Thursday, 25 February 2010


Zappometer off-line for update. Phone 57777 to listen to message for next estimated update.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Crotchless Pants?

What with the ever increasing use of the old feeding tube, I was saying to one of the ladies the other day - during balloon top up reminder class - that I need a bit more tape to get my tube stuck up out of the way again.

Oh, she said, have we need offered you one of these before - pulling something from a drawer - I think they are like boob tubes. That'll save you lots of taping, especially since you'll be using it 3 or 4 times a day! Well, not to sure about boob tubes for the 40 something man, but as she opened up the splendid garment - what was there other than a pair of your grandad's Y-fronts, from the matching set that went with the string vest, but with the crotch cut off.

What a magnificent sight I must have been for this morning's zaps following just a week-end of undress rehearsal with my new string cor-set.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Strange but true....

...last summer when I was in Sweden with Anne and the boys, we were accosted late one night in Stockholm Central by these two young Swedes - they turned out to be the journalist and his photographer form a local daily and were doing their daily survey where they ask opinions of the people in the street. Did Anne think sun-beds were a good or bad thing?

Can't really remember her answer which did appear next day, though I can now say that they give you quite bad sun-burn if you go everyday for 6 weeks and don't wear anything other than a plastic mask.

Its oddly shaped too (the sunburn) - sort of like the shape of a medieval armour piece that protects the collar bone and side of the neck, with funny white gap in the centre - perhaps if you left your armour in the sun over a lunch and forgot just how hot those dammed crusades were, then you too could have been branded in the same style as you popped it back on for that afternoon's adventure.

Fur balls

Some vague memory from school days came to mind this week - some video of an owl regurgitating a fur ball to get rid of the bits of mouse it couldn't digest. Strangely like a tiny cough and there it was, except mine was more like a food coated mucous ball. The first one was like a pea and ham gobstopper, I'll spare you details of No 2, - peculiar though the capacity that your body has that it can keep a gobstopper hanging around your throat unnnoticed until you're watching TV with the family and...cough, then you find yet another talent that Gallup don't seem to list.

Also on the furry front is my head - I'd noticed that some hair growth was creeping back, I mean, I had to shave twice last week! But while face growth seems limited to fu manchu style area, more overall coverage was appearing on my head. So out with the clippers it was but it was odd with no real feeling of of the usual zzzzmmmm as they cut through hair, instead I was building up little tufts of fluff like you might find on shaving a teenagers top lip. Still de-fluffed and polished up I am for week 7 at the solarium.

Regimental Fatigues

Blimey, someone has removed the stuffing this past week. I know that Doc Junor and her Posse have told me that the radiotherapy regiment will make me tired, but this really came home to roost with my afternoon siesta an alarming three 3 hours one day.

So Tuesday it was I think that consisted of up, shower, one man and his porridge, blast at LA3, blast at LA4, Chemo, home, kip 'til 6.

So, sorry to those of you I was in touch with last week about about a visit - just couldn't predict when I was going to be fit for active duty so didn't come up with any times for you.

Now on to 3 of those food supplements down the tube each day and extra strong drugs - Morphine and Giant Paracetamol along with the mucozade. Maybe they have some to do with sleeping for Scotland too!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Up & Down

Up, down, up, down, up...yes that's it you got the rhythm from last week (8th-14th), which was up and down and loads of different fronts.

Down to hospital, up from hospital, biorhythms up, biorhythms down, trouble getting food down, trouble with food coming back up, red blood count down, red blood count back up, weight down, food in the tube up, cannae be botheredness up, time to go down.

Started the week brightly enough I think, but some spurts of sickness and possibly the Chemo put paid to that Tuesday/Wednesday. Was threatened with another blood transfusion, but remarkably my blood count seemed to climb at the thought and that was put on hold. Chirpy again by Friday though.

Only two weeks of this phase to go then recovery stuff before its time for the lovely sounding "neck-section". Hope I get a nice cut.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A mucii, a mucose, a mucositis

With the change of radiotherapy regime, came... a carrier bag full of drugs to help stave off mucositis. Yep, lovely, eh, just gargle after me one more time, mucositis.

Mucositis is an extension of my gooey glut really, its where the mucii takes over and makes you mouth and throat so mucousy (yes, I'm making some of them up) that you can't eat and drink. Not good.

So, prevention is the order of the day with mucaine (...a running around my vein) the much vaunted favourite at the Western. I suppose its only part of the package though, since it coats the throat to ease swallowing - sort of like a mucozade drink to aid recovery. On top of that are these soluble co-codamol tabs that seem big enough for a pack of Dugs, never mind a wee one like me. And, there's no getting away from it, Movitall, because the colossal co-codamol can cause constipation. Which is sh...

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Double blast news at last

Well, well, well - it turns out that Phase II isn't exactly more of the same. I mean I'm sure it will feel the same and look the same, with the same mask drill, same meshy face and background music, but this other Zappatron seems to fire electrons rather than photons.

As Captain Kirk and Mr Sulu would tell you, this is because photon torpedoes are very effective at destroying unwanted Clingons. But, as Doc Junor drew for me on Thursday this means my first 20 zaps had a wider target area than I thought and its a bit spine tingling to find out that my chord has been part of the area, so now they want to tone that down. So it'll be photons to front, electrons to the rear ( I am stuck like a tumour in you...

stuck like a tumour in you,
and I'm wondering why I ever first grew,
its so hard to keep growing this pace,
when I'm getting zapped all over the place,
photons to the front, electrons to the rear,
here I am stuck like a tumour in sorry, went off on one there)

The idea is that ol' lumpy still gets blasted with photons as they have deep throat penetration, but the glands and the rest of my neck will be downgraded to electron zapping from Monday. Can't wait!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Swallowing lessons

Well not exactly lessons, but a detailed discussion with a dietitian today on the causes of tickly coughs during throat cancer cures.

Glut woman was on form again today and had a colleague who was keen to test my swallow action, especially when I said that sometimes get a spluttering cough when I'm drinking. Which can be messy. You see, its possibly all to do with the swallow reflex not working properly and meaning that the epiglottis doesn't properly close over the larynx to prevent food or drink entering the windpipe. But why?

They don't know, but had me try out gulps and sips while they had a hands-on observation of my swallow action. Thankfully I didn't choke at the time but have promised to keep them posted on what triggers my occasional splutters - like this morning's coffee that I was enjoying until it was forcefully ejected during the pharyngeal phase and halted the esophageal stage abruptly!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Struck a chord

I finally created chip in the professional veneer or the LA3 massive today when they changed the music for me so that I could play my air guitar whilst im-meshed in the zapping routine.

Bit of Lynyrd Sknyrd to strum to while the Zappatron went about its business. OK, pop fans, it is soft rock for the mass market - in fact Neil Young's piss-take of Sweet Home Alabama beats it - but at least its recognition that girlie warblers can be known to prolong the experience rather than help it pass.

Perhaps, there will be Jam tomorrow.

Zappedy Doo-dah

Zappedy doo-dah, zappedy-aay, my oh my I get zapped every day.

And, apparently, there's a phase II! Last week passed without any alarms and only really my self-inflicted side-effect to bother me. 5 zaps, blood sample, weighed twice, quickie chemo, chat with dietitian, balloon updated and consultation with Doc J & the posse.

Interesting twist was when the nurses pinned me to the bed on Friday and said they'd be a wee big longer today, "as you know, for your 2nd phase, you need more markings on your mask". Eh, well, no, I didn't know about phase II actually. "Ock, just a different angle of attack that they'll do at LA6 from the end of next week".

Didn't ask if LA6 had a pet name, but will wait to get 1st hand reaction from that team. Not sure what it really means yet, but think that my daily left, right & center zaps (yes its really 3 a day) will increase by 2 or 3 so that at the final curtain of this plot, Withnail & I can go our separate ways.

Funny Ballon Animal

One thing I forget to tell about the tube, is how its kept in place now that the early scaffolding has gone. It's a balloon trick!

You see, there's a wee balloon on the inside that gets inflated, if you can inflate something with water, so that it acts like an anchor on the inside. Sort of like a harpoon, Dad? asked Keir - well yes, but with smoother edges. On the outside I have a 'bumper' that I need to keep close to the surface -except for the daily twist and clean routine - and that way I've a tube retaining mechanism.

It seems though that the water inside gradually evaporates, gets out or generally reduces in volume - they didn't seem clear on how - so I get to use another valve to extract last week's remains and top up with a new 5ml syringe. Sciencetastic.