Major upgrade at CML – Cinematography Mailing List

Well, its been a challenge.

The last few weeks have been spent totally rebuilding CML and moving it from a sub-domain of www.gboyle.co.uk based  in the UK to it’s own server based in the US.

We have also added SSL and are now a secure site.

The addition of our own mail servers has meant that we can make major changes there as well.

Best of all we are no longer struggling up against both bandwidth and disk space problems

Lyris or ls.cinematography.net is still based at dudobi.co.uk in the UK and the guys there have done a great job fixing the stuff I screwed up relating to Lyris as I moved us to the US 🙂

There are a lot of new opportunities now and over the next few months they’ll start to appear.

Last Cancer Post

From now on this blog is back to cinematography!

I saw my surgeon this morning, exactly 14 days since the operation.

He showed me the Path results and they were “interesting”, he removed a section with 22 Polyps, 3 of which were malignant. The bad ones were down to the end of the rectum. The big news was the tumour he removed that was right at the exit of the rectum. 5cms, I’ll say that again 5cms! of malignancy.

Well no wonder cycling hurt if I was sitting on a nasty 5cm block of poison!!

Anyway, It’s all gone, no trace of any indicators in my blood tests, I go back in 3 months for another blood test then after 6 months and staying at 6 month intervals for 5 years.

As far as my surgeon is concerned everything is healing well, the stitches will dissolve over time but I’ve got to back off a bit on the walking, stay at 2 circuits of the gardens a day for a week or so. I can also sit at my computer and work for short periods.

My lovely nurses will continue to visit until they’re happy with my stoma and they will also keep checking the stitches.

I have to do a huge thank you to a lot of people now, the support on FaceBook has been amazing, you really have all helped to keep my spirits up. I’d also like to thank all the nurses on c3 at Langelland Zickenhuis they were absolutely incredible.

I’ll not be at BSC or BVE but I will be at NAB, hope to see a bunch of you there.

Day 6

It’s six days now since my tumours were removed and my arse sealed forever.

This morning the IV and the catheter were removed and a few minutes ago I. Rolled over and got to my feet. Hanging on to my physical nurse I managed to turn around, sit on a chair for a few minutes, stand again whilst my BP went all over the place.

I’m now flat in bed again and hurting but in a couple of hours I’ll be doing the same again, maybe I can take a shower! Bed baths from nurses get a lot of laughs but I just want warm water pouring over me.

I may get to go home tomorrow afternoon if not then definitely the day after.

Scared

There’s no other way to put it.

I go into hospital for surgery tomorrow morning.

They will remove and seal up my rectum and then add a new outlet, a stoma, on my front and I’ll use a bag from now on.

The Colostomy bag and Stoma don’t scare me, it’s the surgery. Keyhole so it shouldn’t be too bad but…

I guess I’m lucky but my only experience of surgery was 50 years ago and for damage to my wrist, I got all kinds of promises but it’s never worked properly since. That has to have coloured my views of surgery.

Anyway, I’m currently scared and trying not to think about it, I’ll wake up with a multitude of connections and not be able to move for 5 days. Then it looks like it’s going to take longer than my previous estimates to recover, I may be back to “normal” by the end of March.

So I’ll miss HPA but should be at NAB, the camera tests I intended for February may be delayed until May, no big deal.

Bah-Dong–dong-dong-dong-dong-dong

Trying to get the riff from Careful with that Axe Eugene..

Had THE MEETING with my Oncologist yesterday, the Chemo/Radiotherapy has caused the tumours to shrink and they’ll give me another MRI in 4 weeks because they think they’ll continue shrinking.

Sounds like good news, well no not really, they have shrunk enough that it makes the surgeons job easier but not enough not to resort to surgery.

Now the thing with this is good and bad, isn’t everything connected with this? The good news is that the tumours are so low down that they’re easy to remove separately from anything else. Remove them, end of problem. The bad news is that they’re so low down that removing them and then stitching me up means I get closed completely. No arse any more.

This means a Stoma, WTF! I have an outlet fitted at the front and wear a removable bag that I change daily. The good news here is that because it’s so low down it’s a less complicated Stoma than it is in most cases, in fact when I’m travelling I can just flush it and then seal up for a couple of days without using a bag. It’s still a ‘king nightmare that I’ve been facing up to the possibility of for the last few months and now have the reality slap me in the face.

I’ve said that we should bite the bullet and go ahead with it ASAP, the earliest it can be is December the 23rd so I have the holidays in hospital 🙂

Was there another choice? well I did ask what my prospects were if I didn’t go this route and was told one to two years and a truly horrible end. I did say that I wouldn’t wait for the end but would terminate. In that case I have less than a year. If I go for the operation I have, well, how long did I expect to live before I knew about this? that’s how long I will have. It’s a no brainer, if the hassle of the Stoma is too much I still have the final option open to me.

So over the next few weeks I have the joy of another Colonoscopy, an MRI, and an operation. The good news is that if I don’t get an infection, and 45% of people having this operation do, I’ll be functioning pretty normally by mid January and totally back to normal, excluding the daily bag change, by the end of February.

I can apparently increase my chances of avoiding an infection by not putting pressure on the area whilst it mends. Stitches in what is essentially fat have a job holding and not popping out. I don’t have a problem not sitting for a few weeks, apparently most people do, I’ll just lie down with a tablet and a Kindle and live my life normally but horizontally. I don’t need to sit to eat, most people apparently have an issue with this, but after 40 years of eating on the run a few weeks of eating standing up won’t be a hardship.

We’ve scheduled everything so that I can manage to shoot a commercial at the end of this month going into early December 🙂

Gotta get my priorities right!

CML’s birthday

It was 20 years ago today that I started CML with 60 members, people I’d been talking to about cinematography on Compuserve, AOL and Usenet and who I made members of CML because I thought that there should be a simple single system dedicated to professional cinematographers.

It was never set up to make money, purely to exchange information between fellow professionals.

We now have 11,976 members spread over 20 generally available lists. There are a number of other lists that have closed memberships as they are for manufacturers beta testers and various educational courses.

When we started there was a serious lack of information about new digital technologies and cameras and we tried to help share what knowledge there was. Now there is a plethora of place to get information about equipment.

Our system is still aimed at working cinematographers and that is why we are primarily still email based, around 80% of CML traffic is via email.

I have tried, with the help of the listmums to keep CML focused on clear professional facts rather than the usual internet miasma of gossip and rumour and ill-informed comment.

This is why we have always been a closed system, it has been necessary to join or register to be able to use the discussion facilities of CML although the web pages of edited discussions have always been openly available.

To celebrate our 20th birthday we are opening up the discussion lists to anyone to read, read, not write.

Anyone wanting to post will have to join but the collected knowledge will now be openly available to all.

This does not mean that members details will be available, they won’t. Lyris conceals these.

I hope we will get more people contributing to the shared knowledge and that we keep growing.

Thank you all for making CML what it is.

Now stand and allow to continue cooking

OK, the microwave went ping and I was put to one side to continue cooking.

My Microwave Chef, more commonly known as my Radiologist, said that I should be at about my peak pain level yesterday. Just over 2 weeks after the cooker went ping!

I’m now at 6* the dosage of Fentanyl that I was initially and I reckon I will probably need to be tweaked up to 8* after the weekend. Of course the soluble under my tongue tablets for pain breakthrough episodes have been doubled in strength as well.

In another 2 weeks I take a trip to Gouda to use the MRI there because it is apparently a higher resolution than any of the other ones around here. I then meet with my Surgeon and Radiologist and we talk about what happens next.

I’m back working, my first flight since this started is tomorrow, going to Birmingham City University to put fear and dread into the minds of the students. Or to make them focus on all the aspects of getting a job that they will naturally ignore 🙂

I have to use this post to thank all the people who have contacted me with messages of support, you are all amazing.

I’d also like to thank the medical staff who I’ve dealt with who have been totally amazing and supportive. They have gone above and beyond their jobs in all kinds of ways.

Finally as I said to my radiologist yesterday…If I’m taking so many drugs why aren’t I having fun?

 

Week 4 of 5

Well, it could be worse 🙂

Apparently in the UK, US & OZ Radiotherapy is 5 days per week for 5 weeks and Chemo is by IV in weeks 1 and 4.

Here, the Radiotherapy is the same but Chemo is by tablet 7 days per week for all 5 weeks.

This may be why my side effects aren’t as bad as I’ve read, and believe me I’ve read a lot of info posted on the web about this!

I do get tired very easily, very very tired but I’m not getting nauseous and apparently I should be as sick as a dog. Now this may be because of the different dosing approach but I don’t think so. I have a pile of anti-nausea drugs that I’ve been given but not used. I really didn’t want to use them as the side effects are just horrible!

I’m using Sea Bands instead, pressure bands for your wrists that are designed to fight sea sickness. I’ve used them for years to prevent sea sickness and they have been brilliant, even making me feel fine when on an ocean going tug in the English Channel trying to film Beachy Head for the opening of the Disney channel in Europe where everyone else on the shoot was projectile vomiting and the whole thing had to be called of and  shot another day.

So, if they work for that…I hoped that they would work for the Chemo induced nausea and they do!!

Thats the good news, the bad news, and you can turn away now if you’re squeamish, is what the Radiation does to your arse. I was warned in detail and the warnings have come true. Your cheeks get very inflamed, sore and can ulcerate. This is because the radiation bounces around between them. This is so far the worst aspect of it all.

The pain can be controlled using Fentanyl patches, I’m now on 3* what I was when I started and I expect to go up another notch tomorrow, and also with sub-lingual Fentanyl that is there for peaks in pain and dissolves under your tongue.

I also have Lydocain cream for the glowing cheeks!

The pain is still building and apparently will continue to do so for 2 weeks after I finish treatment.

The worst side effect is lethargy and vagueness, on that note I’ll pop off and call KLM to alter the date of the return flight I booked yesterday, not fully paying attention and it’s for the wrong date

Stupid thief

We’ve been having a few problems with noise and vandalism so we installed a video entry camera and it was stolen.

We then had all our flowers and decorations in the common entry area vandalised so we installed 2 camera systems.

One on the door to CML HQ and one on out apartment entrance.

They were both stolen, by an idiot who is clearly visible in the recording below. If you recognise him please let us know…

When the men on the chessboard

To make sure that every time I go through the Radiotherapy device I am correctly aligned and that the right bits get zapped I am now tattooed with tracking marks!

It feels like I’m now part of a VFX shoot.

Simple dots to make sure that I am correctly aligned to each morning, lasers beams making sure I’m at the right angle. Wiggle this way, wiggle that way, hold your breath

Of course that’s only half of it, the other half is the Chemo or drugs, more drugs than I’ve taken since the late 60’s!!

rabbit

This is my stash for the rest of the month.

33 boxes of various varieties, which leads me to the title of the post. One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small…

No dreadful side effects yet but there’s plenty of time, apparently the pain will be at its worst 2 weeks after I finish Radiotherapy. Pass another patch!

Remember what the dormouse said