I have another CT scan at the end of the Month on the 29th and a consultation on the results early July. This is the big deal for me as the last scan showed things had stopped working. By that scan I will have had seven cycles of the new chemotherapy and we have to hope it has pushed things back. meanwhile the news is full of big cancer developments such as the skin cancer treatments that seem likely to be able to help a lot of other cancers. Still a lot of work to do with these drugs ref the toxic side effects but it seems to me that fighting the Big C is all about hanging on till something that really works turns up. I shall try and hang on!
So how do you hang on on to a life which you can see, slowly slipping away from you? Well in my case we make it a busy life, we fill it with stuff, and of course we fill it with love. We fill my head with plans and tasks . This week has been tough. I had chemo on Wednesday which went well but tummy cramps meant I had Thursday and Friday off work. By Saturday they had cleared up but my feet were really sore and on Saturday frankly I could barely walk even in my life saving Skechers! God were my feet sore. Sunday as I write this, my feet are good again and we even plan a garden tidy up later today! It is most strange.
We have a big holiday in September planned and we are looking at a long weekend before that maybe Berlin, maybe something else, but having things planned means the future is exciting and not about the Big C. Tasks, be they car modifications such as daytime running lights on the two MINIs, or repainting the kitchen window sill, all get planned up, to be ticked off. Then there are days out full of fun to look forward to and this is where we leave the serious Life Blog stuff and talk about… ArmourGeddon!
Yep yesterday I went to ArmourGeddon in Leicestershire and had me a Paintball tank battle! This is what you do…
You form part of a 3 man team, and with some guidance from your instructor you will be transformed into an elite tank crew greasing the gears of paintball warfare! Each person learning how to Drive the tank, Aim the paintball cannon fitted to the turret and Load the breach.
On arrival you will be issued with your uniform and a helmet to ensure 100% combat efficiency. Then you will be introduced to your crew, instructor and ‘home’ for the next couple of hours, 1 of our 15, turreted FV432 tanks. After a briefing on the vehicle you will take it in turns to drive around the World War II bombing range, sounds easy? Then try driving with only a periscope to see through! When your nerves have settled a little, its time for target practice! First you will master the art of Aiming the 40mm cannon fitted in the turret of the tank and then test your speed as try the loaders position.
After discussing some battle tactics it’s time to get the adrenalin pumping and make your crew proud, taking on the enemy in a tank paintball battle!
Who will Drive? Who will Load? Who will Aim? YOU AND YOUR CREW OF COURSE!
Before that you get a look around their Museum, where we saw one of the Sherman tanks that was used in the recent Brad Pitt movie Fury. then you get into it, kitting up and in our case encountering some serious mud. Remember I could barely walk with my legs, so just putting my wellies on was a task worthy of a medal on its own. I deserved another medal for walking out to the tank through the mud! But you know what? I had combats on, I was nine years old, I was walking out to a tank. I was going to drive it, I was going to fire it. Hell I was going to shoot at another tank. What sore feet? I was blooming excited!
Peanut was excited too as were her son and daughter Duncan and The Elf. Inside and the tank was cramped. You needed the helmet on as your head hit everything it could find to hit. We crashed on and soon eneough I was in the driving seat and wow moving that seventeen ton beast felt good. Then they closed the hatch and you drove by looking through the persicope! That was intense. That took me to what I saw in the Fury movie. You started to get a sense of what it must be like in these tanks in battle!
Then it was Peanut’s turn to drive and I sat up top looking out from the turret. She drove well, real well. From where I sat it seemed like she did it better than I did. I was in command position in a tank being driven round by my wife and this was good, real good. You won’t understand this but I suddenly got very emotional up there staring out of my turret, feeling so proud of Peanut and so in love with her, so aware of how we journey through life together and this somehow seemed so symbolic of how we leap into the battles that life gives us together. So I had a moment.
Just a moment though and then I was nine again! we were battling now and shooting the enemy. Me and P were side by side in the turret Peanut loading and firing and me aiming. “Turn turn turn, raise the elevation. Higher higher, aim! Fire!” The commands belted out like bullets from a gun. Peanut’s hands whirred on the loader as she frantically undone it, loaded and locked. “Fire!” and she instantly fired recharged and reloaded. We hit ten out of 12 and the two we missed hit a post directly in front of the enemy tank. It was intense. It was fun. Try it you will love it!