Week 744

Sunday, 27th March, 2023

Hope you’re up … although there’s little incentive this morning. The weather is as wet as Wales. I was awake at 5.30 am. All the clocks advanced an hour apart from the oven and the coffee maker.

Watched the political programme this morning in which the Tories announced more gimmicks concerning Assylum Seekers and Offenders. Put one lot in prison camps and the other lot in prison fatigues to perform social reparations. Neither are serious policies. Today, they are announcing ‘trials’ of policies which will never see the full light of day. These are the actions of the flailing government in the dying days of power.

Bognor Regis was Closed.

We decided to drive to sunny Bognor Regis or as royalty actually described it, Bugger Bognor. Of course, today it was looking at its worst. It really makes our seaside town look fantastic in comparison. It was very warm but grey and wet.

Even sheltering under the pier, the drips came down on us. On the promenade, great swathes of men – 20 – 40 somethings – were walking by as if taking the air after a lads weekend Saturday Night. Not that I’ve ever been on one. The whole concept appals me. They seemed as subdued as the weather.

Monday, 28th March, 2023

The day before the day. Haven’t quite got to grips with the time shift. Didn’t get up until 7.30 although I woke at 5.00 am and listened to the news as I drifted in and out of dreams.

Nuclear Bone Scanner

Tomorrow at 1.00 pm, I will go to Chichester Hospital and look for the Nuclear Medicine Department. There I will be injected with a radioactive material into a vein. The substance travels through the blood to the bones and organs. As it wears off, it gives off radiation. This radiation is detected by a camera that slowly scans the body.

Between the injection and the scan, I have to wait three hours for the nuclear glow to spread itself around my body. Ultimately, I will literally be glowing with unhealth. Can’t wait. If you want a bright hug, you know where to come.

A walk in the Park.

Lovely and warm and sunny today. Been out for an early walk – did about 5 miles – through the Park and beyond. Kids in school. Adults out at work. The park is quiet and empty. Actually, on the way back, a lady stopped me and said, Could I just say (What on earth is going to come next?) that I think you’re doing so well. For the past year and a half I’ve been watching you walking past my house every day. You never give up. You must feel so much better for it. It’s a bit of a shock to think I am being observed so closely. If only she knew what an awful man I am, eh Reader.

Tuesday, 29th March, 2023

The day arrived at 4.30 am. In spite of so many well wishes, it feels lonely and blank. It is a day to retreat in to myself. Been out for a 5 mile walk – wet and cold.

St Richards, Chichester

Just arriving at a hospital makes you feel ill. Where are your friends? Who is there to say, You will be OK.? The first job is to find the right place. Walk through the hospital, past the waiting men …

They’ve been waiting forever!

…. and on to the Nuclear Department. It is enough to strike fear into anyone.

After a short wait, a lovely girl takes me into her room for an injection of nuclear material. I am released for 3 hours to roam the world without concern. Although, I am very concerned. I drive to Sainsburys superstore nearby and have a (revolting) sandwich for lunch and about 4 cups of coffee. Two hours later, I drive back to the hospital and walk back to the Nuclear Department. Very shortly, I am ushered into the radioactive scanner room.

I have my legs tied together and the scanner closes down on my body. The first scan begins. As it does, I realise that the lovely girl is playing Classic FM. Irony of ironies, a string quartet begins to play Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. I have died and gone to ….

I couldn’t believe it. The tears streamed down my face behind the mask. It’s strange but the radiologist, Jane, understood completely.

She was a an aficionado of Cohen and knew all the lyrics. We talked about our experiences briefly and I left. Driving home in the rush hour rain, things returned to normal-ish.

I reached out to people to try and make life seem normal. I even did Wordle and sent it to M&K.

Wedesday, 29th March, 2023

It was a strange day and I was too preoccupied with my own events to remember to mark the fact that it was my sister, Jane’s birthday yesterday. I hope she enjoyed her day. In her new, West Yorkshire home.

Two walks today because the weather is warm and dry. It is so warm that the morning opened with a thick mist illuminated by a ghostly sun.

This afternoon I have to go for a hormone injection which should last 3 months and shrink the prostate and the cancer. Anyone available as a stand-in? Kevin would but it’s a long drive. The hormone shrinks the prostate and the cancer with it. Unfortunately, it brings on the Menopause with attendant hot flushes and mood swings.

Thursday, 30th March, 2023

A lot of shopping this morning. A lot of shopping! Tesco, Lidl and Asda for items selected by my resident researcher. Warm but grey morning with weak sun breaking through. The Beach Road was quiet and so was the beach.

The breeze was strong enough to interest this lad with his wind surfing although his girlfriend can only look on.

We are in the penultimate day of March and in the middle of the astrological phase of Aries. Now I don’t believe in Gods, Fate, or Astrology. I don’t believe in anything which is not empirically justified. But I am constantly shocked as I grow older. I always believed in the primacy of Nurture over Nature particularly when Eugenics had some currency but, as I’ve grown older, I have been shocked to see the strength of the effects of Nature on human generation.

Who could take astrology seriously? Certainly not me. It has always been something to be scoffed at on a par with Fortune Tellers and Palmists. However, I am approaching a birthday which makes me an Aries and I cannot believe how closely I fit the personality traits of that star sign. Aries Man is:

  • A Leader
  • Strong & Bold
  • Trailblazer & Innovator
  • Impulsive
  • Very Impatient
  • Self-Centered
  • Competitive and Ambitious
  • Short-Tempered & Honest

If you wanted to describe me accurately, you have it right there. Against all my better instincts, you have me right there – for good or ill – in that list. Perhaps not sure about the Self-Centered but I can’t argue with the rest.

Friday, 31st March, 2023

A horrible day of strong winds and driving rain with standing water on the roads. I’m going to be in the Gym a lot today.

I am trying to stay healthy and maintain my fitness. Fresh orange juice and porridge for Breakfast. No Lunch. Sea Bass and Salad for Dinner with no wine. I am increasingly drinking plant-based milks. I have no idea why other than I like them and they are relatively low in calories.

I am told that this hormone treatment will leave me feeling tired and listless. I am determined not to capitulate to that and I will continue to push myself hard. Otherwise, I might as well lie down and die!

Twelve years ago today, we signed for the purchase of a new-build, duplex apartment in Surrey which marked our exit from the North of England after 39 years.

It allowed us to have a lock-up-and-go property in UK as well as a house in Greece. It made our drive across Europe easier, quicker and cheaper.

Just 7 years ago this week, we had sold our Greek property and our Surrey property and were moving into our new-build Sussex home. We sold the Surrey property for double the price we paid for it to a lady called Pauline from Australia. We have stayed in touch and she is still there and loving it. That makes us feel good.

Saturday, 1st April, 2023

Happy new month to all Blog readers. Hope it turns out to be a good time for you all. Maybe, it will be a good month for me too.

I can hardly believe it. Yesterday, at 2.30 pm, my Patients Know Best website informed me that the cancer had NOT SPREAD TO THE BONE!!!! I can’t believe it. I have prepared myself for the worst for so long that this news is almost unbelievable.

It is actually quite strange, I get this information unmoderated in real time just as my consultant and my GP get them. I have to research the significance of the results before I speak to a medic at all. What on earth does:
No osteoblastic metastases actually mean? Thank goodness for Google.

Within minutes, I had heard from Kevin, Julie, John, Jason and Bob, from P&C and M&K sharing their love and congratulations. I must admit, I wasn’t sure whether to be happy or controlled. Didn’t know whether it was good news or slightly less bad news. However, it is news. It seems to me that I can have some hope. I hope, Dear Reader, that you will share that with me.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone …

The rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shone warmly this afternoon. Went for a walk and I’ve managed 8.5 miles so far today. Beginning to think about travelling again. We are going to Thessaloniki in May and Athens in September. Going to think about a long French drive in June/July. We have long wanted to visit Bordeaux so that will be in my planning.

Bordeaux on the River Garonne

After getting out of the Tunnel in Coquelles, the drive to Bordeaux is only 8.5 hours. In the past, I would have done it in one go but these days I will build in a hotel stop half way in somewhere like Orléans on the banks of the Loire River where we’ve been many times before. Planning is good. It is half the enjoyment.

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