Monday, 20 April 2009

What is Normal?

I commented  to a friend earlier on today that if she could define 'normal' (in relation to what doesn't matter for this purpose) she was a better man than I am Gunga Din (with apologies to Kipling).  After all one man's normal can be another man's bizarre.

Heather's comment on the last posting made me think.  When I started this blog it was with the intention of keeping my thoughts on my cancer completely separate from the everyday life of my other blogs: Eagleton Notes and A Hebridean in New Zealand.  After all at the moment I am exceptionally lucky.  My life goes on as though nothing had happened and therefore I can call it normal.  

When I was diagnosed with cancer in 1997 I was fortunate enough to have been operated on successfully - up to a point.  I was told that it was more than likely that cells had escaped from the site of the original cancer.  Every now and then they have started to increase but treatment has pushed the count down again with very little in the way of serious side effects for me.  So to me 'normal' is the absence of pain and an ability to do the things I could do before the cancer was operated upon.  After all many people without cancer (including my treasured brother) suffer pain and physical difficulties every day of their lives.

However I cannot pretend that on occasion (and no doubt this feeling will increase with time) I do not feel normal when I am told that the cancer has returned.  Hence this blog.

Monday, 6 April 2009

The Spectre Looms Again

Just under twelve months ago I wrote of the day that I received the news that my cancer was making an attempt to re-colonise this edifice that I call my body. Subsequently, after bone and MRI scans I was put back on implants as a 'last line of defence under current knowledge'.

I knew from past experience that the efficacy of the implants was limited. I was, however, rather disappointed to find out last Friday that the period of efficacy was so short lived. My PSA count has more than doubled in the last 12 weeks (a doubling in 6 months is regarded as serious).

When I received the news at the Doc's last Friday I was rather stunned. I had mentally prepared myself last year for a few years' respite and this sudden reversal came as a bit of a surprise. But there we are. These things are sent to confound us. Anyway had a drop more wine than usual that evening and spent Saturday on the lawns and in the evening Wendy and I and a friend of Wendy went to the ballet. It was absolutely awesome.

What happens next I'm not sure. My Consultant in the UK has said more bone and MRI scans whilst I am here in New Zealand but I may just wait until I get back to Scotland. I only have 21 more sleeps here until I return. And I have so much to do.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

A Rather Peculiar Sort of Day: Follow Up

On 18 May last year I wrote my first post on this blog. One of the elements was me driving my car backwards into a young lady's VW Polo. I never did a follow up to the posting. I should have done. I duly sent the young lady a cheque for the repairs with a small addition and a card making the point that it'd been a bad hair day.
(See Two Blind Mice Cards for some of the best cards around:
I suggested that the additional sum included in the cheque should be used 'to buy a box of chocolates for the trouble that I'd caused her'. I received a thank you letter by return enclosing some chocolates. There are some lovely people in the world.