Last Wednesday I had my second CT scan after my Liver resection back in March of last year. Today I got the fantastic news that it was clear! This obviously is brilliant news especially after having had the operation twice as first time round it reappeared after 9 months.
Of course there is never a quick fix fighting the Big C so I will have another few years of regular scans but we will cross that bridge when it comes and right now we have six months of fun, excitement, adventure and dreaming to enjoy!
Back in 2010 when I was first diagnosed with the Big C we were doing a photography project where we took a picture every day. At the end of August I was recovering from my bowel section and went for a somewhat stiff walk around the Lake at Golden Valley and took the photograph you see above. It was a poignant moment and frankly we wondered if we would be allowed the fortune to grow old together like the couple in the photograph. Were not there yet but today was a step in the right direction! below is what I wrote to accompany the photograph when I took it.
30/08/2010. This afternoon we went for a walk around the lake at Golden Valley at Castle Morton. The sun shone and Peanut went blackberry picking and I realised we did the exact same thing on Bank Holiday Monday in August 2007. The very first picture I took, almost as soon as I got out of the car was this one and for me it was the best from the day. Probably it has a lot to do with my recent health worries but I was struck by the poignancy of this shot and my first thought was I hope that one day that is me and Peanut, old, happy, together and in love. We'll do our best anyway.
Hope your day was as good as this.
Groovy word of the day: contentment.
So today two and a half years after the photograph above, I say to you, "hope your day was as good as this" and today as then the groovy word for the day is contentment!
Life at Beastie Folly has in truth been rather spiffing of late. It has been a rollercoaster ride of fun and frivolity since last May and my clear scan 6 months after my second liver resection was just a passport to Fun City.
Of course we know that things could change quickly and that every six months there will be another scan and each time there will be worry but that is the way of things so we just get on with it. This week though the Big C sent us a reminder, a tester if you like, to see what we are made of...
Last week Mrs P had a breast scan on Thursday and on Tuesday of this week she received a letter asking her to go for a second scan to Bromsgrove Hospital on Thursday (yesterday). The letter suggested she bring a relative or friend and said the results would be confirmed on the day. Such a letter is very scary for any woman and brave Mrs P is no exception. Yes she was sure it would be fine and nothing would be found but... but...
Mrs P is brave make no mistake and bless her when she got the letter, which she received when she was at home alone, she said she was more worried about telling me as she knew I would be upset! Well I was, but I hid it and in the absence of any road traffic cameramen whom I could abuse, I just had a quick internal rant about the injustices in this world etc etc.
Anyway, Thursday morning came quickly enough and the hospital was brilliant. Peanut was seen very quickly, scanned and given the all clear in record time. It was a false alarm caused by her last scan 5 years ago being on film and this scan being digital. Our world was put back together again, and that evening we celebrated with a modest Thai meal in Upton and I reflected upon just how lucky I am to have a Mrs P in my life!
I apologise for laying it all on a bit but Mrs P is truly special. While P was in being scanned I was in the waiting room, playing with my iPhone and gradually getting a banging headache, as I waited for news. As soon as Mrs P got the all clear her first thought was for me and she popped her head around the curtain gave me a big smile and the thumbs up sign and said it was all ok. Better than christmas I can tell you!
So a calling card from the Big C, but more importantly, a reminder for me about just how lucky I am to have a very precious Lady P sharing her life adventures with me!
Happy New Year to all our family and friends, we wish you health weath and happiness in the coming year.
A new year is often a time of reflection for most of us. We look back on the year and decide if it was good or bad, happy or sad and then we turn to the coming year and make resolutions. We hope your 2012 was good and that you can hold onto your resolutions.
As we look back on 2012 it was a smashing year. Ok so I am fighting the Big C, but hey we are all fighting something or other and to be honest for a year which saw me have my second liver resection operation back in March, it really has been super and we haven't allowed it to put a halt to the love and the fun in our lives. We have had some wonderful holidays and adventures. Three holidays to the south of France, long breaks in Florence and Edinburgh, trips to Le Mans for the Classic and Paris for the Motor Show, a weekend in London to charge about on the Thames in a DUKW and finally SilverBeast, a shiny new motor to round off the fun. Yep try as I might I just can't feel sorry for myself just now.
Of course for me the journey through 2012 from the recovery after surgery to the joys at year end were made so much easier by the love shown me by the simply wonderful Mrs P. Her love, her fun, her loyalty, her care - all just brilliant. For 2013 I want to show her love and kindness every day, she deserves nothing less. However, I know my limits, I'm bound to mess up sometimes so I wanted to show her my love more tangibly, so for her birthday on Christmas Day I surprised her with a diamond and sapphire ring. So for me it is a special ring to show her that I know how marvellous she is and how much she means to me.
So on reflection 2012 was a good year.
So what of 2013? Well there is uncertainty of course - there will be another scan in March, the phoney war might become a full blown war. But it might not - we don't know - so mean time we'll just get on with it set some goals and tick them off.
First, the effort. The old waist is too big, it will have to shrink, so not a diet but a moderation of portions, a bit more of an active life, running up stairs not walking, climbing the Malverns more often.
Secondly, the aspiration. My dad was a Gentleman and this is the year for stepping up to the mark.
Ermm... ok so this one is hard, but if you don't have a target, then your aim could go anywhere.
Thirdly, the fun. Let's get to the other side of that scan and then let's retrace the route of the Mille Miglia. It's the best basis we can think of for a road trip around Italy.
So there you have it, my hopes and dreams laid bare, so make some resolutions and have some dreams of your own and once again have a brilliant 2013!
Love Beastie and Peanut xx
Yesterday was the last day of work and now it is a ten day Christmas break and I can't wait. A few parties a few good meals and a lot of relaxing.
The week before though was the works Christmas party and a good time was had by all. We had our photograph taken with Anne, my boss at Exception and Gordon, her husband and Exception's MD. I was rather pleased with this picture because, first, I actually look half decent, secondly Peanut looks adorable but thirdly and most importantly it gives me a chance to say Thank You to these guys.
The last two years have been a battle with the Big C and at times it has been very worrying. It is still a worry and there will always be scans, the Big C never goes away, but like a country it lurks across the border. For now though border controls are tight, so let's enjoy the moment. Anne and Gordon though have been a massive help to me and Mrs P, supporting me all the way, making it easy for me to have time off when needed and to come back when it was right to do so, and to allow me to ease my way back into the way of things at the right pace. They have created a work environment for me that has really made a difference and made normality get back into my life very quickly. Work has become a very important cornerstone in my life, a big part of the foundation on which normality has been rebuilt. 2012 has been a smashing year for me and when it has been a year that saw me have my second liver resection that is not how I would have expected me to look back on the year. Anne and Gordon's support has got me back into work and back to a normal life so much quicker and me and Mrs P are very grateful for that.
This picture gives me a chance to just say that. So thanks Anne and Gordon and everyone at Exception for your support. Now have a great Christmas everyone!
A weekend in London catching up with Lady Peanut's son Duncan and his partner Laura has been long overdue. Last weekend we met up in London on the South Bank under London's Eye.
Duncan and Laura live in Brixton and there is nowhere there to park the car where they live so we opted to go via the train. This then was going to be a bit of an adventure. £109 painful pounds got us returns from Great Malvern to Waterloo where we were meeting D & L. My first treat was a coffee and a bacon bap for me and tea and a sausage bap for Peanut on the train. This, a fantastic sunrise and a chat with some other passengers made it an enjoyable trip to London. A quick hop on the underground took us from Paddington to Waterloo and before we knew it we were exploring the Christmas market on the South Bank in the shadow of the London Eye. The weather was cold but sunny - perfect December weather.
Lunch on the South Bank was very slick in a place called Giraffe and personally I had a very tasty Duck and noodles dish which set me up for the afternoon.
D & L had a surprise for us which turned out to be a trip on a DUKW! These are amphibious vehicles built for the Normandy Invasion in World War II and now very entertainingly doing tourist tours of London. Ours came with a very amusing guide and I thoroughly enjoyed the light and frothy whistlestop tour of the main sites of London. It really gave me my bearings. The DUKW was very high up when on the road and crazily low in the water when we went along the Thames past the Houses of Parliament. We entered the river down a slipway at the side of the iconic MI6 buildings. Yes I did feel like James Bond, especially as the DUKW entered the river at speed! Ok I'm easily excited but it was fun. Cold though, God it was cold so we treated ourselves to hot chocolate and marshmallows in the Slug and Lettuce afterwards.
Next stop a tube out to Brixton for afternoon tea at D & L's before dinner in Brixton. In many ways I live a sheltered life here in sleepy Malvern and Brixton was just a whole different world. As we left the tube for the 15 minute walk to D & L's I felt like the Man from Mars walking through the streets with the market stalls and fish markets and people teeming out of every street, doorway and passageway. It was very vibrant.
For dinner we walked back into Brixton and into one of the markets for a meal at a place called Cornercopia. I have grown up with markets and market stalls - heck I've had a few of them myself and I do love the buzz and atmosphere you can get in these places. However, what was different here was that it was alive in the evening too as many of the shops were cafes and restaurants and they were doing a brisk trade for a freezing cold December night. I waracked my brain hard to think of anywhere that I had been that was anything like this market hall in Brixton on a Saturday night and I could not think of anywhere in England that I had been that even came close. I concluded that the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and the Kasbah in Tangiers were the only places I had been that had any similarity. I loved seeing this different and vibrant world. We capped off the evening with cocktails in a bar on the high street and again this was very different to the mono cultural England that I know where a Yates' wine bar would be the norm. Brixton does not seem to be a mecca for chain stores or pubs!
Sunday was a leisurely breakfast courtesy of Duncan and a train ride home. The trip home was a bit less fun. there was no buffet car on the train and a half hour wait on a freezing cold Shrub Hill platform in Worcester, as we needed to make a change. Train or car? Well the train started off good and it is relaxing, but it is slower than by car and way more expensive. But it was a change and none the worse for that.
Cool weekend then and cheers to D & L for thinking up the great DUKW ride!