That's enough for now.
I've decided that this is all becoming a bit depressing. The trouble is that because the treatment for the cancer left me so weak, I was unable to carry on keeping this blog up to date, and so it's now about a year out of synch with actual events. To cut a long story short, after six weeks of intensive radio- and chemotherapy, and loads of complaining from me, I was given a tentative thumbs up by the medical establishment.
Since then I have gone from strength to strength and have n [>>>]
Posted by AndySecombe 12:21:57 17.09.2007; Comments: 1 Add Comment
I arrived at the Oncology department at the appointed time and sat in the spacious and well-appointed reception area. This is rather plush, I thought. Indeed, although I’ve never experienced private medicine, it seemed to me more akin to a private clinic rather than an NHS facility.
I was called within five minutes of my appointed time and ushered through clean and calm corridors to Radiology where I was met by a smiling blonde lady who told me to take a seat for a moment while they finis [>>>]
Posted by AndySecombe 12:27:34 26.06.2007; Comments: 0 Add Comment
After France and the wonderful sense of optimism I’d found, returning to England, knowing what was ahead of me, was not easy. If I’d had any real idea of what the treatment would be like: what it would do to my body and spirit, I would have been even more downhearted. However, that was all ahead of me, and I was at least pleased be close to starting treatment at last.
First of all, before treatment proper could begin, I had to have a PEG inserted, to allow me to be fed when I could no l [>>>]
Posted by AndySecombe 12:26:47 26.06.2007; Comments: 0 Add Comment
A few days later I went back into hospital for the operation to have the infected lymph nodes in my neck removed. This was a slightly more serious procedure than a simple biopsy, and so I had prepared myself for a few days away from my wife and the boys.
I can’t fault the hopital’s efficiency: I presented myself to the ward sister at 8:00 sharp, and was wheeled down to surgery at 9:00. Again the awful descent into anaesthetic blackness amongst pictures of Pooh and Piglet, and again the [>>>]
Posted by AndySecombe 12:25:38 26.06.2007; Comments: 0 Add Comment
So now we knew. In some strange way I felt relieved; at least all uncertainty had been removed, and the knowledge, awful though it was, was easier to deal with than the ‘what ifs’ I’d been living with for the past few weeks. But it would still take me some time to face up to the reality of what I’d got. And then there were the boys, how did we tell them?
As it happened, the boys were off school on their half-term holiday, and not wanting to expose them to the hundred and one horrors [>>>]
Posted by AndySecombe 12:24:29 26.06.2007; Comments: 0 Add Comment
I was right. I spent most of the time mooning gloomily around the flat, trying not to think about what the doctors had or had not discovered. And when Caroline, me and the boys, along with Caroline’s brother Mike and his family, took Barbara out to celebrate her birthday at a local Italian restaurant, I’m afraid I found it difficult to rise to the occasion. I did my best to remember that it was Barbara’s evening and tried not to disappear into an emotional black hole. But one incident, at [>>>]
Posted by AndySecombe 12:23:18 26.06.2007; Comments: 0 Add Comment
Soon it was time to don the gown and get into bed. I was wheeled down to surgery where, nervous and trembling (I have never liked the idea of general anaesthetic) I waited in an ante room to have the drug that would send me to sleep pumped into my veins. I tried to make conversation with the doctors and nurses attending me:
‘Oh, you’ve just had the builders in? Did you have much done?’
‘Oh, don’t tell me about the mess!’
‘And so demanding. All that tea!’
‘I [>>>]
Posted by AndySecombe 12:22:10 26.06.2007; Comments: 0 Add Comment
Interesting Times

A few months ago, whilst trying out strangle holds on myself as research for my current crime novel, I noticed a small lump in my neck.
I’ve got a gland up, I thought, as did my GP, whose opinion I sought some days later.
‘Don’t worry,’ he said. ‘It’ll probably go down.’
It didn’t. In fact, it remained stubbornly up and began to increase in size, until it was the size of a golf ball. I canvassed opinions from anyone with any medical kn [>>>]
Posted by AndySecombe 12:20:00 26.06.2007; Comments: 3 Add Comment