Saturday, 27 February 2010

Saturday 27th February

Two days to go before my next consultation with the specialist and I'm feeling OK but tired. I did a bit more than usual this week. There were some computer issues that had to be sorted out at work so I went in for a couple of hours. Our son Chris has been ill in bed and was supposed to help a friend move some furniture. I drove the van but stayed out of the way when there was lifting to be done. The next day my daughter Jayne rang asking for a van as her firm were moving office. Chris was in bed so I drove the van down to Wellingborough and did three trips around the one way system.
Not even a full day's work in total, but-
I'm working on the principle of, the more I do, the more I can do.
However, this is a good week for me. I should have another bout of chemo next week.
I'm usually pretty sore by the end of that week and need a week or two to recover.
This will be the fifth session out of six. I'm hoping to complete the treatment by April.
I'm pleased with how it's going so far, but I don't know how fit I'll be when I finally get signed off, and how long it'll take before I'm back to full fitness.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Sat 20th February

Almost nothing to report. I went into work a couple of times for an hour or so to sort out a computer and then get the legal software updated. My role in the firm is to keep us compliant with the ever changing regulations. Solicitors are almost the most highly regulated firms in the UK. This year so far I've had to amend the client care letter (our terms and conditions) to bring us into line with the new EU policy on the complaints procedure, and to include details of our indemnity insurance.
We've always had these systems, we've always had indemnity insurance. We have to have insurance or we can't trade. I just think that advertising that we have a complaints procedure and insurance is a big flag waving and saying "Here we are, come and sue us.)
Ok, rant over. I have my other blogs for that.
I'm still surprised how tired I am after these trips. I couldn't put in a full day even if I wanted to. Or maybe if I did, I'd never put in a second. Don't we just take our health and strength for granted?

What else? A friend called by on his way home from a business trip to the Midlands and spent an hour or so catching up on news. I had phone calls from friends and it snowed again.
I'm making good progress with the bass and I'm more in tune than out, so I'm looking forward to inflicting my playing on the public. Just be glad that my lifelong obsession was to learn the double bass and not the bagpipes.
I have another week before my next round of appointments at the hospital, and a month before my first concert of the year. And a round of chemo in between.
And then a holiday somewhere warm?

Friday, 12 February 2010

Friday 12th February

Another week gone. It's getting lighter so Spring's on the way. However, it's not getting any warmer.
I managed a couple of trips this week. I went into work for an hour or two, just to catch up. I can't believe how tired I was afterwards. I slept for more than 12 hours!
I also had to get my blood pressure measured. My BP has been high for about a month, and I was prescribed pills to lower it, with the instructions to visit my GP and have it measured. It should have occured last Monday. I was still very weak from the chemo so didn't get there until Wednesday. Unfortunately the surgery was closed for training.
I went to the eye clinic today for a check up. I persuaded them to measure my BP. I'm pleased to say that it's back to normal. And I was discharged from the eye clinic.

I collected my stick bass from my friend's and have started to practice playing it. It's quite different from my other instruments. It's fretless and you can't use a plectrum. (It's an electric version of a double bass btw). I've had a fascination with the instrument since I was a child. I love the tuneful thud it makes. I'm a bit late to try and emulate my favourite bass player Danny Thompson, who's been playing for fifty years or more, but I'll give it a go.

Le't's see what the next few days bring. As long as it's not snow.
My next appointments are on March 1st.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

New blog

I've set up a new blog called

I've had a lot of jobs over the years. Most of them were boring, and the only way I kept sane was through my music. I've decided to write about some of the jobs I've had along the way. Please check it out and add any comments.

Sunday 7th February

I've just finished my fourth round of chemo and I'm pleased to say that this one went the best so far (so good).
I was sick just the once, yesterday morning soon after I woke up. I'd only taken a couple of anti-nausea pills prior to the main course of Cyclophosphamide, plus a mouthful or two of water. Soon afterwards I felt the familiar warning signs, the taste in my mouth, and teh increase in saliva that precludes the event, and was in the bathroom in good time. Three almost dry heaves and that was it.
The worst part of the routine is waking up, feeling hungry and having to wait an hour after taking the dose before eating any food. Sometimes I think the nausea is as much to do with hunger than anything.
Anyway, my routine has been slightly different this time. I've been to the shop almost every day (except for yesterday when I'd been sick) and I've even used the car to take Chris & Heather down the town last night. My lower back & hips hurt quite a lot, but I've found that I can walk the stiffness off, even if it's only a few hundred yards to the shop & back. I still managed to doze through two rugby matches on TV yesterday, so somethings don't change.
Next week's plan is to try and get more exercise and get out and meet a few more people. I managed a trip to the local music shop last week, which was nice (if expensive). I bought a new hard case for my Yamaha acoustic guitar that I got in a swap for my Faith Jupiter acoustic, and Chris bought himself a Pearl drum rack, which should cut down the number and weight of stands when he sets his drum kit up.

I'm by nature a bit of a recluse and have to force myself to be sociable even when I'm fit. I tend to stay at home unless I've a reason to go out, a paying gig or a firm music booking for instance. There are lots of acoustic music venues in the locality, easily enough to go out most nights of the week, so I'll force myself to get out once my immunity builds up. Or maybe that's an another excuse for staying in.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Tuesday update

All good. Arrived at the clinic 20 minutes early. (Chris was ready, I was ready, so we went). They found me a nice reclining armchair and sat me down. Coffee and biscuits soon after, with further refills during the morning. Sue recognised one of the volunteers when we were there yesterday. I don't know if it was the same person today, but hey, they're friendly, they smile and they bring you drinks.

After the canella was fitted, the first thing they inject is a dose of piriton, so that's me drowsy and out of it for the rest of the morning. Fit the drip sir? Whatever!.
I alternated between reading the newspaper and dozing throughout the morning. The seat was reclined, the hospital table cum tray was tilted so I could read the paper and the day went by, punctuated by the nurses taking my blood pressure and temperature. Tuna sandwiches for lunch. Then during the afternoon the clinic started to empty as treatments were finished. I chatted to the guy sitting next to me for a while until he was ready to leave. Soon it was my turn to leave. By now there were more nurses than patients as they got everything for the next day's clinic. I was given a bagful of drugs and I was on my way.
I phoned Chris for a lift and made my way to one of the exits near a bus stop, sat down until Chris rang to say he was driving up the hill and then went outside to be picked up.
All in all it was a very uneventful day. I enjoyed meeting all the staff. They're a small team and you get to see them every time and learn their names. One of the nurses was on holiday in Antartica of all places. It's too cold here, so that's right out for me, even if it is summer there.
Tomorrow I will start with the chemo proper, with one drug for breakfast and another for lunch, with a side order of anti-nausea pills. Let's see if I can make it through the week without being sick. I've not managed it yet.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Monday Feb 1st

Just back from the hospital where I've been prodded & poked, weighed and measured, tried and tested. My blood test results are good. The Leukaemia cell count has been negligible for the last two or three appointments. However, they will complete the full course of treatment to be sure.
My blood pressure remains very high. They've given me some pills to try and lower it.
There was some debate whether to have another CT scan now or wait until the end of the treatment. In the end they decided to wait. I'm finding it too uncomfortable to sleep lying on my left side, which is indicative that my spleen may be enlarged. However they don't think it's a enough of a problem to change the treatment.

So I go back to the clinic tomorrow for a dose of chemo via a drip, and I'll be taking loads of pills for the rest of the week.