one small step

7 weeks after being discharged from Glasgow Royal after my initial operation which discovered the tumour and disease in my colon I am sitting back in hospital today. This time I am in the beatson cancer centre in Glasgow receiving my first dose of chemotherapy. The chemo is being administered intravenously continuously for 48 hours and has been going for about 12hours now and I am feeling ok so far.

It is my 4oth birthday today, not a great way to spend your birthday but it was made up for by the surprise party thrown for me last saturday night. I was suspicious that something was going on for a few of reasons, one being that I would normally arrange going out with some friends myself but was persuaded not to with the chemo starting. I more suspected a small surprise dinner rather than all the friends and family that turned up. Julie did an amazing job organising it and I suspect she had a few helping hands.

Me with my great friends David(lef)t and Stephen (right) and my younger brother Huggy 40th Birthday Party Liquid Ship

I had a great night and anyone seeing all the pictures will notice I hardly had a smile off my face apart from one where I look like I am sleeping standing up! I don’t know where I found the energy, I was completely shattered by the end of the night but loved every minute of it and thanks to everyone for all the cards and presents. To complete a wonderful weekend I spent sunday afternoon having dinner with my family.

Now sitting in hospital I woke up angry this morning. I haven’t really had this emotion yet. I am angry about a number of things but not really the obvious ‘why me’. I am angry about certain aspects of life that have suddenly been put in a new perspective for me. Most people wonder from time to time about how old they will live to, where they will end up, where they will eventually live and build their career and family around creating this. I feel like that has gone for me. I need to think differently now. I always played the long game. I spent 11 years in higher education  to eventually become an architect. I am hugely proud of this achievement and of the work I have done since qualifying. It was all about building for the future though, what future wasn’t certain, I just always had to be pushing in the right direction. It allowed my to have a great house, a nice a car and a fairly comfortable life but I don’t think this has ever satisfied me. Maybe if I had kids I would have been more content with life and plodded on not taking any risks just to ensure my family was comfortable and I would have a reasonable retirement.

I have so much to do as well as fight cancer. I want to continue to work and have no reason at the moment not to. I love my work, it is part of me, I just need to adjust my life to accommodate it in a different way. I am lucky with the projects, clients and staff I am working with just now but it has taken years to establish and I want to keep the momentum going of the good work we have done to date.

I need to look at how I run the rest of my life, I need to make the most of it, stop putting things off, nothing gets done putting things off. I was inspired by the attitude of my friends Tracey and Aitken who recently moved to Australia, talking to them only the other day they have an attitude of making things happen, putting themselves in the place they want to be under their own steam and I have never heard them blame anyone else for something not happening for them.

I have some time today. I am not the invalid I felt last time I was in hospital and I have eaten more here in one day than I did in 2 weeks last time. I can do a bit of work from here but I have always had a rule of not working on my birthday and that certainly applies today more than any other. I am stuck to my drip but I am able to get a treatment from the fantastic Friends of the Beatson later today and looking forward to visitors later and maybe more cake!

happy birthday to me!

Just as I was finishing this my nurse came in and sang me happy birthday 🙂

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11 Responses to “one small step”

  1. April 29, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Great post buddy! Happy Birthday. Keep away fro their nurses, you know just incase…

  2. 2 Stephen Creaney
    April 29, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Happy Birthday bro! See you later.

  3. April 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    You’re still young. You can’t let cancer/disease stop you from living your life. This thing is not an excuse to give up but a reason to live your life to the fullest. I know it sounds cliché. You can’t and shouldn’t focus on the things you didn’t do but how you can achieve them. It’s never too late.

    And have a Happy Birthday!

    • 4 scarpadog
      April 30, 2011 at 8:16 am

      It certainly won’t stop me living my life, as you say I need to concentrate on achieving goals I have set 🙂 had a great birthday despite being in here!

  4. 5 Michele Carver
    April 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Hey Jonny,

    I hope you got my birthday e-card. I was a bit scared to resend, just in case you got 50 or so, like last year.

    Your post today was so moving. I remember going through similar emotions when finding out I had MS. They say, in life we are never dealt more than we are able to handle. You are strong and I know you will get through this.

    Hope the rest of your day is more upbeat and you can go home at the weekend, away from all the drips!!

    By the way, you are quite a fabulous writer.

    Thinking of you always. Love Michele & Jim xxxxx

    • 6 scarpadog
      April 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Michele, got your card, thanks. I think waking up in here added a more sour note to my blog today but I have had a great day including a facial and my feet done, a small birthday tea and a cake and happy birthday sang by the nurses :). Being very well looked after and feeling good so far. Jx

  5. 7 Carly creaney
    April 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Hey! thought id give this a read! Your pictures, your words, amazing! dont give up! your strong, you can do it! You are an inspiration and a great person, and i am lucky to know you….. keep me posted as id like to keep in touch 🙂
    Love Carly xxxx

    • 8 scarpadog
      April 30, 2011 at 8:14 am

      thanks carly, that means a lot to me,giving up is not an option, I have to much still to do! writing this stuff helps me keep a diary for myself and I am bound to sound a bit down at times as i am trying to be as open as honest as I can. I have been amazed how any people read it and keep reading it 🙂 x

  6. 9 Martin Ferguson
    May 8, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Hay jon, glad you had some fun on your birthday dispite being stuck there.

    Only just catching up on your blog, left my computer at a friends 3 weeks ago and only getting it back now.

    Diffinatly fancy grabbing that beer you offerd as soon as your up for it, 20 years of catching up, we could probibly stretch to more than one if you fancy it.

    Stay strong, and keep us all posted!!!

    Martin Joe

  7. 10 Caroline
    May 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Jon Marc, My mum and Geraldine have been keeping me posted with your progress and mum said you were keeping this blog. You need to promise to go back to Gleneagles once this is all over and try the £1600 wine – we went last year and that is my promise to myself once I am rich and famous (or maybe I should apply for a research grant to study the impact of expensive wine as oppsed to cheap stuff…now who would fund that??)
    Anyway i know it was not the best way to celebrating your 40th, but at least the treatment has now started and hopefully you are not feeling too bad.

    So we are all thinking about you and I once you are over this an invitation to come and give a guest lecture on urban architecture awaits you (now how could you refuse that??)

    Take care


    • 11 scarpadog
      May 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks Caroline, feeling ok after second session and hopefully not too many side effects to come. I think even if I had more money than sense I would struggle to pay £1600 on a bottle of wine!! x

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