Reduction in the steroid dose having made my typing a little less wild (although I still can't walk far without swaying from side to side like The Drunken Sailor - good job I'm going on The Mayflower, then: that'll make me shipshape....), I am now making what yes will be the very last post before Lesley (Artsmatrix Mentor) takes over. Lesley has some great tips about subverting let us say tricky situations, like living with critical illness, with huge doses of HUMOUR!
Anyway, here is what I have been doing since the steroid got me up at six this morning. (I look like a real Moon-Face too - my face a puffy little cupcake. But the hairstyle doesn't go with it at all, so I've got the loneparent mother of a girl my daugthter was at school with here - a mobile hairdresser, who has done a sterling job in bringing up her two kids - coming round tomorrow to cut it all off. I felt quite dignified wearing my wig last time, once the initial hilarity had worn off. (Raquel Welch Pixie wig - ME . It was so.....convenient, not to have to worry about my hairdo.....Always 'groomed' (with its special shampoo and brushes - thanks, wig lady on Truro Market. Boy, do I see the point of you now - so stop sending her up stupid teenage girls who think it's a blast to have sex with numpty local schoolboys at 14 years old - I know all about you!!). And even the strange lady who used live 2 doors away from me (she lay in bed all night, listening out for ghosts in our shared roof spaces....), said it really suited me.
This ACTION PLANNING/INTO OPS was inspired, I think, by my late father (a great systems man - and also a brilliant scientist, though,personally and emotionally, I think, he never fulfilled his potential, thanks to a certain Hocus-Pocus Parish Assistant (see www.intertalea.blogspot.com I DIDN'T GET WHERE I AM TODAY WEARING UNDERPANTS WITH BEETHOVEN ON THEM....). Pa was an industrial research chemist. He got a full scholarship to Imperial College London in the early 50s; and when he'd done all that (he disliked London, but did enjoy jazz - and used to go down the Old Hundred Club with his friend, Dick, who died young before they both got the chance to go to New Orleans.....), he moved Up Country (Up North, in fact) to take up a research and development management job with Pilkington Glass. It was still a family firm in those days, and Pa worked with /under the late Lord ? and the late Sir Alistair Pilkington on several projects, including float technology (a man fell into the liquid float in St Helen's when I was a child - imagine going out like that - in a bath of molten glass! Pa, the poor man's boss, came home IN BITS....). The latter project he worked on was fibreoptics, and he went all over the world to conferences about that one. He loved those trips - ESCAPE. I once got a post card from him written at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco. 'I'm sitting in front of the biggest icecream I have ever seen,' he said. 'Looking at the water.' When he was in Japan for 6 weeks, in the 1960s, he wrote my grandparents in Truro a long travelog about the trip...I wish I had kept it. Anyway. I didn't. But I kept the painted kimono he brought me, and a rather sinister-looking doll (the only doll I have in my house) that used to have a lantern made of rice paper - though I ate it long ago. Pa was in Prague in That Spring (1968?), at a Glass Symposium. He fell off a tram and sprained his wrist; and in the photos, he seems to be being followed by a sinister character in a grey mac. He could be a bit precious about that kind of thing; and when a Russian friend came to stay for Christmas once (definitely an old CP member), he was very very chary of her....And there might have been something in it, because, through her I met a strange guy - Serioszha, who asked if I xould photocopy something for him at The British Council Library in Helsinki...he could get me some dollars, he said. Oooooooooooooo Myyyyyyyyyyyyy
Pa used to drive me mad with his lectures about budgeting and financial planning. His Virgo side, I guess. But I have one too (cause I'm a Pisces, and I believe it's the opposite sign, not that I am clued up in the occult/esoteric in any wise whatsoever....). But I have enjoyed being a Virgo this morning: feel preternaturally calm and chuffed to bits to have sorted out these systems:
1. Having assigned Legal Power of Attorney (LPOA) to two sterling individuals close to the centre of our nexus here, I am easing their job in managing my affairs - if they need to, that is, by:
Sorting through Utitlities, etc, and collating the bumph. I have made each POA a log book, in which to record their management. Then there's a House-Log (one of them is ex Navy - he'll love it!), in which to record dailng running of the place. The House Log has the phone numbers of all the Key-Holders, and all the Utilities Numbers, including detaisl of which of the bills are alll going through as Direct Debit (most of them). The POA individual logs contain my hospital numbers, etc, for liaison with The Brain Man and his team, and with my Oncologist here and his team, should that be necessary - i.e. because I am sitting in bed in Plymouth looking like Joe Ninety for a bit, with tubes sticking out of my head. (f that does happen, I'll see if I can get a pic to Lesley to post).
Then I sorted out the briefcase with the house deeds and insurances and all that sort of bumph, so I can point it all out to the POAs when they come for a meeting here. tomorrow.The POAs (whose grant of Power of Attorney is being filed for - pro bono (that's the legal fees - i'm paying for the grants)- via a good old friend's firm Up Country (thanks, P). Thanks a million. Pa would be proud of me - and he always liked you!And your father was bloody nice to me too. Although I cannot - I cannot understand why my dad himself instructed such a numpty solicitor Up North to draw up his will. It was a real piece of Parish Assistant malarkey; and when I drove up there, after Pa dropped dead so suddenly - and way too soon (at 65) ten years ago on 19 May 99 (never got to the Second Millenium even, though he did get t Alberquerque - in a hired car across the States, from Georgetown....), I SIMPLY COULD NOT BELEEVE....the daft undertaker who turned up thr following day, appointed, apparently, by Pa via a card left with the Solicitor.
Assigning Legal Power of Attorney - there are several levels of this, so it is important to take advice, the Citizens' Advice Bureaux being the obvious - and excellent - and free - first point of call. You may not need it. But, as we sub virgoes say, it is always best to be prepared so you don't have numpty dumpties or parish assistants running your affairs while you're out of the way for a bit.
I have said somewhere else on this blog - first post, I thnk, that we all start the day with an even playing field regarding survival - except, possibly, the real old fogies amost us, who obviously have far more shortened odds. (Or bloody well should have (nearly time to move over `never mind popping pills and expecting live to be 200...or woken up from the ice (Ugh) in twenty years!). I could get run over (increasingly likely since I keep falling over) or hit by a car on the drive up to Plym. And then the Coroner's Officer would come to my house and start poking through my knicker drawer ....ewwwww.don't even go there. Better to appoint someone you know, not perhaps a blood relative (it's hard on them) or a really close friend (hard on them too), but someone close to the bone -- my 2 POAs being the respective partners of my daughter's aunt/godmother and her father, to whom I have now, being throroughly impressed by his partner and the stability she has brought to his life, assigned Legal Joint Parental Responsibilty (in spite of Truro Court numpty (small n though - she did offer to make copies for us) reception the other day. We got the PR form stamped (Crown Court Offices have most of these forms); and I sent it and the copies up to the High Court (Family Division) in Holborn/London with a brusque note marked 'Priority' - and asking them to crack on with it. It came back the following day; and the Joint PR Father got his too. Is this a record, High Court Recorder? Must be. Thanks, anyway.
I've made a folder for each of my POAs containing their logs, some petty cash for incidentals like light bulbs, milk, the essential T bags), some of my personal stationery, and an old cheque book each, although I hope that they won't be paying out too much....I went into the Bank yesterday and told them I was doing it1. I also told them I couldn't stand, and they offered me a chair sitting with all the bankers. I have nothing but praise for the staff of RBS in Truro - could learn from their presenation and reception skills, numpty GP receptionists. Good business model. But bankers are corporate broads - so one is not supposed to say that....(Only bad thing about RBS now is the ferret- faced spectre of Sir Fred. (Gone to Earth like the fox he is....) We own the bloody bank now. It is in PUBLIC ownership. Let's challenge his pension pay- off in the High Court. Let's seek Damages! Come on Expert Counsel - Cherie Blai maybe???? -do it pro bono - for the whole nation. Make our nobe legal system work for the PEOPLE. Even if it's only just for cancer patients, for whom a little extra help with the bills out of Fred's pension pot damages would go a long way....).
I will go, with one of the POAs, to my other Truo Bank (Barclays Business branch is always quiet (er), and they always have seats - and free pens..I've got my HomeCare nurse onto that one. She always loses her pens...).
I will phone my Insurance Man in Newquay too today (the one who pointed me to an inspired Lifecare Plan with Axa Equity and Law ten years ago - they paid out without a problem, once oncologist had signed the forms..Within 3 weeks, in fact, so at least I could relax about my first line treatment (yukky chemo, etc) four years ago. Without having to worry too much about how I was going to pay for those organic juices, et al. More significantly, it covered the house accounts.
And I will phone my Solicitors to let them know about the POAs. I drew up my own Codicil last week and sent it into them - though haven't had any acknowledgement yet, in spite of saying an emil acknowledgement would be OK. Things can move kind of slow in Truro, if you let them....
That said, I have no intention of lading for the Brave New World on this Mayflower deal. I think this is simply an issue of EMPOWERMENT (empowering The Patient), that is); and it is vital to go into a cancer action (which this is - this is Operation Amageddon! - Zap those buggers, Doctors - Star Wars!)). I read somewhere that positive thinking (is that the Neuro Linguisic Programming deal ((NLP) spoken of by my dear. motivating friend, E?) can really boost your chances. You don't have to have had my immensely privileged education (Unis - four - Law School - well, for a bit anyway; teacher training, a period farting around the Wide World.....trying to write and supporting myself via a series of going nowhere jobs ike EFL and temping...). But you can all take charge of your affairs and not slide into being a 'victim'. Passive states aint good for the soul. Get active. Don't let the rellies crowd you out - they're worried, sure, and they want to do something (except the Parish Assistants, who tend to me wore worried about how cancer affects them - although I use the term 'affect' in a purely non- clinical way here. Parish Assistants don't have 'affect'. They are anal, Asperger types, fundamentally lacking in empathy and compassion. That is the whole bloody point. Some come on, GPs, kick em out of the NHS and support the Clinicians. Not to mention your own sodding patients.
Enough - but hey, I got through this without sliding over in bed. Steroids, Dr W. What the HELL did you put in them?
I DEDICATE THIS WHOLE BLOG TO MY DAUGHTER. RISE AND SHINE GIRL. RISE AND SHINE! xxx
(Now I'm going for a long soak in my tiny bungalow bathroom with some of my new posh smellies ordered from Aubrey Cosmetics online. I just hope my posh pyjamas (Toast) arrive in time for Thurs. The matsctecomy wear (new undies from Amoena) arrived, as did the stationery labels (good to have sticky labels if you can't hold a pen... Vistaprint, although they pester you afterwards if you take up one otf their freebie offers (Bizcards free at Vistaprint.com). I'm just waiting now for some non-slip shoes (Cloggs - on the internet - great deals on DMs) and a bale of new sheets (Empire catalogue online) so my friends can make me up a nice clean bed for when I get home. Oh, and I ordered another vacuum cleaner,....Had the old one ten years, and it works OK. But now, I think, I can do a little better.
And then it's just a question of seeing some old friends (and yacking with old friends - one called me from Australia yesterday FOR A WHOE HOUR....). When I told him I was going to ask the Brain Man to fix the tumour in preserving fluid for me so I could stick the jar in my sitting room as a reminder of the strange thing in my head that has GALVANISED me me with some sort of superfocused cognition (after swimming around in a mental fug of depression and lack of motivation...even despair, yeah, parish assistant: despair, Doc Reception numpties throughout the winter - although at least I know that I ain't going to Shady Pines.....). The other thing I want from Mr Brainsurgeon is some pix of the MRi Scan. I once saw some piz taken in an electron microscope of SPECTCULAR connections (neurones). Made me think about how much we lve in the medium here on earth - not all of us in numpty land, sure; but not in the macrocosm or the microcosm (nano land where all kinds of extraordinary processes take place....and an unimaginable level - or that is, imagined and reached for only by some very braining Brain People like Susan Greenfield (Baroness).
Great thing, the human brain....
And, I seem to remember that in Hannibal the Cannibal there's a scene where he sllices into somebody's brain and starts eating it while the man is actually having dinner with him!!!! (Oh gawd - at least it didn't seem to hurt...). I once did some reserch in community psychiatric lssisted living and met an amaxing man who had had a frontal lobotomy. This man's speech - his whole presentaion was quite 'normal' ('lucid' might be the word the GP who phone me - rather tentatively, after my Homecare nurse phone to say she was worried several weeks ago...); but then, suddenly, he broke into a kind of wierd Esperanto language (Cornish???) that made no sense at all.
CHIN CHIN. Let' have the other half now - as they say in the Navy!