Dealing with Cancer (Part 1)

Last year, May 2011 – just about 12 months to the day, I was diagnosed with cancer of the throat. The scenario began with pain in the throat and difficulty with swallowing, I ignored the symptoms for a few weeks until I realised the soreness was getting worse and wasn’t going to go away on it’s own.

Teddington Lock

One weekend while I was in Twickenham, not my usual residence, the pain got particularly bad so I decided to go to the hospital at Teddington and try get some anti-biotics and something to relieve the pain. I saw the doctor and he gave me some medicine but advised me to go to my own GP and get an appointment to see a specialist (he didn’t think that it was an infection).

Off I trotted the next available day to see my GP, who mis-diagnosed a couple of times, then eventually referred me to see a specialist at Charing Cross Hospital. From this appointment it was a couple of weeks until tests revealed I had cancer of the throat.

Not good I thought, the prognosis was a 50% chance of clearing the tumour with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It was stage 4 cancer and had been missed for a while by my GP until it had developed into something quite large and painful. Although the tumour only began to manifest itself with the recent pain and difficulty in swallowing, I had been suffering symptoms due to the cancer for about 18 months, tiredness, falling asleep, exhaustion, nausea and generally feeling very-unwell. My GP explained the symptoms as lack of exercise and depression, I was prescribed anti-depressants and told to exercise more.

So the treatment began last June, the first stage of the treatment was a stay in hospital for a week undergoing intensive chemotherapy. I had a dedicated team assigned to me, Consultant, Cancer Nurse, Dietician and a number of other professionals. That week was ok until the final day when I couldn’t

Twickenham River

stop vomiting and I felt very ill. Then it was off home and a 2 week rest until the next round of Chemo.

Over the next month, there were two more chemo sessions and I had a tube inserted into my stomach, the reason for the tube I was told was because I would be unable to eat later during the treatment. At this stage of the treatment the tumour had shrunk and the pain had gone. The chemo had made me ill, sickness, nausea, hair-loss, weightloss and an overwhelming feeling of horribleness that was bad. I was feeling somewhat hopeful though as the tumour was smaller and I could eat.

Next to come was more chemotherapy and the beginning of the radiotherapy. This was to last for 7 weeks, the treatment was done as an outpatient. I had to arrive at the hospital at 9:00am on Chemo days, leaving at 5:00pm, during the chemo I would visit the radiology department for my daily radiotherapy. The chemotherapy wasn’t continuous, out of the 7 weeks, just 10 days were chemotherapy conbined with radiotherapy and the rest of the weeks was radiotherapy only. The treatment ended beginning of September 2011.

The tube inserted into my stomach through the abdomen wall was now to become the main method for me to feed, I could no longer swallow and I had to feed with liquid directly into the stomach with a syringe into the tube. Usually high nutritious drinks, “Ensure” was the main sustenance. I fed like this for 6 months, unable to eat solids or swallow, I lost 16 kilos and became very weak.

I will split this story into a second part, otherwise it will stretch far too long and look unsightly.

To be continued…….

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London Mayoral Elections

Ken or Boris?

Judging by the News in London there are only two candidates available. Well that’s a shame because I won’t be voting for either of them, If you believe Boris, then Ken is a “******* Liar” – Casualties of War, and according to Ken, Boris is Steak Tartare.

Neasden Temple

For me Boris doesn’t really inspire me to vote for him, many things he does wrong, giving contracts for Bikes for Hire to Canadian Firm instead of British Company, scrapping police on the beat, and for just being another Eton spoilt brat, out of touch with the real world, that’s enough to put me off Boris.

Ken, different story, he was the MP for Brent East when I lived there, didn’t like the way he put the world stage before the constituency. Same story when he was Mayor – jetting all over the place, Cuba etc, promoting himself. He is also pretty good at inviting controversial characters to London, dodgy clerics Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. What really bugs me about Ken though goes way back, when my girlfriend worked for the GLC, the day it closed down (County Hall), was like a city in the midst of riots and looting.

There were vans filling up with with office equipment and all the furniture of County Hall being looted by GLC staff, I know I saw it with my own eyes, stealing and thieving, a very well planned closing of the GLC, where was Ken when this was happening?

Also – Ken tells lies about his taxes.

The Strand

It’s about Housing and transport for me, immigration and policing. Neither of the above two have done anything significant about those issues while they had their tenures. The rest of the candidates, are not likely to end up as Mayor but one of them will get my vote over the main two, not sure which yet, perhaps UKIP, as the Borough of Brent is now completely overrun with immigrants and someone needs to deal with the border controls, as far as I can see, London has run out of housing, school places and jobs, crime is a problem and transport is far too expensive.

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Depressing Tories

I am beginning to believe I am lacking in common sense and a basic understanding of the ways of the world. The main reason for this is because I am bewildered by news events and I suffer from a constant belief that the current crop of politicians are, in my eyes, very stupid, lying, dishonest and immoral individuals.

The thing that pissed me off first and foremost this past week was the giving of 10 billion pounds to the IMF when this country is struggling to pay off massive loans. I was under the impression that the IMF was there to offer loans to countries struggling with their economies. Overall we now have liabilities to the IMF of 40 billion quid.

Two Very Nice Chaps?

No-one gives away that amount of money without someone somewhere making a load of money out of it. The question is, who is making loads of money on this deal? Someone is getting very rich, from this massive amount of money given to a dubious organisation (IMF), maybe the brokers who organised the loan, maybe the bankers in New York, maybe bankers in the City of London. Fact is the money given to the IMF is money belonging to the taxpayers of the UK. So who gave Osborne the permission to loan an organisation (IMF), 40 billion in all, of our money, when we are severely in debt and told we are in for a torrid time of austerity measure for the next 5 years.

Perhaps the Tories are just very nice people and want to help the poor countries, silly me, what a wonderful bloke George Osborne is, he deserves nothing less than a knighthood.

I wonder if Gordon is upset about the Tories killing his friend Muammar, still these things happen in the ever changing world of cut-throat politics.

Where to begin when trying to understand the cretin Theresa May, oh what a twollop that lady is………sure, we all make mistakes. Not all of us make enormous fuck-ups that cost that taxpayer millions in legal-aid and benefits to support a twat that should be on a plane to hell. Maybe it was an oversight, easily missed when you have an important engagement to attend an X-Factor party. It’s all about prioritising your workload, X Factor first, Abu Qatada second.

Why does she refuse to answer questions about the deadline. Is she not responsible for the whole fiasco? This lady struts about in her fashion

Another Very Nice Chap!

gear, while our immigration policies and border controls are shambolic, everywhere you look, immigration is out of control. I don’t see why we have to keep paying for legal aid for Qatada, he lives in Brent, drawing welfare to support his family, this amounts to a substantial amount estimated at over £800 per week (including his incapacity benefit for a bad back).

On top of the welfare, there is the cost of protection and free legal representation (legal aid), all paid for by the taxpayer for a dangerous man who professes to hate our way of life and country. No-one wants this tosser in the country, if the home office (Theresa May) can’t do the job right, just ship the bastard back to Jordan, against the European Courts ruling – if they will pay for his upkeep all well and good but the taxpayers of this country certainly should not be held to ransom by laws that protect criminals we do not want living off the welfare system of the UK.

When will we get a political leader in this country that represents the good people of this Island, a politician that acts like a statesman and has the interests of the British people and nation at heart? Instead we have lily-livered career politicos who care only for themselves, their image and what they can get out of their tenure as supposed representatives of the people of Britain.

Depressing Tories is relative I suppose, it could be depressing Labour or Liberal Democrats, the fact is the standard of politicians in this day and age is abysmal, maybe it’s the schools they go to. Eton School for Boys seems to produce it’s fair share of complete morons, probably equal in number to your average state school. It just costs a lot more to educate the morons at Eton then it does to educate the morons at a secondary school.


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Recovery Underway.

Not been all that inclined to write lately, lots going on in my head but seemed to have lost my focus and motivation. Not that I have had very much motivation for anything these last few years, I am quite adept at doing nothing apart from time wasting pursuits, I have become quite the expert at computer games.

I was struck with an unexpected illness that incapacitated me for almost a year. I will go into details of the dreaded illness at a later date but believe me it was nasty and horrible. Hospitals are the strangest of places, bewildering and quite scary with what appears to be total non-communication between the various professionals and NHS persons that poke, prod and generally disturb your space every 15 minutes – 24 hours a day.

I sailed the world on this Ship

For just under a year I stayed with friends until I was back to health, I turned off the internet and other costly things at my home during the incapacity as I wasn’t sure I would be returning home. I have just started to prepare to move back to NW London, first things needed are a spring clean of my flat and reconnecting the phone and the moving back of computers and many other things I moved out.

Not having the internet there currently, I have had to look for a provider. How the world changes in just 12 months, maybe I didn’t notice before but it seems that all the smaller internet providers have gone, taken over and swallowed up by the giants. Whatever happened to Pipex, Tiscali, Bulldog and lots more that have disappeared? The number of providers now have dwindled to about half a dozen large, non-specialist (BT excluded) companies intent on signing you up for 12-18 months, regardless of service.

It’s a choice between massive companies that all seem to have shocking customer service reviews. Sky Broadband, Talk Talk, Tesco, BT (and their offspring Plusnet), Virgin and Orange, I suddenly feel sick. Where have all the little people gone? I have had to pick one from the list that I found through search engines and decided on SKY, I regret this already, it isn’t connected yet but during the ordering process the order was messed up and I had to ring their help line which was a disaster, I was confronted by a support team that did not have a clue about anything, I feel like crying. These people could seriously damage your faith in there being  intelligent life on the planet.

This current choice of services to use the Internet is for me ‘Hobson’s Choice’.  I would not consider any of them as they are all bad providers and to be avoided if you require decent customer service. Such is the situation, real choice isn’t an option any-more, the big corporations take over all the independent companies and remove the option of finding an ISP company that is small enough to be user friendly.

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Brent a Cutural Wasteland.

Kilburn Library

My purpose was to take a look at the Kilburn Library Centre and Kilburn Market, I am updating my website Brent Today and it is places of culture and interest that I am concentrating on. I was quite interested to know that Camden Council had developed this building into a Library and Youth Centre.

I passed the building on the day it is closed so I was unable to have a look around. In these days of cost cutting, community services and libraries in particular are facing the axe, it is good to know that a centre that serves the community is active and busy.


Later on my return journey I passed by ‘The Luminaire’ music venue – it is next door to Brondesbury Station or it was. I have supported this venue over the last few years via my website, and was dismayed to see it had closed it’s doors. The disappointment at it’s closure is to do with my overall opinion that Brent Borough is now a cultural wasteland. I think that the ‘Luminaire’ was the last of the medium sized music venues open in the borough, the rest have gone, closed or moved on. There is of course Wembley Arena, I don’t really class that as a Brent Community Venue, it’s aims are to attract people that live further afield than North West London.

Luminaire - Closed DownWith Brent Councils plans to start cutting out the smaller community libraries and close Willesden Library while it is developed into a new centre minus anywhere to park. I wonder where in this borough of over a quarter of a million souls is there anything of Culture to grab our interest, of course we have the Tricycle and long may it live. Maybe Brent residents can descend en-mass to experience a night of cultural experience split between the tricycle Theatre and Cinema.

So to all the visitors and would be visitors to Brent, North West London, claimed by some to be the Multi-Cultural capital of Europe, don’t be too disheartened by what you find when you arrive here.  It might be a borough devoid of culture,  but you can lay claim to have visited the  ‘Largest Cultural Wasteland’ in the Western Hemisphere.

Come to think of it we don’t even have a football team, apologies to Kingsbury Town.

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Expensive Tipple

Liberty and Freedom

A wine rated among the finest in the world is to be sold by the glass for the first time in London.

The highly prized Chateau d’Yquem, known as “the king of wines”, will be available for £29 for a 100ml glass at Soho restaurant Bob Bob Ricard.

A 50ml “super sip” measure of the Sauternes pudding wine will also be on the wine list at £14.50.

Co-owner Leonid Shutov claimed it was the first time that Chateau d’Yquem, a favourite with City bankers, has been accessible at an affordable price. He said: “A lot of people would rather spend £30 on a really amazing glass of wine like this than £30 on a bottle of plonk.”

I don’t spend a great deal of time eating out nor drink very much wine, I used to drink quite a lot but nowadays am teetotal, my last regular work was paid at £25k per annum, I would have to really push the boat out to dine somewhere with a lady, plying her with glasses of  ‘Chateau d’Yquem’, would it be worth it I ask myself, knowing that I would probably have to stay indoors the following week because of my reckless abandon.

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