Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Off to see the surgeon today at Stepping Hill who is going to perform my surgery. Bart Ducadt went through the results that he'd already told me about yesterday, the reduction in size of the tumour and the fact that he couldn't see any spread of the cancer anywhere else, then outlined the next step.
As I'd shown yesterday with that very over simplistic youtube video, I'll be getting my oesophagus cut out, a good portion of my stomach cut out, and the rest of my stomach joined up to the top of my gullet. I asked how long I would be on the operating table? "All day" Bart stated. Right then.

That's scheduled for the 22nd March at the MRI in Manchester. I'll be going in the day before for pre-meds and checkups. I'll be in hospital for around 2 weeks afterwards, so come visit me if you like :)

We're also not going to Belgium this weekend. With the work commitments of my fellow travellers, it meant travelling down on Saturday and coming home on Monday, only leaving Sunday to do all the cycling and museum viewing we want to do. So we'll go next weekend instead, hopefully travelling Friday and coming back Tuesday. Still looking forward to that.

After I'd been to hospital, Joh and I came home, got changed, and went out on Joh's first ride on her new bike. To say I'm surprised in how fit she's become down the gym would be an understatement. She was going as fast as me on the flats, and was going very well up the little climbs we tackled. Well done darling. She just needs the confidence to ride on the road proper now, and that will come with time and some practise.
Looking good on the bike. 

Later xx

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A bit of good news

Today I got the results of my CT scan.
They are good results to get.

The tumour has responded very well to the chemo. It has reduced in size to the point that Bart, my surgeon,  is happy to operate to remove it.
That is great news, and was the reason why I posted on FB about riding this morning with a smile on my face.

I must of looked like I was on something, chugging along with a big grin on my face. 
Joh is happy, and the kids are too. Happy days. 
I'm in Stepping Hill tomorrow to have a chat with Bart about the next step, which is THE OPERATION. 

If you're interested, here's a simple youtube video of what happens next, it's not gory or anything so don't worry :) 

At the moment, that's scheduled for 22nd March. 

In the meantime, and as something to look forward to, Alan, from Polocini coffee shop, has kindly asked if I'd like to go to Belgium with him and Richard to ride the famous cobbles, eat frites and mayo, drink Belgium beer and visit the museum. Er, yes please. Whether I could go though was dependant on my surgeon, who's Belgium, and said yes, as long as I drink his favourite beer while I'm there. Result. 
That's what I'm doing this weekend. 
I'll let you know how I get on xx

Joh's just come back with a bottle of bubbly! Celebration time :) xx

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Polocini Winter Sprinter - 13 days post chemo

Well, I did it. Firstly thanks to Richard and Pat for dragging me round on a few training rides this last week, the miles I did there really helped me get through today.
                                Richard on Torkington Road, Hazel Grove, earlier in the week.

 The route itself wasn't hard by any means, on any other day I'd have done that sort of mileage no problem. However, after 67 days of chemo, and all the extra weight I've put on, 30 miles is about the limit at the moment. I was up early this morning, probably a little bit excited to be getting out on an organised ride again, so I didn't hang around. Had a quick breakfast and then headed to the event HQ  at Woodford to see if I could help out before the ride. I spent the first hour filling water bottles, then got myself ready to ride. The turnout at HQ was very good, no idea of numbers but there were quite a few riders there.

Which kept Al & Clare, the organisers, plenty busy. 
Al chatting to one of the event photographers. 

Finally, we got the riders brief off Al, then it was all go. I managed to get myself on the front of the ride for a little while, which was a strange feeling. Looking back I could see this massive group of cyclist all on my wheel, so I shouted out a few pothole warnings in top ride leader fashion :) 

After only 4.5 miles, the route took us into Alderley Edge and up the infamous Swiss Hill cobbled climb. I'd done this little climb prior to starting my chemo a few months ago, and got up it no problem. However, not today, although I wasn't alone in walking it. 

After that, the route meandered towards the back roads of Macclesfield, along some lovely quiet country lanes, and finally back to event HQ at Woodford. 

All in all, a nice ride in the countryside, if a little chilly. At the end of the ride, there was Lamb curry and spicy lime pickle to warm you back up, which was delicious. 

Once home, quick shower and off to Sarah & Ian's baby christening. I'd missed the service in church due to the ride, but was glad I made it to the pub for the party. It was great to see Sarah & Ian's families again, who were very welcoming and had plenty of kind words for my condition. 
They'd laid on hotpot and cake for the party, which, once again, was delicious. Recovery pint of Guinness, and I was beginning to wain a little. Getting tired. 

Home again. Chill on the sofa for the afternoon watching Inkheart on Film4HD. 

Results of my CT scan on Wednesday, can't wait to see how things are progressing. 

Later xx

P.S. I was sad to hear of the 8 people who stole food and cake from the event HQ today. They'd ridden the sportive without paying, which both Clare & Al don't mind, but then come back to the HQ and stole food that everyone else had paid for. Shame on you lot. Not the done thing at all. Scum. 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

10 days post chemo - back to normal?

Back to normal? No, not by a long shot really. Although the majority of the fatigue has gone, I'm still tiring easily and my heart rate is still higher than before, I'm still peeing out chemo drugs no matter how much water/juice I drink and I'm still getting the odd dizzy spell when I stand up.
Another slightly worrying development of the last 5 days is my eating. To recap; 5 days after starting chemo my tumour had shrunk to the point that I no longer got any food stuck in my gullet. This meant I could eat normally and eat anything I felt like. Now though, within a similar time scale, food has started getting stuck in my gullet again. The first thing that got stuck was a mix of steak stew and bread I ate a few days ago, and it happened again with a chinese noodle and chicken dish I made 2 days ago. So it would seem the tumour is growing again.
I just hope that when I go for the results of the CT scan next Wednesday  they decide to operate as soon as possible and the cancer hasn't spread anywhere else. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, in the meantime I've been getting back out on my bicycle. Sometimes on my own, sometimes with others. I've done a long 33 mile ride this week, as well as a short 14 mile hilly ride, which was nice. I'm crap at climbing at the best of times, and at the moment I'm carrying an extra stone in weight and have a heart that jumps up in speed like I'm on acid, but it's nice to get back in the hills after being off for a few weeks. On top of that, it'll help me out on the operating table if I'm as fit as I can be.

Oh, and with the lovely weather we've had this week, I've been able to go out on my "summer bike" :) 

I'm glad I've been able to get out as I'd set myself a couple of challenges for this month. One was to do the Polocini Hill Climb and the other was the Polocini Winter Sprinter Sportive
Unfortunately I missed doing the hill climb as I was just too knackered. I went out and photographed it, and walking a little way down the hill nearly killed me, never mind cycling it! 
However, with my 33 mile ride this week in the bag, I'm feeling confident enough to do the Winter Sprinter this Sunday the 24th. I've opted for the 30 mile route, rather than the 60, which I'd normally have done, so it will be ok. 
Now, if you've not thrown me some money before now, and you like keeping up with my progress so far, could you please donate to the justgiving link at the top of the page on behalf of the Beechwood Centre. Any sportives or rides I do this year are going to be on their behalf. 
That would be most appreciated. 

I'll post on Sunday to let you all know how I get on. 

Later xx

Friday, 15 February 2013

4 days post chemo - feeling better by the minute

Yesterday was a good one. Actually got the energy to do stuff again, which is nice. Being Valentines day we started with the mutual sharing of cards, and Joh was off to work. I'd nothing planned in the morning so had the thought that I felt well enough to do a session on the rollers again. However, the weather outside was actually quite nice around these parts, so it was that I found myself kitting up for a little bicycle ride on the mean streets of SK6 & SK7 instead. Nice little route through the back of Hazel Grove, through the village centre and down to the river:
The above was taken down the back of Otterspool, with the very swollen river on the left. It makes a nice quiet detour rather than coming down Dan Bank. 
Home, shower, chill on the sofa for the afternoon and watched Looper on pay per view Virgin. Quite a good film, second half was easily better than the first. 
Joh home and we had a table booked at the Indigo in Romiley along with Isaac and Kate for tea. Nice. 
Food was delicious as usual. Home, bed, knackered. 
Today, lazy morning, Polocini for lunch, (lovely pastrami and cheese on toast, it works) Beechwood for Johanna, Ikea (shudder!) home and maybe a drink in Romiley later, not sure yet. 

Hopefully out for another ride tomorrow, and if this weather holds, I'll use my summer bike! :) 

Have a good evening xx

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Two days post chemo - How do you feel?

So the chemo is over, and you've not taken any pills for two days. How you feelin'?

Not too bad actually, thanks for asking.

Any DT like side effects? 


Any immediately obvious positive effects?

Why yes, a little bit more energy each day, less dizzy spells, more get up and go, NO FATIGUE!, a diminishing sense of sickness, a return of a sense of proper taste and more concentration.

Anything more to add? 

Just to let you know I had my CT SCAN today, which should give some indication of how the tumour has shrunk during the chemo. I'll not know the result of the scan for a few weeks, but in my mind I know it's shrunk, so this is just to confirm it and see by how much.

Sounds like you're doing ok then. Been up to anything else today? 

Only the usual visit to Polocini for lunch after my scan. Quiche as always was delicious, as was the abuse from Clar(i)e :) Gave Al a life to assemble his new cabinet, and wished him happy birthday. (No way is he 34!)

Great stuff, sounds like you've had a good day? 

Well, yes, I guess I have. After the past 2 - 3 weeks of shit days, it's nice to finally have a good one or two in the bag. No reason why the next few weeks can't be like that, up to the point where I have my oesophagus ripped out by the surgeon at least :)

You're such an inspiration Chris, I am in awe of your ability to make light of your plight. I'm sure others would handle the whole situation so differently.

Well, what else is there to do but get on with it, beat the shit out of this cancer crap and move on.
Oh, and eat cake, obviously. Which Johanna kindly made a monster cake tonight. Awesome! Thanks darling xx

Enough said, good night xx

Hey, that's my line!

Good night xx

Monday, 11 February 2013

Day Sixty Seven - Final Day

And here they are:

My final chemo tablets. All done. Thank god for that.
It was also my last day of relaxation and foot massage at the Beechwood today. That place is brilliant. If you ever get cancer, get booked in asap.

Now all I've got to do is recover from the chemo and get some energy back. It'll be great getting up in the morning and not having to take any meds, and likewise, not having to do the same after dinner in the evening.

I'm booked in on Wednesday for my ct scan, so fingers crossed for then. I'll let you all know how I get on as soon as I've got some results.

For now, the daily updates cease, and I'll go back to blogging when something cancer related happens to me.

Thanks for all your support over the last few months. See you soon xx

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Day Sixty Six - 1 day to go

One more day of chemo. Thought I'd never get here to be honest, it's been a long haul. But, here we are now. Just tomorrows meds to take and I'm done.

Joh has already sorted out my first CT scan on the Wednesday 13th, so I should know pretty soon how the chemo has gone. I've got a provisional date of 22nd March for my surgery. That should give me some time to get back to a reasonable level of fitness as the chemo starts to work itself out of my system.

As it is now, I'm still fatigued. Usual no energy, tired all the time.

I did a few jobs around the house today, tidied the front patio, vacced through downstairs, but that wore me out so sofa bound the rest of the day. Bugger.

Anyway, nearly there.

Good night xx

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Day Sixty Five - 2 days to go

Bit of a lie in this morning, as you do on a Saturday morning. Got up to turn the tele on and had a major dizzy spell, fell back on the bed! Weird.
Spot of cereal for breakfast and chilled on the sofa for a while. Had a gentle walk down to Polocini to meet Chris who'd took some of my recent hill climb photos and printed them out for me. Unfortunately the colour correction was a bit out when I did the edit, and they all had a rather blue tint. Still, it adds to the wintry feel of the day I guess :) He's offered to fix them so I've sent him the original files to have a play with. Cheers Chris.

Home for lunch and then spent the afternoon on the sofa again. Just as a matter of interest, I took my resting pulse. 61bpm. That's sat on the sofa surfing and catching up on tv. 61! FFS! My normal resting hr is around 45 - 50 at the most. I can feel my heart working a lot harder these days just to pump all that poison around my body. God forbid how you'd cope if you weren't fit on chemo. That would be a nightmare I guess.

Made tea again. Gonna surprise the family with what I've done with the burgers :) Inspired by Man V Food, I've added a little something to them. Hope they like :)

Good night xx

Friday, 8 February 2013

Day Sixty Four - 3 days to go

3 days, that is all, can't wait.

Felt a bit better today. Still resting, but had to drop Joh off at Ricks to get her car, stopped by Polocini for a coffee on the way home, spot of lunch, then chilling on the sofa for the afternoon.

Not much to report really.

Oh, nearly forgot, Alan came round to visit, which was nice. Always nice to have visitors, breaks up the day a little and a chance to catch up with the real world.

God night xx

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Day Sixty Three - 4 days to go

Off to the Christie this dinnertime for a blood test and review. Simple enough. Dad took me as Joh had my car, and I'm glad he did. From waking up this morning it's been a struggle to do anything today. I've literally got no energy whatsoever. It was an effort to shower, make breakfast, eat it and then take my meds. After that, I just sat on the sofa waiting for Dad to turn up.

Christie was quite quick this time round, appointment was 12 for bloods, and I was seen at 12:05, but it didn't go so well. The very nice nurse struggled to find a vein in my right arm, so moved over to the left. It took two nurses to get blood out of that one. Ouch. And afterwards I felt very dizzy and had to stay in the bloods room for a while with elevated legs and a glass of water.
My Doctors appointment was at 1pm, and I was called in as soon as the clock struck 1, very good. Blood results were back already as well. Blood ok, but showing signs of liver problems, which is to be expected after the very heavy dose of chemo I've had over the last sixty three days. No more visits to the Christie now for 10 weeks, they'll see me next after my operation.


Thanks Dad, much appreciated today. Spot of lunch, then lay on the sofa all afternoon, just getting up occasionally to pee. Got to stay hydrated. All I'm drinking now is lemon juice.

Closing in on tea time, and I'd got chops out. Plan was to do mash, carrots and peas, but CBA, so it was chips and peas instead. Even that's been a struggle to do this evening. Made me feel a bit sick cooking tonight.

Oh well, nearly done, and hopefully things will start to improve next week.

Good night xx

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Day Sixty Two - 5 days to go

What a busy day, I'll sleep well tonight.
Joh had a course to attend in Croydon today, so an early train meant dropping her at the station for 6am. But first dropping her car off at Ricks for an MOT and suspension repair. Then home and back to bed for a few hours.
Up at 9 for breakfast, meds and a shower. Dropped Isaac off at college, back to Ricks to drop Joh's keys off, then on to Stockport for some fat clothes. Primark, home of the XL comfort wear. Chinos, Jeans, 2 hoodies and tracky bottoms, bosh bosh all done. HMV for a peruse, nothing in, and finally WHSMITH for Cyclist and Rouleur magazines, and left my bank card in the machine. Chemo brain!

I then went to the car wash at the bottom of Romiley, and watched in wonder as 6 lads blitzed my car in about 15 mins, inside and out, clean as a whistle, thanks chaps.

On to Polocini for lunch. Lovely quiche, and the only coffee I can drink at the moment. It was at this point I realised I didn't have my card on me! Quick phone call to WHSMITH and they had it, phew! Told them to destroy it, and phoned the bank for a replacement. Sorted.

Home. Finally. Knackered.

So I spent the afternoon on the sofa editing my photos from the hill climb on sunday, here's a small example:

I do love a bit of saturated colour on black and white. 

Now just waiting for Joh to come home safe. Love you darling xx

Good night xx

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Day Sixty One - 6 days to go

Less than a week of chemo left to go. Awesome. Just about feeling ok from this lot now, although my fatigue is still bad. Still breathless at the top of the stairs, still sitting down to pee occasionally, still struggle to do the basics.
Last two days have been ok though. Didn't get up to much yesterday, but today I had lunch with Paige over at the Joshua Bradley on the road to Hyde. Very nice it was too. A JB burger always goes down well.

Spent this afternoon sorting out my DVD collection. I dug out all my region one DVD's that wouldn't play on my BlueRay player, and was going to replace my faves with BlueRays, but the cost would of been daft, so instead I just bought a multiregion DVD player for £40 to play them all, result.
So I watched the Bourne Identity this morning, and Atlantis this afternoon, both region one discs. Sorted. Anyway, after putting all my region one discs back on the shelf, I was knackered. I mean, really, I'm just lifting DVD's around FFS! How can that wear you out. But it did, so back to the sofa for a lie down after that.

Oh well, nearly there.

Finally, my left arm is bloody killing me. The main vein has swollen up and is really tender to the touch, to the point that I can't put my arm down anywhere at the mo'. Bit bloody annoying, but that's the only thing bothering me at the moment, so it's not too bad.

Good night xx

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Day Fifty Nine - 9 days to go

Today was the Polocini hill climb. I so wanted to be fit enough to do this, even if I crawled up and came dead set last, but alas, it was not to be. I'm still struggling getting up the stairs, and haven't been on the rollers since Thursday due to be so knackered. Instead, I figured I'd do a little filming and take some photos of the event, make a little film maybe? Bollocks, non of that, it took all my energy this morning to drive to the top of Werneth Low, park up and walk a quarter mile down the hill to a good spot and take some photos:

There are a few more of the riders here: Polocini hill climb on Flickr

The photo taking went well, but by the last few riders, I was honestly struggling. All was ok though as the last rider went by, and the photos were in the bag :) However, I'd underestimated how far down the hill I'd come. Bugger! That's quite a way back to the car. Oh well, nothing for it but to press on and get back. Phew! That was hard work, and I was glad of the rest stops saying hello to Richard, Alan and Chris on the way back. I figured the coffee shop would be rammed by now, and being light of head and knackered, I went straight back home. Good call.
Joh dragged me out later for lunch down to Polocini, which was as excellent as usual, and a bit quieter. Seems they'd been a little busy earlier :)

And so to home. And rest. Just a little drive later to pick up Isaac's girlfriend, and a lovely lamb chop tea, and meds and rest, again.

I do think these last few days of chemo may well turn out to be the hardest few days of my treatment so far. I don't seem to be getting used to the meds as before, I suppose I'm pretty much full of chemo with no way for my system to get used to it anymore. Oh well, nearly there.

Good night xx

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Day Fifty Eight - 10 days to go

I've had my meds for today, so technically, 9 days to go. Blimey. Nearly there.

It's been an odd few days. I've really been knocked sideways again with the chemo, and haven't had any energy to do stuff that I was hoping to be getting into again. Never mind going on the rollers again, I'm struggling to get up the stairs. I took the dogs for a walk on Friday, and I walked about a mile in an hour. Luckily they like that as it gives them chance to have a good root around. I was wasted when I got back.

I'm not bothered though, everyday is different and I've learnt to take each day as it comes. Sometimes that means cancelling plans, sometimes I can do stuff.

I'm making an effort at the moment to stay hydrated. I've noticed my pee getting stronger and stronger, so to counter that, and help out my kidneys, I'm drinking like a fish, to the point where I'm not drinking any hot drinks now, just juice. Which means I'm going to the toilet more, which is sometimes a struggle getting upstairs, which means I'm out of breath when I get there. Oh sod it! Yes, I'm sitting on the toilet to pee! :)
I feel no shame :)

I'm looking forward to the Polocini hill climb tomorrow, wish I was riding it, but realistically no where near fit enough to do such a thing. So I'll turn up to watch and photograph, if I feel ok.

Good night xx