Thursday 18th August 2011

Confirmation of Diagnosis - Reality Sets In

Woken at 6.15 for an injection of steroids and then went back to sleep. Woke again at 7.45, got up and had a shower. I felt better than for a long time.

Cheered up by the mess that the hospital made over my breakfast. They delivered a small dish of Rice Crispies with a splash of milk. The prunes and croissant were missing.

With a constriction in my intestine, diet rules have changed. Low fibre takes over from high fibre. I am not allowed to eat broccoli!

Ward round at around 9am and an upbeat session with the doctor. He explained that the nurse would come around to tell me what was going on immediately after the 1pm review meeting. That will be crunch time, when I get a better idea of long-term prospects, which at least allow us to set some targets. Lots of promise of being able to go home today.

First feedback from the "case conference" and it is not good. Currently, the tumours are inoperable .. first stage will be a biopsy to confirm assumptions, that will happen at 2.30 tomorrow. The sense of urgency is gratifying.

I can go home tonight and come back tomorrow morning at 9am. Then there will a combination of chemo and radiotherapy to try reduce the size of the tumours. If that works, surgery may become an option. There is still hope, but maybe less than before.

Nevertheless, I have a worldwide community of people praying for me.

I spent the night at home. What a wonderful uplifting experience. Chris came round. I spoke to Cathy and Jenny on the phone. It is wonderful to have a relatively close family at a time like this. What a motivation to fight!

I sent relatively honest messages to my colleagues at AtE and a few people in The Open Group.

Writing the emails proved to be therapeutic and some of the responses were very moving. It is amazing how many "closet Christians" I have encountered. One message from Lydia in particular was very moving and uplifting - Just remember God is your fortress. And through him anything is possible.

Walking up to the house from the car seemed to be really difficult, but as the new drug regime kicked in, my mobility improved dramatically and I was moving around the house, including the stairs relatively freely. I started to use Sue's stick and that helped.

Overall relative normality kicked in and I got a good night's sleep!