Don’t You Just Feel Inadequate

Poly Styrene with Celeste Bell

Poly Styrene & daughter

I watched the film Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché the other night and didn’t it make me feel a little inadequate. Poly died of breast cancer and by all accounts kept working right up to her death. Me I haven’t worked in any real sense of the word since I was made redundant back in June of last year. The most I get around to is procrastinating over a purchase, currently what cassette player to purchase.

I have tried to be more productive, I subscribed to 750 Words, but that fell apart I couldn’t manage that many words every day. I tried to continue something less prescriptive in Scrivener but never really found enough to write about.

I tried writing something that I’d like to be read at my funeral, but it just never seemed right. I often ended up trying to give some words of wisdom I feel I should have some but all I can say is listen to the Wear Sunscreen song it probably has all the advice you need. Then I try and write about all the people I love but then have I been balanced have I forgotten someone, it all gets too much, so I stop, the reality is I’m just not artistic enough.

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Meghan and Harry Interview

Last night I got around to watching that interview with Oprah, I’m not much of a royalist, to be honest, and would happily see the back of them one of the few things Cromwell got right was chopping off the head of Charles I.

The interview brought home to this white Anglo Saxon male how ingrained racism is in our society. I am aware of that but it’s all too easy for me to misplace that fact. It’s staggering that I once stupidly thought that Michael Kiwanuka’s 2014 single “Black Man in a White World” was overstating racism, racism had been defeated, hadn’t it? Living in my world it was all too easy to fail to observe that that’s not the case. Since the Brexit referendum, it’s all too clear that racism was just out of plain sight, the evil had never been defeated.

I wanted to select a few of the press and media headlines from the interview, however, I’m unable to watch the program as the ITV Hub insists, I provide a postcode which I duly provide but it fails to save to my account so insists on asking me over and over again. So, I’ve tracked one from the Daily Mail.

Daily Mail Meghan and Kate Bump articles

And the Stylist has an aptly titled article A comprehensive list of all the s**t Meghan Markle has taken from the British press and public which saves us the need to search further.

How anyone can feel other than compassion for Meghan and Harry remains a mystery.

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Ball and stick model of an Oxaliplatin Molecule C8H14N2O4PtIt’s not been a good time recently I was diagnosed with terminal cancer just over two years ago and for all that time the lesions in my liver have reduced. Sadly, my last CT scan shows that is no longer the case I won’t bore you with the details just the conclusion “Progressive disease. Increase in volume of liver disease with at least one new mesenteric node identified near the site of primary disease”.

Considering I have metastatic bowel cancer it is always a surprise, at least to me that it’s my liver that’s going to get me.

The outcome is that I’m coming off of Panitumumab but staying on the Capecitabine tablets with the addition of Oxaliplatin.

I was on Oxaliplatin two years ago with Fluorouracil (5FU) via a PCC line however the side effects were so severe that I lasted just seven sessions, so I wasn’t looking forward to going back on Oxaliplatin but if I want to live longer then I’ve little choice.

This time it’s to be a little different a three-week cycle as opposed to the two-week cycle I’ve been under for the last two years. Although I’m a little cynical about that extra week is it a way of treating more cancer patients, without increasing costs?

This time Oxaliplatin was administered by a cannula over two hours, and all went pretty well until the last fifteen or twenty minutes when it became very painful and felt like my vein had blown.

Afterwards my arm ached like it did after I had the Astra Zeneca vaccine with the added symptoms of that skin twisting burn torture with the added sensation of constant pins and needles. Three days later and I’ve not recovered completely.

I was glad my wife picked me up as I don’t think I could have driven the car myself.

I’ve other side-effects eating or drinking anything cold sends my lips tingling and makes my throat close up. Touching anything cold makes my hands tingle. Going outside can make my face and feet also tingle hopefully that’ll subside but I’m now on Capecitabine tablets for fourteen days so they might prolong the symptoms. With this regime there’s a week off so any drugs so hopefully there’ll be some relief.

Fingers crossed it’ll all be worth it, and my lesions will shrink, I should be optimistic as last time I was on Oxaliplatin there was significant shrinkage in my lesions.

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Going through my Dropbox folder I came across these six comic strips by Garry Trudeau from 2012.

Carton Strip 1
Carton Strip 2

Nothing’s changed has it, if anything things have got worse.

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Gloucester Cathedral

Photo of Gloucester Cathedral by Elizabeth Jamieson on Unsplash

Where, to start? I’ve been here before sat at a blank page on the screen.

A little about where I live? Here goes, I live in a small provincial city, Gloucester, the title city implies something exciting or at least I thought so when I moved to Gloucester way back as an 18-year-old. Nothing could be further from the truth there’s little of excitement here, little happens that’s going to set the heart racing or the soul soaring. Gloucester a place that the rest of the county of Gloucestershire looks down on well excepting the Forest which Gloucesterians (is that a word) look down on, who the Forest look down on I’ve no idea.

Looking down on someplace is a very English thing. Wherever I’ve lived there’s always someone to look down on. When I lived in Chatham it’s the Isle of Sheppey, and where I was born in Torquay it’s a county-wide thing all Devonians looking down on the Cornish and I’m pretty sure that’s reciprocated with the Cornish looking down on Devonians. I pretty sure this is repeated across the country.

Is this parochial outlook just an English thing or is endemic elsewhere?

You might also ask why I still live in Gloucester? It’s cheap at least for this neck of the country, it’s easy to get into the countryside, close to Cheltenham and Bristol isn’t too far away would be my answer.

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That First Post

One of the things I was considering writing about is my experiences with cancer which I’ve been writing about in my personal journal but in reality, I’ve managed to turn cancer into a dullness nothing much generally happens I trundle along the tumours shrink a little but they’re still with me.

I have a scan coming up tomorrow my first since my treatment restarted after the Covid break. Oh let your eyes glaze over as I relate I had a scan before the treatment restart which showed my tumours hadn’t grown in the three months without treatment good news, so of course, we’re hoping for something better after this round of treatments.

See all pretty dull.

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