Tuesday, 29 September 2009

the cockpit

9-20: The cockpit.
Here I sit in the morning - often in the sun. Today - quite warm but there is thin cloud. Then I can rest in the sun in the afternoon - and the weather forecast is for good weather to continue for a while. I also ride my bike to the shops and flat and am living a peaceful life.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Kingfishers and the valley

19-00: Sunday: Since Wednesday I have been to see the consultant He seems to think the chemotherapy is working - the cancer is less than three weeks ago and I do feel a lot less ill. It seems that I might be around for longer than his initial thoughts - (the ones that told me to write a will and make my peace with the people I have offended.). All a bit of a roller-coaster - - keep calm and carry on - - the valley continues to feel distanced which might be the sunshine as much as the reality of the situation - but never mind.

I have also had a second lot of chemotherapy - the side effects are just beginning - but I hope I am learning to manage fatigue and a few other minor things better than last time.

The weather here is like a foreign country - warm sunshine from a clear sky. Breakfast in the cockpit in sunshine and then went to Sutton Hoo with my family and wandered around in the woods - only a few miles but feasible now I have my car. I can see the buildings of Sutton Hoo from the marina.

AND - I have seen kingfishers from my boat - scooping food off the surface of the water - cool stuff.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Signs of autumn

The weather has been warm and I have sat in the cockpit for breakfast - and had lunch outside as well. But you can tell autumn is coming because the cranes are out - ready to lift boats out of the water along the riverside - this one viewed from my cockpit, takes them from the marina and dispatches them to hard-standing somewhere.

Used my bike today for the first time for ages - fun and I even managed to avoid the dogs. But real stuff starts again tomorrow as I have an appointment with the oncology consultant in Ipswich.

Monday, 21 September 2009

I go to Cullercoats but am now back in Woodbridge

19-30: I illustrate this with a picture taken last year across the beach at Tynemouth sailing club. I spent a lot of time here for a lot of years - before I ran away to sea this summer; my Laser 1 (now sold to pay for gear for the big boat) is the first in the line.

I spent the weekend clearing out the junk in my flat - well I say 'I' cleared it out. This is not really true - I did about 2% of it and would only have scratched the surface if I had not been helped. They took many - many car-loads to the dump/recycle centre, and even so the piles of possessions around the flat still seem mountainous. I thought I had had a pretty good clear-out before I left. Anyway - the remaining things will be delivered to Woodbridge in due course by Pickford's. We bought my car back today - so I can now explore beyond walking distance, although I like walking around.

I feel pretty tired after all the driving around but otherwise better even than last week. I now have three days to rush around (no-no I mean enjoy) before the next lot of chemotherapy.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

News of the valley

20-50: Recently my posts have reflected my feelings - the valley of the shadow of death seemed a long way away and I have been on the sunny uplands, at least inside: but the body has felt fatigued and a bit zapped.

I have felt less fatigued today - walked up to the shop with unusual speed - ate a lot of liver and bacon and chips for lunch - walked along the river front. So you might expect the valley to be even further away - but - -

When I sat down for rest and relaxation in the cabin of the boat, the shadow passed across me. I would have expected this when I was physically at a low ebb. But I suppose it makes sense to be more aware of the valley in contrast with feeling normalish. Especially as I am trying to find review articles on the web which will say more about my expectation of life than the median number of months after diagnosis - all I know is that the distribution is skew.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

July 2007 - Sunborough Head: Shetland

9-30: The pier is the site of a near-death experience in 2007. I fell in between the boat and the pier. My life jacket did not inflate - but I did not hit my head - I just got very cold - and shocked - and was eventually able to climb out. Sympathy to my son who was on the pier.

This bay is also the location of my worst-ever day sailing, where the anchor dragged and I ran into various rocks. Sympathy to my son who warned me of the dangers.

And I learnt - not to sail long passages and get exhausted.

Monday, 14 September 2009

On the Deben and back again

9-00: Downstream at Woodbridge.

On Saturday - we (my family and I) took the boat out for a short expedition as the tide came in.
Sun and a good breeze - and all I had to do was steer - and avoid the moorings and dinghies. Knowledge of the collision regulations was partly helpful - but not everyone else on the river knows them. We managed to avoid the moored boats and the mud banks and admire the various traditional boats moored in upper reaches of the Deben. Cool. More pics at:-


Sunday, 13 September 2009

I have a view of the station

10-20: the view of the station and so on from the living room - a nice window as well.
I have been fortunate to have had good views in places where I have lived. Gradually moving stuff in here but - obviously - the boat is the place.

Yesterday - sunshine and the clear skies and wonderful views of stars. Today - cloud and wind.

Friday, 11 September 2009

the Valley

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff comfort me.

Who is 'thou' for an athiest.
Thou is you - my friends and family who have communicated such great support and love in the last few weeks - in your own ways.

I have found this metaphor a way of trying to deal with the inner life of this time. The valley of the shadow of death is where I now dwell and I intend to blog back from this place - news from the Valley.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

the long words for what I have

17-40: non-small cell adenocarcenoma of the lung.

It is apparently (and I say apparently as I cannot see or feel this - which is really weird) in both lungs and in an advanced state. This site has information - I have not found much else on-line.


I had the second lot of chemotherapy this afternoon - apparently this is not to 'cure' it but to reduce its impact. Side effects so far - just (if 'just' is the right word) fatigue - which means I don't feel like doing an awful lot of rushing around.

The wind here has changed to the north - it is still warm but it has a North-east feel about it sometimes.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

and here it is at low tide

18-30: there is mud for about half the time - one comes to like mud. The marina has a cill and retains enough water for boats to float.

Today's trip to Ipswich for more chemotherapy was put off until tomorrow - which was good because it was warm, the sun was out all day and the wind blew.

Monday, 7 September 2009

My view in Woodbridge

9-20: I have had a bit of problem with the internet connection - but am going to blog again when I can.

This is my view from the cockpit at high tide - I am moved by the beauty of this place. And also by the many messages I have had from you all - it really helps and I feel protected by your concern. Do not worry that there are no words - of course there are not. I listened to the Messiah on the radio last night - maybe music says it.

Rhoda and Aidan identified a flat (near the station and slightly eccentric - you would expect no less) which I am going to sign up for on Wednesday - all being well.

I have a kind-of routine - which involves sitting around in the cockpit, walking up to the town and doing stuff around the boat - like eating. Today - a blood test - tomorrow - back to Ipswich hospital for second lot of chemotherapy.
I guess you could say I am walking wounded just now.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

I am in Woodbridge again

19-00: Woodbridge: I started chemo-therapy on Tuesday and have left Ipswich hospital until the next dose next week - which I do as an outpatient there. I was released to live on my boat again on Wednesday and feel a lot better for fresh air and a bit of walking around. The plan is to rent somewhere before the days get too cold and short.

I may blog more often now - but on subjects other than navigating around the coast.

Thank you to my friends who have been in touch - I feel very loved and protected by them and am beyond grateful.