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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 1102429 times)
Ed
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« Reply #4860 on: December 03, 2019, 06:55:12 AM »

Well, can't say I'm looking forward to the next few months. Had a lot of tests lately, then an MRI scan, followed a week later by a CAT scan, then another scan a couple days later. Turns out I have a tumour in my right kidney a bit bigger than a tennis ball. Now I'm in the weird position of dreading an operation but at the same time wishing they would hurry up and set a date. The last scan was to see if it had spread to my lungs and my lymph glands. Apparently it hasn't yet, but the longer they leave it the bigger the risk.

I reckon I'm going to lose the kidney, although I haven't spoken to any surgeons yet, so I don't know for sure. If one good thing comes from it, it'll be that I'm finally free of this back pain I've been putting up with for years. Dunno if I'm still in shock a week on from diagnosis, but I don't feel like I thought I would on getting a cancer diagnosis. I don't feel afraid. I don't feel anything. I just want them to get on with it.

You are the only people I have told, except my wife. I'm dreading telling the kids, and worst of all my mother. I'll have to tell them all soon. I'd just like to carry on as normal for as long as I can.

Wish me luck  smiley
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #4861 on: December 19, 2019, 02:18:22 AM »

Bloody ' ell, Ed. Desperately sorry to hear that. But far better that they're aware of it and you're being lined up for an op - no matter how much you're dreading it. These days it seems ever more common for people to be in this position - many years ago it felt like it was rarer, but maybe it was no different. Point is, I know lots of people who have been through similar and all have done well - so all my digits are crossed for you, and my thoughts are with you. Anyway, take it easy, and don't let it spoil Christmas (if that's at all possible).

Derek
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 02:19:35 PM by delboy » Logged

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Ed
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« Reply #4862 on: December 27, 2019, 09:17:12 AM »

Thanks Del. Must admit I'm still pretty stoic about it. Telling my mother was the worst -- she just exploded in tears. My boys took it pretty hard, especially the youngest, with tears welling in his eyes. My wife, who was putting a brave face on it, suddenly had a meltdown the other day, with lots of tears. I think that's been the most difficult part of it for me, seeing other people upset.

I've seen the surgeon now and they squeezed me in for a pre-op assessment about a week ago. I wasn't supposed to have either until 8th Jan, but I put myself forward for a cancellation and they decided to make room for me. Surgeon was really nice. Savage irony that he's Egyptian, seeing as we couldn't go this year like we normally do. He's going to take the whole kidney. Says it isn't working now anyway, and wouldn't be viable to save. I suppose that's better, in that there is less chance of leaving anything behind. The tumour has a point sticking out of it and it's about a half inch away from touching my liver. He promised the operation would be within a month of the assessment, so it looks like I'll be under the knife before mid January. Then it's eight weeks of not being able to lift anything or do strenuous exercise. That's assuming I survive the op.

I'm feeling pretty positive about the whole thing, really. Just glad it was caught while they could do something with it.

Hope you had a good Christmas and your new year will be a happy one. Cheers
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« Reply #4863 on: January 03, 2020, 03:59:00 PM »

Glad you're feeling positive, Ed! Positive thoughts coming from this direction, too.

Hope 2020 gets progressively better for you.

Derek
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« Reply #4864 on: January 14, 2020, 05:29:11 AM »

Glad you're feeling positive, Ed! Positive thoughts coming from this direction, too.

Hope 2020 gets progressively better for you.

Derek

Thanks Del. D-Day this Friday 7am. Should be interesting  afro
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« Reply #4865 on: January 17, 2020, 09:04:39 AM »

Hola, chaps! Fingers crossed everything goes/went well today, Ed!!!

Del, I like your Cafe Doom Collective idea. The biggest hurdle, I think, to self-publishing is (like you guys mentioned) marketing. It'd take a bunch of time and money and effort, three things not everyone has all at once, so sharing the burden for mutual benefit seems like a no-brainer.

I've been very lucky in that Tommy's really well-behaved, so I have actually had a bunch of time to write. The only thing is, it's been articles, as a part-time job so I can still bring some money in whilst my wife's at work (I got married in December!). Anyway, I was thinking recently how the main thing that's stopping me plowing ahead with writing properly again is the lack of a network. I was very lucky ten years ago(!) to find you lot, and at the same time The Library of the Living Dead, as you were both fantastically supportive environments. I mean, there must be something similar out there now, but I feel like I'm out-of-touch and would be, effectively, starting all over again.

In other words, some kind of collective sounds brilliant haha

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« Reply #4866 on: January 20, 2020, 10:28:10 AM »

How did you get on, Ed? I have, and had, everything crossed for you.

Rev, good to hear from you. I'm impressed re. the articles - it's not an easy thing to jump in and do, and make money from. So well done.

Yes, back in the day CD did that job very well for all of us, I think. There was a good supportive network that helped with both writing and markets. For me, like you, it was the right thing at the right time. I've not found anything comparable. And I miss it.

The self-pub thing is still of interest. But the  landscape is changing out there. It seems like the market is moving to a quantity over quality model. I know a few people who write a lot - I mean, a lot. One guy has pumped out nine 110k novels in the last year (he's doing it full time, I believe) and the books get rave reviews and thousands of downloads. He's probably making a very decent living. But when I read these books, or excerpts from them, it seems to me that this stuff is almost first draft, and bears little resemblance to reality, or proper plotting, or character development. That said, what he, and many others, have nailed is the ability to hook a reader and throw so much at that them they don't have time to stop and think. He's built a hell of a fan-base. But his publishing company are demanding more, more, more and he's actually now got other people writing the novels, too. But that sort of writing (style-wise, speed-wise, shared authorship-wise) isn't for me - yet that seems to be where the on-line market is. I know another author who's a bit more serious and has found an on-line publishing company to release his  latest novel - which is a one-off and has taken years to write - but they're expecting him to do all the marketing and get reviews and so on. He might as well self-pub.

So, it's a weird one. Hence the "collective" idea. I keep thinking I ought to put something out there just to understand the process to start with - formatting, cover design, etc. That might be a good first step.

Derek
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« Reply #4867 on: January 21, 2020, 11:53:26 AM »

I was never a huge part of this place, but years later, I still miss the flash competitions. Was happy to see a few current posts on the boards, unfortunate however to read of Ed’s news. I hope your surgery went well, Ed!
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Ed
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« Reply #4868 on: January 30, 2020, 12:49:18 PM »

IT'S ALIVE! ALIVE, I TELL YOU!!!  cheers

Yep, got a few new holes in me, four to be precise, twenty-three staples to close them back up. Kidney and tumour dispatched to pathology. Waiting on results from that. Should be another week or two before I find out how aggressive it was.

Nobody could believe how calm I was before the operation. Even in pre-op, my blood pressure was normal and pulse was at 60. A nurse walked me to the operating theatre and I climbed up onto the table in the middle of the room, which you can imagine would be very confronting for anybody of a nervous disposition. I felt a slight pang of apprehension as I lay down. The anaesthetist gave me a few seconds to settle, asked if I was ready, I said yep, he reached over me and connected a small syringe to the cannula in the back of my right hand, squeezed a few mils of a clear liquid into it and I was gone within the count of three.

Ordinarily I would have expected to be a bag of nerves, but I was lucky enough to have this state of mind where I just wanted it done, even if I died in the process.

I awoke later in agony. They topped up the morphine once, twice, three times, four times, over the space of the first hour. I asked why the pain relief wasn't working. They said they couldn't let me have it all in one go or I would have stopped breathing. It finally kicked in, but no matter what I took it wouldn't touch the gas pain in my shoulders -- that was awful. They pump you up with CO2 when you have a laperascopic procedure, and they inevitably leave some gas inside you, which then irritates your diaphragm and you get what the call referred pain in the tops of your shoulders. Second only to that was the bout of hiccups I suffered on the second night. I stood in my room at 2am with pain wracking my body, unable to draw enough breath to hold and stop them, my hand pressed into the longest scar on my belly to stop my guts bursting out. I can honestly say I've never felt as miserable in my entire life.

The first week after the op was the most challenging, but this week I'm feeling progressively stronger and I'm getting around a bit better. The pains in my shoulders are diminished and the peaks of pain when I first get out of bed are less painful. Wouldn't want to do it again. The surgeon said he was confident he got it all, so that should be it now. I'm hoping it hasn't metastasised. Only time will tell. I now have to get regular CT scans for the next few years and wait with baited breath for each result, hoping nothing pops up elsewhere. Urgh. Still, it could have been worse. A guy I know has just been told he has two years to live, at best. Managed decline. How awful is that?

Thanks for the crossed fingers, Del, and for the good wishes, Omega afro

Good to see you popping in, Rev. I like the collective idea.

Del -- I hear what you're saying about quantity over quality. I think the same thing about all the formulaic series and made for TV films Netflix puts out. They're all the same, boring, shallow rubbish. Just enough blood and guts to keep the masses titillated, and very little else. I just can't be bothered with any of it. At the same time, I'm amazed anybody still reads books. My kids, now out of their teen years, only ever engage with social media, Facebook, Snap Chat, Youtube, that type of thing. They read nothing at all. I reached the point a while back where I wasn't even reading much on holiday any more. Novels just don't keep my attention. The last few books I've read have been biographies -- real life stories. I suppose they are the ultimate character study, when you sit and think about it. I read Chickenhawk last, the autobiography of a Huey pilot in the Vietnam war. Prior to that, I read American Sniper. Right now I'm reading Billy Connoly's book, which is partly autobiographical, part jokes, and part tall tales.

Anyway, I've droned on enough. I may pop back and start a Flash Challenge, just to see if we get any takers. Run it over a month or two.

Good luck, all, and a belated Happy New Year afro
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« Reply #4869 on: January 30, 2020, 11:00:09 PM »

Very glad and relieved that you're all right, Ed!

I logged in a couple of days ago for the first time in ages, and I was very worried to see it had been 10 days since you'd had surgery with no further updates. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a good pathology report!

I've had a stressful couple of years (lost job, left husband, had major surgery) and haven't done much writing, but I'm ready for 2020 to be a turnaround year.

I hope everyone else is doing well. It's good to see the regulars from back in the day are still here. I'd love to participate in a writing challenge or critique session.

Here's to a good year for all!
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Ed
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« Reply #4870 on: January 31, 2020, 12:37:48 PM »

Very glad and relieved that you're all right, Ed!

I logged in a couple of days ago for the first time in ages, and I was very worried to see it had been 10 days since you'd had surgery with no further updates. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a good pathology report!

I've had a stressful couple of years (lost job, left husband, had major surgery) and haven't done much writing, but I'm ready for 2020 to be a turnaround year.

I hope everyone else is doing well. It's good to see the regulars from back in the day are still here. I'd love to participate in a writing challenge or critique session.

Here's to a good year for all!

Hi Pharo, sorry to worry you. I hadn't felt like sitting up to a desk to check-in until a day or two ago. Even sorrier to hear of your troubles. It sounds like you've been through the mill yourself. That's a lot of trauma to bear. I'm a firm believer that we can all handle a lot more than we might have thought we could when it comes down to it, though, and I think the old adage about whatever doesn't kill you is true in this instance. I hope you have a much better year this time afro
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« Reply #4871 on: February 02, 2020, 03:04:16 PM »

Ed,

I'm so glad the op was successful, that you're recovering well, and the outlook looks positive.  Also cheered to see the flash challenge.

When I read your post I feared for you.  Five years ago a lump was found on my wife's liver. In her case the cancer had spread and she died just 15 weeks later.  This was a hard in-your-face demonstration that life is so fragile.  As a result I've managed to get into a position where I can retire early (61).  I **think** I have done my sums right!  Instead of working on other people's projects I'm going to spend time doing things I want to do and (try to) achieve things I want to achieve. Basically, growing my vegetables, developing computer games, and may be a little writing from time to time.  Simplish things I've wanted to spend time on for a long time.

All the best, and follow the doctor's orders!
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« Reply #4872 on: February 03, 2020, 09:27:50 AM »

So glad to hear the surgery was a success Ed! A wonderful update to read, and good luck in the continuing recovery!
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« Reply #4873 on: February 03, 2020, 10:09:45 AM »

Thanks Omega.

Russel -- can't imagine how awful that was for you and your wife. Sorry to hear that. Sounds like a good plan to retire and live your best life for a while. I keep promising myself a year off to do what I like, but I never get there, as a new opportunity seems to pop up and I find myself going for it again. Maybe it's time to get on and do it now.
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« Reply #4874 on: February 11, 2020, 04:35:50 PM »

Hey Ed. Great to hear that it all went well and you're now recovering. It sounded a little painful - a lot painful - but at least you're through the dark days! Great write-up, too :-) You've still got it  Wink

Pharo, great to hear from you. I was only looking at your website a little while ago. At the time, I was working on something that had I finished would have needed a decent editor... Sorry to hear about the tough times you've been through. Hope things are on the up for you, too.

And Russell, that must have been awful. I can't imagine going through such a thing. I hope things are good, or at least better, for you, as well. I'm trying to manoeuvre myself into an early retirement position. But every time I think I have things lined up the goal posts shift -  Brexit, then various accounting scandals, then the pension scheme was wound up, then our bit of the company was sold off... Still, here's hoping!

Must have a look at Ed's Flash challenge now...

Derek
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