Day 3

I wake. It is peaceful and I am not in pain. This seems an odd mantra this early. But I think this is my mind working out what is important, a kind of base point to measure other good and essential things. To put it in context, I am in pain some of the day, but hopefully the infection is passing.

One thing was playing on my mind.  I could not reach my brother – he was out of touch.  I left messages and all sorts. This morning he finally got a mobile signal and discovered I had been trying to contact him.  He called me!! But the connection was poor and I could only ask him to call me from a landline. He calls from a phone box. But I have only 2mins conversation on this most important of calls. He returns straight home and we have a long chat. He promises to come to stay close by with his partner so we can spend a lot of the weekend together.

This evening a letter awaited my return from work. An appointment for a CT scan at Rugby hospital. A dark cloud descends. The possibility that the cancer has spread.

The mental battle is subtle and complex to wage. On Monday I did not have cancer as nobody said I had. Yet by Friday I am a cancer patient, despite only tiny changes in my body. I am a victim – the mental battle!! There are all sorts of battles fought all over the place. More emails and phone calls to friends.  More support.

Yep, at least the infection problem from Tuesday’s tests really does appear to be abating a little. But it is still difficult and sore

Day 2

I wake early again and I think ‘it is peaceful and I am in no pain’. This is a blessing to be enjoyed whatever the future brings.

A painful day as I think I had contracted an infection from the Day 0 tests – something that happens quite often apparently. I am passing blood and am sore.  It starts to ease in the evening. Come to think of it I was a little feverish and light headed yesterday evening.

I am alone at work as my colleague is out of the office. Strangely, my being alone bothers my colleagues in other rooms more than me! I have a long and enjoyable chat with my boss, Steve. I realize that I would not be going into hospital this week.

I have been trying to contact my brother – he is probably away in an area with no mobile signal. I feel a real need to talk with him, now. I start sending out emails to my friends. My friend Phil calls. It is lovely to hear from him – a fellow Welshman  and musician offering  support whenever I need it.

Emailing though is depressing and I can only spend so long each day in the task. It does not unduly worry me, I’m not a news service.

I watch more football.

I finally set up my blog and start writing. Deciding on a name and a tagline for my blog takes a while.  Finally inspiration comes from a piece if experimental music on the Late Junction radio show. I search for the tagline and remember that I haven’t read the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu for ages. It is a favorite of mine, full of profound wisdom.  I find something appropriate but it will be a constant companion from now on.

Day 1

Today is Day 1. This means yesterday was Day 0. Tomorrow is Day 2. Day 0 was the lost day.

Let me explain.

Day 0

Back to Day 0. Day 0 was the day I went to a local hospital and had some tests carried out. At the end of those tests came the shattering news – I had bladder cancer. Day 0 was a day of many odd occurrences – in fact I nearly titled my blog ..and another odd thing.

The last of the tests was an endoscopy. The Doctor asked how I was feeling.  I said I was scared. Then the procedure was performed and he said I had bladder cancer. Now here is the odd thing. I immediately felt nothing, blank, devoid of emotion.  The thing that had most scared me had left me an emotional cabbage.

I was then helped away to get changed and start the process of treatment. I was offered a cup of tea. I replied ‘yes, please’.  This is the most British of things!! A cup of tea after devastating news!!  No matter what happens, a cup of tea solves it.  Along with the beloved NHS the attitude towards tea is one of the things I cherish about Britain. Forget the Royals or football(Rugby in my case) or Waterloo – its a CUP OF TEA!!

I drove home, slowly, mechanically. I made it safely. Lesley was not at home so I simply sat in various seats in the lounge, still a blank. I sat there for 4 hours. Thoughts came and went and seemingly left little trace. Lesley returned and I broke the news. Two blank people, now!

Something practical.  I needed a prescription filled. I went to the chemist and was told there was a 10 min wait.  Now the second odd thing.  I nipped down to Coral’s and placed a bet on Uruguay to win the World Cup at 25/1. I am not a football fan  (nor a gambler)but I like to try my luck against the bookies in a competition. In amongst all this psychological carnage I coolly calculated the percentages!! I had a lovely chat with the young woman behind the counter and felt better.

Day 1

I wake early, about 5:50am. But this is not really unusual for me with a warm sunny morning.

Today, another odd thing. It was something I actually started to sense yesterday evening. A need to be surrounded by creativity, music, literature and so on. Although I play improvised and experimental music and love everything from renaissance to punk, in times of strife I turn to Bach.  Good ‘ol J.S. So Bach it is. If you believe that logic and beauty are separate, that rationality and the sublime don’t mix then you do not understand the man. But it has to be properly played of course.

I needed to tell my boss as things will change drastically.  He was wonderful, supportive and promising to allow me to work whatever patterns I need. I am surrounded by caring and understanding people. I am lucky. In many ways I am lucky. I then told my colleagues to expect sudden absences. One suggested a blog.  The thought had crossed my mind but that decided it.  This blog.  I am not a complete stranger to writing, having a few pieces on politics published in some online journals. So as I simply could not find any musical notes and textures to fit my mental state, a blog it is.

I am watching the world cup games. Being a valleys boy it is, predictably, rugby which preoccupies me. But it occurs to me that the fact that men are running around a green background is somehow soothing, combined with the sheer pointlessness in what they are doing.  Why this is soothing and therapeutic is a bit baffling – another odd thing!!

I talk with Lesley until 1 o’clock about, well, nothing really.

What goes into this blog will be whatever I think is important.  So if you are looking for details of procedures or the fact that I have been proscribed 10mg of GetItUpYerozol then you will probably be disappointed. On the other hand that may be just what is important. I just don’t know. If you decide to stay with me I am happy to have you along for the ride. Finally, if you disagree or don’t like any of these idea. Tough. I don’t care and in the case of this blog your opinion is profoundly irrelevant to me.