Blitzkrieg blogger…

As a young lad, I was always fascinated and captivated by the 2nd world war. I vividly remember watching World at War narrated by Lawrence Olivier and the distinctive theme tune.

I was a secret agent as a young boy, you know. Maybe this contravenes the official secrets act – I don’t know, you be the judge! I had a warlord ID to prove it. I spent hours drawing tanks both British and German, fighters and bombers too. I remember the war hero Audey Murphy and the movie ‘To Hell and Back’ – ok where am I going with this? I was, for a moment, getting lost in memories of my youth but there is also a point to this…

Having met with my dietician this week it really brought home the importance and in a way the very real challenge of keeping my weight up.

During my first week of treatment I was taken by surprise, kidnapped and taken hostage by fatigue – I didn’t see it coming so quickly!! I have had bouts of chronic fatigue for well over 20 years so I know only too well what real fatigue feels like.

I didn’t see the stomach acid slowly building up with a background sense of nausea. Perhaps we have all experienced indigestion and that burning feeling in your stomach and gullet. Bottom line being it took me a few days to realise that my appetite was paying the price! My mouth was already beginning to feel not quite itself so my saliva and taste buds were also under attack.

It’s early days but my lymph glands are bring zapped and I can feel them enlarge due to inflammation.

What I learnt (or was underlined) was that my treatment and recovery hangs on the upkeep of my weight. Treatment is delivered on weight and body shape – during the week I had lost 3-4 lbs. in weight.

Both the chemo and the radiation burn calories big time- combine them together and my body is under bombardment, lightning strikes of attack, the Blitzkrieg!

I’d like to share a dream with you I had this week. I was in the middle of a large square, in a city that had been completely devastated – it was like Stalingrad. I think I was with someone, very vague, in a vehicle of some sort, actually I was out of the vehicle.

I remember looking around, feeling very exposed and vulnerable to attack by snipers. My instinct was to get out of there and head for cover, fast. I thought what the hell am I doing here? This is crazy. It was like I was transported there and suddenly became conscious of my surroundings – intense!

I don’t see my treatment as an attack, but an onslaught it is in no uncertain terms.

It’s a kick ass healing modality, and that’s the way I’m looking at it.

Body Blitzkrieg on all fronts. Hence the military analogy. So I have to do my bit- keep the home fires burning and sit tight. Try to focus on what I can control – and the key I understand is my weight!

It may sound obvious but my body’s wondering what the heck is going on without a doubt.

When you have no appetite, no hunger, feeling nausea and your normal mouth sense is slowly leaving the building, it’s quite hard.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself but I won’t kid myself either that it hasn’t affected my mood – united states of limbo.

Things are happening and it feels a bit like a sledge hammer approach- if it zaps the rogue cells ultimately then whatever is stripped away or becomes unpleasant has to be worth it, I know that.

It’s a waiting game and I’m not going anywhere at the moment. Cancer doesn’t define you but it certainly displaces you – maybe more of that next time.

Finally to get the all the military style descriptions out of my head and down on paper. There are many individuals, in the hospital, on the battlefront, running across their own particular field, feeling exposed and scared, no doubt dodging bullets and mortars. But you’ve got to keep running, keeping your head down – just to get to the other side!

You get bombarded on all fronts – Lightning strikes on mind, body and spirit.

There have been a couple of hunger highs though – I popped to Waitrose, last Sunday, scouring the shelves as my body hankered after something filling, something substantial…And what did I see – a suet steak and kidney pie or really a pudding! 2 of them in a box. Steamed one of them for half an hour lightly covered in some Waitrose organic baked beans- hit the spot- yum!

You know what it’s like when you savour something you really enjoy, and I haven’t eaten a suet pudding for a very long time. For me, growing up it was the iconic Fray bentos steak and kidney pudding steamed in the can!

Whatever gets your gastric juices flowing go for it this weekend and share with us, please!

So I’m heading into week 2, slowly slowly…

Have a great weekend


P.s This week I’ve been mainly writing me blog in the Chemo hospital ward. Busy busy – I’ve been here since 745 – I may get to escape a little earlier today? Bleep, bleep go the monitors – nonstop work for the nurses. Update: I managed to get away for 3pm, result.

P.s 2 I had to pop down to radiation and sit in the waiting room looking abit out of place – usually treatment is one or the other- so, here I am all wired up for Chemo waiting to be zapped with radiation.. Picture a busy seating area, and me perched on the end of a chair waiting to jump the queue.

The monitor/pump I am hooked up to begins bleeping away – suddenly I’m feeling a little conscious of my bleeping – I daren’t press any buttons on the machine but it has gone into battery mode hence the bleep. Security is going to throw me out? One of the radiographers cottoned on and muted my bleep very swiftly – sorted! 5 minutes later I was bleeping again but this time I knew what to do.


8 thoughts on “Blitzkrieg blogger…

  1. Megan says:

    Thanks for sharing your dream Ade! I got a really clear visual of that square in my head. I can really picture it. It’s a strong image and analogy. The shock and awe of it. Kick-ass healing modality indeed! I can really see you as an indefatigable 1940s airforce man with goggles and a white scarf flying back in the wind, looping the loop, defying gravity 🙂 I liked hearing about you as a little boy 🙂 I vill tell novone about ze secretz of ze varlord! I enjoy reading the strength in your writing and loved the steak and kidney pie bit, something really comforting and cosy and wartime ration-ish about that too;) All the best to you for week 2.Take care.Big hug Meg x

  2. Thank you again Ade for your amazing writing and sharing. Even though I have not written here anything yet, you have truly painted the picture of your imagination and journey so vividly, that I feeI I have been with you in all those places from the hospital wards to your dreams….thank you for taken us all with you to this journey. You are a lot in my thoughts and prayers continually .
    Keep going, you are doing so well and have strength to eat and keep your body weight up.
    Kati 🙂

  3. Anne says:

    Well done Ade! What a courageous and positive blog. I’m away all next week but will be thinking of you and sending lots of love to you and Denise. Anne

  4. Lizzie Doyle says:

    Ade, thanks for sharing your blog. Such an inspiring and eye-opening read painted so vividly with words. Keep up the courage and wishing you a speedy recovery through this crazy journey. Take care. Lizzie Doyle

  5. Andy Terry says:

    Hi Ade,

    Another insightful, informative and entertaining blog. I hope the way you can compartmentalise your treatment into a beginning middle and end with your vivid imagination gives you strength. I also hope your lovely family Denny, Sophie, Hannah and Elliott can draw strength from it too.

    Your reference to the Waitrose pie and beans reminded me of a football song. Which I am sure your ahead of me anyway with your encyclopedic knowledge of football. Here goes anyway.

    Who ate all the pies?
    You fat ba****d you fat ba****d!
    And I hope you are able to eat plenty and keep your weight up to fight this thing.

    Love to you and your family.


  6. Your writing is so vivid and engaging, ever thought of writing your autobiography (no, seriously! Or is this the plan)? You really convey the horrors of your treatment, I feel for you big time although I haven’t a clue what it might be like…keep listening to your body (the part that wants to eat and fight the cancer) and believe in your strength! Sending you love and healing energy,
    Constanze x

  7. Gillian says:

    Another brilliant blog Ade. I really think you should consider publishing in book form but for now helping and supporting your body through the kick-ass healing modality is number 1 priority. Your steak and kidney pudding description has got my mouth watering and tummy rumbling as I sit in the 07:40 to London Bridge! I bet not many other commuters are day-dreaming about steak and kidney puddings. What a great excuse to indulge but how frustrating the appetite is struggling! Ben & Jerry’s? Fish and chips? Bacon rolls? Oh dear I think I’m gonna be stopping at Pret’s on my way to the office! In the spirit often battle theme, here are some Churchill quotes:
    “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”
    “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
    “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.”
    “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

    And if I may add my own twist “we shall fight with steak and kidney puddings”!
    Take care Ade and all the best for round two.
    Gillian x

  8. amayah says:

    Ade, you got me salivating! Suet steak & kidney pie/pud!! yummmm….
    oh and the dream…hehehehe…totally get it! 🙂 keep the updates coming…a pleasure to read and catch up with you 🙂 🙂 🙂

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