Another early morning, but this time with a purpose. The Korean Grand Prix. It’s hard to believe it’s almost the end of the season already. Even harder to believe that McLaren are coming good when it’s all over. But coming good is not enough some times, today’s race was boring, probably the worst of the season, and still so far behind the German (grinds teeth). I hope McLaren get their act together for next season, and give Jenson the chance to show his star quality again, and become the next double world champion. I’ve been watching grand prix since I first saw Jim Clarke’s face on the back of a Corn Flakes packet. It was probably my first experience of realising what a world champion was, and he was my hero, at least for a while until his untimely death.
As much as it hurts me to say it…well done Wales. Almost but not quite. In the end I don’t think the sending off had any effect on the result. They had plenty of chances to win it in the last quarter, but they acted like rabbits in headlights. I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with Wales. I had a nasty experience with a mad Welshman in Barry (yes I know Barry is a nasty experience anyway) , rolled my brand new car as I came off the M50 on the way back from Cardiff, not a nice experience, and more than anything, Jonathan Davies’ voice just grates on me. For once I am thankful that the BBC are not covering a major sporting event. I just could not listen to him for eighty minutes.
Once again, I came away from hospital with renewed confidence after my appointment on Friday. My frustration at continuing delays in treatment have been put into perspective. A four way meeting, myself, oncologist, specialist radiography nurse and specialist chemotherapy nurse. The Christie has a habit of pulling the nicest of people out of the hat as required. I could not have asked for more. Another two hours by the time I left, as much time as I wanted to discuss whatever I wanted. The ‘spanner’ in the works is purely down to logistics. My biopsies were sent to London where they are stored. This is because my early referral and colonoscopy were carried out by a private company. It all depends on what service your GP practice chooses to use. Had I been referred direct to a hospital initially, this delay would probably not have occurred. Definitely a case of the private sector NOT improving the service delivered by the NHS. So, the sample had to be requested from London, in writing, and then sent to Germany for the specialist genetic testing. It could still be the case that the results could be back any day now.
I was persuaded that it would be in my best interests to await the Kras results. Persuaded is perhaps not the right word, there was no pressure put on me, but the facts were presented in such a way that it makes no sense not to take advantage of the drug trial if I am able to do so. Everything is now in place for treatment to begin just as soon as the results come through. I have collected my chemotherapy drugs so that I can start immediately should I not be suitable for the trial. My radiotherapy sessions are booked, and will be rolled over on a daily basis, so that I can start within 24 hours notice. We discussed the lesions on my lung and liver. They will neither rule in or rule out the possibility of these being secondary tumours. I will undergo further scans at various stages of treatment, if they shrink, or even better disappear then the chances are they are malignant, and the shrinkage will show that the chemo is working. If they don’t shrink, then they are not cancer. That sounds like a win/win situation to me. After all the discussions, advice, questions, explanations and reassurances, came the paperwork. Consent forms for both the chemotherapy and radiotherapy. All the possible side effects listed, including the ultimate, the one nobody wants to see. However miniscule the chances, it’s still un-nerving to see in writing, and to have to put your signature alongside. Once again it brings home the seriousness of this bloody disease.
I felt somewhat protective of the bag of poison I was carrying as I headed back into Manchester, protecting the bag with my arm as I mingled among the crowds in Albert Square where the Manchester Food & Drink Festival was in full swing. Self inflicted torture, I would have loved to have stopped to sample some of the delicious food on offer. Albert Square hasn’t smelt so good since…..well, since Jenson Button filled the air with high octane fuel. Unfortunately I had to head to the Arndale centre for the few things I needed. Why is the shop you’re looking for always on a different level to the one you’re searching? I must have walked round the whole centre three times before I found the shop I was looking for. I didn’t even lose my temper despite having three tills closed on me before I had chance to pay for my goods. It must have been just after 4 o’clock by the time I arrived home, as I later found out that someone had left a message on my answer phone at 4.02 pm. I vaguely remember the sickly voice of Noel Edmunds in my head, but the next thing I recall was instinctively awaking for the six o’clock news, still with my coat on, slumped in the arm chair with a cold cup of coffee.
Time to prepare for the week ahead. No daytime outings planned so will try and get on with things at home. Kitchen to paint, more bulbs to plant (before the frosts arrive), and more soup to make. It would be nice to get a phone call from the hospital too. Fingers crossed.