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Life Blog – New Year’s Eve 2011

31/12/2011.  As the year draws to a close  I felt that I wanted to add to The Life Blog and have a quick look back and a look to the future that awaits.

I started the year well into a three month session of chemotherapy, the effects of which I still feel today with numbness in my toes and fingers that are quick to cramp in the cold. My battle against the Big C was very much at the fore of my mind as I underwent that treatment. January then arrived and quickly turned sad with the death of a friend Andy Venn  on the 10th after along battle against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Many of you will know that Andy was the partner of our good friend Elliot and as the anniversary of his death looms, I grieve for Andy and the pain Elliott still feels. Be brave today Elliott, be brave in January Elliott, there is a world out there that loves you.

February started well with a new arrival in our house, our second cat Alfie who we got from the Worcester Animal Rescue centre. Along with our other bundle of mischief Ola, Alfie brightens our days no end.

March saw me reach the milestone of 51 years young and also finish my chemotherapy.

May and I was in hospital for a week for the big operation on my liver to remove the tumours. Busy month then!

Next stop a clear scan and I got confirmation of that on August the 9th! Since then my life blog has gone a tad quiet as I have been busy trying to pack a bit of fun into our lives, first with a holiday in September and just recently with a week’s holiday in the South of France over Christmas. All good fun, I have to say. As I look back on this year, it has certainly had a few battles in it but in truth I am here at the end of it to tell the tale and I think, you know for me it wasn’t such a bad old year, many will have had worse.

My battle though is not over yet and February will see me have another scan to see if things are all clear. I have appointments with all of my consultants lined up, Generals Bowel and Liver in February and March and my Chemo Gurru in April. I wonder if they are gathering like storm clouds waiting, waiting… hmmmm I hope not.

As I look ahead do I dare to dream? Well I have mapped out some plans, some holidays, some adventures as i think you have to. Toys too, I can dream about, watches such as the Breitling Aerospace and the Bell and Ross Vintage Heritage, cars such as a Porsche cayman S, or a MINI Coupe JCW, or a MINI Countryman JCW, technology too such as a sexy new iMac and of course my NVG glasses for all those adventures in the dark that I could have with my Breitling Aerospace. But all these things are the stuff of small dreams, what I realyy hope for next year, what I really really want is two clear scans, then I can spend my life doing what I love best, journeying side by side with Lady Peanut.

We ended our year with the sun shining as we walked the lovely coastline near Cap Lardier in the south of France on Christmas Day – Peanut’s birthday. May the sun shine on your year ahead. Best wishes to you all for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! xxx



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Life Blog – Days 153 – 157 Christmas with Chemo

24/12/2010. Christmas Eve and I awoke feeling very sluggish. The flu was lingering and I was also aware that the Chemotherapy effects are cumulative, nothing disastrous but everything is just a “bit more” than the first time. Peanut had to work Christmas Eve from 5 until 9 on Christmas Morning so she was with me during the day which was great. We tidied the house a little bit but basically had a very lazy day.

Carl and Amelia were coming down later so Peanut prepared a chicken curry for us, which was great. The Elf and Fandango duly turned up and Elf  took command in the kitchen to finish off the curry. It all went rather well and the three of us just chilled on good food and watched a bit of tele. I was made up having them there with me as in truth I don’t think I was in the right mood to be alone on Christmas Eve. Elf had loads of presents for every body and was dying to get started but we insisted on waiting for Christmas Day when Peanut the Birthday Girl would be home.

Day 360/365 Jingle Bells

25/12/2010. Merry Christmas Everybody!  I awoke very early with the Chemo Munchies! I was starving hungry and feeling very tingly in my feet and fingers. I needed food but I knew that cold milk and Weetabix would be too cold for my throat. It’s weird but it sets it off tingling like mad! Porridge then… A cup of porridge and a cup of milk or water in a covered bowl for 2 minutes. Yep done that. Then remove cover and go again for two minutes. Yep done that. Ting! Leave standing for two minutes. Ok so I make tea. Open the Microwave and gaze in amazement at the war zone. Porridge everywhere except in the the Goddamn bowl!

Day 359/365 Porridge

This could have made me miserable but hey ho, I scooped the few dregs that were left in the bowl  into a dish and managed with that. Carl and Amelia were up in good time too and before long Birthday girl arrived at exactly 9.30. Now the day begins! :)

Within two minutes Peanut coming inside we were all opening presents. The Elf is, it has to be said an excellent present getterer. In 2009 we had all gone to Brugges for a weekend and we stumbled upon a Steiff Bear shop. I fell in love with a little bear called Edgar who lived in his own little suitcase and I wanted to buy him as  a surprise for Peanut. Unfortunately  I did not get chance to sneak back to the shop. Today, an Elf had tracked down an Edgar and now me and Mrs P have a lovely Edgar Steiff bear keeping guard in our bedroom. Ace present Number One!

Peanut meanwhile had got pyjamas – her first ever pair and also a Minnie Mouse Nightie which somewhat incongruously perhaps is a very shapely and slinky number indeed. We likes muchly! Her son Dunc and his wifelet Laura had got a very pretty pendant for her too, which tied on a ribbon, and I have to say I was very taken with that too. Peanut was doing well!

Meanwhile Carlos was busy opening seventeen pairs of identical white Calvin Klein undies. Fine I thought with the quizzical expression clearly showing on my face.

“Yes he wears white ones at home and black ones for work” – I confess that even with this fresh information enlightenment did not dawn. Nonetheless, I drew comfort knowing that I was not alone and that OCD strikes at all ages and in all corners.

Pressies done and I had an appointment at the new hospital in Malvern to get disconnected from my Chemo bottle and have the Hickman line flushed. I dragged  Carl with me and it was all done in half an hour even pfaffing about looking for the box to dispose the chemo in that we had forgotten to bring.

The Genius of P

Birthday Girl had had a chance to bathe and beautify herself by the time we got home so when I got home Lady P was looking as radiant as Christmas Day itself and this was just what I needed because this Chemo was kicking in good style and I was feeling fragile. In truth the four of us were a bunch of crocks all coughing and spluttering and generally feeling a bit sorry for ourselves.

Peanut however, was as said, looking groovy after a hard night at work and now here she was on her birthday and calmly sorting out a Christmas lunch from scratch. She does it with absolutely no fuss in an hour and a half from start to finish and it was blooming lovely!

We all pulled crackers at lunch and out of the crackers popped 4 tickets to see John Bishop in Bournemouth – another Elf surprise and that was brilliant.  I just didn’t see it coming at all and I thought that was  Craig Revell Horwood amazing. 26th March so post Chemo but pre Liver op so perfect timing too! Left to my own devices I would just never think to go and book anything like that, I don’t know why but it never occurs to me, so to have that in my calendar now is brilliant, especially when a lot of the other dates over the next few months, like liver ops and chemo days are not the most fun events that you look for on your calendar! :) Ace present number two!

Christmas Day then – a wonderful birthday girl, a lovely lunch, a surprise from the Bishop – just perfect thanks! :)

26/12/2010. Not quite Boxing Day Blues, that’s too strong but briefly the fun and frivolity was liberally interlaced with the Chemo Hiccups and the Chemo Bottom. These are two well documented manifestations of chemotherapy treatment ( and if they aren’t they will be by the time I’ve done with chemo)!

Basically they make me miserable. It’s funny once but once it’s gone into the realms of times by the power of ten to the factor 40 cubed and enrol Einstein to accurately calculate the methane produced it really has worn a bit thin (The joke not my Calvins)!

Boxing Day then – a hiccup, a fart and three wise men chasing Baby Stig in Bethlehem!

27/12/2010 and 28/12/2010. Today it was oop North to stay overnight at my Mum’s. It took me a long time to get ready in the morning and I think this is because my sleep is very disturbed. It is most odd it is  a feeling of being anxious allied to an obsessive thought that will not go away in your head so by morning you are still tired.

Anyway we finally got away at ten fifteen and had a foul 3 and a half hour drive for what should be a two hour trip. Still we got there and Mum made us feel very welcome and we just did Christmas all over again!

All we did was eat, watch TV, eat, watch more TV and sleep. Fine by me! I enjoyed it at my Mum’s it was reassuringly right. Everything is perfect, the tree, the decorations, the ambience, the food, the little wooden log I made when I was a boy sitting on the coffee table. It’s all so you know terribly terribly and that is what going to Mum’s should be like. Solid as a  rock dependable. I loved it!

First off we had a lovely minestrone soup with garlic bread, then for dinner we had beef which was delicious. Next day I had porridge first thing ( a chemo munchy thing) followed an hour or so later by a full English and then beef sandwiches for lunch!

After lunch we had another gruelling 3 and a half hours drive home getting home just before six! We had a chat with me pal Ray on the iChat then watched Upstairs Downstairs, sulked a bit as Man United dropped two points in the last minute of play and then went to bed!

Christmas 2 then – good food and good chilling. :)

I hope you have had a great Christmas and enjoyed your family, friends and good food – a bit of topsy turvy in your life sure helps to focus on these things that’s for sure! Anyway time to go, but don’t run off without  looking down our Memory Lane and today I’m thinking back to our last holiday which was in May 2010

 just before The Big C joined our lives. We went to the South of France for fun sun and adventure and right now in the Big Brrrrr of Christmas, I really fancy a bit more of that sunshine!

Goodnight! x