Friday, 13 November 2015

Morning walkies, followed by family cooking and baking, with debates and laughter...

I awoke this morning around 9am. I had had a bit of a bad night last night, feeling quite nauseous and with an upset tummy, obviously I put this down to my treatment so got up and took some of my prescribed medication. I then dropped back off but had a fit full night. Anyhoo like I say up at around 9 am I decided to take wor Baxter for a walk. At one time Baxter hated walkies now he relishes the prospect so he was raring to go. Baxter is a right little bugger in that as soon as you pop his leash on he tries to grab it and then runs about tugging and jumping all over the place like a right hooligan. The only way I can get him to stop is by saying 'what's this' and reaching into my pocket for a treat.

Out the front gate and down the path, boy it was a little windy and cold, good job I had put my new North Face beanie on and my woollen gloves. We had just walked a little way down the path when Baxter decided 'oh I need to go for a poo'. I was using his extendible leader and callied to him 'Baxter wait, wait', you see the leader was under his tail. Yeah well I don't have to explain what happened next, but guess I will, dog crap all over the leash....Ewwww. I then had to get the dog bags from my pocket and one task I hate and always struggle with is trying to open the bloody things. Ok poop bag opened. Just then Baxter pulled on his leash and Omg! the dam thing snapped. See that's what happens when you chew on it, bad dog. I was passed myself as we were near the busy main road that runs just outside our front. I kind of panicked and started shouting 'Come here', I then calmed myself and remembered I had trained Baxter from being little to come to 'where's he at'. As soon as I said this in a calm voice and showed him a treat he came to me like a good lad. I got hold of his collar and then had the unenviable task of trying to tie a shit covered leash onto what was left of the other end, again Ewwwww. Good job I wasn't far from home. We went back home where I almost scrubbed the skin off my hands and I had to find another leash.

I then took Baxter out again and we headed over towards the allotments near the Millennium Green. There are some horses in the fields and nearby enclosure and Baxter likes to go and see them. He is one of the most friendly dogs I have ever known, so very gentle and playful.

Saying Hello

Saying Hello




Thursday, 12 November 2015

The end of something and the start of something new.

Today was a bit of a landmark day as I have completed my 6th and final cycle of chemotherapy. Now I am positive I will go into remission as they call it and stay fit and healthy for sometime without fear of the 'C' word coming back to haunt me for quite sometime. I have to undergo 2 years of antibody treatment, this requires me to go and have a drug named rituxiimab  infused into my body and statistics have shown this drug helps keep the Non Hodgkin's at bay for much longer. You see the malignant cancerous cells have a unique protein surrounding them called CD20. The rituxiimab is designed to hunt down this protein and destroy the cancer cells with out harming good healthy cells. So the drug is a lot gentler than the chemo which just runs rampant and kills everything.

Short term plans are return for blood tests in a months time and then go for a scan to see if I am okay. Treatment wise it has not been as bad as I suspected. I mean sure I have had a few side effects, like feeling nauseas, tired, low blood counts and the latest one developing spots and pimples which are really annoying and quite painful.

I am now looking forward to this being the end of something and the start of something new in many aspects of my life. I have always been driven, maybe not academically, however if I want to achieve something or get something done. If I focus my attention on it I have what is known as a can do attitude and can generally achieve my aims and goals. I have learnt a valuable lesson in some respects as I have gotten older and that not everything has to be perfect or in some cases you can start things yet never have to complete them. This can be for a variety of reasons, things like you are just not really as interested as you thought you were in the given subject. Other people get in the way or lose interest or they have different views, or some other aspect of life comes along and the stuff or thing you were doing just doesn't feel as important. I have come to understand it is better to have a go and fail than just say 'I cannot do that' or not even attempt to try it. Trying is not failure it I simply a way of discovering if you really want to do something, or learning something, then doing it better each time until you are happy with the outcome. I have also discovered I cannot posssibly Fix Everything or everyone no matter how caring or understanding I am. I think one of my biggest problems, again I'm learning is that I see only Black and White, yet other people have a myriad of different shades of Grey and even some other colours coming intro play and well this can just totally confuddle me. How the hell I have got off on this tangent I do not know lol. Top tip, stick to black and white it makes things so much easier lol.

Anyoo the something new bit for me is a reflection of putting all this crap behind me and learning from it and whilst I will be continuing to do a lot of stuff I used to do I will be moving on to new things. Well this is what I envision. Is this not life for all of us any way?

Whilst chatting to a very close friend I asked her a totally random question, saying 'So if you could think of a mythical creature or animal to represent you,  what would it be?'. She had to think a while and in the meantime said, 'Oh I am not sure, what would yours be'. I can of course answer immediately as for me it would have to be a Phoenix. The way I figure, this creature represents me perfectly because it is born, has a period of fun, then the shit hits the fan, it is then born again with a new sense of purpose out of all the ashes and the chaos that caused it's demise. I am in no way complaing so don't think this is a sob story, my life has been full of ups and downs, it has brought me to exactly where I am supposed to be and made me the person I am today. I actually feel rather fortunate in a weird sense.

So on to my recovery. I am going to take the next month or so real easy, see what it brings my way and whilst I am off try and relax and not over think things. I am however going to start thinking of short, medium and longer term goals, as this promotes positive action. I am already looking forward to new sockets, trialling new knees and feet/ ankle combo's. I am looking forward to getting back to learning to run and of course swimming again. I am also very excited about working alongside Graeme Moore, a really good close personal friend of mine. Graeme is a triathlon coach over at Phoenix Triathlon and has very kindly asked me, would I like to help out within the club. I am not sure at the moment of my role, however have helped out on a few sessions with some children from a special needs school. I found this experience extremely rewarding and fun so maybe a volunteer coaching role would suit me down to the ground. I would recommend voluntary work to anyone as it gives you a tremendous feel good factor and also brings communities closer together.

Anyhoo my blogging friends watch this space as I am sure there will be many more adventures in the future and I cannot wait to share them with you.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who reads my blogs, this year has been a particularly tough one, not so much the chemo, more so that it has effected what I wanted to do and made me feel lazy and at times depressed. I don't like sugar coating things, so my aim was to be honest with anyone who kept up to date with me and peoples support has been amazing. It has really helped me get through on those crappy days and on the days I have felt good well, it's just great to know I have so many loyal friends.

I notice I don't get as many comments on my blog as I do upon Facebook, so hey leave your comments any time they are a very welcome read.

Take care guys

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

What to do when you cannot sleep?

Well this sucks, my sleep pattern is all to hell. I'm finding I'm tempted to go out for rides at stupid O'clock just because I am bored out of my tree. Either that or I am on my pc ogling bike porn and speccing up imaginary bikes, Mmmmm what carbon bars to go for and do those colours match. Maybe I could shave a few grams off there and should I go for another Fat Bike, or full sus trail or hard tail. Do I even need another bike, well of course I do you can never have enough bikes lol.

Yep I'm bored with being off work and just feel proper lazy. This whole 'you need to rest and take it easy', well it's just not for me. I need to be out doing stuff, challenging myself or at least being mentally stimulated. The days are becoming a blur and just fading from one day to the next.

On Thursday I see my consultant so I guess i will find out if my neutrophils are low again this month. If they are it means more delays with my treatment. If they are okay, it's whoopee as this will be my final chemo session. Then it's just a case of waiting for a final scan and my bloods to get back in order and I can start thinking of my return to work and gradually get back on track. I need to start doing stuff and just having some much needed fun.

Anyhoo as like I say I have been bored I thought I may as well bore you lot by writing a blog and let you know what I have been doing when I cannot sleep. I have actually been spending quite a bit of time on Spotify searching for potential tunes I can use in any bike video's I do. I love looking for obscure tracks by artists I haven't heard of. I find when doing a bike video one of the hardest bits is not actually editing the footage it's in finding a decent tune to go with the flow of the video. I have a plan for a nice winter video and already have a cracking track chosen, just need some snow lol.

I'm going to change how I do my video's slightly and try and pick a tune, then go somewhere and try and ride to the flow of the music. It just makes it that bit more interesting I guess.

Lately I have discovered a few artists I like. I have popped a few links to Youtube with their albums.

From Indian Lakes

Another group I have discovered and quite like are Dresses. Dresses is a band from Portland, Oregon made up of Timothy Heller and Jared Ryan Maldonado. Their sound can be described as bubbly indie pop, driven by the duo's intertwining vocal melodies and harmonization.

Have fun and get some sleep lol x