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?