Monday, 31 May 2010

Funny old month

31 days in May, and this is my 32nd and final post for the month smashing the previous monthly record.. Clearly there's been lots to blog about, not just the cancer, though of course it tends to dominate things.

Tomorrow I have to take a trip to Utrecht to have a consult with a radiotherapist which will mark the start of that phase of treatment and I'll comment on that in my new blog (I like that lets you have multiple blogs).

But it would be wrong not to sign off on this month and ponder some of the events, emotions and hiccups of May 2010.

So where do I a month, Could certainly have been worse I suppose, but in my 46.5 years on earth it has to rank up there as being the worst by far...Its kinda scary to think that it is possible that I could have worse yet to come but 1 always have thing in my favour...
I really like living, I really love living, and I love the life I have here with Bina and Jodie and knowing Danni and my family are happy and safe in the UK, I love mixing with all my colleagues and friends and students. All this is just part of the process of enjoying life and I won't let a bit of bad shit get in the way of that.

If things do get bad, it wont change the way I feel about my life or those in it, so anything crappy just needs to be dealt with and moved on. I don't want to go forward dreading tomorrow, I'm not going to....I can philosophise at length about life being worth living and enjoying it a day at a time and not being afraid,, but I'm not going to, tomorrow is just another day, with all the great stuff in it that makes today worth living and with a few extra surprises.

Of course the main great thing is that I have Bina in my life, even though she does drive me mad with her crazy clean up frenzies, and her obsessive holiday hunting, constant planning of everything, putting too much salt in everything and a whole range of other crazy shit...the crazy shit that makes her the amazing person she is to put up with me.......

gotta something in my eye.


Sunday, 30 May 2010

I'm back baby!!!

I couldn't stand the full beard any longer, not only was it itchy and patchy, it made me look old and tired......

Shaving was odd...the mixture of lack of feeling and painful swelling means need to take it very steady with the electric razor..but now I feel like me again....even with a slight hamster pouch.

Nice to have me back.


Surgeons took my mojo!!

Played poker last night with my dutch friends, had a really good night out on the rainy terrace with the cover going up and down like a tarts drawers between showers.

But what the hell....I Lost!!....Didn't even get the number of let the cancer boy win pity rounds I was expecting....the surgeons clearly removed my poker mojo as well as my jaw.

No excuses though, I didn't do much wrong even though I laid down some winning hands due to implausable pre-flop betting.I laid down at least 5 straights, winning straights at that, but its never a good plan to hold out for a straight when thats all the pocket cards can give you. Hindsight is always right, but not valid in poker.

The whole evening I think I won 4 or 5 hands, 2 good big wins that pulled me back in, but not enough to take home any cash.

I lost heavily on 2 big hands where I had 3 jacks, one where I had pocket jacks and made a full house with queens on the deck and the extra jack, only to lose to a queen/jack combo making qeens over jacks full house...what are the odds!!! Then 3 jacks again later...2 on deck, losing to the same player with a jack and king kicker, I only had a 6 kicker...arrghhhh jacks were definitly not lucky for me.

Much booze was drunk, and it was a good night out, my 1st poker game since..the thing....and well worth the lost 35euros :D

next time


Saturday, 29 May 2010


As regular readers may know (hi mum) I like guitars, I'm not a very good player at all but I do like having plinky plonky time with them. I have serveral now, most of them quite good, a few stunners, but the one I play most is a Fender Telecaster copy I got from Germany for about 50quid.

The reason is simple, for just having a bit of a bash around I like to grab a guitar and do plinky plonk, and not worry too much about getting it out of its case, playing it, cleaning it and putting it back. So the Tele is my knock about, it does not need much love and attention.

But its really not very good, cheap yes, good no, it has some severe intonation and tuning issues...So I decided in March to get something else, again cheap, intending it to be a knock about, a little bit more expensive but not a full on quality guitar.

I saw something in ebay I liked, a copy of a PRS (drool), from a seller in China. Right away some of you are thinking alarm bells, but no, to be fair I have bought a lot of stuff, mostly computer elecronics from China with no issue. But this was a $220 purchase of a guitar. Quite a lot of people buy these cheap chinese copies and they are often damn good guitars.

Well of course it never arrived, and there followed several email exchanges with supposed tracking details which claimed it was in the Netherlands. Then of course I had the cancer thing and this became less important. But still, I was constantly assured it was "on the way", "on the way", "give me a few days to check the post office", "they say its coming", "volcano delays" and other seemingly plausable reasons but time was ticking away.

I started chasing again when I got out of hospital, was promised a refund if not there by end of week, it wasn't, no refund etc etc....

Anyway the long and short of it is this, something I kinda knew but had forgotton was that there is a time limit of 45 days to open a dispute with ebay/paypal, and also 60 days to leave feedback....needless to say, these times passed, and I was stupid enough not to take notice. Now that the 60 days are passed, I don't even get a response from the seller...who it would seem is a con artist..

dammit...its rare I have trouble with ebay, but this is a clever little scam, they should deal with it...of course, emails to ebay or paypal....unanswered.


cash -$220

ah well....Still got the tele, more important issues to deal with. I'll try a few stroppy emails but its not worth the hassle. I'll hit the music stores and see if I can find something under 100quid that playes reasonable.


Thursday, 27 May 2010

Hairy bugger

I went back to work for a few hours today to see my collegues and students, I plan to get back to work, part time at least next week.

As a surprise, they got me a pressie...a kilt :D

Sadly however it seems they think I am a major fat bastard and got me a size 40" even at my fattest I've never been more than a 36" and at the moment I'm more a 34" so sadly its too big

however here's a coupe of pics...the jeans and jumper tucked in help keep eveything staying up as well as me stucking my stomach out to help (honest)...going commando isn't the best option when the kilt is in danger of dropping!!


Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Cancer Strikes Back

Beware of technical knockouts...not the same as kicking it out to touch.

Unfortunately, 6 days after being told the cancer was contained and cleared, the doctors at Utrecht have revised their opinion on the Pathology results.

Its not 1 spot under tolerance but 2, there should be 5mm clearance and in 2 spots there’s only 1mm clearance from the underneath section of the tumour (tumours are like icebergs, more under than above and they cut around the above part) . That's not enough and so they want to do Radiotherapy to deal with that....damn. That means daily trips to Utrecht or Tilburg (can't do it in Breda) and some probable sore throat/gum discomfort for a while after.

I'd rather avoid RT for the moment and keep it as a big gun in case it comes back as a full tumour later, so when I go to see them I want them to convince me its the only option, since I still prefer the 1st option of a simple under local op remove a growth..why does 2 points make a difference?

More worrying though, it seems the cancer did in fact metastasise. One ( out of 23) of the lymph glands under the jaw, closest to the tumour, had the slightest signs of cancer in it which was so slight it was missed by the pathologist at Breda, but Utrecht found it..
Damn and phew I suppose. Damn because that could mean I have cancer cells flowing through my body looking for a new home, and phew because it means they’ve not let me go out into the world waiting for them to settle, it is still going to be possible to treat this.

This does make things a lot more uncertain, I need to discuss this in more detail with the doctors. It may mean chemo or it may mean a wait and see what happens approach but no point speculating till I have spoken to them and got a full set of facts.

Since this also means that this could be a long and hopefully not too hard road, I’ve decided to switch updates of my Cancer to a new blog…links to be added soon, so this will be “mostly” the last I shall mention it in here. This blog is meant for observations on life, not pondering on potentially bad things, so I’ll get all moody in the other blog and continue to post nonsense here.

Win 7.....seems ok

right thats it, I've scrapped XP, had enough of it crashing with a BSoD. Am now running Win 7....seems nice so far, smooth and fast, not sure yet how many programs will work on it.

Once this is sorted out I'll install the Q6600 and extra RAM and see how it performs


It's dead, kinda, a bit


So I was playing Supreme Commander 2 last night for quite a long session (not a very good game btw...I really was expecting more) and the PC hung....phhhtttt ok maybe it overheated, sure enoough on checking the hardware monitors the CPU had got a bit hot, so I let it cool down, adjusted the fan settings and fired up again

Blue screen of death after 5 mins every!!!!!!!

its getting close to being thrown out the window at this rate


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Must have IPad...Must have IPad...Must have IPad

One of my work collegues, Oscar, who has been incredibly helpful during my illness, providing use of his car to Bina and giving us lifts and translation services to keep us informed, is a lovely man and I am incredibly grateful for all his and his wife Carolines help.

But I am so jealous....becuase...he's got an Ipad.....and it was given to him free.


He brought it round last night for me to have a bit of a play.

1st thoughts...much heavier than I expected, not as comfortable to hold up as you see on the promo's. But yes, nice, very easy to use, lovley resolution, stunning web browsing, oh yes...

I have to have one......after the move.



Look at this....
Bina and I went into Breda today to have a look around the historic Breda Castle, which is now a Military Academy. Today was an open day and we had never been before so off we popped.

Surrounding the castle is a kind of moat, and it contains some frankly massive carp. But we spotted a small family of Grebes today, and Bina with her fancy new camera took a couple of quite brilliant pics.

These are awesome pics, especially the one with papa Grebe feeding one of the chicks on mums back. Quite excellent, its a shame the water was so mucky, but still.

As you can see I am up late again, the nerve twinges in my face had me up late last night, and sleeping in very late today so my sleep pattern is ruined, but not a problem as I am not planning to do much tomorrow :D (one joy of being on sick leave)

I've been tinkering with the new PC, setting things up and trying to get things organised....its not right yet....still feels odd.


Sunday, 23 May 2010

its, alive, a bit, kinda. PC is up and running, though with an old PentiumD 3.6 in place of my lovely Quadcore Q6600...I will try the Q6600 again tomorrow just to be sure it is indeed faulty. So far apart from a few bios setup errors the PentiumD powered version has run stable and true all day, and I've been installing things into it (man that takes ages)

I thought for a while I was going to have to buy a new video card as the overclocked 7800GTX game card I installed refused to go to my preferred 25600x1600 res, but then I remembered it had two outputs and I switched the monitor feed to the other one and voila, 2560x1600 in full glory.

I still have a lot of setting up to do then see what I can salavage from my backup drive..but at least I have a PC again...if the quad is indeed dead/dying I'll buy another, since iX chips came out the quads are not so expensive now so I can give this beast a bit of a boost before I need to upgrade it to the christmas I7 monster I have planned.

1st things 1st though, I need to try to get hold of all my utilites and tools that were lost and not backed up (you can't backup installed software) that's going to be a few days worth of work.

sigh....this is why I HATE upgrading PC's

Saturday, 22 May 2010

All Electronics are evil

Since getting out of hossie, all electronic devices have decided to piss me off, nothing works. From my PC which decided to blow itself up to the DVD player last night, nothing works. Arrgggg

I bought a new bios chip for my AW9D board...nope, refused to POST, so I ripped it out put the old one back and it burned out before my eyes....arrghhh. So that was the end of that. I went an bought a brand new Asus board...spend 2 hours getting it in and attached, and it would not POST......hmmmmmmmm then it would POST...ohh, but then it wouldn't. very strange behaviour, though after an hour or so of this will it won't it. it started to POST regularly.

It may be that the thing needed a bit of a charge, some of these boards have rechargable cirtuitry in them, but thats probably wrong (they have batteries) So I now have a PC fully assembled with almost all new parts that won't boot an install DVD.

The only thing left I can think of is the CPU is damaged, not impossible..I'm going to do a swap to the PentiumD to see if it will work with that in place, if so, it means pretty much all my PC was killed in the burn out.

Bahh...I hate doing CPU transplants, especially with fancy coolers in, it takes ages...but only way to be sure is to do it and see. I need my beast back to do some PSP, and DS work so I better get on with it, as I want to start getting back into the work routine I've been missing for the last 6 weeks.

If this fails though I'm just going to go out and buy a ready made PC, I can't keep doing this crap all the time.

Ok CPU transplant is done, and it does appear to be more stable, I can install XP, though somehow my windows 7 DVD has got damaged...(had to be something eh!) Anyway, I can get a new DVD since I have a key, and will continue with a simple install of my SSD's and so on with XP. Progress at last, not quite the progress I mapped out but better than nothing. Once its all up and running I'll put my Quad core in again and see if it can stay stable. Otherwise bugger it, I'll leave the PentiumD in there till I can afford to buy a new I7 system,


Friday, 21 May 2010

The price to be paid

Here's a panoramic x-ray of my jaw post surgery, you can see the big chunk of jaw they removed and a number of staples they left in..

Still cute though, check out those cheek bones!!

Round 3 Technical knockout!

1/ 23 Lymph nodes removed from my neck...not 1 showed signs of cancer :)
2/ Jaw bone had minor signs of erosion due to the tumour but zero evidence of invasion into the bone :)
3/ Resection area showed a clean margin of error in all but 1 area in which was 1mm under tolerance :/ ?

Points 1 and 2 are excellent results, no sign of metastasis and no danger to the bone, so no need for radio therapy or other follow ups.

Point 3 sounds worrying, but it just means that at one point, they didn't get as much clearance around the tumour as they thought they did and they do like to have a good margin of error. So there is a very slim chance of re-growth in that area. But its not a problem, they will monitor it and at 1st sign of re-occurrence a small local anaesthetic procedure to slice it out is all that will be needed.

Doc does not seem to be worried about that at all!

So...Cancer,fuck you, I win!!!


Thursday, 20 May 2010

3 weeks of beard growth

Had some stiches removed from my mouth today to help free things up, there are still quite a few in there but they will dissolve.
Also Dr Van Gemert said he'd email me a copy of my xray, but he hasn't so far. He did give me a print out though so if he doesn't send it I'll scan it in.

Bit pissed that he still did not have my pathology results, seems the guy doing it is backed up and promises to have it tomorrow. I am expecting a call tomorrow and I'll remind him about the xray pic.

so time for a progress report, I posted this orginally to Erics site for cancer support but the details are still relevent so I'll post and update it here.

I'm getting there,slowly. Healing is not something you can rush and I'm not a patient patient. Its now 3 weeks since the op and swelling has gone down quite a bit, apart from the hard swelling on my neck which is causing quite a bit of restriction on my head and shoulder movement. I have had pretty consistent levels of mild pain, 2-3 on a scale of 1-10. This has been quite easy to deal with using mild pain killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol though. I try not to take them all the time, since they are not the best things for your stomach but even mild pain gets a bit unbearable after a while so I pop a pill. The thing about being in fairly constant pain, mild or otherwise is it makes you grumpy and snappy..Fortunately I have the presence of mind not to jump too much down peoples throats but I have from time to time snapped at family for no real reason...lucky for me they are quite forgiving of my current lack of tolerance...the guy at the other end of the phone when I was trying to pay my credit card wasn't quite so understanding though when I let rip at him because I had forgotten one of my security questions

I'm eating pretty much normal food now, but I have to eat very slowly and carefully with very small bites, since I still have quite limited mouth opening ability. Eating and talking represent the 2 hardest things I can do at the moment. Its a real effort and a meal can leave me totally exhausted. I also tend to prefer to stay quiet and grunt for a while when that tiredness kicks in.

As things heal I am experiencing another pleasure of surgery, nerve reconnections, as the feeling starts to come back to parts of my face I get sharp pains ranging from needle pricks to something akin to a nail being hammered in my chin, also strangely phantom toothache, where there are no teeth..These can be quite monumentally severe but thankfully very short. But if there's a lot of them I reach for some tramadol to level things out.

One thing I am worried about is my speech, as a teacher I need to be able to speak, and that's not really improved much in 3 weeks. Even though the ball of cheek tissue they stitched up in my mouth is shrinking daily, I still feel like I have a mouth full of marbles when I talk. My lip is starting to regain feeling, as is my right side of my tongue but control is still not there yet so I do sound drunk and slur a lot...yes I know this will improve but it does sill give me cause for concern, I find myself thinking, what if it does not get better, a lot.....I can't help that I suppose, I just need to see/hear some improvement there to ease my mind.

My right arm movement is actually pretty good considering, I was warned it would be severely impeded, but its not, though I am aware of weakness and some slight restriction when lifting my arm high, so I avoid over use of my arm or raising it high. The shoulder/neck muscles are a masseuses nightmare, just a big tight knot of painful tissue but some gentle rubbing takes care of that.

My fitness levels are improving and I am now able to get out and about for longer periods, which is happily coinciding with the return of the sun here in Holland, so I'm catching some rays.
I even cycled to the hossie today so that was good, though I did need a nap later :D I have to do some mouth stretching exercises now which will be a bit painful but will allow me to increase the size of my doughnut stuffing hole..hopefully I'll be able to do my chocolate digestive biscuit in one go trick, soon :d

In I say....I'm getting there.


Tuesday, 18 May 2010

owww it burns

I am getting the feeling back in my lip, no control as yet but definite feeling, trouble is it manifests itslef as a raw burning sensation...not pleasent..

But definite feeling, I got Bina to touch my lip when I had my eyes closed and I actually felt it.




The sun has finally come out over Breda, its warm and summer like

At bloody last.

PC build is not going well, I either have a board that is faulty or a board that cant run windows 7....neither option is good. I have a few copies of Windows XP I can try out to see if it will load them, I did try to use a dell restore disk previously which failed but that could have been due to it being for a I'll try installing another version and see if a cleaner XP goes on, then see if I can do an update rather than a fresh install.

RAID still isn't going to happen though till I get hold of a floppy drive, one is on order though and should be here soon. I have also ordered a new bios chip for the abit board as a saftey measure. Want to try to avoid buying a new board if I can.


Monday, 17 May 2010

why is it always Cancer?

One of my teen..erm 20's hero's died today, Ronnie James Dio. An amazing if completly nuts rock singer. I loved his work with Rainbow, lots of elves, wizards and other strange fantasy stuff with lots of big high notes..But his contribution to Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell is legendery...amazing album I still listen to it and it must be what, 20 years old now?

Died age 67 from stomach cancer, sad....Cancer!!! Why does everone die of cancer? Seems that since I was diagnosed everyone seems to be dying of least I'm not...not yet, I plan to die of severe liver damage as a result of the abuse of large quantities of alcohol..preferably vodaka, though scotch will do. Just so long as I'm asleep at the time I don't really care what gets me, we all die eventually.

I guess I'm just more aware of the word cancer than I used to be, I've joined a club that does not have the best of reputations, the cancer club....I'm still waiting to here if I've joined the ex cancer club, if indeed such a thing exists.

In my mind, I've dodged a bullet, yes it hurt and I might have more issues later but I dodged it, but why do I keep hearing about people dying of cancer. Most of the people I know who've survived cancer, get all evangelical about it, fight cancer, fight ignorance, fight fight fight....I don't think I can do that. I've done the fighting, I want to enjoy the living.

I have an amazing life, an amazing family, I want to see my g/f smile every day and I want to see my daughters become amazing women, these are amazing things that make my life worth living, I'd rather not spend whatever time I have fighting something I can't beat, no matter how much I want to. I just want to enjoy life. Doesn't matter if I have 2months or 200 years left, I dodged a bullet and I need to enjoy what I have now, becuase there's going to be more bullets ahead and one of them will hit eventually.

Life is for living....but I'll make that donation to cancer research a bit more regular.


Friday, 14 May 2010

Droopy smile, hairy, grey, but still cute :)

While the beast is dead I've been using my work laptop, an Aspire 7738G...which is a top of the range laptop...and I hate has the slowest drives ever and because its a work machine its got McAfee and Novell on there stealling all drive and CPU bandwidth. It actually takes about 17mins to finish booting..arghhh

but I remembered today I have a webcam on here it is folks...a close up of yours truly trying to force a smile..which is still a bit droopy.

2.5 weeks beard growth, the scar and under my chin where it is swollen is still very tender and I have no real desire to scrape a razor over them just now, so the beard can stay till at least the scar is fully closed and healed.
I think this is the longest I've ever gone without a far itchy face syndrone is mild compared to facial nerve rewiring twinges so I might actually succeed in growing a lush full beard this time :) The glare from the window manags to hide most of the grey bits in my beard ....didn't realise I had so many ..sob..getting old.

My right side bottom lip is still dead hence the droopy smile at this point...doc says it will come back when the swelling goes down....hope so..I hate dribbling my drinks and drinking a pint through a straw does not go down well at the Irish pub.


Thursday, 13 May 2010

arrghhh burned to death

bugger bugger

I spent the whole day salvaging bits from the cellar to rebuild the beast..Finally after quite a bit of effort, shifting boxes out of the cellar to make way into the back, I found the spare motherboard and after even more effort put all the various boxes back in the cellar.

Then spent most of the day (after a sit down, that box shifting was bloody tiring) working out how I was going to rebuild the Beast....finally after setting up the main bits, I removed the beasts drives from the old thermaltake case and......shit...they had burned out as well, the connectors on the main boot drive had burned away and the other drive also showed signs of flame damage...and sure enough when I tested it out...dead.

So the soul of the beast, contained in the pair of samsung SATA drives has gone...the Beast is dead.

Dammit. I am pissed at that...fortunatly I have backups of docs and other things but I won't get everything back that I have lost.

ah well....there's more important things in life

edit....omg even the power supply had died....hmm looks to me more like a power spike, took out the psu, MB and drives amazing....managed to save cpu, ram and thats about it!!!


oww face hurts....between throbbing all day and the sharp intense pains in my jaw and chin, it hurts. A lot at times.

But am trying to avoid painkillers unless I really need them.

Swelling goes up and down on a day to day basis, today it seems to have gone up and its affected my speech, I am speaking like I have a bunch of marbles in my mouth today much worse than yesterday....oh gawd and what I would not do for a yawn.
Day at a at a time.


Wednesday, 12 May 2010

On Life Support

New PC build is proving to be a bit of a chore. Lack of a Floppy disc means I can't install RAID drivers on my twin SSD's so to test it out I tried setting it up as a single SSD system and had a go at installing windows. both XP and 7...sadly that only got as far as the copy across. When it tried to boot up to complete the install it hung...not sure why.

I'll hang fire till I get the 1TB drive and give it another go...but not sure this build is going to go to plan. Mihgt need to invest in a new MB after all.

I've never had a build fail before, but then again this is my 1st time using SSD's so lets see what the 1TB drive does and see if we can rebuild it with minimal componants in place.


Tuesday, 11 May 2010

rogue staples

Turned out I had a stray staple still in my neck, looks like a bit of over overlapped swollen tissue obscured it, so during todays check up he dug it out...ouch.

What was even more surprising, and I wish I'd had the presence of mind to snap a pic on my phone was how many small staples are actually still inside my face which can be seen on the Xray.

Dr Van Gemart wanted to show me an x-ray of my face to see how the jaw looks now, and after a bit of a false start due to tech issues, I had a panoramic xray taken to show a nice rectangular piece of space where the jaw used to be, but more amusing was the half dozen or so tiny staples that are still in my face clamping various blood vessels during surgery. Don't think theres enough metal in there to set of the airport alarms, but I can't help wondering what it'll do if I ever need another MRI.

The main purpose of todays checkup though was to get my pathology results....sadly due to a couple of holidays that have occured between surgery and now, they have not arrived, so I have to wait a bit longer. Dr Van Gemart has promised to call me though to let me know the results.

Everything else is healing well, though he wants me in next week to remove a couple of stiches inside my mouth that are restricting movement,they will dissolve in a few more weeks but he wants to free things up. Feeling in my lips and lip control should come back as the overall swelling goes down, but at the moment it still a bit too swollen to expect much...a few more weeks. Actually does not look too bad at the moment, the beard is now at 2 weeks and starting to hide everything....not sure if I will manage to get past the itchy face stage :D But the thought of shaving around the scar is not pleasent, so I'll see how itchy it gets :D


Monday, 10 May 2010

She had a good life...sob

No, not mum, she's had a miserable life, but at least she's heading home now to be reunited with her mad dog...was nice to have her over here and be around when Bina was away. I would have loved to have taken her out and about more and shown her more of Holland but circumstances prevented that. At least she got to see our new house and take away lots of pics of me with and without beards :D

No, I meant my PC had a good life, but she is in fact officially dead and unfixable as it stands.
I have begun the rebuild of my PC, and in the process stripped down the big beastie to discover what was really the cause of its death..It went on fire, literally scorching the case. It seems it burned out some of its southbridge later. So it is indeed dead and gone and never more to return...shame.
Quite lucky she never went up in flames when no one was around really as there was clearly quite a bit of heat to cause the scorch marks on the case.

I have a spare board of the same type downstairs that I bought as a back up some time ago so I can rebuild her in the new case but it won't be the same...she was a good PC...served me well.

sob..I'll miss her.

Anyway have taken the CPU (which I hope is ok but will test soon) and Zalman cooler out and fitting it to my Abit board in preperation for the new case. I will have a hunt in the cellar and see if I can find the spare Asrock and try it out with the 3.6 PentiumD. If be it.

The Thermaltake case is a bit too battered and its inbuilt cd rom cable crumbled when I removed it so I think I'll just strip the goodies out and use them in the new case. It was a cracking case to be sure, but that cross channel crossing via the worlds most useless courier was probably too much for it but I'll have a go at bending things back into shape and seeing if it can be salvaged, I want to keep this rebuild on a tight budget so I can afford an Ipad next month and I have more than enough bits an pieces to make use of this puppy if it can be fixed.


Sunday, 9 May 2010

We can rebuild it

Not my jaw, that just needs time to heal. No my big beastie of a PC, is still dead unfortunalty. I probably can get it working again, just change the PSU or whatever is not working but I've decided to rebuild it, its been slowing down with too much crap on the drives.

The case took quite a bashing when it was shipped over here, so I think its time to change that. I also plan to use a better mobo and get full use of my quad core CPU which has never operated at full speed in the Asrock board I have it on (2.24 instead of 2.4). The current board was a compromise from the days I used to use triple monitors, and needed twin video cards. Back then you could only do that with AGP and PCIE cards in tandem, which my Asrock board allowed, but now I use a big mother of a 2560x1960 screen I don't need to use an old AGP. So time to use the high end PCIe card and Abit mobo I've had in reserve.

Also I plan to make use of my twin SSD 32MB drives as boot disks in a RAID, this should finally sort out the disk speed issues that have been driving me nuts, keeping windows on that and data on a new 1TB drive will give it an overall performace boost.

What remains of my current Beastie can go into a case I have downstairs using a Pentium D I have spare and make it into a backup PC with the old drives and software in place, so I won't lose anything. The Monitor takes multiple inputs so I could run both PC's in tandem (and map the drives) till I am happy....I HATE changing PC's you really do get used to having all your progs and software in place, an dit takes months to get a new PC just right they way you had the old one.

The new Beast will have Windows 7 installed and be a fresh start. Not the most powerful thing on the planet, I'd need to invest in some i7 Tech to do that, which is quite pricey. Normally I do buy the best I can afford when I build a new PC, but I want to buy an Ipad as soon as I can, so I'll just do an upgrade build for now.

A Cooler master Case with a few toys and a 1Tb Drive are on order from ebay, so as soon as they arrive I'll start the build.

Pics later perhaps..though it won't be as interesting as my ass in paper panties.


Friday, 7 May 2010


Apple plans to release iPad in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July. Apple will announce availability, local pricing and pre-order plans for these nine additional countries at a later date.

Why??? Have I not suffered enough???


We have a house :D

Well still some papers and stuff to sign, but our mortgage has finally gone through, the various parties have been informed and we are ready for launch...Some awesome news at last after loads of silly paperwork delays :D



Thursday, 6 May 2010

After effects

Its good to be home, sleeping in my own bed, I've slept well every night so far.
After effects of surgery are many and varied, the obvious of course being discomfort and pain but those are at perfectly manageable levels. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen for the pain are doing fine so far. Occasional tramadol when needed.

Other things are less easy to define..My energy reserves are highly variable. I can be feeling totally fine one minute then suddenly without warning the needle dips to 0 and I need to lie down for a while.

Eating is literally the hardest thing I have to do at the moment, its just so tiring, I have reasonable chewing skills but it just exhausts me, so I find myself giving up and going for the lie down before the plate is clear ....not at all like me :d

My scar feels tight and restrictive, mainly due to the fact there is still a lot of swelling in that area so the sooner that dies down the better.

Another odd side effect is emotional....everything makes me cry...its as if my emotional saucepan is full to the brim and the slightest bit of input has me bubbling over, songs, news, emails, stories, TV anything...I'm worse than a pregnant woman as far as bursting into tears is concerned, though that does seem to be getting better.

As I start to get a bit stronger though I'm feeling more and more restricted and bored, I am not a patient patient, and want to get back to doing something. I've set myself a challenge though to rebuild my dead PC (which show's signs of physical abuse I note!!!) so a trip to the computer store in a few days for a new case to begin the rebuild is on the cards or maybe just buy something on ebay :D


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Fuck You Cancer

After much hassle we finally managed to pick out most of the photos on Bina's camera. I had intended to be giving the finger in each of them to tell Cancer what I thought of it....but sometimes I forgot.
Order is a bit jumbled due to bloggers strange upload system but not to worry.

Thursdayy after my op, my 1st go at sitting up....phew that was an effort. Happy to say the clear and obvious tummy there, has gone down quite a bit since the op, I've lost 4 kilos so far...they are not mad keen on me losing weight, but I might as well take this chance to shed a few kilos while I don't feel the need to shove burgers, cake and doughnuts into my currently very narrow cakehole. Given its going to be a few weeks before I'm at full chewing capacity I'll see if I can lose 10Kilos. don't worry though am eating a lot of protein to hep the healing, sashimi, etc. Just not much in the way of cake and curry.

Bina getting a good view of my scar, checkout the nice drains in my neck...ugg...

Wednesday the day after, before swelling really kicked in, they had ice packs wrapped round me for the 1st day but as the swelling got worse there was no way to place them at the right spot and they ended up hurting more than helping so I binned them

One of the risks with this surgery is losing the ability to pucker here's Bina and me testing our puckers before the op...since the op my pucker has been missing but it should come back in a week or 2.

oh dear...still you can't blame her, I do have a nice ass. Especially in see through string paper pants and poppit gown...roawrr.

Starting to feel much better now most pipes and tubes removed just that one drain, which does not look like much but went about 5 inches into my throat...owww!! Removing it was the oddest sensation ever, not painful so much because of the numbness but it felt like a huge gush of saliva coursed though the bottom of my tongue....oh and then it hurt.

I was dozy from time to time, for obvious reasons, and Bina caught me as I was just resting my eyes for an hour :D

Last 2 are just me me feeling good after resting my eyes :D


Monday, 3 May 2010

Grim pics

A few pics I took on my mobile....had a job getting these transferred
they are in reverse order, the day of the op then after, then after they took the protective film off...Bina has better pics I will post them soon



Round 2 to me.

Actually I typed this up on my laptop on Saturday/Sunday when I was starting to feel a bit more me and am posting here....I'm home now, only to discover my PC has died on posting on the mac..Ill try to work out how to transfer pics to it and add them later. I have a quick outpatients visit tomorrow to remove the last of my staples then a follow up next week to get the pathology results.....tik tok

Day 1

Well actually its day 5, the 1st time I’ve felt well enough and mobile enough to haul out the laptop..sadly no wifi connection in the room, but there is a pay network hotspot way down in the hospital reception… I left my wallet at home with my cards, so will have to get Bina to bring it in I’ll try to make a posting today..Mum’s here though so I dunno why the rest of you will be reading this

Seems wrong to start off with today, and not give you a timetable of events but tbh the last few days are a bit of a jumble so best I just explain the best I can remember. I do really feel a lot better today, over the last few days 1 by 1, I’ve had drips drains and catheters removed and as I type this I just have one drain left which will be removed soon.

So…what was it like? Painful of course, incredibly sore, despite the numbing of half my face due to the nerves being tickled and prodded, I still have all my facial nerves intact and they are starting to reconnect at different rates usually preceded with pain. My tongue is half numb still so speaking is a bit slurred but have been told that will resolve itself soon
I have no idea what’s going on in my mouth because the numb side is of course the side where the work was done, but it feels a bit like a big swollen mass at the moment, we’ll have to wait a few more days till the swelling does down to get a better idea.
The surgeon is a bit confused by the pain tbh. Everything above the wound is fairly numb and not too bad, but a few inches below is very raw and swollen.(well everything is but swollen and painful below the wound)

The actual surgery took 5 hours I’m told, and it was quite a surreal experience. Unlike in the UK where you go in, settle down for a few hours, get a pre med, have a quick visit with a surgeon, then get taken down to the anaesthetist. Here we booked in…were shown the room where I would be spending the next 6 or 7 days and basically left to it. About an hour before hand they dropped off some very fetching paper pants and a poppit fastening gown, and gave me a file to take down to the surgeon to discuss what he was going to do.

That was fine, he re-stated pretty much everything he mentioned before and we asked a few more questions about healing rates and so on.

Back to the room…and then told it was set for 12-45 and to get into my paper pants 15 mins before…oh and go to the toilet 1st.

Bina stayed with me till they wheeled me out of the room..still no pre-med, and I was wheeled straight down to the actual theatre where of course in typical Dutch fashion everyone introduced themselves…..odd..
I then shuffled onto the op table, fitting my head into a head rest, this was hard and uncomfortable but kept my head nice and still….still no pre-med.
Then they started fitting me with IV’s and strapping me in while still awake….finally the white stuff was pumped in and I was out cold….

5 hours later…

Recovery was awful….since I had swallowed a couple of bucket loads of blood I was very nauseous and they could not give me enough morphine to do the job because that increases the nausea…of course the numb face at least meant I was not screaming the house down.

I’ve never been happier to see Bina and Jodie at that point, unable to say much, in incredible pain and trying hard to breath as my mouth was full of bloody and sticky choking mucus. I grabbed their hands as they stood either side of me and felt immediately better. Both of them wearing sterile hat and gown, which really made Jodies bum look huge???

Things get a bit vague at that point, thoughts are very muddled and I was in distress a few times as I struggled to breath/avoid throwing up,
But eventually things must have stabilised, the surgeon came to see me and wanted to see me doing kiss and smile moves…not too successfully; then they wheeled me back up to the room, where in a few moments of lucidity I worked out that I had all my tubes and drains in place. 2 in the neck, an IV in my wrist and foot , a couple of nasal tubes, which I didn’t understand at 1st, 1 was Oxygen, the other was feeding.

I wasn’t able to wash out my mouth so the thick congealed blood coating my mouth and tongue was stopping any fresh saliva from being produced. The gave me a damp cloth though which I put in my mouth and rubbed my tongue as hard as possible to get it clean…it came out black with congealed blood and took several goes to get something close to clear.

That was the 1st couple of days basically, swallowing was agony, and breathing occasionally become difficult as the thick goo in my mouth would choke me with no easy way to cough and swallow the accumulated and very very sticky gunk

Sleep didn’t come easily and the next 48 hours or so were spent watching the worlds slowest clock on the wall tick seconds away as I tried in vein to find some way to be comfortable on what is supposed to be a state of the art hospital bed (bed goes up bed goes down). I simply couldn’t get cosy. Desperate for sleep and on only mild painkillers there was just no way to drop off and I existed on snatched 5 min naps before waking with a start trying to clear my throat and breath.

Anyway…A nice opiate based injection in the leg one morning gave me 2 hours of blissful painfree sleep (and some very vivid coloured dreams) and I started to feel better.

I got a 1st look at my face which is not a pretty sight at the best of times, and wow….massive angry looking scar with around 30 staples and a huge amount of swelling in the jaw area. At one point the cling film substance they put over the wound to keep everything in place was starting to choke me as my face swelled and swelled pulling it tight across my throat.

All this is normal of course, 4-5 days of swelling are expected and it should start to die down after the weekend.

Mum turned up on Thursday night, she had this trip planned long before the cancer diagnosis so we all agreed she should still come over and we’ll see how things go, but it was clear when she saw me she was a bit shocked at the state of my swollen face. But after a few mins of chatting she was ok.

I’m talking, albeit with some difficulty as my tongue is still numb on one side and I don’t have full lip control but I am at least understandable, so when mum whipped out a video camera to take in the scene I couldn’t resist spouting as many filthy expletives as I was able….something for her to remember J
I can’t really listen to my ipod either as my right ear is totally numb and it feels too freekingly odd to put an ear piece in. So mostly I am watching TV in the room…one of the benefits of being a solo occupant.

1 by 1 my various tubes have come out…I asked them keep the catheter in for a few days longer than they planned, part from honest fear but also because for the 1st few days I was weak as a kitten and tired in seconds..I mean that, even a few seconds worth of lucid movement resulted in a need for a 2 hour lie down (no sleep though due to the discomfort), so best to let the bag take the effort and avoid pissing the bed.
The feeding tube somehow got pulled out of position while I was asleep and ended up pumping complan type stuff into my chest. The nurse removed it , revealing the bottom 2 inches or so had been sitting in blood, with the intention of putting a new one in, but I just couldn’t cope with the re-insert so I was allowed to leave it off. So I might lose a few pounds in weight….big deal.

Oh they said the catheter does not hurt when they remove it…that’s a lie….well kinda its not so much pain as………deeply unpleasant. I was peeing again normally a few hours later. Never been so happy to have a stand up pee before.

Eating was possible yesterday but frankly just too painful, so I only managed a couple of small spoonfuls of yogurt. Today is much better, swallowing still hurts but not as much and I managed a full yogurt breakfast and a soup and yogurt lunch. The inside of my mouth is swelling up quite a bit today though and I can’t quite close my mouth without effort, so I don’t expect to be chewing for a few more days

So everyday, I’m getting a bit better, I can get up and move about now for longer than a few seconds before needing a lie down. So far about 20 mins…setting up this laptop and typing a page wiped me out for a couple of hours though.

My right arm is starting to get a bit weak, as I was warned, due to the shoulder nerves in my neck, being moved around. No pain (yet) just a feeling of weakness that will get worse then get better.

Bina has taken pics of me in various states, pretty much every day, with a fuck you cancer theme to them, which should become apparent when I post them.

I am able to pull my emails on my phone, though annoyingly I’ve never worked out how to send messages, and the emails of support are really inspiring. Thank you all for the kind wishes and words of support.

So that’s round 2 over…I seem to have won that, the section of jaw removed, along with 3 teeth had the cancer contained, I keep my facial nerves intact and the lymph glands all “appeared” to be clear and healthy. The pathology takes 2 weeks so we’ll know then if we’ve dealt it a knock out blow!

That’s it….never realised typing could be so tiring…am going to go have a 2 hour lie down then watch Dr Who (I at least get BBC tv here).. I’ll post this as soon as I am able but it might not be till I get out and am back home.


Sunday, 2 May 2010


Am ok. Still in hossie but up and about and starting to get around. Can't log in to this on mg laptop to post my account of the week so far but will do soon .posting this from iPod to keep you upto date.

Thanks for all the messages and support x x