Charles will know. Continue reading
I miscounted its 34 pills – What is it like to take 34 pills each day I hear you cry. Well surprisingly annoying given that most of the tiny buggers are in individual blister packs. After squeezing out so many of them and retrieving quite a few from the floor (we don’t want vacuum cat on chemo) you actually end up with thumbnail ache – yes really. Then there is the consumption. No sorry an important overture. The reading and rereading of the dose because the days, dose and frequency can all vary. To a ‘Bear of little brain’ in the past this has required a spreadsheet compiled by her loveliness after i overdosed twice – but this time I am managing – so far. Consumption. In movies people throw dustbin loads of drugs down there throat and then wash it down with half a glass of Johnny Walker. I have a pint glass of water and another emergency one standing by. Chemo drugs really don’t taste good if they dissolve on the tongue. I am very woosie about taking them -I have to get into the zone before each batch. Its funny – if you think about swallowing you cannot, its the reverse of yawning.
Must be a record. It’s 1:30 am and I am ready to run about – like the lambs I mentioned in my last post – that I am getting slightly obsessed by. They are so deliciously jolly it’s so sad. My vegan, vegetarian family and friends are so right – they are too nice to point it out but i am left asking myself, why am I so lazy, so stuck in the post war diet of meat and two veg that I cannot, cannot, cannot retain the sense of loving lamb care, beyond the flash of tiny white sprung wooliness that I observe in the fields, from the car window, on my way to buy some chops at Tesco. Anyway I have taken one tiny step. We have a Nutri blaster.
This is really just a glorified blender/pulveriser murderer of fruit and veg, designed in California of course, that makes it easy and fun to make and consume fruity and veg smoothies. Basically you drink it straight from the cup you blend it in. Hence reduced washing up and mega fresh. I suppose in theory you could pulverise clotted cream fudge sausage and Toblerone but you do need some liquid, so I guess that would be cream soda, but I digress – it makes consuming the things that woolly things graze on, as attractive as the woolly things themselves. It was inspired, nee purchased for Lisa who introduced me to the concept and my certainty that I would not like it’s output, is now matched by my certainty that it might be a personal dietary game changer for yours truly. I am a fan – big time.
Three things spring forth from this revelation. 1. I eat an incredible amount of good food. The Italian diet from Maria’s area is world renowned for health 2. I partner this with an incredible amount of bad food – for example – an entire tin of ambrosia creamed rice with jam (cold), Shreddies with double cream, a packet of Jelly Babies (jeez that make you feel sick – Nonna has them for an emergency diabetes fix – she calls them baby jellies – I find that so cute ), M&S stew and dumplings, Tesco knickerbocker glory ice cream cones, Werthers originals (not sugar free), Refreshers, Parma Violets, Caramac, Ginsters anything, MacDonalds (although the last one was my last) and DONT LOOK…v..e..a..l. !! a habit picked up from Italy (reason enough to applaud Brexit) – from the health point of view I might as well be consuming John Players No6 cigarette sarnies. (btw i bought an empty packet of ten from Ebay – still looking for Consulate and Silk Cut) – Also I love animals insanely. I drive family mad by stopping in fields to admire cows. Pigs make me swoon. I thought I had run over a rabbit a few nights ago – i was really, really upset. I seriously contemplated getting out a rushing it to the vet (i didnt of course – dark expensive – scary – gruesome). This despite the fact that the cats regularly bring in a crudely amputated leg or a tail and it really doesn’t bother me. So I am resolved that during this bout of chemo I will occasionally give the cuddly animals a break and my body a Nutribomb treat without depriving it of some of the other life enhancing but slightly bad goodies it has been accustomed to like Caramacs (seek them out if you haven’t tried them – a bar of hyperactivity and subsequent vomiting – no i am not joking – i did when i was about 7). The doctors wont approve – chemo deserves a good stuffing – i will never forget the nutritionists advice – ‘eat lots of everything.’ Actually i am trivialising her advice the key thing was lots of EVERYTHING – all food groups – not just lots of eclairs (they must be M&S btw – its the bitterness of the choc, trust me).
3.– gadgets are good. Without the nutribucket I would not be arsed with my partial detox, without this iPad (no clicky keys to disturb the beloved in bed) you would not be reading my pearls, without Facebook I would not have laughed at the the picture of an advert for recorder lessons with a tear off row of ‘no thanks’ (the seeing is better than the explaining I think one of my nieces posted it – so ask her). The fuss we make about digitisation being bad for you is not the fault of the digital gadgets themselves or their inventors most of whom seem to be cast as megalomaniac villains when the reality is simply that they are super smart at making stuff work. The villain in this case is the creed that we have had shoved down our eager throats like spring baby birds that the Market is the only way the worlds appetites can be sated. The market creates unnecessary desires which the Mark Z’s of this world satisfy. Without it it is highly probable that my nutribottom would not be on the kitchen surface but then again, the Shreddies and tinned rice pudding wouldn’t be their either so I wouldn’t need it.
My boys and girls are having lovely lives. Two of them appear to be writing brilliant things while dog sitting. The dog should be very happy to have them as they looked after seven mixed mutts in Spain so they are not your average incompetent lazy dog sitters. Anyway I have seen a photo and it is lovely and scruffy and not too big for the flat. The other two are completing an album, well one is and the other appears to be finding any excuse to wear his new suit. They do posh hotel gigs two nights a week where nobody listens, but it important that they look good enough to listen to should anyone look up from their lamb chops. Still I have heard bits of the album (funded in part by the non listeners) as work in progress. When it is out I will be insisting that you, my lucky readers, buy it. It is exceptional even in it incomplete state.
I am not even the tiniest bit tired. An hour has past. I think I might get up and make a cup of tea. It’s great that it doesn’t matter a jot as I am on the Easter break. Btw I gather that it’s almost without doubt that Jesus lived and died but as the Guardian reported the jury is out as to whether he died and lived. He didn’t by the way. I know this and so does everyone else. I think it would have taken less than 40 years for the first record of him having done so to come out. (Better than King Arthur though, that took 400 years). Imagine if twitter had been around then. We would have mobile footage of empty tombs and photoshopped stigmata. Apparently according to some mate of the pope, the pope has decided that hell doesn’t exist. All the bad people just disappear. Hope he is right as I am skating on thin ice knocking the son of the principal architect of the concept. Or was he? Theologians in my readership, did God make hell during those busy seven days (blimey was it seven I must read the story again ) of was it already there before he started? Boy and we think fake news is new news.
Tea time at 2:45 am.
So that didn’t work – i responded to some great work by my brother-in-law on nailing down a national education strategy with an anarchist diatribe about why we don’t need compulsory education at all – another one to be ashamed of later and added a load more stuff to the above. It is now 4:45 i have fed the cats and Mitch is keeping me company.
Talking of shame. In reconfiguring my blog I found myself reading through some random posts stretching back to my first diagnosis in 2014. Some were really quite good many were excruciatingly pompous – around about the Charlie Hebdo era I really excelled in the bogus revolutionary fervour – in another 4 years I will be embarrassed by some of tonights stuff I am sure. I was tempted to delete some of the posts but I think that would be cowardly and vain so i am patting myself on the back for courage and leaving it all to posterity. Maybe some psychology student in years to come will write a thesis on me and my presumption that anyone is listening or wants to listen to my nonsense. To top of the shame theme during a recent trip to Luigis my family dug out a poem I wrote a few years ago while in the state I am currently in (i hope- goodness goodness i hope i was stoned). I cannot bear to reprint it here but it really is the worst poem ever written by anyone about anything. If only my intention had been a post-modern appropriation of kitsch but no, at the time I meant it. It is called Panetone Cat and can be found here http://fleet.universitylecturer.net/ – but you will have to search in the search box. Maria nearly wet herself when Arthur read it to the assembled. It is to be read earnestly at my funeral. That is assuming the pope isn’t wrong it haven’t disappeared. Oh but i will have done?
I took 29 pills this morning so i am feeling weird but good – no doubt you will hear from me again at 2:45 am – but in the meantime i have spent the day preparing my blog for a new spate of juvenile outburstings – it is now hosted externally to alleviate the pressure on my lamb powered broadband – yes they jump up and down to generate enough bandwidth for more stories of our cats.
so this is a test – perhaps you could let me know if you get it – and the reminder link – and the tweet.
I cannot be bothered to mess around with my tenses. I wrote some of this a couple of weeks ago and then completely forgot about it so instead of fiddling around I have simply provided headings to indicate what bits are old news and what bits are also old news but written today – the day I post it.
Two weeks ago…
I was off work for the last week with a cold. Chemo delayed while I get over it and the consultant decides on the best treatment. No urgency apparently so that’s reassuring although I would quite like to get on with it. Most of my colleagues are on strike but I am not. I am very conflicted and quite troubled by the whole situation but in the end I believe less in joint action and solidarity than I do in the notion of striking for causes worth striking for. I was all for a strike against redundancy, students fees, against the commercialisation of higher education even in support of academic freedom but I cannot support a strike to make sure that privileged middle class professionals continue to enjoy privileges in retirement. It makes the academic community come across as having lost touch with what really matters in society. If we only assemble in the cold around our braziers when we are being ripped off rather than other more worthy individuals are being ripped off, our shaky stature as a bunch of people who think about ‘big, important stuff’ can only be made shakier. I am not proud of my action and I am genuinely in two minds but as of this moment it is how I feel. It just seems too easy to be always looking up the ladder at to those that earn more and feel envious, like vice chancellors, while not bothering about those who are clinging on to the rungs below you wondering what it must be like to earn £45,000 for talking about stuff. So I am a scab.
Along with scabbing I have felt quite lost this week and rather in limbo. Partly it’s an energy thing. I have very little. My lungs got really congested and sounded like a badly played squeezebox. The cat at one point thought I was miaowing at him and looked confused. He is quite used to being addressed by the other cats (usually abusively) but for me to suddenly acquire fluency in cattish, clearly flummoxed him. He actually crawled away as if I had said something brutally offensive about his freckley lip, which I must say I find rather unattractive. It looks as though he has acquired cat leprosy or has forgotten to wipe his mouth after eating chocolate sprinkles.
Moving on …..from my bed I decided to try to prep my software skills in advance of being tripped up by my more dexterous students. Anyway this became quite obsessive and the more I tried the more I realised how little I knew. I realised that learning software without any specific creative goal is like learning piano scales but never playing a tune, deeply frustrating and unmemorable. So I have decided to invent a project, needless to say it will involve my telephone box, that combines all the software I need to learn, in order to teach, utilising the software I need to use in the project. I have yet to come up with the perfect combination but it’s on it’s way.
Written today – the day I post it but retrospecively.
Got a puncture on the way to work two days after returning to work after my cold – result of the hedge clipping season around this ere bucolic parts. We end up with a road full of razor tipped spines that would be effective at stopping a drug runner’s Cadillac in an episode of Hawaii 5 0h. Fortunately I was within yards of a Renault garage and after pulling my favoured ‘I have cancer in the back and cannot do lifty strong things like repair punctures’ strategy, an incredibly nice team of car sales people fixed my puncture – after some wildly guilty tipping – I was on my way – sadly by that time it had to be back to York (more missed teaching might as well have been on strike) to spend an uncomfortably cold two hours while a tyre place failed to fix my stuck tracking dodads. 4 new tyres later at a 300 pound bill I retired to the restaurant in Waitrose where I opened my vains over the shadow of myself in a cup of indifferent flat whiteness surrounded by the Yorkist pensionable community of ‘free tea or coffees for the over 60’s on Tuesdays’ – ahhh the blood did flow as anaemically as the coffee.
Another 300 pounds. Vinnie got roughed up badly by a black and white farm ruffian who we had seen for the first time the day before. Found Vin in the piano room badly blooded, fur matted with god knows what and very, very frightened – so bad at first I thought he was dead. Yelled for Maria to come down for no particular reason than I was so upset and panicky and needed moral support. We shouted at each other while we ran round the house and up in the loft in pursuit of a cat box, blanket and eventually the cat who was well enough to leg it as soon as he set eyes on the box. It was Sunday but fortunately we found an emergency vet who sedated him and patched him up. He had puncture wounds on his ankle, armpit, ears and neck – he had to be shaved in the relevant spots given antibiotic and pain killers but no stitches. He came home looking like someone who had had ‘enjoyed’ a couple of summers of love at Woodstock – his pupils were like black snooker balls, he was completely stoned but ALRIGHT!!!!! Yep 300 but so so worth it.
He is back to his old self. Looking less like a Crufts cat than ever, but fully recovered. Scabs (yep scabs again) are falling like autumn leaves. He is unenthusiastic about going out and has wee’d in the warm comfort of indoors once or twice – unfortunately he hates getting his paws wet so the current deluge of rain and snow has given him an additional excuse to widdle on the setee and in Mitch’s sleeping box – a somewhat undeserved insult for ‘leader of the house.’
I was all ready to be put back on the chemo last consultation, and the one before that, but it has now been scheduled to start on the 30th March. It’s another of the mustard-gas based goodies but the regime is not too arduous, it’s all pill based and apparently its normally well tolerated. It will last about 3 – 4 months if all goes well.