Monday, July 11, 2005

Day 52 - 30 degrees in the shade!

Readers it will be 30 degrees in the shade today here in Devon, normally fit and well if not working I would have got the black pig out and annoyed sailors, in fact if I can persuade Ron to help me launch her later on in the week that could be fun! I have always held true do not get mad get even! There is one sailor whose wash wave will be like a tidal wave!

However, the sun is as it's hottest this time of year. I retreated in doors most of yesterday as the effect of sunburn and real radiation are not 2 mixtures recommended in the cancer recovery text books, there are some interesting ones including a healthy normal sexlife, well if you have have a nil starting base I can call that is the norm. Although the cancer support advice on "sex and sexuality" as the medical professionals call it trying to play the whole event up like a Jane Mansfield novel is extremely interesting concept, sex advice that is, not a Jane Mansfield read.

The side effects of chemo are well listed:

Side effects from cisplatin are common and include:

thinned or brittle hair
loss of appetite or weight
diarrhea
nausea and vomiting
changes in taste
numbness or tingling in the fingertips and toes
vomiting
fatigue
unusual bruising or bleeding
black, tarry stools
fever
chills
dizziness or feeling of faintness
pain in your side or back
shortness of breath or wheezing
swelling of the feet or ankles
seizures
rash

Now lets face it with the whole loads of events going on in your body do you really want to be worrying about satisfying a sexual desire. Now where do these guys come from "during cancer treatment you should be able to indulge in a normal sexual relationship with your partner" Who is he kidding, that advice came from an American website "Doctor Chemo" I would not trust my fish with him let alone my sex life, well after all he is not my type. Can you picture the scene your partner drinking champagne and strawberries, you lying on the bed suffering from one of the many romantic side effects of chemo listed above! In fact I think you would need the Mansfield costume drama just to protect you from the whole process, I could not think of anything worse, and the thought of 5 scantily clad erotic dancers in front of me at the moment would at least create a draft to keep me cool and little to provide "sex and sexuality" what a bloody daft bit of advice.

Look lets face it, forget your sexlife, because not only do you have to deal with the effects listed above during a moment of passionate but 7 days after chemo you have to immerse yourself in a tank filled with disinfectant for at least 3 days to avoid infection.

The afternoon wore on, as I checked my Victor Meldrew expression.


I sat and watched the memorial and commemoration of the 2nd World War. Those who know me my historical life has been interested around the reasons for war and normally their appalling consequences, those which we have seen in the World in recent years. I always feel moved by watching the nostalgia and courage of people, my own father joined the Royal Navy in 1943 at the age of 15 and saw active service. For those of us with children the thought of a 15 year old being sent to war on a ship which did see battle and death can only be described as barbaric. My father like many old veterans very rarely spoke about the war, until the end of his life and then it was quiet, tearful and methodical, what this brave young man went through, he like my mother a young woman growing up in bomb torn Sheffield endured daily meetings with death and told horrific stories of bombs falling. These were just children, no cross word to bear, but carried the emotional scars with them for the rest of their life through post traumatic stress which was seen as a weakness then not as an illness as it is now.

The secret in life is look into someone's eyes and they will tell you the truth, forget what they are saying look into their eyes and you will find their soul, their thoughts, the horror. I remember watching "band of brothers" the TV film series made about Easy or E company, paratroopers of the 506th P.I.R., USAF 101st Airborne Division who on the 5th June 1944 set off from Upottery Airfield in Devon to be the 1st troops in Normandy on D Day. The series showed real E company survivors 60 years on, their eyes tinged with sadness, the tears rolling down their eyes and they told their stories. The series followed them through Europe until 1946. It was clear that these young men were terrified of reliving their horrific experiences. They had the fear 60 years on as my father did of those horrific times.

What many fail to realise the 2nd World War was more brutal and cost more lives than the 1st World War. I think out of easy company only 10 out of 120 saw the end of the war. Think on that thought.

One of the most poignant and moving things I have done in my life is visit the prison camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1993. The iron curtain had just fallen and Poland was a real country, a free country, very improverished as it still is, but beautiful. There are 2 sites in the town, the 1st the rather cramped prison camp of Auschwitz which you can see the horror of prison unfold. The most moving moment walking in and seeing a huge room, and I mean huge filled with a glass wall and behind it children's clothes and shoes! It was clear that the camp was not big enough to do the job so the Germans constructed a new camp a mile away at Birkenau 1 mile away. You approach the camp on foot, you see a huge railway siding, then the gates that we all saw in Schindlers list. The fear and sense of awe that grips you is amazing, however, the one thing I will take my children to see and insist on they are aware of mankinds inhumanity to each other, is the worn concrete steps down to the now blown up gas chambers, not worn down by pilgrims, but the people who were herded into those chambers 60 years ago!

I think you may have gathered I am charting a new course for myself, my illness has made me think that life is too short. In my case it maybe, but after the crap of the 7 days I sincerely hope not! I do not give up that easily! Combined with yesterday I watch David Dimbleys final episode of "Landscape Britain" whilst the I got the impression it was made for people who have never travelled further south than Stockwell on the Northern Line it gave me the boost I needed to say get out and see this country.

So my visit list is increasing primarily to deliver a life which I can write and photograph candidly about the World we live in. I am mildly dyslexic, but if Bill Bryson can sell a few hardbacks I am sure I can, after all I am better looking than him, surely!

I leave you with two thoughts today, Max Hastings comment during yesterdays fly by the palace, not a man I would normally agree with, but his comments made me think.

"Mankind does not have a good record in looking after its youth, alas is has a record for using youth and sending them to war"

A final thought I will always remember the night my father told me when his ship(HMS Empire Spearhead) was sent to pick up hundreds of USA marines in 1944 in the USA, they became his friends, and remained until the morning he and his colleagues put them ashore on a Pacific island as an invasion force, as they steamed away and watched the horror of the invasion I could see that in my fathers 16 year old eyes his life was changed for ever. I do miss him x

Keep attacking N x

1 comment:

mazzagee said...

Amazing what a day out of the sun can do to a 'HUMAN BEAN' of today's society.
How refreshing to find a 'youngish' man realising that the pain and suffering of our parents can become realality with a little thought and understanding. Appreciating that can only help to come to terms with your own, and help you move on. This is obviously realised by you; and hope reigneth forever. Hooyah.

Maybe one day mankind will learn that his inhumanity to man is measured in history and will learn something from it. Then THEIR pain and suffering will not have been in vain. Evil must be stamped out before we will ever be able to live in the peace and tranquility we all desire. There are so many unhappy souls on this earth that it takes a parent with your attitude to teach the future generations. Let us all hope there are more like you out there. Make sure your threats to write are not half hearted. Carry it out.