Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The First Post (insert optimistic bugle here)

It helps to write things down I was told. It helps to talk. Well, as someone who's nature is to forever see the world through, possibly naive & endlessly optimistic, rose tinted spectacles this reflection and communication from the heart is not at all easy. As I was writing this a message came through from the owner of a superb training club (I don't think he'd like me to use the word gym?) in Wigan: RM Fitness, and as I was typing my reply it dawned on me that this would make for a good first post...

In reply to RM...
yesterday I had a phone call telling me I need to see the haematologist and consultant tomorrow... to discuss the excisional and incisional biopsy results... and the treatment protocols! At the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough!

This came at almost the same instant that I had got a 10 week fitness/nutrition/life plan together and was well on my way to balancing my teaching, ahem, 'career' with the time needed to care for my Mum (and her cat) and prepare for a new school in August/September. All is on hold now.

Frustration is the word!

It's like a boxing match: you get on your toes, dance and jab, throw the occasional right hook at life's idiots and then - BAM - something as simple as a phone call has you on your back before you know what happened. Well, the only thing to do is clamber to your feet, start dancing and fighting back. Not much sleep last night and very little in the way of productive work. [however] a much better start to today - sometimes you need a 12 hour 'count of 10' I guess? I've decided to blog this latest adventure - wherever it may lead. I've also set myself concrete - I have already registered - post-treatment recovery goals. [This is something I need] I've entered the 4 day London to Paris 2016 'Le Tour' cycling challenge (I'll be nagging YOU ALL to join me soon) along with Ride London (101 mile, closed road next may.) Both will involve fundraising for the Lymphoma Association. I think a concrete, achievable & hugely enjoyable target is the only way for me to go... it will give me physical focus and allow me to maintain optimism through the worst of the treatment. I just hope the cure isn't as bad as the condition!

I can only speak for myself but this WAITING during the diagnostic phase is interminable and, if allowed, overwhelming... I have certainly not handled some days very well at all: from deep emotional lows to almost euphoric highs - such inconsistency of mood cannot have been at all easy for those around!

So my journey so far:- from initial GP referral -to- Ultrasound scan (5 weeks) -to- CT scan (3 weeks) -to- urgent call for excision (shoulder node) & incision (groin node) biopsy surgery (5 days), to the APPALLING water-torture-wait for results has returned me to the phone call above.

The surgeon suggested I prepare myself for probable radiotherapy &/or chemotherapy - a reluctant opinion dragged out of him very much at my request, as I need as much information as possible to stay as close sanity as I can - friends may offer a different opinion on this sanity clause :-)

Tomorrow, I will know.


PS... please leave a comment with your thoughts, ideas, suggestions and advice. At this stage anything will be a strong candidate for 'helpful'.


  1. Sir Nick,

    As a fellow Physics teacher I thought I'd take a moment to pen down my thoughts - as you know, it's good to torque. We both understand the gravity of this current situation and the potential pitfalls ahead. However, I'll be transmitting positive thoughts to you - you can maybe gluon your fridge.

    As a Sufferlandrian knight I know you have the LASER like focus to annihilate the Big C. You truly are a Joule of the cycling establishment after all.

    Writing your blog will help you to reflect on your journey, there will be peaks and troughs - it's a sine of the times. You may well ask "Watt is all this about?" but remember, you have the power to change this - it may well be a lot of (Fxd) but remember it's ok to become unbalanced, after all this will help you to accelerate to fitness.

    Wishing you a quick resolution - get 'beta' soon!

    Sir Schrödinger's Mutt ;-)

  2. Sir Nick,

    You have got this. You have the determination and outlook that are crucial to being successful. I look forward to reading about your journey - and hopefully sharing any thoughts from mine that could be helpful. It's an experiment of one, but there are always similarities.

    I had large diffuse b-cell lymphoma, stage 4, diagnosed late 2008. Had 8 rounds of RCHOP, once every 3 weeks from Jan 2009 - June 2009 and kept the port for a couple years after that. My wife is an RN, and has kept notes from every treatment, oncologist visit, CT scan from then until now, so if you have any questions, we'll be happy to help!

    You are in our thoughts and prayers, and I sincerely wish you a full and speedy recovery. You have a tremendous physical base, you are mentally tough, and you will prevail. We are pulling for you!

    Sir Jerry Pringle

  3. Very many thanks Sir's Schrödinger & Jerry. Loving the puns - electric stuff (and no charge for that!) Your time and comments made more of a positive difference than you can probably imagine. I had a rocky few days but seem to back to something like my cheerful best - the goodness in humanity I have been deluged with since last Friday has simply precluded all other options. I will really try to record the notes in as much detail as Dame Pringle but would appreciate any tips as I'll have to do this myself. I am to the geeky end of the spectrum so the more data the better :-D
    Just about to post the diagnosis... something I wrestled with as it becomes 'real' when you put it out there... silly old brain!
    Thanks again.
    Tomorrow, I ride!