Monday, 31 December 2012

Bob's Farewell Finally Confirmed

At 3 o'clock today I had a call from the surgical consultant's secretary to offer me a date for Bob's reversal operation. 10th January it is then. So it's just a case of returning to work on Wednesday for a week and keeping away from any bugs that may scupper the plan. The other good news that I received over Christmas was that Helen (My PICC nurse pal from Weston Park) will be taking up a position at NGH (bad news for Weston Park though- she's the best) so I'll get to meet up with her at some point on one of my visits

Graham and Carol of the Parish Oven who made it all happen
Last night we had a bit of a belated birthday bash at the Parish Oven where I invited some of the people who have supported me over the past year. The purpose of the evening was to thank everyone for their support and not particularly to raise money, but if we could then that was fine. I wish that I could have invited more however there was only limited room. It was a good evening which I hope everyone enjoyed. We had a proper quiz, some pie and peas followed by a game of "Play Your Cards Right" and managed to raise in excess of £300 for Weston Park Hospital Charity which will be doubled by HSBC through the Parish Oven. Everyone who won put the money back into the pot for the charity. I also received £125 in birthday donations which we will  send to the Cavendish Cancer Care which is where I underwent hypnotherapy
So its a big Thank You to everyone including Graham and Carol of the Parish Oven for making the evening a huge success
You can see the pictures from the evening by following the link - unfortunately some folks had gone home before I thought of getting the camera out.
Birthday Bash Photos
John Swinglehurst has written an Ode to Bob which is posted below

Bob's been working for Dale
In this he never did fail
Now he's done all his work
Which he never did shirk
Time to go home, never to reappear
So that Dale can use his own rear
Goodbye and thank you old Bob

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Pre Op Assessment

I was back at NGH yesterday for a Pre Op Assessment prior to my illeostomy reversal. My health in general looks good with the exception of putting 2 kg on since March. I still have no date for my operation but it should not be too long after new year. I'm also still waiting for a date for a full body scan which I believe should happen 9 months after diagnosis to see if any cancer cells have migrated elsewhere
So it looks like Bob has had a reprieve and will see it through Christmas and into the New Year. Anyway his farewell party will go ahead on the 30th of December
Me on my first kayak trip since my diagnosis

This week I've been using up my annual holidays and it is good to have time off whilst I'm feeling well, so I've been walking locally and even had a day out kayaking in minus 5 temperatures on the River Idle with my mate Dave Wright.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Getting Back to Normal

Sunday 9th December
Top of Fairbrook
It has been a couple of months now since my last chemo session and I'm feeling something like my old self with the exception of my nerve endings and balance problems. I'm getting a little further with my running and yesterday Graham and I had a short notice jaunt up Kinder Scout which is a hill / mountain in the Peak district. Surprisingly there was a lot more snow up there than we though and you would think that I would still have some small level of sympathy owing to me, wouldn't you? But NO he allowed me to break trail through knee deep snow on the ascent to the top. I mean How Selfish Can One Be?
I was aware that I had some muscle wastage from the months of inactivity but this was the first time I had felt its effect as the snow collapsed on each step.
Graham near the Downfall
Once at the top we had an epic crossing the plateau to Kinder Downfall again wading through snow drifts and negotiating the deep peat groughs which is problematic even in the summer. It was good to be out enjoying the alpine like scenery. I just love Kinder Scout.
Knowing just how arduous and energy sapping this kind of walking was we decided to return  the same way following our own footprints. Back at the car, although I had had enough I was pleased in the way that I had shaped up.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Charity Gig No2

Phil, Mum and Me
 Sunday 2nd December
Over the last few weeks I feel that my progress has slowed or even gone backwards, whether or not it is due to going back to work too soon is up for debate but my energy levels are low and my nervous system just isn't getting back to normal. Over the past month I''m also more unsteady on my feet, almost falling over in the dark when I get up during the night and especially in the shower when I wash my hair with my eyes closed.
Since I'm going to have to wait a while for my reversal operation it is time to make an effort to speed up the process of getting the chemo drugs out of my system and to make a start getting a modest level of fitness back by doing a bit of running.. I don't know if there is any scientific evidence to support my theory that exercise can flush out the drugs but what the heck, does it matter so long as I feel it's working? Anyway I have made a start by going out for a short run after work including a longer run Saturday morning . Having done a couple of half marathons and run regularly in the past I was shocked just how weak my legs were and how out of breath I became having to run / walk the short distances. Even so I feel much better for it, being more alert, less tired. My new Nike Air Pegasus 28 trail shoes feel and look the business even though my body doesn't. We will see if my stamina improves over the coming weeks at a rate that I am happy with bearing in mind that that after the operation I will be dormant for a few more weeks.
Chris, Phil, Me and Ian

Last night I went to another charity gig organised by my sister Kay. The gig was at the Innings pub in Worksop and playing was Sheffield based band  Mahogany Newt.  The pub was packed with family and friends, some of which I hadn't seen for donkey's years. Thanks to the efforts of Kay and my other sister Cheryl the night raised over £2500 for Weston Park Cancer Charity.