Well, when i say summer, it doesn’t really feel like it but it does make it a bit easier being stuck in the hospital when the weather is miserable. May is usually a great month weather wise, just when exams are on. I always remember being tempted away from the drawing board by a cold beer in the sun!

I am now on my third cycle of chemotherapy. I have no idea how it affecting the tumor but on the whole I am feeling not too bad so far. I get a scan in week 8 and this is the end of week four. I am planning not to read too much into the first scan as it is still early days. I don’t expect something that may have been growing inside me for years to suddenly grind to a halt. I have experienced some side effects although these have been fairly minor. I had a strange tingling sensation through my hand while running it under the cold tap and felt this again when I got out of hospital last time in the cold outside. I need to really wrap up and avoid this. This is a fairly common side effect and avoidance is the best policy. It can be felt drinking cold drinks too so I have to avoid going in he fridge and freezer and eating or drinking anything directly from it. I am also getting phlebitis in the veins where my chemo is being infused. Some people react more than others and I am getting it fairly noticeably. They have changed the infusion to my right arm this time and we will see how that goes. If it continues they will put what they call a picc line in which will go to a deeper vein, however, I would worry that this vein wouldn’t recover well each time as I wouldnt be able to see what condition it is in. I have been watching for hairloss but it is hard to tell if it is natural at my age or accelerated by the chemo, there was a fair bit as I rinsed my hair in the sink this morning. I am not keen to lose my hair, not from a vain perspective, but the fact it is the one thing that people will notice that says I am on chemo, not because I am embarrassed about it, because I just want to live life as normal as possible. I do have plenty of hats though! Apart from all that I am still feeling fatigue from time to time and it seems to hit me a few days after coming out of hospital but I have just been dealing with that. I seem to sleep early at night and get up early in the morning which is why I am writing this at 6am!

I have been doing lots of research before splashing out on a new lens for my camera with money and vouchers I received for my 40th. I eventually went for a 35mm 1.4L, a good quality alround lens which I will spend the summer using. Now I know how the treatment is effecting me I am making plans for getting about a lot more on the free time that I have. I have a list of places to go and lots of offers of places to stay and folk to visit and I plan to get as much done as possible with the camera in tow. I have begun to print and frame pics and going to have a go at selling them at an art fair or something similar in the near future.

I have a room on my own again this time and I do much prefer it. I like to think I am a fairly sociable person, but as I said in my last post, listening to others stories and seeing them suffer can get to me although I know I shouldn’t let it. It is natural empathy though rather than self pity. Having a room all set up with a tv and my computer well linked to the internet (my new dongle is faster than my home broadband!) as well as having the use of the friends of the beatson upstairs make my few days here a lot better. It gives me time to sit and do things like this, read, update my websites, watch films and music and rest. I was getting frustrated about the waiting around before, but now I understand the processes and I am prepared, I can just take it in my stride and try to treat it as a little break every fortnight.

I ventured out to watch the Scottish Cup final last Saturday, it turned out to be a great day out and the first time I had been out properly socialising since my treatment started. It was an early start at 2pm and we ended up going for a meal at cafezique, a wonderful place in the west end of glasgow. I felt great up until about nine o clock and then I began to feel really tired. A mixture of red wine and a large meal had me flagging badly. Having usually been the last one wanting to go home things have certainly changed but I am sure as time goes on I will get used to it and will get stronger as time goes on. The advantage though was I was up bright and early on sunday and didn’t lose half the day unlike some others!

it's not the drink, honest! lismore, glasgow

I have been passing the redroad flats a lot coming in and out of glasgow and have been interested in the slow dismantling process. There are mixed reports of when they are going to blow them up although I heard that as they are steel frame they were going to be completely dismantled. They have been a feature in north glasgow for years and it will be a bit strange to see them go. I know a lot of people wont be sad to see them go, I just always think it is a bit of a waste and not enough has been done to investigate the real problems of the blocks and alternative uses they could be put to. They will be demolished and I suspect replaced with a mini suburban house farm rather than good urban city development. I did spend a lot of time staying in the high flats in nearby sighthill and like to think I have a good knowledge of the problems in these areas but the architecture is only part of the problem of these government sponsored megstructure experiments. I prefer the type of development around the new gorbals in Glasgow, it has a more urban feel than the developments going up around the north of glasgow although I did love the mega city one Sir basil Spence Hutchesontown blocks that made way for it. There is a real mish mash off styles around the gorbals, some good, some bad and some definitely ugly but it is at a scale suitable for a city and set out with wide landscaped streets and well defined private/public space. I have less experience of living in this area but know a few people who do and haven’t heard anyone complain.

red road, may 2011

red road, may 2011

I am hoping to be out of the beatson in time to watch the Man United v Barcelona european cup final. I watched the 2009 final between the 2 teams at lunch time in a sports bar in the centre of seattle, that time Man U were out played and outclassed, I think it will be a tighter game tonight although I find it hard to see past barcelona with messi playing for them. I must admit to having  soft spot for barca after going to see them play spartak moscow many years ago with players like stoichkov, romario and koeman playing for them. This time my venue isn’t so exciting but I will be just happy to get home in time for kick off!

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10 Responses to “summer?”

  1. 1 Charlie
    May 28, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I’m one of the ‘others’ who lost half the day last week due to overindulgence! It was so bad that the drink in your Lismore photie is turning my stomach a whole week later! I did enjoy the French toast though…

  2. 3 Sean Scally
    May 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Hi Jon-Marc,

    Hope you start to see some real results from the chemo soon. Great blog and I’ve been following it closely.

    I truly hope you start to see some results from your treatments soon.

    Hope you get out to see the final this evening.

    Go UTD!!!

    Take care.


    • 4 scarpadog
      June 7, 2011 at 6:18 am

      Thanks Sean, the final was practically over for united by the time I got home unfortunately, looking forward to next season now!

      All the best J

  3. 5 jason brown
    May 28, 2011 at 11:02 am


    huggs & fight the power!


  4. May 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Wishing you a speedy recovery! 😉

  5. 7 Moya and Dom
    May 29, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Hi Jon-Marc
    Good on ya so far, sounding very positive. Thinking of you all the time and following the blog closely.
    xxxx Moya & Dom

  6. 9 Michele Carver
    June 3, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Hi big guy,

    You are looking much better in your most recent photo. Glad to hear you are handling everything so well. We just got back from a trip to San Diego. We actually saw some sun, in fact I got a little sunburn!! It would be nice if you and Julie could visit. I know this is not possible at the moment, but hopefully you may be up to it next summer. Enjoy the sun, when it comes out! xx

    • 10 scarpadog
      June 7, 2011 at 6:16 am

      Hi Michele, would love to come and enjoy some of your sunshine and coasting about on the lake and would probably do me the world of good. As soon as I am able we will come over. We both miss you, say hi to Jim for me x

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