Sunday, 29 June 2014

Honor Oak Park

Gorgeous sunday morning, and another really good nights sleep, the London air obviously agrees with me. I have been out riding each day, I do love cycling in London, think its the challenge that does it, nearly ran into a guy yesterday who was so busy running for the bus, but apart from that no other incidents, really should be wearing my helmet though.

Side of a shop in Dulwich

Feeling really good, very heathy and fit which is great and gives me such a mental boost as well, my head is settling down and I am way more positive than I have been, especially when it comes to people in my life, I am weeding out the dead wood, and this has made me realise how great some of my real friends are. Quality not quantity! I don't need loudness, rudeness grief and drama, it was never my way of doing things anyway so I can be my real self again.
Stayed a couple of nights with a real friend and her partner in their fab new house in S Wales, huge place and great garden, well it will be when its finished, they doing an amazing job.  The Welsh valleys maybe an area of real deprivation,  but it has such character and the people are so friendly, I would be quite happy living there. We had a walk on the beach at Ogmore on Sea, fascinating place, really unusual rock formations, then we had a walk round some Waterfalls up near Breacon, including one you can walk behind, despite the 7 mile hike, and hundreds of steps it was so worth it. I was really proud of myself being able to do so much walking without too much difficulty,  I also cycled both ways over a really nasty hill in Ystrad, not easy on a mountain bike, but again so worth it as it made me feel great afterwards, bit of a contrast to cycling in London.

Breacon Beacons

Saturday, 21 June 2014


Cycling some disused railway lines around Northamptonshire at the moment, over 60 miles in 3 days, not a huge distance, but I still pleased. Hasn't taken a lot of effort, and at times I have tried quite hard.


Off to Cambridgeshire tomorrow, St Ives-Cambridge to be precise. Weather has been gorgeous so getting a bit of colour now. Sadly a lot of the disused lines that are converted into cycle/foot paths, are rather sanitised,  nice to ride or walk, but most of the railway remains have been swept away, so they resemble any other path, but I shouldn't moan too much as they are a welcome break from riding on the roads.

Contrasting  views around Rushden

Off to Ystrad in S Wales on Monday, stay with an old school friend for a few days and hopefully do a bit of cycling as well, then on Thursday up to South London to stay with Aimy, so busy times and a lot of driving, but I enjoying every minute.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Cherry Tree pub

What a dam fine gorgeous day it has been!
Feel really good, had a date today, with a lady called  Jey, who is from Malaysia and works here as a nurse, so immediately we had loads in common! Really enjoyed it she is a lovely lady, it seemed to go very well, so fingers crossed. I am away now for a couple of weeks, which might be a good thing as it gives us a breather, rather than diving in straight away, which I have a bit of a history of doing, we shall see, but I hope it works out.
I started counselling this week, I have put it off for so long, that now I wonder if I actually need it? When I went on Monday I felt fine, but as I climbed the stairs to the top floor, it dawned on me what I was doing, dragging everything out into the open again after I was starting to make quite a good job of burying it. But then maybe that is the whole issue, I haven't been confronting my problems so counselling  is the way forward. I was asked what I wanted out of the sessions, bit of a difficult question, as I hadn't given it a lot of thought, I answered, that I would like to come to terms with my illness and learn to live with it, not unreasonable I guess.
I am getting very forgetful at the moment, I am getting appointment dates wrong and turning up a day late, also mixing up the time and turning up to see people at the very last minute, even lunch today, I was strolling back from town thinking I had loads of time, only to realise it was 12.10 and I was 20 mins walk from home and due to leave at 12.30 for lunch at 1!!! so that gave me precisely 0 mins to shower, change and get out the door! Not really the best situation for a first date, but somehow I was 5 mins early.
My pedometer ranking has now gone up to 81874th in the world. Wow! haha I am down to 5 figures in only 5 days. I have taken 74,932 steps, equal to 43.6 miles, to be honest the mileage is not very accurate, it over reads, so I don't know how accurate the step count is, but as a guide it is very useful.
First thing tomorrow I am off to Leicestershire, South Wales then London, taking my bike with the intention to  do some cycling each day, certainly the first week I will, the second week in London, I might not do so much, we shall see.

Random shot here, to remind me I have to get out and do some more tunnelling!

Morcott Tunnel

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Moving on

I had my 3 monthly scan the other day at Clatterbridge, or to be more precise an X-ray. Although the resolution is far less than a CT scan, the tumour was much the same size as before and the Mets in my lungs were barely noticeable, so rather good news to say the least. I had been told that once the primary tumour is removed the Mets often shrink and sometimes disappear altogether.
Obviously I am over the moon about this, and overnight a huge weight has fallen of my shoulders, while the cancer will over time cause problems, at least for the time being I can lead a normal life, well as normal as my life ever is!
Second big bit of  news this week, I have a new phone, a Galaxy S5, how sad am I! Great phone though, and I do use it a lot, especially the mapping, having all the O/S maps on one device is amazing, all my collection of paper maps in the loft are certainly not going to be seen any time soon, although of course the phone is only as good as the signal. I have a couple of great apps on it for cycling and walking, the pedometer is great, I have taken 29925 steps in three days, and that's just out walking,  apparently I now rank 111162nd in the world!
I really feel good about the future, it really is time to move on and leave my old self behind, if some of my friends don't want to come with me on my journey then that will be their loss. I have quite a few plans, I want to take swimming lessons, I have a fear of water and can only sort of swim a length, I would like to go back to school to study, maybe History or Phycology, I have never been very good at studying, but I am sure if I put my mind to it I would do pretty well, I would also like to learn something else, like a language or even how to play the guitar! My biggest  plan for the future is to travel and hopefully spend a fair bit of time abroad, amongst other things I have been looking at cycling across Cuba, or cycling The Great Wall of China, to name but two, I would seriously love to do something like that, and to raise some money for my local cancer charity  The John Holt centre in Warrington is quite a small but extremely friendly charity, I have only visited there once, going back on Monday, lovely people. Unfortunately I was supposed to go to an evening group this week but I managed to get the dates wrong. I seem to be so forgetful at the moment, and forever mixing dates and times up, I am not even sure what time I am supposed to be there on Monday!
I have got together a collection of self help books, one is called, "Dealing with People You Can't Stand" haha, I am normally very tolerant, but recently I have been letting peoples behaviour get to me, I have  already learnt some good tips, I will let you know how well they work.

A new friend I made

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Clatterbridge time again.

Nearly time for my 3 monthly scan, next Tuesday I will be back to Clatterbridge Hospital. don't no why, but the name makes me smile despite the rather grim nature of the place. I am a little bit worried to say the least, I still manage to bury my head in the sand when it come to my cancer, and it is only as scan time approaches that it brings it home to me how ill I am.
I have been getting plenty of exercise so I hope that counts for something, really enjoying the cycling, so many places to go around Warrington. Next week I am off again on my travels, this time with my bike, 4 days cycling round Northamptonshire, then a few days with a friend in South Wales plus a bit more cycling hopefully, then back to London for a week . We have tickets for 1984 at the Playhouse, which will be interesting, then the plan is to do something different each day, British Museum, Highgate Cemetery, Hampton Court, Crystal Palace, (including  the Dinosaurs) are some of the ideas. We are also looking at going away to the sun in August, so need to sort out some flights etc.
I am going to take my DSLR camera with me this time, and try and do some serious photography, I have been struggling with motivation for my old interests, I want to get out with the camera, but I have been letting my emotions get in the way, I think I may have turned a bit of a corner, although a lot of it will depend on Tuesdays scan results, I think I have finally made the first step to moving on from some of the issues in my life that have been upsetting me, if something is getting you down, the only real solution is to remove it, if possible, so that is just what I am doing, getting rid of some of the dead wood,  as they say at Westminster. "We are cautiously optimistic." I do have a few plans for the future, which I need to start getting to grips with, and in the coming months I have plenty of trips in the souf to look forward to.

That time of year again, so the growbags are out and the slugs are eating the Tomatoes! Ok so I have had to replace two of them, they are now a little bigger so hopefully they can withstand the slug attacks. Actually its first time I have grown any veg for several years, so it makes a nice diversion, Toms on toast anyone?

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

New friends and old friends

Myself and Roz

A couple of weeks ago I met up with Roz and her family, and spent a lovely few hours chatting. Roz had the same diagnosis as myself and the same operation in the same hospital, only separated by a couple of weeks, although I was in Warrington hospital when Roz had her operation. It was only pure chance that I saw the mention of Warrington on a Kidney Cancer forum, so I mailed Roz and now we are life friends. Although Roz was lucky that the KC hadn't spread, she was dreadfully unlucky to then be diagnosed with Lung Cancer, and last month she had part of a lung removed, a remarkable lady, a true fighter and a pleasure to know.

Spent a day walking London with my mate Sarah, had an amazing time, walked for miles and saw pretty well all the top sites, including Harrods where we bought some bits and bobs for friends, unfortunately after a bottle of wine and an unbelievably awful Cocktail I left them in the Arch Duke at Waterloo, never trust me when I have been drinking, its enough for me to remember to put one foot in front of the other! Luckily thanks to a superb member of staff they put the bags to one side for me to collect a couple of days later. Sarah and I always make friends with someone living on the street when we are out and about. Not sure how Cherise felt about having her picture taken, but our intentions were genuine.

Cherise and Sarah
We met Cherise at Waterloo, a lovely lady who has fallen on difficult times, so was good to spend a bit of time with her. First person I met on the street who has a mobile, times are certainly a changing.
Back in London a few days later, this time with a fab friend Aimy, we went out into town in the evening, picking up the Harrods stuff on the way, of course it was a Friday night and the place was packed, but we had a good wonder round, good meal and met some good people, Aimy is so cool to talk to, the time just flies by, and we were so busy talking and walking that we forgot we were hungry and needed food, eventually ending up in Leicester Square for a bit of Mexican, then back to South London, talking till the sun came up, with Aimy doing her hovering at 3 in the morning!
Aimy with Nelson

Rather different visit was to Yasmin in Poole, Yasmin and I have a bit of history, over 5 years worth. Yasmin is due to give birth anytime now, so is ever so slightly large, bless her, was so good to spend time with her, she really hasn't changed, despite all the discomfort she still smiles all the time which is great to see, as she has had a bit of a rough ride in recent years, her husband Mark was very welcoming as well, amazing the barriers that cancer can break down! It was actually very relaxed and fun, and I had another first, which strangely enough was not on my Bucket List!
Anyone for Victoria Sponge?
Yup, I baked a cake, taken me 52 years to do it, but like most things with me, I get there in the end haha. Must thank Yasmin, she arranged a couple of surprises, which was so good of her, one was Afternoon Tea at The Bath Hotel in Bournemouth, and the other was a back massage, which was so very welcome, the massage was done by a young Goth girl very aptly called  Raven, such a lovely girl and now a friend, she has a partner who was diagnosed at 27 with cancer, so again it brings it home to me how fortunate I am.
Sarah and I,  had had a few very busy days, lunch in a posh restaurant, bit of a pub crawl, bit of clubbing, bit of a row, then Karting, a sea voyage, climb up the Spinnaker tower and a day in London, so after all that we were a little bit lost, although we did finish it off by having some gross was that!
Cheesy, but rather nice shot of me and Sarah

 That's how I feel at the moment, a little bit lost, I have been rushing around having such a great time with some fab people and now I am back north, trying to think of something to do, crazy really as I have so much I could do, but the urge to be out and about is stronger than ever, my poor friend Alan who's house I live in, must really think I cant bear to be around him, which really is not true, I just have a real need to not waste a minute sitting around. I have a 4 day cycling trip in a couple of weeks, a trip to Wales, back to London and back to Southampton, I really am so very lucky to have this freedom.
Next Tuesday I have my 3 month scan, I am starting to wind myself up about it, it is the first clear 3 months I have had, since the primary tumour was removed, so it will really show me how my cancer is likely to proceed over the coming year or so, I still don't know how to react to the situation I am in, it feels so surreal, on the face of it I am very healthy, and at times quite happy, especially being able to visit my friends and do the things we have been doing, but at times it doesn't feel real, its like the never ending summer holidays when you were a kid, eventually they did come to an end.
Despite the impression I sometimes give,  that I am a bit of a walkover and too soft, and easy to take advantage of,  I am very strong inside and eventually I come to grips with what life has to throw at me, and I stand up and fight for myself and move on to the next phase of my life, cancer is no more than a phase, and I will move on from it.