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Updated: May 19, 2023

The Saga Begins



Monday 20th March 2023

It starts this week!

All the waiting since the dreaded diagnosis last February

Atrial fibrillation, numerous conflicting drug combinations and the final kick in the cladgers of a Leukaemia diagnosis

Still here we are at last all ready for the off!

I start my chemotherapy tomorrow at long last.

Tuesday 21st March 2023

All set for the off. 0930 Portesham Surgery and my blood test for Thursday’s transfusion

Compulsory Covid test completed and registered, test strip in pocket all ready

On the way home, received a surreal phone call ‘Mr Ayers , when did you last have a blood test? Just now. ‘No when before that’

‘a fortnight ago ‘

‘That’s no good, did no-one ask you to have another done ready for the afternoon?

‘No’

In that case we can’t go ahead today. Start tomorrow instead’ We’ll extend by one day next week

Blimey. Cancel my lift today. Look at my fan club list for a suitable volunteer for next Thursday

Bob’s Bulletin No1 and the Bob’s Buddies Spreadsheet consulted and a short flurry of phone calls ensued.

Result! I’ll only have had one chemo treatment before the pub Quiz at the New Inn tomorrow, shouldn’t be too exhausted after all

Wednesday 23rd March

1st test for my chauffeur team. Will she turn up. Does my system work.

Yes, Yes. Uneventful journey and a good welcome into the Dreaded Fortuneswell Clinic at Dorchester County Hospital (DCH)

Yet more blood tests and an anti-emetic tablet. Nice cup of tea offered and a lengthy wait to assess my exact potion and mixt it up.

The jab was peculiar, a viscous white liquid vigorously rubbed to loosen it up in two syringes and then painlessly inserted under the skin of my distended belly (all my diet and PT now long gone) and a 2” square plaster Araldited on to the two microscopic pin pricks. I am dreading the removal of the plaster. Note to self, SHAVE your tum without delay

My understudy for running tonight’s quiz was struggling to turn up, so I played the hero and after an excellent Belly Pork and Mash meal, ran possibly my best ever quiz, all based on musical topics. I announced my immediate withdrawal from polite society and have now commenced my Purdah

Purdah and a restricted diet now follow. Life without Offal , Blue cheese, Shellfish and some fruit and veg, might sound nice, but not to a committed omnivore! I suppose life without tea, coffee, alcohol will do me good, but that first pint of Youngs Special, possibly next year, will be nectar!

Arrived home after pacing up and down the bar at the pub, utterly exhausted and ready for the transfusions tomorrow


Thursday 24th March

Dragged myself to the Medical Day unit and was met with the news that my haemoglobin was really bad and I needed 3 units of blood. 3 Units @ 3 hours each was too long and the 3rd at 2 ½ hours meant that the chemo had to be squeezed in somehow. This was done at 1500 and a twinge of regret has crept in, because the second jab hurt and has caused an angry rash across my tum. You’ve guessed it, I didn’t have that shave!. Another plaster hammered home and the removal to be dreaded.

Long tiring day, doing apparently nothing


Friday 25th March

A golfing pal dropped me off and picked me up for the afternoon session of Chemo. Nice cup of tea and a long wait for my jabs. Grrrr No shave and another vicious plaster welded on.

Notified that my blood was really low and called in for an extra spa day in Dorchester on Monday

First publess evening in my isolation.


Saturday 26th March

Nothing much happening. Able to go shopping and keeping my distance


Sunday 27th March

Sat up in bed wondering when to pluck up the courage to pull the 3 plasters off. Do I do the macho thing and rip them off like a man? Do I get in the bath and soak them off like a wimp. I really wish I had had that shave! Sat on the loo and went for it. Rip, rip rip, never again

Got in the shower and shaved my whole stomach. Took about 4 rinses of the razor and cost me a new blade.


Ran Jean to hospital for endoscopy

Driving still ok, each way from the hospital


Monday 28th March

Arrived for an extra spa day, two more units of blood today and called for my lift to hospital in the morning instead of the afternoon chemotherapy session only

Nurse called in on me during the second bag of blood to give the chemo jab. Pointed out the bruising and advised that a hydrocortisone cream would be provided to de-angrify my tum.

Amused the nurse, who was welding the new plaster on and discussed the future removal. Only keep the plaster on for a minimal period and soak and remove in the shower. Sound advice as it happens

Felt sick for the first time on arrival home. Took my anti sickness tablet and about an hour later had some chicken and potato bake from the previous day. My word, did I feel ill? Within 5 minutes and 4 retches later the whole of my supper was reposing in the downstairs loo. 2 hours later, I risked a lamb stifado with cous-cous and held on very well and did ok in Mastermind and University Challenge


Tuesday 29th March

Shower and spray with soap. Peeled the plaster off and must have missed bits of hair when shaving. Not too painful but wound irritating, cream arriving soon

Discussed the previous evening’s biliousness and it appears that creamy eggy food can coalesce in the system and bounce right back at you. Lessons will be learned ! The difference between me and various arms of government is that I will genuinely not repeat the mistake!

Met a nice chap in the adjacent chair having his treatment, ex navy bloke whose son has just joined the local police. After a long chat with him, the nurse realised I was still there and said that I could have gone ages ago. I said that ‘Orders is Orders’ and I hadn’t been dismissed!

It appears that once the jabs are in, one can go!


Wednesday 30th March

Chemo only today and leaving the dreaded plaster on for the minimal time seems to work. My lift to and from hospital had discovered the Damers Restaurant. Excellent location for my future lifts to lurk in and enjoy a coffee that is half the price of a Starbucks. It is also just 50 yards from my treatment unit.

I missed the specialist nurse, who had left a message that I was to have platelets as well as blood in the morning We went to Weymouth Pavilion to see the Ukrainian State Opera perfom Carmen. Good production and the display of the flag and anthem afterwards and a rendition of their national anthem was moving and uplifting . On the subject of moving, the chemo side effects probably kicked in again, this time 2 bouts of horrendous diarrhoea. The second bout conveniently finished and enabled me to take my seat as the opening curtain went up.

Walking across the car park later was an ordeal. After 80 yards I was frozen and told off for being a Jessie. I didn’t warm up however and went to an early night, shivering uncontrollably and armed with a hot water bottle . A nasty rasping cough and tightening throat was a concern

Thursday. 30th March

My lift to hospital had been a senior nurse and she told me that platelets suggests that my white blood cells were possibly no more and that I possibly had enough red blood. After the usual blood a bottle of what looked like wee was produced and that was administered over the next half an hour.


Fortified with a wee and blood transfusion I went for my last chemotherapy injections on this cycle. I now have my dates and times for my next chemo sessions, so can recruit the next 7 lovely volunteers from my list of supporters.

Got back tired and found a flat tyre on the Land Rover . Now wondering which duty Hercules had put the wheel on and how I can get the car out of our yard, ready for our barn gates to be finished

Friday 31st March


Horrendous Storm overnight and into the morning. Lay awake and still have to keep getting up every hour for a wee. Lay awake thinking about the tyre on my car, The barn engineer calling , and two friends calling in the morning to do a large garden job for me. Luckily I had defrosted a load of superb Denhay bacon for their rewards.

At 0400 I finally cracked and called all works off , so as to take it easy and have a bacon roll fest instead. Alex and Ian, I felt were secretly relieved to have bacon rolls and coffee instead of a heavy gardening job. Alex saved me by changing the Land Rover wheel and moving some heavy feed sacks.

The rest of the day passed with my feeling completely washed out. Mid evening was towel throwing-in time and an early night.

Saturday 1st April

My self imposed purdah, precluded any thoughts of practical jokes, but I woke up feeling quite well. Kept out of everyone’s way at a couple of shops and then felt able to assist with some jobs in the house.

Have started to itch around my back and scalp and the cough has come back a bit. I have also noticed that some foods and drinks are tasting funny, a sort of soapy taste. Stuck to a ham baguette and tea

The Shiptonites ride again for the last time this season at the golf club. Annoyingly the new caterers have let themselves down. 5 of us had a meat pie, my vegetable lasagne was poor and the lemon sponge fingers pudding was horrible. The lime juice, resembled Fairy liquid, but didn’t taste as nice. Quiz was great and I survived the evening, but crashed out as soon as we got home. Managed the stairs better than for the last couple of months


Sunday 2nd April


Woke up ready to tackle the garage, which is squalid tip. Managed to put away a load of stuff that had been dumped in there over the last 6 months, September’s hospitalisation with serious infections, made me lose the will to live as far as work outside was concerned. Achieved a great deal, so that when our new electrician comes he will not run away in horror

Monday 3rd April

Went to the local post office and was told I was looking much better. I felt good and went to the tip and then on to the dealers to return my dodgy compressor from the garage.

I had commissioned the compressor and was looking forward to using it on Thursday and Friday for 2 punctures, so was not best pleased to receive a phone call that I had wound down the pressure regulator so that it wouldn’t even start. Classical dummy operator error, but I think my powers of concentration had let me down re the instructions. I’ll blame the chemo!. On second thoughts I will be going back there. Arrived to announce that I was here to collect my ‘Buffoon of the Week’ Award

The man loaded it up for me and I managed to get it out of the car but not able to lift it into position. Collapsed in a heap and rested up for half an hour, before tackling the new Land Rover tyre ready for the MOT on Wednesday. The friend who changed the wheel for me is 31 years younger than me, and under my supervision had done up the wheel nuts. I managed it after an hour and a quarter with a cup of tea and three rest breaks. 2 years ago I could have undone those nuts with my eyelids. What a Wimp, I have become . After dinner, I felt as though run over by a steamroller and had an early night

Tuesday 4th April

Woke up feeling good yet again. After my cocktail of tablets went to the doctors for my weekly blood test, ready for my weekly ‘spa day’ as Jean calls my transfusions, plural . 3 hours for one unit, 6 and a half for 2 units and the Biggie 8 and a half hours.

This time it was exciting, two nurses one of whom, was armed with a new gizmo for me. A finger pricker machine and a lecture about pre-diabetes type two. If I am at risk, it has crept up on me. Now will be busy swotting up on diabetes, and see if my diet, together with my chemo diet has to reduce me to eating cardboard and drinking fizzy water.

Continuing to feel better each day, swelling and chemo jab marks are fading. Have continued to itch around the head and back around the waistband. Food is not very appetising and am permanently thirsty.

Wednesday 5th April

Visit to a wool mill. Woke up again with a raging thirst and heavily furred tongue. I blame the chemo!

Then off to a photo exhibition run by a friend. Fish and chips in Lyme. Taste buds not performing very well.

Arrived home and suddenly crashed out. Felt utterly exhausted . Mid evening recovered and bed at a normal time. Gizmo reading of 7

Thursday 6th April

Really thirsty again and heavily furred tongue. Had pre transfusion shower and noticed a horrendous rash all over my neck, shoulders and back. Arrived feeling well and complimented on my apparent recovery. Had one unit and a platelets dose. Gizmo reading of 7


Friday 7th April

Horrible taste in the mouth and furred tongue

Arranged to pick up a shed as a new chicken house. Managed to move some small pieces of the shed down a narrow alley. Carrying down the hill ok, but walking back up was difficult

Tired later and needed a sleep in the afternoon

Gismo reading of 7.3


Saturday 8th April.

Eggs delivered to one address, second address, a sick bay, both friends laid up with a vomiting bug. Visited by another member of the fan club, who is now signed up for Bob’s Bulletins and lifts to hospital. Gizmo reading of 7.3


Sunday 9th April

Gizmo showing a fault, using a used test strip


Monday 10th April

Gizmo showing the same fault, will give up with it

Tuesday 11th April

Horrible thirst in the morning. Blame the chemo!

Blood test at Portesham. Second nurse has released me from the Pre-Diabetes tests on a daily basis. I was offered to join the on-line diabetes help group, later advised that my blood sugar is below the limits for the programme.. Gizmo discussed. Seems that the test strips are just about out of date. Keep the machine in case more tests are needed. Running ot of stem, so wonder how many units of blood needed on Thursday

Wednesday 12th April

Raging thirst most of the day. Feeling really tired with legs feeling like lead. Slept several times, no energy at all

Thursday 13th April


Thirsty and heavily furred tongue. Platelets and two units of blood. Not surprising considering how exhausted I was yesterday. At lunchtime I was told only one pack of blood today, felt like a half day holiday. Very sleepy after evening meal and an early night


Friday 14th April

Thirst and heavily furred tongue. Tremendous back-ache. I blame the chemo!

Ok walking about despite the bad back. Contacted Amy, at Southampton Hospital, possibly 3 donors in the wings. Might commence the dreaded isolation in about a month. Fingers crossed

Saturday 15th April

Woke up with a very painful back again. Shopping and then able to walk around the garden to alleviate back pain. Used the loo 3 times during the day

Sunday 16th April

Sent out the lift requests for the start of the chemo again on Wednesday. All of the volunteers are ready and John Grantham from Burton has taken up the last chemo for the second week.

Feeling well and have ordered the bite for the garage truck. People will see me from miles away in the spiteful yellow Ford Ranger Pick up ! Handed over the quiz papers to Alex Drew, who has undertaken to run Wednesdays quiz for me

Monday 17th April


The usual thirst upon waking up. Off to get the new horrendous truck signed over to me. Driving ok and getting ready for the new week of chemo. Visit to Washingpool Farm for some quality food for the diet.

Tuesday 18th April


Blood test at Portesham, ready for my ‘spa day’ at Dorchester. Ian Ferguson helped me in the garden, saving the glasshouse from being swamped with overgrowth


Wednesday 19th April

Ist day of round two of the Chemotherapy. In addition to the Azacitidine, expected, I arrived to be told that my immune system is very much down and I am to have 7 jabs of Filgrastim!. Straight into the stomach and administer at the weekend by yours truly. An ingenious retracting syringe was demonstrated for me to use on myself

Side effects were described, which do not sound nice, including bone pain. No effects and a very good steak dinner

Thursday 20th April

Woke up with a raging thirst and after 20 minutes the most peculiar pain in the back at the top and at the base of the spine. A very uncomfortable half hour with a literal bone pain in the shoulder blades and cervical area, as well as the coccyx. Eventually wore off after the paracetamol kicked in

Two lots of blood today, but no platelets and then the two chemo jabs, so a long ‘spa day’

Appointments for the next 5 weeks supplied, so can work out who my next victims will be, providing lifts and practical help. At the outset I put together a list of friends and neighbours, who are good enough to give their time for me. They are collectively known as Bob’s Buddies and I am collecting their contributions on a spreadsheet and notifying them of my progress (or lack of) and future transport needs

Friday 21st April

Afternoon chemo again and the back pain continues. 3rd jab of the new stuff inserted. Dr Hofer tells me that the drug, Filgrastim is probably working on the areas of bone density and trying to create white blood cells


Saturday 22nd April

Several friends have gastric bugs or are away, so the egg deliveries in Bridport were speedily dealt with

Waited until the afternoon to self administer the Filgrastim. An ingenious spring loaded syringe for one use only.

Sunday 23rd April

Having and early cup of tea in bed and using the oil of evening primrose for the reddening and swelling on my tum ,on the site of the chemo jabs. I noticed a painful swelling in my left armpit Convinced myself that the blood cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. Administered the second dose in the fancy syringe. Could hardly stay awake in the afternoon

Monday 24th April

On arrival at the Fortuneswell clinic, I bumped into Dr Hofer. After a quick look at my armpit, he prescribed a course of Flucloxacillin and confirmed it was a lymph gland infection to add to the many so far. 4 more tablets every day! I blame the chemo!

Tuesday 25th April

I noticed some more black ulcers on my inner cheeks and a nasty one on the side of my tongue. Mentioned this to the nurse and she shot off to the Haematology mob. Next thing is my marching orders to the medical day clinic for emergency platelets. On arrival I was accused of not being able to stay away! Especially as I was due back there on Thursday. Apparently my white blood is very poor.

Wednesday 26th April

Saw Dr Hofer again, who had a look at my armpit again. No change or improvement , so another week’s supply of Flucloxacillin to get rid of the infection.

Thursday 27th April

Went down the garden first thing to check the chicken water. Really tired and hopelessly out of breath. I assumed I would need at least two lots of blood. To my surprise, just one unit of blood before my final chemo dose this afternoon. Exhausted on arrival at hospital. New manhole covers being fitted in the garden today, yippee. Alex arranged for clearing the roof of the stable block, ready for our guarantee discussions with the stables manufacturers. Went to the Olive Tree with friends for a very good tapas meal. Shame about my taste buds, the food was great but entirely tasted of metallic cardboard. I blame the Chemo!

I drove us all there and back and am not missing drinking in social company at all. Two tonics and water all evening. Aren’t I cheap to take out now

Friday 28th April

Jean’s birthday. Steve turned up to finish the manhole covers in the sheep welfare paddock and the driveway fence post. Alex turned up to clear the rear of the stables roofs for the argument with the stables mob.

Went shopping for birthday impedimenta and treated us all to bacon rolls, courtesy of the last of the wonderful Denhay bacon and the cheese topped Lidl rolls .Yum all around

Tea and birthday cake later and 2 jobs ticked off my list. Yesterday and today have tired me out. Suffering from pains in the lower back and right shoulder blade. Instead of Friday at the New Inn I was in bed exhausted before 2145!

Saturday 29th April.

Woke up in pain from the hip and shoulder and feeling exhausted by 0900. Delivered eggs and some tv leads to Bob and Linda and when shopping for shelf brackets for the barn, lost the will to live and went home. Felt tired all day and did virtually nothing. Watched the England v French Women’s 6 Nations grand finale second half. Brilliant game, no dissent, fast rucking and no obvious foul play.

Suffered a very painful day

Sunday 30th April

Despite some hip pain, took a bushel of paracetamol and braved RKL tools. For once I remembered my disabled badge, so was able to park outside. Got my shelf brackets, so can do Alex’s wonderful workbench proud with a resplendent long shelf above it

We moved some sheep from the hill field to our woodland grazing at Askerswell and some others to the top of the village. Jean posted some nice pictures of bluebells and primulas in the lane onto her Bramblecot Facebook page (look at that for our amateurish farming efforts!)

Collapsed in a heap for a while and then mounted the Forrest Gump mobile and cut the lawns. Watched the most intriguing session of the World Snooker and saw the 14th ever 147 break. Wonderful viewing, especially since we used to regard it as a tedious game on the box!

Monday 1st May

Apart from a pain in the left hand part of the small of my back ,woke up feeling a bit like my old self. Mustn’t get depressed at the vast amount of jobs to do, but just get on.

I have been looking at the back lawn for a fortnight now, with good intentions. Every time I look at the mower it rains . ait is so long now that I cannot collect the grass, so will prop open the collector and go for it. After 45 minutes I collapsed in a heap, covered in grass clippings from the mower’s discharge chute. Now under orders to pick up the clippings, so as to save the lounge looking like a jungle.

After a recovery period I went down to make a start on the barn. Got the big shelf ready for installation and put up the last bird boxes before I really did collapse in a heap.

After dinner we watched the stunning last session of the World Snooker.

Tuesday 2nd May

Big day today. Seeing Dracula at 1120 for my blood sample ready for Thursday at Dorchester. This afternoon we are redeeming a charity token for Cream Tea for 4 at the Moonfleet Manor. We won it at a quiz night raffle about a year ago, but my health collapse did not lend itself to using it in polite company

No real pains to speak of today so far. Very tired when we went home. Legs felt like lead, no evening meal after the cream tea, so slept in front of the tv

Wednesday 3rd May


Woke up again, fairly pain free. Feeling like some work before a lunch in Abbotsbury with old friends from our Essex former life. A bit of time to feed the hens and gather the eggs. A wonderful confederate offered to deliver some eggs for us, agreeing to take 3 dozen for the locals. Just started mowing the lawn and then received a really annoying phone call from the Robert White centre. I had to attend there for another blood sample ready for the transfusion/spa day at DCH

Had a superb lunch sitting in a sunny sheltered spot in the Abbey House Tea Rooms and sat for probably too long in the sun. Then went to DCH for the additional blood test. Turns out that there was a microscopic problem with one of the labels from Tuesday’s sample. Reminded us of blood/urine samples in Custody from drink drivers and for Jean submitting exhibits for the forensic laboratories. If not 100% correct, automatic rejection. Full after my superb lunch went home totally exhausted . No evening meal required so slept in front of the TV again. Legs like lead. Had noticed a black ulcer on the side of the tongue and another ulcer on the right cheek. Have had a series of ulcers in the mouth. I blame the chemo, cos I had gone 70 years without mouth ulcers and now have had a whole series of the little blighters. Have also this week switched to a soft toothbrush because of soreness. Went to bed very tired and hoping for two transfusions in the morning

Thursday 4th May

Woke up with a sore hip and back, back to the paracetomol. Arrived at the Medical Day Centre and advised that I was having the full Monty. 2 lots of blood and platelets, so a nice long spa day. Hopefully I’ll be ready to help Alex and Ed tomorrow with outside jobs. Had treated myself to a monster new machine for brushcutting and tidying up some of our field edges and the shameful overgrowth everywhere. Now hoping I’ll be able to start the damn thing !. Some doubt during the first transfusion as to whether I would have two units. I pleaded exhaustion and Dr Hofer , hearing of my tiredness agreed to the second transfusion. Hope I then get a couple of energetic days.

Decent fish and chips from West Bay and I can actually taste the food a little better

Friday 5th May

Alex came round and we started clearing the garden from the last couple of working parties. Alex set up the water troughs by the new barn. I helped a little but flagged after a bit. Ed came round complete with COVID and his drone, to film the roofs of the stables ready to do battle with the original builders and their guarantee . Morbidly afraid of a lethal infection, we kept Ed at a distance and I took out my leper bell to warn everyone.

All ready for skip hunting and another fire in the big field, probably Sunday after tomorrow’s big day

Saturday 6th May

Took some eggs out to Yolande and Bob and Linda. Got back and loafed in front of the tv for the entire day, watching the wonderful Coronation and deriving much satisfaction watching the likes of Peter Tatchell, whinging that they couldn’t wreck the big day. Some back pain throughout the day and the chemo jab sites much improved

Sunday 7th May. Lazy morning and some back pain. I still blame the Chemo! Had another go at making sense of the Blogging Site. I might get one of Bob’s Buddies to help me out.

Sunday 7th May

Woke up with a bad back yet again. Had a lazy day and went out later to see the villagers departing from the Coronation Party around the Village Hall. Very sorry to not become involved. Various functions are now under way and I am certainly feeling out of it

Went down to the new barn and did some more settling into the new building

Monday 8th May

A fairly miserable weather day, back still painful. Went out to deliver a with sympathy card for Heather Cowland, widow of one of our ex-golfers. Torrential rain all evening .


Tuesday 9th May Portesham

What a difference a year makes. The big pub buffet party for my 70th last year . Blood test at Dracula’s in Portesham in 2023! Had coffee at the Litton Lakes with Tony Jones and lunch at Groves. Horrified by the tree prices. Back hurt all day. No party, boo hiss


Wednesday 10th Mays


Another day of exhaustion and back pain to enjoy. Got to 1000 before I felt drowsy. Had a nice cup of tea and went shopping for odd bits. Whilst shopping in Lidl, met Carolyn one of the new bell ringers of Shipton and joint winner of the last , quiz. Nice chat with her but on the verge of collapse with lower back pain

On my return I received a call from Haematology Sarah who advised me that my haemoglobin count was good and that I need not have my spa day at Dorchester hospital but must have my weekly blood test next Tuesday. Queried the tiredness an no need for blood and it appears that we can all blame the Chemo!. Also queried the constipation and voiced my and Dr Hofer’s scepticism re the benefits or otherwise. As an experiment I am to up the guts powders and I’ll leave off the simvastatin to see. Whilst gardening, suddenly had to go ‘big time’! Talking about it works, evidently

Thursday 11th May

My big plans of a days gardening scuppered by rain nearly all day. No benefit at all to a holiday from my spa day. Sorted out some of Bob’s buddies for lifts to the next series of chemo jabs. I don’t want to keep hitting the same victims. Back hurting and I really don’t want to get dependent on paracetamol but the small of my back towards my left hip is really painful, not quite ‘character-building’ but annoying nevertheless.

Friday 12th May

Woke up feeling tired and in considerable pain in the back. All the way from the left hip, up to the shoulder blades. Jean tried to massage some of the pain away. Did some gardening at snail’s pace, collecting potting compost and animal feeds. Started to put the polytunnel back into use. Read that my diet should be rich in iron. Concerned about constipation, so have left off the simvastatin again, but having a couple of rump steaks for dinner. Put a hint to Ed about sorting this blog thing, so I can jazz up my daily account. More painkillers this afternoon

Saturday 13th May

Egg deliveries first thing . Lot of pain in the lower back

Sunday 14th May

Treated some of the sheep ready for the shearer. Slightly dizzy whilst holding the heads of the sheep.

Another day on the paracetamol. The left side of my mouth is very painful, with mini ulcers that I have bitten a couple of times. I’ll seek advice on Thursday. Cooked a nice risotto, which would have been perfect, except is tasted of cardboard like most of my food these days. I blame the chemo!


Monday 15th May

Busy day with Alex all day and Ian Ferguson assisting. Eileen’s old shed re-roofed and the area around the new chicken house cleared. The new ground clearance beast has not yet arrived. I could feel myself running out of steam by late morning and by tea time was washed out.



Tuesday 16th May


Was preparing to go to Dracula’s for the week’s blood test and Jean suggested lunch afterwards at the Abbey House tea rooms. Had the most delicious looking Crab and Mac and cheese, sadly tasting of cardboard. Great welcome by the proprietor and a pleasant time had by all. Jean went out knitting in the evening and I popped out to make a start on the repairs to a shed at Nallers Lane. We found the start of a hornet invasion, through holes in the shed door. New panel required in the door, plus new hinges.

Wednesday 17th May

No calls from any medics to cancel the transfusions for tomorrow. Started the third wave of chemo therapy in the afternoon. In addition to my usual Azacitidine I was advised that I am neutopenic and would have another 7 doses of Filgrastim, not great news as I am sure it caused a lot of bone pain last time around and a possible cause to a whole series of painful mouth ulcers. I have bitten my left cheek a few time, which is character building . I spoke to the nurse Amy about the back pains tasteless nature of my food and the mouth ulcers. She will arrange for some special mouthwash to counteract mouth ulcers Took for ever to receive the jabs, so in compensation took todays, chauffeuse Linda Simpson for a tea afterwards. After dinner I was out on my feet and had an early night. If only I could stop taking the Bisoprolol, I might get an uninterrupted kip. Usual 4 times weeing during the night .

Thursday 18th May

Woke up without a serious back pain and went to DCH for the weekly transfusion and today’s chemo. Back a little stiff, when walking. Only due to have one unit of blood and no platelets and may have to wait a while afterwards for the chemo jabs. Message left at Southampton re any progress on the stem cell donor front. One donor under tests and another somewhere on the horizon. Probably nothing doing and the possibility of a total of 6 sessions of chemo now a distinct possibility

Had another go at putting this blurb onto the blog software, without much joy. Went in for the chemo mega early and sat it out with a new book. Treatment only took about half and hour this time. I was advised that yesterday’s delay will be situation normal in future, because the lab won’t mix the stuff until they know that I am still alive and will be making the 7 appointments!


Friday 19th May

Alex did some more work at the house and we went to Kitson and Trotman for the first meeting about our joint wills. My health has sharpened our focus on what to do with the Ayers Empire We were sent away to give and answer to our 64,000 dollar question. Who to leave it to? Sound advice on inheritance tax, however .

Hilary picked me up for the chemo and all went well, I was 25 mins early but would have been in and out in half an hour, a record



My Invalid's Diary...

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