iBeastie

Life Blog and More…


Leave a comment

Life Blog – The 6th Chemo Treatment

Well this was due on Tuesday the 18th March but the week before I picked up a nasty chest infection, so come the day my blood count was too low so they postponed it for 1 week. This then is my treat for the 25th March.

The chest infection was evil and I just could not stop coughing. Like a fool I put off a trip to the doctor’s thinking I would be better the next day but it just never happened. Eventually though I did go and he put me on a week’s course of antibiotics  and now as I write this, while my cough is still there it is nothing like as fierce as it was and I feel so much better. It was important that I went as without treatment it could have become pneumonia and then things would be serious.

Anyway, it has meant that I was able to work all last week and with a further week without chemo I got so much stronger. It meant that we have been able to have a really fun weekend.

It began on Friday night  with a meal in Cheltenham for  one of the girl’s in The Internal Sales Team at work.  It was  in fact Sarah’s leaving do as she has decided that it is time for her to try something new. A shame in truth as she is a popular and hard working member of the team. We all wish her well with her future career. Lady Peanut was working a late shift so joined me just after half eight and just in time for pudding! This meant she arrived stone cold sober to a table full of loud girls who had to be honest had a little bit to drink! Lady P found it amusing in a, “Didn’t we have fun on our visit to the zoo” kind of a way! She could see the camaraderie that we all share and this helped to make it a really fun night, though I am sure it all got more out of control after we bailed out  a little after ten! I’m sure I will catch up on the gossip on Monday morning in work!

Saturday saw us up bright and early to meet Carl and Amelia (Fandango and The Elf) for breakfast at the Tate Modern at ten. All was well till 20 miles shy of London, when our run flat warning light came on and we had to cruise in at 50 mph max. then the car park we had headed for proved to be shut, which was frustrating and the upshot after some fast phone work from the Elf to locate us an alternative car park was that we got sat down at 10.30 for a lovely egg and bacon baguette breakfast with coffee and juice.

Breakfast done we explored the Tate. Both Peanut and myself went with an open mind hoping to be impressed, but in truth we came away with little to inspire us. The exception to that for me was a photographic display by William Eggleston of photographs taken in and around his home town of Memphis and I have expanded on this on our sister website PhotoBeast.

IMG_3828

There were several works on display by Picasso, which if I am honest did nothing for me whatsover. I am a simple soul and failing to see the skill in the paintwork, then the message in the painting is lost on me. By contrast Dali who is a favourite of The Elf’s and who had several of his works also on display at The Tate, is an artist I am better able to appreciate. I can identify a skill and quality in his painting and as a consequence both myself and Peanut are better able to appreciate his work even if it is not totally to our taste.

IMG_3831

A painting on sackcloth depicting a scene from Vietnam caught all our eyes and we liked it very much. On the left is depicted the military might of the USA with a tank and soldiers and machine guns all in military green camouflage attire and all the weapons pointed to the Vietnamese shown on the right looking forlorn and despairing. A distinct gap on the canvas separates the two factions and provokes further thought.  Yes, this image struck a chord with all of us.

IMG_3821

Another piece on display was by Manray, a former lover and friend of Lee Miller a model and accomplished photographer whom I admire and have mentioned before on PhotoBeast here.  Apparently the connotations of violence and desire inherent in this work – Iron and Nails –  has led this piece to be regarded as a quintessential Surrealist Object. The hot iron did not evoke any burning desire within me nor did it provoke any sense of admiration for the piece, but that is just me, I don’t always get the point.

IMG_3818

The Tate was done and while not “blown away” by the art that I saw, nonetheless I was satisfied by seeing some of the work of William Eccleston, which I definitely admired and I appreciated for his place in the history of Photography as the man who got colour accepted in the world of fine art photography.

After the Tate we walked to The Borough Market where The Elf had booked lunch for the four of us at Rabot 1745 a Hotel Chocolat restaurant. This was a lovely lunch. All the starters, mains and desserts contain chocolate but it always compliments the meal, never dominating it. I had a lovely Lamb shank with mashed potato with a chocolate gravy on it. It doesn’t sound good, but as I have said the chocolate was quite superb and my main tasted as delicious as it looked.

IMG_3854

Lady P and The Elf had a mushroom risotto, which they both enjoyed while Fandango loved his rabbit and bacon dish.

IMG_3856

IMG_3855

After lunch we had a quick walk around the Borough market before it was time for us to part as we headed to Ashtead in Surrey to meet my cousin Lorraine, who we were having dinner with in the evening along with my cousin Andrew and my Auntie Enid and Uncle Jim.

We arrived at Lorraine’s a little after 5 and were revived with tea and freshly made delicious apple cake. We all enjoyed an Indian meal in Ashtead in the evening. The next day we were up early heading for Brooklands for a MINI meet. However, when we got there and found the car park empty and no MINIs in sight we realised we had got the day wrong as the MINI meet which is always on a Sunday had taken place the day before on the Saturday. Chumps that we were we headed home via a gander at the shops at Cribbs Causeway and a quick look at the NEW MINI at Cotswolds MINI and some very tempting Pacemans. The new MINI by the way is gorgeous in my eyes. I was very smitten. Lots of dreams to bank there then.

So there you go, that is living with Chemo. Not easy eh? But someone has to do it! Take care and contemplate a piece of poetry which is the favourite piece that I have ever written:

I am once more the great romancer

For life is a ballroom and I am a dancer.


Leave a comment

Life Blog – 54 Years Young Today

Mr Beastie 54 todayGood Morning and hello on my birthday – 54 today. Unfortunately I have had a tough week this week as I got a nasty chest infection giving me a wicked cough. I worked Monday but unfortunately haven’t since. I kept thinking I would be better the next day but it never happened. Yesterday I went to the Doctor’s so now have a 7 day course of antibiotics. I already feel different today, so much stronger, steady on my legs again and much happier in my head.. Only problem is, I am still coughing relentlessly and I need that to stop to get back to the real world. All week though, I just did not have the will power or concentration to do anything.

When you get run down, you get quite emotional and day time TV can be a real heart breaker and a heck of an emotional roller coaster ride. Heartbeat is a sentimental trip down memory lane but this is compounded by the adverts in between. I think  I have now saved every donkey in the world from the cruelty of man. It’s the donkey adverts that get me. But just for good measure I think I have now cured every blind child in Africa too. It’s all very emotional and gets me in tears, but then what upsets me, is a side effect of the chemo, which  is tingling in the fingers and toes but also the eyes. It actually really hurts me to cry. So all this emotional overload is in fact very painful!

Next of course is the Macmillan adverts that appear between the donkey and the blind children adverts. Well thank God for them, I really need a bit of light relief after the emotional heartbreak of the donkeys etc.

The next set of adverts change tack a bit and here it can get both macabre and freaky. Freaky? Well, why am I convinced I need a NONO Pro? Check them out here! Day time TV is powerful I am telling you. Hot on the heels of NO No is Michael Parkinson and his soothing voice selling the Axa Death Benefit plan. This is the macabre bit. I love this ad, it’s a complete rip off you will pay in loads more than pays out unless of course you are dying! Yes baby I got my two years under my belt and I am a guaranteed winner on this one. Don’t you love beating them at their own game. I am going to get another one this month, but I want one where you only have to get twelve months in before it will pay out. These give me immense pleasure. Check out the cons and cons of them here.

So a tough week for me. But today is different. I am stronger, I can concentrate. I can write and of course it is my birthday. Ok the cough is a damned nuisance but just knowing some antibiotics will fix it is a big pick me up too. I have had loads of birthday wishes – so thanks to everyone for those, I had a beautiful card off  Lady Peanut – so I cried and then my stupid eyes hurt –  I had some uber cool Burberry Brogues turn up from the Elf, which were simply awesome and I had some more wicked shoes off my good pal Aston, which kind of make me wish I could go to the pub and drink ten pints. Why? Because these babies are so long that you would just not topple over in them- they might be longer than I am tall! These shoes are not for the Gentleman, but I don’t care, I just want to wear them  with a big overcoat and offer ladies cheap silk stockings to buy – they are spivsville city uber cool shoes. I am obsessed with them. I was wearing them in my dream last night, as I was riding a donkey to rescue a blind African child who had just been given a Parker pen to sign his name on The Axa Death Benefit Plan. I awoke in a sweat but smiling knowing I had wiped the smile of Parky’s face!

Hope your day is as good as mine is going to be and for my pals who got themselves a supercharger yesterday – you is lucky people – drive it like you stole it!


Leave a comment

Life Blog – The Fifth Chemo Treatment

Last Tuesday, I had my fifth chemo treatment, so just one more on the 18th to go. Not too bad this one, the tingling fingers haven’t been much of a problem, just the loss of taste that is a nuisance. Work has been a real buzz and life generally has been rather fun, we seem to be packing a lot of fun in just now.

Last weekend was heaps of fun spending Saturday at the Photography Show in the NEC where we emptied the wallet on more vital Fuji camera kit. You can find out about that here. Then we spent Saturday evening and Sunday with The Elf and Fandango, enjoying their hospitality and great company. They will hate me saying this, but they really are a great pair. This weekend is promising to be good too. Friends for lunch tomorrow and then a car meet in Bristol On Sunday morning. A chance then to play with the cameras. The Weekend after that it is my birthday and a royal visit to boot as we entertain my Mum for the weekend. So it’s all rather jolly fun I have to say.

Back to the boring stuff though and while having this Chemo my CEA count in my blood (which is a cancer indicator of sorts) has steadily come down. Before this kicked off with a vengeance my count was 2, which is within normal parameters even though I had already been diagnosed with the Big C. With this last jump though it kicked off and went to 14. Not good. Since then though it dropped to around 9, then 6 and now 3.9, which again can be considered within normal parameters. So fingers crossed something is working and slowing things down!

Adrian’s CEA scores on the doors.

March 2.00
April 2.00
May 2.00
June 2.00
July 3.00
August 4.00
September 5.00
October 7.00
November 9.00
December 12.00
January 14.20
Feb 9.00
Mar 6.90
Mar 3.90

The next Development is that my scan is on the 19th, the day after my last chemo and indeed, I will still have chemo feeding into me, from the bottle I waera for 48 hours after the chemo day. So things are moving fast, as they assess what is going on. Still the consultant did say they would work any treatment around our May holiday so fingers crossed there!

So, here is the known timetable thus far.

Last Chemo – 18th March

CT scan – 19th March

Oncology Consultation – April Fool’s Day (Gulp)

Liver Consultation – 3rd April.

1st Avastin top up – date TBC

Epic European Car Adventure 9th May (Yay)

And finally, Live your life with smiles, they is good!

Peanut