Sunday, 11 July 2010

That's finally over then

No, not the World Cup - that's not over until later this evening. I want Spain to win, with the winning goal scored by Fernando Torres - if only because it might push his price up by £10m over the summer when he leaves Liverpool...

My 8 sessions in the electric chair came to an end this week. It will be strange not having that as part of my routine, going forward. Those three weekly visits came round very quickly - even just taking the daily tablet and watching them going down in the box showed the passage of time between one session and the next. No more Prednisolone for a few years - that's something to write home about.

Had a good chat with the haematologist on Wednesday. He wants me to have another CT scan in a week or so, so that he can see exactly what's left and what stage the disease is now that we have done this treatment. Notwithstanding what the radiologist said last time, I can still feel something in the groinal node where I first felt the problem back in May last year and I will discuss this with the haematologist when I go for the consultation post CT in August. I have to say that I will be pretty pissed off if this hasn't made the difference that I was hoping a couple of weeks ago. He also "sort of" back-tracked a bit on the Rituximab maintenance going forward over the next two years. It sounds like he is going to have to pull some strings as there is now some question as to whether they can count the radiotherapy that I had last year a "first treatment", or whether I am officially now in my "first" remission, rather than second. There is evidence that the maintenance is effective during first remission, but some question as to whether it is an approved treatment under the NHS. If it isn't, then I don't know what the options are - I doubt whether BUPA will pay for it. Will have to wait and see.

Other stuff feels better though. I even had a reasonable night's sleep last night, but I was completely bushed on Saturday afternoon, and absolutely needed the two hours sneaky shut-eye that I took.

My birthday is next weekend and I think that I can look forward to that, and beyond, with a bit more confidence than I did last year, when I was just opening this particular chapter of my life. While I don't think I will ever be able to close the chapter, I do think that a couple of pages have been turned, which is good.

So, now we're looking forward to the rest of the summer back in the office full time again (provided it's not as hot an humid as it has been the last week). We have Skye to look forward to in September (must get some filters sorted out for the Hasselblad...) and then Venice for a few days in the middle of October.

For my 50th next year, we have decided to take a fortnight's drive round Europe and have started the planning already. We are going to try to find interesting b&bs to stay in - if we can find places like that we found in Normandy last month, I will be more than satisfied. I have to say that, judging by the books that we have been browsing these past few evenings, there are some great places to stay, at very reasonable prices, in France and Italy. The German book is coming this week, so then we can start to plan in earnest. My friend Ravi has offered us a room for the night in Switzerland if we can organise it, so that's one night sorted!

Itinerary likely to be along the lines of Millau/Portofino/Italian Lakes/Switzerland/Black Forest/Rhine/Moselle/Champagne/Home. Should be OK :-)

"Accidentally" bought a new car on Thursday. We only called into the show room for a look and a test drive, but ended up buying a new Golf. We were in there nearly 4 hours all told - and I think I suffered for it over the weekend. Got a very good deal on one, I have to say, so I'm pretty pleased with that. Should be able to collect it on Wednesday, when I have to go to Stratford-on-Avon, which will be a nice run out for it.


  1. Congratulations, great news.I hope it all stays away. I had a carcinoma removed four years ago and so far, touch wood cross fingers, no repetition. Just have to be alert.You have had a much harder battle than I but your photography has kept its high standard. After reading your piece on the Hassy I got mine out and enjoyed having to think about pictures again. Digital is so lazy. I used to be on the Leica Forum but not of late, so learnt about the book publication from here. Very best wishes and looking forward to seeing your Hassy portfolio.

  2. Thanks, whoever you are.

    More and more Hassy shots are appearing on my website as time goes on, of course.

    The book has now raised over £10,000. Which is excellent news.

  3. I have written some earlier comments on the site and have been full of admiration for how you have managed to keep your photography and job going whilst handling the unnerving process of dealing with cancer. I hope and am sure it will help others. You know me as 'flatfour'

  4. Thanks for your comments, Tony.

  5. Excellent news Andrew, both Jan and I are really pleased for you.

    You must let me know how to get hold of a copy of the book. I will email you.