Chemotozed but getting there with beautiful friends in high places.

I'm now 4 days inclusive post my last infusion of Chemo (this is my 4th day). I was dreading the first few days post Chemo. You see, it's the 2nd time I had to defer by a week which meant it was 4 weeks of a break rather than 3. For the avoidence of doubt (one of my favourite phrases), I also take Chemo daily via tablet form. 

A few close friends have asked me recently, "on the same day, what does it feel like when you get your new IV infusion of your cocktail of chemotherapy'"?
It's a direct question for sure, but the answer? well my answer is somewhat skewed but like all my blogs here, I'll tell you as it is. 

My response on how it feels to me: "An exhausted mind that thinks it's my stomach coupled with my stomach that's not sure whether it wants to vent off via my mouth or my rear end. Pretty confusing, Isn't it?
While I'm in this state of what I  now personally refer to and have come to recognise as been Chemotozed, I purposely initiate a sleep, time of day neither matters or comes in to it. This sleep could last anything from 1-3 hours. On awakening, I have no concept of slept duration, but I am left with what all I can call is a 'chemically induced' hangover. For the record, I have no idea why I just compared the term of 'chemically induced' to a hangover but it snaps in place quite wilfully into my mind, so it's staying there". 

With the current high threat of catching an infection still quiet high (just a lot higher for me), my first call to action (for myself) is to stay inside my home and naturally enough, quiz anybody that drops by if they are infection free. For me this 'quizzing' sounds all cold and clinical and it's not in my general nature to answer a greeting to a welcome visit with a "Have you got or think you might be carrying any infections" but I'm getting used to it. Up to yesterday, I was a full week in my self imposed exile.  I do have a strong self adherence mindset so I had no big issue with this, but during the week I ventured out on a short 15min drive followed by a pleasent lunch in Trim Castle Hotel.  Big thanks to my sister in law and qualified S.R.N Geraldine Taaffe who minds and nurses me on a sleep over for the first 24 hours post every I.V chemo delivery I get. I do realise how genuinely lucky I am with all my in laws, and indeed Geraldine's timely albeit specialist presence results in a massive piece of mind for me at perhaps the most vulnerable period of my ongoing treatment, the night after the day before if you like. 


                                                                     'Passion at Play'
                                            The giant handwritten 'Get Well' card 
                                                 sent from Mondovì to Dunshaughlin. 

Last week, as you are aware, I didn't make it to my annual balloning visit to Mondovi. I'm not going to bore all the non balloonists here reading this with a rehash of my last blog but if you will, permit this brief addendum, where I previously wrote about my ongoing connection with Mondovi in Northern Italy where from a ballooning stance, the feast of the Epiphany is celebrated. This event is by invitation only and it shows. All the big boys of pan European ballooning make what I can best describe as the annual pilgrimage to this location that (personally to me) is one of the most beautiful and natural ballooning amphitheaters on the planet and to play and indeed keep perfecting my beautiful art of flying Hot Air Balloons. Back to last weeks ballooning festival in Mondovi and the Aerostátic masters of lighter than air flight that made the trip, with just one sweep and fleeting glance at each of them at pilot briefing, the same 3 words can be seen written all over there faces, 'Consumed by Passion'. On my last blog you would have seen the very emotional clip (for me) of their toast to me. Then, this week, local County Meath balloon pilots Pauline Baker and Malcolm White arrive home to Trim clutching (above) this beautiful get well card for me. It's signed by all my pan-European piers of Hot Air Ballooning. This will be treasured greatly. It'll be given pride of place in my office. Thank you all so much for this. 

Kudos to Swedish Balloon Pilot Daniel Sjökvist 
and this very powerful message he sent back to Dunshsughlin. 

Above, a Swedish balloon pilot Daniel Sjökvist brought this beautiful and indeed unusual gift for me to Mondovi last week. Just read the message. What powerful words is Daniel and indeed the Swedish people sending out. How magical is this?         
We should really try and and see if Ireland can accomplish a smilar role model situation that can and undoubtably deliver decent results? It's so simple, so perfect, so fulfilling, so right. 
Thank you so much Daniel. This beautiful gift has me 10ft tall since I received it. 


I'm dedicating this blog to a special fraternity of like minded individuals who are also beautiful friends of mine. Way to many to mention here but they all know who they are and the geographical spread is global. These people are caring, sharing, fun-loving, extroverted, eccentric (in the nicest possible way) who all share a common ground that I can and do easily identify with. Yes, they have all accomplished and thoroughly enjoy passion and indeed art of either crewing or flying Hot Air Balloons. But my connection with these individuals just goes that one step further. I am sure most if not all of them will allow me speak on their behalf and offer my version of that one word we appear to have in common.  Perhaps even just in a subliminal way but that word is 'Magic'. 
Ballooning Magic' is how I precisely refer to it. 
What does the words Ballooning Magic mean?
Ballooning Magic is (for this balloonatic anyway) when I see a beautiful smile eminating on a persons face and know that both myself and my fantastic voluntary crew has put it there. 

And you know what? And I'm not just saying this, it's one beautiful experience !!!

I'll leave you here with the Balloonists Prayer:

Thanks so much for reading my blog:




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