Friday 29th April 2016

Now yesterday I put on the wrong date and at least I have the excuse. Last night up again at 1.30am watched the Madame Secretary, started to make the cheese scones then could get frustrated that I could not find the baking powder. I knew I had it, searched everywhere and could not find it. I prepared all the ingredients to make in the morning. Back to bed at 4.20 and woke again at 6am. Eleanor solved the mystery, the baking powder was in sachets and then I realized so the oven on and made the scones.

I knew my friend Nigel Williams was coming to see me at 9.30am and he came when Eleanor went to the morning pilates had forced fed with scones and cake. Sorry Nigel.

He filled me in with the activity of UKIP as he is standing for Delyn. He would be a great representative for the people for Flint and I hope the electorate see the sense.

I had several things to get organized and the priority was to order BT to come and shift the internet Modem out of our bedroom to the other side of the bungalow. I also have a problem with Paypal and they need copies of driving licence and a utility to get this resolves. Trying to phone people, forget it. Send other details but they do everything not to let people to call them. Frustrating.

I had also sourced the exhibitor for electrifying Eleanor’s tricycle and I am definite to get this done. Eleanor always wanted it done but this will allow me to use this as it makes it stable and they say I cannot go my normal two wheel cycle.

I have my little baby, my Alfa Spider Soft top, and we had great plans for taking it to France. I had a nice couple from the Ruthin checked it over and I am sure they will get a real bargain as I had spent all required to make sure it was perfect. I will be sad to see it going however Eleanor thought it was a  costly venture.IMG_0029

Linda and Mat will arrive at Chester Station about 6pm and we will take them to the Albion apartment and I look forward to taking them to The Albion and see the proprietors Mike and Cristina. First World War pub with tradition grub. Could be tempted with a pint but no.

Met Linda and Mat at station and straight to the fab apartment just 50 yards from the Albion. The food was traditional with the cabbage, carrots, turnip and Linda and I took the haggis which was great.

Good company then taxi home.

Another great day.

Night.

 

 

Masking day 28th April 2016

Woke up at 1.30am and used the new head torch to read in bed and just showed the light to read the Kindle. I was relaxed in the bed and just wish I could just sleep. eventually just got up at 3.30am  and at now 4.30am was delighted that I found my notes until the 12th April which I will tidy up in the Blog but better to share it out for now. Sorry if you see this bitsy but hopefully will get better.

Last night the Wales Leader’s Debate and I deliberately did not watch it. I caught some with the Welsh News and it was a load of armatures. I wish just some of these idiots started a business, risked their houses, went out every day and did a ‘real’ job. All promises which they will never give and it is a bit of time that we have a honest politician who tells it the way it is. If you need more services then pay for it. Get people who are capable of working -get them out working even to improve our society. Five year term politics will never build a long term society. A laugh was The Greens lassie talking saving Tata Steel. Does she know the politician from that site, not that I disagree, and the coal on the site is imported when they are sitting on top of Welsh, million tons of the black stuff. Popularization!

Today is the fitting of the mask at 9am at Clatterbridge. We messed around and started to panic however it only took about 25 minutes so arrived at plenty of time. Today another journey of mystery. The friendly of all the staff was incredible and both Eleanor and I were at a complete ease. Called into and explained that this mask would be made to the exact of my face and made thermal plastic mesh. Told to lie down and not panic and the three nurses just whipped out this mash, very hot and before I thought was covered my face and all their fingers were shaping this to my exact shape. I felt a bit uncomforatle but when I could breath then I went with it. I hardened quickly and hey presto I have my own sculpture and as surprised that this would be presented to me at the end of the six week treatment. Told Eleanor it will be a modern art form for out lounge. She looked at me funny -why?

After I had a scan of the head, sent for more blood tests then onto for a MRI which I had had three in this month and was a walk in the park. I had a bit of a problem as they had said I was moved twice and had to repeat. Have you ever stared to a point when your eyes are closed? Difficult. The they injected the dye through the blood system to highlight the flow. This time I was good boy and was congratulated.

Once released, we went into the building which housed ‘Maggies’ This was formed in Edinburgh by a cancer sufferer and this has grown, giving a warm atmosphere for people to meet, eat, chat and are fully supported in activities. Both Eleanor and I will be fully involved in helping and will use the facilities. Wonderful!

Back home again that warmth, spend some time on Skype to fix out the Powers of Attorney and this is a great way to communicate without travelling.I am keen to make sure that all things are prepared and easy with no dispute.

We decided to take a trip to Waitrose in Chester and stock up. Back home to have a lovely chicken stir fry. Lovely food and I know that once the treatment starts I will never enjoy this feasting. Make hay now!

Well folks, off for bit of telly and relax.

I am 10/10 today and good night.

Missing info bringing update

Here

 

My April Fool was no Fool

Apart from Friday the 1st April 2016 being April Fool’s day and seeing that Nigel Farage had changed his mind about leaving the EU, nothing much was different until at 1.15pm I was tying to take down a telephone number from a client wanting a floor sanding appointment.

Several times I tried than my speech went crazy. Don’t worry this was just April Fools and someone had slipped me a large whiskey in my coffee.

I turned to my two colleagues Peter and Alan and then started babbling in a incoherent way. I know at that point that there was something wrong  and just put it down to stress.

My wife Eleanor was called and immediately and ambulance was called. When the fast response was called they thought I had had a minor stroke, a TIA, and was immediately taken by ambulance to Chester Grosvenor Hospital.

The classic TIA was detected and at 5pm was sent home with blood thinning tablets and an appoint for a head scan on the following Monday at 10.30am.

The blood thinning pills given to me must have reacted as at 9pm that night before I went to bed I started speaking gibberish again and Eleanor phone 999 for the general test about trying to remember a small poem. Words confused the paramedics arrived then an ambulance to hospital. Although put into a cubicle right way the typical TIA was identified however they felt this was unusual. At 1pm after an evening of entertainment listening to the drunks ‘trying’ to have some treatment, Eleanor went home and I was transferred to the Stroke Ward for the evening.

One important thing I see now, is that  I had had for the last six months,  pains in my both arms and after examination with my GP’s I was sent to physio therapy but how hard I worked at this, the pain never disappeared. Normally very fit I also found it more difficult to get out of the car, a bit stiff.  You may find the significance of this at a later date?

Saturday 2nd April

I was sent for a CT scan on the head and was later told by the doctor that they had spotted fluid on the brain with a mass behind it. This was on my left had side where it was putting pressure on my speech and memory brain area. As you can imagine this was devastating to Eleanor and I and my whole life changed at this point.

Sunday 3rd April

After a sleepless night in a ward next to poor Brian who unlike myself was bedbound and with tubes coming out of my stomach, I was sent for a head MRI scan. This showed in details that indeed there was a tumor there and the    next. It is amazing to see how your whole life passes in front of you. You think of all the times wasted, the times where work overtook family and such a waste. You try to balance this with the people dying throughout the world, the young children with brain tumour or other horrible diseases and they have, unlike me, had a wonderful life so far at the age of sixty two.

Monday 4th April

One problem could be that the tumour  had spread with secondary’s to the rest of the body. I had always eaten well, never smoked was, to intense and purposes ‘fit’.

The CT scan was then carried out and we were not told the news until meeting with the surgeon at Walton Hospital Liverpool on the Thursday. This was a nerve racking wait as I knew that the tumour was bad enough but to have cancer in the main body would further complicate the issue.

I am ashamed of the way in which I have become so weak emotionally. The worst part is when people wish you the bevy best and you know they are thinking of you. Or just seeing the family and looking at their faces knowing that you will have limited time to enjoy them.

Eleanor has been my strength and together we are getting tougher and making plans for what time we might have. Even just sitting quietly or watching TV together, or taking the dogs for a walk is immensely important.

Tuesday 5th April

Another night in hospital and I got to know two people who influenced my thoughts.

One was Peter who at seventy five looks a lot younger. Peter was Dutch but was married to a Slovakian lady and indeed lived there. We was a top consultant working at Capenhurst as a project manager.  He was a lover of life and a great conversationalist. I had to touch on the EU as normal and the state of affairs in the world however Peter was a calming effect on me and helped me a great deal.

The other man was Philip at the end of the six bed room. Philip was in for the sixth time with liver disease and when you looked at him he was yellow all over. At first I was not keen on him but I had a problem with my computer and asked Philip if he could help. He loaded on all the TV programmes for me and then he told me his sad story of drink and his simple life with his children who he loved. Even all the possibilities of having good health Philip would indeed return for more visits to the hospital, I am sure. The next day when he was being discharged, he had booked a night in a log cabin for him and the children and this simple pleasure was so important to him.

I hope and pray that he finds the strength from somewhere.

Wed 6th April

Another night in the hospital and I was now finding my way round the place. Loved speaking to the porters, found the staff canteen and indeed managed to get the staff 30% discount . All in all the hospital food was fantastic. Sponge pudding and custard my favorite.

Awaiting to be discharged the doctor came to let us know that we would not know the full body tests until Walton and this added to the pressure however at least we were moving forward.

Eleanor came to get me and it was sad to leave Philip, Peter and the staff who were fabulous. Crazy to say that but my mind was in a haze indeed I was crazy!

One thing not mentioned so far   was my feeling for my mother, dad, sister and family in Scotland. The decision to let them know the situation and how much to let them know was difficult. I knew how devastated they would be and this was heavy on my mind. My sister was so kind in speaking to them and then I had the change to fill them in further. Their frustration at not being with me would I know be difficult and for my mother who could not travel, even worse.

When I get into surgery I am going to ask the surgeon to turn off my ‘cry’ button.

Friday 8th April

And only a week since the problem occurred and Eleanor and I made an effort to be normal for the day. Walking the dogs, sitting watching TV and just being together.

Also went for haircut and tried out lunch at The Stick Walnut in Hoole,Chester. Lovely place but main was like a starter, good but I will not go back.

Also had visit to health food shop, had a great conversation which I will take you through later.

For someone who was a workaholic, I had totally forgotten about my business which was now in the capable hands of Fraser my son and ,sorry for the extra pressure, Elaine my daughter who just gave birth to her first daughter 8 weeks previous, Eriska.

I know they will cope together with the wonderful staff who  that the future successes is their future.

In the evening Eleanor and I babysat to Fraser’s to let him and his wife, Melisa go to Manchester to see Muse. Great chance to catch up with, nearly three years old, Murray and my sweetheart Madison who had organised a new game to play which was complicated so she made up her own rules. Again!

Saturday 9th April

Discovered a fabulous cafe to eat lunch in Mold just 20 mins from the house. Amazing how you find these places although recommended by Elaine who is the connoisseur of food. Had to tidy up the garden and bought a beautiful hydrangea for the front.

This is a great stopping off point when we go to Loggerheads for a walk.

Went into Lidl supermarket and stocked on fillet steak and goodies. Amazing value. I think I am getting Eleanor convinced.

Sunday 10th April

Family arriving for Brunch at 10.30 but I know they will be late. Eleanor keeps burning the tattie scones and sausages. Her mind is obviously somewhere else. I tidy up the garden and prepare the ‘high up’ decking fort hem to arrive. The weather is lovely and I am always happy up on the decking as I see over the fields to my favorite oak in the distance. My mind keeps thinking that would be a good place for my ashes helping that beautiful tree to continue it’s long life.

For the really first time I 100% appreciated the whole family and the three grandchildren being all together. Murray keeps tripping on the rugs but he has a head like iron, Madison being Madison and Eriska being angelic as normal. I am so proud of the perfect setting headed by Eleanor with her great strength and compassion.

We all head to the park and view the allotment which I had only given up thank god. I wondered why I spent so much time trying to create a market garden which no one would eat due to slimy creatures.

When everyone goes, I get quite emotional as I realize what I am missing and it is always harder just at the end. I wish I could get rid of this urge to weep but it keeps coming back.

Monday 11th April

Waiting to go into hospital and will have confirmation of a time to get my bed fixed out.

My sister Linda or Oor Linda and my Dad will be making their way to Ayr station for their trip to see me and Linda has rented an apartment in Liverpool City near the Birkenhead Tunnel. This is good as Eleanor will be able to stay a few nights with them and saves them driving back and forth.

Today I go through some papers, which I must confess I am not the most organized with but constantly I just want to tidy, tidy and tidy.

Eleanor nips off to take French Bulldog Wee Joe and Pug the famous Hugo, to the kennels. Under-floor heating areas for them, only the best. They are great company I love them although Joe has fear aggression and can be a wee bugger.

At 2pm head off for Walton and get settled in to the ward. Got a bed in the corner and everyone is no nice. I start to organize my ‘pitch’ and just chill out.

At 6.30pm Eleanor brings up Bob and Linda and it is great to see them. I know everyone is trying to hold things together but I see the thoughts of my dad and we keep talking about anything which is away from emotional things. Linda is quite strong and is holding together well so far. She has been investigating the later stages if operation OK and is talking about India and European Countries who are looking at brain tumor investigations.

At 8pm they go and I get settled in by watching SKY on the computer. The Tunnel. It is good but the volume quite low. The story around politics and the  Euro Tunnel which means I get a bit of French feeling which inspires me to make the trip by train to Nice soon. I said to Eleanor we could leave Chester railway station at 9.30am and arrive in Nice before midnight with my friend Maxim ready to take us to the apartment.

My mind keeps putting me on that train travelling through France drinking a glass of lovely chilled Rose and some oilves.

Didn’t sleep well but was not uncomfortable grateful for everything.

Tuesday  12th April

The Big Day

Woke up after snooze to get the regular blood pressure etc and then told I would need showering and changing into the big pants and stockings. Feel nice and clean ready for theater. I have two consultants anesthetists come to speak to me and explain the risks and complications. Hopefully if all is well, I will wake up but when that needle goes in and you start counting backwards it is down to the skill of the ‘team’.

 

Wednesday 27th April

Last night woke 2.30am and read till 4.30am. managed to sleep to 6am then decided to get up dress and take a walk. I had planned to do the 4 miles to Sweden Bridge and back at 4 miles. Well why not and a great peaceful walk only seeing another going for a walk when I was returning. This is great thinking time. I had read from someone trying to recover from chemo is to make a task of walk at least 3 miles a day and indeed I will set this target and will make an early walk rather than just sitting in the house.

The view going up.

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A small clump of flowers protected by a rock.

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Two sheep typical of the Lakes.

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Half way at the Sweden Bridge. The river is beautiful flowing under.

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back to the Smallwood Hotel and I am starving. Grapefruit, toast, then yogurt with more fruit then the full English.

All packed up and just before leaving I paid a visit to this wonderful hardware shop and bought some baking stuff and decided to buy a head-torch which will allow me to read in bed without disturbing Eleanor.

We started to go back via Conniston and a mistake as the weather changed to heavy sleet and snow. Again today is sun to snow. Strange weather and really cold even in the sun. I was totally relaxed in the car and thinking about going home. Eleanor is great driving and I feel guilty not being able to share.

Just popping into the shops in Chester, I bought some more decking oil and I nipped into Halfords to see if they had a stand which changed my racing bicycle to a exercise bike. I am going to buy one, easy to fit and I can exercise in the comfort of my back garden and it is stable.  Told for now not to even cycle on the road.

Baked two fruit loafs to use up the heat in the oven, thrift,and then used the bread maker for the first time and excited to see how it turns out.

It seems crazy me being excited about this but it is my nature for continually looking for challenges and as such this can be done from my home. And they taste good!

I am now going off to relax and get prepared to go to Clatterbridge tomorrow to start to get two scans and to get a fitting for the mask. This moves us on again and I am apprehensive but in some ways curious to see how my body reacts to the treatment.

Leave with a picture with a view to Ambleside and Windemere.

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Enjoy your evening from a crabbit Blair.

Tuesday 26th April

Went to sleep about 10.30pm and he ho 1.30 and my eyes opened. Back to sleep at 4.30am and then up at 6am. Got  dressed and took just Wee Joe for a walk along the river and enjoyed the peace although I had to ‘drag’ him along. Now this is more difficult as I cannot disappear into another room and was worried about waking up Eleanor. I had to put on the light, listen to iPod and read. Now David Wilson recommended the book Cloudstreet about Australia. I started reading and was no any wiser. My mind was spinning with all the things I need to get organised, my patio new paving, what I need to do to build a wall, the mortaring of the front door and even having to buy a special electric single bed. I am an organised person and need to cross the T’s and dot the i’s.

Last night in Lucy’s, I was starting to panic and started to  find it more difficult to find the words. Because of this I started to say less and hopefully Eleanor was thinking I didn’t just want to be enjoying the experience. This morning I feel OK

Jim Loy is due to arrive at 11am and we will have a coffee and make way to Grassmere about 4 miles.

With Jim and Eleanor we have a coffee and then head off to Grassmere. He is great company and we chat about many subjects, however being engrossed we pass the yurts, take a wrong turning and the joy of this mistake is a view of the waterfalls. Back on track we make slowly at leisure and the day has shown the total seasons. Sun, heat, rain, wind, snow and sleet.

Jim leaves us to drive back to Glasgow and this has been a ‘special’ day and Jim would be happy to meet for another walk and chat. I am lifted in spirits.

With Jim

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Me and Eleanor

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To end a great day was another meal at Lucys and I am the most relaxed for a long time. The lakes is working with their magic. Thank you for being alive and for the support of great people.

Good night.

Monday 25th April

Up at 1.30am and went to organize the advertisement for Autotrader to sell my wee love the Alfa Romeo Spider convertible. I bought this from London and had a real adventure with this car. We always thought we would take it to France. Spend time driving through France on our leisurely trip to the South. Someone will get a good car and hopefully enjoy it.

Got back into bed at 4am and got another three hours.

Conversation with David Brierley, I started to think about the router which is in the corner  of our bedroom and Eleanor and I have always thought that this was not healthy in your sleeping room. I will get BT to shift it to the other end of the house and it may make a difference. The internet should also be switched off at night.

We now make our way to the Smallwood Hotel in Ambleside for two nights and can take the dogs. Twenty plus years we used to use this small hotel and was central and would bring back great holidays when all would meet up. Eleanor was good at nipping up the the M6 and then before we knew we were driving though the stunning views and better during during the week when not full with tourists.

I start to notice that I am feeling more tired. Down to one steroid a day and feel a noticeable to my energy levels. I still have this appetite and really taking the opportunity  to really any food. A greedy pig I am!

Settled in at Smallwood and made sure the dogs are walked but the icy temperature has come in albeit the sun is out. We are being that the weather will change from, just this week like summer, to Arctic conditions. I feel the head and neck really cold and bought a new hat,gloves and a scarf and I am now cosy.

Really looking for tonight to Lucys which is has a fire and great food and atmosphere. I would love to have a nice glass of red wine but no alcohol so just stick to the water.

Beautiful evening ending with a delicious ginger sponge with greedy custard and ice cream.

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Hoping for a sleep just to have waking about 6am. NOT!

Good night all.

 

Sunday 24th April

Went to bed at 9pm and woke up 1.30am. Well that is 4.5 hours and decided to make another banana cake with all the seeds and quickly threw this together. I had then recorded a French film which was a two part with subtitles which was good which I could focus on. About 4pm back to bed and slept to two hours. I was so relaxed and refreshed and have to get on with jobs. I started oiling the decking and I wondered why I had always dreaded this job. I am such a calm person now, at last, that the painting with the action brush was therapeutic.

I keep looking at small jobs to be done and have this urge to tidy everything so I don’t waste a second later and I am concerned that my energy will continue. It is a race before the treatment starts. I also have a new book by several chefs who have contributed for recipes for cancer sufferers reference The Royal Marsden . Eleanor is so upon this and we have to look a diet like a business plan. Small amounts and maximum on nutrition and taste. Small amounts and often. This is exciting me!

I have now discovered downloading music on my iPod. They give me 3 months free and then £9.99 a month. When I think of my dad with all his CD and old record collection of classics and her with this wee thing giving you and composer or orchestra. I know my 88 year father would not do it but it would blow his mind with the technology.

Fraser and family coming for brunch this morning.

Julie and Ruby head up to Glasgow and once the family leave Eleanor and will have some lovely time together. Off to the Grosvenor Center and for some more plants as I want to make the garden is the best for people to come. £80 and then you see how little.

When I was back, Jim Loy, my best man 40 years ago, and he was wanting to visit on Tuesday from Glasgow. We lost touch as live are always are a tangent, however Jim is keen to see before the treatment. I have suggested that he will join us in Ambleside on Tuesday for a walk a some lunch. This is nearer for Jim too. When speaking to him I felt very emotional again and it is the genuine feel from friends which make me feeling. I hope I can keep myself together on Tuesday.

We had a wonderful meal and then had a chat with David Brierly who is very supportive and want to look at the Cannabis Oil and the Rife machine. David is a chemist and is very skilled and he will be very supportive of looking at alternatives. David has a place in The Isle of Man and he is happy for me to join him for some days. I can go from Liverpool on boat and it gives some space for Eleanor.

David had invited me to church in Congleton next Sunday. I will look at a way to get train near to there. Where people are supportive then you also make the effort. I still have a faith as such and there is a power of prayer. Never scoff this.

Great day again 10/10 and waited until 11.30 until go to bed for a hopefully sleep.

 

Good night.