Firstly, a great big “Hello” to those of you making a return visit, especially if this is only the second post of mine you’ve read in the last 15-and-a-half years.

I’d like to think you’ve been entertained by previous posts on travelling faster than the speed of light or the future or Channel Four, or my map-drawing skills or even the Fetes de Ilot Sacre if you want to go right back… but let’s be honest here.

I don’t bother keeping stats on accesses. I know that my LinkedIn post had 5,192 views, and I know that there were 297 clicks or taps on the link in that story (I have my own short URL service, we all need a hobby, and that’s how many it recorded), but without comments or feedback I have no idea if you found it useful or interesting or even helpful.

Thank you to those that let me know that they did, and who shared their own stories on occasion. It turns out that one of my college (now Uni) chums had her own diagnosis a couple of months before mine and has been keeping me informed on what to look out for in terms of the process. We’re cancer buddies, after a fashion.

Thank you as well to the members of the CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Committee who bought me a whopping great ‘care package’. To coin a phrase, I was ambushed by tea, coffee, biscuits, cheese and cake.

Don’t Panic! Or do

For those wondering about the dressing gown(s); Hermes couldn’t be bothered doing the collection for Amazon so I still have both, plus the two 10” LED ring lights, plus the refund for all four. Neither dressing gown fits. In terms of style though I’m probably more Arthur Dent in outlook than Noel Coward (sorry, Jane). Definitely not the velour-loving Zapp Brannigan.

But it’s not the most important thing is the world as, despite what the radiologists said I have yet to be called in for the actual procedure where they will find out what’s there, how far it’s spread and what the prognosis is.

This is annoying, to put it mildly.

I have lots of questions, but most of them can’t be answered until I know what is what. Take survival rates, for example. I can find that information, after a fashion, on the Cancer Research website but it only goes as far as ONS data from 2017, with limitations.

Rather like my web site stats, I can get information but without context it’s all fairly meaningless.

I have phoned the hospital, three times. The first time I was told I was on the “urgent waiting list” (first time I’d heard that) and to try Admissions in a week or so if I still hadn’t had a letter. I called the number they gave, left a message and got no call back. I tried a third number last week… it sounded like they didn’t know who I was, but they did say they’d pass my details on to a different team for a call back. Which I’m still waiting for.

Random questions

Now: I now Covid, etc. But I have been left hanging a bit here. I don’t know the outcome of the blood tests and CT scan they did before Christmas. And I’ve one or two other… problems. Pains in my hip, dodgy bowel movements. Are they down to my bad posture, poor diet, the medication for the Type II diabetes (statins and Metformin, since you were about to ask)? Or is it down to The Cancer being at the “very” end of the “bad” scale?

In the later hours of the day as the laudanum (Forces TV) kicks in, other random questions pop into my mind. Will I live long enough to see even one mile of HS2 line laid? If the chemo is targeted at my bladder, does that mean I’ll keep the hair on my head but not have to shave my balls for a while? Can I find someone to marry me and get my widow’s pension in my workplace pension (it’s worth a lot ladies, just saying)?

And those are just the sensible ones.

In the meantime, you could almost imagine I’d made this up as I have no other proof of having cancer apart from two radiologists telling me so with no independent witnesses.

Then I pass blood in my urine (a more regular occurrence now – once a week on average) and I’m brought back to reality with a bump.

Back on the phone next week it is, then.