Monday, January 16, 2017

'We're talking more about months than years'

Eventually the results from the biopsy are in and, while they could have been worse, they obviously could have been better. The cancer from my lungs has spead to my left shoulder and, more problematically, to my liver. This precludes any kind of operation taking place, leaving just radio and chemotherapy as options. The doctors are having a meeting tomorrow to decide which is the best was to proceed. I'll probably be returning home in the next couple of days with a couple of simple gadgets that should make like a bit easier when I get back.

I'll then be returning to the hospital once or twice a week for treatment. Initially the authorities were sugggesting giving me three home visits a day, which seems like quite unnecessary. I don't want people I don't know traipsing around my house at all hours of the day and night doing who knows what. And I'll want to be able to relax and live life on my timescale. So eventually we compromised in-so- much as I now get a high stool for the kitchen and a toiler seat raiser as I'm now struggling to lift myself off conventional seats. Other options will then be looked at later.

It took a long time, but thanks to a couple of occupational therapist ladies and a food therapist, the nurses and other staff here eventually noticed that I was was physically wasting away due to a mixture of the poor diet being offered on the menu here and me suffering an almost complete loss of appetite due to said menu. For instance, a side salad consists of two tomato quarters, three slices of cucumber and a few slivers of lettuce. For the past couple of weeks, my daily food intake has been a couple of slices of toast with butter and a small bowl of rice crispies for breakfast, a couple of satsumas for lunch and maybe some more satsumas or nothing for dinner.

Now I'm being given special fruit energy drinks and fortified soups that they say I'll still be able to receive for free when I return. home. Also the occupational therapists and food therapist have said that I should turn the conventional healthy-eating rulebook on it head and eat the complete opposite. Fried meat and eggs. Double strength milk with lashings of cream and butter. Lots and lots of chocolate bars and bags of crisps. They've given me a four page leaflet filled with the most unhealthy foods you can imagine and told me that I should now follow this diet. Mind you, I'll probably then end up dying of a heart atttack. Stay safe and take care of yourselves.


Saturday, January 07, 2017

A quick update while I can hopefully connect

Firstly, I have to say that I’m getting extremely pissed off at my inability to connect to the internet and thus stay in touch. The service offered in the hospital just won’t let me pay for access. I have been able to access their free ten minute preview, but Gmail  obviously doesn’t like the ISP or whatever and the last time much of that time was spent verifying that I am who I am before I was cut off, so I’m pre-pre posting this, will have copied it and hope I can post it in time. With regard to my ordered smartphone from BT, I haven’t even received the courtesy of a text message, so have no idea what’s happening. I would phone them, but my pay-as-you-go mobile only has a tiny amount of credit on it and I know you have to pay to call 0800 free phone numbers. And the only way I know how to top up my phone is via the internet ...
So, I was brought back to the hospital last Thursday and following a blood test was found to be anaemic again so underwent a couple more blood transfusions. The doctors have also continued to try to find the cause of my blood’s inability to clot, giving me many drips of various drugs in an attempt to solve the problem. Then they bought in an expert haematologist who quickly discovered that my blood completely lacks something called Factor F, which aids clotting. Apparently it’s extremely rare for anyone to lack Factor F. Anyway, she specially ordered in some Factor F pills, and all being well my biopsy should eventually take place on Tuesday. Up until now all the treatment I’ve received has been for anaemia and trying to find a way of making my blood clot. I’ve received no treatment whatsoever regarding the cancer, so hopefully following the biopsy and it’s results they can start with the radio and chemotherapy.
Also, since New Year’s Eve I’ve been in a private ward following an extreme moment of human kindness by some nurses after noticing that I was going completely stir crazy at having to listen to the constant inane chat of my then fellow ward companions and their equally tedious visitors. It’s been wonderful to enjoy the peace.
And that’s all the news for now – my biopsy will hopefully take place on Tuesday and following the results, treatment proper will eventually begin. I hope you’re all having a great New Year.

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.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Well, that could probably have been better news

Once again, many thanks for your kind words, they are greatly appreciated.

I haven't been able to update, as despite constant requests I've been unable to connect my laptop to the internet in hospital. And then, just before lunchtime today, completely out of the blue I was surprising told I could return home for a few days.  So, after being slowly processed on Monday, I was advised that I was seriously anaemic, with added infections and would require several blood transfusions and anti-biotic drips. I had the transfusions overnight on Monday and on Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday, a very serious doctor and his entourage appeared by my bedside, advising me that x-rays taken on Monday had revealed 'shadows' and that I would be in hospital for at least 10 days.

On Thursday morning another doctor with a much bigger entourage but a more encouraging bedside manner advised me I was immediately going for a CT scan. Later that afternoon they all reappeared and the doctor dropped the bombshelll that I had lung cancer that has spread to some bones and possibly other organs. I was advised it was inoperable, that I would be receiving both radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but until I had a lung biopsy it was impossible to say the full extent of what exactly what is what. I was told the biopsy would be at lunchtimeish on Friday. So after a couple of pieces of toast and a cup of coffee at about 5:30am, I was officially 'nil by mouth'. A series of doctors then apppeared saying I had various blood problems, including a clotting problem and that I'd have to have a load of drips of various drugs - including an experimental one that caused me to shake uncontrollably for several hours. Anyway, they eventually took yet another blood sample for testing that would hopefully allow for the biopsy to go ahead. However, they apparently didn't take enough bloood, so several hours later yet another blood test was taken and sent to the lab.

And at 5:45pm I was told that all the technicians had gone home and no biopsy would be taking place until at least Monday. Then just before lunchtime on Saturday (today) a doctor appeared saying that the earliest a biopsy would take place would be Thursday and that I could return home until then. It won't be until a couple or so days after that the full horrors are revealed and the 'nasty' stuff reallly begins. The nurses have been absolutely fantastic, even though they constantly woke me in the middle of the night to stick needles in me, test my blood pressure and repeatedly advise me that I was overheating and needed to take more paracetamol. I'm still in pain and seriously out of breath, but I'm really thankful at being able to return home for a while. I'm going to spend the next few days catching up on a few unwatched films I've recorded on my Digibox and rewatch my favourite three movies - Kes, Withnail and I, and The Blues Brothers. I apologise for not being more cheerful, but sometimes the truth hurts. I hope you all have a great Christmas.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Okay, so I've called an ambulance

I'm just geting weaker and can't fight it any more.

Many thanks to to the commentatators who have pretty much confirmed what I think is wrong with - alhtough only time will tell for sure.

I don't have a smartphone or tablet, but have packed my laptop and will hopefully be able to keep in touch with that.

Please wish me luck, my blood is very thin and I do't heal well - I'm absolutelty terrified.


Friday, December 16, 2016

I must apologise for the delay in replying

But what became quickly apparent soon after uploading my last post was quite how unwell I am. Fistly, many, many thanks for all of your kind comments following my last post. They are extremely appreciated. Similarly, thank you very much for all of the emails I've received - none of which I've replied to as of yet - but this is the first time I've sat down at a computer for more than a couple of minutes in weeks.

Immediately after uploading my last post here, I wandered around to the local shops - which are a two minute walk away - and within minutes was virtually paralysed with exhaustion. I managed to purchase a few things then had to sit on the pavement outside the store before eventually making it back home. I know I should have visted the doctor, but it's quite a walk away - and I'd never have made it. Also, the last time I visted the shops, due to the circumstances, I didn't get any cash from the ATM - so I've had no money to get a taxi. I've been hoping that if I rested I would be able to regain some energy. Sadly, this has not happened.

Thankfully my fridge, freeezer and cupoards were previously well stocked - so I've been able to eat okay. However, as of this morning my fridge was completely empty, so, for the first time in weeks I had to venture out to the shops again. I thought if 'paced' myself I'd be okay. Sadly this didn't turn out to be the case and I had what I can only really describe as having a 'funny turn'. The very kind ladies in the local Co-op quickly got me a chair and then ordered me a taxi in order to make the short journey home. And so here I am. I suspect I should be in hospital - I really am in a lot of pain - and just walking upstairs can be a massive struggle. However, I'm a stubborn bloody idiot and having spent the best part of a year in hospital when I was a child, I think it's fair to say I'm not a big fan of the places.

Particularly at this time of year. So, unless something dramatic happens, my plan is to pace myself over the next three weeks or so - I think I have enough food in the freezer and cupboards - and then contact the medical people. Due to various anxiety 'issues' I've suffered over the last decade or so, I've lost touch with just about everyone I used to consider to be a 'friend'. So I'm pretty much on my own with this one. Apologies for this being a misery-fest, I but thought it was best to keep you up to date. Also, while I'm thankful to Ratz for organising the gofundme page, I'd be extremely grateful if the money kindly donated was returned to the original donors. I'll do my best to keep you up to date with whatever transpires. In the meantime, I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

I need to take a short break from doing this

While I decide whether to continue posting here or not. My health has seriously deteriorated over recent months, leaving me, amongst other things, breathless and in almost constant pain.

I'm also finding that the whole process is stressing me out. It takes an enormous amount of time sourcing and posting material here - upwards of six hours every day. Trawling through news websites with their often vile, repugnant views.

Other websites that appear to have been designed to be infuriating. With stupid surveys, pop-up ads, and embedded video adverts - sometimes two or three playing at the same time - before you eventually get to the story.

And that's not to mention the number of visitors. I suspect if I opened a Twitter account and posted a photo of my one daily meal, I'd get more views than I get here these days. I think that's the saddest thing of all. Anyway, as I said, I need a break while I decide what's best to do.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stop in the name of the law

Musical chickens play a tune on xylophone

YouTube link.

Man arrested after beef stew dispute

Police say a man from Panton, Vermont, was arrested following a dispute over beef stew.

At approximately 3:20pm on Monday members of the Vermont State Police responded to a family disturbance.. Upon arrival Troopers were met by Richard Marszalkowski and a woman who was later determined to be the victim.

It was determined through investigation that Marszalkowki and the female had an argument about beef stew. The victim told troopers that Marszalkowki had pushed her back and caused pain to her neck.

Marszalkowki was found to be severely intoxicated, he later submitted to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) at which point he blew a 0.227%. Marszalkowki was placed under arrest and charged with Domestic Assault.

Police hunt for man dressed as gorilla who burst into apartment

Police in Rexburg, Idaho, are trying to find a man who dressed up as a gorilla and burst into a Brigham Young University student apartment on Friday night.

Officers were called to Avonlea Apartments after the female occupants reported the incident. “They were sitting at home when the gorilla ran through the front door and into the other room,” Rexburg Police Capt. Randy Lewis said.

“He knocked over a few things before leaving the apartment.” Lewis said the students called the police because they were scared and investigators learned a similar incident happened at a men’s student apartment last week.

“We don’t care if it’s a prank or if he was just monkeying around. We’re taking this serious and the perpetrator could be charged with unlawful entry,” Lewis said. “You have a big ape tear into your front room out of the blue – you’d be scared too.”

Man unable to locate the bathroom allegedly urinated over cases of beer in walk-in cooler

Unable to locate the bathroom at a 7-Eleven, a Florida man opted instead to relieve himself in the store’s walk-in cooler, where six cases of beer were allegedly defiled.

According to police, Daniel Colon, 46, entered the Treasure Island convenience store at around 7:30pm on Saturday looking for a bathroom. When that search failed, Colon opened a door marked “Employees Only,” a criminal complaint alleges. He then entered what turned out to be the 7-Eleven’s walk-in cooler.

Colon then began urinating on “several cases of beer.” A store employee who had spotted Colon entering the cooler confronted him and told him to stop. Colon then left the store and drove away. Colon, officers reported, “urinated over 6 cases of Busch Light,” causing the store a loss of nearly $100.

Colon was subsequently arrested after his vehicle was pulled over by police searching for the 7-Eleven suspect. In addition to criminal mischief and burglary charges stemming from the cooler urination, Colon was also charged with drunk driving. After being read his rights, Colon reportedly told police he “could not find the bathroom so he entered the walk-in cooler.” Colon, a Tampa resident, is locked up in lieu of $3,250 bond.

Police dusting crime scene uncovered bottom print

Police in Wodonga, Victoria, Australia,are working on a case they are hoping to get to the bottom of. Officers were baffled by a particularly unusual print detected on a glass door, after a break-in at the local community hall.

While the scene was being dusted for prints, a shape from a pantless bare bottom began to appear. "He's going to have to throw his finger print brush out now I think," said Detective Sergeant Graeme Simpfendorfer. Police in say it is thought the break-in occurred at the hall sometime on Friday night, when damage was caused by a fire extinguisher being set off at the property.

The thieves then returned on Saturday and stole a television. It is still not known exactly why the offender left the unexpected mark behind. "They're having a joke, or they're actually trying to lean up against the door to break in, but I don't know why they'd do it pantsless," crime scene sergeant Shane Martin said. The theft was reported on Sunday.

It is believed there were three offenders, thought to be in their late teens to early twenties. Despite the unusual find at the scene, police have said in all seriousness a lot of damage has been done at the property and they are keen to get the television for the community hall returned. Wodonga is a town about 300km (180 miles) north-east of Melbourne.

Allegedly intoxicated woman caught driving with children's swing set attached to her vehicle

At around 3am on Saturday morning police from Springwood in Queensland, Australia, were called to Woodridge.

Local residents had stopped the female driver of a vehicle whom they believed was driving whilst drunk. One of the clues that tipped them off was the children’s swing set wedged onto the roof of the vehicle.

The residents claimed that the driver allegedly lost control of her vehicle driving into the back yard of a house where she then ploughed straight through the children’s swing set lodging it securely to the vehicle's roof.

Police will allege the woman provided a breath alcohol reading of 0.188 per cent; almost four times over the legal limit. The 38-year-old female driver from Woodridge was charged with driving whilst under the influence of liquor and will appear in Beenleigh Magistrates Court on December 6.

Pensioner surprised at being accused of doing 42mph on his mobility scooter

A pensioner was sent a speeding ticket by police, who accused him of travelling at 42mph on his mobility scooter. James Roberts was sent a notice of intended prosecution from North Wales Police despite the fact his mode of travel has a maximum speed of 8mph.

According to police the 74-year-old's vehicle was caught travelling at 42mph on the 30mph A5151 London Road in Trelawnyd, Flintshire on November 12. Despite the fact the grandfather-of-one from Abergele has been laid up at home for six weeks having undergone triple heart surgery. Mr Roberts said: “When I opened the letter, I thought it was a joke but I soon found out that it wasn’t.

“I’ve barely been out of the house these last six weeks, never mind going to Trelawnyd at that time of night. My scooter has a registration number but it doesn’t have number plates on it so I have no idea what’s happened here.” Mr Roberts got the battery-operated scooter 12 months ago when problems with his heart led to angina and left him unable to walk short distances.

GoSafe, the organisation which issues speeding tickets on behalf of North Wales Police said the blunder was down to an incorrect number entered into the system. A spokesman said: “This issue appears to have been caused by an incorrect digit being submitted when the offence was processed. As soon as the issue was brought to our attention it was immediately rectified. The paperwork had been cancelled earlier today. We have issued a written apology to the gentleman. We apologise for any distress caused.”

Man admits miaowing through Keira Knightley's letterbox

A man has pleaded guilty to stalking actress Keira Knightley by making miaowing noises through her letterbox and bombarding her with cat-themed messages. Mark Revill, 49, from Hackney, east London, bombarded her with letters and shouted through her letterbox, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, was told.

Ms Knightley, 31, suffered “alarm and distress”, according to the charge. The incidents happened at the actress’s London home between August 1 and 22 October 2016. Prosecutor Simma Khan told Highbury Corner Magistrates: “He made miaowing noises through the letterbox. He drew in chalk on the street an arrow pointing to her front door. He sent her music about cats on a USB stick. It was bizarre behaviour.”

The charge states: “The defendant pursued a course of conduct which amounted to the stalking of Keira Knightly and which knew or ought to have known amounted to the harassment of her in that attending her address on numerous occasions, making noises through her letterbox and sending letters and other communications.” The court heard that Revill, a music composer, had stood outside her house for an hour without making contact on at least one occasion.

His lawyer said he was a music composer and merely wanted to promote that by getting the celebrity to listen to it. Revill admitted to police that he was in love with her. The prosecution said: "After putting letters through the letterbox and receiving no response he goes to the letterbox and miaows through it." One letter had a picture of three cats apparently winking, the court heard. The court heard the notes were handwritten with no stamps so were hand delivered. Revill was remanded in custody and will appear at Highbury Magistrates' Court for sentencing on December 1.

Stowaway scorpion recovering after surviving washing machine ordeal

A family returned home from holiday in Mexico with an unusual souvenir - a "highly venomous" orange scorpion. As well as negotiating a 10-hour flight back to the UK, the 3in (8cm) arachnid somehow survived being put through the wash in Rochdale, Lancashire.

The family contacted the RSPCA after finding the scorpion "dying" following his washing machine ordeal. Happily, though, he is now recovering at a specialist rescue centre. RSPCA animal collection officer John Greaves said the family, who have not been named, "had no idea they had a little stowaway on board" when they packed their bags.

He said the creature must have scampered into their clothes before being placed in the suitcase. "They were really worried about him when they got in touch as the clothes he was inside had just been through the wash. They said he looked like he was dying. But he's obviously a tough little creature because he's survived his ordeal."

Experts believe the scorpion came from the Mexican desert. "If it's an adult, then it's likely to be highly venomous due to its size and the conditions it would hunt in out in the wild," Insp Greaves added. "It would require a very potent venom to immobilise its prey." An RSPCA spokeswoman said she did not know the scorpion's species - or whether he had been given a name.