It could only happen on Twitter. I was heading into Manchester for my MRI scan, passing the time before I set off on my journey. The light amusement that is Twitter takes over. “On the train to Manchester” was the tweet from the CEO of Beating Bowel Cancer charity. A few tweets followed before I realised we were heading for the same place, The Christie. The compulsory “must meet up” tweet followed, and that was the last I thought of it. Mark’s meeting was at 2pm, the same time as my scan.
The MRI was unremarkable, more than used to the process now, I even opted not to have music piped through the headphones. I always think it’s such an insult to the artist when it’s played on poor equipment. Not the fault of The Christie, it would take something special to overcome the noise and banging of an MRI scanner. An hour and a quarter later and it’s done with, another one chalked off. I sent a text to Mark advising him I had finished, and headed to the coffee shop, a good place to meet if it was going to be possible. I was heading towards the Christie Charity shop to re-stock on lapel badges when I was stopped by Dr S (oncologist). He wanted to talk music, festivals (I can sense his nervousness at the kids first festival) and how good The Hive’s were on Later…..with Jools last week. Mid conversation my mobile rings…….the guy with mobile in hand standing behind Dr S looks at me answering my mobile. A triangle of finger-pointing and shock ensued…before I realised that Marks meeting had been with Dr S, he realised Dr S was talking to me, and Dr S realised that I was the guy Mark was looking for. Christie chief exec joined the gathering a few minutes, and none of us would have known or found each other, other than through Twitter. Other than the fact that I have cancer, and Dr S is my oncologist. “You’re looking well” was Caroline’s greeting line, which was probably a pretty good bet for an opening line considering the last time she saw me was on day four of me being in CCU. I was glad of the opportunity to have a few minutes to talk to Mark, and hear what BBC is up to. It’s great to see them working closely with The Christie, and even better to see Mark Tweet afterwards “ The Christie is a wonderful place”. I know that, you probably know that because you have read it here so many times, but to see it in the words of the CEO of a leading cancer charity, it makes me feel kind of proud, and pleased for the staff of The Christie, they all work so hard to make it such a wonderful place. Wonderful place, wonderful people.
Quite a week for meetings really. The long anticipated meeting with M happened, I thought I had a free week, but it didn’t quite turn out that way, Monday dietician, Tuesday MRI scan, Thursday District nurse, Friday CT scan, thankfully M suggested Wednesday, so Wednesday it was. I knew she’d be late, so wasn’t surprised to see a text pop up, just as I was getting ready to leave, the cat had been sick on the bed, “can you make it 1.45pm?” I wasn’t sure how I would feel, but even driving to the other side of town to pick her up I didn’t feel nervous or apprehensive, it just seemed to be the right time. I had no reason to be nervous, and I’m sure M felt the same way. The cosmetics may have changed a little, but underneath we were both still the same. We talked about old times, good times, even bad times. Her kids, my kids, Jasmine (the cat – she really was sick). We talked about me being ill, about festivals, and more festivals, and how she’d even seen me at Leeds a couple of years ago. We talked about music, more music, bands, CD’s , and gigs. We talked about everything we always used to talk about. Even though it’s been almost 6 years since we last met, it seemed like yesterday. We had lunch (I knew she’d choose lamb), I barely managed a quarter of the huge Ploughman’s, and I’m still a bit nervous over having nibbled at a few things I shouldn’t have, time will tell. There are still vast chasms between us over certain things, but I think we see them as differences now rather than a reason to destroy each other. We both agreed we’d do it again soon. It’s always great to catch up with your best friend, especially after 6 years. Oh, and if anyone is looking for a great country pub, with excellent food and fantastic views, under the shadow of Scout Moor wind farm, then I highly recommend Owd Betts Country Inn, Norden. It’s overlooking Ashworth reservoir and the views over the whole of greater Manchester and surrounding counties are stunning.
Unfortunately I FU’d on FB again. I copy & pasted a “please copy & paste” phrase by a particular cancer support thingy, of course now I can see how it was misunderstood, but it sparked a mini hallelujah chorus of “he’s cured he‘s cured”. Unfortunately I have to point out I’m not cured, I’m still waiting to find out how curable I might or might not be, then the odds will be chalked up. I had the second scan on Friday, PET CT. The one where they inject me with radioactive tracer. Again, nothing remarkable about the scan, except that it was freezing in the scanning room.
Mrs. C somehow managed to paint a kitchen wall the other day, despite me specifically saying don’t. I have no ides how I was hoodwinked into not noticing, but somehow she managed it. It was kind of funny, I couldn’t be annoyed. Yes, it needed doing but then so did a lot of other things. She’ll be helping me load up the car to go to the tip next time, I’m going to keep a close eye on her to see what gets thrown into the car.
Thankfully, when the TV is full of the jubilee, parades, parties, sails by’s, fly by’s, drive by’s, pass me by, I’ll be driving the 300 miles or so it is to spend a couple of days with my kids. Really looking forward to it, and I know they are too. I’ll be dashing back Thursday morning in time for an appointment with Dr S, hoping he has results and the best possible news for me.
I’ll leave you with this video, it’s been talked about for days, and has been on my mind ever since. Not in a ‘can’t get that tune out of my head’ sort of way, because it’s such a brilliant song and performance. It brings back beautiful memories, and does so for a few others apparently.