Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Off topic: The big C and films

Rather than post here about my fight against the big C, I have set up a separate blog, so if you want to see how I'm doing, pop over to

Okay, so I'm not Mr. Baldy yet, but its in the mail. I've got hair for a couple more weeks before I become a chrome dome, slap head, skin head. At least I don't have to keep getting hassled by the wife to get a hair cut for a while. It should all grow back post treatment though, so looks like Mr Baldy is only in town for a few months (fingers crossed).

Anyway, that's all I'm going to write about illness and all that crap here. This blog is for betting and trading, so back to the point.

Oh well, as I'm here and being off-topic, I'm also interested in film making and I get together with a film making buddy quite often. One evening a few weeks ago we spent 3 hours filming, editing and knocking up a silly short film, if you fancy a look, here it is:

Thursday, 7 February 2008

2008 - the year I got cancer

I was hoping this post was going to be called "my cancer scare" and be about how I thought I had cancer but it was a false alarm. Sadly not the case.
I've not posted for a fair while but quite a lot has been happening. Basically, since just before Christmas I have been feeling run down. I got a cold and then noticed that after it had gone two of the lymph nodes (egg shaped glands) in the neck were still enlarged. I gave them a feel and they were really hard and stuck in place. Foolishly, I consulted the internet and freaked myself out. After I had calmed down I went to see my doctor who said it was most likely just due to the infection but we'd keep an eye on it and if it was not better in two weeks then come back. I then developed a cough, like no other cough I'd ever had. Within a couple of days it was like I had my ribs kicked in. A tad painful. I went back to the doctor (a different one, as my normal one was away) about the cough, as it didn't seem right somehow and I was told it was just viral and the lymph nodes were fine. Thankfully, I already had another open appointment, for some blood test results, with my other doctor and when I went in he referred me to an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist.
I went in to see him and he was quite a likeable chap and he did a number of tests, including xrays, ultrasound and finally got a tissue sample extracted from a couple of the nodes. That bit wasn't fun. Imagine lying on a table whilst someone sticks a needle in your neck and wiggles it around (without any anaestetic), not fun. I was told that given my symptoms, they suspected that I had Lymphoma, which is a form of cancer of the lymph system, but they couldn't confirm it until the results came in.
The results came in and they had found nothing bad in the neck lymph tissue, but apparently that isn't unusual with Lymphoma, which can be difficult to diagnose from small tissue samples. Great. They did say it ruled out several other nastier possibilities, which was good anyway.
The chest xray showed other lymph nodes in my chest swollen up, which accounted for my non-stop, annoying, painful cough.
The next thing to look forward to then was a biopsy, which is where they planned to cut a hole in my neck and pull out a few lymph nodes, which they can then cut up and analyse under the microscope. This would tell them for definite what type of Lymphoma it was (as there are several different variants, that all need treating differently). I also got given a CT scan, which is where they xray slices of your body, so they can look through it in detail. So, what's next? Well, now I'm waiting for the results of the biopsy, to tell me which variant I've got and the CT scan results to tell me how far it has invaded. On the plus sides, Lymphoma is meant to be very treatable, although it is still treated with radiation and chemotheraphy, which doesn't excite me overly, although once it starts, I intend to give it my all. The other plus side is that I may get some more time available at home in the day where I can get some trading in (we'll see). So there are some silver linings.