Judging a book by its cover…..

Well at the time of writing this, its 0200hrs saturday 24th September 2016, currently in my good mate Bri’s VW T4. I’ve Just got back, from what can only be describe as a life changing/defining holiday.
I am writing a blog all about it and will post more in a few days. But I feel after today I need to write a post about Judging a book by its cover.
The book is me and the cover are my scars & tattoos .

But first here is how the journey At Lisbon Airport, Portugal last night started.
I was waiting to go through security with an amazingly funny mate of mine called Rob.
A few of us had been away for 8 days .
Im no longer allowed to travel on my own, my better half’s orders.
This was down to my 5 seizures at the rugby, in march this year.
Rightly so.. Well for now.

There was this young lad working hard to keep us all safe, in this day and age of terrorism.
But he had a face like thunder and was aggressively putting trays down.
As I got closer to him and our turn, I could see and hear there were people moaning!!!
About having to take their BELT off, or separate electronics from their hand luggage.
I was called forward by him. He again slammed the tray down. So I thought I’d try to cheer him up and proceeded to say the following . “HOLA, INGLES Y ESPANYOL.”
In major cities in Portugal, I have found out and been told by a nice taxi driver, that most Portuguese can understand Spanish and vice a verse. He looked at me and in english grunted “BOTH”.
I simply smiled and replied. “WELL THANKS FOR WHAT YOU DO, BAD DAY HEY” he looked surprised and cheerily said “YES” he then picked up my boarding pass, looked at the time of boarding and said “YOU’VE GOT AGES YET. HAVE A SAFE FLIGHT.” I replied “MUCHO OBRIAGADO” (Thank you very much)
A grin from ear to ear appeared and he simply said “THANKS” I winked and replied “ DE NADA” you’re welcome in both Spanish and Portuguese.

Right the point to the blog.
Boarding the 21:05 Monarch Flight xxxxxx Lisbon to T1 Manchester. I was wearing my urban camouflage shorts, short sleeved top, my scar on my head was also on show. Wearing shorts meant both legs, which are quite badly scared from my near fatal bike accident in 2004 .
Wearing my short sleeved top, it showed my tattoo on my left arm. A sleeve telling my story, of rising from the ashes, knock after knock, beating my terminal diagnosis of 3 months to live.Although after my first 8hrs session. I still need another 18-20hrs in the chair. 11th November cant come quick enough.

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Along with what was on show was also the tribal design on my right shoulder.
I took to my seat and relaxed. An elderly gentleman approached me, looked at the seat number, saw it was next to me and rolled his eyes and shock his head. Clearly he didn’t like the look of me.
He took his seat, pushed my elbow off the centre arm rest . Along time ago, I would have made sure, I made his flight hell. But that would just reinforce his opinion of me. Which couldn’t have been further from the truth. I decided to humiliate him with… Kindness.
He took his seat and the conversation went as follows….

Me-“ HI SIR, HOW WAS YOUR TRIP, WAS IT BUSINESS OR PLEASURE “ To which looking slightly startled by my calm and respectful tone, replied “ Errr YES AND IT WAS PLEASURE”
To which I smiled and said “THATS GOOD, WHERE DID YOU GO?” Not really wanting to speak to me replied “ SANTA????? “ To be honest I wasn’t really listening or interested . He uncomfortably said “ WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” I proceeded to tell him I’d been north to Fundão, roughly 3 hours on a train, north of Lisbon. Regardless whether he wanted to know or not and I strongly suspect he didn’t. I proceed to tell him about MERKABA, one of my closest friends retreat on the side of a beautiful mountain. How it helps people to distress and overcome issues from their past, assist others going or been been though serious illnesses such as cancer depression and addiction. Not once mentioning my cancer or how I came by my leg injuries . I saw the look on his face and can only imagine how bad he felt.
I then got up as he slowly removed his arm from the arm rest. Irony really he tried to make me uncomfortable and know the tables had been turned. I needed the toilet, plus my friends were near the front.
I’d book on this trip late following my excellent results at my last appointment .
As I spoke with Bri and said how it annoys yet amuses me, how we get judged.
This wasn’t the first time on this trip. Everywhere we went in the surrounding areas around Merkaba, we were stared at made to feel like a freak show but none of us cared.
These villages are like out of an old movie, really old buildings , elderly women dressed in black and white slowly walking with a hunch. I even said its like when the lost amazon tribe first saw western people.
Bri, claire and myself all have stunning tattoo sleeves done by an award-winning artist Called Jo Talbot.
Bri and claire have a few tactful and nice piercings, but I digress.
After a chat I went to use the toilet, where the air hostess called Nicola smiled at me.
I politely explained i’d paid for extra leg room and while it was next to a fire exit, with my leg not being able to bend properly it was really uncomfortable. To be honest this was the truth, it was really effecting my back being twisted.
I asked if it’s not too much trouble, could I be moved. But not to worry if it is. She looked at my legs and said I will try I can’t promise, to which replied ‘LEAVE IT, I DONT WANT TO MESS ANYONE AROUND” proceeding to enter the toilet. On exiting, she said informed me I could sit in the premium economy, just in front of my mates Bri, Claire and rob .
To be honest, all it was a lot more leg room . I thanked her . She asked for my details and address in case anyone complained . I wrote them down and then said , if you do get in trouble I can definitely give you a good reason .
I explained my story and terminal diagnosis. She looked shocked and said “YOU POOR THING.”clearly feeling sorry for myself.
I quickly informed her that I was on top of it and managed to reverse it. The focus was now keeping it at bay .
She smiled, then told me about a friend they work with, but was off at the minute. Her husband had a brain tumour “ONE OF THOSE SPIDER ONES, THAT ARE VERY AGGRESSIVE” she said.
I gained a few more details, I can’t be sure but I think it was a GBM4. I explained about my Website, Blog and Facebook page. I told her to get her friend and husband to have a look. If they want to contact me via one of those outlets if they need any advice or just cheering up about his diagnosis. I don’t claim to know everything but having spent nearly 2 years and 5 months in this world I’ve picked up a fair bit.
Nicola thanked me.
I used the toilet and I was told its fine to move into premium economy right in front of my friends. Too be fair it was only extra leg room, but it least I’d be comfy on the rest of the 2hr 45 minute flight.
I returned to my seat collecting my bag and presents for my wife and kids . I bought the kids a quadcopter ( drone). I think it’s really for me but Shhhh lol.
I said to the gentleman ,”YOU CAN HAVE THE 2 SEATS TO YOURSELF NOW,IVE BEEN UPGRADED” I hadn’t as I had paid for extra leg room. I smiled and told him it was nice to meet you, and for him enjoy the rest of his flight.
I could tell by his face he felt horrendous inside as he said thanks.
I took my new seat and relaxed .
After a few minutes the food & drink trolley came down with Nicola and another hostess Rebecca.
I asked if she had a piece of paper and pen . As I wrote all my social media and websites down, Nicola said to Rebecca this is the amazing guy I was telling you about .
We chatted for 5 mins I ordered a drink, as Rebecca went to go past she knelt down and asked about chemotherapy. I explained my experiences of being hospitalised 3 times.
Now I can’t go into details for obvious reason, but she knew someone who was struggling / going through Chemotherapy for a rare type of chest cancer. I told her to pass my details on and again any advice they needed to contact me.
She thanked me and continued the drinks service. I put their details in my phone. To remind me to write a letter to Monarch, informing them what a credit their staff are to the company.
Unfortunately that’s the last time I saw my phone. somewhere between embarking the plane and getting through passport control its been lost.
At the end of the day it’s just a phone. I’m due a an upgrade, but what really hurts and upset me is all my photos ,from this amazing summer I’ve spent with family friends, including videos that are lost. O well …… I still have the memories in my head. For now anyway .(Joke)

Write basically the moral or point to this story is…..
Why do we make snap judgements about people on Appearance in this day and age of supposedly equality?
Hey I’m not perfect, actually very far from it.  But as long as you learn those past mistakes and continue to grow, then that’s fine. That’s life.
On 3 hrs sleep on returning home, I had to race to a good friends house, the other side of Manchester. His mum, who I knew well was seriously ill and had driven to comfort me, from the lake district when I was lost, just waiting to die on the couch, having given up back in the early days. I wanted to give her a few things and to get her fighting using my own story. I was struggling to get a lift so contemplated the train. By chance an amazing guy called Matt ,who I had met /helped at Merkaba. Facebook messaged me ,asking if I wanted to meet up for lunch as he was in Liverpool . Basically he wanted to say thanks for helping him with a person who he loved. They had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He had flown back home to be with them. so I had only spent 2 days in his company.
He knew this women but not her son. Straight away he said he would take me.
On the journey there he kept me talking as I was trying hard to stay awake. 2 coffees later ,(sidenote,I don’t drink coffee ,cant stand it so that’s how shattered I was)
On the way he told me how because he was in yoga pants he was getting abused by the locals shouting homophobic words at him.
Take the security guy at the airport on the scanners. He was being moaned and shouted at for doing his job well. We are in an age of terrorism and extreme violence . Seriously taking your belt off and removing electronics out your hand luggage, takes seconds .
I’d rather due that, than blown up at 34,000ft .

The gentlemen who took one look and clearly thought I was a thug, with my scars and tattoos.

It happens to a very good friend of mine I’ve witnessed it. He is one of the cleverest blokes I’ve met and are friends with. He has even done a TED talks. He to like me, has tattoo’s dresses in shorts has a beard. I’ve witnessed it myself. He is a Dr of sports science runs a 50 million pound sports lab, at Bolton university. Ive been sat in his office when someone walks in looks round. He looks at Col then  me and walks out, only to return moments later to ask to see Dr Robertson . It makes us smile.
You don’t know what people are going through behind that smile or frown.

Treat people how you would want to be treated, or at least how you would want someone to treat someone you love.
You really don’t know what people are going through in their own world , behind the smile or frown.

It does not matter the colour of their skin ,gender , sexual orientation, if they have a disability, what they work as.
At the end of the day we are all the same in my eyes, all made of matter. It’s the person inside you should see .
This is a time of War , famine , heart ache , large atrocities.

Buck the trend, be the change and make someones day x

Rant over

and as always

X Behind every dark cloud, the sun still shines bright X

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RBS 6 Nations & Waking up in Hospital……

Maybe going to the rugby in Chemotherapy week, cycle 5 was probably not my best idea. This cycle hadn’t been my best, as I felt sick before starting on the Friday.

But the following Friday morning I felt ok. I was travelling down to Windsor for the weekend , as we do every year, to watch what had been billed as the 6 nations title decider.

Now Wales have only ever beaten England twice at Twickenham and  unfortunately  I was present for 50% of that statastic having watched us throw away the game,  during the world cup defeat to them, so I was after revenge.

A new Team , a new set up ,new hope.

The day started with waiting for our tickets to arrive. Instead of setting off at 10am it was  midday . But we were in no rush . This was not going to be the usual mad weekend, I wasn’t sure if I was even going to drink.

Cliffy was driving and Jamo and Matty were coming with us. Under Armour had sorted the tickets for us again, such an amazing company.

We were on the road by midday and the traffic was slow.

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We made it to Windsor by 5ish, checked in and went out for some food.

I chose not to drink any alcohol and was in bed by 11pm.

Next morning and it was game day. After an all you can eat breakfast in the hotel,quick shop round Windsor it was the train to Twickenham .

We got to the ground early and as a result me and matt ended up on ITV.

Security was a lot tighter this year so we had a drink outside the security . We were joined by the famous Flameheads .

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A few bargain’s were had around the Twickenham store which was empty , usually its rammed.

The game got underway and England dominated the first half.

I love rugby, both sets of fans sat with each other , good banter.

We had an Irish fan sat behind us, who was with his welsh girlfriend. He was clearly very bitter and hated the English, he became quite annoying and he actually left in the second half .

We were quite glad as in the last 8 mins Dan Cole was sin binned and Wales came storming back. Luckily we held our nerve, as my new hero Mario Itoje won the line out on the last play and the ball was kicked out of touch.

England were the RBS 6 Nation champions!!!!

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I was that stressed, that we sat in our seats for 30mins after till i’d managed to calm down.

As always we went to the Ruck and Maul bar to watch the live band. I wasn’t feeling my best so only drank 2 Guinness during the game then went onto shandy.

I had arranged to meet my friends Caroline & Robbo at 0830am the next morning, So I headed back to the hotel room with matt and was in bed for 2330hrs.

I had not slept all week and was up and down , I felt like my mind was racing and I tried meditation techniques to fall asleep. My mind was firing in all directions.

I opened my eyes Sam and my sister  were sat looking at me . I tried to take in my surroundings . I was in Wexham Park Hospital , Slough. I was told that I had 5 seizures in my sleep and Matthew had sounded the alarm and probably saved my life.

I had severely chomped through my tongue and been choking on my own blood and vomit.

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It was now Monday and the lads had made their way home .

Even stranger still, was a friend from my clubbing days was the nurse who looked after me. Simmo who new both me and matt was my acute nurse.I’d not seen him in 15years.What are the chances ???

I had lines stitched into me and bruises all over me. My head was mush and my memory is still hazy from my time in hospital.

I was discharged later that Monday. I slept the whole journey home .

Its been hard trying to pick myself back up. knock after knock wears you down.

I’m down for now and looking forward can’t see a way back up. But i know I will, I must.

My MRI has been moved forward to Monday to check that Terry hasn’t sparked back into life . I’m hoping it was just me being ill going into chemotherapy and not taking my seizure meds that weekend, plus the stress of the last 8mins of the game and not sleeping all week took its toll.

My tongue became infected and I was back in hospital Wednesday . I was put on 2 lots of Anti-Biotics and a pain killing mouth wash . They have had the desired effect and my tongue appears to be knitting back together.

O well …Behind the dark clouds the sun still shines bright … although its hard to see.

 

Have you seen your dad Cry….

SO !!!!!!! its been a while since I wrote a blog , but it has been full on crazy since my re diagnosis of a grade 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM4) Tumour. (The terminator as its known in the medical worlds.)

So what has prompted me to write ……… This morning at 06.30 on Friday 15th January 2016 my Children found me in the dark downstairs……head in hands, crying.
I was mortified when I realised they were with me. You don’t see your parents cry. They are your rocks , your stability, that beacon of hope super heros  or should be.
I have only seen my dad cry once in my life, when I was probably Josh’s age 10ish . That time I can recall, with the up most clarity and detail. It is still a strong memory in my mind.
This is not a memory I wanted my children to have of me. Weak , vulnerable , powerless in my fight against cancer.
Both Joshua and Halle sat there in the dark , I could feel there gaze on me with worry, as I tried to hold in my tears. But this made me worse and I couldn’t hold it , tears streamed down my face ,as It just came out. I began to sob. I could hear Josh whispering to the dogs to leave me alone, as both jumped up at me. I looked up drying my eyes . Both looked at me horrified as though “WHAT’S HAPPENED TO MY DAD”
I quickly scooped them both up and hugged them telling them, how much i love them and that  I was fine, not to worry. Sometimes I just fed up of being ill. I composed myself and told them i was just being silly . After this both ran up stairs to sam. What I didn’t realise was, that both of them were crying now.
Sam’s first reaction, she told me was “WHY HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD OFF”

So what lead me to be sat in the dark head in hands , sobbing the world away.

Well 2 days ago I finished cycle 3 of 6, on my chemotherapy, a lot of you will know the struggles I have had with chemotherapy via my Facebook page. If not…….

Following my second Brain surgery at only 34years (yes you are all jealous). Which lead to the diagnosis that Terry had transformed into The Terminator (GBM 4).

I was left with a decision to make .

One I categorically said I would not undertake .

Usually I want to know everything, life prognosis the lot, but not that day. But if I’m being honest, I already new. I research everything
Now this may shock some people but…My diagnosis had left me staring down the barrel of 3 months to live without the standard ‘GOLD TREATMENT’ as it was explained to me. Which in the western world is chemo and radiotherapy.

Even with this I was looking at 12 months!!!!!! But lets be clear of something very quickly….thats something I DO NOT ACCEPT OR BELIEVE.

I was once told I’d never walk again back in 2004 and I went on to become a world kickboxing champion in ITALY for GB at the worlds in 2009. So I tend not to follow the trend or be the average statistic.
As I have alluded to in my last blog , during the scan results of the new presentation of Terry the terminator, I ranted at my amazing Walton Team, that I will not have chemotherapy and radio……..Well guess what??? until you are in that position, starring at that prognosis, with a young family, YOU!!!! have no idea what you will do and I wasn’t prepared to gamble on the natural route.
I’ve had many people say “THAT TREATMENT WILL KILL YOU, I WOULD NEVER HAVE IT” If only life was so black and white ……..hey.
Sorry I’ve gone off on a tangent.

I made the choice to engage in the ‘GOLD STANDARD’ western medicine to give me time, to then implement other changes and eventually rely on the natural route.
So I started 6 weeks of duel concurrent treatment of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. Lasting for 6 weeks. This was at the Brilliant Clatterbridge cancer centre (CCC).
I had 150mg of Temozolomide (chemo) every single day, usually 20mins before my radiotherapy which was Monday-Friday.

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I hated radiotherapy.

I am so glad I can never have it again. But in my last week, I became unwell and I suppose ….…… ‘MELTED DOWN’ . Im not sure many people know this.

I wont go into it to much, but it involved me stood in my close, spinning around shouting all sorts of rubbish to the sky (I can laugh at it know and I’d of sectioned myself if I was a police officer turning up. not knowing the circumstances lol)

But jokes aside, I scared sam and brought back the original day this whole Journey started on1st may 2014. Something I still feel guilty for and probably always will.

I spent a couple of days on a day ward in Arrowe Park hospital. I was treated dreadful and made to feel insane by some staff (won’t go into it now). But!!!!! there were 2 rays of light. Allan a neuro-oncology nurse part of the CCC, but based at Arrowe and a health care assistant called Luv(not sure how you spell her name). They were a real comfort and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t of got out of there as i began to doubt my own sanity.

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I was released to my mums for total bed rest. The episode was put down to being on medical steroids for to long , dehydration, fatigue, radiation and extreme exhaustion.
I still completed all the treatment though. #ItsWhatIdo
After a 4 week break it was back to Chemotherapy.

Cycle 1-300mg of Temozolomide with Ondansetron/ Cyclozine, which are both Anti sickness. All was well until the day after I finished my 5 days of Chemo. I began to be sick about 9pm. Unfortunately this continued every 20-30mins, till I gave up at 0930am the next day Took  advice from CCC I was admitted into Hospital for fluids , bloods and intravenous anti sickness, which worked instantly.

Cycle 2 – 380mg of Temozolomide a 30% increase in dose. I didn’t think much to it until the pharmacist said , “THATS ONE HELL OF A DOSE YOU ARE ON” Thanks !!!!
This time I couldn’t complete the treatment and after day four’s dose, I began vomiting. I refused to go to hospital and rode the next few days out . CCC told me not to take the final days dose.

This eventually brings me up to to Cycle 3, the one I have just completed .
This was dose was back to 300mg, but as we discussed things in the meeting, I became slightly annoyed, as they had put me back on 8mg Steroids (DEX) again,Bloody 8mg from none. I melted down off 4mg. this was in a bid to stop me being sick this time.
As I argued that I would rather be sick, than go back on them. 
Dr Husband explained that I need to go on them only for 5 days of chemothearpy, then I can come straight off them. This is because they work in conjunction, with a new anti sickness I was being put on, APREPITANT.
Apparently this is the strongest stuff you can have and not given to patients who have tablet form Chemo (Temozolomide) like myself.
He then gave a parting shot of…. “THIS SHOULD BE INTERESTING I’VE NEVER GIVEN THIS TO SOMEONE ON YOUR CHEMOTHERAPY , LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS” Great I’m a guinea pig again.

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Days 1-3 were fine days 4 -5 I felt drained , no energy, or get up and go. Positive Dave had started to be suppressed.
Day 6 no chemotherapy , but those who are unlucky enough to go through this, know you don’t suddenly feel better. It stays working in your system. I actually felt worse the day after. But this time I had no Nausea or vomitting .
Que this morning!!!!!!! Day 7 I thought I would have woke up feeling much better, but instead I bolted out of bed and raced to the toilet. As I began to wretch, sweat poured from my head “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NOT NAUSEA” I thought. As I began to panic, I realised I was making myself worse. I managed not to be sick and went down stairs . I put my iPod and headphones on to take my mind off my stomach. A song came on that I identify with so much “EVERYWHERE I GO” by Lissie , which I had stumbled across in my hospital bed at Walton. For me its such a haunting song ,listening to the words, which I just relate to.
As I sat there feeling sorry for myself, because as I still wasn’t well, I began to reflect on the passed 2 years and everything that had happened.
I’d had enough , its been relentless , certainly since July 15 , my thoughts moved to my children’s childhood. Their up bringing is, MY ILLNESS!!! being sat in  hospitals, passed from pillar to post. Thats why I was sat there in the dark, sobbing at 0630 this morning.
So to wrap up (sorry it wasn’t supposed to be this long ) as I’ve sat here writing my feelings and thoughts down , headphones on.
I realise Its been a rough few years. But I maybe unlucky at the moment in health but I am truly lucky with the family, friends and support network I have. There are people out there going through similar situations with no one …..

I have also had a great 2 years and embarked and seen many things,met and forge great friendships that I wouldn’t of, if I hadn’t been diagnosed with this disgusting disease.

My children have a great life and have experienced so much that others don’t.

Although this has been a testing , hard, horrific year!!!!
There have been many Highs for me and my family, a Holiday in Egypt, a trip to Portugal, and a stag doo blow out in Amsterdam.
I retired from the Police as a Sergeant, after 14years enjoyable service.
Qualified as a Professional strength and Conditioning coach and as I do with most things excelled.
One of my best mates got married to his amazing wife and had their first child a girl Emily ( they refused to call her davina) My sister (rock) became pregnant again with her 3rd, Sam and I were VIP guests of Underarmour, to the Rugby world cup, where I met Kevin Plank the owner, with a net worth 4 billion. Such a nice guy and he gave me the keys to the door to his company, thanks to him but more importantly Tony.Awesome weekend that will never be forgotten. I also had the annual lads weekend to the 6 Nations, to see ENG v FRA , what a day and game . The amazing circus of Pull Ups To Paris and opening my friends Gym at The Underground Training station.
I struggled with guilt at the beginning of all this. Guilt for getting gifts and experiences, but I now choose to help people who had helped me with them. Especially when I was able to give a once in a lifetime weekend to a close friend and his wonderful family.
I bought a Campervan. Even though I will never probably be able to drive again.
We gained 2 new family members in the forms of miniature Dachshunds . Roxy & Oreo!!!!

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My son getting wirral’s RFU U10s rugby player last season.
My daughter started rugby at wirral where she takes after her dad and brother, as she is a try scoring machine. Both go to Free running at the brilliant Airborne Academy .
But most of all…… I’m here with them. As I’ve said before, I used to work 12- 16hr days and missed so much .
Not anymore, time to sit back and enjoy my Retirement.
And on that much happier note, I feel great and off to watch the new film “CREED” with my mate nick.
xx Behind every dark cloud the sun still shines Bright xx

Gotham Has Him now………..

I woke up.

It felt like I hadn’t even slept. It’s 5am and the sun lit up the room in the bay, of room 4, Cairns Ward , The Walton Neurological Centre.

I peeled opened my eyes, it was game day ,but It felt a lot different this time.

I was a lot calmer , much more relaxed. which I found strange.

I was about to go under the knife, face life saving  & lets face it ……potentially life altering, fatal operation. But I sat here feeling ok, nice and chilled.

Right time for a Pre war/battle cry/Facebook update  was my next thought (AS YOU DO).

Once again, the hospital ritual had burst into life. Buzzers went off. Nurses rushed up and down the ward, tending to patients requiring painkillers, medication or trying to get the theatre list ready for surgery.

From the amazing ward manager, to the diligent domestics, on this ward the whole team work constantly, tirelessly, professionally. With a smile and always 5minutes for a chat.

I was nil by mouth and last on the list. I had voiced my concerns to the anaesthetist the previous day, from my last brain  surgery (Yes I’m well networked) and the chaos of the operating theatre . I asked if I could just be put straight to sleep . He explained they had to do various checks before that can take place, but don’t worry, he would sort something.

Jenny one of the  Ward sisters, told me I had been prescribed a pre med tablet, for my nerves and concerns for the operation I’d raised. It was still very early and I was fine, but thought ‘LETS HAVE A GO”.

30minutes after i’d taken it , I began to feel a sense of calm, wash over me . My eyes became heavy and I drifted in and out of sleep for the majority of the morning, which helped take my mind off my impending second date with the Prof. Twice in 14 months.. people will talk.

Mid Morning and my cheer squad arrived. As always it was lead by my wife Sam , sister Viv and mum Marie.

I felt so sorry for them and the day they were about to endure . Once again I had the easy stage of the day . My surgeon had Several hours of concentration and literally had my life in his, steady hands.

My wife , family and friends had the anxious wait of updates from the profs team. All I had to do was get put to sleep, then wake up, That’s when I needed to do my part. Recovery and quick.

It was now 1400hrs. The day had drifted by fairly quickly. I got the nod to start getting ready for surgery.

I had a quick shower, shave and got into my gown, white stockings and fetching white, paper knickers…..easy girls.

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I rang Sam to tell her I was going down soon, as she had gone with Team Bolton for a coffee . But true to form there was no answer. In fact, there was no answer on all 3 of their phones. Typical!!!!! I thought, not as though anything major is happening today!!!!

Sam soon returned my call and I asked her to come see me before I went down. Obviously I needed my pre fight hug and pep talk from coach Sam.

Sister Jen asked if I wanted a pre med tablet again.  Errrrrr free drugs “I ACCEPT”. But it never had time to arrive.

My taxi arrived in the form of George the porter.

After a laugh and standard picture  with George for this blog, I  sat on the  trolley.

DE JA VU !!!!!! off to theatre with George again.

DE JA VU !!!!!! off to theatre with George again.

Now my thoughts turned to the last time I was going down to surgery, and funnily enough ,It was George who took me down last time I fancied a nip and tuck.

Now The difference this time, was how much more calmer I felt , more relaxed.

If you have followed or read my blog, from the beginning you will know, how I explained, the nerves and utter fear I felt as I was pushed down to the theatre, trying to hold back the tears.

All this time I thought it was more of a cross to bare, to know what have to face, fight and recover from.

In fact, as my wise friend Colin said “IT’S BETTER TO KNOW THE UGLY TRUTH, THAN TO FOLLOW THE BEAUTIFUL LIE”

We began the decent down to theatres, passing through the corridors as the hospital daily grind, raged on.

If I’m honest, the nerves had started to re-appear, as my body and mind started to switch on to the task that lay ahead. But I understand nerves are the body way of preparing itself for the fight ahead. I think id be more worried without them.

I was being escorted by my support squad, who kept me smiling.

I said my goodbyes at the door and was wheeled through into the theatre waiting room.

I was the only one in there. I lay on the trolley physically shivering, due to the Temperature in the room.

The neon lights strained my eyes, as I could hear George booking me in. I could feel the pulse in my head  pounding away. I closed my eyes breathed in and out deeply, concentrating  on my breathing, slowing my heart rate down and focusing on the task at hand.

“MR BOLTON” I jolted as a health care assistant startled me. She made her introductions , explained procedure and began her pre surgical check list from an I-pad.

Soon we were joined with 5 of the professors team, where I was wheeled into the prep room. I saw the anaesthetist from the day before. But there was only 5-6 people in the prep room , last  time there was utter chaos. He quickly said “RIGHT TEAM LETS DO THIS QUICK GET DAVE ASLEEP”  I told him I was ok and to take their time. “PRE MED WORKED THEN” he asked . “IT DID 6 HOURS AGO, THINK I TOOK IT TO EARLY, CHEERS THOUGH.”

“OK DAVE YOU SHOULD START FEELING A LITTLE DIZZY, IN ABOUT A MINUTE YOU SHOULD BE UNDER”

We talked England rugby and soon my had started to spin , my eyes became heavy. “YOU SHOULD BE GOING TO SLEEP ANY SECOND” I slowly muttered “I’M GONE” with that I closed my eyes and succumb to the darkness.

Round 36, seconds out ding, ding. #WEGOAGAIN

I began to feel sick in the pit of my stomach as my eyes slowly opened. It was dark and I wasn’t on Cairns Ward.

One of the nurses Suzanne, asked if I was feeling any better and apologised for the noise on the ward . I was confused , I looked at the  clock on the far side of the wall 0500hrs ???????

I asked where my family was. They had gone home, the nurse told me looking perplexed for several seconds. I asked what was up, as she was starting to worry me.  She sat down and told that there had been concerns raised from the professor during the operation. Once I was in position in theatre & my sunroof fully removed, he had discovered more of Terry (tumour) than was expected from the MRI scan. My cancer had spread/grown over onto the other hemisphere.

This I couldn’t get my head round. Why hadn’t it shown up on the MRI??

But I was told the professor was very happy with the operation and that he had removed most of the new ,bigger, roided up Terry.

I took in my surroundings, tried to piece together what the hell was going on.

The decision had been made to send me to Intensive care unit. This was due to the location in the brain from where the  Prof had de-bulked Terry from. This was in the frontal lobe and was not only the major control centre for the body, but was also where what makes us , the personality. The Tumour had also grown over a major blood vessel.

There had been complications in surgery, which had caused the operation to go on longer than expected . Again it was explained to me that, when I was brought round in recovery, I wasn’t making much sense, waffling rubbish ( nothing new there then hey ) and when asked if I new here I was apparently I replied “YEAH, GOTHAM CITY”. I was convinced I was in Gotham city. Now I am going to put this down to the majority of my friends changing there profile pictures on Facebook, as I explained before  to ” I STILL BELIEVE IN SUPER HEROS” I Didn’t actually think, I am the Dark Knight ……… OR DID I.

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I remember none of this. I’d been back in the land of the living since 2300hrs, talking to Team Bolton.

But 5am was the first thing I recall and now I was alone. With only the buzzing of heart rate monitors and the life support machines, keeping life preserved for company.

I don’t really recall being in any pain, but this Is probably due to the fact I was  higher and more drugged up than Benz from the happy Mondays.

Suzanne my nurse, apologised for the noise again . I told her not to apologise for noises being made by machines, keeping people alive.  I then said “I SHOULDN’T EVEN BE HERE, SO IM SORRY” Suzanne just looked at me . The look that said “YOU HAVE CANCER. YOUV’E JUST HAD BRAIN SURGERY, WHICH HAS HAD COMPLICATIONS, OF COURSE YOU SHOULD BE HERE”

All I can clearly remember, was wanting a drink and something to eat. My throat was sore from the intubation tubes during surgery.

Soon I was having the nicest meal in the world. It consisted of not just any toast, but this was The Walton Centre ICU’s, warm, brown, soggy, toast ,with  marmalade, and cup of tea.

I sat there struggling to swallow my breakfast due to the pain, watching as the night & day shift started to changed over.

I was handed over to my new guardian, nurse Oonagh.

 

The day my heart and fight was ripped out of me……..

Those that have the burden of dealing with cancer , will know the roller coaster of emotions that comes every time your results are due from your latest MRI. It doesn’t seem to get any easier. I’m no professional yet and have only lived with this unwanted lodger for 14 months, but after 4 sets of results it hasn’t got easier.

As your result dates gets closer, the nerves and anxiety starts to take hold. To combat this I went for a lads weekend in Amsterdam. This was the weekend prior to my results.  It did the trick, sinking a few beers in 28 degree heat was perfect . IMG-20150719-WA0022

But it was back to reality and Tuesday loomed. My alarm bells started ringing when my appointment was brought forward. It was only by a few hours so I put that to one side. I phoned the profs(my surgeon) secretary to confirm the appointment .

She told me it had been brought forward as Anna (my oncologist) had just got back from holiday and wanted me in earlier . I get on really well with Anna and always run over my slot. But then panic set in as I was informed that the clinic would not of started and the Prof also wanted to be there . The prof never comes to my meetings, unless treatment is planned. I convinced myself that it could be good news. Maybe that Terry (tumour) had shrunk or vanished due to the regimented protocol id been on for over a year , true id had 2 slip ups in that year with alcohol but one of them was Amsterdam the other was at Twickenham for an epic 6 nations game against France .

I didn’t sleep well at all that night, but morning soon arrived D Day was here.

My appointment was 13.15hrs. As always Sam (my wife), sister and mum came with me . My support and back up Team.

We arrived a good half hour early at The Walton Centre. I always did this to save any unnecessary stress, which would kick off a host of my side effects but that’s a blog in progress.

I booked in at the touch screen checked in and a few appointments popped up for me. I thought that’s strange, my heart rate began to rise.  As is tradition, we got a coffee in the bistro and waited . I saw Anna who waved, but she looked uneasy. We waited a good 15minutes over my appointment time . Bare in mind the clinic hadn’t started, there was no delay.

Eventually the Prof turned up and I was called into room 1. We walked in just like the very first time Anna and prof sat in front of me . we all sat down and Anna asked how I had been , I proceeded to tell her about my worries from my phone call with the secretary . Now usually I talk and talk, as I am scared of the results.  In that moment everything is ok ,( well as well as they can be with cancer) so by delaying the results I’m still ok . Anna will usually shut me up and say look your scans are fine Terry is stable no activity. But I kept talking , she was breathing heavily and I could see her eyes were glazed, so she was either drunk or about to cry. We will go with the later. I looked back to my sister and mouthed “this is bad you ready.” The Prof span the computer screen round and I was hit with a sledge hammer . My head started spinning and my heart sank.

There were two scans next to each other, I knew the left hand side picture was of December, a tiny jelly bean on the centre line of the brain, on the right there was now a golf ball sized looking mass in the same place. I new it was not the original picture, as that was huge and was bright white with the dye.This was not my first rodeo, I new that if the dye holds and is white its a low grade tumour, if its black it means its possibly a fast growing cancer as the dye won’t old in the mutated cells. The new scan and lump was black.

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I said “please don’t tell me that was my scan 3 weeks ago” pointing at the black mass on the screen.

“Unfortunately it is” , the Prof said. My head started spinning as my world that was finally getting back on track came crashing down. Tears began to stream down my face, but I held it together as I asked “What’s the plan” . Not in a million years did I expect the next sentence “It’s going to be surgery again, you will be coming in Sunday” A tidal wave of emotion washed over me , I placed my head in my hands and began to cry. “I can’t do this again , I f#####g give up” I sobbed. Anna straight away jumped in saying how well I have done this passed 14 months, the positivity and enthusiasm is remarkable. She stated she uses me as an example to others as its rare to have someone in front of her like me. But that wasn’t much comfort .

The Prof kept saying “We can’t bury our heads in the sand” usually id let that go over my head, but it was like a red rag to a bull. “IM NOT THATS WHY I ALWAYS ASK FOR YOU TO BE STRAIGHT” as I have wrote about in an earlier post . The prof isn’t good in social situations , doesn’t pick up on social cues that’s why he worked so well with Anna. He was the best guy in the UK to have working his magic inside my head and Anna was the caring , more approachable one more concerned with the emotional side of cancer.

“After surgery what’s next” I asked . Anna replied “its probably , going to be an add on” I looked strangely at her, the Prof told me that add ons, would be  likely radiotherapy then chemotherapy . I fired question after question at them, again he said “we can’t bury our head in the sand ” in my head I screamed “IM F#####G NOT THTS WHY IM BLOODY ASKING YOU, SHOW SOME BLOODY COMPASSION THIS IS MY LIFE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT” but what came out was “I KNOW THATS WHY IM ASKING” well he is my surgeon need to keep him sweet. Once treatment was discussed he left. I chatted with Anna, even laughed at how I had nearly got my driving licence back.  only another year to wait hey.

She told me I would need a pre op examination , another MRI, bloods, urine samples all ready for Sunday. Before I left she took hold of my hand and said “DONT GIVE UP , KEEP GOING BUT ENJOY LIFE DONT BE SO STRICT OR HARD ON YOUR SELF” I smiled thanked her and walked off to the MR scanning area. I lay in the scanner for 45mins , tears rolled down my cheeks as my thoughts turned dark & morbid once again.

I had my bloods taken , Pre op exam and as quick as I was there I was leaving. I sat in the car we all were in shock noone could of imagined or predicted that news . I found it a hard pill to swallow. But the fight and positivity I usually oozed was gone. I feared surgery and the road that lay ahead , I new how hard , painful and soul destroying it was last time. To go through it again was going to be longer harder more testing and it terrified me to my very core.

I felt as though I had jinxed us the week earlier, saying to Sam that we just needed to get July out the we. I had weddings, trips to Amsterdam , my retirement party and of course results of the latest MRI. Everything would have settled down by  august. Life was looking positive and rosy.

What have I done in a previous life to get this sort of run of bad luck. I didn’t think this year could get any worse than last, but it was already worse. Not just with these results but with the passing of my nan and the loss of our 3rd child due to an ectopic pregnancy the day before we flew to vegas, to watch our cousin fight on the UFC at the MGM Grand..

But as a very close friend said to me this week ” IT’S BETTER TO KNOW THE UGLY TRUTH, THAN BELIEVE OR FOLLOW THE BEAUTIFUL LIE”

My Mum, sister and Sam asked if I would mind to moving my retirement party forward to save cancelling it. I told them that was a good idea. It gave my sister and mum something to take their mind off the looming road ahead. Plus I wanted to say thank you to my work colleagues , friends and family for the overwhelming support we had received. I maybe unlucky but I am certainly lucky to have such an amazing support network.

Move forward to Friday and my mum and sister had arranged an amazing party, which was attended by hundreds of people which was amazing on only 3 days notice. It was brilliant to see so many faces old and new . My ex boss, mentor, friend cliff Barr gave the speech about me and my career, which went down amazingly . My mum had got up prior to say thanks, but had struggled with her emotions as she expressed her undying gratitude .

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I gave my speech which was from the heart . It went down well ….  so I was told anyway. The gifts and cards I received were again overwhelming, proving how blessed I really was.

The odd drink and dance to the live band Bright side  completed a night to remember.

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Just one more day to go. But the fight and spirit had not returned I just couldn’t face the battle that awaited me. I needed to get my head and body into the game, fight, battle what ever you want to call this part of my Journey.

But I new or should say know that once its time to go down for surgery, it will be like my fighting days. I’d always suffer from nerves before a fight , Think what am I doing why are you putting yourself through this. But soon as my walk in music would kick in , boom I was in the zone ready to tear my opponent in half, nothing would stop me till my hand was raised in the air. Once again I new the cycle of emotions I was going through dealing with cancer . Id go low and morbid , face death in the face , give up, before giving myself a good talking to and snap out of it, hulk mode would be activated.

That brings me to this very second . Its 23.55hrs Sunday 19th July 2015. I’m sat in bed at Walton Neurological . reflecting on this insane week of lows and highs. I’m still not yet in the fight, still nervous of what awaits, but I know come tomorrow when my walkout music is played, nothing will stop me , I may have cancer but cancer doesn’t have to have me . This is my life and I control its destiny Terry may of dropped me in the last round but I will finish this fight victorious with my hand raised. I’ve shaved my head, ready for surgery. I keep catching my reflection in the mirror  and for a split second I think who is that. My scar from my last surgery on show for all to see.

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Terry I under estimated , he has a good chin and is stubborn I need to up my game for this next round.

Make sure you live your life fully, don’t just exist , reach out to your loved ones, take that holiday, do that course, work in a job you love, then your getting paid to do a hobbies. Don’t dwell on the past that’s depression , worrying about he future is anxiety . Live for today, live in this moment . Cut away the negative energy sappers and surround yourself with the ones you love and energy givers.

Right I’m off to bed, got one hell of a fight to prepare for. But with a smack head opposite me shouting , swearing and being slightly racist, whilst demanding everything I may warm up on him first.

Goodnight and remember ….. Behind every dark cloud the sun still shines bright xxxxx

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When life gives you lemons, drink them !!!!!!!!!!!! (Part2)

As with part 1 ……..
Please note, this is my routine and so far has worked for me.
Everyone is different and no one tumour or cancer is the same.
What works for one, may not have the same effect for others.
Theses are my own opinions and findings, through my own experiences and extensive research.
I don’t claim to know it all, or even always get it right, so feel free to contact me if you think anything else can or may help .

I co-operate fully and adhere to the normal western medical practices.
But I do this in conjunction, with tackling my diet , exercising , keeping my mind calm and focused. I research and try experimenting with holistic & alternative therapies, running them all side by side one another .
I believe by attacking my condition 360 degrees, from all angles , I am giving myself the best chance possible to survive against the odds .
I want to be a different type of statistic, one out on my own.
One as a survivor of my incurable , terminal disease.

Supplementation

This is a list of what I take, on a daily basis and the potential benefits they have on my body.

Niacin (vitamin B3) –
Niacin, or vitamin B3, as it is also known, is involved in over 50 metabolic processes , that are meant to turn carbohydrates into energy.
Besides providing energy to the cells from the entire body, niacin is also responsible for the integrity of these cells. Below are listed some of the processes niacin participates in:
Antioxidant effect
Blood sugar control
Decrease of cholesterol levels
Detoxification
Production of adrenal hormones
Production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach
Production of sex hormones
Vitamin B3 will also turn fat into energy, as it is also involved in fat metabolism.

Niacin helps to maintain your central nervous system and brain function . adequate niacin intake may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and age-related cognitive decline. It also plays a role in decreasing migraine and tension-type headaches.
Niacin also seems to be very effective in increasing joint mobility. Correlated with the facts that niacin enhances muscle strength and reduces muscle and joint fatigue, this means that vitamin B3 can be successfully used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. If it is administered in high doses each day, effects are observed in 3 to 4 months. Niacin is also appreciated for its anti-inflammatory effect obviously a bonus for me.
Be warned, as with everything I do, its trail and error and this was a big error in dosage when I first took this supplement.
I made 2 mistakes , I first took this on an empty stomach and secondly I doubled up on the 100mg tablets . The result …… I started with a tingling feeling all over my body. This then resulted in skin flushing . My whole body turned bright red like a cooked lobster . I looked horrifically sunburnt!!!!
My skin was itchy and very uncomfortable.
I took a cold shower to cool my body down and relive the symptoms . They lasted for a very uncomfortable hour. I know take a 100mg tablet a day but I take half in the morning after food and the same in the evening afterfood.

Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) –
is a chemical found in beans, brown rice, corn, sesame seeds, wheat bran, and other high-fiber foods. It is converted into compounds in the body that are used by cells to relay outside messages to the cell nucleus. IP6 also aids the body in its use, or metabolism, of calcium and other minerals.

Animal and lab research has found that IP6 to be effective in preventing tumors from forming and slowing tumor growth. One small study done in humans found that IP6 might help ease the side effects of chemotherapy and improve quality of life in people with cancer.

IP6 is a “natural cancer fighter” and claim, it slows or reverses the growth of various forms of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. It is thought to be an antioxidant, a compound that blocks the action of free radicals, activated oxygen molecules that can damage cells. It may help to prevent the abnormal signals that tell a cancer cell to keep growing from reaching the cell’s nucleus. Research shows IP6 slows abnormal cell division and may sometimes transform tumor cells into normal cells.
It also lays claim that it effectively prevents kidney stones, high cholesterol, heart disease, and liver disease.

Blue green algae/ spirulina –
Blue-green algae is 70% vegetable protein and has higher levels of beta-carotene than broccoli. The onetwo punch potency of blue-green algae is that it contains a high concentration of nutrients- over 65 vitamins, minerals and enzymes and the complete spectrum of eight essential amino acids and ten nonessential amino acids. They are all easily absorbed by the body. In fact up to 97% of the beneficial vitamins, minerals and enzymes found in blue-green algae are easily absorbed (some supplements are as low as 5-25% absorbable). AFA also contains the most biologically active chlorophyll of any known food.

Wild oregano oil- (must have a carvacol of at least 80% )
Oregano contains: fiber, iron, manganese, vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids, manganese, and typtophan.
Oregano is also a rich source of Vitamin K – an important vitamin which promotes bone growth, the maintenance of bone density, and the production of blood clotting proteins.
Dietary antioxidants – oregano contains very high concentrations of antioxidants (i.e., >75 mmol/100 g).
It’s produced from the perennial herb oregano and loaded with free-radical-crushing antioxidants. A growing body of research has shown that oregano oil offers many positive health benefits and is one of the most potent natural remedies.
In particular, there has been significant evaluation of its effects against harmful organisms
Oregano oil is a powerful antimicrobial, because it contains an essential compound called carvacol.
A team of British and Indian researchers reported that the essential oil of Himalayan oregano has strong antibacterial properties that can even kill the hospital superbug MRSA.
In studies and trials it has been concluded, findings identify Origanum majorana as a promising chemopreventive and therapeutic candidate that modulate cancer growth and metastasis. Put simply, they believe components in oregano may help slow down or prevent the progression of cancer in patients.
According to The Natural Medicines Database, oregano is also used for the following illnesses and conditions:
Cold
Muscle pain
Acne
Dandruff
Bronchitis
Toothache
Bloating
Headaches
Heart Conditions
Allergies
Intestinal parasites
Earache
Fatigue
Repelling insects
Menstrual cramps

Liquid chlorophyll
– I take this in a glass of water in the morning.
Chlorophyll is one of my favourite nutrients. It has so many health benefits. But what stands out about this, is the fact that its molecular structure is almost identical to hemoglobin except for the center atom.
In hemoglobin this is iron, whereas in chlorophyll it is magnesium.

This means that when ingested, liquid chlorophyll can actually help to do the job of hemoglobin (hemoglobin is so vital to the health of our blood – in fact, blood is approx 75% hemoglobin). It helps to rebuild and replenish our red blood cells, boosting our energy and increasing our wellbeing almost instantly.

So in addition to helping to rebuild and replenish our red blood cells, liquid chlorophyll benefits include not only being highly alkaline, but also the following:

Anti Carcinogenic: 


Antioxidant & Anti-inflammatory:
containing high levels of the vitamins A, C and E, liquid chlorophyll has strong antioxidant capacity and has also been found to help reduce inflammation 

Chelation of Heavy Metals: chlorophyll is one of the most important chelates in nature. It’s ability to bind to and remove toxic heavy metals such as mercury makes it an extremely powerful healer. 

Anti-Candida:  chlorophyll to be a powerful internal deodorant.

Wound Healing & Antiseptic: while liquid chlorophyll doesn’t actually have antiseptic properties of its own, it, quite remarkably, DOES have the ability to aid our body’s tissue in destroying germs. By strengthening tissue, it increases the disease resistance of cells and, at the same time, prevents the growth of bacteria!                      Rapid Delivery of Magnesium: chlorophyll is rich in magnesium, which is a highly alkaline mineral and so consuming chlorophyll rich foods has a highly alkalising effect on the body. Magnesium is super-important as it helps to deliver much needed oxygen to cells and tissues, bone formation, nerve and muscle function – PLUS – magnesium is critical for our cardiovascular system, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, kidneys, liver, hormone-secreting glands, and brain all rely on magnesium for their metabolic function.Contains vitamin K, C, folic acid, iron, calcium, protein: which are all also essential in building and repairing red blood cells and boosting our immune system.

Acidophilus Pro biotic  – High strength probiotic to aid and boost digestion, keep the stomach healthy and stomach enzymes in check.

Msm – MSM is an abbreviation for methyl-sulfonyl-methane, which is organic sulfur compound. This compound is the third largest nutrient found in the human body and is found in all vertebrates. MSM is also an ingredient found in quite a few foods, meat, dairy products as well as vegetables.
sulfur plays a critical role in detoxification, and also in inflammatory conditions. For detoxification, sulfur is part of one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces: glutathione.
sulfur plays an important role in the production of glutathione—one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces. Glutathione also serves important functions for detoxification. Without sulfur, glutathione cannot work. So, while not an antioxidant by itself, part of MSM’s action is to improve your body’s ability to make its own antioxidants.

Apricot kernels- I love these, Apricot kernels are like most nuts and seeds, very nutritious. Among the nutrients they contain is one called amygdalin, which is also known as vitamin B17. This is reported to attacks cancer cells.
Amygdalin (vitamin B17) is contained in many hundreds of foods, but ones that are particularly rich in amygdalin have disappeared to a large extent from our Western diet.
It is claimed that vitamin B17 helps in the prevention of cancer. Apricot seed has the highest percentage of B17 in any fruits and consuming this seed will allegedly help prevent cancer.
Vitamin B17, and hence apricot seed, also helps to lower high blood pressure
Helps to reduce pain associated with arthritis.
Help to maintain the general health and well-being. Hence, it will strengthen the ability to resist infections like colds and flu
Most people eat apricot seeds not just for the overall general well-being, but because of its property to prevent cancer, which leads me into Cyanide contained in B17.
An apricot seed contains just about half mg of cyanide. Based on a report by the Committee on Toxicity (2006), dosage of between 0.5 – 3.5 mg per kg of body weight can be fatal. So, I weigh 74kg I would have to consume 40mg to 280 mg that is equivalent to about 100-560 apricot seeds, per day, for it to be fatal.

It is claimed that about five milligram of cyanide is considered sufficient to prevent cancer. This is equivalent to eating 10 apricot seeds per day. It is also claimed that to combat existing cancer, you will need to consume 50 apricot seeds.
I consume between 25-30 a day. I really can’t face trying to fit up to 50 seeds a day in. I try to let them solidify in my mouth, till my tongue starts to numb, I also put them in smoothies to avoid the bitter taste.

Vitamin D3- While you’re catching some rays this summer, think about vitamin D. Sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D1, D2, and D3. It can affect as many as 2,000 genes in the body.

Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of the vitamin is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.

Aloe Vera gel- Aloe vera is a succulent plant species. The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD. Extracts from Aloe vera are widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, being marketed as variously having rejuvenating, healing, or soothing properties. I use the gel taken straight from the plant 100% organic and natural.

1. Detoxifying

Aloe vera juice is crammed full of amino acids, vitamins and minerals making it one of nature’s most effective cleansers. ‘It can help strengthen digestion and rid the body of any nasty waste, thus detoxifying the body naturally,’ says Sebastian. ‘Its main property is to be soothing, cooling and moistening which helps to clear inflammatory and irritating heat, such as in menopause, plus inflammatory skin and digestive problems, such as acne, rosacea and IBS.’

2. Supports the immune system
Aloe vera is packed full of immune-boosting polysaccharides which help the immune system to behave properly. ‘Too much inflammation in the body can cause problems within the immune system and can cause conditions like asthma, eczema and Crohn’s disease. Soothing herbs like aloe vera juice can slow the inflammatory cascade and help reorder the immune response to prevent these conditions.’
3. Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
There is some evidence to suggest aloe vera lowers cholesterol and has a positive effect on blood sugar levels, meaning it can be useful for treating diabetes and obesity.
4. Excellent for digestion
It’s worth trying for anyone who suffers with digestion problems like IBS. Its healing and soothing properties can help with the painful symptoms.

5. An easy way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake
Aloe vera juice is packed with vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and folic acid. It’s also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and potassium. Sounds pretty good, right?

Return to RAINBOW CITY ….The game changer!! (Part 1.)

The alarm goes off ugggghhh I think.

 Its 05:01hrs, Wednesday 22nd April 2015. 

I scramble to switch of the alarm on my phone , which is located on the 

other side of the room. A deliberate ploy to make sure I get up. 

As I struggle to wonder why on earth my alarm is going off at this time, the fog 

and haze begins to lift. 

I am off to Portugal, back to Rainbow City. To the oasis that was my game 

changer, helping get my focus, drive & positivity back. This was after news of a 

potential second stage 3 tumour which had been discovered in my last MRI scan 

October last year. 

Since then, my results, which were 2 days before christmas, had been for the first 

time ever, positive from The Walton neurological centre. My tumour was stable 

showing no sign of change and the new second lump had not grown , ruling out 

it being a high grade tumour. That meeting was very emotional . 

I still laugh at my mum , who shouted out “THANKGOD” at the top of her voice,

before bursting into tears. Well she is my mum, so I let her off.  

There must be no worse battle to watch your child face. No parent should lose a 

child. 

But this unfortunately had been the case of late within my family and circle 

of friends. 

Not only had my 9year old cousin passed November 2013 but also my close 

friends son Elliot had also lost his battle to cancer a few years early,

 both I have mentioned in early posts. 

I have drawn huge amounts of inspiration from the way Eve ,Elliot and their

Family coped and battled their cancers.

The battle and this round was won but the war raged on. 


The new growth was now called Talulah. 

During the meeting it was actually me, who picked up on the scans that 

Talulah had shrank by the minuscule of measurement.

But all the same it was still a positive change. 

A reduction in size ,was a reduction. 

Hopefully this was scar tissue then and not a tumour.  

But there is no way of telling, unless they crack my headopen and go in again. 

It’s just a case of monitoring through scans.


I walked out of Walton the sun hit my face. 

looked up to the heavens, as tears streamed down my face. But unlike all the 

other times these were tears of joy.

But I digress, a side effect that plagues me , going off on a tangent and 

forgetting where the point of the story was……..RAINBOW CITY!!!!

 

This time I was going back, upbeat, full of life and ready to see some 

old and new friends. 

 I was travelling with Danny my childhood amigo, the guy who built 

this oasis on the side of a mountain. With his mate Anthony.

I kissed sam goodbye on her forehead,trying not to wake her, picked up my bag 

and jumped in the car.  waiting outside was dan and his step dad Adrian. 


We began the journey to the airport. I sat there in the back slightly puzzled as to 

why we were going the long way to John Lennon airport. As we headed towards 

manchester.    I calmly asked “ARE YOU GOING ACROSS THE RUNCORN 

BRIDGE ADRIAN”

He laughed and replied “YOU’RE FLYING FROM MANCHESTER” 

Panic set in, I was flying from Liverpool. Stress producing that chemical 

cocktail,flowed through my body . My head started to hurt and i struggled to 

focus.

Dan quickly checked his phone as I told them . Dan laughed saying

 “O YEAH SORRY” 

“GOOD JOB I AM HERE” I thought.

 

We arrived at the airport,said our thanks to Adrian and went through security.  

Being a yogi, Dan had his own yoga mat with him, which on receiving back 

from the security scan, he unrolled it on the floor . 

The look on the face of the airport security,was priceless.

they all thought he was going to start praying to Mecca.  


A short 2.5 hr flight and we were in Portugal’s capital Lisbon.

The Sun was shining and I felt relaxed. 

  

The day before I had spent the day in Walton having various,

 memory, concentration, decision making tests, all of which I suffer 

from. It had wiped me out and left me fatigued and with migraines.

Dan picked up his 4×4 and we took a short drive to Cascais,

 a beautiful town, full of character , stunning beaches and a great 

surf. 

We were driving to Rainbow City, which would take 3-4hrs. 

But dan had arranged for us to spend the day and night at a 

Norwegian families house. Catherine had been at Rainbow city a 

few weeks earlier and had offered to put him up when ever he was in 

town, as they had struck up a great friendship. 

We pulled up to a beautiful house with lemon , almond and avocado 

trees 

within its boundaries . A nice pool was in the back yard , next to a 

pool house. Cathrine used it teach yoga. This was to be our room 

for the night.

Catherine husband Marcus greeted us.  

I was introduced round and made to feel at home. This meant a lot 

to me. This family did not know who i was , anything about me and 

to be honest, Cathrine had only met dan for a week at rainbow.

But they were opening their house up to us , feeding and trusting 

us with their 3 amazing children. 

 

They showed us to their favourite beach ,pointed out a few 

stunning landmarks . 

We Then sat and had a strawberry juice at a beachside cafe. 

It was so peaceful and tranquil. 

My mind needed this after yesterday’s testing.

Catherine had to collect the kids from school. 

Dan and i explored the beaches , which were golden and beautifully 

kept . I sat and watched the locals, surfing the huge waves. 

They Sat in the vast ocean bobbing up and down,  not a care in the world 

just focused on the next wave. I could get used to this way of life.

We drove back to Cascais walked around the old town. I picked up 

a couple of trinkets for the kids and a bunch of flowers for Cathrine 

and wine for Marcus for their hospitality.  

 


As we left the beach we saw an elderly couple stuck in the sand.

The driver was on the phone and his wife was stood looking up 

at The sky hands clasped praying. 

Dan slammed on , remember we were in his defender a 4×4 monster. 

I asked him if he had a tow rope. he just laughed at me. 

Of course he did!.

We hooked up the vehicle to dans monster . The  elderly Portuguese man sat in his car and steered …. Well he steered the wrong way and had his foot on the brake as Dan took up the slack and began to try pull the vehicle clear. The car was been dragged sideways . The smell of burning rubber filled the air. I started shouting at the gentleman “TURN THE OTHER WAY” he just looked at me, I stood in the road motioning my hands to turn the other way . He realised and released the brake,turned the wheel the right way and Dan pulled the vehicle free onto the solid road. The woman clasped her hands together shouting “OBRIGADO” over and over,which is Portuguese for thankyou one of only 5 words I actually know. She  pointed at the number plate realising we were English “INGLES, INGLES OBRIGADO”
The elderly gentleman then pulled off in front of an incoming vehicle which narrowly missed him. Time to get out of here . Good dead of the day done…

  

 

We returned to their home, where Cathrine had cooked the most 

amazing thai soup and alkalising juice to wash it down with.  

We sat and talked. I played table tennis with Marcus who narrowly 

beat me 3 times!!!!!!! but i am not competitive……………anyway.

We then said our goodnights and hit the hay. 

I hit it off with their Norwegian lodger Ronar. Ronar was Catheine’s 

best friend. His relationship had broke down in lisbon and was a 

broken man. Cathrine had taken him in and dragged him back to 

life. 

As you can see Cathrine is one of the life’s true wonders .

 

Waking up with the sun on my face was always an amazing feeling 

for me. Thesun rose and broke through the window, It made me feel 

alive. It was 0700hrs dan was flat out. I sat on the steps of the pool 

house and just reflected on the passed few months . Which had 

seen me lose my nan on the 27th dec 14. 

Sam had also been pregnant and the day before we were both flying 

to las vegas , to watch my cousin tom fight at the Mgm Grand on 

the biggest card in a long time in the UFC . 

She fell ill and had to have emergency surgery, as the pregnancy 

was ectopic and we lost the baby. So it had been a rough few 

months …… Well who am i kidding YEAR.

  

 

We had Porridge for breakfast, followed by us dropping the kids off

at school and a short drive to one of the numerous beaches, for 

yoga or a run. 

This is how they started the day everyday . Bliss. 

 It was very relaxing and peaceful watching the sun shimmer off the 

vast ocean , the noise of the waves crashing against the rocks. 

 I need to bring sam and the kids i thought, they would love 

life here.

  

 

After a raw vegan lunch at a beautiful roof top cafe, we set off. 

But as we did Cathrine asked if we could pop back to hers quickly. 

Her daughter Alva had come home from school and hearing we had

gone had started crying. We had promised her the day before we 

would have a swim with her. So a promise is a promise.  We spent 

the next hour jumping in and out of the pool, before finally hitting 

the road. Armed with pictures from the kids and juices for the drive,

 we set off.

  

 

I enjoyed the drive catching up with Dan , reminiscing of old times 

and listening to the club music of our garlands and clubbing days. 

The journey flew by and was a stunning drive. It actually takes the 

same time to drive as get the train. 3.5hrs later I could see the domes in the mountains. 


Rainbow city awaited.

  

 


 

 

 . 

When you’re forced to beg, for some bloody paracetamol!!!!! (part6 recovery)

So I was alive!!!! But now for the hard work , recovery and I wasn’t prepared for how hard it was and unfortunately still is.
(Stupidly I thought I would be back in work within 3 months)

I was wheeled into my bay , still groggy from the anaesthetic.
The day is still hazy, but I still remember parts of it, which I am still surprised at .
My wife Sam , mum & sister were all there to greet me. With big smiles and tears in there eyes.
I kept drifting in and out of sleep . I had an oxygen mask covering my nose & mouth, this was to help clear the anaesthetic from my system.
On my legs were what I called, cricket pads. They were white, electronic, inflatable pads, with chambers that inflated and deflated. They massaged my legs and squeezed the muscles. This was to lower the chances of blood clots occurring .
I was dosed up, on a lot of morphine.
Now…..those close to me know, that when I had my bike accident 10years ago, as I mentioned earlier . I overdosed on morphine and ended up with morphine psychosis.
This was a pretty horrific time.
I suffered from extreme paranoia and hallucinations all the time.
These vivid hallucinations, included me waking up in surgery & watching my family be executed in front of me.
The final straw ended up with me rocking in my bed at Whiston hospital, thinking I was in a mental institute….. in Canada??
I begged the consultant to take me off the pain killers , I couldn’t cope and didn’t know what was going on. My brain was clouded, having been in a coma for over a week and a further few weeks dosed up on all this medication, painkillers and sedatives.
At first he said the pain would be to much, but as I sat there crying , pleading with him, he eventually agreed . 3 days later I woke up in pain, but that didn’t bother me. I suddenly realised what was going on, my legs were in plaster with external metal pins protruding from them. The drugs were finally out my system and reality kicked in.

Back to Walton …… and guess what, I started to get paranoia .
There was a elderly gentleman in the corner bed in my bay.
I needed sleep , my brain needed to recover and sleep was the key to this. But every time I dropped off . The elderly gentleman would shout at the top of his voice and it would startle me.
This went on for an hour and I was only just out of surgery. “HE IS DOING IT ON PURPOSE” i said to sam. I looked over and I could see his wife starring at me and I was convinced she was talking about me and she was telling him when I was nodding off . “SAM, THEIR DOING IT ON PURPOSE , I CAN SEE THEM PLANNING IT” Sam just looked at me and told me to stop being stupid and rest.
Just as I drifted off he shouted again, making me jump.
My head started to throb. I kept saying to Sam ” SHE IS STARING AT ME, LOOK THEY TALKING ABOUT IT, LOOK THERE WAITING TILL I FALL ASLEEP.” As I looked over, his wife caught my eye and said to me “REALLY SORRY, MY HUSBAND IS HARD OF HEARING , I AM TRYING TO GET HIM TO STOP SHOUTING, AS HE KEEPS WAKING YOU” I smiled and said its fine I hadn’t noticed.
I laughed and said to Sam, “HOW TWO FACED AM I, NO MORE MORPHINE FOR ME”
I spent the day drifting in and out of sleep, but I was surprised at how well I felt and alert considering I had just had major brain surgery.
My sister and Sam had even managed an update on Facebook following surgery. I was blessed to be inundated by requests for an early update on my condition , and that all had gone well . This was coupled with hundreds of messages of support.
My family said their goodbyes and left me to get some sleep, as it was getting late.
Right, time to settle down.
I was told to do very little and was confined to my bed .
This meant having to wee into a bottle.
But I felt well, so…..sod it I thought, I am getting up and walking to the toilet, which was in our constant observation bay.
I unhooked my cricket pads and got up. I took 2 steps the room started to spin, I managed to get to the toilet cubicle, sweat was pouring from me.
I grasped the hand rail as I struggled to stand. ” YOU IDIOT” I thought.
I went to try make it back to bed, abandoning the mission.
Half way across the bay, I collapsed crashing to the floor.
The nurses rushed round me and helped me up and back into bed.
My favourite nurse, sister Christine proceeded to take time out of her very busy schedule, to lecture and tell me off……
My lesson was well and truly learnt . I was dosed up on a lot of MEDS, painkillers and was high on adrenaline , so thought I was fine.
This was very apparent in the following days, as I struggled to move.

I lay in bed, recovering from the failed mission.
My dignity slightly lost as i was peeing into a cardboard container, which I then had to ask a nurse to take away …….. Sexy .

As I lay there, i closed my eye s , I could hear a dripping noise like a tap , but the sound wasn’t coming from a tap or a toilet, it was inside my head .
I shook my head from side to side, to try stop the internal drip on my brain. But as I did this there was a Swishing and sloshing noise , that only I could hear. When I tipped my head back I could here the fluid filling the hole up glugging away.
I would spend hours in the next few days, slowly moving my head side to side, playing with the fluid that was filling the giant hole, that was left in my brain from where the tumour was removed.
Later on that night the professor came to see me. He informed me that surgery had gone as well as could be expected. He was also happy with the amount of tumour that had been removed.
I already new he would not be able remove it all. A tumour in the brain is unlike one anywhere else . Excess tissue I.e the brain can’t be chopped away as this would cause major side effects and brain damage.

I eventually drifted off and had a full nights sleep .
The next morning I woke up. I felt weak and in pain, my head was pounding . Painkillers and oral morphine helped take the edge off , but it never really took the pain away.

The steroids had really kicked in and my hunger was out of control.
I just craved food, any food and wanted to eat.
One afternoon I had a 4 course lunch, by choosing everything on the menu…
Well a boys got to eat….

Anna (neuro-oncology nurse) to see me everyday to check on my progress .
I later asked Anna what the professor meant by “surgery had gone As well as can be expected” she replied , “well you survived and are still alive …… ”
O thanks!! But true.
She also said the noises in my head were normal. They should stop but everyone is different……
Luckily after a week, the constant dripping and sloshing stopped. To be honest I was slightly disappointed, as It kept me busy whilst I had no visitors.

The medical team were all impressed at how quickly I was recovering .
They reminded me that my brain was like a car crash on a motorway. The tumour being a crash or pile up. All activity (Traffic) had been diverted for years.
Now the crash had been cleared, it would take time to re-open those original routes.
I thought my brain would slowly re shape and close the hole , a bit like a sponge . But I was told that wouldn’t happen , the tennis ball size hole would stay, but fluid would fill the void!!!

I had streams of visitors over the coming days , which really helped pick me up and break up the time.
I spent most of the time in bed, when I got out of it even for a short amount of time , I would feel faint and sick.
After 2 days I was moved out of the constant observations bay and further down the ward. Closer towards the exit lol.

Sam visited everyday . She bought me my juices and healthy snacks to keep my nutrients and vitamin intake up. She could of bought me a dead dog, I was that hungry I would of eaten it …. Damn steroids.

We waited for my black eyes to appear and the swelling to form as warned by the medical team.
But they never came. The top of my head swelled for a day or 2 making me look like mega mind from the kids CGI film. But that was it.
Because of this, I told Sam to bring the kids to see me as they would find that funny , not scary.

The days slowly passed as I struggled to adjust . I couldn’t watch t.v or read as my concentration was poor and i couldn’t cope with the brain stimulation.
I would sleep 4 or 5 times a day in between visitors . I was always tired . It felt like I would need to sleep after drinking water. Fatigue, concentration , decision making and stress was and still is a killer, but that was and is more evident at home. Which I will cover in the next chapter.

In the end I needed to get home the final straw, came to a head over medication and a Junior doctors incompetence.

It was now Friday I was in my 3rd different bed and bay , in 5 days.
I had visitors all day, it was about 2pm.
I had been seen by the junior doctor. My heart rate during my observations was low around 44bpm.
This was normal for me it was usually around 48-52bpm.
The doc started to panic and insisted I was seen by the cardiovascular team and be transferred to their ward , once released .
I refused and said there was nothing wrong with my heart and I was very fit and this was normal. No-one was bothered the previous 4days .
After an hour of arguing, he agreed to leave it.
I had enough to deal with and new I was fine . This was my normal heart rate, not only this I was on morphine and in bed most the time, so it was bound to be low.
I later saw my professors no2, who was amazed at the doctors recommendations and said this wasn’t the first time he had caused chaos for no reason.

I now had a migraine and was feeling sick, I requested my pain killers.
The nurse came back and informed me that the same doctor had removed all my painkillers and medication.
I couldn’t quite believe it, I was in agony recovering from life saving brain surgery and I was being refused pain killers. I begged the nurse for anything even a pain killer, as my head felt as though it was going to explode.
She paged the doctor, as she couldn’t give me anything unless it was on my chart.
He came to my bed and said “I THOUGHT YOU NO LONGER WANTED MEDICATION, HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND” . At no point had we ever spoke about painkillers or medication , let alone ask to be taken off them!!!
He told me he would have to write me back up and would take an hour…..
He returned 30 mins later and said I was allowed my painkillers.
I asked the nurse for them , who said she would be 5 mins .
2 hours passed by. I again asked the same nurse politely, could I have some painkillers as I was in agony . She apologised and said she would get them now.
Another hour later , I watched her walk off the ward at 9pm and go off duty. I sat there, my head felt like it was splitting , my vision was blurred and I felt physically sick. The pain was that bad I had tears in my eyes. I text Sam who just kept telling me to cause a fuss and ask for them.
My friend Vicky was also texting me and was threatening to come down and demand them for me… Which I new she would do, if I said ok.
I saw another nurse and politely explained how I felt and that I needed some painkillers . He said give me 5 minutes as the ward was busy .
Another hour passed . Right, I appreciate how much the staff had done for me and how busy and understaffed they were . But I didn’t have a sore leg or was recovering from a cold. I had been through major brain surgery only 4 days earlier and was suffering horrifically. I had been politely and quietly requesting painkillers since 2pm … It was now 1030pm .
Maybe that’s where I went wrong ,mI should of created a fuss and demanded them now.
Unfortunately sister Christine was on her day off, otherwise I would of had them several hours earlier. She was brilliant .
I didn’t want to cause a fuss or be a pain, as my wife is a nurse, my sister a midwife. I new how hard their job was.
A health care assistant who had been on all day , came to have a chat with me , where he asked if I felt better after my pain killers .
When he heard I still hadn’t had any, he stormed out, ranting “this is disgusting”
2 minutes later he came back with a nurse and my Medication and painkillers.
8 hours after my first request I had finally got them.
I decided there and then , that I would request to leave in the morning.
At home I could take my own medication instantly and just stay in bed.
The next morning 6 days after being admitted , I was given all my medication , steroids and information and was on my way home…. I thanked the staff and bought them all krispie cream doughnuts, to say thankyou.

Time to start the slog that was recovering at home.

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The game changer…… RAINBOW CITY !!!!!

It’s Wednesday 8th October .
The alarm sounds at 5am uggggggghhhhh I think . Then my eyes open wide, I remember I am off to Portugal, to visit my old friend Danny K and the world he had built in Portugal.
Now this wasn’t a holiday for me , it’s time I needed to escape, leave the world I know behind.
I needed try to process the reality , that my tumour has potentially grown back and developed into a grade 3 astrocytoma .
I now had a 3 month anxious weight , to find out.
Life’s been hard at home struggling to cope with the news, I received whilst getting my results at Walton only a week ago .
My drive and positivity had gone, I had slipped into not leaving the house and resigning to the fact this is how my life would end.
I wished the time away, wasting my days.
“Could my tumour be growing back at a dangerous, higher grade, only 3 months after surgery????”
Samantha & Danny convinced me to go spend the week with him.
With money tight, dan paid for my flight and train .
I needed to go to try clear my head , in rainbow city.

Sam left me at John Lennon airport, hugged me goodbye , whispering you need this , sort your head out and come back stronger.
Sam is my absolute rock, but I think she needed me to go away, not only for me, but for her own sanity to.
In front of me , (as I am with her) we both put a brave face on , both wanting to stay strong for each other , show no signs of weakness, both knowing how hard we both have it.
This is our tumour, our cancer, our battle, not just mine.
We also needed to try keep life as normal …..
well as normal as you can, for the kids .
With me away I think she can relax, let her guard down and let it all in and then out. Knowing I wouldn’t be there to worry.

I flew the 2.30hrs to Lisbon. As always running into a couple of friends on the way.
Sam jokes that I always run into someone, anywhere in the world. But it’s a small world really.
After a quick brew with Paul & mark in Lisbon. I travelled into oriente followed by lunch and a walk around, killing 3 hrs.
It was a 3.5 hr train ride to Fundao. Where I wrote the first part of this .

As I pulled into the station , I was met by dan and his close family friend Michael.
Dan met me with his usual big grin, a big man hug, and I couldn’t help notice he was also sporting a pair, of his finest yoga pants!!!!!
We took the 30 minute drive into the mountains, into the world that he had created.
2 domes, an old ruined farm house and a double decker bus, sat on the 2 hector site , that was Rainbow city.
He had built an oasis of calm and tranquility, off the grid.
The place was built on the principles of being a raw vegan , health , happiness and equality.

On arrival I was met by a number of people staying within the site. All welcomed me with open arms .
I stayed in dome 2 and shared a bed with dan , not for the first time I may add…… While his faithfull Rottweiler noushka, sat guard at the foot of the bed.

The days usually started with the no alarms , you rise naturally , usually as the sun hits your face through the port holes in the dome.
Everyone usually awoke around about the same time.
You can hear people trying not to make a noise, as they go about there morning rituals.
We all then all Headed over to dome 1 , put some music on, drank green tea, & the healthiest of smoothies. We would chat and mingle ,before starting either yoga or weights, which alternated each day.
Being fairly new at yoga, I stayed at the back with Jamie , who informed me he was a beginner….. A beginner my ass…..
That would be like me saying to him I was a beginner at kickboxing, shall we stay at the back jump in the ring do a few rounds……..lol.
But as I settled with the music , incense burning , and looking at the breath taking views, I soon became lost in my thoughts and as I transitioned into the next position ,my thoughts turned to the gravity of the situation I was in and the reality which I had blocked out. Tears rolled down my face , as I dropped my guard removed my mask and finally let it all in.
I left the dome to clear my head .
I stood on the decking as the sun warmed my face from its beams.
Crystal blue skies were above my head and in front of me were views to die for. This couldn’t help but make me feel relaxed & calm.
As I sat there reflecting on the passed week and how dark I had let my thoughts get, a deer pranced out the wooded area, paused looked straight at me only briefly, before bounding off.
This was rainbow city, off the grid and back to nature.

My favourite place was a short scramble up a rock face . Jamie had placed a hammock at the top, surrounded by tree’s. From here you had views as far as the eyes could see. I felt on top of the world.

But it wasn’t just the scenery , sun , peacefulness that was helping straighten myself out. It was the like minded people also staying here.

Jamie & Katie
Jamie king had a hell of a story behind him. He rode from England to Australia on a pedal cycle, taking 22 gruelling months.
The first place he went for a drink in oz, after finishing the mammoth voyage , he met Katie lomas and the rest is history.
Both had grown tired with the rat race at home and had left the world they new behind.
Katie had a well paid job and was content in life , but both needed to know if there was more to be being just content . So taking a huge , brave leap of faith. They left their jobs , sold up , gave possessions away ,bought a campervan called Lenny and were 3 weeks into their own voyage of discovery.
Katie was an excellent budding yoga instructor in the making , which was going to soon take her to India to progress her passion. I am sure there is a rom com film to made with this story. I loved spending time in their company a truly inspirational couple.
Follow their travels at http://www.teepeeornot.com

Melly mooji
Mel is a true wonder , the current raw vegan head chef at rainbow , an excellent student of yoga following her guru mooji .
She was and still is, by far one of the happiest , free spirited people I have ever met. You couldn’t help but feel positive around her . She also took up a role as my therapist and well being guru…… lol.
I enjoyed our chats and deep conversations. She made me look at myself , my flaws and self reflect . Not always an easy thing to do ,or understand .
But everything she said and put to me, made complete sense.
I was fascinated by her story of discovery ,as only a year ago, she was a top model , living in London , travelling the world , red carpets , living a champagne lifestyle. A life most young girls dream of .
But this didn’t bring her happiness. Her journey took her all over the Far East and now she was sat assisting me on getting back on track, on the side of the mountain , wears no shoes, in yoga pants ……Was this FATE???

The list goes on, there are so many others who are of a similar story.
The lovely Becky & Andrea , who quit there jobs in London to travel to Portugal. Michael had left home in South Africa, had turned vegan and was a true gent. Amy & Louise both with their own story to tell, of how and why they ended up at rainbow city.
To this day all of them message me , send me new research and therapies .friends for life
As I left at the end of my 6 day voyage, 2 new lads arrived as strangers to all , but I am sure they will leave ,with new friends and a better outlook on life thanks to rainbow city crew.
On the side of a mountain , off the grid, back to nature this place really was. They sourced fresh drinking and cleaning water, from 1000 of meters below. Dan had drilled and built in a bore pump to access it .
Electric was generated from the sun, via solar panels.
Food was growing all around the site and when required, they sourced items locally.
I even took the odd hot shower, naked outside on the side of the mountain. With epic views it was quite a liberating feeling.

On the Friday, the whole of rainbow city did a 32hr water fast with me.
I didn’t ask them , nor would I expect any of them to participate in it.
But they had all decided before I arrived they would.
This is what it is like at rainbow , everyone in it together, helping to make a difference.
I found the fast easy. We trained and carried out building work.
I could of easily gone another 24 hrs . But I was away and wanted more of the girls, raw cakes.
The time flew by and it was soon Monday morning.
Dan and Melly dropped , myself and Amy off at fundao station.
I hugged them see you later, (not goodbye)and thanked them for getting me back on track.

Now I am sat on the train to Lisbon , my journey…well trip, nearly complete.
I leave here positive , cleansed , energised & no longer broken.
I was ready to face and fight what ever this nightmare has to throw at me…..
But sat here as I read this back , I hear the words of Mel in my head.
Is this a nightmare , should I keep referring to it as a nightmare,with this negative mindset fuelling the disease.
As without this situation, I wouldn’t of had so many positives , for example…meeting all these people and experiencing rainbow city at this moment in time.
Gaining a closer bond and ties to my mum, dad , sister,
the chance to potentially becoming debt free , with help from my family, this meant I could literally change my stars and follow a dream that I had when I was 16.
Was this meant to put me back on that path.
Most of all The chance to spend, so much time with my kids and wife.
I would work 12-14-16 hrs days and be to tired to do anything else.
I had began to Enjoy the simple things, such as walking my children to school.
My 9year old son, had told Sam, he felt he was finally getting to know his dad, as I was off all the time and I wasn’t so busy with work…. Reality check and I knife through the heart !!!!

Was this a nightmare situation, or had I been given the opportunity to reevaluate my life and change its course for the better.

Was this a nightmare or as crazy as it sounds…. Is this a wake up call my life needed ????????

Now this blog, my others and this site was originally called and named , The Unwinnable fight . I always referred to it as “my nightmare, my Unwinnable fight.”
But now, however high the odds get stacked against me , this is still winnable.
This is a fight I can win, I will win and I must win .
So that’s why you only known this blog as , Myjourney4survival.
This is my journey and I will survive.
Once I have beaten this, it’s time to stop fighting .
I have nothing left to prove , no bigger fight to face , it’s time to relax and enjoy my life with family and friends……..
There maybe no miracle cure or stories of patients who lived for 40 years, but why I couldn’t be the first, is that so outrageous to think ?????

I can’t thank Danny enough, my old mate since we were 17years old . Always there when the chips are down, a true warrior on the road of eternal happiness and sustainability .

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The fight of my life (part 5) #myjourney4survival

So here it was round 3, Sunday 8th June 2014.
This was the day I was being admitted into Walton neurological , for brain surgery the following morning.
As per usual I had only had about 3 hrs sleep that night before, but my thoughts were …..I will sleep most of tomorrow , so who is the winner now.
Feeling slightly nervous and anxious , we carried out the morning ritual of medicine , tablets , juices , breakfast.
Once done, we all set off , to New Brighton to watch my lil sis and brother in law Ray, running the Merseytunnel 10k.

My sister was doing 4 events this year, which also included Tough Mudder & a few half marathons.
This was all being done to raise money for Claire house, in the name of our beautiful cousin Eve.
Eve sadly passed away in November last year aged 9 .
She bravely fought a 5year battle with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer.
Both Ray and Viv finished the event , with their running partner baz.
Ray looked like he was on his last legs and to be honest I didn’t even recognise him as he ran past me to the finish line.
But it was hot and he was running at a quick pace. clearly the plan to stick with my sister had failed.
10minutes later my sister finished.
Barely a hair out of place or a bead of sweat on her brow, quite the comparison to ray.
I was very proud of both.
From the finish line I rang the Walton centre, confirmed my attendance and my bed, which I was informed was to be on cairns ward.
Admission was from 2pm , but I asked if I could attend a bit later .
The thought of sitting around the hospital all day waiting , being left with my thoughts , really didn’t sit well with me.
Admissions confirmed that this was fine and they would expect to see me around 4ish.
After the race, I said my goodbyes to the family and handed over the kids to my mum.
Sam and I went home to finish the last few bits before we left.
I shaved my head to the grain to save the hospital a job .
Last-minute, as always I packed my bag , then loaded the car.
Sam and I then set off for Walton.
This was singlehandedly the worst car journey, I have ever been in.
Yes….Even worse than the 4hr trip back from Cardiff with the lads. This was after a 3 day bender. The journey involved us stopping ,so I could hurl in a field , while a donkey mocked me….

The car journey was deadly silent, neither me or Sam spoke for the majority.
I looked out the window as nerves began creeping in.
Stupid thoughts of ” THIS COULD BE THE LAST FULL DAY ALIVE” or “I MAY NEVER SIT IN A CAR AGAIN,” Ran around my head.
This was like the green mile (Again another reference to death row.)
The green mile was an inmates final walk ,to be executed.
As we approached I broke the silence with “WELL THIS IS THE WORST CAR JOURNEY IVE EVER BEEN ON”
Sam laughed and agreed, saying she was just thinking the same thing.
We parked the car at Walton and made our way to the ward . I started to feel sick at the thought of what I was about to go through.
We were met with smiles from the team and I was shown to my bed on one of the bays.
Sam stayed, as I had all the usual pre op medical questions, stats & observations taken.
I waited for my anaesthetist then “the Prof”to come see me.
I ordered my tea, obviously I picked the Sunday dinner as my last supper.

The prof was first at my bed. He went through all the potential complications, highlighting death as a prospect first, then the high risks of brain damage, strokes, clots, infections & haemorrhaging ……
Well that’s cheered me up and eased my nerves , cheers for the chat prof.
He then drew an arrow on the back of my head and covered it in a clear sticky plaster. I joked ” IS THAT SO YOU KNOW WHICH WAY UP TO PUT ME”
he replied “NO , ITS SO I KNOW WHERE YOUR HEAD IS AND WHERE IM OPERATING”
He said it so seriously, didn’t even crack a smile, I thought …
I hope your joking, you’re suppose to be the best brain surgeon in Britain.
He then went on to explain, the surgery should last for a total of 5-6 hrs.
Once complete, I would be moved onto the high dependency unit (HDU) for the night and if fit, return to cairns ward the following day , to continue my recovery.
He informed me I was 2nd on the list and should be going down to theatre around 11ish.
The prof discussed the results of the MRI , which I stated I hadn’t had yet . He stated the results had confirmed his original diagnosis of a grade 2 glioma. A piece of the removed tumour, will be sent off for histology,to see what exact type of glioma tumour it was.
This usually takes 2 weeks to come back.

It was now getting late and Sam had to go home to pick up the kids up, as they had school in the morning.
I walked with her to the end of the ward . We said our goodbyes and I watched, as she walked away.
I made my way back to my bed, where I ate my roast dinner, if that’s what you could call it?? not quite your classic pub roast but i was hungry so ate it.
I settled down and pulled out a pen and pad of paper.

Right I’ve never told anyone this ….. but I spent the rest of the night writing letters to Sam, my family and to both Josh and Halle for there 18th birthdays.
Now, as most of you who know me, will know, I am very positive and i was confident that I would survive this major operation.
But you have to face the facts sometimes, there was a real chance I wouldn’t .
So instead of being unprepared and the thought of not saying goodbye, leaving unfinished business playing on my mind.
I wrote those letters .
Now I know I am very open in this blog, but I will never tell anyone what was in those letters, not even the people they were meant for.
That’s where this conversation ends.

Surprisingly I fell asleep quiet easily . I woke at 5am, (so bit of a lie in for me.lazy I know)
To take my mind of things , I posted an update onto Facebook , thanking everyone for their continued support , as messages of support continued to flood in.
I got showered and changed into some sexy surgical stockings and smock.
I Lay down took a selfie (as you do) and tried to relax listening to some music on the ipad.
I had been bumped up to first on the theatre list, as I had already had all the CT and MRI scans needed for surgery, which I was happy with.
I was getting nervous and was also nil by mouth, so the sooner I got this round out the way, was down and put to sleep the better.
I called Sam just before I went down at 07.45.
I told her I loved her and the kids , that everything was going to be fine , that I was ok and confident,in high spirits, (which was a total lie). I don’t mind admitting I was scared and bricking it.
I told her , although I would see her later, I would know nothing of it .
I would speak to her properly in a few days.
The porter arrived to my bay, you Dave Bolton? , “UNFORTUNATLEY FOR TODAY I’AM” I replied.
I sat on the trolley as I began the journey to theatre .
We passed down the busy corridors, as the hospital went about its daily business. I started to breath heavy as my nerves started taking hold. “THIS COULD BE MY LAST MOMENTS ALIVE, WOULD I BE THE SAME PERSON IF I WOKE UP” “IS THIS MY GREEN MILE” these thoughts clouded my mind. The last 6 week nightmare had come to this “BLOODY HELL THIS IS IT, IM HAVING BRAIN SURGERY.” I held back the tears as I breathed deeply.
I was wheeled into the operating theatre prep room.
As I have alluded to before , I was no stranger to surgery or hospitals, in fact
I had got quite used to it and strangely enjoyed being put to sleep.
Surgery has never worried me.
I would usually see how long I could fight the anaesthetic, as the cold icy sensation travelled round my body.
But today was different, the room swarmed with people.
Introductions were made. I had 2 anaesthetists , 3 medical students , consultants , junior doctors, nurses, Surgeon assistants and “the proff” wasn’t even there yet .
The rooms are small.
The hustle and bustle as everyone checked off there part of the prep, was all abit overwhelming.
The anaesthetists started talking across me. ” DOES HE NEED THIS”
The second one looked me up and down “ERRRR NO HE IS A FIT LAD, HE SHOULD MAKE IT THROUGH THIS”
WHAT!!!!!!! I’m still here I’m not asleep yet , have this conversation behind my back, not over me I thought.
I took a few deep breathes and one of the anaesthetists asked if I would like a pre med to relax me. I replied “HOW ABOUT YOU PUT ME TO SLEEP, AND I CAN GET THIS NIGHTMARE OVER WITH PLEASE” she quickly replied “GOOD IDEA, YOU WILL FEEL A COLD SENSATION TRAVELLING ROUND YOUR BODY NOW”
I new that she had already given me the anaesthetic. There was to be no fighting it this time, I needed this to be over quickly, I felt the cold sensation moving up my left arm……

I slowly opened my eyes and I was extremely groggy, it’s hard to recall details clearly. I was dosed up on morphine & steroids. I drifted in and out of sleep.
“SO I AM ALIVE” was my first thought but I felt like I had been hit with a sledge hammer.
I quickly went through a check list in my head.
1- Speech- “HELLO” , CHECK
2- Memory- “. I am in Walton , had surgery, married to Sam , I am Batman.”
3- Movement- legs moved , arms moved, nod head …head is now killing. CHECK.
PHEW……
I then remember a female voice pushing my bed down a corridor . “DAVE IM CHRISTINE, JACKIES MATE , IM TAKING YOU BACK TO THE WARD” Christine was one of the sisters on Cairns ward and was under strict instructions from jackie wild to look after me.
I was a bit confused so tried to work out what was going on…
I was going back to the ward, so it must be Tuesday.
I would of spent the rest of the monday following surgery and then the night in HDU.
I started to chat to Christine, where she told me, it was still Monday and that I hadn’t needed to go to HDU, I was recovering very well and that I was surprisingly chatty and alert considering I had only just had surgery.
As I arrived back to Cairns ward , I saw my mum , Sister and Sam waiting anxiously.
To be honest I had the easy job That day. As a wise cliff bar text me from Spain the day before . You have done your bit relax you can’t do anymore ,you will have to go again to recover but it’s now over to your surgeon.
The prof and his team did their job and did it well , my family had to sit around the hospital and wait anxiously for news , worry if I was going to make it, if there was going to be any complications . All I did was kick back, go to sleep for 6 hrs , and wake up with a load of bolts and plates in my head… Easy .
Surgery consisted of a square window, being cut from my skull. Then as much of the tumour was removed as it could. Bolts, screws and plates were used to hold the piece of skull in place, to help it eventually fuse back to the bone.
I think the fact I avoided HDU and that surgery was only 5hours, was a relief for them.
I had survived the 3rd round, I’d taken a beating, but I was still standing at the bell.
Time to face the next round, seconds out round 4 .

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