Saturday, 28 August 2010

20-47 hrs: Out on the river today with Aidan for a few hours. The engine started well and worked fine. Mostly we sailed with one reef in the main and full genoa. Aidan helmed - I pulled a lot of ropes as we had to tack quite a bit. Nice.

Health update - pretty fatigued - sometimes to the point of feeling ill. The worst thing is to be so aware of it and spending too much time managing it and worrying about doing anything. So sailing today was especially good - a jolt out of the comfort zone. And I must fess up to worrying about the future - which is why I have been paying bills and filing papers.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

12-00 hrs: Today - a year since diagnosis - no special celebration as being alive in a nice place is celebration in itself.

The picture illustrates part of my regular stamping ground. To the left - the building where I live. The railway station is just behind the boat masts and tree. The boats are in Andy Seedhouse's yard (I nearly bought an old Hurley here but someone put an offer before I did). In the foregound - the reeds are a reminder that part of Woodbridge along the river was marshland and could be again were it not for the sea walls.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Survival for a year - a question - -

21.00 hrs: This week marks a year since I was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Question - do I celebrate - is it the birthday of my life?

About a third of female lung cancer patients survive the first year. (2006 = 30% women. It was 12% in 1975). The figures have some meaning for me - they put a rough number to the probablilities of being alive - -  

But how to celebrate - maybe I should spend part of a day being unselfish for once!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

A beach with cabbages

17-25 hrs: Looking out to sea over the gravel bank to the north of the mouth of the Deben. Nicest beach I have found - but a bit wind-swept and chilly today. Good cafe for tea and scones - and boats to watch.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tax and accounts

10-00 hrs: The annual fight with tax and income spreadsheets done and in the post. This will not be the end of it as there are always questions  - - -  but  made easier by nasty wet and cold weather confining me indoors. Hope they don't tax blackberries next.

The side-effects of the chemotherapy have started to show. There is a pattern - of feeling quite good for a few days due to taking anti-sickness and other drugs. Then a plunge - mostly feeling fatigue again. This is very hard to describe - it is a feeling of not being able to do anything - so is very boring - but better than the alternative. Hooray for surfing the web, paying bills and such like mindless activities.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Something different - foraging

18-15 hrs: We spent a bit of time yesterday foraging for various berries - mostly blackberries for which a boat hook came in useful. There are plums, sloes (not ripe), elderberry (not ripe) and  rose hips. I think I might spend a bit more time looking at these if the weather holds out.

Today - measured bits of my boat to see whether I can stow the outboard in a better way - and then sat around in the sun watching a fast and furious dinghy race in lots of wind - fascinating and impressive.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Brief update - chemo OK on Friday

18-40 hrs: A bit delayed with this post - largely through being out a lot day yesterday and today!

Feeding in the new chemo on Friday took until early afternoon and we came back and had sausage and chips to celebrate. How about this - - it seems to be working in that I felt better after lunch yesterday and have felt OK today - with much less breathlessness - with the result I have been walking around at a much more normal pace. I plan to chill out and maybe wander down to the boat and the sailing club - but not push my luck. How very sensible - -

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Swallows and - a trip to oncology in Ipswich

19-50 hrs: The best bit about today was taking some pictures of the swallows resident under the roof of the clubhouse balcony - and watching the dinghy racing. A heavy shower and then no wind meant that a lot did not finish and some were towed home.

This morning - a review from the consultant - concluding that the cancer has started to progress again. An appointment made for tomorrow for some different chemo-therapy, this time delivered (as they say) through a cannula in the Day Unit in the hospital. Not nice - but better than the alternative. This is a temporary measure and I will eventually (when some other tests are done) go onto a further treatment with a newer substance. I suspected this but may not have said as much in so many words. It is difficult to know how to keep a balance on the blog - as I say every time I write about anything other than sailing! I have had a good year in many ways and would like the good times to rock on - - and on - -

 - dear friends and followers - I thank you again for reading this and for the support your very presence has given me - I will be in contact - am spending the rest of today preparing my survival gear for tomorrow and then grossing out. xx

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Respect river conditions - - -

9-50 hrs:  A bit of fun yesterday -no pics - too wet and scary.
I went down river with the ebb on Monday - very strong winds on the nose and almost sea-like waves in places. Picked up a bouy downstream from Ramsholt and lay around in the sun for most of the day - having removed a warp caught round the keel.

Leaving on Tuesday - the engine (new and not supposed to behave like this) stalled and then did not start. It then made some impressive bangs and refused again. OK - so this is a sailing boat - and the sails were up anyway - so off I went under sail and with the flood tide. There is even one boat on the river without an engine - so it must be possible.  And it was pretty good - except for rather too much tacking through moorings and the need to follow the wind shifts. And it rained very heavily (very light waterproofs)  - and I worried about how to get into the marina - and noticed the radio battery was flat. But it worked out OK as I saw a rib whose owner I know just as I got into Woodbridge - and he towed me onto the pontoon in time for lunch.

Motto (I know all this don't I!) for surviving  -  have decent waterproofs even if  only going downriver.
And be glad to  have a boat that points like a dinghy!
And charge the radio and other batteries
And treat the river with the same respect as the North Sea.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

My various pictures

9-50 hrs: I have been uploading my pictures to Flickr - a long but interesting process and not complete.

Enjoy - all stimulated by a new camera I guess. 
(Still in the dip but off to the gym and then to spend the day quietly - uploading more pictures.)

Friday, 6 August 2010

Repairs to sea wall on the Deben

17-50 hrs: The start of the work digging the bank and putting 'revetment' in place - looking downstream. The plan seems to preserve the seats on the concrete platforms.

Dip continues

9-30 hrs: dip continued again after a day or so - shortage of breath with associated feelings of weakness and so on - which is annoying as there are things I want to do. I have not taken the boat out again - tides are wrong and the weather is not encouraging either.  The most interesting thing round here is that they are digging up the sea wall downriver from the sailing club: apparently tidal scour is threatening it. Today's task - apart from shopping and the like - is to take pictures from the land - hard to do as it is fenced off.

Monday, 2 August 2010

A dip in wellbeing

15-30 hrs: I was feeling a bit rough last week. I suspected that the current chemotherapy is ceasing to 'work' - so I fretted and worried, which made it all worse of course. I did get very breathless and tired after I got back from sailing. At the end of the week it all improved and I felt better - 'normal' for how I have felt of late. I had talked it through with the lung cancer specialist nurse in Ipswich on Thursday - and it has also got cooler and rained, so there is less dust and pollen around - and I had a pretty restful weekend.

One result is that I have not kept the blog as up-to-date as I would have liked - and nor have I managed to send sensible to emails to my friends. 

I am probably going to take the boat down-river tomorrow, but the weather forecast here is for rain and I have become a fair-weather sailor (ie wind and no rain sailor). If I don't go - I will try to catch up and pay my bills and live a sensible life - - -

Tidemill BBQ

10-50 hrs: residents and visitors to the Tidemill marina show that they can enjoying themselves at a BBQ on Saturday - drinks, music and lots of wandering around. The rain stopped - and the hungry hoards of gulls wheeled around, waiting their moment to swoop.