Saturday, 30 March 2013

What a start to Easter Saturday

I would like to say I walked to the beach to take this, but Ian took it for me. I am saving all my energy for a day at Bluehills watching the Lands End trial. Still not fully recovered from the operation, still swollen and sore but the sun is out and the sky is blue.

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

It's a funny old road to recovery

The weekend had good bits and bad bits.  The swelling is definitely still going down, not as quickly as I would like though.  I thought I had some energy on Saturday and went with Sharon to do the weekly shop, carried a pack of toilet rolls home and that was it I had to have a sleep on the sofa.  Sunday was similar, I never really got going.  Simon came round Sunday evening and cheered me up, he still has too much work and not enough time.  Nice problem to have.

Monday was a great day.  I drove all the way to Cambridge and back.  Sharon was supposed to be in Cambridge for a haircut on the day after my operation, she cancelled to be with me and to bring me home from hospital.  It was then re-arranged for last Saturday, but the amount of snow between us and Cambridge resulted into a postponement to Monday.   I was fine driving until Northampton on the way back when things started to ache a bit, I had been sat in the car for too long without a break, but I made it home and felt really good for it. 

Can't remember if I mentioned it before, but I have started a photo journal as well as the blog.  Don't worry, it isn't pictures of my scar and swellings.  You can see it at

Friday, 22 March 2013

I think its the weather.

Been fairly down today. Did some odds and ends of shopping for Mum this morning, had a spot of lunch and then moped about all afternoon. Should have gone and got the bits to sort the Polo out but the sofa looked much more attractive than the cold wet outdoors.

Cheering up a bit bow with Madness live from Television Centre as part of the closing down party. So many happy songs with happy memories. Nearly cried when Wilko Johnson joined them. He has cancer and has refused all treatment. I think he is the first great rock and roller whose farewell tour really will be. He was playing the same guitar as he was the first time I saw him around 1976 playing in Dr Feelgood at Cambridge Corn Exchange. Happy days. He will be a great loss to the blues.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Good couple of days.

Feel like I am recovering at last. Had a fairly lazy day yesterday, went out for a drive again and cooked tea but didn't do much else.

Today I took the Polo for MOT, couple of advisories, but it passed. Cooked tea again and sorted out the tax and insurance for the Polo.

Kindness comes from the strangest places. I was telling my MOT tester about my ill health, treatment and that I haven't worked since last June and I may have to take the Land Rover off the road as I can't afford to tax and insure it. Ken immediately said he would MOT the Land Rover for free for me. I told him I couldn't possibly let him do that, but the fact that he would had me close to tears. OK he has been MOTing cars for me for 5 years or so and I do have too many cars, but that is one hell of an offer from a man I only see a few hours a year.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Day of rest paid off.

Doing very little all day Monday has paid off. The swelling is going down and everything is sorting itself out. Did very little this morning as well.

Had an outburst of activity after lunch and decided I needed to try driving. Fired up the Polo and gave it a go. It's ok as long as I undo my trousers. Let's hope I don't forget to do them up when I get out. Someone tried to kill me as I was going out of Banbury towards Bloxham he decided to overtake me in the 50mph limit going round a bend. I decided to just brake and let him back in rather than be involved in the head on he was about to have with the line of traffic coming the other way.

Spent the rest of the day and this evening on the sofa. Did get up to cook some tea, eat it and wash up. Not much planned for tomorrow either.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Ok so I have been quiet.

Last Friday was grim. I got on a bit of a downer about the pain and the swelling. I thought that after a week I should feel better. Rang the ward at The Churchill, they were very nice about it but basically said wait until next week and see my GP. So I emailed my GP and she said much the same. I was really frustrated, wanted to feel better and didn't feel like I was getting anywhere.

Felt a bit better Saturday, but was still very frustrated by it all. It was Lauren's birthday and we had visitors. Having lots of people around and watching the rugby didn't make me feel any better, but it stopped me from thinking about it too much.

Sunday was busy too with my brother and sister visiting to celebrate Mum's birthday. We went out to lunch and I had a very nice pint of Old Hooky. Again it didn't make me feel any better, but it kept me busy.

On the grounds that I probably over did it on Saturday and Sunday, today I have done nothing much at all. Andy called in for a cup of tea, great to see him, but his shoulder is bad again. I feel a lot better and I think the swelling may have subsided slightly. The wound is healing up a treat. The secret seems to be, not to do too much and not to think about it all. So that's the plan for tomorrow as well.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Been out on my own today

Despite a bad night last night, I have been feeling good all day today. I am still quite swollen, but the soreness is going, I tried some ice on it, but it didn't make any difference, might have another go tomorrow.

Didn't get going until 9:30 ish, had a shower and put proper clothes on though. Caught up on some of the internet motoring forums this morning. Had a bit of lunch and then walked over to mum's. That is the first time I have been out on my own since the op and I think it has done me good. I never thought that something like this would have such a mental impact as well as the physical. It was the same with the chemo, when I left the house I was scared that I might not get back. Irrational fear, but fear all the same. Got to mum's, filled her pill box up for her and then had a coffee and a rest. Then walked back and arrived safely home, irrational fear.

Watched Matrix Reloaded this afternoon. I had forgotten what good films they are for a geek. To anyone who hasn't studied computer science they are just sci-fi action adventures, but to us in the know they are full of fantastic little techie references like the 'carrier lost' screen that appears when a hacker dies in The Matrix.

Cooked paella for tea and have now collapsed in front of the telly. The link to facebook has been playing up so I may have to post manually.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Wore my jeans today

Woke up this morning and felt pretty good. Decided I needed to feel more human so I had a shower and put some jeans on. That's the first time out of my lounge pants (trendy pyjama bottoms) or hospital gowns since last friday. Couldn't put a belt on as it hurt too much.

Had a good long phone chat with an old friend. He told me a fabulous story about a man in his nineties who worked for the intelligence services during the war and is still going strong. My friend asked him how he keeps going. His answer:-

"You must have something to do tomorrow. Many of my colleagues are dead now because they had nothing to do tomorrow. "

So I have got plenty to do tomorrow and for many tomorrows to come.

Lauren also told me this evening about the poster in Ian's Grandad's workshop which says:-

"God put me on earth to do a specific number of jobs and at the rate I am getting things done I will be eternal"

I also chatted to my Dad today. He is struggling to renew his driving licence at the age of 79. I know it's hard to give up the independence it gives him if required, but he really should give it up.

Oh and I signed up at It's a great idea, you sign up and then you post a picture everyday. I am grahamwh on there. Not sure I will manage everyday, but I have set it up so I can post from my blackberry, so I might be in with a chance.

Hoping that the swelling will magically go away over night.
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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Feeling better.

4 days on from the operation and I am starting to feel like I am recovering. Went to see the doctor this morning and she says the wound is healing well and cleanly and I am looking very good considering the size of the job. Still can't walk far and everything is swollen and hurts, but it is getting better.

She also gave me some skin creams to try and overcome the rash that still appears where my PICC line dressing was. She also wants me to have some blood tests to check that everything is OK.

Spent a few hours researching and writing about Talent Management for a little project I am looking at. It really wore me out and I had to have a lie down, but it took my mind off of the pain and the swelling. If I stay fairly still in the office chair it is a fairly comfortable place to be and getting up from it is easy.

Had a long phone chat with my brother, good to catch up with him and was useful company. Realised it is the first time for 12 days I have been on my own all day as SHaron is back to work. The Macmillan nurse also rang and was amazed how positive and upbeat I am considering I had an operation on Friday. I can't see any point being any other way. There are 2 possible outcomes from all this and I am not planning to die. So I will stay upbeat and positive, keep believing everyone in the NHS is doing the best they can for me with the resources they have available and that we will beat this thing.

Monday, 11 March 2013

It's so uncomfortable.

The transition between up and down is the worst bit, or down and up. You don't realise how much you need the muscles until you don't have them.

Once I am lying down I am OK flat on my back or on my right side with a pillow between my knees. Moving between the two is agony. This makes sleeping a series of 2 hour bits interrupted with 10 minutes pain. At least I am getting some sleep.

Really feel like getting up and getting going, but my body is telling me to lay here as getting up will hurt. Just had two horse size paracetomol and once they kick in I am getting up.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Road Home

Made an escape with Sharon. It's an ordinary piece of road, but I love going down it and away from The Churchill.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Hell its rough.

5:00 am start yesterday to get into hospital for 7:00 and a 5:45 visit this morning to take my blood pressure. Mr Mihi was the surgeon again and it was the same anaesthetist, gave them both this chance to get it right.

They have cut out a huge amount this time and stitched me up with a plastic gauze to help it heal. I am very sore and my stomach muscles don't work too well. Struggling to sit up and I haven't walked or stood up since before the op. Mr Mihi said I can probably go home today after the catheter and various other bits are removed. Been hooked up to oxygen and monitors all night so sleep hasn't been good.

But, hey I am alive and they say they have got rid of it all this time. Time will tell.
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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Patient again tomorrow

Well, we had a good time away last weekend in Cardiff and Monmouth. The hospital rang me last Wednesday to ask me if I could go in last Friday for the operation. The secretary who left a message on my answer phone said it would 'be better. for me' 3 times in her message. I rang her to find out if there was a medical reason it would be better for me. She admitted that there wasn't, I pointed out I had a holiday booked and she suggested we leave the schedule as it was.

So we went away for a few days, came back to get organised and tomorrow I am in for an operation. Have done 2 lots of cream up my nose, to combat MRSA, have to have a shower with the special steriliser before bed and another in the morning. Then in to hospital for 7:00 am and hopefully I will be first one down and home in the afternoon. I haven't had a definitive answer on how long I will be in for, some say day surgery, some say a couple of days, so who knows? I would really like to be out tomorrow. I can feel the lump has got bigger since the chemo stopped, so I am no longer expecting good news about it being scar tissue.

Let's get it over with and get on with the radiotherapy.

Friday, 1 March 2013

I thought I was back to fitness!

Early start to the day and drove down to Cardiff. We got here about 11:30, parked in the hotel car park and walked into town to see the St. David's Day parade. We then had a walk round the castle and a wander round town. Headed back to the hotel about 5:00, led down on the bed and slept for an hour.

I thought I was back to the levels of stamina and fitness I had before chemo started, but I am clearly not. My legs ache, my toes are numb and I am really tired. We have eaten in the pub next to the hotel and are having an early night. Hope my body recovers by tomorrow for a wander round Cardiff Bay.
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