You come across some books along the way that just inspire, even if it’s only one line, but so much stays with me from this book, ‘The Weaponless Warriors’ by Richard Kim, 1974, this is a very inspirational book as to what you can achieve by putting effort into something, and just keep at it, the results and stories from this book are incedible, but the main part from this book that inspired me now, despite reading this many years ago, and helped with my current health situation are the lines:-
“In a life and death situation, choose death instantly, and you will have the strength of ten people.”
Being told sixteen months ago I have lung cancer, and only an average of a year to live, and if it gets in your brain there’s nothing we can do! Well both of these are up now and I’m still here, still smiling, still believing I’ll be here for years yet, cancer bit off more than it could chew when it tried to pick on me. And reading the lines above, they had a profound effect on me, the first one being, I would of just run away from any situation like that! And chosen life instantly, but when it’s cancer, there’s nowhere to run, you can’t hide, so taking these words into account and actually doing them, something I never thought I could do or had any strength inside me to do, these were properly trained unarmed warriors, not happy go lucky truck drivers from England, this was their culture, how they were brougth up from childhood, instilled into them from such an early age. And yet here I was being influenced by these amazing people, and taking on their attitude to this new thing I had, cancer. I had spent my whole life being scared of dying, and then someone upsets your wife by saying you have cancer and that you only have an average of a year left to live, I don’t think so Doc!
Ok bring it on, take your best shot cancer, because your gonna need it, and almost immediatley I’m there, in the zone, like these amazing warriors, them with their years of their diligent training, and I’m about to take on terminal cancer, with no other result in mind except of kicking it’s arse out of my life once and for all, however long it will take. cancer is a dirty little fighter, you get told it’s dying off from your bones, then after going vegan, your cancer is dormant five months later, but the dirty sly bastard is plotting and a few cells left in my lower left rib and start to generate, a little in my pelvis, and then the sneaky little twat sprouts a few in my brain, again bring it on, and if that’s all you’ve got cancer then I feel sorry for you, I know your going for a TKO, you want me to give up, but that just ain’t happening, ever! I’m in this for the victory, and nothing less, no compromise, no nothing your out, and I won’t stop until you are out of me, absolutely everywhere of me. Not one cell will be left behind, I can assure you cancer. According to the doctors charts, when you get this far, that means I must only have a short time left, cancer I laugh in your face! 6 to 12 weeks, “Yeah whatever!” In this life and death situation, I choose death instantly, and now I feel no fear of you, and I really don’t, it is a weird feeling knowing I now have this power over cancer, and not the other way around, of cancer controlling me, and making me feel down, and trying to get me to submit and give it all up. And getting this just from reading a book, and it was a good twenty five years ago as well, not a recent read, and then I remember selling the book at a boot sale, all the time wishing I was keeping it, but happy someone would make good use of it, and also be inspired by it. But at the time, a home clear out and a few extra pounds was more impotant.
It just seems weird that those lines in one book, that I happen to be given, had such an effect on me so many years later, but still gave me so much strength , and having no idea I could ever be that strong in the face of something that is supposed to bring so much terror and fear to so many, and here I am, “Yeah whatever cancer, bring it on!” A slight tweak of the grey cells and power that then comes out is unbelievable, and strength, with plenty of belief behind it as well, it is truly astounding. I have to thank my friend Martin who I worked with all those years ago for giving or selling me that book, and plenty of other books he kept plying me with, on martial arts and history, I’ve loved both subjects for years now. So you’ll never know how much you have in side you until you really need it, but trust me when I say it is inside you to be so much more than what you think you actually are, it’s already in there just waiting to come out, sitting quietly, ready for the right time to just let you know, it has your back if you ever need it, and it is a huge comfort to know it’s there, even if you have no idea of it yet, it is there looking out for you. The power of the mind is amazing, when it’s on your side and you face something like cancer, it really does give you the strength of ten people, instantly.
I wanted to share this as it really has helped with this fight with cancer and I’m going all the way with this, none of your ten rounds and then a split decision, this is all the way to the bitter end, one of us ain’t coming out of this alive, and it isn’t going to me snuffing it, just a matter of time cancer and your gone!
Thank you for taking the time to read another of my blogs, it is appreciated, Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, always 100% positive, take care and see you again here soon, and once more:-
“In a life and death situation, choose death instantly, and you will have the strength of ten people.”
Some things can’t be repeated enough, and I hope I can inspire someone to take up the fight against this dirty little sly coward of a disease, and kick the hell out it so it doesn’t come back any more, good luck in all your battles and journeys.
If you don’t know this song then immediately go and watch ‘The Life Of Brian!’ You’ll love it, and just what the doctor ordered. I love to watch a film and laugh along to it, action films can be entertaining and I use to love the cowboy films, but give me a comedy any day, and I’m happy, it doesn’t even have to be side splitting, just seeing someone trying to make an effort to make someone laugh is enough for me, I think it’s a great gift to have, not just the ability to get someone in stitches laughing their head off, but just trying to get someone to have a laugh, even if it doesn’t work, the fact that they’re trying is a great gift too. My kids will bore you to death telling you how funny I am, or maybe they won’t, but I try to dish out my best dad jokes, ‘oh god dads off again!’ A new years eve special, “See you next year” never fails, but there’s always a smile, even if it is a slightly embarressed smile sometimes. But it’s just the wanting to spread a little joy and laughter about the place, the world needs more fun, it was never meant to be serious.
I had a few days at Mums last week, letting mum be a mum again for a few days, a very nice relaxing couple of days, and my sister Nesta popped over from her job in France, and seeing another brother Gwyn, so was a really nice time. We had a breakfast at Felixstowe then a walk along the beach with a little paddle too, very nice, some, most would say cold, I like to call it refreshing, luckily there is a sandy part to the beach, but the few stones that were there were uncomfortable on the cold feet. I feel I could of got in and had a swim but not having a towel, and the wind I gave up on that. But I would like to get a swim in soon, hopefully this week, as I’m having radiotherapy this week in Southend, hopefully I’ll get a short dip in soon. Now that will be refreshing. Looking forward to report on that one very soon.
Friday I had my first appointment for my radiotherapy on my brain, so this was a fitting for my mask, which is used to keep your head still while they zap away, keeping your head perfectly still. It took 12 minutes to have this hot plastic on your face, then moulded to your contours, then ice packs, to keep it in place, and if I was a green alien, this could be me as one, well I do have to say I’m not bad looking as a little green alien,
I start my radiotherapy on Monday afternoon, and have five sessions, so I come in each day Mon to Fri, then I’m allowed to bring my mask home, could be fun in the passenger seat holding this up to other motorists or passengers, turning to see a green head looking at them, I’ll try it for fun but not to scare the life out of someone, so I won’t be doing it to any drivers, I swear, but the bus passengers better look out. As I have said and is on my blog site, our daughter and son in law, Lib and Chris, have their buisness, ‘South East Hot Tubs,’ and have their own hot tub in their garden now, it would of been rude not to try it out, and OMG it is so nice, you could sleep in it all night long, it’s so relaxing, and not even the pouring rain could spoil it, intermitant rain rather than one long downpour. We were in there for about 2 hours, and the grandchildren love it too, so no telly, no phones or computers, a great place to relax and chill out away from modern technology for a while and everyone loved it.
Life is going great at the moment, I’ve got more visits from family, even a flying visit from Japan coming up, another brother, Morien, just popping over as you do from such a distant land, but the effort being made for you, and knowing it’ll be so nice to see these people and spend a few days together is so heart warming. And more locally there will be visits from Manchester, Ceri, Cheshire Dad and Lorna, with the dogs Madge and Leo, Leo’s a cancer survivoring Labrador, and Wales, Gareth, again more great family to see. To know that I still have all my brothers and sisters, and Mum and Dad, I know I’m very privileged to have them, and for them all to still want to see me and spend some quality time is very humbling, and fills you with so much joy that we’ll be meeting up in the next month or so with my whole family, and looking forward to seeing each one of them, despite being spread out around the country and the world, we’re still a very close family even though we can go years sometimes without seeing each other, but there’s plenty of other ways we know we’re not far away from each other if we ever need anything. Just before getting my original diagnosis, my brother messaged and said, “I’ll be in the next room when your in with the doctor,” We had our bedrooms next door to each other when we were growing up, well that got me going I can tell you, my tears didn’t last long, as they never have all through this, but Gareth is responsible for some of my first tears with all this cancer crap, I’m saving the great big out pouring of tears for the day I beat all these terminal diagnosis’s, and finally get the all clear and told, “That’s it Mr James, I’m not exactly sure how you did it, but you beat it, now get out of here!” This day will come, eventually!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, hopefully helping to spread a little joy and laughter, I love to see someone with a smile, and the satisfaction of knowing you put it there is amazing. Take care and see you soon, Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, always 100% positive, and watch out for a green alien going home on Friday from Southend to Basildon, you have been warned. And spread a little happiness as you go by!
You can be told so many different things and take them in so many different ways, the tone of what is said, the manner in which it is spoken to you, on text, was it capitals, was the right emoji with it, but the words can still be the same, it’s the way the meaning is interpreted by you, and then the way you process that in your mind to fit in with you, and your current situation. Bad news, is it really bad news or just what we don’t want to hear, big difference there. Reality is a big kick up the arse for some, “sorry your not good enough to carry on on this course, sorry,” and how many have gone on to prosper at something else because of that and had a great life. Life is a journey and we don’t know where it will take us and where it will end, but the journey’s can be incredible. We choose one path and put everything into going that way, but a slight detour can be a hugely different even better journey than you ever could of imagined. ‘Turn a different corner and we never would have met,’ A famous line from a song by George Micheal, but so true. How many people have you met by chance, and had a great time knowing them, or spent years searching for a view of a mountain, and then seeing it after 50 years hoping for that clear day, and finally getting it. Great times in a great life.
After seeing my Oncologist on Thursday, the news we had wasn’t what we were hoping for or expecting, but it’s just that, news, maybe not the news we wanted, but it was about where we are in my journey with this cancer, and this is where we actually right now. So I heard everything he said, took it on board and then carry on as normal, I know I’m not normal. Once things are processed in my mind, I can deal with them, with a different outlook to most, life is a cycle, and it’s gone around and around for millions of years, and won’t stop because I don’t want to get off here yet. Getting told you have a life limiting cancer, it heightens your awareness of the people around the world who die each day, and have no idea their life will end that day, there was an earthquake yesterday in Eastern Turkey, I love Turkey and feel for the loss of life there, the generosity and kindness of the people stays with you, and it’s such a beautiful friendly place, I can’t wait to get back there, and am sending love to those affected by this. There are tragedies closer to home, two fires have claimed the lives of children, I can’t imagine what their families are going through with such a loss, again my heart goes out to these families and communities affected by such a devastating tragedy.
My point is, it puts what an oncologist says to me in perspective, and that I may now be on the home straight, but look what I have and where I’ve been, it’s our 32nd anniverary this year, we have four kids, 6th granchild arriving in March, it seems so greedy to expect any more, when I have and have had so much in my 54 years. I’m certainly not giving in or up on this battle with cancer, I’m actually buzzing and ready for a long term fight with this and realishing it, bring it on. I feel so much inside me all battling against this cancer as one, which is now in the lining of my brain, and is such a hard place to get to, they can’t do anything for it now, I’ll be having some radiotherapy, but this may help some of the numbness going down my left side I’ve been having, only mild episodes, but it may not, it won’t cure anything or extend life, I have thoses bits covered by my attitude. My Oncologist said his prediction is based on the patients fitness, he’s reading a script, and I’m not on it, he was just reading it off to me, well that’s me off there then, I’m fairly fit considering everything, I can walk up six flights of stairs quite easily, how many can do that. The moans and groans when people realise the lift isn’t working, and they only live a few floors up, any excercise is good for you. Few years ago the lift went out for three weeks over christmas, and you started to get to know a few people from meeting them on the stairs some days, which was nice, a little interaction is good for the soul.
I think my attitude towards my cancer is starting to rub off on my wife and kids, they’re starting to be more accepting of it now, even though it has been going on for sixteen months now, but I had Sonia my wife, and Lib and Chris, our daughter and son in law, in with the doctor on Thursday, and after he was pushing me to ask the ultimate question, “Is there anything you would like to ask me?” Knowing it was the big one, after bowing my head, take a deep breath and here we go then “Where do you think we in this then now?” and he tells me “6-12 weeks from the end,” “As close as that,” “Yes I’m sorry.” This is where you expect the buckets of tears to come pouring out, but they don’t, they look to me and see I’m holding out fine, and then the doctor says “this is based on the patients fitness,” as I said that’s me off this straight away, always 100% positive, take everything head-on, process it, accept it, “Yeah Whatever Doc!” And just carry on regardless, the end will be here when it’s here, and when I come face to face with death, he’s gonna get as bigger a shock as I am seeing me standing there as I will when I see him standing in front of me, and that’s when I’ll deal with that. You can only deal with what’s in front of you, and if you don’t feel your about drop off this mortal coil, then we don’t even contemplate it yet, there’s a lot to do this year, it’s only January, 11 more months to plan and look forward to yet. It’s a bit of a ramble this blog, but the news you get, the steroids and epilepsy tablets I’m now on, and always the reality that I know something isn’t right in my head at the moment, all makes for a different take on life at the moment, coming out as a ramble to the normal blog, but I’m happy and feel in a very happy place right now, with the courage to take this on as far as it wants to go, I can feel the adrenaline in my veins flowing to fight this all the way. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and to stick with it, it is appreciated, take care and see you soon and I wish you all the best with your journeys, never forget to stop and take some time out to see where you are and take a look at the view, and allow yourself to be happy, this is a happy post hoping to spread some love and happiness to you all, and for you to actually appreciate that you are you, and your so lucky, cos I think your great. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, or where ever it ends up inside you, mind over matter! As the great man himself said, Bruce Lee “If it kills you, it kills you!”
The opening lines of this blog where “Some of us scream, some of us shout” a song from the early eighties album “Strive to Survive Causing The Least Suffering Possible” by “Flux of Pink Indians’ No wonder I’m the mild mannered polite person I am today after listening to bands like that, great times.
After my stay in hospital from Thursday morning, after attending the TIA clinic, I was invited to go home on the Sunday, as there wasn’t much they could do and had me on tablets to control, or dissolve the problem blood clots. I very willingly went home and slept so well that night, three nights of disturbed sleep, twice being moved at half two in the morning, I can’t complain though as when I worked at Basildon Hospital as a porter from 1991-2004, we would often move patients, very unhappily at this time, I did hear it was because the gods of the hospital, the consultants, wanted all their patients on the same ward, can’t blame them if they’re that high up, I suppose, but this rumour was never confirmed, officially.
After getting home and up the next day, ready to start the next chapter of my life, we had a nice relaxing day, and picked up our granddaughter Jess from her after school club, saving her mum, Lib, and brother, Reg, walking round to the school again to pick her up. We had a nice steady walk, no rushing, as driving is out, as I’m having these mini-stroke like episodes. We have a nice hour or so at Libs house seeing everyone, and then a steady walk home, which we’re good at after last year, as between chemo, we’d walk 9 miles, quite happily and very slowly. We pop into Tesco for a few bits, I get a trolley, and off we go, after five minutes or so I go to move my hand and realise it’s numb, no tingling this time, just the hand unable to straighten my fingers, I let Sonia know, and it’s “Oh no not again!” “Are you ok to go home and I’ll finish in here?” “Yeah I’ll be ok, take care and see you soon,” It’s starting to tingly again, on my face and hand, and slowly creep up my arm, it’s weird as it goes across your face, just the left side of my body, as it goes past your throat you can feel half your throat can swallow but the other half can’t, just hope I don’t get into a coughing fit. I get home and text Sonia I’m ok, and Lib, then phone 111, my mouth is only half working but I get across to them so they can understand me, eventually, “Yes we will send an ambulance for you but sorry there is a delay.” “No worries.” Sonia gets back and is worried, Lib, Chris and Davey are on their way around, and I’m starting to get back to normal, I feel like a nuisance sometimes, all this stress and worry and within twenty minutes, I’m going fully back to normal. We get a call from the ambulance service and they apologise for the delay, and that it could be another 15-20 minutes. eventually the paramedic gets here and checks me over, I’m ok but I do win a trip to the hospital, just to be sure. I get a lift in his car, the rest follow along behind, but he can’t have the blue lights on though. We get taken in the tradesman entrance at the A/E, and get processed a little quicker, then shown to the relaxing area in A/E? Oh yeah the waiting room.
It’s Sonia and Lib with me in the hospital again, a bit of deja vous here. But not long and Paul comes out “David James please,” I knew Paul when he first started working here as a porter 25 years ago, still the same happy chappie, and he’s moved up and takes bloods now, and very well too, I told him “I’ll recommend him on Tripadvisor, 5 stars.” We soon see the stroke nurse we saw last Wednesday, she says “Hello, again, have you had another one?” We go to a cubicle and go through all the stroke tests, but as I’ve had another one, there must be something wrong, not just a mini-stroke, so to get to the right clinic, they’re going to keep me in tonight, as the morning clinic won’t do the MRI scan with contrast, the dye they put in to see you better. I’m taken for a CT scan tonight then the doctors will look at it tomorrow. Around 01.00 I’m taken to Pastuer Ward, and say goodbye to my wife Sonia and daughter Lib, I’ll see them tomorrow early afternoon. As I’m wheeled onto the ward, this is the real stroke ward, with a nurse in every four bed bay, even in the dark you can see this is a serious ward with lots of ill patients, I feel guilty and that I don’t fit in here, what if they need this bed for someone who is iller than me? I’d feel terrible.
I get settled in bed, have my obs done, all seem ok, then it’s good night and the doctor will be round to see you, I didn’t realise she meant only an hour or two later, “Hello David, I am the doctor and your scan looks ok, all clear, I’ll let you get some sleep, thank you.” Try and get some more sleep, but if it’s clear then what’s causing these little mini-strokes, more questions than answers. A disturbed sleep after more obs, but I can sleep during the day so it’s not a problem. “Cup of tea?” Now we’re talking “Oh yes please,” as the ward starts to wake, the lady opposite me seems quite ill, and there’s two other gentleman in here who don’t look too bad, I still don’t fit in here. Last week I was on an assessment ward, then surgical, no thanks, then the lung ward? At least I’m having stroke like symptoms so must be in the right place. Did I say sleep during the day! I don’t think so, I’ve never been so busy, you go on a stroke ward and there’s so many ways a stroke can affect you, in big obvious ways but also the little subtle ways too, can you draw a cube? Can you do this ? Can you recognise that? We go for a walk, upstairs then back down, I pass all my tests, I just don’t feel I’ve got anywhere as my symptoms only lasted twenty minutes, then back to normal. I even have my heart scanned, all reassuring to hear it all looks well, but I’m not the one that needs these tests, the proper stroke patients need this, but as I’m here, it is good to know they are prepared to check me out throughly. As we get to lunch I eat that, and the food is surprisingly good in here, I now need a sleep, Sonia and Lib turn up, but I say if they want to get something to eat then come back later, I’m shattered. I get some sleep, but more disturbances, all medical so I can’t complain, it’s all to help me, and they’re very thorough on here. We get told they’re going to check all the scans and i’ll probably be going home and be on blood thinning jabs for a few months, they’re not sure if it’s the cancer or that I am having mini strokes, ok then, they’ll let me know. I get moved to a side room in the evening after everyone has gone, peace, but god it’s boring, nothing to see or hear, even any sort of banter with anyone is out because there’s no one there, just me, I prefer the main ward, there is always something going on you can watch or listen too.
The next morning there’s less to do and all I want is for 14.30 to come, for visiting time, it drags, my oncologist comes in with a lung nurse, he’s a nice bloke so we smile and shake hands, he tells me “The stroke like symptoms are not caused by cancer, which is good, so we’ll see you in clinic, probably in two to three weeks time.” I was hoping to be seen sooner but hey ho, better late than never. Sonia and Lib are hear and see my oncologist come in so wait outside my side room and I tell them what he said. And it looks like I’m gong home today. An hour or so later, another doctor comes in, a trainee doctor, but he looks a little uncomfortable, and asks “Would I prefer to be alone with him or is it ok to talk in front of my wife and daughter,” “That’ll be fine,” He’s struggling, I’m use to bad news, so feel a little sorry for him, this is a hard part of the job to learn, he was here earlier with the consultant he follows around and two or three other trainees, but on his own this time. Here we go, “We think it is cancer in your brain causing these problems, and the nero surgeons have been informed at ‘Queens’, they have asked for more information on your case, and when we hear anything we’ll let you know. You have a new appointment with your oncologist next Thursday, do you have any questions?” I don’t but show him my t-shirt with ‘Nice try cancer, but I’m still here!’ on it, printed by my son and his new t-shirt printing enterprise, ‘Majestic Prints and Designs’. He smiles and says, “Keep fighting” “I will” we shake hands and he leaves. My wife and daughter move in close to me and ask, “Are you worried or concerned now!” “Err I’m just wondering what tattoo I could have for my scar after brain surgery?” “Your still not worried?” The atmoshere is relaxed which is how I want it, for me it’s the best way to deal with this, head on, with a smile and a cheeky grin, and the people you love so much around me.
A little while later I have new medication, epilepsy tablets, as these episodes I’m having are now being caused by the cancer causing seizure like symptoms, but that look like a stroke, it’s getting complicated I know. But now i’m more than relieved and happy to be going home, new medication, more questions, and not enough answers yet. Hopefully Thursday can bring some of what we want when we meet with my Oncologist. Until then thank you for taking the time to read my blog, Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, even if it does get in your brain, always 100% positive. Take care and see you soon. Oh and any suggestions for a tattoo for my scar if it does come to having Neuro surgery, funnier the better.
I’ve never been one for making New Year resolutions, as I always knew I wouldn’t stick to them so I never made any, but having lung cancer and making it to another new year, why not, maybe I should make some and try to make some positive changes to my life, as according to my doctor, I shouldn’t really be here now, not that I ever believed the doctor, I always thought you had to be ill and feel ill to be dying of something, and I most certainly wasn’t ill enough to be dying of anything. So what can my resolutions be, thats if there’s more than one of them.
Firstly I’m a Wim Hoffer, doing breathing excercises with yoga and various excercises your suppose to do between each step of the course. I have hardly done any of this since July, since my rib has been hurting, which started after doing four rounds of deep breathing. It doesn’t hurt as much now and I’ve had five lots of radiotherapy on it, so hopefully that will start to ease soon. So the plan is to get back on track with the Wim Hof Fundementals course, and start to practice it everyday, if not daily then at least weekly. That includes the yoga before the breathing, and the homework between each step of the course, and of course the cold showers. You can find out more about Wim Hof and his breathing method here.
Second, writing this blog has been a lot of fun, so I want to do more writing, more blogs and even writing articles for magazines or the local paper. I’m writing a book and having radiotherapy has put the finish date of it back by a few months, so part of this resolution is to finish my book and get it published, either as an e-book or paperback or both, I don’t think it’ll make the New York bestseller list, so I don’t think getting the best deal would be too important, just getting it out there is the important thing, and getting it published.
Third, I can be a bit arty at times, and I enjoy creating stuff, it doesn’t have to be much, even just playing about with scissors and coloured card, cutting out the names of my grandchildren, they liked it, and I always enjoyed drawing and painting at school, so doing a picture or making something each month is something I want to do.
Fourth, has to be more swimming, if my cancer allows, and more running, getting fit again, starting gently and building up to getting below an hour for the London 10k in July and getting in around 45 mins for the mile swim in Swim Serpentine in Sept, and swimming it front crawl, the last two times have been breast stroke, and getting some chill swims in as well, I do enjoy a cold dip, which is part of the Wim Hof course that I enjoy, the cold showers, you always feel so refreshed when you come out of the cold shower.
So I think thats it :- sticking to the Wim Hof course more, more writing, being creative each month, and more swimming and running, that’s not bad for someone that doesn’t make any new year resolutions. This new year marks the end of my first full year of being affected by cancer, last new year, I had been ill since September, and no idea what the new year would bring, I wasn’t even sure I’d make it this far. But I have and I would say I’m thriving, I feel good and positive, and looking forward to a bright and long future, so I might as well make some plans and give myself something to do with all this time I’m going to have on my hands.
I’ll be seeing my oncologist in January, so we’ll take it from there after getting the results of my CT scan, and proceed into the future of this bright and prosporus new year. So thank you again for taking the time to read my blog and listen to my new year resolutions, and I’ll let you know how I get on with sticking to them, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all an amazing New Year and good luck to you all and that you have a healthy and happy 2020, be strong, think strong and do all you dare to dream, and find the strength and courage that’s already inside you to follow your dreams, whatever they are! Thats your new year resolution, I’ve just made it for you. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer and always 100% positive throughout 2020 and beyond.
It’s here again, I thought it was suppose to take a year to get here, I’m sure we must of missed out a few months somewhere, surely that’s not another year gone. I remember as a child it took so long to get to christmas and now they fly by, one after the other. Ok I know I’m getting old. When I was young (along time ago), about 8-9 years old, I remember the excitment of christmas day, getting up at 2.00 then told to go back to bed, then up at 4.00 then being told to go back to bed again, by a very frustrated mum, then up at 6.00 or 7.00 and open your stocking, a bit of breakfast then excitedly wait till dinner was ready, wolf that down and have to wait until alllllll the washing up was done by the older ones and mum and dad, the excitment almost killing us, that’s how it felt at the time, then the big moment arrived, but who was going to go first, your sitting on your hands trying not to grab anyone elses present, then you get your first present, rip the wrapping off, “Who was that from?” “Oh ere mum and dad, thank you mum and dad.” I was reminded of this excitment when I got a text from my Mum saying thank you for her presents, err excuse me! Isn’t it Christmas Day tomorrow, all that waiting we had to do as a child, at the hands of our parents, and now they open presents whenever they want. But I think I can let my Mum off the hook, the amount of happy memories it brings is worth it, hopefully we can give our grandchildren happy memories to remember for when they’re older. They are great memories to have, and I know I’m lucky to have them, thanks Mum and Dad.
I know I still act like a child alot of the time, and mucking about with your grandchildren is great fun, so while I can still play about with them I will, heres some pictures from a few years ago of me getting excited about christmas. I hope I never grow up and become serious, that would be terrible. I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year, and it brings everything you hope for, especially for health and happiness for you, your family and friends. Take care and thank you for reading my blog, maybe get one more blog in before the new year, best wishes and Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, always 100% positive.
We’ve never been to a ball before, getting all dressed up and looking like a penguin, never appealed to me, and my wife Sonia wearing a dress that she sweeps the floor with as she goes about the evening, no thanks, you can keep all that posh malarkey. Track suit bottoms and slouching on the sofa, now that’s more like it. But this was different, this was the ‘Clowns in the Sky’ Winter Ball. Clowns in the Sky is a charity I have been fund raising for them for a few years now. I worked with the owner of the charity, Richard, and was heart broken to hear of the death of his daughter, but Richard and his wife, Lyn, set up this charity in her memory, and it’s gone from strength to strength, and now supports children in hospitals having treatment for brain tumours across the country. They make a donation to Brain Tumour Research, in the hope of finding a cure or better treatments, there’s so many things they do to help children get through their treatment, have a look here to find out more.
Each year they organise a Winter Ball, a lovely evening of a meal, magicians coming to your table, a singer, an auction, raffle, and finishing with few hours of dancing, and as much donating as you can. I was aware of this Ball a couple of years ago but didn’t take a lot of notice of it, then last year I saw it on Facebook, but left it too late and it was sold out, so this year I made a definite effort to get some tickets for me and my family, it was just a question of who was going to dress up and come with us now. There’s eight adults and six children in our family, so baby sitters would be required, as it’s not really a place for kids. So I messaged Donna and asked for at least four tickets and possibly eight. The tickets become available around September October time, but do sell out by November, so I’d got in this year, but just had to confirm the numbers. We ordered four tickets, but soon ordered four more, as we knew we had several people who would like to go if family members couldn’t. Now it was time to order the food, it was only a choice of meat or vegetarian, so we chose half and half, covering all bases, anyone last minute would be able to have what they wanted as some of us were quite flexible. Tickets booked, food ordered, now it was who was going to go. One couldn’t get a babysitter, another recently split with his partner and was a maybe, so it was Sonia and me, our favourite daughter Lib and her husband Chris, possibly our son Davey, now for three more. My Mum has always liked the dressing up and going out, so we invited her and got a very swift reply of “Yes please,” now for the last two, and the Ball is getting quite close now, just a few weeks away. So I asked my brother and his wife Jan, and they were up for it, so it was the eight of us. Now for the penguin outfits and sweep as you go dresses.
Eventually got all sorted out and it ended up with seven of us meeting up at the Ball, and even if I do say so myself, I think we looked very smart. My suit cost ten pounds, from a charity shop, got it dry cleaned for twelve pounds and got a shirt and bow tie for fifty pounds. I felt very pleased with myself getting a suit so cheap, and it was a nice one. But as time got on we had to just go and get a decent shirt from a proper shop. It all started very economically, but that soon went out of the window. As we settled at are table, we had one at the back, but were quite close to Tony Cottee and Tony Gale. Who are they? I hear you ask, they’re only part of the West Ham team that finished 3rd in the league, in the 85-86 season, the year I started supporting West Ham, they’ve never been the same since, sorry. We all had a great time, the food was lovely, we had a magician at our table astounding us with his tricks, no idea how he did them. There was an auction and my brother Gwyn got a drawing of four past England cricket captains, signed, and he won a game of golf with Tony Cottee and Tony Gale, I will be his caddie that day, I’ve no idea what I’m suppose to do but really looking forward to it. There was a raffle, a singer and then at the end of the night, dancing. All in all it was a great night and very pleased to say Clowns in the Sky raised roughly five and a half thousand pounds, that’s brilliant for just a small charity, they can now do so much with that and help children with brain tumours, brilliant.
As I said in an earlier post, we’re looking after our three year old grand son, having had four children we thought it would be easy, as we know what we’re doing, but boy is he tiring, we put him down for bed and if we don’t fall asleep on the sofa, we’re not far off going to bed ourselves. But it is nice having him here, he was at nursery five days a week for six hours but now hes off for over two weeks, if we survive, we’ll see you in the new year. Hopefully I’ll get some posts done, if he falls asleep for a few hours in the afternoon. We did have some good news this week, my wife Sonia had been for a ultra sound scan and they found a mass on her liver, but after a CT scan this week, we got the news that it was benign so nothing to worry about, and we have an appointment with a liver specialist at the next available time, May next year, good job it’s not urgent. Take care, have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year, I’ll repeat that if I get to blog again this year, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, and always 100% positive.
Having just got back from a fantastic holiday in Paphos Cyprus, we’re trying to get back to normal and adjust to the cold weather, no rain just sunshine for 13 days, 23-28 degrees every day, sooo nice, and lots of swimming in the sea, which was warmer than the hotels swimming pool, but I still swam in there too. It really was the relaxing holiday we needed, just wish we were still there.
November in the UK is Lung cancer Awareness Month, and I’ve said about when we went to Liverpool to record my story for a campaign for the Roy Castle Lung cancer Foundation in a previous blog, Steam Trains, Filming and Getting a Bit Philosophical, click on the link if you’d like to read it. Well the campaign is now live and the finished product is quite good, even though I do say so myself, so heres the link for my story:- https://www.roycastle.org/david-james/ If you look at the other stories as well, they are really good inspirational stories of some other peoples experience of living with lung cancer, click to see the website with the whole campaign. It would be great if you could share my story or any of the others so we can reach more people and help them with their experience with cancer, whatever that may be, and give them hope that they can beat it, and to realise that having a diagnosis is not the end, there is life after being told you have cancer.
I got an email when I was on holiday and knew excatly what it was, but I wasn’t going to show it to anyone else, not until I’d seen it first and on my own. Now I’m well known for nodding off, and a lot more than once on holiday I woke up alone, the other 9 had gone off to do something else, or get ready for dinner. But this time when I woke I had the opportunity to look at this on my own. As I’m fumbling about trying to play the video, the horror that if I like this or not, it’s going out tomorrow and for at least a month, it’s a weird scary feeling, but a little exciting too. Here we go, play. Hang on this isn’t too bad, actually it’s quite good, I’m really happy with it, I emailed Rachel at the Roy Castle Lung cancer Foundation to let her know I’m really happy with it, then I started sharing it with my family, and got so much positive responses from it, I felt really good with myself, reminded me of my party, ‘F**k You cancer!’
Having got back from Cyprus, and our amazing holiday, I woke up to blue skies that we had had every day in Cyprus, but this wasn’t Cyprus in any way shape or form, this is Pitsea south east England, and no hotel pool or amazing clear sea to swim in, and I start radiotherapy tomorrow at Southend Hospital. I’m glad the radiotherapy starts, just to get it out of the way, one thing I’m glad about is that the doctor had this radiotherapy down as urgent, but I was on holiday so the treatment had to wait until I was available, not the treatment or the cancer dictating what was going to happen or when, I was!
Having the radiotherapy treatment is easier than chemo, and a lot quicker, and with no immidiate side effects, yet, not the dose I’m having anyway. It almost feels like your lying in the lap of a caring robocop nurse, with her head is above you looking down with concern with her one big eye, assessing you, to see if you need a zap of radiation to help save you, or a death ray and you’ll be burnt to dust in a second if your beyond repair. Hopefully Mrs Robo-nurse takes pity on me and see’s a glimour of hope, and gives me the radiation. You can see what I mean, Robo-nurse is looking over you with interest and hopefully compassion, with her arms out waiting for you to lay down on her lap. “Your move creep!”
I’ve had four sessions now, just tomorrow to go then see the Oncologist in 4-5 weeks time, the only thing I’ve noticed with this treatment is some wind from my stomach, which I had had while I was having chemo, but no where near as uncomfortable. My rib is still tender but feels like it’s getting better again, I keep sneezing, but I now sneeze with my mouth open, (just thought you might like to know) as this puts less pressure on my lower left rib, on holiday my daughter asked just after I had sneezed, “Was that a sneeze or a cough?” I explained what I was now doing and she laughed and said “It’s a snough!” (snoff) “A sneeze and a cough, there you go Dad you’ve invented something!” Something the radiotherapy department has in common with the chemo treatment, is how busy this place is, both departments are so full all the time, and the nurse’s seem to work none stop, and yet are always cheerful, some more than others but all have been nice. They have five different machines (Robo-nurses), so you see a different group of nurses as I’ve been in four different rooms for treatment so far, just tomorrow to go, five different rooms or revisiting one of them, we’ll see. Well that’s it for now, so thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and you may of noticed that cancer is not getting a capital letter anymore, I don’t think it deserves it, do you?Take care and see you soon. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, 100% positive always.
I had my appointment with the doctor, my new oncologist, on Thursday 17th Oct, no reason to think anything but good news, just my side hurting a bit, but as it’s just a muscle, don’t think I’ll bother telling him. Dr Ramadam said “Have you had any problems?” So I mentioned my rib hurting, and he’s nodding a tell tale nod, “I can show you why it’s hurting, would you like me to.” “Yes ok then!” I’ve been preparing for this, but the doctor doesn’t seem concerned, even my wife Sonia is quite calm, relax and see what he says first. The doctor has my scan up and he’s flicking through the images, they’re cross section photos of the inside of your body. He stops and points out to me my heart valves, well they look ok, chest bone, ribs on the right side and here’s the left side, can you see the rib is wider on this side than the other?” “Oh yeah” “That is a bit of cancer in your rib, which explains your problems with your side, and there’s also a bit in your pelvis too, but I’m not worried about that for now.” I asked if this was new cancer and he did say yes, but to me it seems more like it’s just a bit that managed to avoid the chemo seven months ago, and as active cancer in your bones is hard to spot, it’s so much easier to see the scars from where it has died off from, it would of only need to be a few cells and then has seven months to grow, that’s why they scan you every three months, to spot these little growths. I’m now going to have radiotherapy on it, five Fractions, is the technical term for it, and you know I like a technical name for things. That means I’ll go in each day Monday to Friday, and sit under the Xray machine for five minutes or so, and that’s it, then see my oncologist 4-6 weeks after to see how we’re getting on. This will zap the cancer in my rib, but I also have a little in my pelvis too. The doctor said he wasn’t worried and asked if it had caused any problems, I said “No.” But then.
On Friday morning and my back is a bit achyier than usual, but I’m not concerned. We get a call asking if we can take our grandchildren to school, Ellie and Jayden, oh yes we can, it’d be a pleasure. Their car has broken down, but as we pull up and I get out of the car, my back is hurting again, just think maybe I slept awkward or we need a new matress. Ellie climbs in after a great big hug, and I lift Jayden in the back and strap him in. We drop these lovely two off at school, and make our way home again, planning to walk to Basildon to have a look round for stuff, as we’re on holiday soon, but my back is really aching, so I sit on the sofa, that doesn’t ease it, so I try the chair at the table with the computer on, but that’s no better. “I don’t think I can walk to Basildon today, my back is aching so much.” “Ok then, I’ll go for a walk and you rest your back,” my wife said. I need to lay down, it feels like my back is going to just colapse, so I get on our bed and lay down, and it’s certainly easier. Sonia goes out and I’m on my own, not sure what is going on, it’s been a gradual worsening not just an aaaaarrrrrhhh my backs gone, a few times I try to sit up and I can’t even do that, it’s too painful. If I try to put my weight on my back, it just hurts like all my back muscles will just get torn to shreds. So I lay there on the bed, this doesn’t hurt, and I can move around on the bed, but I try to get on all fours, but my backs not having that at all. I keep moving from side to side, and I can lift one leg then the other. What happens if I need a wee? Or a number 2? Oh my god this is horrible. I laid on the bed for 10 hours all together, but did manage to get to the toilet after 6 hours, but that was not comfortable at all.
Sonia came home and made me some soup which I ate on the bed, almost sent it flying as I moved to get comfortable, same with the cup of tea. Had my dinner there, then tried to get on all fours again, and this time managed it without too much discomfort, then managed to get up at 22.30, long past my bedtime normally, whatever it was, it was certainly easing now, I can still feel it, but at least I can get up and move around now, but tonight I’m sleeping on the floor in the front room, that should help. Thinking about it, my back has been aching more over the last three or four weeks, was that because I’ve been at my computer more, it’s just a normal chair for a dining table, not designed to sit on for hours at a time, or was it something to do with the cancer in my pelvis, whatever it was my back could not take any weight put on it, it’s still tender now and I haven’t got full movement in it, but I’ll be seeing the oncologist again soon, but I think a trip to the GP will be done soon. It wasn’t painful if I didn’t try and sit or stand, so I didn’t have any painkillers, but just to get to the route of it, I’d better see the doc.
I was due to see the nurse to get some forms filled out for our holiday on Friday, but I couldn’t stand let alone go out, so I put that off until Monday, and luckily I got them done, sent them off to Jet2, and we got the go ahead to fly, so we’re really looking forward to this, Cyprus here we come. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, take care and I’ll let you know how I get on with the doctor and with my radiotherapy, I’m still waiting to hear when I’ll be having that, but it should be early November. Wishing you all all the best, don’t be afraid of lung cancer, 100% positive always.
Right, this weekend was going to be a very busy time, Thursday was going to be results day, this was put back until tomorrow, a week later, Friday was walking up the O2, which went ahead and was great, Saturday was going to be going on The Rage in the morning, but my side was hurting and I didn’t want to make it any worse, so has been put back a week or so or until after our holiday, but I will do it. Go-karting in the afternoon, the same side was hurting so that has been put back until next month, and then the meal at The Magic Mushroom, a very nice restaurant, in the evening. A really busy day and then the whole of Sunday relaxing.
Thursday was going to be the results from my last scan in September, but I received a letter saying it had been put back a week until the 17th, no idea why but I imagine it’s still feeling the effect of my oncologist just packing it in with no notice, and leaving them with no oncologist, a lot of appointments must of been cancelled and so they could be still trying to fit people in, to get back on track. Friday and at 9.40ish Davey is in the car with Lib and Chris, waiting for us to get down to them, and very soon we’re on our way, down the A13 to the Blackwall Tunnel, turn off and we’re here at The Peninsular for the O2, park up into the start for our climb of K2, I’ve looked it up and K2 is “a savage mountain that tries to kill you,” and harder to climb than Everest. Hang on, we’re at the O2 not K2, sorry. Go to reception and we have to fill our forms out, ‘if you fall off, it’s your fault.’ All signed and filled out, but a quick trip to Tesco for a few snacks, as we’re early we’ve got plenty of time.
“Hello, I’m your instructor, and I’ll just put this film on for you to watch, then we’ll go through the safety equipment, ok.” We watch the short film, and I keep my hand down when he asks “are there any illnesses I should know about?” We have a choice of overalls, summer style, a jacket or winter style a set of overalls, it’s a bit rainy today so the winter overalls it is. We have a good laugh with Sonia when she has her overalls on, she has a pair on for someone who’s six foot six, and Sonia is five foot four, her legs look about a foot long, like your looking at yourselves in a wobbly mirror in the ‘Hall of Mirrors’ at a fairground. We all had a good laugh, but the harness you wear put everything where it should be, and Sonia was able to walk normally with the harness in place. You put your shoes, bags and wallets in a box, then these are secured and taken to the other side where we descend the dome back to solid ground. We’re issued our lanyards with the thing (very technical term covering most technical things) that attaches to the cable to keep you attached all the way up to prevent falling off, useful bit of kit. As we go up the the stairs to the start of the climb, a few quick photos, and we have our final instructions, you have to hold the thing all the time or it’ll stop, preventing you ending up where you began, at the bottom.
And we’re off, holding our thing at the right angle to get past each of the posts and pulling yourself up with the other hand, this first part is really steep, but the trainers they give you are gripping quite well. I’m feeling quite good going up here, really pleased with myself, we’re all doing well. As you get up to each section it gets slightly less steep, levelling out on the top. As we get near the top at the viewing area, there are the climbers from the earlier climb still looking at the views, but we get told to “go back, you should never lose sight of your instructor!” Ok, we go back a little way and wait, but we’ve shot up here and left the rest miles behind, good job it wasn’t K2 we tried to climb, we’d be lost now. The rest catch up and the instructor tells us a little about the view from here, and it is a great view, “If you look over there, you can see the UK’s smallest lighthouse, where the River Lea meets the River Thames, oh yeah I can see it now. It’s cloudy and a bit rainy but the view is amazing, I love this sort of thing. You can see the City Airport and the planes taking off, then they disappear in the clouds but you know they’re there because you can hear them almost going overhead and on to wherever they’re going, lucky sods.
We get on the viewing platform and the whole 360 degrees view is visible now and it is great. Some people are having a glass of champagne, got to hold onto it though as it’s really windy up here, glad we chose the overalls. We have loads of photos on the top, and a few ‘f**k you cancer’ are said. Today marks a year since I was told ‘You have an average of a year to live!’ And we were hoping to of had my latest results and then celebrated like a bunch of madmen, but there’s always next week or after the next scan. As our time is up on the viewing platform we start to make our descent from the summit, nice and easy at first but it’s getting steeper, and the last section we’re told to wait until we’re all there, and we’ll have to go down backwards as it’s raining and can be slippery. Now this is steep and slow going, but we all make it and safely back to solid ground, we hand in our ‘thing’ then the overalls and shoes, and get our boxes from the locked trunk, but one couple are standing there with no shoes and wondering where their box is, “You did hand it in didn’t you?” “Err umm I just left it there I thought you got them.” But panic over and they were in the first trunk, they just didn’t see them, would be a panic if you ended up shoeless, but wallets and keys are in there too, aaarrrhh. This has been a really good day and a great way to celebrate still being here a year on. Oncologist -0 Dave and family -1.
Saturday was planned to be a very busy day, but with my side still hurting and definately getting better I didn’t want to make it worse, especially as we’re on holiday at the end of the month, so the ride on The Rage is postponed for a week or so or maybe even after the holiday. I stayed in Saturday, Sonia had gone out for a walk, so I thought it best to cancel the go-karting as well, as this would put alot of pressure on my side, I phoned my daughter Lib, and she got it moved to next month, so luckily we didn’t lose out, just got to wait a month or so. Now it’s just the meal out tonight, I like going out but I could quite happily just stay in tonight. But I’d better make an effort as everyone is coming, it’s not till 21.00, we’re going round to Libs at 19.30 to see Tom, rather than just speaking to him from the opposite end of a big table. Get all dressed up and ready to go, “we’ll go in ten minutes or so,” said Sonia. “Oh come on we’ll go now,” “give it minute.” “Right can we go now?”
What the hell??? Eh, Chris is at the door and Jess with streamers, Colin is on the stairs, and I’m in shock, I had no idea about this, I did suspect on my birthday they were planning something, but nothing happened, and I just left it. The bastards, and look how packed this house is, who are they all? As we parked on Libs driveway, I thought someones having a party around here, but I couldn’t hear anything, there was cars everywhere. My Mum appears with a big smile, my sons Davey and Tom, gits, f**kin hell my sister Nesta and Stewart, and she’s come from Switzerland, oh no they’re back in England now, on their narrowboat, my brother Gwyn and Jan, then I spot my other sister Ceri and her daughter Reniece, OMG that’s Lyn, Richards wife, I’ve never met her, but recognise her from Facebook. Jason and his wife. Aaarrrhh Tony and his wife Sarah, my good friend from work, how did they get in touch with these people, crafty sods. Sonia’s brother Terry and Christine with all their family. Carl and Dawn, “but you came round a week ago, so you knew then?” Big smiles while they nod, bastards. The last surprise party I had, our eldest grandchild Jess happily told me,”we haven’t been doing anything today granddad,” to lots of ssshhh’s from Lib and Sonia. But not this time. More of Libs and Daveys friends to say hi to, we’ve seen some of these grow up from young children, so it’s nice to see them all. You big bunch of f**kin bastards!!! It is really weird knowing that something is going on then you find out that you are the only one that has no idea it was happening, especially when your married to and have a daughter who are 2 of the worlds worst liars.
It takes ages to get around and say hello to everyone, and then I’m given a few bits, a card from my Dad, and I also get a t-shirt, which is the icing on the cake. My son Tom has started to print t-shirts, and this is a great shirt, exactly what I want, it says ‘Nice try cancer, but I’m still here’ on the front, and on the back it has ‘dontbeafraidoflungcancer.life’, where have I seen that before? I have to wear this now I love it. After calling everyone bastards or bitches, we can get on and party now. This has been christened the ‘F**k you cancer! party’, and it’s on a sheet on the wall, then the opposite wall, a garland, in letters that would normally say ‘happy christmas’ but this time more ‘f**k you cancer’, the funny part of this is that there was a guest book, and my granddaughters Jess and Ellie went around and got people to write positive messages in it, and on the front it said, obviously, ‘f**k you cancer’, but this was written by Jess, Jess is 10 and she never swears, and it took her over five minutes for her to write these four letters, interrupted by huge bursts of laughter, and “it’s ok Jess, you can write it this time, but not anymore,” followed by lots more laughter. Another thing I must mention is that on the telly in the front room, they had a video on repeat, and it was lots of photos of me, but this was put together on PowerPoint by our very clever 10 year old granddaughter Jess, and she did it all by herself, and you can see her handy work here and it is great, so thank you Jess I love it. https://youtu.be/EwGQcaToAfE ‘cancer partyu powerpoint’.
As the night goes on everyone is having a great time, then the ‘Conga’ comes on and we’re forming a line and going through the house in the garden then back in the house, so much fun. Some friends from work have come tonight but are working early tomorrow so can’t stay for long, but it has been great seeing them, and really appriciate them making the effort for me. Richard and Lyn are leaving and these are lovely people, I raise money for their charity ‘Clowns in the Sky’, to help children with their hospital treatment for brain tumours across the country. And we’re looking forward to their ‘Winter Ball’, in Dec, you can find out more at clownsinthesky.org . So nice to see them and such a surprise too, I’ve spoken to some others on facebook who didn’t make it but were invited, but they never let it slip either. I’m very impressed.
As the night wears on and it’s getting late, it’s time for us to go, but one last photo, and I try to get Jess to stand in front of the sheet with me and stick her fingers up, but she won’t, in a few years it’ll proberbly be hard to stop her. But today has been fantastic, so nice of everyone to make the effort. I’ve felt a bit emotional a few times tonight, and very humbled by so many just wanting to say ‘good luck to you’ and carry on fighting. And I love my t-shirt ‘Nice try cancer, but I’m still here’ and with, well you know whats on the back, I’m going to sleep so well tonight and this was so much better than a meal, even if it was at the Magic Mushroom. So a huge thank you to so many people for tonight, to my wonderful wife Sonia, even though she did a lot of crafty things, and I never noticed, to Lib and Chris for having the party at their house, and organising so much of it, to Davey and all his friends, Tom and Chloe for the t-shirt, Leo, my Dad couldn’t make it but sent a card, my Mum, and to everyone that made the effort to come tonight, I really can’t thank you all enough. That’s it for now goodnight and thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and see you again soon, the answer to the last blogs quiz question was – Adam Ant with ‘goody two shoes’, takes you back doesn’t it. Take care and Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, 100% positive, always!
Believe 100% you will beat it. Go Vegan. Take CBD oil. Have chemo.