcome.

I am also glad that I was young and fit enough to take the side effects too.

I suppose I ought to be glad that the mind puts a lot behind you. When I do get to think back on my time with BC I do realise what I went through and can get upset for myself, more so than I ever did when I lived through all those things.

Anyway, I'm off this morning to go and give a talk about the charity and then I can head off to my parents and spend a few days with them which I am looking forward to.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Getting ready

Still no news from the Hospital and so I can only assume as it is 4 weeks this Friday that things are OK and they don't need to see me until they can fit me in.

Not sure what to do when I hear the results this time. Last time I was sort of disappointed almost but this time, well, lets see what happens this time. All Clear would be a good set of words to hear. See you in a year would be nice too.

Must get off to bed and get packed ready for tomorrow's sojourn up north...

Crazy work day

I had to get all the exhibition stand stuff out and off to loading bay, on my own and then it was Grand Lodge day so hundreds of random Masons wandering around the building whilst I was trying to finish off my presentation for tomorrow, prepare all the committee papers and then found out that some finance papers were being worked on when I needed the photocopier and then my chairman came and sat with me for about an hour of pre meeting briefing and eventually we had the committee meeting which just made more work for me!

I wasn't amused. I have just got my stuff together for tomorrow and will be heading off to Lincoln to talk to about 100 Charity Stewards and Almoners and so I need to remind myself to just be slick and to talk slowly as my presentation runs at about 20 minutes at break neck speed and 25 as it should be delivered. It is really good (it is totally different from anything they have ever done before) and it is interesting in that the research I did for this and the talk next week should really make people sit up and take notice. Our charity is in the top 1% of all charities in England and Wales! Wow. We are quite large but have a small staff ratio compared to others so some of this stuff will come as a great surprise to many. I hope that I can implant in their minds just how impressive we are in terms of the work we do.

Things appear to have settled down at the moment - not sure how a 160 mile trip up the motorway will affect me but let's see. Will be great to go and see my folks on the way home and show them I am still alive!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What a Day

I ended up having some interesting urination issues - blood in the morning a couple of times and not nice - a full on experience - yuk. Followed by a sort of mid day well you can see blood there but it was OK. Just before I went home I passed a small ferry sized clot which really turned me over and then when I got home all was OK again.

Tonight with beer to lubricate the pipes, all signs are gone which has pleased me a lot!

It was another great evening with my friends. You know where you are with your friends and you can get away with many politically incorrect things and laugh at silly stuff and know that we aren't being bad, just enjoying a night out and what today people think are insults (bunch of wet liberals that they are) is actually to do with all the things that hold friends together and keeps us being what we are after 40 years or more.

I thought it was really quite amusing that my "wedding tackle" and bladder and urinary equipment are made fun of and light of in the company of my friends. My friends CAN get away with these "low shots" and none too subtle innuendo. That is what friends do - we laugh at our problems and we make light of some of those things. One of my friends lost his father the week I was diagnosed and yet we worked our way through that and bad as I feel for not attending his funeral we can look on it now that I came out of it and I'm here. His Dad who was such a great friend of mine when I was a very young guy, taught me so much and we all know that had I have been well enough to attend I would have done. Unfortunately it was when I was bleeding all the time and on my way home from Yorkshire, stopping at every service station that the news arrived that he had died.

It is one of my regrets and yet also a big bond between us that as his father died, I was being diagnosed with something as serious as....

It sounds like a serious night but actually we just had a lot of fun and for old people, we seemed to be getting many laughs per minute in!

Whew clearing up

That was a relief. Not exactly clear but not claret either. Just a hint of what was there this morning and I'm feeling a little bit better. It does stir you up no matter if you know that it was expected and what it was.

Not a good start to the morning

A bladder full of claret and clots came flying out and the second go wasn't a lot better. That got my attention this morning. It is pretty revolting as you can probably guess but I didn't need that. Mind you it has been three weeks I suppose and that is still time for the wounds to sort themselves out.

I'm going to get ready to go to work but will see how it goes as to how long I stay there. I ought to be lying down flat I think.

Monday, September 07, 2009

No News is

Good news as they say and I still haven't heard back from the Hospital so I can only assume that the results are OK and that they need to see those worse off than I am.

I was interested that 2 years without recurrence may be considered remission. That would be nice to have I think. I can't say that I am exactly where I thought I'd be. I feel that it is all a bit of an anti climax at the moment and that I'm not arriving at some place I had thought I would.

Mind you I've been saying that for years. I am still having the most vivid dreams and they aren't exactly inspiring, they seem to picture a dreary future, caught in a dead end job and not really doing anything coming out and away from BC when I think that all I have learnt and experienced should be helping me do or be something.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Fed up sort of day

I spent most of yesterday on my own and it looks as if I will repeat that today. I have stacks of Admin type work to do and so stuck in front of this computer really is the last thing I wanted.

Next week is going to be busy - even more so because I have to pick up work that isn't mine over the first two days, then have a meeting which will need actions and I'm then out for the last two days of the working week up in Lincoln giving a presentation and then over to see my folks which isn't so bad.

As I am hardly around I need to fit about a weeks worth of work into today so that will be fun!

The flip flop of my moods, I suppose, shouldn't take me by surprise any more but this is me these days, one day I am my usual happy energetic self and the next I have no energy and no real desire to do anything. All my get up and go got up and went.

I still maintain my sense of humour but today it is at its most sardonic and acerbic so it is best not to get in my way on a day like today.

I'm sure I'll be OK later on during the day, it doesn't last long. Having a bad day is just part of the experience; I don't like it and I wonder quite how long it takes those around me to realise that patronising is not the ideal way to make my mood change. In many cases that may well have been the reason it got darker in the first place.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A day on my own

It is 100 years since Girl Guiding was started and so Mrs. F. who runs a thing called Rainbows (pre Brownies) but has been involved in the Guide movement for many years, is off to the 100 year celebrations at Crystal Palace with another 6,999 Guides and leaders. There are events all over the UK. When I was a youngster I was in the honour guard for Lord Mclean (I think) at the Diamond Jubilee also at Crystal Palace.

Both A and L are young leaders in the Guide movement too so another thing to be pleased about as they are both making a contribution to these movements voluntarily. As I also tell them, it is also a useful skill and prospective employers are always interested to know that you actually take some responsibility and not sit on your arse and play on your PlayStation all day!

I have loads of admin work to do so I am sat in my office working my way through that and listening to some old 70s music - if you remember the Strawbs and Lindisfarne - then I am listening via spotify ( on line which is fun seeing if I can remember all the lyrics. Sad git that I am, I can :-)

As for my health, I'm feeling a lot better but still tired. I feel a little bit sore around my groin area but other than that and the occasional throbbing on the back of my hand - all is well. I still don't have an appointment to see my Consultant. I feel an email to her office coming on if I haven't heard by later this week.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Only a 4 day week

But I am tired all the same. It hasn't helped my colleague being off and so I have been playing catch up with his things. everything is a rush at the moment and yet I thought I had most of it pegged. Unfortunately the biggest bottleneck is the boss. He knows it and we did have a laugh today as he actually left us to do some work, we had packed loads of envelopes ready to go when lo and behold, he had to come back and have a look but I reckon it was a wind up.

Next week I am off to Lincoln to do a talk which I am really looking forward to. The whole week is filled with preparing for my committee meeting and then I have to get my presentation sorted out go to Lincoln and deliver that and then go and see my folks which will be nice.

The week after that I am off to another meeting to give a different talk to a Lodge about the 4 main charities (I just work for one of them). All hell breaks lose the week after that as we prepare for our annual forum. It is all good fun but I'm sure if I sit down I will fall asleep tonight in my chair.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

FANTASTIC News for Steve

A great piece of news for Steve in the US as he is all clear and his 4th Judgement Day means 3 more BCGs and another tick in the box to keeping clear of Bladder Cancer. It is 15 months for Steve and 28 months or so for me.

It never gets easy to go and have these as there is always a nag at the back of your mind about what they might find but thanks to everyone for thoughts, prayers and whatever you managed to cross today.

I had a nice day, a good meal, curiously enough with a really nice man who originally came from Manhattan - he is a Shriner which is almost unheard of over here but he hopes to be setting up that venerable institution here in the UK and Europe. It was interesting to hear how much these guys do over in the US, Mexico and Canada and the difference their 18 Hospitals make. I'm looking forward to meeting him again soon.

I am really pleased that Steve's results are good though and that the ongoing treatment is doing its thing.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Steve's Judgment Day

3rd September 2009 and Steve Kelley is about to have another Judgment Day. This involves a Cystoscope inspection and if that looks good, a further course of BCG.

It would seem strange to say make it clear so I can have the treatment - if you know what having the treatment is like but actually, that is just what Steve needs to hear so that he can move on to the next base and take the next step in his recovery.

Steve and I have never actually met or spoken and yet I have this really good feeling that we would hit it off brilliantly. For a first, all cancer survivors have a unique bond with their fellow survivors and also those warriors who may not be as lucky as us. Unwritten rules and we "just know" what we have all been through and what we have achieved. Secondly, sense of humour and sense of stoicism about what we have, how we deal with it and also camaraderie in as much as we both blog about what it means to survive.

We both tackle things differently, we both write differently about it but I am really buoyed by having other sufferers touch base and share their stories and experiences and our unique club (which none of us sought to become a member of voluntarily) holds some wonderful anecdotes and experiences which give hope that this vile, bully of a disease can eventually be defeated.

If you pray - please do, if you subscribe to fingers crossed then keep them so on the 3rd September. I will be at a meeting of like minded people enjoying a nice lunch and comradeship tomorrow when - I guess - Steve will be being examined. I will ensure that I raise a fair number of glasses during that time :-)

I still haven't heard when they want me to go in and see the consultant - no news being good news - I can only imagine that I am on the slow back burner of appointments - if it was serious - they'd have seen me before now (they did early on).

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Nothing like a show of blood to get my attention

In a way I had an inkling that it was about to happen as there is a very slight tingling sensation and you kind of know what is about to happen. Even so - it wasn't nice when it did happen but it was just one clot and the associated port coloured urine to go with it. It always unsettles you because it is just so unnatural to see it.

They realised that something had happened but in fact worse was to occur as my colleague had the opposite trouble and was retaining urine and ended up at A&E again being catheterised which was a relief for him. He didn't get septicemia this time but even so - he needs to go talk to his consultant tomorrow about these recurrences.

What that means is that I may end up taking on even more work if he is out of action and I hardly need that as I have plenty of work as it is now.

I'm not at all comfortable with life, the universe and everything at the moment. I don't know quite why that should be? I suppose that I am bound to feel like that a lot in these coming months as I work out what everything means now that I appear to be getting better etc.

Jazz night tomorrow - which will be nice apart from the appalling weather.