Life Blog and More…


Life Blog -The End of the Year.

These last few weeks have been hard work. Adrian has been struggling with extreme tiredness, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting and just generally feeling lousy- too poorly to even concentrate on writing so Peanut has continued being the stalwart right hand man she always is but she too could not summon up much enthusiasm.

So they apologise for not keeping their followers up to date and allowing them to worry. But they were still marching on, trackless towards a very sure and certain destination, but with no timescale.

These days saw a splendid array of friends who have came to visit and cheer Adrian up, which they did immensely. And although it might seem to them that they tired him out, in fact they perked him up and give him some focus for a laugh and a joke. As a result of this they had many gifts of sweets, chocolates and flowers to brighten up the Folly. 

Worth also bought Gates a small toy soldier to keep her safe come the day when he is not around to advise her. He is a brave bold chap and will travel with Peanut wherever she goes, but for now he sat on the mantelpiece infusing himself with essence of Adrian preparing himself for his new role. It is a big role to fill.


They also had the added distraction of the District Nurse coming every day to refill Worth’s syringe driver with his medication, but the end result was more comfort for Adrian so it was all worth while.

So we  get to the end of the year with Adrian in very poor health, struggling to eat, confused to distraction. This time it did not resolve itself. This time the big C meant business and there was nothing left to keep it at bay. The irony was that having won its battle it would then expire itself, for without Worth to host its parasitic greed it would cease to exist. What a vile disease it is. So Peanut could only sit and watch as Adrian slipped away hoping his anxiety and distress could run its course with as little unpleasantness and time as possible. It seemed impossible to think that only two weeks ago they decorated their tree together.

They still had a succession of visitors which was lovely for Peanut. 

The last day of the year; will it end badly or will the next begin badly? All was resolved by ending badly. Poor Adrian died the morning of New Years Eve.

For Peanut the immediate prospect is too awful to contemplate but once the initial tasks are done then she will remember to smile for him. 

Adrian always loved her smile.



Life Blog – The Palliative Consultant

On Wednesday we met with a palliative consultant at St Richard’s Hospice In Worcester. We were referred there by our GP following Beastie’s sudden jaundice. It was very constructive and prepared us for the fact that the jaundice might mean any more chemo is out of the question, and also to give some thought to whether at this stage chemo is the right thing. The side effects are much harder to deal with when you are quite poorly and the intrusion into your life might be a high price to pay for very little or even no actual benefit. We shall find out Friday when we see the oncologist. It was a positive meeting and we both felt benefit from it. However the bottom line is there is now no more track or stations, we just watch the engine slow to a halt. The goal is to maximise the quantity of quality in the time we have. 

Ps. Please enjoy a gratuitous picture of Beasties Bel Canto aftershave so at least he can smell nice even if he is as yellow as a canary.


Life Blog – A Test Of Love

I have had my first cycle of the latest regime of chemotheropathy and I have not had any awful reactions to it.

However, I am getting side effects from the cancer which are not nice. The liver is not dealing with my bile properly so I get yellow eyes and my skin has gone yellow and none of this is nice. I also get never ending hiccups which sounds funny but trust me it is really no joke whatsoever.

The upshot is I will be off work until at least the new year and to be frank Ithink that is the right decision though I’ve always felt work was a great positive in live. A framework of normality.

This all makes me irritable and tetchy. Chtissie can’t seem to do a thing right in my eyes! In reality of course she could not try harder to smooth my path. This is the frontier we must fight hardest on. It is where we are strongest. Win this frontier and though the Big C might separate us bodily it will not break our spirit. Chrissie will go on and live a great life invigorated by knowing how much she has been loved. 

I’ll end the sentimentality there, but walk along with us on our trip as we carry on smiling and discovering each other.


Life Blog – Another Consultation

After the disappointing news on Tuesday regarding the trial, Peanut put the wheels in motion for me to have a consultation in Worcester. She soon had it organised for  Thursday morning.

With Peanut having a week’s work this week it was decided she would not miss work and so Ivasked my friend Andy to come with me. The appointment was 11.20 but we waited an hour for it. The Doctor was as disappointed as I was but nonetheless less put on a positive face and advised that we return to oxalyplatin, a chemo treatment I had had two years ago. It’s affects had begun to diminish but hopefully after a break it will work again.

Out of the consultation and I had another long queue to give bloods. Then it was back to Andy’s for a much overdue sandwich at 3. 

I went home for a quick sleep before P came home and I updated her on how I’d got in. So far so good and at least there is a plan in place once more.


Life Blog – Disappearing Rail Tracks And No Stops on the Track

Chris left for work but I felt a bit rough. Later I rallied and went to work. On the way I got the need to go to the toilet badly. I made it to work and headed straight for the loo. It was awful diahorea but afterwards I felt a bit more comfortable. His work mates were pleased to see him and Michelle made him what turned out to be a very nice cup of tea.

My mobile rang and it was Heartlands Hospital. They were ringing about my blood results from yesterday. Unfortunately one of the blood tests on the liver failed and as a result they are not able to offer me the trial.

That’s it, there is no treatment left for me. I rang Chris and left her a message. Then in a state of shock I drove home to curl up in a ball. Chris phoned me. She was sad. I was sad. It all just felt sad. She said she would get in touch with our consultant at Worcester.

I phoned my Mum. She did not know what to say. She then phoned me back about 4 times regarding problems she has with one of her bank accounts. Leave me alone I couldn’t cope with it. It suddenly got really on top of me and I felt like the loneliest person in the world.

Then Chris rang. She had got me an appointment to see the consultant at Worcester. A foot soldier always. It won’t change anything but it has to be done.

If you read my blog then it was always leading to this point but we go everywhere with a smile let’s not forget that.


Life Blog -Consultation at Heartlands Hospital Birmingham

Here is a photo of Bertie enjoying Planet Earth 2, put up for no other reason than he is irristible.

Another day another consultation but with each day and each consultation the stakes get higher, more and more rides on the outcome.

This latest consultation was at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham and it was to assess whether or not I am a suitable “candidate” for the trial. We left for the appointment in good time. We gave ourselves an embarrassingly large margin of safety in time terms for this meeting. We arrived 15 minutes late. I was stressed. My tummy ached.

They had a television on in the waiting room. “Homes under The Hammer” was on. It was normality and it really calmed me down. I was quickly called to be weighed. It’s not good. I’m not a feather weight but I have lost a lot of weight. We were called in.

The lady introduced herself and a colleague who was sitting in on the consultation as a student. A lot of questions were asked. She soon decided that she thought I was very suitable for the trial and she outlined the treatment. 

Three treatments are on offer, the one being trialled being given to 50% of people the other two to the other half. It is a randomized trial. A lot of testing will be done prior to starting the treatment. CT scan, ECG, bloods and lots more. Many trips to Heartlands will be involved so we will have to fine tune this journey. I go back on Monday for some tests and to return my signed consent which they insisted I think on, rather than just sign straight away. 

The wait for this consultation was emotionally draining but now once more I am working within a plan and this has really lifted me up. 

Already I am noticing the important things in life. Mrs P has had another haircut from her stylist Mark. He is a God amongst hair stylists. Chrissie looks simply fabulous – ten years younger than her age – match this to her simple desire to please and I’m back counting my blessings. I’m not some poor unfortunate guy with the Big C, no I am Ady or Beastie, Mr Beastie, Beastmaster or Worth and I am a lucky, lucky man with a caring loving wife, who quite simply would do what it takes to keep me riding by her side in our chariot!


Life Blog – Lonsurf And My Latest CT Scan

Sunday saw me out playing with Lady P and a load of my MINI mates both old and new. It was a great day out, the sun shone all day, there were some fantastic cars to admire and I even found time to dream about getting a MINI Clubman JCW!

Zip forward to today (Wednesday) and a reality check was due. Today I went for my CT scan results at lunch time. I was worried about them. I was worried so much that I couldn’t go to work in the morning. Anyway a little before 2 we went in to see the consultant. Beastie and Peanut a pair of naughty children up before the headmaster…

Except that this was more serious and sure enough it was. In a nutshell the Lonsurf chemotherapy is not working. All the tumours have grown, so I will not be having anymore of that.

On top of that, the scan revealed a blood clot in my tummy, so now I will have to have an injection in my tummy every morning to thin my blood. It’s not the end of the world but Peanut had a 5 out of 7 hit rate last time she gave me tummy injections! That is 5 were painless and 2 hurt like… well they hurt a lot!

I do like my consultant he is very good at delivering bad news and he really keeps trying on my behalf. So what’s next?

Well he is trying to get me on a trial course at Heartlands in Birmingham. A type of chemotherapy. If that doesn’t work or it takes a while he will put me back on Oxalyplatin, which I had two years ago. It might help for a while.

Not good by any means and certainly another stop further along the railway line but on the plus side, he actually said I will have the blood clot injections for at least six months and when I challenged him on this he gave it considered thought and concluded that I will still be here in six months!

I’ll take that I thought. Six months with Lady P is a lot of fun! Ok I know there will be some tears and sadness but you can do a lot of playing in six months and that is what we will try and do!

If you read my blog and it doesn’t send you to sleep how about you doing a lot of playing with your partner, lover or mates. There is a lot of sadness that comes to us all so best if we all work hard at the fun bits.

Our fun tonight will be snuggling up together to watch Castle on TV then going to bed for another session of reading from the Jack Reacher novel, The Hard Way. I’ll go to work tomorrow, ordinary Ade, the middle aged duffer. But that’s my disguise! Biggles, Reacher, Bond and Elvis are all tucked away inside, buried deep where you can’t see them!

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Life Blog – Just Living

What a difference a project makes. It gives me a sense of purpose and direction. I can see things develop and take shape. Now this week I had an upset tummy on Thursday and Friday so on the practical side I was not much help. But I look and check.

If you look at the door handle above there is a horrible gap in the white wood adjacent to it. Look further and the wood used here for the door stop is not even the same as on the top and other side of the door. So now we have redone the door stop.

Much better. With an old house it’s a balancing act. Keep enough of the old to keep its character but know when to replace. In this case this was clearly a bodged repair from circa 1978, so it needed replacing.

Likewise on the stairs which were installed in the 1970s the woodwork is awful and done as cheaply as possible. A little beading work gives it a lift.

We work well together and make time for fun while doing it.

At times like this I feel very alive, the world is turning and I am in step with it. The Olympics have been very inspiring too and as a Brit especially so. I feel like a man living a life, doing stuff. It’s normal and I like it.


Life Blog – Living This Life

Recently on our sister site picturebeast.wordpress.com which hosts “The Antics of Worth and Gates” I talked about the fight you face when confronting the Big C. 

“With any test victory or defeat is determined by establishing the criteria that frames the battle. So if the battle is for the life of Worth then ultimately, Worth and Gates will lose that battle. If the battle is to destroy the love of Worth and Gates, then clearly there is a different team victorious. Such contemplation is the stuff that helps Worth defeat melancholia. He loves being a winner”.

Tonight I came home from work a little early feeling tired and achy. Mrs P had spent 2 hours sanding down the front door making it ready for painting. Peanut considered that the prepping was complete. I however did not and using all the strengths of my unique northern charm I told her so. In minutes we were shouting at each other. There were tears. It was not the me coming home and falling into the arms of the one I love scenario that is what this house is all about.

I might have had a fair point, I might not – that is not what matters. I thought back to the words I had written just the week before. This is how the Big C can destroy. It brings pain. With that comes irritation and then things get said in a less than tactful way. From nowhere that which you hold most precious to you – the love you have for each other – gets challenged and undermined. Luckily in this house we talked, then talked some more and we emerged from this gloom stronger and more determined to guard and cherish that which we hold dear. 

A friend Wendy messaged us telling us to watch a Tv programme called Great Canal Journeys with Prunella Scales and Timothy West. Tonight’s episode was Venice a city dear to our hearts and one we hoped to revisit in three weeks time. Prunella Scales has Alzheimer’s  and Timothy has written poignantly about watching her slip away from him. 

Now in their troisième âge they are doing this delightful canal series. Tonight they bumbled around all the places we have explored in Venice and it made for delightful, touching, interesting and entertaining television.

Their tenderness to each other in their troisième âge was the perfect counterpoint to the anger expressed earlier in our house. We naturally drew closer to each other on the sofa and yes, I did feel sad because this was supposed to be the life we shared in our old age – bumbling about as old explorers, lovers and best friends and we will be denied that. But the programme was too beautiful to allow such a sentiment to spoil it and we both loved watching it.

This is life. Real. “Your perfect imperfections” is a quote from Peanut’s favourite song because she says that she knows that is how I feel about her and she is dead right.

Love, as it should, triumphs in this household and tonight I will get Biggles read to me at bedtime.


Life Blog – The South of France

In truth this has been a very tough week. First there was the fiasco of The PICC Line breaking in my arm and the subsequent operation to remove it. A tad stressful for us both but we got over that. However, on the Friday of our departure for the South of France one of our two beloved cats Alfie, got run over and was killed. To be honest we have not got over it and it has hung like a shadow over our holiday. Then I have been quite poorly on holiday with back and tummy pain so much so that we had to abandon our two day break on the Porquerolles. This morning I had rallied a bit and we just decided to head home. I think we need to see our other cat Ola and I just feel a bit stare dealing with pain at home. So tonight we are holed up in The Beaune Hotel in Beaune, a delightful place we have stopped at several times now. Beaune is a prosperous and picturesque town about halfway between St Tropez and Calais. We will finish our travels tomorrow.

We are both a bit sad as we can both see now that the Big C is getting a hold and I am beginning to fade. Sometimes the smiles are forced and Mrs P just wishes she can fix me. She can’t but she does smooth my path so very much. When the chips are down she finds extra energy like now getting me home and doing nearly all the driving. 

Tomorrow will be poignant. Happy at seeing Ila and sad knowing Alfie is not there.