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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Walk/Don't Walk

There’s two things on my agenda to write about. Flying over Cornwall and the outcome of my scan combined with the subsequent conversation with Ange (Dr Angela Irving).

Flight first.

Brilliant. The weather meant it was a bit touch and go whether we would fly ur no. The pilot, Jamie, had the final decision. We flew. The route Tricia and I had in our heads was Fowey, St Austell and on down the south coast a bit but the best advice was to stay between the bad weather and the airfield. The bad weather was the other side of an imaginary line between Launceston and Plymouth so we revised our route.

We decided to fly to Bodmin, The Eden Project, St Austell, Par, Fowey, Polperro, Looe, then across to the north coast flying over St Neot, Colliford lake, Bodmin moor and on into the wind to Tintagel then down the north coast a bit before turning back to the airfield. Follow the link for the route. Waiting for us on our arrival back at the airfield was the gang that bought the present. This time they'd brought a picnic with them.

The flying club let us use the clubhouse to eat in.

The flying club people we met were all fabulous, they all seemed to be a little bit eccentric, half of them either had ponytails or were vegan, I think most were pilots. Time for a Venn Diagram I think.

Jamie, the pilot had not been qualified for more than a couple of years but we felt very safe indeed. The weather wasn’t ideal but it kept other aircraft on the ground which meant far less radio chatter so the opportunity for all of us to talk was better. The clouds were low causing us to fly lower than usual. It may have been cloudy but the visibility was excellent. Also the weather conditions made the air more turbulent which gave the pilot more to do. We experienced a little bit of turbulence which was actually good fun. Then the small aircraft suddenly dropped. Both Tricia and I bumped our heads on the cabin roof. A little bit bum clenching but ace fun nevertheless. Would I do it again? Just give me a microsecond to think.

There’s a café which will reopen soon. Another Thursday walk/don’t walk destination don’t you think? (See last post “Tea or Coffee and Cake. It's Entirely up to You!”)

Anyway we were home in good time for my consultant phone call. This is when we discuss my scan results and future treatment.

So to the second item on the agenda.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. Winston Churchill famously said “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Please forgive me if I mash it up a bit. Same words, different order. Now this is not the end. It is not even the end of the beginning. But it is, perhaps, the beginning of the end.

Let me enlighten you. I’ve been having chemotherapy almost continuously since the 4th of September. That’s a long time to suffer the ravages of chemo. Some people put up with much, much more but in my case however the chemo isn’t going to “cure” me. Yes, it’s slowed the development of my cancer but at what cost? I can’t do lots of the things I enjoy because of my hands and feet. The sea’s too cold for kayaking or swimming (even wearing a wetsuit, boots and gloves) walking is painful and exhausting and buttoning down shirt collars, no chance. I have a motorbike I can’t ride and I can’t stitch enough good days together to get a decent break in our motorhome. I spend about 12 hours in bed each day trying to sleep. That alone is a lot to bear and without adding each fortnight 1 day of chemo, 2 days with a chemo pump, an appointment with the district nurses, blood tests, a consultant phone call and a G.P. phone call. I have at least 2 days when I want to be alone because I’m too miserably depressed and every afternoon I’m simply too knackered to see anyone.

So my chemotherapy has stopped, for at least 8 weeks but probably for good. The side effects of my chemo should abate. Which for a couple of months, maybe longer, should give me some quality time to spend with, first, my family and, secondly, the rest of you, my friends. I’ve agreed to a referral to the palliative nursing team. Hopefully a bit premature but I was going to be referred sooner or later. They’re probably going to be in charge of much of my future treatment.

Generally the news could be better but it could be much worse. My liver is still working well. For a cancer patient I’m still relatively fit and healthy. My cancer hasn’t spread to any other nastier places.

In the scheme of things I’m probably not going to be around much longer. It’s unlikely that I’ll be visiting many of you. You can visit me. You’ve got time to do the driving, I haven't. But I’m going to share with you all where I’m indulging in my morning coffee and cake.

Every Tuesday since, it seems forever, I host a Zoom Coffee Club at 10am. It’s dead easy to access. Just go to my website and there as if by magic the Coffee Club link appears. Couldn't be easier. It lasts 40 minutes. Join in for 40 minutes or pop in for 5. It’s up to you. And you don’t even need to have a coffee and cake. I do! If you're thinking "I really must do that" then be aware; Time is running out! Alternatively on a Thursday at 11am Tricia and I will be popping into a café for refreshments.

This coming Thursday the 20th we’re descending on The Tea Shed at Trewithen. Why there? Because Alice, a Tuesday Coffee Club stalwart has returned to work at this very café. Let’s hope she’s working next Thursday. There's even a walk that passes the tea room. Search for Grampound to Trewithen on the iWalk Cornwall app. (Note; the walk details is on the app not their website) This way you can either “walk” or if it doesn’t suit you “don’t walk”.

I have a few café ideas and if you have any stick them in the comments below.

I guess that’s three agenda items. Sums ....... not my strong point.

Anyway you now have the latest sit rep on my condition.

To be honest it’s no more, no less than I was expecting.

Just not what I wanted.

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