Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Glimmer Arrives.

 Christmas is over and what a cracker it was, as I mentioned in an earlier post how I wish Elaine had been here to share it with us, it was the traditional Christmas that we had always fancy doing but never quite got round to it, Im sure she watching and was very happy to see me and especially her two doggies so looked after.  

I have felt absolutely  brilliant, the only small downside is that the steroids have given me such a massive appetite, and I am eating for Africa. Also and I dont know if its  the steroids, the anti seizure medication or the brain tumour removal but my taste buds are a bit out of kilter. Its not too bad and is getting better day by day. I bought some lovely French red wine for Christmas, and couldn't wait to try it,  basically I just didn't get anything out of it, never mind it will go well in the next spag bol.

I'm still struggling with time issues, time just seems to go so slow, which is quite nice. 

Iam having to think a lot more carefully when filling out forms and banking online etc, I am making mistakes. But one week ago I had pretty major brain surgery so Im not beating myself up about it. 

I was booking flights and a hotel for holiday a couple of days ago and it all went well until my sister in law checked it and said that I had booked the wrong hotel. I couldn't change it on line, so had to call BA direct the next day. I wrote down all the details of the correct hotel which did have a similar name and location. The girl was lovely and I spoke to her for ages and still managed to book the wrong hotel on the phone!! When I told her about the brain op she was just so lovely and made sure we got it all done and dusted with no problem. All sorted, no loss of deposit, no additional fees just good service. Kudos to BA.

I will go to Macclesfield by train next Wednesday to catch up with Elaine's dad and brother Trev, plus catch up with a couple of friends. I will just go on the virgin train its one hour 20 mins each way so it makes a nice easy day trip. 

Next Thursday I meet up with Prof Nandi the Neurosurgeon at Charing Cross hospital, it will be just a quick check and removal of stitches. I presume he will also talk about the other two small brain tumours and what they will or will not do with them. 

Friday is the big one as its back to Charing Cross to met up with the lung consultant oncologist who will hopefully give me the full rundown of the disease. I spoke to her yesterday, and that was the glimmer I had been looking for. She said there are loads more info they are still getting from the tumour that has been removed from my brain, but basically its not the super aggressive cell, so  I have longer than weeks!!

Sister in law Tracy will come with me as this is going to be an important meeting, I have already decided that I want quality and as much as possible treatment is going to be around me trying to enjoy life as much as possible.

I have also checked with Bupa, about any limits to treatment and costs, there are none, it will all be done on the private system. I feel incredibly privileged to be going private and a little bit lucky that about 20 years ago BUPA took over my Australian medical insurance, so including Spain I have been under the BUPA umbrella for 22 years. Oh there are two conditions  where they stop paying. one is that I dont pay the monthly fee, and the other is that I die. I reckon that I  will keep on paying the monthly fee!!

So at he moment life is very good, still no pain, I  haven't had one pain killer since coming out of hospital one week ago today.

I am going to catch up with more family and friends before next weeks hospital visits.

Yesterday my lovely niece and chauffeur/carer took me to the three locks pub for a very very long lunch with a mate who is off back to Mojacar next week. 

A one hour lunch went for three!

Once again massive thanks to my family who are looking after me in 5 star fashion, they dont realise what a difference it makes for me not to have to worry about anything, especially my precious doggies who have always been my biggest concern, they are both very very happy with their present house, they are unbelievably happy little boys

Big thanks to the boaters who are in Mojacar who check up on the villa and my stuff down there, I'm seriously hoping to get down there even for a few weeks sooner than later...I have plans!!

Lastly big thanks to the readers of this drivel that send me lovely messages etc, it is appreciated. 


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

What a lovely Christmas and brain Thoughts.

I had the most fantastic Christmas with my brother Russell his wife Tracy and daughter, Kimberley, not forgetting Elsa the dog.

It was just so perfect and simple and I loved every minute of it from when I got up at about 05.30 until I hit the sack about midnight.

Kimberley and Russell went up to sort the horses mid morning, then came home and changed into casual attire for Christmas present opening.
The presents were scattered everywhere.

Then the opening began in earnest.

On my Christmas day wishlist was a walk through a forest, I really dont know why but I just needed to do  it!

Kimberly who is now my personal driver took me, obviously with the brain op I cant drive at the moment.

It was fun, not to cold, but bloody muddy! 

The dogs loved it and got covered in mud.

They have a nice new car so we stuck a load of towels down in the back for the trip back home.

My chauffeur does a great job, we are off shopping later for a hat gloves, coat etc, there is going to be a lot more driving me around in the next few weeks, months!!!!

Whist we had been out playing in the woods. Russell and Tracy had been at home sorting the Traditional dinner etc. They had actually been doing it all day, I spent most of the day apart from the forest walk just lounging around on the sofa .....Neuro surgeons orders were to rest well!!

As soon as we got back the three dogs were taken to the bathroom to be cleaned and shampooed. They soon ended up nice little white doggies again.

The rest of the day, was pure traditional Christmas, a Brilliant dinner with all the trimmings, then just sitting down chatting, drinking  and eating more and more. We did put a Christmas film on but we never watched it we were too busy just chatting.

Elaine would have absolutely loved it, but Im sure she was with us  watching !

As I said it was just the most perfect Christmas day, and just what I needed. It is without a doubt the most  I have ever appreciated close family. I could never have done this in Australia, or Spain etc.

Brain Thoughts!!

I have only been out of hospital For three days, and feel absolutely fantastic.

Im on steroids to reduce swelling and some anti seizure drug to obviously prevent seizures, which I  have never had anyway leading up to the op. I haven't taken one aspirin or anything as there is just no pain.

I can walk and talk fine,Im walking slowly only for the fear of falling over and knocking the plate out of my head!

I am making mistakes typing up this drivel and can see the mistakes  hopefully I'm correcting them but maybe I m not! 

I will get to the point now!!

My senses have become so heightened, everything is just so wonderful, a Gin and tonic takes me an hour to drink and is the best thing ever! A roast spud was an absolute taste sensation! 

Everything is heightened and im 100% sure its not the drugs.

My theory is they have taken a big lump of poisonous crap out of my brain and the rest of it is firing out a massive amount of endorphin's to compensate.

Another  strange happening is time, I know what time it is, but as an example we were out for dinner a couple of nights ago , I forgot my drugs, Tracy drove home to get them , she was gone ten minutes, I m sure she was gone at least an hour! 

Im not fussed, they are very minor problems, but I will ask the prof when I meet up with him in a couple of weeks. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

After The Op and Merry Christmas xx

I have had the brain tumour removed and feel pretty bloody good to be honest. There really isn't much to say about the op I re member being wheeled into-the theatre staring at the bright lights, it was like I was in a movie. The knock out man had a chat, we spoke about Rugby as he was a South African, the next thing I Knew was his face again saying hello, can you move all your bits as instructed, which I did. Next thing I was holding hands with a lovely Philippines nurse called Layla who was singing   Whams Next Christmas, I belted out a couple of verses Of Layla by Clapton, that stopped her. This was in the recovery ward.

I spent the night in an intensive care ward with about 5 other patients . I really havent a clue what happened in there, just monitoring and asking questions every now and again, but I felt absolutely fine.

I am now back in my own little suite being pampered by nursing staff and hospitality staff.

Lots of visitors yesterday, which was most appreciated.

Im being loved to death x

The room and food is 5 star all the way, and Im making the most of it.

So the good news is that the brain Tumour is gone, but of course  I Knew it wasn't going to be all good news.

The lung oncologist came for a chat as they have being doing lots of scans and tests whilst in here.

On the 5th Jan Im back down to Charing Cross under Lung cancer team. By then we should know what exactly was in the brain tumour and what grade they are up against.  This is when Im hoping for the one bit of good news and it may be low grade, its just a hope and will be what will be.

the cancer is also on my spine and pelvis. The good part is that im in no pain in back or lungs, etc Im walking fine etc and feel really really good. The optimistic 2-3 years is shrinking rapidly but they have treatments so I will wait until early Jan to see what the treatment entails. It will all be done at Charing Cross hospital.

The next part is the biggie As I will need help in getting to chemo, radio appts etc. Obviously I spent loads of time with Elaine doing this, which was my pleasure, now I have to rely on getting people to run me around, but I have had loads of time to think about it and I have plans.

Im not going to wobble on about medical stuff anymore.

I would love to wish you all a most Merry Christmas and a very very happy New Year.

Amazingly the Blog continues XXXXX 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Op Day Tomorrow

Im sat in my comfy bed at Charing Cross hospital writing this, brain op is tomorrow. 

More about that later.

My lovely family bought me pjs and a dressing gown for my hospital stay, I normally sleep skyclad! 

I had to model them!

We have been eating out most nights, which has been great, English pubs at Christmas are magical.

I have been walking a fair bit too, I have been on steroids for a couple of weeks Christ they make you hungry, downside of course is my nob has shrivelled away to nothing!

Enough about my nob, I do love the canal walks they are so special, actually everything is pretty special at the moment.

Today they called me in earlier to the hospital, as they wanted to do some blood tests and map out my brain etc.

I have never ever had an operation or been admitted to hospital apart from when I broke my clavicle when I was 6 months old!  

I have been insured with BUPA in Oz and Spain for nearly 20 years so at last I was going to use it, rather not of course but needs must.

I travelled down on the train and tube on my own, its an easy trip plus I have run out of pretty nieces to take me!

Im on the 15th floor Of Charing Cross Hospital in The Thames View private wing, problem is I cant see the Thames, Im looking over a fkin graveyard!

They have taken blood, stuck in the canulas and marked out my skull so it goes back together correctly apparently.

So that's, it I'm ready I'm chilled and want to get on with it.

All going well tomorrow, the blog will carry on in a few days, if it goes bad.......


In all seriousness thank you all for the good wishes by email, FB the blog in fact every social media I can think of.

I really do Love Yous ALL xxxx

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fun Before The Scan Results

It was good to have a fair amount of snow down here in Milton Keynes, we went for plenty of walks in the white stuff with the doggies.

Poor Sammie got so cold I had to carry him under my ski jacket. 

Mush you huskies. 

We went to a brilliant dog friendly pub on Tuesday, lovely Christmassy place and fantastic food. 

Today was scan results say, so it was another trip to London, this time I was accompanied by my gorgeous niece Josie.

We had a nice meeting with Prof Nandi and he said the following as best as I can remember.

I have lung cancer with some on my liver and adrenal gland and it has metastasised to my brain causing three tumours.
Next Tuesday I go into Charing Cross hospital London for removal of the large brain tumour and I should be out before Christmas all going well.
I then go back two weeks after that when they will give me another brain scan and remove the stitches from my bonce.
They would have also by then analysed the tumour to work out exactly what they are up against with cancers in the lung and liver and adrenal gland etc. He will also decide what to do with the two small brain tumours as in removing them with a cyber knife of waiting a bit longer.
The neurosurgeon is 95% certain that he can remove the large brain tumour safely so I'm happy with that.
Its going to be a long old journey but i'm in a good place with excellent health care.
I am surrounded by loving family and friends so its all good.
Many thanks to JB Davies (Josie) my gorgeous niece who was my carer for today lol.
We went out to a fantastic pub after the consult, it was one of mine and Elaine's favourite pubs when we spent a month in Paddington basin on the boat back in August 2013.
Thank you all for your kind wishes, I love yous all xxxx

Elaine outside the pub back in August 2013

Friday, December 8, 2017

Visit To The Neuro Surgeon

My lovely niece Kimberley came with me to London to see the neurosurgeon.

It was a easy trip Virgin train to Euston, then a tube to Hammersmith, after that a short stroll to Charing Cross Hospital.

He checked out the head scans that I brought over from Spain then informed me that I had three brain tumours!  He also informed me that he was certain that they are secondary tumours and that I have cancer somewhere else in my body and it has spread to my brain!

He will cut out the large tumour and use Gamma knife surgery for the other two, he is very optimistic about the brain surgery and wants to get it done before Christmas.  The problem of course is where is the primary cancer, Im booked in for a full body scan early Monday Morning.

My gut feeling is that it will be lung cancer, I have had a rotten cough that wont ease up for the last 6 weeks or so. I will find that out on Wednesday or Thursday.

So its going to be a long journey with an unknown outcome, If I get 2-3 years I will be very happy.

So after the meeting we headed off to Covent Garden to check out the market and lights etc.

We made our way back to Euston via Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square.

It was a lovely evening after a pretty crappy day, we had a few drink and went to a lovely restaurant.

We finally get home about 22.30.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Hardcore Boaters

I received my 2018 Hard Core Calendar today, its brilliant as usual.

We formed the Hard Core boaters back at Aston Marina when we all moored there  in the winter of  2012 and 2013. 

Whereas as lot of the boaters there went out occasionally we were constantly out eating and drinking, our main HQ was The Royal Exchange in Stone.

We became firm friend over those two winters and have become inseparable ever since.  

We have holidayed together in Cornwall, Northumberland and Mojacar.  We also went on many day trips together and of course met up on the canal system throughout our respective travels.

We have our own Viber group and we are all in contact daily.

The group consists of  me (Ex NB Caxton), Roly and Bev (NB Klara) Sue and Andy (NB Festina Lente) Martin and Cathy (NB Moriarty) Ray and Diane ( Ex NB Ferndale) and Dot and Gordon (NB Ewn Ha Cul).

Ray and Diane have now returned to live in Australia, the rest of them are still boating apart from me that is.

The MCC (Mojacar Canal Club) was also formed from this group of people, and apart from Ray and Diane will all be down there at some time over this winter. 

You couldn't meet a nicer group of people and Im so happy I met these guys back in 2012.

Many thanks Dot for doing the calendar x

Me and my best mate are July 

Cathy and Martin Mr and Mrs May 

Ray, Gordon, Dot and Diane are October 

Andy and Sue, Mr and Mrs September 

Gordon, Roly and Bev are April. 

And virtually everyone as December. 

Other happenings.....

We took the dogs out in the Jag, 

And took them for a walk around the lake. 

Tomorrow Im of to see a Neurosurgeon at Charing Cross Hospital in London, they wanted someone to come with me for support so my niece Kimberley is coming with me.

I haven't got a clue what he is going to say or do, its a bit like going to court for an offence, will I get a 3 month sentence or will he put the black cap on.

I have no doubt that I wont get too many answers tomorrow but will be the start of a journey I really dont want to go on.  I do have a good idea on what to expect as I was with Elaine for 3 years on her cancer trip, if I get the same care as her I will be very happy.

This is the chap here who will be checking out my brain