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!