Week 747

Sunday, 16th April, 2023

We don’t fly to Thessaloniki until the middle of May but I’ve just Checked-In and received my Boarding Passes on my phone’s Easyjet App..

Suddenly realised that we fly out of Gatwick North Terminal and return to Gatwick South Terminal. Only noticed while booking the Airport Carpark. That’ll be a bit annoying.

We have to get the inter-terminal shuttle train and then a shuttle bus to the carpark around midnight …. and then drive over an hour home. Still there’s always pain with the pleasure.

Ordered the Kindle from Amazon yesterday afternoon. Delivered this morning. Now to set it up and download my Housekeeper’s Library. Only about 500 titles. If they haven’t got the word Love in the title, they are rejected. I don’t know what she’s trying to tell me but it’s essential bedtime reading.

Monday, 17th April, 2023

We all have to look our best on this wonderful day. Sunny and warm but I’m having my haircut. I find it hard to sit still for so long. No pictures because I wouldn’t want to dazzle you with my beauty but if, you show me yours, I’ll show you mine.

Before going out walking, I have to check how much we’ve got in Euros for our trip to France on Wednesday. I’m not really sure why we always have so many Euros in the safe but we never sell them back to the bank because that is the way to lose money. Anyway, notes and a kilo of coins comes to circa €3000.00 which will do for this week.

The River Arun runs through the Marina and into the sea.

Walking in the sunshine makes such a difference. Sunshine seems to link the elements together and make fresh air worthwhile. I love it. Sunshine makes me happy.

The last couple of days have been a nightmare. The flush on the downstairs toilet has broken. I’m constantly having to climb the stairs. Today, our plumber texted to say he would come round with a replacement unit. Half an hour later and £120.00 lighter, I have quick relief. My Housekeeper watched him like a hawk. I won’t need a plumber next time. The replacement unit is only £21.00 from Amazon and my Housekeeper is ‘free’. She will be able to do the job herself. Everybody has their uses.

Been wonderfully warm today. We reached 16C/61F. Still comfortable by 6.00 pm this evening. Summer is definitely around the corner.

Tuesday, 18th April, 2023

Up early and out early driving the three miles to sunny Rustington. Eye Tests before 9.00 am. No change, no cataracts, no new glasses. If anything, my short sight has slightly improved.

Everywhere was incredibly quiet on the roads and in the shops. I like it. Rustington is an attractive small town particularly in the sunshine.

Got to clean the car and prepare it for France with an even earlier start tomorrow. The car fridge has to be installed and necessities for legally driving in France – First Aid Kit, Breathalyser, Fluorescent Jackets, UK Sticker, etc..

Finally, because we are in a new car, we have had to apply for a new vehicle emissions sticker for the windscreen. It is cheap and simple to buy this online and it comes in the post very quickly. It is another matter mounting the certificate in the windscreen. We have had three for the last few cars and this is the first one we’ve got right.

Walking this afternoon was quite chilly. There is a breeze with an edge. Still, done my 9 miles for the day.

Wednesday, 19th April, 2023

Up at 5.00 am and out at 6.00 am. Beautiful morning to be driving. Got to the Tunnel early. Went across an hour early and off to Auchan in Coquelles.

This was just a shopping trip and it was lovely to source things we had missed – Duck and Rabbit, Saucisson and Pâté, gorgeous tomatoes and lettuces, garlic and onions.

At Auchan – looking for the Salad.

On to the wine – 48 bottles of still wine plus 24 bottles of Champagne – about £1000.00 plus 2 bottles of perfume – £70.00 and a few extra litres of red wine smuggled and unchecked at the border. Then on to Cité Europe  and more shopping.

We walked the shopping complex. I was looking for glass wine decanters and my Housekeeper wanted white, porcelain side plates. Neither of us got what we wanted. Such is life.

Before we left, I had somewhere to go. Absolute necessity at my time of life. It provided my favourite photograph of the day.

Thursday, 20th April, 2023

Woke up late on a glorious morning. Didn’t get up until 7.15 am. Around 5 hours driving and 8 miles walking yesterday left me tired. It was nice to ‘break out’ though and we will do it again in a few weeks if the medical situation allows.

First, I have completed the arrangements for a short trip to Thessaloniki in just under 4 weeks. These days, the use of Executive Lounges is so popular that it is necessary to pre-book even if we have automatic passes. This is because the admission numbers are finite. A couple of times we’ve turned up and been refused admission so I take no chances now.

In fact, although we will be there at 4.00 am, our first choice – No. 1 Lounge – is already fully booked between 4.00 am – 5.00 am. I’ve had to choose Plaza Premium instead. I’m sure it will be fine.

Out to the Garden Centre which was looking lovely in brilliant sunshine. I was going to buy herbs OreganoThymeSageBasil, and Parsley plants. It is time to get them in and growing away. Doing a first cut of the remaining lawns this afternoon.

Friday, 21st April, 2023

A bit of a nervous day today. I have been summoned to a meeting at the Oncology Department of Worthing Hospital. It may be routine but it maybe something more sinister. The only information I have had, since my skeletal scan, was through my online medical records. I Googled the results and deduced that the cancer hadn’t gone beyond the prostate and into the bones. I hope this meeting is just to confirm my amateur research.

Going out for a walk to take my mind off it and to think through the information I will need to ask for while I am there. I have a second hormone injection to come at the end of June and I need to know when the month of radiotherapy will begin. I need to know how it will affect me as well. The other thing I want to ask is about an additional note from the radiographer:

Presumed degenerative tracer uptake is noted in the axial and
appendicular skeleton e.g. cervical spine, knees, ankles and feet.

I take this to mean that the scan showed bone degeneration in areas that one might expect in a 72 year old man. I have to know if it is ‘normal’ and whether my exercise routine is helping or accelerating that degeneration.

One of the things I have to do in preparation for flying, is to download Boarding Passes on to our smartphones and the iPads, and phones have to be charged so that Border Force staff can check them if required. Something that won’t turn on and boot up can be confiscated.

I like to have a reserve power source to charge up anything that is failing. The last Power Bank I used is probably still plugged in to a wall of the Electra Palace Hotel, Athens which is where I left it last September. I ordered a new one this morning. It holds enough power to recharge two phones and two iPads

Saturday, 22nd April, 2023

Up at 3.30 am. Couldn’t sleep. Yesterday ended so well that I can hardly believe it and I woke thinking about it. It seems stupid to say I’m feeling incredibly lucky – I have cancer. – but I’m feeling incredibly lucky.

Yesterday evening I was ‘invited’ to meet the Consultant Oncologist – Ashok Nikapota. He turned out to be the most delightful man both from what I found out about him and the news he delivered to me.

One of my great failings/strengths is my interest in people and their lives. I can’t stop myself trying to find out about them when we meet. I have developed the ability to elicit life stories from people in minutes. I find them absolutely fascinating. It turned out that Ash, originally from Sri Lanka, had been to Sifnos where we built a house and spent 6 months each year. He knew where our house was and loved the port. We are flying to Thessaloniki in three weeks and so is he. I love opera and so, it turns out does he. We had stuff in common which was wonderful.

Essentially, the news he delivered was that the treatment process I was following – six months of hormone treatment to shrink the prostate followed by a month of intensive radiotherapy would give me a 90% success rate of being cancer free at the end. I think I can settle for that. Actually, I couldn’t believe it. Drove straight home and opened a bottle of Champagne. It never tasted better! I immediately felt the need to tell people. I phoned my brother, Bob, who also has prostate cancer and then contacted my friends. It felt as if telling others made it more real. Now I can shut up about it.

To celebrate, I’ve order a new wine decanter. I ordered it this morning from Amazon and it will be delivered this afternoon by 3.00 pm. Love the Amazon Prime service.

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