Thursday, 28 February 2013

Back to being a patient

Hello blog readers, long time no see. After a brief period of normality I am back to being a patient today. I am on the park and ride bus heading for the John Radcliffe for a pre-op assessment. Operation is booked for March 8th.

Much has happened in the period of normality, many of them normal to most people, but monumental to us chemo ravaged cancer sufferers.

For example, I walked into Banbury and back, I drove to Neath and back to visit an old friend and I spent a day interviewing for a new headteacher. All fairly normal things, and it has been really good to be normal for a while.

Off to Cardiff and Monmouth for a few days tomorrow with Sharon. Couple of days of city break then a couple of days by the River Wye to recover.
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Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Cost of Cancer

When I last saw Prof Hassan he suggested I should take my wife away on holiday before my operation.  Sharon is really busy at work but has managed to get a few days off at the beginning of March.  We fancied Barcelona.  Thomas Cook came up with a price around £700 for us, all in at a 3 star hotel near the Picasso museum.  I had to speak to their travel insurance providers about my condition.  They asked me if it had been diagnosed as terminal, which took me close to tears, but Thomas Cook in Banbury isn't the place for me to cry.  They then announced they can't insure me.

Not deterred I came home to get some quotes via, who have companies who specialise in insuring cancer sufferers.  Filled in all the details and got a quote of £750 for 4 nights travel insurance for me and Sharon in Barcelona.  More than the holiday.  Think we might go to Cardiff or Edinburgh instead.

On the good side, I walked all the way into Banbury town centre and back, the first time since May last year.  Had to have a sit down and a coffee in town and came back via The Kings, with another sit down and a coffee.  But, I did walk all the way into town and back.

So if you know any travel insurance companies who cater for cancer sufferers or have any suggestions, let me know.  Have tried several on-line quotes and they either wont insure me or they don't ask any medical questions and give a £50 or so quote that won't give me any cover.

To make things worse on what had become a bad day, I booked tickets for Race Retro and also booked the Historic Rally Car drive for me and Ian.  Having made the payment they popped up a screen saying I had to provide a copy of my driving licence.  I sent it off for renewal last week.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

What to do?

A certain amount of normality has returned to life.  I am still fairly weak and unfit, tried to undo wheelnuts on Wednesday and was pathetic and out of breath after.  But, some normality has returned, I don't feel like I am on chemo anymore, every day this week has been a good day by chemo standards.  With the operation date set for 8th March I am trying to do as much as I can by then.  Need to service the Polo and the Land Rover, get the Polo Motd but I think they are all a bit ambitious.

Anyway, what to do about the blog?  With no chemo, can there be a chemo pages blog?  With the return of normality it would just become a diary, and all those who supported me during the hard times would just get bored.  However, some have raised the issue that I haven't been posting this week, so they must want to hear whats going on.  So here is what I have decided.  During this period of near normality whilst I wait for the operation I will post on the blog if anything significant or interesting happens.  If anything medical happens I will let you all know.  I won't post a diary of what I have been doing, it would be too exciting for you all.  Those of you who are facebook friends/twitter followers/linkedin users will get the notifications and know I have posted, the rest of you, well I am afraid you will just have to look now and then.  Unless of course you can master google RSS feeds.

Went to drop off all my left over PICC line supplies with the District Nursing team today. They are a great bunch, was nice to see them.  Having a visit every Friday has been a bit of a tie, but I will miss their cheerfulness and they have been very supportive.  None of them are at all like Nurse Gladys Emmanuel. (hands up if you know who she is).  

Saturday, 2 February 2013


Been having a great time. Have done too much today and am now feeling tired!

Started the day with a cooked breakfast and then went down to West Bay to see the sea. We walked all the way round the harbour and out along the new harbour pier. They have put up some fantastic Bridport rope fences to stop people wandering onto the slipway. We went from West Bay to the garden centre to pick up some bits for Frank and to get some flowers to put on Pat's grave.

From there to Bridport for a walk round the street market. I love the variety of junk they have. Didn't buy anything. Went in Cafe Bean for lunch. I had Sausage,Cheese and Bacon Puff and a couple of Lattes. Sharon had a pannini and tea.

We went from there across to Rampisham to tidy up Pat's grave and put some new flowers on. The churchyard was still very wet, but not as bad as Christmas. Drove back through Compton Valence to see the snowdrops. From there into Dorchester to look at the changes that are going on at the old brewery site. I have to say, I preferred it when they made Eldridge Pope's Royal Oak there.

Taking it easy now on the sofa after one of Frank's huge roast dinners. Combination of carbohydrates and tiredness taking its toll. Probably not helped by the bottle of Bridport Artisan Cider (scrumpy!) I had with tea.
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Friday, 1 February 2013


Just come out of Prof Hassans office. Operation is booked for 8th March, next appointment with the Prof is 5th April. Been to DTU and had the PICC line removed and feeling like a human again.

Prof hopes the cells that showed up on the scan are just scar tissue, only the pathology after the op will confirm that though. Got a few weeks for my bone marrow and other systems to recover before the operation and to have a good time.

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