Looping the loop with non-stop meds. The Priest stops by, sleep says hello and we'll have a beer.


I wouldn't be human if this didn't begin to drive me insane. Without running to the calculator for an accurate check, between slow release painkillers, chemo-tablets, laxitives, anti-reflux tablets, anti-sickness tablets, not to mention my self inflicted daily injections, I hit a medical checkpoint approx every 3.5 hours during the day. Now 22 weeks into this battle, it's beginning to play on my mind. 

Yes, it's all being done because it has to, so don't think I'm simply having a moan here. The 'having to' is a given. You see, it's the hidden things that this whole chronological operation brings from the back of my mind to the fore. You have all heard the saying, a good chef is only as good as their last dish. Well for me, this morphs into a "I'm still as sick as I was 3.5 hours ago". With the strongest even most gutsy will-power available, this is one tough pill to swallow (that's my first pun in a while so I'll leave it in here). 

Yes, my last CT scan was very positive and I'm using that as tightly focussed beam to light up the 'can do' part of my mind, but this never ending cycle of back-to-back medication can severely disrupt my shining light. Even if I'm out, it's a tablet packing checklist before we leave. Right now, I'm so thankful for Sir Richard Branson's message to me, I find myself re-visiting it for frequent viewings. Timing would appear to be everything here. Thank you again Mr. B, you have abolutely no idea what my mind can and is pulling from you right now. 

On the better news, re my tablets, since my last CT SCAN results, on a week per week basis, I have slowly but tentatively being reducing the 12 hourly dose of my slow release pain killers. 10mg per week is the order of the day and I have gone done by 20mg already with another 10mg reduction due in a few days. To be fair, this reduction excercise is by far my current silver lining that's sitting on this cloud. I do this on a weekly cycle, as per the advise of my medical team in the Bons Secour where I have my own 'Pain Dr'. He works hand in glove with my Oncologist, the super daddy cool and unflappable Dr. Oscar Breathnach. Let's see how low can we go with these painkilling babies. 

Fr. Clavin drops by and we chat about my blog. 

4pm yesterday afternoon, just having a coffee in our sitting room and the doorbell rings. It's Fr. Clavin, our parish priest. The last time the Padre called, it was pre-Chemo when I was just let home from hospital after my collapse and I was busy nursing the thought of my (then) incorrect diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer. (For the record and indeed rumour machine, it is Gastro Cancer I have). Back then, I was also busy not eating and awake thru the night with serious burning pains. At least this time around, Fr. Clavin saw a big improvement in me.  Up, dressed, 6kg heavier and I'm told a decent colour in the cheeks!  That's me by the way, not the priest 😃.  

Just one of many very recent pieces of feedback I get from this blog. 
(Permission to publish granted from it's author). 

 Fr. Clavin and myself spoke about my blog and how it is helping just more than me. 
I explained that although it is extremely humbling for me to see this happening, I never envisaged this ever happening. I had never wrote or even read a blog before in my life so how was I to even consider that it helping others was an option? It just happened. What a most humbling and grounding experience for me to learn, particularly at this crossroads in my life. 

I mentioned to Fr. Clavin my fortuitous relationship with St. Pio over the past number of years but also how this fondness has grown between us since I took ill. This was also an opportune time to give the Padre one of my St. Pio Lapel Pins which was duly done and was much appreciated. 


Keeping the Sleeping and a Beer might save the day. 

If I was a mobile phone battery during the past week, I think I would have been sitting on 1 bar. Energy levels were depleting by mid-afternoon all week, even after a 2 hour deep sleep. Come 9:30pm, bedtime was calling again. What a stark reminder to tell me how ill I really am. 

Today, Saturday, saw me stay in bed till 3pm. Dozing on and off from 10am, but my body felt content in this. It wanted as well as needed it.  Todays late afternoon was flying by, literally. I know this as one of my Guardian Angels flapped her wings and flew by, chatting all the way and it was nice. We'll see how later goes but hopfuly I'll last till 10:30pm before that one bar battery level begins to flash again. 

On the bright side, I feel good, I feel rested. Later this evening I might even enjoy a sneaky weekend beer. Apart from Blue Moon, my I also suggest it's Belgian cousin, Hoegaarden. Perhaps they had too much time on their hands or they were sick of the sacramental wine. Maybe it was divine inspiration? We’ll never know for sure but what we do know is that the Hoegaarden monks were the first to discover the unique recipe for wheat beer. 

Some 500 years ago, the Hoegaarden brewers found an orphan and when Emperor Charles ordered the brewers to raise the child, they needed to give him a name. So they put on their thinking caps and named him Claes (after the brewery ‘De Kluis’). Pronounced ‘Klaas’ by the locals.

The breweries in Hoegaarden took turns taking care of him. Like a spy he learned the secrets of each brewery as well as all the tricks of the wheat beer trade. Claes could taste beer with the best of them. Four times a year, at the start of each season, he drank 8 wheat beers in 8 different cafés on 8 consecutive days. How he got home is a different story entirely.

From orphan to the best wheat beer brewer of the country, that’s Claes’s story in a nutshell. He became 100 years old, citing Hoegaarden’s wheat beer as the reason for his long life. He even asked to be buried in a beer barrel, probably because he would no longer fit into a regular coffin. To this day, his statue smiles down on the courtyard of the brewery.

Enjoy your Saturday. 

Have a great weekend folks. 

Very Best !!!



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