Thursday, December 29, 2016


Thank you for your kind, caring words. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I wish I could say the same for myself. I was so thrilled at being suddenly told that I could return home for Christmas - mainly because I could access the internet - that I hadn't thought through the implications. Firstly, the turkey crown and trimmings I'd previously bought were frozen - requiring over 48 hours of defrosting - so they were out of the the question. All of the fresh vegetables and fruit I had in the fridge had begun to rot after amost a week. So they all had to be be thrown away. And most of the cupboards were bare.

My health is such that there's absolutely no way I can make it to the shops, albiet that thay're only two minutes walk away. And even if I'd made it, I just don't have the energy to carry even not particularly heavy weights. So for the past few days, I've basicallly starved. I had a few boxes of chocolates, but they just gave me indigestion. I've spent most of the time in bed, dreamimg of comfort foods like tomato and chicken soup and fish pie with mashed potato and quiche and ... All of which are available a few hundred yards away - but I haven't beeen able to get them. I feel so weak and also I've started coughing, which up until now hasn't happened at all.

The hospital transport should be here soon - I know I'll be in for a couple of days at least, but unless they or social services can arrange for someone to get me some provisisions, I won't be rushing to return home. I'm about to undergo radio and chemotherapy and should be building myself up, not starving myself to a point of near collapse. And then there was my other plan. I've been with BT Broadband for over 15 years - most recently with their most expensive top of the range high speed product. I recalled that they now also own a mobile provider. So on Monday I called, explaining my position and seeing if I could buy a smart phone with internet data acccess. No problem they said. Next day delivery they said. I was absolutely delighted. My internet connnection problems were solved.

However, on Tuesday I received a text message. Delivery should be Wednesday. Then another text message - delivery should be Thursday. I callled them and was told that actually delivery will now most likely be next week. No problem I thought - they could deliver to the hospital. On no they said. Delivery has to be made to the address the order was made from - for 'security reasons'. I've been unable to acertain exactly what these 'security reasons' are, but they're adamant that they can only deliver to my home address even though they know my situation and that fact that I'll be just a few miles away in hospital. I've appealed with them, I've pleaded with them, but to no avail. It's so frustrating that thay should be so inflexible. And I'm so very dispppointed. So, I bid you all a very happy New Year. I don't know when I'll be able to get in touch again. Take care of yourselves.



Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your ongoing health problems and other frustrations. From the tone of your posts I believe that you have the resolve to get through this.

It is of little help I know but completely genuine to say that everyone is thinking of you and looking forward to the day when you can post the news of your recovery.


Marco McClean said...

Email a reporter for your local newspaper. Say simply, "Help," and include a link to your weblog and the name of the hospital you'll be going to. They'll take it from there.

You'll be showered with fruit baskets and mobile internet service and possibly even proposals of marriage. Really.

shak said...

I'm going to assume that you don't have any close friends or family nearby to help you. Heck, I have a friend whose son lives nearby and doesn't help her at all. She's been in a wheelchair for decades now. I hope you take Marco's advice. You need some help.

Anonymous said...

I am horrified that I somehow missed your recent posts! I live in NY, and am visiting with my family in TN over the holidays. My bored husband spends his time on our laptop, and today is the first day I've had access to it - I sent him to my brother's house to clean our car.
I'm sure I am among your many readers who feel helpless, and wish there were something we could do. Kind thoughts and prayers are all I can offer.
Jane K.

Ratz said...

Oh they are arseholes through and through. BT and Plusnet have year on year managed to take the crown as providing the worst customer service. If you've got any trusted friends or family in the area, let them know and get them to fight with the gormless on your behalf. I'm sure you've got the bloodymindedness to fight cancer, but fighting bureaucrats and call-centre goons can sap even the strongest of us. Still, anger is a heck of a lot more useful than despair and hate keeps us young.

We acquired a friend's cat over christmas. A still frozen turkey would probably have acquired a lot less sniffing, shedding at and claw marks. Only saving grace being the cat was raised in a household of vegetarians so it took it a while to mentally change gear and realise that this was something exciting.

Best of luck at the vet.

Anonymous said...

Kev - I'm hoping things get better for you. If you do get (or have) phone service, you should try to contact someone local to help.. Even the store that's close to you might be willing to send someone over with groceries to help restock your pantry. I can only imagine that there are people where you are that do community outreach - whether through a church, or some public system - that would be able to check in on your and make sure you have what you need. Starving yourself doesn't help anyone -- you, the people you've touched over the years through this web site, or ever the grocery store waiting to move their products off their shelves. You were pushed into calling an ambulance -- now we're pushing you to reach our to your community to ask for help. Thanks for posting - I check in a couple of times a day to see how your progressing -- Hugs, thoughts & prayers to you - J

xoxoxoBruce said...

Damnit, there must be a reader close enough to help you out. I'm across the pond and frustrated at your predicament. Keep fighting, Sir, you can do this.

nancy said...

I'm sorry to hear about all the tech bullshit. But I'm glad to hear your fighting spirit peep through!

In the 90s when I lived in Manchester as an international student, I didn't know a soul and had no people. One day I collapsed in a cheese shop in Didsbury and was put in the hospital with pleurisy for a couple of weeks. I cried to the nurses so much that one of the staff members accompanied me in a taxi to my crappy bedsit to help me get some of my stuff. A day later, one of the cheese shop people --- total stranger --- came to visit me with a Camembert. Unbelievable!

I think there are actually tons of people around who would love to help if they knew what to do, you just need to complain long and loud enough for those good people to identify themselves. Keep fighting, dude!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kev, Thank you for all the joyful and baffling posts you've shared!!! The goofy animals and ridiculous humans have made me laugh, which I greatly appreciate, especially when the political and personal climate are so grim. I am so sorry that you're dealing with this awful news and debilitating symptoms all on your own--fwiw, if money can help with any part of your situation, please do let us know, because I'd love to chip in! Please let us know what we (your fans) can do to help you through this experience!!!! Love, from California, USA.

Amy said...

Where are you? Where can we send food?

Anonymous said...

Your blog has given me endless amounts of amusement, joy and reflection over the years. I'd love to help now, even if only advise upon how to make what's already out there available to you. Let your nursing team know what's important to you and they can make stuff happen. Communicate!

stevenh said...

If only I knew wher the hell on this planet you live, I would stand by the postbox and receive the package on your behalf.
Alas.(BTW: we are in upper NY, USA)
Please know the we do love you, and all that you have contributed to our lives.

May the light of healing shine upon you, now and for all the days that you desire.
May peace and tranquility fill your being.


Dianne Cunningham said...

From your posts I realize that you are a stubborn one - LOL!That is wonderful with regard to a fighting spirit that will not easily give in to an equally tough illness.
However, that same stubborn attitude will be your downfall if you do not give in to something as simple as asking for help! The nearby store would quite likely be happy to send over food. Even if they don't have delivery service, they could get your order ready and send it by taxi. Or maybe one of the employees would be glad to drop it off on their way home. You mentioned that they were helpful when you were there last.
Sincerely hope you go with Marco's ideas resulting in you having service from your hospital room. We are concerned about you and are anxious to hear about your ongoing journey as you best this challenge.

Talia Ismail said...

Doese any one know where he lives? I'm sure we could get someone to deliver some food?

Barbwire said...

Oh, Kev! You sound like I used to be. I simply could not ask anyone for help. Of course, I was always offering to help others, but could not ask for it for myself. It's taken a long time, but I finally can ask others, and am amazed that they are pleased to help. As others have mentioned, I'm sure the stores would be glad to deliver, or at least one employee would, if you would only ask. People are not clairvoyant. But I have found that most people are happy to help if they know someone needs it. PLEASE. Ask for help. Starving yourself is horrendous. Also, unlike my backwards country, you have National Health, and I'm sure there are provisions for home care. Please take care of yourself! WE love you!

Anonymous said...

Good luck and happy New Year, Kev.
How I wish you lived next door.
Love, from Nevada, USA

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry your holiday was crap. I've been thinking of you and wishing I could do something to help. Please hang in there and rest as easy as you can in hospital.

K from MN

jane martin said...

Oh Kev,
I'm sorry for your troubles. Here is something to consider. It sounds like you are a kind person but you are denying people the opportunity to be kind to YOU. We all want to help others so please reach out so others get the chance to be kind to you. If I knew where you were or what hospital I would certainly have cheering things sent to you at hospital, supplies sent to your home, whatever you need. You have made me smile, laugh and think for so long it is now time for me (and many others) to pay the bill. Please help us help you

diane said...

Please contact social services in hospital, they should be able to help with some kind of home services.

Still praying for you!

Anonymous said...

Kev- don't be so bloody minded. Let someone, anyone help you. Please!

DeSelby said...

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis.Hoping for the best outcome. Regarding the other stuff about the phone, have you tried calling a cancer charity? This is precisely the sort of day to day support that they are useful for. They will have experienced staff to help you directly with all sorts of things. And they'll put you in touch with anyone else you might need at this time. I know it's breaking the habit of a lifetime for you to ask but if ever there was a time to start... Please reach out.

Stephen said...

Happy New Year, buddy.

Elena said...

Hey Abroath. If the company would be leaving the phone at your doorstep, ask them to give you a call when it is delivered. If not, ask whether you can get someone to pick it up from them on your behalf. Ask social services or a neighbour to pick it up for you. They likely will understand your situation. Don't feel bad about it. You can return the favor after you get better.

Ratz said...

Happy NY Arbroath, I hope you're not yet famous enough to be bumped off by 2016.

Anonymous said...

may good things find you in 2017 xx

Zhoen said...

Get help. Tell your doctor, nurses, passing visitors, get whatever help you can. You cannot heal without food. This is not the time to be shy or proud, but to lay out your needs and get help. Otherwise, you are a sad example from the worst of your stories of stubborn and silly people. Push until someone listens and arranges whatever assistance is required.

Please, please, please.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry to learn of your health problems. I've been a fan of your blog for - well, actually, for years now - and had just stepped into the Wayback Machine when illness took you down. I'd been wandering leisurely back in time through the blog, page by page, and had gotten to about three years ago (I think) when I happened upon your most recent posts.

I will keep you in my thoughts; your situation sounds very serious. It also sounds, despite your solitary life, as though your neighbors would gladly step forward and help with shopping, cleaning, and transport if you'll let them. I encourage you to do so - both for your sake and for theirs. This cold, wet time of year is our chance to look inward and take measure of the kindness we have the ability to share with those within our sphere - even (especially?) those who don't know they're within our sphere.

With admiration and fondness from California,


shak said...

Happy New Year, Kev. Truly hope this one is better for you. xoxo

galeann said...

Kev, I love your website. I had no idea you were ill. My hopes and prayers are being sent to you and your care takers. May they focus on getting you back on your feet. And hopefully you can find someone close by to help you out.

ooonaughtykitty said...

Happy New Year!

I hope 2017 is a better one for you.


Vietvet said...


I thought I had left a comment for you about your situation, but it is not here now, so I don't know what happened, except that I must've screwed it up somehow.

Here is an abbreviated version of it, as best as I can remember:

You should be able to get Meals on Wheels, which is a service that provides at least one meal a day to those who are unable to obtain or prepare food for themselves because of age or infirmity. Assuming that I have your location correct, here are some links to information about this service in Arbroath:

If the location is not correct, you should be able to get help through your local Salvation Army office.

Good luck, and best wishes for the new year.

Anonymous said...

Find someone to help you in your time of need. I'm sure you can think of somebody.

Anonymous said...


Sorry to hear about your ongoing problems. First, take Marco's advice and contact your local newspaper and ask for help. You might find that somebody on the paper is a follower of your blog. Second, and most important, hie thee to the hospital and get well. Nothing is more important, not even the blog, than your health.

Other than that, please believe that things will get better with time.



Annemarie said...

Happy New Year Kev
Its got to be better than 2016 for you now you are getting medical help..
You need to tell someone about your struggle to get food , there social care help out there.
Im assuming you are in the UK.
I get all my shopping done online now because of my illness, all the major supermarkets do it .
Check online on their websites if they deliver to your postcode.
There is minimum orders though, Asda its £25, Morrisons Tesco and Sainsburies its £40.
They will carry it right into your kitchen for you, Im in an upstairs flat and they bring it up the stairs for me.
To help with money you are surely now entitled to make a claim forPIP, personal independence payment as you are severely ill.Its a couple of hundred extra pounds a month at least.
Get claiming for everything you are entitled to

fred said...

Yikes. Deeply saddened to read about your having starved! You titled your post Frustrated...That's also how I feel about your situation. Am hoping you'll follow the other readers' good advice and get help so this never happens again. Still sending prayers and positive thoughts your way.

Anonymous said...

Well, damn. I just caught up on what's been going on.

My uncle was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer 15 months ago. He's been doing chemo and radiation, and he's doing well, mostly his old self. Make sure you take your prescribed vitamins - I think it's the folic acid that really helps with nausea after treatments.

Please take care. If you go home and can't get food, call someone. Surely there's a home-help type service available to you.

Update us when you can Kev.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kev, Sorry to hear that the practicalities of life are proving to be such a challenge at such a difficult time for you. I'm not actually sure where you are but you could link with these guys :
they can help with some of the stuff you referred to.
Look after yourself and I hope the New Year brings better fortune.


Anonymous said...

This makes me so sad. I'm wishing you the best, Arboath. Hang in there.

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