Sunday, 1 November 2009

Been a long time - lots of news.


Well, it has been a long time since I updated this and much has happened.

Firstly, we went to Malta for the Leica Forum "One Challenge" 2009. What an interesting place Malta is (even though we only saw Valletta and Sliema). Never having been to Southern Spain, or Greece, it's what I imagine the countryside down there is like - but in English, with cars that drive on the proper side of the road, real road signs and telephone boxes and currency that is easy to know the value in the UK.

Oh, hang on, the Euro was supposed to be about €1.50 to the £, not at parity. Oh well - the £ will have gone up in value by the time you read this...

It was great to meet up with the "Usual Suspects", and some new guys too. Especially good to meet Ivan, who was an excellent host to us all over the weekend, and to the family especially when we went for supper with his on the Friday.

Our competition entries have been sent to Carl in Norway, and voting will start next weekend, hopefully. Fingers crossed - there's an excellent prize this year.

Leaving Malta, we went to Umbria for a week. Nice little apartment in Panicale, recommended by "Nige the Car Park Man" - ideal for touring round the whole area, and a nice place to come back to in the evening. As always when we go to places like this, we try to do much too much while we are there, so we ended up driving about 1600km in the 6 days we were there. BUT, we did see a lot of lovely hill-top towns, all of which merge into one big one for memory purposes. We also found a fantastic 12C priory now converted to a hotel, that we will keep to ourselves.

An excellent way to spend a Silver Wedding and a 50th Birthday.

So, got back last weekend.

On Monday, started the radiotherapy. That went fine.

On Tuesday, woke at 2am, feeling like someone was trying to rip my leg off. The pain was just something else. Even the horse pills I was given after my surgery didn't touch it, so I spent a very nasty night and Tuesday, prior to being driven to the second appointment at around 5 o'clock. Saw the on-call radiologist, who advised that lymphoma does react very well to radiotherapy and the pain was most likely to be being caused by the node shrinking. Already. Pain is good. Lunch is for wimps, and all that stuff. Not convinced, personally. Took Wednesday off from work too. No diarrhoea or cystitis, though. So that's a blessing :-)

Got to the end of the week, and my first mid-term appointment with the consultant. He has been discussing my case with the haematologist, and it looks highly likely that chemo will follow the radiotherapy. What he couldn't have known was what was to happen of Friday night. B-symptoms arrive - the next stage, and the trigger for chemo.

Again, was awoken at about 2am in an absolute sweat. Dripping from head to toe I went to the bathroom and washed myself down. So, by the time I got back into bed, I was shivering like it was going out of fashion. A classic symptom, apparently. After the second bout of this, I decided that it would be better if I retired to the spare bed, where I spent the night sleeping on bath towels, with a towel over the pillow. Not a great way to spend the night.

Saturday night wasn't quite as bad as that, but I will be keeping a diary to share with my Consultants. Which I am sure they will appreciate :^D Have picked up a dry cough from somewhere too, so all in all, I'm feeling pretty crap.

Been working on the public consultation boards for the exhibition in Blackpool all day today. They must get to the printers in the morning if we are to meet the Wednesday deadline. Fun, fun, fun. Especially when trying to get PCs to work from home... 'nuf said.

So it looks like it could be a very interesting Autumn. I just want to get on with it, really, but it's not a great thing to be looking forward to. I am convinced that I have had this disease much longer than I thought, as there was never a suggestion by the consultants back in the Summer, that I would need chemotherapy by Christmas.


  1. Nothing I could say would seem adequate, Andy, but I wish you all the best.


  2. Same from me Andy.
    Looks like your darkest days are coinciding with the years darkest days, good luck on the journey through this tunnel and come out smiling.
    So much easier said than done i know.