Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And now I do feel bad

My brother sounded quite shaken on the phone and I can see why. I'm quite shaken up myself - I didn't think I'd be because I'd prepared myself for this. It's a fact that we all have to go but it is also a fact that we would rather go on our own terms.

Pancreatic Cancer - 10 months if he has the operation 6 months if he doesn't. It's slow growing in someone his age but even so, 6 months is no time at all is it? In younger people it is more aggressive as I recollect from some of the people I know who have had it.

I'm shocked and yet I knew this was coming - I suppose hearing it and how upset my brother was didn't really help things that much.

I might be feeling a little uneasy

But I'm sure my parents are going through purgatory and my brother probably is too as they meet the expert team discussing Dad's Pancreatic Cancer. I'm powerless to do anything as are we all of course. I must stop myself living it for him too - it will undoubtedly not be good for me.

I said a long time ago that your disease is yours and although you get support it's really only you who has the mental and physical battles. Anticipating what it will be like, how you'll feel, how others will feel and so on make for an interesting combination.

We all want to go to heaven but nobody wants to die - but we're all going to and that's the thing. Can you do anything about it? Not really, just come to terms with it and understand that is what is going to happen. You just hope it isn't too soon!

Well it wont be long now until I hear what the experts have to say. I suppose it will be all the obvious questions that Dad will have to ask and I do hope they've written them down as I told them to. These are important but they do have a local nurse who is able to answer any questions they've forgotten or that may arise.

I wouldn't want to be sitting in on today's meeting at all. I feel bad just typing this.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tomorrow's The Day

Dad will get his discussion with the medical team and will find out the situation about his Pancreatic Cancer. It's early stage, that's good, it's Pancreatic which isn't quite so good and he's coming up 81 which makes things a little difficult and therefore subject to the "quality of life" discussions.

I'm trying not to sound blasé about it - it isn't, after all, a subject to be blasé about now really. I'm sort of hopeful that because it is early that they can give him something to slow things down and that he'll have some sort of opportunity to spend some time in doing things whilst he is able. I'm in some doubt about it myself, I know enough about Pancreatic to be dangerous and so decided not to go up and sit in on the meeting tomorrow. What good could I, a survivor, actually do when I can't imagine that there's going to be that opportunity given to him.

No matter what happens tomorrow, it will be a shock and it will be traumatic. I've to wait for the call in the late afternoon (I guess). My brother takes these things badly. I seem to have come over all calm and OK about it but I'm on the edge, I can feel it and I'm not sure how I'll react. I know what's coming and I think I know how I'm going to deal with it and yet, somehow, I'm struggling because of my own experience. I'm bordering on the edge, I can feel that and I think that it may change things. I've never been close to my father and that's because I'm very much like him. I'm sure he too has a similar psychometric profile to me. We don't do relationships very well and we have a number of other traits that may be perceived as being quite cold and almost ruthless but we aren't really.

I see a lot of myself in him except for some areas and I'm wondering if things will change and we will get a little closer, either through shared experience or through talking a little more deeply than we normally do. He is a very private person and I'm probably not quite as bad as that.

Anyway, it will soon be tomorrow and we will find out the prognosis and I guess the amount of time left - there I've said it!! Everyone dies of course and it wouldn't be the best choice of a way to go but it happens to us all. I've been lucky in a way that I've done a bit of path-finding for the family in terms of cancer treatments. I can only imagine what is going through my dad's mind as he lost both his parents to cancer. The trouble is, I can't be there for him or share my experience with him in its entirety and I don't suppose he'd want me to either. He's made one key decision and has to make some more in the next week or two. As I remind my brother and my mum, it is his life and he must decide what he is comfortable with. We have to accept his decision (whatever it may be) and we need to provide whatever support he needs. It will of course be hard on Mum and my brother too as he is quite sensitive to this sort of thing. He made a lot of fuss of me being ill and worrying but not enough to drive the 2 1/2 hours to see me of course :-) Sorry being a little bit wicked with that statement :-)

Let's hope it doesn't pull us apart - I could do without that.

Bladder Cancer Podcast

This may be interesting - it is almost 14 minutes long and it explains Bladder Cancer, Symptoms, Treatment etc.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dilemma in the making

My folks live a long way away from me. Sure I could drive there and back in a day but the journey isn't particularly nice. It takes you around the largest car park in the world (or part of the 125 miles that is known as the M25). Then the M11 which isn't too bad a road if it is quiet. It doesn't need much for it not to be. Then at the end of the M11 there is still as much time to drive although nowhere near the distance to get to them. So it could easily be 2 1/2 hours and often 3. That would mean me driving for 6 hours roughly as I'd be held up somewhere or other. of course L is going to Cambridge so I can perhaps fit some sort of double visit in but then you need to add a hotel stop on to that.

I'm not saying I don't want to but it obliterates a day entirely or two to make it a reasonable length of visit. We will go up in a couple of weeks time to see them as we are already heading up north beyond them. It means coughing for hotels rooms but I'm not really worried about that. I'm just sort of stuck about how often I can visit my dad. I think they used to go and see my granddad a lot in Hospital but I think that was once a week. I used to go when I was nearby up in London but got banned after granddad got to a point where he didn't want us to remember him how he ended up. I can understand that too.

It's at times like this I question why the moved away from here. Here where I could have seen them even in the evening and just driven down for an hour or two. But they moved away as did my brother and it kind of leaves me in a position where I feel a little bit bad about not being there to help out or visit. It sure is a quandary - what to do for the best.

As I said in the blog sometime ago I was a little bit annoyed when I finally calculated that my parents hadn't been down to see me whilst I was ill. Having said that, I've a feeling they must have come down for a day for some reason as they've sat in my comfortable chair that I bought just after I was ill. I wonder if they came down for a day with my brother. I think they probably did and dashed back home because of my brother's dogs. Mind you I might be imagining that as it certainly feels like a long time ago they were here. So, with the proviso that they might have made a visit in the past 5 years it still makes me wonder what I'm expected to do now that Dad's ill?

The thing is that I have to wake up to the fact that this will very probably be the cause of his death at some time in the future and maybe we will find out some more detail on Wednesday. It isn't going to be good news and I suppose they'll give him a series of options and we will just have to live with that. I'm sure he will set some rules and put them in place and things will be what they will be. I'm certain that it will just even out and I'll just have to make the adjustments I need to make and do what I need to do at the time. Now I feel helpless and have no idea what to say about it. Not sure what to say when we meet in a few weeks but that will just be another awkward moment that cancer brings about all too regularly.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

All quiet - thank goodness

Spoke to mum and things are settled at home - dad's feeling well enough to drive again so they will give that a try later in the week and drive into town. It's a strange thing but he feels well and now they've put the stent in and things are operating as normally as they can, he's getting around without his stick and he's got energy and appetite back. It sort of explains why he wasn't at all with it when I went to see him some time back. I'm hoping to get up there in September and see him. Once the specialists have told him what's going to happen - I'll need to work out what I'm going to do in terms of going to see him when I can.

The trouble is of course that I've got my own commitments too and so I need to work out that side of the equation as well.


The laptop has taken all of its updates without a problem and I've cleaned out all those annoying bars that now come with software these days. What a damn nuisance - I can spot them when installing but also noticed that the virus and malware checkers also spot them so I can kill them off when needs be.

I really do hope we can get out backing as we can do away with all this utter nonsense you have to go through. I guess it has taken me the best part of 8 hours to sort this new laptop out. I've probably done more than the average user - like backed it all up, got recovery disks and recovery driver disks, password recovery (from last time) and I've upgraded everything from the BIOS to the office productivity software with their latest patches and upgrades. How a mere mortal is meant to know they are supposed to do this is beyond me. Mrs. F. has just been upgrading Firefox and its asked her questions about add-ins, compatibility and all sorts which she has no idea what it means.

Spoke to the parents this morning - all seems calm and so I'm pleased about that. Big day on Wednesday when they find out more.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

One Leaves the Other Appears

My daughters that is L is in Tenerife, A has just arrived back from Edinburgh and I am sitting at my PC with the new laptop going through the usual setup routines and booting and rebooting, uploading, downloading and generally doing much what I did a week ago. It's Deja Vu all over again....

I'm greeted with a label urging me to back up the system - I don't need a prod I understand this but I just love that the reasons I should do this are:

Causes of Data Loss:

56% Hardware & System problems

30 % Human error and computer viruses

9% Software corruption or program problems.

So what are the other reasons - that isn't 100% :-)

This is like saying that the new car you bought only has a 5% of working properly! It's amazing that we have to put up with this.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Damn PC

So it went back to the shop today to get the money back and interestingly they tried it out and verified my diagnosis... It's taken the best part of 24 hours of my life that damn machine. Setting it up, backing it up, setting all the scanners and stuff up, then downloading all the updates (hundreds of them) to repair the flaky software and then it blue screened then the password trouble (now known to be the shift key issue) and then resetting it all back to factory default all to find it was a fault with the machine. How any ordinary Joe would manage to do this is beyond me. I supposedly know what I am doing and I have to say the last two weeks of broken PCs has convinced me that there just has to be another way.

We've got our money back and now invested in another make of PC altogether - I've already got one by them and hopefully it will be the answer and provide L with a laptop that will last through her University education. Incidentally she is just about to fly off to Tenerife in a few hours with her friend - her first holiday on her own. I hope she has a good time and enjoys herself.

My business partner is on his way over and we are going to catch up on where we are and plan the remainder of our work. It's been the hardest work and yet somehow enjoyable to see it all coming together.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How can this be?

L's new PC doesn't work properly - it appears that the problem may be an intermittent fault with the keyboard. All that time I've spent on it was down to the fact that the Shift keys are buggered. Add in all the hours of backing the sodding thing up to start with, making recovery disks, uploading all the latest software and hundreds of updates and the damn thing has just bombed out on me. So what I now have to do is take it all the way back to its original configuration and start again. This is why we set up Doddle in the first place so no one would ever have this nightmare.

Talking of which we enter the hardest part of all - we are so close we can taste it but cannot quite fix the final words, diagrams and figures into the final document. We've all the right words but not necessarily in the right order.

I am beginning to feel a lot fitter now and my back pain is all but gone. I will slowly get back to exercise over the weekend - it's a real nuisance being injured as you just daren't go and injure yourself further.

Bank holiday weekend coming up and so a curry and beer might be in order tomorrow :-)

Mmm - facing up to the inevitable

It isn't easy is it? Dad's got Pancreatic Cancer. It's early stage and it hasn't spread. The operation is an ordeal that, frankly, a younger person would struggle with and so that's been discounted. My brother needs to get his head around this. I think I understand the thinking behind it myself and I can see that the decision will inevitably lead to a different course that now needs to be run.

It isn't an easy decision and yet it is in so many ways. I'm not sure if I'm being strong and helpful or bloody minded and hard but I'm doing the "voice of reason and logic" at this end. I've not suggested anything nor have I advised or pushed for anything. That isn't my job at the moment, I've got to be supportive and a good sounding board because whilst it's all personal and emotional, the decisions made need to be based on firm understanding and knowledge of what they mean.

I think it is not going to be an easy few weeks until we hear what the specialists say and then that sinks in. It's not an easy cancer to deal with and the outlook isn't great.

I'll no doubt talk to them about diet and things once they've had the discussions themselves. At the moment, eating and everything else is just fine in fact he's probably felt better now than he has for well over a year.

I feel a bit bad now that it was illness that made my last visit to see him such a misery for me. Now I understand that, I kind of feel a bit bad for being upset by it.

As for me, I'm beginning to take it in a bit now. I had some terrible nights early on when I knew he was ill mainly because of his hatred of Hospitals etc and I knew it would freak him - well luckily he's done OK there and so that's good. He knows he has to go in and have the stent removed and a new stainless steel one inserted. That will keep him as well as he can be in one area. I'm hopeful that whatever route he chooses it will be right for him. I'm not looking forward to the next months and year(s) at all but everyone dies eventually. Mum's pretty cut up about it of course as is my brother and we will just have to work it out as we go I suppose.

Dad seemed to be accepting what was going on and needing to know more about it which I hope next week's meeting will resolve.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

That was an awkward moment

Spoke to my Dad. Danced around and sort of half laughed at the seriousness of his situation. I think he wanted "my blessing" that he wasn't going to go through the major operation that would be needed to potentially sort things out. I think my brother thought it wasn't the right thing to do but I guess I'm a bit more pragmatic about it than that. The operation for Pancreatic Cancer is a pretty heavy one even for a young man. Steve Jobs had it done and you can see that whilst it can be effective in an 80 going on 81 year old man what exactly would it do?

It's a Quality of Life thing if you ask me. But it took me back a bit as I wasn't expecting to talk to Dad at all for a few weeks but he appears to have bounced up and is putting a little weight back on and isn't stumbling over any more and his mind is back - he was very worried about losing that. In fact we noticed that to start with.

So it's put me in the tiniest little tail spin.

On the big upside - a good friend got his results today and they are all OK so that's good. Very pleased for him too. It's all the hanging about and worry that you could do without...

As a final whinge today, the brand new PC we have just decided not to take the password we set for it and I've had to go in and do a registry hack to change it. It's cost me another 3 hours that I didn't want to lose! Crazy - it did this after it updated itself. Crazy.....

Ramping up

Even more now as we get right into the guts of the business plan and the ideas come together and the plan begins to fill up with content. It takes some time to do small parts of the document, like the area I've just done showing share ownership and the changes in that over a period of time. Somehow you need to illustrate this n a useful and meaningful way - not easy as some of this stuff is pretty dry in terms of what you can say about it and we don't want to be stating the obvious.

On top of that it's been a pretty disruptive day all around and I've just been tide to my desk. The TV man came and replaced the set top box which is great because it has an optical output which is now plugged into my surround sound system :-) So Grand Prix racing is going to sound great on it as do films - I've tried it out a little but it is late and so don't want to wind the sound up too much. The sub-woofer makes a pretty good rumble though and so I'm looking forward to trying that out in anger later on.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to business and my head hurts

I was working with an old friend this morning who wants me to get involved in a deal with him that would be a pretty useful little sideline to what I'm doing now. Crazy isn't it, nothing comes along for ages and then, just when your doing well in your own thing, along comes another that I really ought to get involved in mainly because it would help out my friend and who knows, there may be something interesting at the end of it too.

Then I started working on the valuation of our business and the share distributions, dilution and so on. I've been building a series of models that allow us to model potential scenarios in that area.

Then my head decided it was about to explode so I stopped :-) Thank goodness for that!

Then the TV Set Top Box decided to die so that needs to be fixed in the morning. It looks like we are going to get a good old summer storm tonight with 50mm of rain (2") predicted it should be a hairy old night!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

That's reassuring then

Spoke to mum this morning and I could hear dad in the background being, dad! Mucking about, firing off one line jokes and all that. So that's good. A couple of days and they're over the shock part and I guess realising that they not going to know until 31st August what it all means and what to do about it so no need to worry on that front.

Dad appears to have got his balance back (or mostly) and his mind back which he was worried about. This really does interest me because I was pretty put out that he sort of ignored me last time we went to see him - he wasn't his normal self and he appeared to be more interested in the TV than me. Well it looks as if that was also part of this too. I remember being pretty put out at the time but in hindsight I can see that's wrong on my part.

Nobody else saw it because it was gradual. Me - well I saw it because I hadn't seen them in perhaps 6 months.

Anyway - it appears that things are settled a bit for the moment. The 31st will be a stressful time I'm sure. I'll be seeing if I can get up there sometime in September to see them.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mary Archer's Bladder Cancer

In the Telegraph today - Jeffrey Archer's wife Mary has a new bladder to combat the disease. It is an interesting story but the words used by journalists are still - well emotive perhaps?:

  • "Battle With Cancer"
  • "It is a formidable operation for the surgeon, let alone the patient."
  • "decided to describe their ordeal to inspire other sufferers of the disease"

It does show what a wonderful job they can do though for more advanced stages of the disease - thank goodness that I didn't need that although there was a phrase mentioning "exhaustive chemotherapy" which I can see in this case would not be a real option and this procedure gives hope for us all. It is a little different in the case of males as it also involves radical work on the Prostate (I think) which has its own side effects.

The Pursuit of Happiness

It occurred to me that one of the strange things about life is that you sometimes don't appreciate what you have. For example, L is in Cambridge, she's found her accommodation, she's making plans, she's getting to meet people, wander around where she will live for the next 3 years. She is SO excited and I know, just because of her personality, she will have the time of her life. It's what I said to her. You will look back on this time as the most fantastic time that you will ever have had. You'll be young, at the peak of your energy levels and you'll be with lots of people, some of whom, will be your friends for life. I didn't go to University, so how do I know this? Well, my friends that did go and our friend's children are changed forever by the experience.

I always regret not going but I don't blame the system that stopped me. In all probability, I wouldn't have the life I have now so it's academic (or isn't). What I then thought about is some of the people I've met in my journey. I've climbed the greasy pole, I've had great roles where I've managed massive change projects and indirectly affected millions. Sounds great doesn't it but does it make me happy? I have a smug regard for the good things I've done but when I worked at the Charity it taught me another angle. I could use my ill gotten skills for good :-) The stuff I learnt fighting my way to the top could be leveraged to "do good" and suddenly, work meant a different thing. Most of the people I worked with did great things and they did it for very little money and yet they appeared to be quite happy in general (of course everyone has a moan every now and then). What I mean by this is that they had a simple, happy life. They didn't need to think about too much, money was important but wasn't everything. They invariably had a strong family life and they just seemed to enjoy themselves and be 'happy with their lot'.

I'm sure that if you'd push them to be more ambitious and to get on and climb the greasy pole etc that they would but they were just happy where they were, doing what they did and doing it compassionately and happily. Work life was (in my eyes) drudgery and not exciting at all, there weren't difficult challenges and there were very few 'dramas' happening. For me I have to have the excitement, the challenge and the deadline - it's the the thing that I have always had - but am I happy?

Yes I'm happy but actually I do have a hankering for just doing a simple job and then ramping up my social life. I've often felt that a job that was local, somewhere in the country or near the sea would be lovely. Arriving home in time to sit down outside, look out over a fine Vista with a glass of wine. Having enough money to have friends around for get togethers and the like, wandering in to a local pub, having a beer or two and being one of the locals. All those things have a certain attraction for me. But the people I worked with had little but appeared to be happy with their life without all the things that make my life buzz along.

I'd like to think that the girls will have a happy life if at all possible. This current atmosphere of greed and the pursuit of more and more goods and consumables doesn't help to set the scene and it doesn't actively engage the whole of society. It drives a wedge between the haves and the have nots which actively exposes the disparity in our society and splits us. Perhaps we will all wake up at some time in the future to the ugly face of capitalism - I saw a picture of Victoria Beckham with an £18,000 hand bag. Some people don't make that sort of money in a year. At some point in time surely we might have an outbreak of sense somewhere?

If I can borrow from our American Cousins the phrase Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness set down in the United States Declaration of Independence. I think it would be nice to have a simple straightforward set of rules like this in the UK. Sure we have the Constitution, Magna Carta but I doubt that anyone else could quote from that. I doubt we'd be allowed to bear arms though :-) We are dangerous enough without that :-)

So as I see L being SO excited and SO pleased to have got the place at University and just turned 18, I see all the hope and wonder that we set out with at that age and I hope that that is what she gets. She is a very funny girl with a great sense of humour (and an opposite nasty side if you do ever upset her and go past tolerance level) so all bodes well and I'm proud and envious all at the same time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Curry Club

Off for a meeting of the Curry Club. 17 of us and I've decided to drive tonight and not to have a beer. It does me good not to occasionally - I have a few left over from last week in the Fridge so can have one when I get home if I'm desperate.

We only have a couple a year - it will be a good turnout with 17 of us there and will be nice to catch up with all my mates. I'll also be able to give the Jag a run out - I've hardly driven it this past year - so it will be fun to have a little drive around :-)

My back is almost back to normal and I hope to restart exercising next Monday - I actually miss it and was most annoyed about it early on but a few days off and a curry tonight wont go amiss.

Reflections on Dad's Cancer

Sooner or later we all have to come to terms with stuff happening to our parents. It's that sort of time of life when that's what happens - my friends have all gone through something like this. So now it's coming around to us and it's not a good time at the moment of course.

I'm pretty cold about it at the moment - we aren't going to know more until the 31st August and so I can't do much about it. I'd love to stick my oar in and get some FOCC going for Dad but it isn't my place to do that at this particular time. I may suggest it after we hear what is going on. It sort of sounds as if they will offer treatment but not an operation - not surprisingly you need to be young enough to handle the severity of it.

I was more upset when I first heard what he had - it's a precursor to Pancreatic Cancer (Jaundice) yet he had none of the other side effects. The upshot is that it is early days and that QOL can be provided. The downside is that it isn't a 'good' cancer to get - it has a pretty bad prognosis and Dad's indicated that he isn't up to fighting it.... His wishes must be obeyed but I think I'll explain some alternatives that I know of.

You know my take on it that it is all about living, you do everything you can to achieve it. Let's hope that he gets his head into gear and decides to take this route. But I have to respect his decision whatever it may be.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oops - upset my brother

Come to look back on it, Mum was pretty matter of fact and told me what was going on and then said talk to my brother. So T has all the details and the nurse didn't know what stage (other than early) or much else really. We know there is no tumour and we know that at 80 going on 81 the full operation just isn't on the table for Quality of Life (QOL) reasons.

The next appointment is 31st August and so we hope to find out what will be on the table at that point in time. It's a long way off isn't it? They aren't exactly rushing and so that is a partly good sign I guess. However, as I said to my brother the problems are that, generally speaking, all the cancer patients I knew had a worse time during the treatment than they did from the cancer which, strangely enough, wasn't painful or even noticeable in my case. The treatment was the thing and then I realised that T wasn't really as with it as he made out.

Of course everyone is upset and I probably did my worrying 3 or 4 weeks back with a general lack of sleep and worry about my Dad. He's obviously upset and Mum and T need to come to terms with it. I already have and in a way I'm being very matter of fact about it because how else can you be? I suppose me saying to T that everyone has to die didn't help the conversation along too well now I come to reflect on it but he should know me by now. I've a healthy regard for being alive these days.

However, Pancreatic Cancer does command some attention with only 5% of those diagnosed making 5 years. That figure has been like that for years - it's a difficult one to tackle and so Dad's options are somewhat limited and the 31st will provide the answers. T invited me to go up for the day but I really don't want to do that - it probably isn't right that I do at that time and I'm not sure what, if any, value I'd be.

I'll get up and see them in a few weeks anyway as I am due to go up north and it will be a good opportunity to see them and to carry on to my cousin's birthday party.

So Dad's got Cancer

Not sure what sort of Cancer it actually is yet - they just gave the results and he has to go to the big Hospital an hour or so away to meet a team who will give him the low down and discuss what to do about it.

It is very early stage so that's pretty good and he has to see them in a week or two - which seems a long time to me. Dad didn't actually want to talk to me - not surprising after getting that news I imagine but he has told them he doesn't want major invasive surgery so they know that - he will have the stent replaced though and we just have to see what they come up with for him.

I'm waiting for my brother to call and have a chat later. I doubt he will be in a great frame of mind - he tends to take this stuff badly. I'm being pretty pragmatic about it as I tend to be and want to hear the results of tests and a bit more information to understand quite what he has and what the stage and grade are.

It's not great news of course - never is - the doctors will no doubt explain what it is all about. I'll hunt out my list of questions and see if he wants them. Not much more to say really at the moment.

Back Ache and Goodbye PC

I had a terrible back ache yesterday but managed to feel a lot better last night and into the morning but it's back with a vengeance probably as I was still dealing with the troublesome laptop. I've had to admit defeat - it's only the second PC I've ever had this sort of unsolvable problem on and I can only imagine it is something quite mysterious that doesn't appear on software testing. How anyone can sort this sort of thing out themselves is beyond me it was a mess and I worked about 20 or more hours on in it and completely rebuilt the machine! What a nightmare. So it kind of work to a fashion but even with a new operating system on it still crashes.

So I sat down tonight with a seriously bad back. Rewarded myself with a beer and a bacon sandwich! I know - but I can't do anything exercise wise so might as well.

Can't quite fathom out what is wrong with me though behind all of this. I think I'm worried about tomorrow and my Dad's diagnosis. More for the fact that he's talking all wrong. I heard a phrase tonight saying that "not wanting to die" wasn't the same as "wanting to live" - Dad's got a negative mindset and that's not a good thing to have. Of course, we don't know what that diagnosis will be, they didn't find any tumour and nothing looked wrong with his Pancreas but they took biopsies anyway. Well we will find out soon enough.

It is also A level results day tomorrow so the students will be getting those at 9 am. L will go and collect hers and let's hope she gets her results and can go to University. The accommodation is ready and all the paperwork is here. Other daughter, A, goes off to Edinburgh a little later in the morning and it all sort of kicks off.

To go back to me, I've been feeling quite emotional and strangely not right about things. I have moments of really emotional welling up that I can't work out what it is about - maybe it is Dad.

Also thoughts for a good friend of mine who is having some tests at the moment and another family member with a benign brain tumour. It's all happening.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vibration Plates a Warning

Just a slight warning, I slightly overdid it yesterday on some of the twisting and bending and have managed to hurt my back again. I think this is also to do with sitting twisted trying to sort out a laptop which is positioned to my left meaning that I've been twisting to the left to attend to it and working at an angle. So a combination appears to have left me in a twinging wreck this morning :-(

The plate IS very powerful and will seek out any weaknesses and it was enough to give me a pretty painful tweak.

Why you should go to your Doctor

It was a strange chat I had with my Doctor - you see I hardly ever go to my doctor - I actually have to be ill and I have to have had a chance to get over it. So for around 30 years I really didn't go to the doctor as I wasn't really ill. My doctor told me that around 80% of the people they see are well, to put it bluntly, somewhat Hypochondriacs and that the see them a lot some every few weeks. Of course there are some who are ill ill.

Here's a damn good reason to go to the doctors HERE this is Chris Evans and his story is very typical of today's cancer stories and I like the way this is written. He's well known in the UK - not sure about elsewhere in the world but in a way this is the sort of story that makes people think and let's hope that he has saved a few lives with this particular story.

I'm reflecting on my father's choice of words about having treatment or an operation and saying he won't unless it isn't intrusive (the operation) - I have no idea what the specification is for treatment though. He finds out this Thursday and I hope that it is something he can cope with. I understand that treatment may be daunting but reading that article I'd also be aware of what not having treatment can do too.

My own treatment was challenging but I am sure that other treatments are far more challenging. I remember that I did put myself in a state of mind to receive them, that it was a positive step forward and that it was going to make me better. The side effects were not reflective of the efficacy of the effectiveness of the treatment (apparently) well you could have kidded me :-) Some of the reactions were bad and physically took a fair toll but I'm here and I lived to tell the tale. That's the result - if I hadn't of had the treatment or the operation - I'd be dead. That didn't fit my plans at all. No Sir, that wouldn't have done. I think myself quite a lucky guy really. I kind of wished I knew what I know now when I was in my late teens as perhaps I'd have not lived the life I did for many years. I didn't go the whole hog and do drugs or anything like that - neither was I a soak but I did enjoy a beer and a cigar and I worked like mad to build a certain lifestyle and it bloody near killed me!!!

Anyway - I find myself quite upset at the moment with my dad's status and his reaction to it. He just sounds negative and that's not what I expected really. The weekend with the family down for the party was also a bit of a hard time. They are great and turn up from afar and then ask where my mum and dad and my brother and his family are? I make excuses about not travelling well and all that, it's hard and I can see them looking slightly askew and wondering why that should be. I felt bad for not having been up to see my Dad but I'll arrange to pop in on the way to my cousin's birthday party next month which again they are not going to.

I'm not certain how all of that will go really. We don't really talk about me being ill. My mum and I talk a bit about it but I've tried not to overdo it and of course you can tell sometimes when you say too much or give away some of the "pain". In fact, it is strange that this blog has far more detail in it than even my close family know. I certainly wouldn't have made too much of a fuss but I know a couple of times after my BCG treatments they would have seen me not looking my best and some of the photos of me early on when I was ill look as if I've been photographed in black and white whilst everyone around me is in glorious technicolour.

In fact the one thing that I feel these days is sadness that I upset so many people around me through being ill. They must have also gone through some sort of worry about how ill I was. When I think of their feelings it really churns me up. I don't feel sorry for myself that much but I feel sorry for those whom I frightened with my illness. It seems a strange way of thinking but there you go.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vibration Plate Progress

I used a higher setting today and it really racked up the exercise. It was just too much today and I was surprised how it shook me about. you could really feel the vibration tightening up my muscles especially the leg and hamstrings. My sides and back actually feel a little stiff and my arms fairly buzz after doing some press ups on the plate.

Dad has his appointment on Thursday afternoon - they say they want to discuss his treatment. Interesting times. He's told us that he isn't having any treatment but he doesn't even know what it is yet! Certainly, it will be interesting to find out what it is and what they are going to do about it. No use worrying about it now though.

This flaming computer I'm repairing has all but died, I'm having to do a completely new install to see if I can rescue the situation. Apparently they had a friend over who showed them how to download certain stuff which looks as if it has stuck some pretty nasty malware on it. When trying to get rid of it, it's killed off the malware checkers and virus checkers and wouldn't let them load and it has put in blocks as well. So I may not have been able to rescue anything by the looks of it - all their photos and stuff gone.... Sad.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birthday Weekend

It's been a full on weekend and great fun for L as it was her 18th birthday and it has been a lovely celebration. She is quite a bubbly character and full of fun and laughter. She looked great in a "special" party dress. She can now legally drink and vote so tonight she went out with her older sister to the pub for a drink and the quiz night.

The trouble is that I was late to bed on Saturday morning and this morning too as friends came back to the house - then it was Sunday lunch with my Aunt, Cousin and her boyfriend who came down a long way - about 4 hours drive or so.

We are going up to see them in a month or so. This friend's laptop is still not working properly - it seems to be in a permanent death spiral loop of blue screens....

Diet restarts tomorrow as I've had the weekend off to have beer, party food and cake!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oh Dear

I went to bed around 2:45 after working on the laptop and it still isn't fixed properly. It needs some serious work done on it. It isn't working properly at all and looks to be full of Malware :-(

So my daughter also decides that it is all so exciting that at 7:30 she wants the household up and about to open presents for her 18th - to say I have a thickish head is an understatement. The process of troubleshooting is a logical elimination of various obvious problems and taking those out after each investigation and ticking them off. Of course when it gets complex like this one - some logic goes out and a bit of intuition comes in followed by lateral thinking and just hit and hope if all else fails.

We have the party later on - I hope I stay awake long enough to enjoy that.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Still at it

Trying to repair someone's laptop - because I know a bit, I become the repair man something I hope our business, if we get finance, will make a thing of the past. The amount of time I've spent so far on this exceeds five hours now and at £60 an hour (that's what the help desk would charge you at a £1 a minute) it would be cheaper to get a new laptop! That's the reality these days.

If you haven't seen what we are hoping to do then you can look here. We intend to bring in a new era where you don't have to be a computer wizard to own a computer. In fact there won't even be a computer.

So spent hours doing this and found malware has screwed the computer and I'm trying to remove it and it is trying to stay on the PC. Grrrr.

L is back from her camping holiday in Cornwall and getting ready for her big day tomorrow - she is 18 bless her and a big party tomorrow evening at the local Golf Club will, we hope, be a nice way to celebrate. Let's hope that no ones gets silly...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The ouch affect

My friend's girlfriend's mother isn't well. They've managed to get her home from hospital and it will be for the last time and the children are sitting vigil and it's all pretty sad. These things are and I haven't experienced it myself but there's a certain bit of me that went through this realisation ust 3 or 4 weeks ago. Dad's experience is a reminder that this is where it is all heading and that somewhere along the line this will happen to us.

It's sad because my friend's daughter is due to get married in a few weeks and timing is not without it's irony.

I'm still reeling from Dad's illness and sudden recovery. It brought it home to me and it also made me quite angry in a way. As you may recollect - I was left to my own devices when I was ill, no one actually came to see me. It's been 5 years and a month. I have made the pilgrimage when I was fit enough and so sometimes, I do feel (whether justified or not) a little bit put out. I also found that no one turning up for my 50th birthday was a bit naughty too. Maybe I just don't get the hint :-)

There was I tonight worrying about not going up to see my dad or run them around, despite the fact my brother lives 5 minutes away (I live 2.5 Hours away roughly). And yet no one did that for me - do you see the problem? It may be me but I still feel guilty I didn't get in my car and go up and see them last week but it wouldn't have done any good anyway. I don't know - I'm confused.

Anyway it is L's 18th birthday this weekend and we are going to have a big party. She's going to be spoilt rotten and she will also be the centre of attention on Saturday evening as we have hired the local Golf Club for a party, food and disco. My relations will be there and would have travelled from beyond where my folks live. However, if they couldn't make my party, then there is little doubt that they'd have put themselves out for my daughter.

I'm not that bent out of shape about it but you'd have thought that once in a decade they could have made the effort?

I know that some of you will be worried about me - you have no need to worry - I'm not "that" put out about it, I do find that it sends out the wrong signals to my daughter and my wife though. we "laugh it off" but as you can imagine it would make you question the logic of it all.

Well it's time for bed and I'll probably think different in the morning. Of all the feelings I've had recently with Dad's illness and me - not being there - I have to reflect on how much they were there for me when I was ill. But I'm being unfair and unkind and your family are your family after all, no matter how bizarre they seem to act.

It takes time

Getting in shape and losing weight but I do like the encouraging signs. I was really thrilled with the FOCC (Flax Seed Oil and Cottage Cheese) or budwig diet (well part of it). I've only missed out once in - however long I've been doing it. I noticed straight away that my blood pressure had dropped, almost as if off a cliff. Yesterday's and today's readings were pretty low for me and 117 over 73 is really getting it where I want it.

As I said yesterday the vibration plate exercise plus the cross trainer seem to be the ideal mixture now. Where I used to do 30 minutes or so on the cross trainer followed by some dumbbell swinging and a few press ups, I now do 15 minutes on the Vibration Plate and 10 hectic minutes on the cross trainer. What I've noticed is that my circulation certainly feels to be better and since the FOCC and this exercise, my skin is smoother (I sound like some commercial now!).

I would like to drop another 1/2 stone but cannot see that happening for a while. Most of the stuff that's easy to come off has already and now it is just plodding away at this gradually - you mustn't lose weight too quickly - and see how a few more months will work out.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A week of Vibration Plate Exercise

Well - it is a funny sensation especially today as I wound the power right up to around 75% capacity and nearly shook my insides out :-) Wow is this thing powerful.

So - what's the week 1 verdict?

Well yes, it appears to work as my little love handles have disappeared already and I'm feeling firmed up on arms, legs, belly too. I've realised that I need to do both the vibration plate and the cross trainer. The reasons are:

Anaerobic Exercise - is exercise intense enough to trigger anaerobic metabolism. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass. This is what the Vibration Plate system does.

Aerobic Exercise - is physical exercise of relatively low intensity and long duration, which depends primarily on the aerobic energy system. Aerobic means "with oxygen", and refers to the use of oxygen in the body's metabolic or energy-generating process. This is what the Cross Trainer gives me.

So what I've done in the past couple of days is a 15 minute vibration plate workout (no you can't just stand there and let it do the work for you) followed by a 10 minute session on the Cross Trainer with this exception, because it is 10 minutes and not 30 I go hell for leather and really get close to collapse at the 10 minute mark whereas I used to plod on with the longer routine. So what does this do? Well they say a 15 minute workout is close to 60 minutes worth on the Vibration Plate. You must warm up a little but it doesn't take long and then you need to vary the speeds and all the different positions which you do for no more than a minute each and believe me, sometimes it is difficult to do them for 30 seconds let alone a minute. I do a series of workouts that cover the whole body and tonight the high speed squats I did were agony, such was the intensity of the plate at around 75%.

I can tell you that I'm around 1/2 stone lighter and that my Blood pressure has dropped to below 120 over 80 - I recorded 117 over 73 earlier and I have to say that I'm feeling pretty good. I didn't do two days exercises in full as I was out and because I was only lightly testing out the Vibration plate on Monday and Tuesday last week.

So I think it looks like a good investment - it is strange that you don't actually sweat doing the exercises or get out of breath but you do feel your muscles working. the press ups on the plate and squats and planks are really amazing as you can feel everything working together. You sort of notice things the next morning - if that makes sense? I feel really fit in the mornings and as I've said I've noticed quite a bit of weight falling off mainly around my stomach but more especially at the sides rather than the front. It is a bit early to make any great statements about the Vibration Plate but I do actually enjoy doing that for 10 to 15 minutes - it's a bit of fun although watching your body flap about isn't all its cracked up to be :-) it's like jelly on a plate - wobble, wobble :-) But it is good fun and also only holding and doing exercises in short bursts and changing them lots of times is great. I can then get on the Cross Trainer, burn out 2.5 kM and then do some weights and I do a couple of minutes on very low on the Vibration Plate to just cool down.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Exercise Sucks

In a term coined by fellow Bladder Cancer survivor Steve Kelley which I fully concur with. Steve explains in his various blogs why that is but as he and I are both aware, we needed to be fit and exercise sets in motion lots of things to help you help yourself in the cancer battle. I've now got a Cross Trainer and a Vibration Plate and a small set of exercising dumbbells.

So in today's news was this article from the BBC headlined as "Exercise should be 'standard part of cancer care'" I've complained about this before but think that it is true, unless you specifically mention exercise, your doctor isn't necessarily going to tell you to do it. I mentioned that I was thinking of doing it and was only told to go easy around the times I had treatment and the various operations (TURBT & Biopsy Cystoscopies) as well as a day or so after the flexible cystoscopies which can make you bleed a bit too apparently.

It's part of Steve's and my recovery strategies and whilst we differ a bit I think we both see the benefit of exercising. If you are fit in body then you are likely to be able to help in your cancer fight and in our cases, keeping the cancer away for good.

I think the only caveat I had was when I was having the huge bouts of fatigue (which apparently exercise can help) when I found it difficult to actually get out of bed because it felt like my body was 2 or 3 times heavier and someone had fiddled with the gravity switch.

Anyway - whilst exercise sucks - it has enough benefits to actually make it part of your everyday activity.

I JUST NOTICED !!!! If you can see the video clip on the page - - >> This is my cousin's Pink Champagne Dragon boat crew and there's a shot of her early on doing the exercises with an oar. She had Breast Cancer and the whole team are cancer survivors... Way to go W!!!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Sunday Night

11 pm, sat at the PC, actually did a shed load of business work over the weekend. I did promise myself that I should take weekends off but I was on a roll and finished off a section that I was working on so that made things better.

I'm feeling a little relieved with my Dad's situation and that he is getting a little better but of course we wait to hear the verdict. I wasn't pleased to hear that he had already made up his mind not to have an operation (unless keyhole) or treatment - which did disturb me. I can see one side of the argument but of course I would being me and living through what I lived through wouldn't I?

So there we go, a week over and things are back to settled a bit now. I really want to work hard this week to see if I can break the back of the business plan elements and see how far we can get towards completion. It seems to take an age but the really good thing is that it allows us to consolidate all the work we've done in the past 3 years and - almost like cramming and taking an exam - it actually knits the whole of the journey together and makes it real and quite exciting. I can see my writing style has upped a notch in writing the plan because it really starts to become real and it also starts to make sense and become compelling.

Eventful Day

And it is 1:30 on Sunday morning and I'm sat at my PC wondering where time went and why I'm sat here. It's the usual story really - I tend to be both a lark and an owl when it comes to work and earlier today I thought I might as well do some work rather than sit around doing nothing. I then did some reading and now I can't get to sleep and as usual no one actually says goodnight in this house and I'd lost track of time.

It's been that sort of day - I sent my mum some flowers to cheer her up and I'll speak to her again tomorrow. Dad's lost a fair bit of weight and we are hoping that it is worry and whatever WAS wrong with him which may now not be wrong with him as they couldn't find anything. It's a bit strange if you ask me. I was disturbed by his attitude not to have anything done to him if is was diagnosed - "who wants to live for ever". I'm not certain that is exactly my thoughts on the matter but I'm not him of course. I think that it is the wrong attitude myself and that you should at least see what they say first before making that sort of statement - perhaps it's the denial bit we all go through. In fact the more I think of it the more plausible that is, that the Kubler Ross Grief cycle is kicking in.

I suppose we have to sit back and wait to hear what is going on - it is all most unusual and the great news is nothing there so is it something else, did they dislodge the offending lump or what? I guess we will know in a week or two.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Give you the Willies moment

You remember when you were a kid and went into the haunted house and your heart was thumping as if it would come out of your chest because you never were sure if there was something around the next door.

Well today I had that experience. My friend called up and couldn't raise his mum. So I went around to the house - the car was there and I couldn't see much through the back windows. I then knocked on one of the neighbours house just to check things out. She wasn't but we learnt that the car clutch wasn't working so hence it was parked a little strangely. They have a master key safe and after I'd done some more checks I got the keys and went in disabling the alarm system (My mate is a Policeman and thank goodness for mobile phones).

After getting in I was able to do a sweep of the house and so that was good - but every time I looked in a room I was dreading what I might see :-) Luckily it looks as if she went out and perhaps someone came and got her :-) Anyway - all is OK.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Well - that went better than expected I think

So Dad got taken down to theatre at around 1 (on the proper day!) and returned around 3 - totally forgot to take the normal precautions (once again) staggered around like a drunk thing. HELLO!!! General Anaesthetic Dad!!!!!! My kid brother was apoplectic about him being like a little kid and not remembering the experiences of last week post operative!!!

So - having got that far the surgeon / consultant comes out and say - well we couldn't find anything there - no lump, no tumour - nothing. Well - what could have happened? Apparently they could have dislodged something when they put the stent in last week so whatever they did -there is nothing there now! He decided that he ought to take biopsies of the Pancreas as he was there and so that's what he did. However he felt that there was nothing sinister there at all.

So I spoke to mum who, not surprisingly, has hardly any voice left, and said how pleased she must be - I think you can tell a lot as we are so close - I told her to go and just sit down with a cup of tea and take it easy - I can only half imagine what it has done to her but I could hear it in her voice. So I rang my Aunt on her behalf and that was OK and I'm much happier myself in perhaps getting away from what I strongly believed was my dad's diagnosis (you learn a lot about all cancers if you are interested when you have it BTW). I'm frankly amazed that they found nothing. He's lost weight this past few weeks and I was hoping that it was more to do with anxiety than disease. I do hope that from this point onwards that stops.

So it may not be Pancreatic Cancer - which was what I feared - but perhaps something else. We now have a week or so wait to see what it is. If it was just a minor blockage that they have fixed then that is great...

I'm relieved for dad and my mum and thankful to my kid brother for running them around.

Now it is wait and see.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

AS they say in the UK

Should have gone to Specsavers!! got a note from my kid brother to say that they battled through the rain and got to the Hospital only to find that mum had read the wrong date/day and it is actually planned for tomorrow.

I'm not phoning the house - I imagine it is in uproar at the moment - I also doubt that me texting "Should have gone to Specsavers!" added anything to the embarrassment of the situation. If it were me I do think I'd have been seething but then again, it it was ME I'd have checked time, place, and all the details....

So now it's tomorrow - thanks goodness my brother can sort this all out as he is local.

Thursday and thoughts turn to Dad's Procedure

Well I know how he feels and can but sympathise with him. It's thrashing down with rain and so will be a thoroughly unpleasant day. He's going to Addenbrookes in Cambridge for this inside out scan and to have needle biopsies taken of this tumour (or whatever it is).

At least he is pretty cheerful and in a lot better condition than he was last week. I can only imagine how he must feel. Oh well nothing I can do sitting here worrying about it - I can't change the course of things so will just have to see what the results of the test are.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

And thoughts turn to my dad

Who tomorrow will have to have his second endoscopy in 7 days. I feel for him but can't "take the hit for him". My mum often said to me, if she could take the medicine for me she would. I'm hoping that they find something that isn't what I think it might be. I guess 80 years of good health and never being in a Hospital is pretty good going really but I do feel for him as these places terrify him more than they used to terrify me. I think I said this in my earlier blogs some 4 years ago that I'd rather he never have to know what I'd been through knowing his dread of hospitals. However, the cards are dealt and he has to face up to what hand he has. It isn't nice and an endoscope isn't the greatest of things but last week they managed to do it without too much trouble apart from him not knowing what a general anaesthetic is capable of doing - he looked like Pinocchio without the strings to hold him up apparently! This time he knows what is going on and he has recovered suitably enough to bring his mind back to him (he was worried he was suffering from dementia some months back) and so I hope he realises this. My brother will be there with him tomorrow so I hope that it all goes well.

As usual - there's me doing a guilt trip as I'm not there to assist but as I said before - I don't recollect them ever coming down here and running me in and out of hospital or even visiting me at my death bed or at home!!! But that's OK I'll beat myself up about it - it must be something in my nature?

I think a lot about that because I'm off the opinion that parents are a back stop for when things go wrong - if your kid gets into some sort of trouble etc. I say this as both girls have their boyfriends staying here. I know because the toilet seat is up - that's a girl joke - they'll understand. As I have lived with a house full of women for 21 years - I KNOW MY PLACE and therefore, the toilet seat is always left down so when the boyfriends are here I sort of work it out from the angle of the toilet seat :-)

However, I digress. When I was my oldest daughter's age I had left home, I was working and earning pretty decent money, I was just about to embark on my career and I had a nice flat but I always knew, if I needed it, I had the bolt hole of my parents' place. I needed it once in between having to vacate my flat (which is no more than 2 minutes walk from where I live now) and buying my first property. My parents have always had my best interests at heart, keen that I didn't make the same mistakes (or as I prefer - learning opportunities) as they did. Whilst I may regret not going to University - it would have meant following a different path and not having the life that I have now which despite my constant whinging is in fact pretty damn good when compared with many who don't have the opportunities that I have had.

So back on track - all I was really trying to get to was my position with respect to A & L. They've got their whole lives ahead of them and University will provide them with adequate experiences for life. They can do what they want to do - and not what I may think is best for them and they can live the life they choose to live and I have no desire whatsoever to interfere or to get involved unless they want me to and ask me. I can give opinion and deliver experience and observation but I am a firm believer in allowing you to find out for yourself. I do however try and provide sufficient encyclopaedic knowledge where I can to allow them to come to (the right) a conclusion themselves....

I hope I'm doing the right thing, they are both a credit to us and so in that respect I cannot find anything that worries me about their current choices of course at University, their choice of boyfriends or their hard work in terms of their education. They both have jobs and they both pay their own way albeit we continue to provide a home etc whilst they are studying. If they go on holiday (as they both are) or do other activities they spend their own money doing it (I'm not saying that contributions cannot be forthcoming though).

Wait, wait wait wait wait

Can you tell I'm waiting :-) Someone is due to pick up some things we are getting rid of on Freecycle. Its now 30 minutes past when they said they'd be here. I want to go upstairs and do my exercises and I can't until they collect this as once I'm plugged in and doing my thing - I rarely hear anyone and the vibration plate is - of course - a little noisy when it is on and I have my music over the top of that :-)

I did a 5 minute stint earlier on today and tried a medium fast set of stretches - goodness it does work you over - goodness knows what it will be like at full power - it's powerful enough at 33%

My dad appears to be feeling a lot better today and is getting "his marbles" back - he can think clearly and now realises that some of the recent stuff he's been feeling is all wrapped up with whatever he has. He is in tomorrow and whilst I feel so bad for him - he's got to go through it so they can scan him and also take the needle biopsies. We will hopefully know what it is within two weeks. I have to say I find myself stopping myself short of diagnosing from what I know. I have my fears for what it is and it's no use second guessing.

The man has just turned up and taken the items - he was ever so grateful and they'll go to a good home. What a good idea Freecycle is = we have managed to give away many of the girl's discarded items and other people can make use of them. Saves them going into the skip!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

First Session with Vibration Plate

I can see why you need to start slowly on this. I was impressed with it - more so because I tried to hold a couple of squats for 30 seconds and found myself tightening up quickly. I tried a few other of the recommended warm up positions and did - I guess - around 15 minutes of exercises. It isn't easy today as we have high humidity and 30 C temperatures but I finished off on that and did 5 minutes cool down on the cross trainer.

I can see how this will build up over time - I certainly can feel my legs and arms have worked out and my middle. I'm quietly optimistic that with proper regular use I can start to get some real benefit from it.

It is so hot again tonight - I ended up sitting downstairs for 3 odd hours last night and might end up doing the same tonight too the way things are going.

Horrible - Let's Be Honest

Yes it is. Reading this ARTICLE about Danny Baker and his ongoing fight with Mouth and Throat Cancer. He said that it had been "Horrible" and I have to agree with him about that. I think perhaps it's fair to say that I hardly knew I had Cancer - however the tests, the treatment and the operations probably put pay to that :-)

Sheesh - the treatments were pretty bad but - and here's the but - I am sure other people have had far worse than I have. I feel for my dad, at 80, going through these endoscopes and all the waiting and hanging around and whatever treatment he will have to have (we don't know what it is yet though).

When I read Danny's words I thought - yes that's right - it is horrible but you have to put up with it and you have to roll with the punches and do everything you can to get well. I guess that after a while you get quite complacent about it all - I'm often surprised with the way people tell me how they are amazed about how "happy" I've been all this time and how they admire me having been through what I've been through. I don't think so at all. I'm happy to show people that there is light at the end of the tunnel - here I am 5 years on and I'm so much better now.

I wonder if it is fair to say to someone how touch it is going to be? Would you still continue and think positively and go fight the good fight or would you say "no that's not for me"?

Glad Danny is back with us - he's a jolly chap and nice to hear him.

Kid with a new toy

Well almost. The Vibration Plate has arrived this morning - the delivery man looked puffed out - I said that as it was a workout machine it had done its job :-) He smiled - then puffed a lot :-)

Well 42kg plus packaging which I hailed up the stairs much to daughter's amusement. It took about 25 minutes to assemble - it would have been 20 but I switched the uprights and had to redo them :-)

First impressions are good - it's built like a brick sh*t house and is really sturdy. I've wound it up and down the speeds - it will make a fair noise at half speed and above - it just has to thinking about what it actually does and the frequency of the plate oscillations.

I tried it out and can confirm that it does appear to work - my legs certainly noticed it. I will do a major run through later. I'm looking forward to doing some exercise - which is a bit unusual but what I can see with this is that it allows me to do quite a lot of exercise quickly and efficiently - it will certainly help to warm up and cool down too.

HERE is a video to show you how it works. Whilst exercise still sucks - I'm hoping that I'll be able to vary the routines and make exercise a bit more interesting. I also like the MP3 function on this equipment - I normally wear my MP3 player but here you plug it in and it has speakers - what will they think of next?

Monday, August 01, 2011

Health - Diet & Exercise

Tomorrow I hope to get back into exercise and to start to bring myself back to a higher level of fitness than I am now. I'm healthy I think but I really want to drop the pounds now and to get myself back into shape. I've messed around and tried this and that and not gotten back into the habit.

The thing is that having a break of about 5 weeks now really has made me notice how unfit I really am and I just need to get myself back into a routine. I'm working too hard and actually a few breaks to clear my mind may just be what I need. I should be working on a business plan and yet it looks like an academic work. That will change tomorrow.

Diet is actually reasonably on course apart from the weekend with too much barbecue food and beer :-)

Let's see how I get on.