Friday, April 30, 2010

The Terror of Cancer

I read on the BBC web site about Bob Harris and his Prostate Cancer battle.  He mentioned the weeks between realising that he had cancer and then waiting to see if it had spread as the worst weeks of his life and perhaps the most frightening too.  I felt real empathy and was beginning to fill up just thinking about how the poor guy must have felt especially as they thought it had spread.  He was pretty relieved to find it hadn't but then had to go through the chemo and hormone treatments required.

It is the added dimension of Cancer that it strikes this level of dread into the most hardened of us.  The word itself is enough to shake you to your core and to have it brings the added "bonus" of dealing with the emotional baggage that attaches itself to you.  At the end of the day, the word carries more force than perhaps it ought to but it is up there with words like Holocaust, Hitler, Mussolini, and Hiroshima.  It has a bad press and the common denominators of death and pain,  courage in the face of adversity, "no cure", and many other myths and misconceptions are programmed into us so that we respond very negatively to the word itself and have little comprehension about what it is unless you have it, deal with it or treat it.

The press and media need to try and make the word serious enough to respect but not demonised - more education and more openness about it would help without putting people off.  Too many still get the symptoms and will not go to their GP to sort it out early.  

Thursday, April 29, 2010


You know what it is like.  Life is full of surprises.  Suddenly the world just appeared to be one in which my people just found out my true value / worth.  One interviewee was good, I liked him a lot but the others weren't really going to cut it as dynamic was a word lost in translation.

I found out a lot today - no one wants me to go but they are happy that I'll still be around.  In fact there was talk of asking me to reconsider which was funny.  

I was also asked to let everyone know how I get on next Thursday - people are concerned and I've suggested that it will be a full set of 6 BCG that I am expecting probably kicking off around the 17th May and an Operation in September or maybe October just to round off my year.  They looked pained - how do you think I feel? :-)

So there we go another strange day at the office.  Early morning I arrived to find the new girl had left my desk totally unfit to use, had changed the PC screen resolution and a whole host of other things that really p1ssed me off.  i don't normally get quite so angry.  I had to explain to her that whilst I was happy to share a desk it didn't mean she could leave it unfit for me or anyone else to work on.  I think she got the picture as everything was laid out on the floor neatly as it was on my desk when she arrived in.  I had words.  Haven't had to explain things like that to a colleague for a long time but she isn't particularly sharp and was chosen as a not threat.

So one more interview tomorrow and I need to sort out a bucket load of stuff for Lodge too over the weekend.  Next week is as busy as hell - Monday is a Bank Holiday, Tuesday the Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting, Wednesday a huge Committee Meeting followed by a Lodge Meeting, Thursday Hospital and if I feel up to it going to my Luncheon Club and Friday we meet with the 4 business partners to explain the new regime and the new business plans and venture.  So after that, the rest of the week is my own!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Productive Day

If Monday turned out to be a day when my friend drained my energy from me through his troubles (not his fault you understand) and I was the person who listened and took the hurt and anger away then today was the opposite.  My business partner and I had a brilliant day thrashing out the elements of our business and setting out where we were going.

The bugger of it is me at the moment.  Another reason that I am a bit miffed.  You see I felt I was going to be pretty much clear to go and sort this out with him and run the business and yet - so much is now reliant on my meeting next Thursday with my specialist that it is a bit upsetting for me as I felt I should be able to give this a full time go.

There is much energy to be gained from getting involved in a massive undertaking like we are at the moment.  Creativity today was amazing and we are trying to find some time when we can go and lock ourselves away on a "boot camp" to brainstorm much of the work we have to do.  I can only hope that my consultant comes up with some radical way of treating me that allows me some time to get away and get this done.

I feel really on top of my game today - more so than I have for years - the feeling is great and I hope that I can repeat it many times over.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dealing with Death

It is strange n'est pas readers that of all the people in this household, I'm the one who has to sort out the dead pets when they pass to the grand menagerie above.

Our valiant little Hamster passed away sometime yesterday I guess from the state he was in.  However, it had to wait until I could see if he was indeed dead, shake the cage, open up the little sleeping quarters and bless him there he was.  I then had to do the transfer from there into a little box with his name on it so that my daughter can do the rites tomorrow and this little fella can join the others at the back of the garden.  

It is pretty sad but I can't work out why Mrs. F. or younger daughter wouldn't do it?  

Anyway, I have always been against keeping animals although I suppose fish may be all right.  I find that keeping an animal in doors really flies in the face of nature but that's just me - I guess the other argument is that pets wouldn't be alive unless humans wanted and looked after them.  Something deep inside me doesn't "get it" about them - maybe companionship.  They say dogs are man's best friend but go ask your dog for some money as a loan and see where you get!!

So the poor old Hamster finally died - he made two miraculous recoveries from what I thought were death throes some months ago.  There will be a little ceremony somewhere down the end of the garden and I don't know whether she will get a new one.  

I had a mixed day at work yesterday as I did loads of work but then went as a guest to Lodge in Middlesex.  The meeting and food were great as was getting there and back by train but the chap I was with, who is an old friend is really down on his luck at the moment and there isn't an easy way out of the situation for him.  He will be flat broke in a month's time and is in danger of losing the house and everything.  The trouble is I can do nothing for him but listen and try and advise but I don't think he is listening or maybe he is but doesn't understand that this has been coming for years but he just hasn't faced up to it early enough.

Of course he looks mightily hurt that I am able to stop paid work and go and do my bit.  The trouble is that when I was raking in money I didn't spend it - it went into a fund that made sure that I secured my family first and now that is done I can work on securing my remaining years.  It is also plain that he wasn't best pleased that he didn't get to round two in the interviews for my job.  The problem is that the others are far more qualified.  However I tried to say that it felt as if I was spraying him with pepper spray - I felt really quite bad.   It is now a situation of what on earth can I do.  There isn't anything I can do apart from keeping telling him to be realistic and then ask me if I can help in some way.  I can't do it for him and I'm odds on certain that I'm going to end up with some sort of treatment coming up which will severely restrict my availability to do anything for a while either.

Strange that after all the years I've known him - I am just not able to help him like I thought I could/should.  I feel bad about it but I'm being the one who is being realistic about things.  Of course it isn't nice to realise that you may lose your house and have to go love elsewhere and make changes to your lifestyle.  It isn't nice at all.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Strange Day

I have been really angry all day today just seething.  Mrs. F. managed to screw one of the computers by shoving the wrong connector into a USB hub and I had to sort that out.  Then the PC wasn't responding, then the mouse and printers didn't work. 

I feel that I am begining to get angry about what will possibly happen to me in the near future and the treatment that I have somehow convinced myself that I will now have to undergo.

I'm angry about loads of stuff really and even now can feel it in my body.   It isn't like me to be this angry for this long.  

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What a busy few days

I went out with the girls from work on Thursday night and had a few glasses of wine and a rather nice Steak Au Poivre.  Time rocked by and I caught the 23:30 vomit comet train home.  The next day, St. George's Day, was great.  We aren't very good at celebrating our Patron Saint in case we offend anyone.  We met for a Full English Breakfast near London Bridge and headed off to Green Park and then Shepherd's Market for a beer at the Grapes and then wandered in the Spring Sunshine off to the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.  

There we have a nice meal - not too sure how Scottish Smoked Salmon made the menu but there is Roast Beef and all the trimmings - we had plenty of drinks before and after.   There are plenty of sportsmen and this year a number of our members from the armed forces were there and the Band of the Blues and Royals.  There was also Englishman of the year - Sir Ranulph Fiennes this year.  We raise around £30,000 for the Gurkhas at the table collection and then we go on to Shepherds Market afterwards for a few more beers and make our way home.  The 23:30 was OK and I got home at a respectable midnight thirty.

I met my friend's on who I've known since he was about 2 or 3  He is a doctor and we chatted about my situation - I said I was surprised and hadn't the carcinogens gone - apparently not - these things hang around for many years.   Not that he is a specialist in it but he suggested that BCG would probably be the way to go so perhaps that is what it will be.  I can't say that Ii would look forward to that but the alternative is far less pleasant.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lacking elegance

Escaping from my job isn't going to be all plain sailing because it isn't actually structured properly.  I need to give out some sort of Press Release saying that I am taking a back seat role now and that I'll still be available.  

No date is set for my departure from the office but I think I'll just have to exit over the next three weeks or so.  Interviews are happening next week so perhaps we will strike it lucky and get someone who will just slot straight in and be able to pick up the job without too much difficulty and as long as I can support them a couple of times a month then that will work out cool.

I need to extricate myself in a nice way leaving the new person enough to work on without deserting them or over managing them.

So THAT'S what work is then

Back to work - it was pretty hectic but I got loads done - caught up the week and a half in a day....

Chosen my successor(s) to interview and will see them next week.  The Photos are coming through from the case studies which are lovely and the personalised diaries arrived today.  Cool

Lots happening the next two days.

Left early but a fatality on the line meant a slow journey home.

As I lifted a huge box of diaries into the office someone said "Should you be lifting anything?"  trust me - what a pillock!!  I'll see if I pay for that with any bleeding - sometimes you just forget.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm feeling pretty down today.  Just not quite with it either in myself, in my head or about much - I am just hoping that I cheer myself up a bit later on.

The next few weeks are all a bit uncertain and not really planned in any way and that always leaves me a bit flummoxed.  I suppose I just need to take some sort of control over proceedings and perhaps do a bit of leading here especially in finding and bedding in my replacement at the charity.  That will be a good start as there is a fair bit to be done in the next few months and time just isn't on my side at all.

I need to get clear in my head when I am actually leaving and being retained is all well and good but that needs to be set onto a secure footing.  Perhaps I can put my mind to that too?

I can see that to get clear and ready to run with my colleague on our new venture is also a paramount goal too.  

I just need to shake off my current gloomy outlook and sort myself out a bit.  

On a lighter note my application to become a Freeman of the City of London has just arrived and I need to complete that and get it sent back to my sponsor.  As far as I can tell you have to go back 16 generations to find one of my predecessors who was a Freeman of the City.  Something to look forward to there.

A bit more Bladder Cancer Information

This is from the BBC Web Site and the University of Texas 

"Eating lots of meat, especially if it is overcooked, increases the risk of bladder cancer, say experts.

Frying, grilling and barbecuing until meat is charred can form cancer-causing chemicals, research shows.

In a study, people whose diets included well-done meats were over twice as likely to develop bladder cancer than those who preferred meats rare.

The research findings, based on over 1,700, people were presented at a US cancer research conference.

The University of Texas investigators found the risk was highest for those who ate well-done red meat such as steaks, pork chops and bacon."

Something more to think about then. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peculiar times

I'm not anywhere near as upset as I was when I was diagnosed with Cancer and yet, something is gnawing away at me about the current situation.  The "comfort" if you can take any, is that this is controllable and manageable and that I'm in good hands.  If they'd have found this tiny pin prick of a tumour coming up to 4 years ago then I'd have been a lot happier than what they did find.

It feels like a major set back and it probably isn't.  It feels like I've failed somehow and yet that isn't the case either.  It feels like I have managed to beat the odds and the figures that show the longer you go without recurrence the better things are (reading that this is a failure of course).

So that is how it "feels" and there are a number of emotions rolling around.  There is a loss of self confidence.  Another realisation of mortality.  A "fear" of having to re-do the Treatment (even though it may be the right thing to do).  The treatment is challenging, let's face it, character building stuff and all the side effects that go with it are also things to be concerned and aware of.  How glad I was to see the treatment end must be tinged with the reason I'd be somewhat upset to see it return.  Then there are the other concerns and that includes my relationships with friends and family who were just getting used to me returning to normal - maybe even better than normal with my new found freedom of expression (shall we call it).

Perhaps it is the uncertainty that is also unnerving.  Knowing what is going to happen to you is important and understanding why there has been a reversal of fortune is also a prime concern to me.  Did I do something somehow to set off this cancer?  I would have  hoped that I am keeping clear of carcinogens but maybe my diet or other pat of my lifestyle needs changing to give me an even better chance.   It's all playing around in my head and that adds to the mix too.  

Feeling a little fragile

I found myself feeling a little bit down around mid morning.  I'd picked up some of my medical notes and re-read some of the treatment stuff and the recurrence data and suddenly found myself feeling quite sorry for myself and quite emotional about it.  I can't say that it lasted too long but I do feel a little less happy than normal and a little less buoyant but I can't say that I'm surprised by that.

I'm still battling with the fact that there was something wrong with my tests.  All the other doubts also start to surface then too.  Stuff like whether anything else is about to go wrong with my body.

Sitting on my own doesn't give me much time to distract myself but at least I have short listed some candidates for my job so I hope that I have been fair and objective.  I've submitted those to the office. Perhaps that too has just added to me feeling a bit down? 

Back to normal

I'm up early and at my desk before 6 am.  I'm planning on getting things done today as most of the family head off back to work after the Easter break.   They're day looks fun with people stranded and casual staff being called in whilst they make their way back from various locations by land travel whilst all the planes are grounded.

I'm still a little tender which is only to be expected and I was intrigued to read that apparently you can go to work the day after a rigid cystoscopy - surely they mean if you only had an inspection not if they've cut lumps out of you.  I've yet to have the "joy" of the scabs coming off which believe me is a very strange and disturbing event.  

I'm in a slightly better sense of humour this morning and I feel that I can start to get myself organised and get my head into the zone for my new venture.  I need to find somewhere for my partner and I to go for about a week to have an intensive planning and thinking session to kick us off.  Of course, if I get treatments that will have to be less than a week and travelling too far is out as well.  I need braodband access to really make it useful and we just need this intensive burst of planing and creative effort.

With no date set for my finishing at the Charity I need to settle on who to interview today and get those sorted out - perhaps I need the boss to do the interviews as they have to work with them.  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mixed Emotions still

Strange how I feel at the moment.  I'm not frightened and I'm not thinking anything other than things have been set back a little bit.  I suppose that when you get a set back, tiny as this is, you really weren't expecting it.  It is funny how a number of people wonder if I feel ill or not well and yet I probably have been feeling as well as I ever have.  Perhaps that too made for the shock.  I was definitely ill when I got BC but hadn't seen it coming really.  At the moment I feel unfit but only because I am over weight and so perhaps that is something to do with it.

I just feel a little low a little upset and a little let down.  I think it is only natural to feel a little like that after all it wasn't great news.  On the other hand I have a pretty good idea what treatment will be like if I am to have any and also I'm pretty much accepted that I'll need to have a good few more of these operations.  

The operations I guess will be the thing that will make me low.  I'm caught in the spiders web of tests and blood taking not only by my GP but also the Hospital and I'm just going to have to accept it.  

I'm sure that I'll be looking at this a different way after the 6th May and my appointment.  I hope that I'll feel just a little more upbeat.  It was only 6 days ago I had this operation and I need a little more time to rationalise my thoughts.  At present it is my heart and my emotions that are causing this wobble in my attitude.  Once I get my brain loose and get some solid logic wrappered around the situation then I should get things into perspective once again.

Beer and a Curry

It was god to get out with K and have a few beers followed by a nice Curry.  We certainly enjoyed the food and the beer - something called Total Eclipse - perhaps would have made all the lights go out if we had quaffed much more of it.  Really nice beer and reassuringly strong.

I'm OK in myself still if a little down though and that's just the disappointment of the find really and the fact that I've got to climb back onto the roller coaster and maybe start the whole process off again.  Whatever happens I'm pretty certain to be in for another operation in October so I just need to readjust and to refocus.   I'll just have to get on with life and to make sure that I adjust my sights accordingly and that I take whatever appropriate steps to tighten up my lifestyle even further.

I did enjoy getting out and chatting to K though we haven't had a long chat like that for quite a while so it was beneficial to me.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Scar Wars VIII - Keeping a Sense of Tumour

A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Our Hero Undertakes One More Mission.

Darth Urologist sets out to Sound the All Clear but Instead

Tackles a Minor Insurgent in the Realms of Bl'dar

More Sequels Than Rocky or Halloween, Will This Story Never End?

Welcome to Scar Wars VIII - Keeping a Sense of Tumour or

“Where does that pipe go?

NO....You have got to be kidding!” 

Anything can happen in the next 30 minutes warned the Commander of Stingray and to some extent that's about what happened to Dave-Sky-Nando (tm)* on a sunny day in April 2010.

Packing my bag and walking to the Hospital on my own for the first time were parts of my strategy to just get on and see the procedure through.  It was a sunny day and my MP3 player pumped out some decent old music, if you like Kansas that is?  I changed Players once I was there as they sat me in with a whole host of other people waiting to be allocated beds.  As my old Jedi master Only One Bed Only used to say, Hospitals are just people factories, you get used to this and I should “Be mindful of the Force”.   In fact in 5 minutes I was escorted to my trolley and curtained off area and got changed into the NHS Gown.  They are certainly a little better than they used to be and at least cover up part of your modesty these days.  My other MP3 player was set up with quiet relaxing music and classical passages just to let me take things easier.  This time I had taken 2 MP3 Players as last time I had run out of battery power on one – this time I was not going to be without for lack of battery power.

I was relatively happy in my own little world, my blood pressure was through the roof – no change there then and on a second go it was down to slightly above abnormal.  We went through the usual check lists.  Loose limbs, Dentures, WMD, Grenades, cluster bombs, liquids, political news papers and pamphlets, crossword book and so on.  After they are convinced that none of these are in fact camouflaged under your gown you are left alone to get on with things.  I am happy with my own company, always have been.  Leave me with an MP3 player and I’ll be OK and so it proved except the Nurse who checks every now and then that you haven’t escaped or smuggled someone or something in would keep leaving the curtains open much to the distress of the guy opposite me who looked as if he was going to be shot.  So frightened was he poor lad and his companion had the devils own job to calm him down.  Me?  I'm an old pro at this.  I’m terrified but don't let on – only my heart rate and blood pressure give it away.   Ideally I’d liked to have had a few Prozac to wash down before I got there but that wasn't to be unfortunately.

The Anaesthetist turns up and we go through a series of similar Q&As and he leaves satisfied that he will see me in theatre.

My consultant D’Arth Urologist arrives.  I have every confidence in her – she is a matter of fact, charismatic, authoritative and highly respected.  I chat knowingly about what is going to happen and we say how quick it comes around and was it only last August I saw you dah de dah.  Then she says “we normally let you go on the day don’t we?”  Well, this is my chance to score one in the back of the net.  “No” I say “the last two times I’ve ended up with a catheter wedged into me and only once in all the times I’ve been did you ever get me out on the same day”.  She made to look at the notes – “Perhaps you had an enlarged Prostate?”  “Not to my knowledge” I said.  She looked through the notes further and then we discussed the consent form which I signed and she said she would see me later.  A brief smile and she was gone.

The Nurse decided on a couple more occasions to leave my curtains open which I quickly closed.  I have no idea why they want to do that – just leave me the “**** alone!” I think to myself.    The last thing I want is anyone looking at me or catching my eye.  I deal with these things better when I am in my own little world, my own bubble if you like.

As often happens, temptation in the devil’s disguise as the lunch trolley rattled noisily (too noisily) past our ward smelling quite good for Hospital food, that was followed by the drinks trolley and the general clatter associated with dishing up meals, cutlery clinking and crockery ringing.  Thanks guys we really need that when we haven’t eaten for sodding ages.  It was like the old system where we were sat next to the water dispenser – you know the ones with the water bottle that gurgles away.  Just what you need when you aren’t allowed any and people are coming in past you helping themselves and slurping away at the ice cold water. 

I’m disturbed by a Hip Doctor.  Now I don’t mean that he was wearing 60s clothes or anything like that, although in hindsight it would have improved the corduroy and stethoscope look a lot I reckon.   He picked up my notes; I switched off my MP3 player and made a show of looking as if I was sitting upright.

He looked puzzled.  Asked me if I was someone – who I assured him I was most definitely not.  “Not having a Hip Replacement?” he asked again I assured him that “Not that I was aware of”.  “She said it was here on the right – I wonder where he is?”  With that obvious whimsical rhetoric he departed my curtained area and proceeded to across the Ward where I heard him say “Ah, found you, good.  Nearly gave your Hip to some chap over the other side.  Glad I found you now.......”  I switched my MP3 player back on and remember thinking to myself how I'd probably prefer to have what I was having done rather than what he was.  Mind you isn't it amazing that you can get new Hip and Knee joints – that is just brilliant.

So back to me.  I know that there’s about an hour to go and so dash off to the toilet and get myself sorted out.  I’ve been drinking water steadily all morning so that I am hydrated properly as I’ll need to keep lubricating my bladder after the operation and it helps not to be dried out like I have been before.  They came for me about 1:45 I suppose – I know I was going into Theatre 4 (my usual one) at 1:50 and I would have been out by 2 pm. 

The prep guys were OK they normally are and we had a bit of a laugh especially when I told them I worked for a charity and they looked at each other and smiled and said “SO DO WE!!” very good.  The cannula went in on a 9/10 and I said it was one of the better ones.  Slightly further towards my wrist than normal but it was OK.  I grabbed some Oxygen and that was the last I remember of the day. 

Waking up I eagerly grabbed some water from the Nurse and eased my hand down and checked – ahhhhh joy of joys no Catheter thank goodness for that.  It felt like I wanted to urinate but that couldn’t be as they normally drain you out afterwards.  They had no beds and so I lay there for ages.  They moved me down the ward towards the exit.  I still wanted to go but the nurse and I agreed that it would be a surprise if that were so. 

I then felt really uncomfortable and asked whether they could make me a bit more comfortable.  Yes indeed they tipped me back.  The explanation is there is a slider sheet under me and if they tipped me forward I’d spill onto the floor.  My consultant arrived and delivered what is now the shock news that everything looked OK but that there was a very small tumour inside and that she had whipped that out.  It just seemed a throw away statement and so I shrugged my shoulders and said thanks.  She then said – you can go home when you feel up to it?  Now that did give me a lift. 

However as she walked away I got some real pains in my bladder area and I said to the nurse, I just feel that I need to urinate – he got me a bottle and pulled the curtains.  I have never felt SO RELIEVED as I was then.  I filled the bottle up almost to the spout – no wonder I was uncomfortable.  I don’t know whether my strategy to hydrate had paid off or whether they had left some stuff inside me to work after the surgery?  Who knows?  It was the best piss in the world and it didn’t hurt either.  That was to come later.

Finally they moved me to Ward 5 a surgery ward and the nurse there was lovely and really looked after me.  Getting between the Trolley and my Bed was a bit of an adventure as the Oxygen Mask was still connected as was the Plasma to the back of my hand.  That wasn’t an issue but as I got off the trolley the air pipe lifted up my operation gown so as I said “That was achieved with a total lack of dignity and decorum!”

I had to wait a while until they came with some food – well that’s what they called it and I had that, a drink and then all I wanted to do was go home.  They came and got the Cannula out – what a relief that is.  Then gave me my clothes so I got changed and texted Mrs. F.  As I sent the text Mrs. F. Cruised into view and was surprised that I was ready to go.  I said I’d walk home with her “No she insisted, if I fell over she couldn’t move me and I’d just had a general anaesthetic!”  Of course I wasn’t thinking clearly.  I checked with the nurses that all was Ok and Mrs. F. got the car, collected me at reception and drove me home.  I was home 8 hours after I had left in the morning.  That’s the earliest ever and yet they had taken out the tumour too.  I felt the best I have ever felt after one of these operations.  Sure it hurt urinating for 12 – 18 hours afterwards but you can manage that when you are home.  In your own bed and in familiar surroundings are the best place to be.

It looks as Dave-Sky-Nando (tm) * will be continuing to make visits to the Hospital and the story will go on beyond today and a new page has begun.   There will be more Scar Wars episodes and there will be a journey to continue to travel along.  It just goes to show, you can think you are doing so well and have made huge strides and great progress and Bladder Cancer, the little tinker, can come back and recur.  The good news, as we should all know by now is that it is controllable and with amazing professionals like my Consultant, things are manageable and treatable.


Dave-Sky-Nando (tm) * A creation of Steve Kelley Inc. :-)




Wanting to do something rash

I get like this occasionally - I need to go and do something to excess knowing full well that it wont actually do me any good but will allow me to vent my anger and fury and frustration.  I'm actually going out for a beer with an old friend of mine = he is coming over by bus which is a good move as the SG of the beer we are going to have is a whopping 7.3%  That's pretty strong stuff let me tell you.

So a few pints and I won't be up for anything stupid as the alcohol will probably have killed off all my brain cells anyway.

I feel most strange this weekend - perhaps it is because I am reading the CVs of my potential successors or perhaps the nagging in my brain is getting to me or maybe just some other melancholia to do with that.

Even listening to a bit of loud music isn't helping me at the moment.  


Well, it didn't end up quite like I expected it to.  I got to bed and had a flash back of the claustrophobia bit I suffered last year and that made me feel quite ill and then the black puppy (it wasn't the Black Dog) came and sowed a little seed of doubt in my mind and for 10 to 20 minutes I came back into my office and just did some deep breathing and a bit of rationalising in my head.

I suppose I was just disappointed about things and the outcome and apprehensive as to what this now means to me.   I'm pre-empting the meeting and what the outcome of that meeting will be and indeed the prognosis.  I was planning ahead for full BCGs and goodness knows what else.  

I realise that I will be having a lot more operations than I thought I would need but there's the rub. 

I was doing quite well until that little voice in my head started.  So far it is a mere whisper and I hope it stays that way.    

Friday, April 16, 2010

What if....

Well what if indeed.  You can't play what if in reality can you, I cannot second guess my Consultant and I think Ii wont but I will mentally prepare myself for something along the lines of a complete re-run of the BCG Treatment and that will include all the Cystocopies along the way too.

I've already resolved that I won't get rid of those for a long time now having found one thing then it seems the right thing to do to be able to keep looking and to keep a close eye on me.

Off to bed now to try and get a good night's sleep in - I have been awake between 2 and 4 most nights and I suppose as I am drinking a lot still to wash out my bladder I need to keep going to the toilet a lot more.

You Read into these things what you will

A letter arrived from the Hospital today.  My OPA is 6th May.  This is perhaps the first time that I have not had to ask where the appointment is.  It arrived just 4 days after the Operation and so I'm thinking, I NEED to be seen and the next steps discussed.

It clashes with something I am already doing but that has just had to be pushed out of the way.  I just have to attend this as somehow the speed of delivery has determined my response.  The results can't be known yet but I'm sure that there is a strategy for dealing with this.  It is also one of those things where "they" were probably expecting some sort of recurrence and I wasn't.

It has been funny the reaction to it so far.  For example I just bumped into my next door neighbour who, having survived lung cancer (having his lung removed) looked devastated and seemed really worried that I might be breathing my last.   Many others are very concerned and in reality, there is a lot to play for yet here.  Consider if you will that I still have the options of treatment and I guess radical surgery if needed, then we are not in an end game situation at all.  

I read into my letter that my consultant needs to see me sooner rather than later.  That this meeting is important yet far enough away not to be urgent.  It shows that just three weeks afterwards there will be a considered decision about the way forward.   That's positive and I will not be worrying (yes I am worrying at the back of my mind - of course I am) or waiting for it to drag out before telling me.

There is a bit of me that thinks this is really bad news - perhaps 1 or 2% of my brain is saying that.  The remainder of my brain and most of my being suggests that - it is serious but not the end of the world or anything more serious than that.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More Coffee

My Business Partner is arriving this morning and we are going to try the little Deli that has opened up in the Village and see what their coffee making skills are like.  It probably isn't up to Costa's Baristas standards but lets give it a try anyway.  

We have lots to discuss about the next 6 months and what we need to do to get us across the finish line.  Ideally we need to have finance by then and a good plan to go forward with.   I am getting pretty excited about this opportunity and the chance to cut loose and go for it.  I really want this to be a success but if it isn't then I want to say that I gave it a go.

I'm not too concerned about having to have treatment during this time but I am concerned about the fragmented state of my diary.  That needs me to be pretty ruthless after May to put as much time as possible in to the business.

I can smell the coffee already - looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Energy and Commitment

I wonder whether the operation was some sort of milestone in my planning that somehow has sparked off a "new me".  I'm somehow a different me again.  I'm upbeat, looking forward and I'm feeling optimistic about the future.  I am looking forward to taking a risk and seeing if I can get this idea of ours under way and funded.  

I hear it in my friend's voices, their concern over the recurrence and yet, I don't feel that it is quite as bad as it sounds.  I suppose it isn't if it is your voice and your head thinking around the ideas.  Bless them, they sound worried and yet, I don't believe it is something that you can worry about.  I'm under observation and in the hands of a specialist who will advise what is right for me when we next meet.  I think the only things I need to know are what treatments are there going to be so I can plan my way around them.  One of the key things I must do is to get some time together with my business partner and plan the way ahead in more detail.  Any treatment would just mean I have to set my plans a little differently especially if I am on some full blown treatment again.

I really feel well and I just want to get on and get things sorted.  I think I've come to terms with leaving my job albeit I am going to be retained for a while and I am certain that by only doing strategic work it will be better for me in terms of using my mind and solving problems.

It still amazes me how integrated I became to the organisation in just 2 years.  At least I can still help even from afar and I even did about 3 hours work today remotely on the web site upgrades - well it kept me busy :-)

Flocky Coffee

Nice of Flocky to come over and buy me a nice cup of Costa Coffee and a sandwich.  Good to get out and about a bit.

I'm feeling well enough to perhaps go out to a meeting tomorrow evening that originally I thought I would miss.

Happy days - I'm not as bad as I have been - or perhaps that is just a false dawn and I'll regret it later this week?

New Day New Attitude

I'm analysing this on the blog to see if I can rationalise it.

I keep wondering what just happened to me?  I surprise myself sometimes by being so positive when I thought I'd probably be quite down and not so able to cope with a recurrence.   The reality is that I'm not in the slightest bit upset about it - perhaps I'm in some sort of denial (no that's not a river in Egypt!).  

Could that be it?  All bravado and a show of courage, the last act of defiance?  No I don't think it is that entirely either.  I suggested to a friend of mine that I must have gone through the outcomes in my mind before hand and worked out what it would mean.  I hadn't expected a tiny tumour at all - if anything it was going to be one of three outcomes:

  1. Clear - we move to the next level of flexible cystoscopies
  2. Presence of Cancer in many places - We go for BCG a complete round - 18 with 3 rigid Cystoscopies
  3. There are tumours in here  - that are cut out (A TURBT) I wake up wired up and we go the round again or have the next conversation about losing the bladder.

Well it is a bit between 1 & 2 which is the strange thing.  Let's say 99% cancer free and one rogue tumour that we don't know the grade of.  That's still 99% of the bladder that is fine in my view of the world.

So perhaps that is it.  I suppose the only down side is that I will be in and out of Hospital a lot more and be back on these 6 monthly full procedures so I'd just better get used to it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So where are we now

Some 24 hours later I find myself quite optimistic really.  It surprises me that I should be quite so upbeat but then I didn't get any bad vibes at all from my consultant and I got to go home earlier than ever before, I wasn't even required to do the usual 3 pees in a jug to go at all and remembering all my experiences before this was easily the least traumatic and least painful of them.  I know I've been pulled around as I can feel it, urinating is easier now and the fire and razor blades bit is all but gone.

So why so cheerful?  well - what's the worst that can happen?  A small growth that has happened since last August has been spotted and removed.  It was routine and along with the remaining random biopsies that were taken in an otherwise normal bladder will be examined and then I'll be given the details at the next consultation.   If I have to have treatment then I'll have to have treatment.  They may well have treated it on the spot anyway.  If it is a tiny isolated one then there may be a need for further scopes or some other sort of treatment.  Whatever it is, they caught this so early on that some sort of plan can be formulated.  It all depends on the grading of this tumour too.  My early ones were aggressive to say the least and were large.  This sounds so small that I didn't even need a catheter which is pretty good.

I remain positive and upbeat about the whole thing surprisingly enough and that has phased a few people but I know enough about this to know it is a set back but not a big one.  If the cancer was in a tiny area of the bladder and is nowhere else then things aren't so bad - it is if it is aggressive and recurrent I'll have to work on.

This also gives me further incentive to make even more radical changes to my life style.  I haven't eliminated things from my diet that could be carcinogens - sweeteners and pork and shellfish products.  Not that i eat lots of them.  However, I will be taking a long hard look now at what steps I am going to take to further assist my recovery and to make me healthier and more able to tackle anything that comes my way.

Somehow, in the back of my mind, I had half expected there to be a slight fall back or set back and hard as it may appear to take, it reinforces the very first conversation Ii had with my consultant - well she did most of the talking actually - saying that it was a rest of life thing, I'd always be being checked and tested and there is a high risk of recurrence and hence it was one of the most treatable of all cancers but also one that needs the most follow up and management.  Not wrong there.  Considering this was the 8th Operation I've had (although been gowned up for 9).  I've had a Flexible Cystoscopy,  An Intravenous X-Ray examination and I've had 18 or so BCGs (it could be more than that it may be as many as 24.  That is all in 45 months (3 3/4 years).  It just shows what you can get used to.

I brushed off some of my old music and took that into the Hospital with me - I'd forgotten how much I love this track by Kansas - Dust in the Wind - they don't make songs like this much these days.

Feeling Very Well

I'm surprised to say that I feel the best I have ever felt - is that because I got to sleep in my own bed? I don't feel bad about the small tumour at all. I was awake between 2 and 4 but played music for a while, thought too much and then went back to sleep.

Up now, showered and ache a bit. I'm not as sad, depressed or upset about the discovery as I thought I would be. It is small, it is an isolated incident and it isn't there any-more so still cancer free. If I have to have BCG then so be it, I know what to expect.

What I think I will have to resign myself to is more of these rigid Cystoscopy sessions. Ho Hum needs must.

I need to go and take a few paracetamol and Ibuprofen to see if I can ease the discomfort (let's call it) of peeing at the moment.

Monday, April 12, 2010

8 hours and 10 minutes later with a BUT

I'm home.  I'll tell more why in Scar War VIII but procedure was good and no catheter and no hanging around straight home - I could have been home in 6 hours!!! 

And the BUT????

A tumour - a recurrence - small, tiny, minute, itchy titchy but a tumour nonetheless and it was cut out but it must have been tiny as Ii could have been home in 6 hours and they didn't need all the usual.

Remember I said I'd query why I was being kept in overnight - well it was a totally opposite experience today.  The pain around my middle has just kicked in so off to bed.

I'm not as concerned as I felt I was going to be but a course of BCG does not thrill me at all I have to say.

10 Minutes

Packed and ready apart from what book to take.  I am reading a mega heavy history book on the Spanish Civil War but will I be able to concentrate on it?  Probably not if I think about it.

Anyway, all is ready - I have MP3 plugged in, spare batteries and I'm ready to head off and wander up to the Admissions Lounge.

Catch up with you later.

4 Hours

Had a light breakfast of poached eggs on toast washed down with my last coffee for a while.  Now on water and plugged into my MP3 player and playing solitaire on my PC which I'll do until everyone gets up when I will pack my holdall and get my paperwork together for later.   Once that is done I'll come back and sit here playing games and listening to music until it is time to go.

my mum said she'd call this morning - not sure why - I only spoke to her yesterday.

I'm quite OK in myself at the moment - pretty neutral - a little apprehensive but then it doesn't make much sense to worry as what will be will be (thanks Doris).   Things have moved on as I was pretty much terrified and traumatised the first time I went in.  I'd had 3 weeks of bleeding and was still reeling from the diagnosis and trying to work out what it all meant.

Now - well it is routine in a way.  I know what to expect, although they still have their own ways of p1ssing me off and annoying me the routine of getting there, into operating gown and so on is much as it has been and of course I've even had one cancelled on me too.

As Scar Wars VIII approaches I think that I am as prepared as I'll ever be.  I'm quietly confident about the results but not overly so.  I'm no longer going in expecting the worst, I'm hoping for good news but if it isn't well that will again be as it is going to be.

I'm also reflecting a lot on my life to date and considering the changes in fortune and also - strangely - why I do not appear to settle down in a job any more.  I suppose I wouldn't have the unique experience that I do if I had been in one or two jobs my whole life.  At the charity I've done what I always do which is pick up a change project and build a solid foundation for the next person to build on.  They can have the 9 to 5 job and the  day-to-day running and administration.

I find myself back where I was sometime ago (over 30 years in fact) of hating commuting, sitting on the same seat of the same train every day seeing the same people, doing everything in a routine way.   The routine of work is also something that is difficult to cope with the amount of time it takes to get things done is criminal but that is just the way it is.  Things don't move fast unless they have to.

Oh well - back to solitaire, music and water.

5 Hours to go

I am up and showered and first coffee in hand.  I have just moved the car to let A and her friend go on holiday.  They are camping down in Cornwall and have set off before 6 this morning to get around London's famous ring road the M25 and off away to the West Country.  Probably be As longest ever drive but we have insured her friend should needs be.  Let's hope it stays pleasant for them.

I'm sat at my PC, reviewing overnight progress as I ran a series of maintenance tests on it.  It appears to be a little better this morning.  

My friend is back from China and I spoke to him yesterday - he is recharged - which is great and I hope we will meet up later this week to set out a strategy for the next 6 months work.  It is now my turn to hang around and wait whilst I am having this procedure and recovering and to get my replacement at work.  Once she/he is in place it will be much easier for me to sort out my net 6 months timetable and to get myself going.  At the moment it is very much like the phoney war.  We are both ready to get going but are just holding back and waiting.  We are coiled springs and I just want to give this a go.  But first things first.

I actually need to have some sort of physical break before I get going on my new venture.  That would make logical sense to forget one thing and get ready for the next.  I'm playing with the idea of a week away to do that.  The trouble is my diary is a mess until t2ndhe  part of June.  Maybe I can move things around.

So back to today.  I am having a coffee and one of my heart pills before going down to work out what "light breakfast" I will have.  Maybe scrambled egg or poached eggs will be good.  I can then start drinking water after 7:30 and it is only 6:15 now.

No doubt I will post another blog before I go into Hospital.   I will leave here about 11 which will get me there before the 11:30 deadline and then it will be a case of hanging around and waiting for them to come and get me.  

Watching the Golf

Worked quite well.  The Masters always looks the most wonderful place to visit at this time of year.  Not quite the outcome we wanted with Lee coming 2nd but Phil played brilliant Golf to win - good for him.

I have kept hydrated - more than I normally do.  I know that after 11:30 tomorrow I won't get a drink for a good 3 or 4 hours and so making sure I have plenty now will, I hope, help out.  These days you can continue drinking clear liquids (ie water) right up to the time of going in.  I shall do that as I found last time it did help a lot.

I read the paperwork - it still reckons you can be out on the same day - but that is without the biopsies just the rigid cystocopy.  With 6 biopsies my poor old bladder resembles a blocked sieve so I am not expecting to be out on Monday evening.  In fact I think I will challenge them this time as they always say you can but never deliver.  I suppose it is a bit like they have to tell you all the risks but they are unlikely to happen they can also tell you that your car does 0 to 60 in 5 seconds but there isn't enough road in suburbia to actually try it out?

I'm sitting in my office at the moment.  I plan to get up at my normal time of 5:20 just 5 hours away and have a shower.  I can then see of my daughter who is going camping for the week at about 6 am.  I can have a light breakfast and set myself up for the morning and then lock myself in my room for a couple of hours just playing music and PC games up to the point of going to the Hospital.  I intend to walk there on my own and go in on my own only in as much as poor old Mrs. F. doesnt get a word out of me apart from some mumbling and I switch my MP3 player on and try and breathe properly and relax - which for me - as we all know - is pretty difficult because that is just the way I'm built.

This way Mrs. F.  and L can go out and about and they can phone up later on and see how I have got on.  They can then come and see me at visiting time and that will be good.  At least that way we all feel OK about what is going to happen.  From my side of things I think I'd prefer it.  Mrs. F. used to come to most things with me but it is much better that I go to these myself as I am very much inside my own bubble when I go there and really don't want or need company.

My PC is playing up and I spent a lot of time messing around with it earlier today.  I think I'll set a few diagnostics going and get off to bed now.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Distraction Routine

I'm doing anything to keep myself doing things today - sorting out the computers, finding a book to take in tomorrow (that I haven't already read but will be easy enough to read), making sure I have cleaned my office, filed some papers and generally just pottering about at home.

Tomorrow will be worse as there wont be much to do apart from waiting around and going through endless check lists at the Hospital and being interrupted every few minutes by nurses, anaesthetists, junior doctors, consultants etc.  Just when you get to settle down and relax someone pulls the curtain open and jolts you into attention.  I just want it over now.  I recollect being really on edge the first time as we didn't know how far the cancer was in my bladder and it was all just a terrifying ride towards getting into Hospital, a horrible wait and then getting prepared for the operation and waking up in a mess.

It isn't that bad, I will sleep at least tonight and will be up early but I don't want my mind playing about too much today though so being busy is good.

Not long to go now

I have my music sorted, spare batteries and spare MP3 player - I might even take a book this time to wile away the hours.  In fact anything to distract me from the utter boredom of sitting down doing nothing whilst they fanny around playing bed poker so that they can squeeze the government's figures...

I know - a somewhat jaundiced and cynical view but they did play silly buggers on a number of occasions so that they protected the beds.  

Ii just want this to be over so I can choose my successor and get them sorted out, sort out my contract and get going on my new venture.  It feels a bit phoney at the moment.  my business partner is currently in China and arrives back late tomorrow and so I probably wont see him until later in the week.  Which reminds me I have my far flung cousins fropping by on Friday to see me - if I am up to it.

Anyway - the upshot is that this is a major milestone in my plans and so I am hoping to get it out of the way ASAP and also to be able to see a big step in my condition.  Ideally a move away from these 6 monthly full rigid cystoscopies towards the flexible ones - they aren't pleasant but at least they are bearable and over in a a matter of minutes rather than having to go through all the rigmarole of pre-assessment and then a general anaesthetic and operation and all the other stuff too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Someone I know back on BCG

A person I know who had Bladder Cancer had disappointing results and is back on a full term of BCG - that is 12 - two courses of 6 at a time which I can tell you is pretty tough going.  The first one always seems to be easy but blow me the ones after that just seem to beat you up more and more.  Having said that - not always - sometimes you can get a mild reaction too.

I don't envy him his treatment - he is a pragmatic guy and will get on with it.  I wont see him for a little while - I just wished him all the best as he did for my procedure on Monday.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Because who knows what will happen

I thought it was a telling moment when I suggested that Monday's result could be a lot worse than the positive outcome I hope it will be.  This far in you don't balance it out like you used to.  I used to expect bad news and be delighted with the good.  Now I would very much hope that I am stable and there has been no deterioration in my condition, certainly no cancerous or precancerous cells in the results.  But what if there were?  What then?

None of us can predict the future - so I wonder whether you have to live every moment on the edge or play the middle road or just be careful all the time.  There isn't a right answer but if you knew you were going to die at a certain day and date - would you spend all your money and make it run out the day before :-)   Should you always be cautious and eat the right things or should you cast that aside and fill yourself up with your favourite things?  Excess in moderation perhaps?

I'm sure that debate could roll on for years but it was important that I get the point over to certain people that the results are by no means set in stone or a done deal.  things could go horribly wrong.  Now where's my beer and caviar?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Countdown starts now

I decided not to go into work tomorrow - I just don't feel like it at all.  I feel a little down after the experience at the GPs.  I have to readjust my mindset to let things take their course next week - I cannot influence it - just sit there and lump it and get on with it - it will happen in their time and not mine.

That's the trouble of being a control freak - things are completely out of your control or influence.  

Ho hum....


The Crazy World of the GP Surgery

They are utterly barmy these people.  They make appointments and then fail to meet them, boil you alive in the hottest waiting room in the known Universe.  After 40 minutes wait - why can't you tell me when i check in you are running late???  How difficult would that be?  I could have gone across the road to the pub!

So then the PCs are running a new system so you can't see my notes about my white coat syndrome.  Then the BP machine doesn't work three times, then you try the other arm then it almost goes off the scale.  "ooohh that's high!"  Yea right no shit Sherlock!!!  The second go it comes down a lot.  But can you see my notes about the blood test - have you had it done - well yes on Tuesday actually.  Oh my notes don't say I am going into Hospital on Monday then?

Joined up communication.  It beggars belief.  Anyway, I finally got them to write down yet again that I have white coat syndrome.  They want to see me again.  Not sure if I'll bother - I might as well do my own readings and post them through once a month so they have them rather than do this one point in time stress inducing bollocks they put me through.  

Me, unhappy?  Whatever gave you that idea?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Work - Busy old day today

I have lots to get done but to add to things it is Jazz night tonight and I haven't been since January.  My friend from Denmark turned up with his friend and we HAD to go to lunch with consists mainly of beer.  Wow I got a huge bear hug off of him.  He nearly died last year and I guess we were really glad to see each other in such rude health.    Then another colleague turned up and blow me someone wanted to buy me a beer at 4 so I left the office grabbed a beer, said helloe to them, shot back a beer, got the train and promptly fell asleep until the station and wandered home ready to woof down some dinner and then go out for more beer drinking.  It is looking like my 3 or 4 units of beer a week admission to the Hospital is way out :-)

I have to be back tomorrow afternoon to get my Blood Pressure done by the doctor..  That will be fun!  Not...  

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Well that WAS a surprise

This will be Scar Wars VIII as I did VII last August.  Good grief - here is the LINK.  I just hope I can think of something half as amusing for this one.  I will be all Scar Warred out if they keep taking me into Hospital...

My goodness - 8 operations (2 of them big ones) and all in less than 4 years plus the IVP procedure and flexible.  That's about 10 of these plus all the BCGs I've had too and all the visits, pre assessments, blood tests and all that stuff.  

At least I am still here so I ought to keep it in perspective and I suppose that it is still a lot better than it looked back in 2006 - a hell of a lot better.

I must go back and re-read some of my earlier posts if only to see what I was prattling on about 6 months or a year ago.  It is strange how things have moved on since then.

Where does the time go to

I find that the most interesting thing about going into Hospital is that I get to think back on the initial diagnosis and the treatment.  The horror of it all comes back and it just isn't like that any more.   It really is amazing to think that it was June/July 2006 - almost 4 years ago now.  It seems like I could account for maybe 3 years but 4 just seems way out.

I will be able to do a retrospective if things are affright this time.  I must also get myself along to the quacks and get my blood pressure taken so they can continue to write me out prescriptions for my BP medicines.

It is funny going to the Hospital and chatting away with the nurses who know that you know the ropes and we just get on and do it.  She is aware of my high blood pressure and high heart rate and all that and it is more a passing the time of day conversation these days.

It was a lovely day and the walk to and from the hospital was really pleasant.  

I'm off to work tomorrow and then need to sort myself out for the next few weeks working from home I suppose.  All good fun - not.  Let's just hope that my consultant does my biopsies and they I don't end up with a Catheter in again like last time and the time before.  How on earth you could abide them for longer than 24 or 48 hours I don't know.  I'd be a sh1t patient if I had to have one for any longer...

All OK

Clear to go in next Monday - the usual high blood pressure and high heart rate but other than that, I seem to be fit enough to go in for another rigid cystoscopy.   For the last three times it was thought to be the last one and in a way, I managed to get myself through the procedure telling myself that.  

I hate having to go in for these things.  No matter what you think about it - it is traumatic and upsetting painful but you can live with that, damn uncomfortable - I can't even begin to describe the feeling inside as everything settles back into place again - yuk!  Yes, I can now begin to start psyching myself up for going in and also trying to keep down the dark thoughts at the same time.

So here we go for another ride through to what must be Scar Wars VII?  I need to go and check.  I couldn't even remember when I had cancer this morning when chatting to the doctor :-)  I said 2007 but in reality is was 2006 wasn't it.  I wasn't thinking clearly at all.

It never fails to amaze me

How the nerves kick in before going into Hospital.  I though I was fine with this by now but just noticed heart racing, slight shortage of breath and that adrenaline rush and slight dryness at the back of my throat.

I suppose the thing is you never really get over this - of course this time next week - it will all be over but even so, the kiddology has to run out somewhere and an hour before I get checked over, here it is.

I'll walk up there in about 20 minutes or so and my appointment is at 10.  That is pretty good as I should be the 2nd or 3rd one in.  I should be home by 11 or so with any luck.

All I need to do now is get my mind back to remembering this is all for my benefit and all for my well-being.  

Monday, April 05, 2010

Family Around

Yesterday for A's birthday - I then found out the Mrs. F. L and A area all running in the Race for Life fund raiser for Cancer Research.  Gulp!

It was a lovely day - we did a roast lunch and had plenty of beers, wine and the like flowing.  

I have my pre-assessment tomorrow and my cough is still around.  It isn't bad but it is still there.  I hope that it will not mean a postponement of my procedure.  I really want this all out of the way before I get cracking on my new venture.

It is almost the end of my tenure as Secretary of one of the largest Lodges in Kent.  With close to 195 members it has some unique challenges.  June will be my last meeting and after 6 years I am ready to give up and take a back seat for a while.   It will also free me up from much of the additional work I have to do at home.  I've kept that going throughout all my time with Bladder cancer which has taken 4 years out of the 6.  I'm quite pleased that I kept doing it rather than dropping it.  

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Eggs and English Weather

We always discuss the weather as we have so much of it.  It was raining overnight and this morning and the ground was just too wet to put the eggs out.  So for the 3rd year we held it inside and that was OK as there were more kids this year, A and L face painted the kids which was nice.   The bigger crowds meant we raised a few hundred pounds for the old people's home and blow me if, as we cleared away, the sun came out and by mid afternoon it was a warm spring day....  Damn!

I'm a bit worried that my cough will not clear up by Tuesday when I go for my pre-assessment.  I hope that I can beat it by then.  We have family over tomorrow to celebrate A's 20th birthday which was actually today.  I imagine that we will have a great time and I can get stuck in cooking in the kitchen - lamb and gammon I think are on the menu.  I have some nice beers cooling in the new American Style Fridge in the utility room plus a few rather pleasant wines awaiting my guests.  

I should have wandered up the road earlier to the deli and got some cheese for afterwards but totally forgot about it.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Easter Eggs

Tomorrow we go and set up the Easter Egg Hunt and it looks like for the 3rd year in 15 (and in a row) we will have to hold it indoors as the weather is inclement.  It is such a shame as the gardens are extensive and it would be good to be able to hide the thousands of chocolate eggs.

My cough is still with me but whilst it sounds bad it isn't doing any damage to my chest or frame like it was earlier in the week.

I am hoping that I can get plenty of things done this week coming as the week after I am in Hospital.  I wont be feeling like doing much as I mooch around on the days before the operation.   I had better show my face at the office as the train strike is now off.  I have to do my pre-assessment on Tuesday so I hope my cough has gone by then or they will look dimly on taking me in and I don't want that.

I hear a lot from people who have got over cancer only to get another one.  That is all a bit worrying.  I suppose, in fairness, many are a lot older than me and perhaps that is just something to look forward to in my old age....  Gee I hope not - 1 lot is enough for a lifetime - I am not sure quite how I'd cope with another lot.  No use worrying about it I suppose.  I'm still amazed that they use this 5 year figure all the time.  There are reports on TV and News all the time and they are always quoted in survival rates.  For example I heard today that 8 out of 10 (80%) of women who get Breast Cancer are alive 5 years after diagnosis.  A 4 in 5 chance that you will survive.  Bladder Cancer is a little bit better but 80% is pretty good odds if you think about it.  It never quite works though - if they gave some 10 year figures that might be useful too?  It almost sounds that if you make it past 5 years you did well?  What happens then?

Anyway - Friday night and a big day tomorrow so better get to bed and get some proper sleep.