Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another Lesson Learnt

Don't exercise to AC/DC :-)

I almost got my record distance of 7.4kM today fell short at 7.3kM which is 4.54 Miles in 30 minutes - not bad for an overweight fat over middle aged guy!

It certainly gives you some Ooommmpphhh that's for certain. I feel that Brahms Lullaby might be better for me next time :-)

Now though - has it helped my Blood Pressure which was off the scale this morning?

Well after 5 minutes after exercise it is down to 132 over 94 with a pulse of 121.
After 10 Minutes 136 over 89 and pulse 112

I think my pulse is a bit high but there you go - I've just worked out for30 minutes at close to 9 miles an hour so I suppose that's not too bad for me.

That was bizarre

I just measured my BP and got an almost off the scale reading - the wrong way - like 170 over 110!! What was all that about? Will monitor that as if it is like that next Wednesday the GP will go apoplectic. It's really low after exercise so perhaps something to read into it there.

I also note that I am back to the weight I was last year before I lost loads! How annoying. Working at home and a sedentary lifestyle are to blame! At least I know what to do and how to do it. I do find it difficult to stop working and go and exercise - you somehow feel you are cheating taking time for yourself and yet - I actually work for myself so there's a silliness if ever there was one.

I've turned the living room back from being a Cinema and back to its proper use. Mrs. F. and A are due home later today. I watched Matrix III - not the best of the 3 films but it finished off the viewing from the night before and Saving Private Ryan which is a pretty good film and one that explains a little about the brutality and randomness of the whole thing. It will shortly be the anniversary of that day 67 years ago.

I'm still on the FOCC and today followed yesterday's pattern of making the mixture a bit more runny, putting it on top of some breakfast cereal and then putting the ground flax seeds on top of that with some dried blueberries and that makes an acceptable start to the day.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Now that's what home alone is all about

Silly I know but I repositioned myself into the centre of my living room and properly adjusted the 5.1 surround sound system and then watched Ronin and followed that up with Matrix II. Both have fab car chases in them and the sound really makes a big difference when set up properly. I have to compromise a bit when the family are here as the speakers go in the corner of the room.

So - how is it going? Alright - I am very happy in my own company and had a day of sport F1 Monaco, the PGA Golf and then my films and I opened a nice bottle of chilled white wine. Excellent.

I am continuing with the FOCC mixture - I made it a little more runny today - slightly by accident - and then - as it looked so loose - added it to some cereal which seemed to work quite well.

I'm feeling OK and I'm hoping that another couple of weeks of this and dieting will see me start to lose weight gradually again. Of course this is interspersed with a visit to the Doctors and then two visits to the Hospital. I hope they don't carve me up like they did last time.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quiet Tonight

I just watched Kingdom of Heaven - I quite like that and was terribly worried that the DVD had been wrecked but it appears to have been a fault with the TV as when I set it up to check tonight it worked fine. At last, with a quiet house the full 5.1 DTS surround system comes into it's own - there's always background noise in the house normally so it is a treat to listen more closely to the film.

I've continued the FOCC this morning and intend to do this as a regular breakfast - it seems to fill me up nicely for the day too. Tomorrow I need to be up early to collect L and bring her back here then she goes off to stay at her boyfriend's place in Cambridge for the week. Mrs. F. and A went off early and were at the Eden Project (described as Awesome by Photographer A). She should know. Some of her other work is being displayed in the shop in Orpington and it looks as if she will be able to have the whole of the 1st floor area for her own exhibition over the summer. If that happens I will hope to get involved and make sure we give her a good chance of success. Her intern-ship may well help her to further develop her style and it appears to me that she is heading into the Fine Art field with her work but - let's see. I'm always amazed by the way she (artistic people) view the world. She can frame a photograph of something you and I would look at in a totally different way and bring out something hidden or unnoticed. Clever - I enjoy clever people and the way their minds work.

I'm feeling good - I didn't get to do any exercise today as I was running L around. Maybe I'll do some in the morning or perhaps tonight before bed?

The diet took a bit of a knock tonight as I made far too much pasta for my seafood pasta meal it could have fed two - I did manfully work my way through it but I probably should have throw it away - but I hate to see anything wasted. Mrs. F. kindly got me enough Cottage Cheese to last until the middle of the week so I'm OK about getting my FOCC regularly. I'm aiming for everyday if at all possible.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The stuff you don't know

So I get to the funeral and it's rammed inside the church a good turnout from the Lodge and many other institutions. I'm always amazed at the things you don't know about people. It's terribly British - and it may be true elsewhere too - but you never mention what you did in the war - it's just not done old chap :-)

So the Vicar is reading out about our friend's life and when he was a very young man - about 19 years old he was in the Royal Navy and at that tender age was in D-Day+1 and Captained/Piloted a landing craft - under fire, taking people to and from and he navigated all the way over there too. He lost some comrades too.

We - who have known him (some for 50 years) only knew he was a midshipman - we thought in the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve. You just never know do you, you just never know and these heroes never say anything at all!

It was a lovely service and I got to see his widow and hand over my Eulogy to John - I always find myself lost for words, someone says thanks for coming - so what is your reply? I wanted to? It went as well as it could I suppose.

We then had the wake and ended up in a pub with one of the guys I have a "little trouble with" and we had a very good conversation - he has plenty of troubles at the moment and we discussed those and we discussed - as you do - death and eventually we get around to my condition and we have a good talk about my attitude and why I'm so different these days. He goes off and I am having a beer when our old next door neighbour's son says hello. I ask after his parents and he tells me that his Dad died at the beginning of the year. I'd seen his dad at the Urology Clinic getting checked out at the flow centre - to do with Prostate. However, he didn't actually have that problem he had Kidney Cancer and pretty aggressive too, it had metastasised and was close to his heart and then he got a brain tumour which they sorted but he died earlier in the year just after his 70th birthday. He felt that was significant. His mum was devastated of course. I asked that he convey our sympathy to his mum and the rest of the family. I think I only saw him about 18 months ago but hadn't seen him around the local pub for a while - now I know why.

So I got a lift home from L which was good - she drives OK and so I wasn't feeling worried. Got home and was in two minds whether to go away for a couple of days down to Cornwall or not. I've decided after much deliberation not to go - if I had I would have needed to drive a fair amount and I really do need to get some rest as I have been burning up time and getting very little proper sleep this past week or so. I also want to get ready to sort out the business stuff as we appear to have got a sprint on. Invariably though, I get some "me" time this weekend and bank holiday Monday so I can spend at least a day and a half just in my own company doing what I want to do. I'd like to go and have a holiday but it's a long way and I'm not sure I'd actually rest.


Well - it's never good to go to a funeral but we had a good one - if there can be such a thing. I was pleased to take my friend out and buy the beers and have a heart to heart with him today. He, of all the people I know has been sh*t on many times and just makes the best of it. We haven't been seeing eye to eye recently and so today was a good opportunity to resolve that and bury the hatchet which we did I am pleased to say.

The upshot was that I bought the beers all afternoon and that was by design - I'd already told him he wasn't buying anything as he can't afford it. Finally he acceded to my desire. We go back a long way and as at funerals and such things we talked in some (alcohol induced) depth and that was good - we are old friends and needed to clear the air. He doesn't "get me" and sometimes I don't "get him". We understand each other now.

I then bumped into the son of my old next door neighbours who had tragic news - when I asked how his Mum and Dad were he told me that his Dad had died - the last time I had seen him was at the Urology Clinic about 3 or maybe 4 years ago - he was doing the usual Prostate Flow check but his son told me that it was in fact Kidney Cancer that had metastasised that actually caused the problems and that aged just 70 he died of complications from Kidney cancer etc. How bizarre that we had talked about this before my friend had to go home.

I got a lift home from 2nd Daughter L - who picked me up and she drives really well - I was most impressed. Good for her.

Second Day

Well this FOCC - see Steve's explanation for details, is easy enough to follow and I used slightly less quantities to yesterday - a little less than the 6 tablespoons, I used 6 soup spoons which are about 2/3rd of the quantity. It is still quite a bowl full. I added a little milk this time and a little honey which just took the edge off the taste which isn't unpleasant but I guess is more unusual. It reminds me of very thick Muesli I suppose except a lot creamier consistency.

It is encouraging to note that my skin feels warm and soft to the touch and as I said yesterday it feels very much like after I had given up smoking when suddenly you notice these things. It is markedly different but let's not get carried away shall we? It doesn't suit my scientific brain to do that.

I am impressed with the way the Flax Seed Oil disappears into the Cottage Cheese - that's pretty impressive and Steve wisely suggests that you don't do this with motor oil :-)

I have a funeral to go to at midday - one of the Lodge members and I suppose I've known him now for 30 years. In fact when I first met him he was my age! He has had a terrible past 9 years with a fall followed by a stroke, aorta repair and lately stomach cancer. It is terribly sad how the last years of his life were like that. I hope that there will be a good number up at the church for him - I'm sure there will be. I need to get a Taxi there as there are no cars left on the drive - I suppose I could get the push bike out - that would be a laugh. No on second thoughts, I'll get a taxi - I would walk but the lanes are narrow, unsighted and quite dangerous and I'd have to walk the long way which is at least 3 miles if not 4.

I'm quite upbeat about FOCC although it obviously needs to become part of my overall diet and routine. It certainly appears to work for many other people and I just hope that it adds a little something to the overall strategy of looking after myself properly, exercising and doing the best I can to halt / prevent / keep at bay cancer and assist the medical team that way. Even if it is just making you think about or stick to that regime it is a good thing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Absent Minded

Or maybe distracted a bit - it could be I because if just thinking things through. A Funeral tomorrow - I ought to go - it's as difficult as you like to get there but I think I may get a taxi there, attend the funeral and then wander across the road from the Church to a rather nice pub I know and have a few leisurely beers in a lovely Kent country pub. I can get a taxi back or call on one of the girls to pick me up when they've finished whatever they are doing.

I've been pretty good on my diet this week and with the rest of the family disappearing for the Whitsun weekend - I'll be home alone and so can make sure that I just have stuff off of my own list. They tend to occasionally cook me things I don't want and I tend to try and prepare my food myself so that I get enough but not too much.

Next week is a big for the business as our Financial Man will come on over and we will get a view from him about how near we are to being ready to go to Venture Capitalists for funding. We know there are a few areas that need tightening up and completing and we need to get some wok sorted for the next phase too. What's apparent is that those who have seen the work we have put in are mighty impressed. Let's hope, for our sake they are right and we have a real business here and that we aren't barking mad!

I need to get my concentration back as soon as possible so that I can focus on the business tasks and not get so easily distracted. Hopefully I can work out whatever is in my head this weekend and move on from there.

Let's Not Get Carried Away Shall We?

I took my first lot of FOCC this morning and it was OK. I have to say that I've felt my fingers and hands being a little warmer today as if the blood flow had improved and strangely enough my skin feels good too. I haven't felt like this since I gave up smoking - goodness knows how long ago and after two or three weeks the same sorts of sensations - better taste, skin was smooth to the touch. But hey, I could be reading too much into it and it could be a placebo effect or I'm looking for some sort of change.

I did my exercises tonight they were as difficult as usual - no change there but there was when I measured my Blood Pressure. Now when I'm a stone or two lighter than I am now - my blood pressure does come down a bit but tonight's results were a bit strange. So strange that I checked them twice more. I measured 115 over 80 which is amazing considering that I expect to be 130 to 140 over 90 to 95 after exercise.

So once again I could say that FOCC has helped but I'm going to have to go and make sure by continuing to check this out. My goodness if it were to get to around 110 over 80 that would be great - I'd be pleased with that. My GP sees me in a few weeks and it would be good to show improvements in BP.

I did a little read up and it does appear that FOCC, due to the oil, thins the blood so I guess that may be the answer. It recommends that Aspirin isn't taken at the same time (in one place) and guess what I take :-) Will have to see what the GP says in June.

For now though, this is encouraging but not convincing :-)


My first go at Flax Seed Oil and Cottage Cheese appears to have been a success. The recipe is easy to follow and the oil disappears into the cheese rather amazingly and the ground flax seeds certainly give it a flavour all of its own. The oil is slightly strange tasting on its own and not at all like the Linseed Oil that we condition Cricket Bats with or use in painting. It is much lighter. I keep that and the seeds in the fridge to give them a longer life span.

The mixture when complete, and I had to add a teaspoon of honey to flavour it a tiny bit sweeter, is much like cold porridge I guess. Anyway, it wasn't too bad and was unusual - I will wait and see what assistance it may provide me with in the future.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Right here goes

The stuff arrived today - Mrs. F. has turned her nose up at what I've got Flax Seed Oil and Flax Seeds sat in the fridge for. I've explained that it was the advice I got yet the seeds say cool and dry place - so I need to sort that out and check my source.

The cottage cheese is ready, the hand blender, mill and I got lots of different sorts of dried fruits to put in the FOCC mixture. Tomorrow morning I'll be giving that a go and making up a small quantity and see how I get on.

The hope is that by changing my diet I'll be giving myself a slightly better chance of keeping old Mr. Bladder Cancer away and also assisting me in my new diet and exercise campaign. A bit of creative use and I can make it part of everyday living.

I was wiped out today with a heavy work day and so I gave exercise a miss tonight and will go back to it tomorrow.

A week on

And I'm still kind of OK about things. I'm waiting for my stuff to come which includes a load of dietary food including the Flax Seed Oil and Flax Seeds. That will allow me to get onto my proposed new diet in the next couple of days. I'm already on that but last night Mrs. F. fed me up with a load of bits that she saw that I wasn't amused by. Sausages = lovely home made ones but even so - my face must have told a story :-) Anyway - I ate them and just said that I'd sort myself out for food as I'm happy to prepare it and stick to my diet.

Getting back to regular exercise has made me feel quite good and I was also pleased to see that my Blood Pressure is at a reasonable level after sessions. I am hoping that I will get back to it being habitual if at all possible. It is so easy to fall out of this habit.

I say I'm kind of OK because there is a part of me that is a little annoyed, a little disappointed and a little down about the recurrence (if that is what it is). I suppose that's to be expected really it isn't where I thought I'd be. It isn't in my plans and much as I was ready to take a bit of bad news - deep down inside you wish for something different.

I do believe that the truth is that this is all manageable and that I can move on from here. A bit of a knock, a bit of a wobble but I'll just have to live with it and move on. I don't want anything to distract me from building our business as well and I want to be there to move that forward. It's still just out of reach but later today we hope to move things on a fair way towards tying down some of the last bits of detail and then we can finalise the last actions. Typically I'll need to be in Hospital at a critical time but I'm sure that I can think of ways to work around that. I sure hope that they just do a few minor biopsies on me not do what they did to me last time causing me three days in Hospital and beating me up so badly that all the good work I had done in terms of weight, exercise and diet were set back.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well that was interesting

I've started to cut right back on my food intake and don't feel too bad about that - a few pangs of hunger but some fruit sorted that out. I should be on the FOCC come Friday and I've gotten back to doing my exercises on the machine rather thank just walking.

I'm even going to try turning in a little earlier each night and see if that also gets me into these changes. Had a nice chat with a friend who phoned up to see how I was. Not absolutely certain I deserve the accolades about how cheerful I am and how I'm a good example and sort of "fight" this. It's interesting isn't it that from my point of view - I'm making the best of what I've got but I do have a PMA Positive Mental Attitude (most of the time - I falter a lot!). People see it as more than that and in a way if I give the assurance that Cancer isn't a death sentence then perhaps people who may have this later will remember the attitude and spirit.

That was quick

Dates for pre-assessment and operation are in:

8th June for pre-assessment and 20th June for the Operation.

Welcome back to the Roller Coaster.

However, I am planning to make some changes to my lifestyle once again this time I am going to follow a protocol that I was planning to last year. Steve Kelley sums it all up in this informative blog post HERE.

I intend to start this later this week when I get a new grinder and flax seeds and flax seed oil. I too am going to aim to have this for breakfast every day and I am also going to get back into regular exercise not the irregular exercise I have had these past 6 months. It is the end of the Masonic season and so I only have a few meals to go to in the next two months so I can stick to a diet and also ensure that I manage this over the summer period.

I can also get back to salads too.

The addition of FOCC into my diet will, I hope, in combination with a more stirct diet and exercise routine, ensure that I become fitter and give myself more chances to combat whatever else is coming down the line...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A good evening

It was nice to meet everyone yesterday and to be able to deliver a Eulogy for one of the past members of the Lodge. I hadn't realised that it was going to be quite so long but then again he had been at the heart of the Lodge and one of the "Fathers of the Lodge" so losing him was a final break with the earliest days of the foundation of the Lodge back in 1934.

Someone suggested that I send a copy to his widow and so I will sort that out today his funeral is on Friday not far from here. I will make sure I go to this one.

I find it quite interesting to spend more time reassuring people about my condition than I do thinking too much about it myself. It's inconvenient for me to many others it's a frightening thing as they don't understand what it is that they've found and I suppose people fear the worst. Of course it is treatable and it is a tiny area - nothing like the tumour they hooked out the first time.

For me it will be a bit of a worry in terms of what the grade is and whether or not I can get home the same day and what they will then need to do. I don't know how long they'll go at it before it becomes more pragmatic to do something radical - but that's off there in the future. I intend to take some of my own action about this - I'm just undecided on what that should take the form of at the moment. It also comes at a time when I need to be actively sorting things out and at a high intensity in terms of the business - which although we are running about 3 months or more late is nearing the point at which we can go out looking for investors.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Got the prescription - I didn't get around to calling the GP again - however they want me to come in urgently for Blood Pressure test and a review - well that's better than an blood test. I'll make an appointment in that case and go and see them next week - hopefully they'll have an agreeable appointment time for me to go in. Mind you the main thing is that they keep to time - I've waited up to 40 minutes and by then my BP is going through the roof. Should be fun I suppose. I hope I don't get the straight talking GP - I don't like him much. I've never really forgiven him for suggesting that I'd have a general anaesthetic to then have a local procedure and then going to the wire before they gave me some Prosac = which I only needed for the first scope. I also wasn't greatly impressed, as I'd have to wait a few weeks, to be told that it probably was cancer. Yea, I hope I don't get to see him.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ohhh you look fine....

That's because I am fine! Strange conversations - surreal stuff - I spend more time telling people I'm all right and not to worry about me than I do worrying about myself. It is so strange - those who don't know fear the worst - they don't get how - in my case - it is just a matter of getting into Hospital and being run through the production line and spat out the other end with another anomaly found, cut out and sent to the lab.

It's not exactly the way I suppose I should describe it but frankly the Hospitals treat you like a lump of meat that is processed and there's little recognition sometimes that you are a human being or have real feelings. They bung you on the conveyor - you have no control over what happens to you. It's impersonal and not a great experience - I suppose it isn't supposed to be.

I'm absolutely sure that half the people I spoke to tonight thought I was going to die - if not there and then on the spot then horribly in the next few weeks! People are funny :-)

Out Tonight and Tomorrow

At a few Lodge meetings which will be nice. I am off to a nice little meeting tonight and then we have my mother Lodge meeting tomorrow which I am looking forward to except for the heat in the room! It really needs to be air conditioned in this sort of weather. At least there will only be about 15 of us so that's OK - tomorrow might be a bit different as we around the 40 mark in the same room! I shall make sure that I'm well prepared for that.

As for me - well I'm surprisingly chip-per and quite upbeat I guess. I'm not looking forward to going and getting biopsies but there you go - it can't be helped and I suppose that the main thing is that they see what it is and decide what to do about it.

I'm doing some reading and research this weekend to see what I want to do in terms of life style changes. I don't really fancy doing too much but I feel I should make a further effort to move towards and even healthier lifestyle. It's just making sure that I don't do anything stupid along the way and have the wrong effect.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Well that was a day and a half - 07:30 in the morning I kicked off work and I finished about 09:30 in the evening! Two long meetings at the house (thank goodness) and suddenly the business is becoming a living being - at last.

As usual we draw great comfort from the work we have done so far and the approving noises that are made. We need to drill down one last time to one more layer of detail to hone in on the prices and we will be there.

I certainly feel that if I had to have done this up in London and then faced an 1 to 1.5 hour journey back it wouldn't have been as successful as it was.

Anyway - I'm still remarkably cheerful even though I've spent most of the day working :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful

1 2 3.

Well that old song says it all. I'm a cheerful chap normally and now is no exception really. I know people find it quite hard to get it when I've just been given what amounts to bad news and yet there you have the difference between someone who has gone through the mill and had 5 years worth of experience and someone looking in from the outside many of whom, of course, haven't had an experience with cancer or if they have probably know someone who died because of it.

A stoic battle, a brave and courageous fight, resolute to the end and all that stuff - which I am sorry - I don't mean to belittle at all. It is just that I remember my niece saying when she was quite small that she was frightened of going into hospital because people go there to die. Indeed her grandparents and others in her mother's side of the family had and so that was her only experience.

In a way my dealings with cancer are similar, my grandfather died and I wasn't allowed to see him (his request) in the end. Many friends died some in a very short space of time through cancer and so it isn't surprising that those looking at me are feeling somewhat bemused by my good humour and stoical pragmatic approach. Unfortunately for many of them my jokes haven't got any better and so they don't quite get what it is about me being so upbeat for. Sometimes even if I tell them they give me a sideways look. I have lots of messages about "being strong" well I suppose I intend to. The post before sort of alludes to this because of the 5 years of this now. Amazingly it is 5 years this July and around about this time 5 years ago I started my dream job - one I thought would see me through to retirement easily. It was somewhat unfortunate that it didn't - I'd still loved to have been there but as curiosity and serendipity would have it I'm hoping to work with them providing their solution to the new business and one of the guys I used to work for may actually help us in a Joint Venture too so how bad is that?

I have to say the thought of an operation isn't great - I intend to see if I can get an "in and an out" on the same day if possible - I will ask for it - I do hate the experience and after the last time - where I had a terrible, terrible experience - I want to ensure that I never go through that particular experience ever again. I've told my Consultant what I thought about it and will make sure that everyone is aware this time too.

I already can feel a prickle on the back of my left hand where the cannula goes :-( That's the worst bit really - well unless they stick a catheter in which is probably on the same level of hatred. However, it's what needs to happen - I can't stop it, I can't make it go away and I have to go through with it so the die is cast and that's your lot basically. What else are you going to do?

So now - I think it's just got to be what it's got to be and lets get on with it and sort things out as soon as possible. Sure it's inconvenient and all that good stuff but at the end of the day - they'll patch me up, fix me up, dust me off and send me on my way and that will be that. I'll live to fight another day and lots of my friends didn't get that opportunity they didn't get the option. For their sakes as well as my own - I really shouldn't be down or in anyway negative about the situation I'm in. I still get to see my family and friends and that's a big, big positive.

If you don't know

You don't know - so many of my friends are really worried about me but they don't need to be. I've a fair way to go before they have to worry about me :-) If they find this little red spot is cancerous then they can treat it and I can have all sorts of things done. If those don't work then perhaps I'll have to lose the bladder. If that happens - I should still be able to live (and possibly beat my mates at drinking games too!). I'm in a happy place because I don't need to turn up at my doctors in 10 years time to find a huge lump that's metathesized into my body and will end up being really difficult to treat and may hasten my inevitable demise.

I spend quite a bit of time telling everyone that's things are going to be OK - because they will. It's the nature of the beast....

I've said it before that if you actually got to choose your cancer then Bladder Cancer isn't so bad because they keep their eye on you for the rest of your life - if they see anything they sort it out. That can't be bad at all can it?

Maybe my 5 years worth of this stuff is now paying off and I'm like those people I complained about 5 years ago who treated this like it was an everyday occurrence! I couldn't believe the matter of fact attitude then - now I "get it"

It's probably a good thing to be a little frightened about cancer - that's only natural. Those who've never had it find it difficult to understand why I'd be quite so upbeat about having to get this red spot biopsied.

Light of Day

I'm in a good place this morning. Things look fine, life's back to normal (well what we describe as normal in this house) and I'm happy that I've had a good night's sleep and that I can now rationalise where I am.

I'm now thinking about what response I need to make in relation to this news. By that I mean that my medical team are going to do an operation, take biopsies and come up with a plan what they want to do. Likewise, I need to come up with a plan about what I need to do. The trouble with Bladder Cancer is that it can recur and it can be treated but can I do anything, in myself, to stop it? I've changed my lifestyle - but have I changed it enough? Those are the questions I need to ask myself now.

My GP of a few years ago, sadly now no longer at the practice - I got on with him really well - suggested to me that I don't live like a Hermit. That lifestyle changes needed to be balanced. I had managed to flip into the most frugal diet when I should have been eating to repair myself. So I'm going to spend a little time mulling over what I am going to do to take charge of the situation myself.

It isn't as disappointing or upsetting as you may think it is - if you know this disease - you know this can happen but it isn't like when I was diagnosed when it had been growing inside me unknown about and was a major problem when the symptoms arrived. This is a small red patch that they can't identify from a scope - early doors - easy to do something about.

No, I'm OK about this. Other's are having difficulty with it - I do my best to reassure them more that I have to reassure myself.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hiding the disappointment

I'm pretty disappointed but I'm not in a bad place at all. I'm kind of resigned to where I am but I've decided to think about why I've got a recurrence and what I should do about it.

In a way I'm a passenger but I wonder if I should get myself into a different regime once again. I will take a few days to figure things out - a good night's sleep will help and see if my head levels everything out and see what it all looks like in the morning.

Oh Dear

Mmm, well a possible recurrence - they found a small (tiny) red raised area. So I've now got to go in and get a rigid cystoscopy perhaps in a month or so. I'll just have to wait and see what it is and what they are going to do about it.

I'm a little disappointed of course but after all, this is what the check ups are meant to resolve.

So now to just relax a bit - I'm stinging a little as the doctor was poking around a little bit more than usual.

So the journey changes again and once they've worked out what it is (I think we all know what it is) then we'll know what to do about it.

Well here we are

Less than an hour away. I shaved and showered, check list is completed and my bag contains a light dressing gown, water, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, my Kindle (e-Reader) my MP3 player is plugged into earphones and in my ears keeping me breathing nicely. I have my sandals and I'm drinking coffee after a light breakfast and also a pint of water before I go - it's important to be hydrated so I had a few pints of water last night just so I'm ahead of the game today as I need to be passing water through to minimise the effects of the scope.

It's a 20 minute walk from here - but I will allow 30 minutes and take it easy. a 9:15 appointment probably means it is the first one so if I get there a few minutes early it may make things easier for them and for me.

I have enough things to read or listen to if I am delayed. I feel a little heightened and a little stressy - not surprising I suppose. It is a lovely day outside and I need to remind myself that not everyone is as lucky as I am to be on the other side and being checked.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Long to go Now


I've been out tonight and had a couple of beers with the lads. It is the last night of Lodge of Instruction and the next one isn't until 26th September (I think). Our last Lodge meeting is Saturday and that's us done until November!

I'm pottering around at the moment, have sorted out some drink to take with me to Hospital. Will also drink a few pints of water before bed - I want to be well hydrated tomorrow so as to ensure that I can give a sample on arrival and also to make sure that I pee a lot during the day after the procedure. You need to do this to sort of get over the cystoscopy.

I'm feeling neutral at the moment, perhaps a little nervy but not as bad as I was earlier today.

I really hope for a good outcome and these days I'm not going for the negative vibes before going in. I used to do that because then I'd be ready for anything. But - who am I kidding doing that now? Sure - I will be devastated if it isn't good news but - I'll have to roll with that.

I have a lot of issues about having had cancer and that is the worry that perhaps I'll get some other form of it or this will come back and "get me". Anyway - I'll see how I get on tomorrow - I hope that I'll be fine and also hope that things will be OK again. I'm half committed to not doing any work tomorrow as a sort of reward - I'll see how I am on my return.

Not much better

I think it's OK to be on edge a bit before heading off for Judgement Day. I'm definitely distracted and my mind is wandering off a fair bit as I'm trying to work.

I've written my list of things to do ready for tomorrow. I've had another bizarre call with the GPs today. They don't know quite what the note on my prescription form was all about I need to call back tomorrow (no chance of that) or perhaps Wednesday to find out what they want! It couldn't have been mega urgent then - they thought it might be a call to come in and see the nurse or some such thing. Ho hum.

It's been another bad week - had another 2 deaths this week one an old member of the Lodge and one the wife of a deceased member. There just appears to be one after the other this month - I think it is 3 this month, 2 last month and well January was just awful!

Anyway - it looks as if I'll be fretful all the way up to the Peek and Poke tomorrow. Let's hope that works out OK and I can get my head back in gear!

Wobbly Moments

Well - it's 24 hours to Judgement Hour of Judgement Day and so it isn't surprising that some nerves will kick in. I've also to ring the GPs today and see what this strange note on my repeat prescription means. There is a note on my repeat which I got in March I suppose - that says Review Appointment to be made no later than the 22/1/2011. Even I can't make time stand on its head like that :-) Pretty impressive if they can.

We had a nice day out on Sunday at the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells - a really pleasant lunchtime event and Flocky Bicep chose a really nice bottle of Red Wine which just hit the mark.

Today is one of those funny days - I can feel I am on edge and a little stressy - but not much - it's just bubbling underneath enough to notice and enough to be a little distracting.

Anyway - this time tomorrow I'll know what the results will be. I had a terrible night's sleep though - it took hours to drop off then I had the most awful dreams and feel a little exhausted this morning to add to the rest of it - I expect that it will be the same tonight.

I suppose everyone goes through this doubting, worrying phase just before. I know that it will "be what it will be" but even so, the fear and the little voice in the back of your head is of a recurrence....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nice Day

We went over to see A's Gallery where she is an intern. She has been allowed to put her own work in the gallery and has 3 photographs. Flocky Bicep - bless him - also came along. It was opening day and it looked quite nice. Amy's photographs look really good in a gallery situation and her web site is coming along nicely. We had to laugh at her blog site as she hadn't used a spell checker which was quite funny.

Tomorrow we are off to a lunch at a rather nice Hotel - we hope it will be an improvement on last year's lunch.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

So how does that work then?

I arranged by email for my appointment to be at 10:30 on the 24th May - I didn't want the 20th as I was due out the next day and was being a bit risk averse. So I got the letter yesterday for an appointment at 09:15 on the 17th May - next Tuesday! It doesn't worry me that much and at least it will be out of the way quicker this way. I dropped them a note acknowledging the change and letting them know about my sample - normally they want 2 weeks clear to sort that out!

So this time next week I'll know the results. Cool. I'm not as worried about things as I used to be but I guess that is because I don't need to be put out for an operation to take biopsies. I'm also, in a way quite glad that they pronounce their opinion there and then rather than having to wait weeks to find out what is going on like before, you tend to get told straight away what is happening and that means no waiting and worrying. I've also got to a stage now where - it will be what it will be - there's nothing I can do at the moment (other than the usual no smoking, diet and all that good stuff) I can do about it and if it is clear it will be great - if not - well - it will be disappointing but they can do something about it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Head Freeze

Wow - I've been doing some figure work today and my head is about to stop working :-) Loads and loads of figures to do with the population in the UK distributed by postcode and then working out market opportunity by postcode and then knocking out commission tables and all sorts of other stats. That was this afternoon - in the morning I worked on centralising the statistics for the business into a "single version of the truth".

It's all happening like crazy at the moment which I suppose is good - I need to be in about three places at once but that's not such a bad thing :-)

Off for a beer with my old school chums tonight so looking forward to that.

Monday, May 09, 2011

A quieter week

Thank goodness for a quieter week this week. Sometimes you get weeks like the last one - there were only 4 working days and I felt as if I had been going for a fortnight, got that rotten cold but mercifully it all but disappeared on Saturday. I slept it off I think. Went to see A's exhibition which was OK but I get some modern art but some of the other things you see don't make any sense whatsoever. Mind you, I have a high regard for creative people - I am creative in a way but these guys get some amazing ideas - massive lateral thinking and then they execute on that.

Our designers are just great as they can take an idea and turn it into images and words that I'd not think about for ages.

My business partner is due over this morning and we can set our week up as we need to press on and make some serious progress.

I note I'm not concentrating much on the blog or much else these days but - that's just the way it has to be with so much going on. I did manage to get my cytology urine sample into the Hospital on Saturday rather than the due date tomorrow and so Judgement Day is 15 days away now.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Getting better

Thank goodness - I had a good night's sleep and then this morning felt a lot better. Did my Urine Cytology test and dropped that off to the Hospital, watched qualifying for F1 and then had a long sleep in the afternoon and that appears to have done me good apart from it's 00:45 and I really should be in bed!

I watched a few DVDs tonight - a couple of favourites, Fearless (Jet Li) and Memento. Both are really interesting films. Memento really screws with your head - just how I like my films.

I'm sneezing away still but at least the blocked nose is now gone.

I had a bit of a flash back to a chat I had with an old friend a few years back when we were reminiscing about how long we'd known each other and I'm guessing it was pretty soon after I was first diagnosed. I reckoned that all the grand ideas I had about changing the world were probably unfulfilled - I sort of felt like that back then - and she said that there was still time to make your mark and to change the world and that it was never too late. I recollect those words now because it's really interesting that someone mentioned to me that what we were doing was game changing, scene changing, something completely new. I hope that others too think that this is true and will come on the journey with us because if we do get it right, it will change the world but I'm aiming at making just one or two people's lives better first. It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness as the saying goes..

Saturday, May 07, 2011

I hate having a cold

I really do - and I'm all blocked up and heady and now need my bed but am just so uncomfortable lying down with all this congestion. I read Jeanne's blog again tonight about her decision to stop taking treatment. That's pretty brave - she isn't commenting too much about it at the moment but to me, in a way, I can see the logic of it quite plainly. Having had a series of treatments I can only say that if I were to get them again, which is likely, I'd do it because I'm still fit and pretty healthy and whilst they shook me to my core and tested my mettle, I knew that they were highly likely to do the trick and sort me out. They did, it wasn't pleasant but if you know that it's working then you can tolerate it.

I imagine when you aren't feeling the benefit or the treatment is worse than having the disease itself you will think differently about such things. I'm certain that must be the case.

I'd better toddle off to bed and see how I am in the morning, I've already split my lip with the sneezing and made my nose bleed so goodness knows what I'll be like tomorrow. The Turkish Grand Prix is on so I will be happy to see that - we are expecting a small heatwave but also with that major storms in isolated areas so the weekend looks like it could be fun.

The country has voted to keep the status quo and the old voting system - the same one as returned Bush to the US even though he had less of the overall vote. We could have changed that but somehow the willingness wasn't there. Badly marketed if you ask me - but you didn't :-)

Business seemed to get a real kick in the pants this week - I hope to be up for doing some work this weekend to record all the things I managed to do this week.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Make of it what you will

A post from Jeanne HERE starts my morning off thinking about what it takes to make this sort of decision. I have no problem with the decision made. I've heard about it and thought about it but wondered how I'd make that decision.

You can understand it if you were always having treatment and always having stuff stuck into you and forever in and out of hospital and always having some sort of trouble. After a while there has to be a point when you want to stop the world spinning as you want to get off.

As I said, it isn't a matter of debate, it's a matter of fact and a brave thing to do but also, you can see a point where you come to that decision. I imagine as you arrive there is a double edged sword, you feel suddenly at peace and at the same time it allows a level of closure, composure and order to be brought into what is left of your life.

Is it a cold?

I feel like poo - have felt bad since late last night and couldn't work out what it is - I bet someone gave me this cold on the train or tube! Bugger it, I'm sneezing away and have a sore throat and had to carry much of that through the meeting today! It was a pleasant affair but where did the rain come from? We were meant to have another sunny day and when I got to London it was tipping it down!

It is A's Exhibition - starting tomorrow and she has also just launched her web site which looks quite good so far. She is beginning to put some of her work on there as an online portfolio. She has her Exhibition work up there already. I can see that she will be busy building her brand and making it a good portfolio site. Her exhibition runs for the next three days so we plan to go along on Sunday to see it and lend our support. She tells me that she should be OK to pass to year 3 of her course as she hasn't had any bad news about this project and exhibition so that probably means that things are on course to be good for her.

L goes off tomorrow to Cambridge to see a Uni there and have a look around. Bless her, she cannot get into teaching, they have thousands of candidates for very few places but it appears that her favourites subject being maths there are courses that can combine her business and maths. Whilst she is up there she will be seeing her boyfriend too - interesting!

I can get back to doing some work tomorrow - I seem to have been out every day this week but not to have achieved a great deal!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

May the Force

Be with you or as it is May the 4th, May the 4th be with you.......

OK a cheap shot but you deserve it :-)

So Awareness day - great here it is http://www.bcan.org/take-action/awareness/ and great it is a US thing. Well actually - as I told them years ago - Bladder Cancer doesn't just thwack US citizens - it's world wide! Yep, it is!

So just maybe one day we'll work out that the bigger picture is the one to look at.

I still like the Tee-Shirt "F**k Advocacy - find a cure!!!"

Anyway - every little helps I suppose.

Judgement Day is now

24th May at 10:30 which is good - gets it out of the way - I was going to go for the 20th but I have a meeting the next day and wanted to make sure I could go just in case something happened.

They are pretty good at getting back to me and giving me flexibility of dates. Will have to see how it goes this time and let's hope that it is a clear and lets me move to a six month routine...

Glad it is sorted though - I should have had it done by now.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

So - What a Day

What a long old day that was - home at 09:30 pm thanks to Mrs. F. who came and picked me up.

Missed out on lunch so ended up grabbing a burger at the Hotel - which was pricey but I needed something. I walked from Charing Cross to Holborn and then from Holborn to Baker Street and did a little circuit around Marylebone where I used to work. Then we had a good couple of hours meeting and I wound my way home - very good meeting and another early tomorrow. This week is going to be full on in terms of work and play being out again all day Wednesday and most of Thursday.

I'm feeling OK about that and I also need to get back to working on my weight again which with this sedentary lifestyle has started to come on again. Not sure how far I walked today but I'd guess around 5 miles including the walk to the station at this end. It was a lovely day though and walking through London and around some of the back streets of the the West End is a very pleasant way to spend the day.

I've just dropped a reminder off to the Hospital to see when they want to see me for a peek and a poke. It's strange - I don't look forward to it but at the same time - getting the reassurance or not as the case maybe is also important as I tend to think any ailment I have these days is potentially cancer. That's a bit of the territory I guess.

I'm feeling charged though right now - really exciting times, people are talking to us now about what we are doing and we are getting some impetus and some traction. We have a team being built which is good and we need to move things on a bit in the next few weeks. I feel a blitz like state coming on for a month or two to get us shifting along.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


I have often mentioned that the one highly notable result of having had cancer is this propensity to have highly emotional reactions to a number of situations. I find myself keeping in check a lot. For an example, I've cited the Bambi moment before as bringing me close to breaking down and stupid things seem to do this to me but here are two moments, quite far apart where I had to try hard to control myself.

The film "The Passion of the Christ" I watched for the first time last week - it was the most devastating portrayal of the Passion I have ever seen and stirred huge emotions. If you've seen it, then you probably felt the same? The scourging was absolutely awful and for once - and I don't know how he did it, it felt like you were not watching but you were sharing the pain. It was late a night I was on my own, I was moved and I was in bits. Films do this to me if I am into them and I think it was very much the shock of this film. However, I can be like this with Amelie, Schindler's List and many other films. So what you may say?

Then there's stuff like the Royal Wedding. I didn't watch it as I found myself moved by that too. It wasn't just the ceremony it was the people who were out in force and it was because they were engaged in something special, it was a moving time for them and special.

And here's the problem - it's about the experience, the moment and the enjoyment, its about the tragedy and the moment, and the time and the humanity of it and its about something I no longer have but have great empathy with. I came so close to losing it all that seeing others less fortunate than myself or losing upsets me, seeing a recurrence is also a set back, seeing people enjoy themselves and enjoy a moment, share an experience is also important as what is survival all about if not that.

Then there's the potential that surviving isn't all about what you thought it might be but life being precious is.

I'll stop there - I need to as it isn't making logic or sense but then, I've found out that this the way of it, it's the way it is and I have to live with it for now.