The Good, The Bad and The Reaching Out.

The Good 
 "One of my Chemo drugs instantly turns the cold feel 
of any inanimate object to that of cut glass"
(Hence the Gloves)

 This time 48 hours  ago I was not in a good place. I had just taken my poison thru my veins in my Oncology Dept. at the Bons Secour Private Hospital in Glasnevin, Dublin. 
But with it being infusion #5, I knew that the day after (yesterday) would be much better.  That rawness and pain are gone. I'm tapping away here on my iPad no bother. Last night I had darts of pains in my finger tips as I attempted this. All going according to plan, I'll be even better tomorrow, then 3/4 days later my mind caves to deep emotions, but we'll jump that ditch when we get to it. It was my Hero's (wife) birthday today so I brought Alison and Aoife out for a meal locally tonight along with my Sister in-law Geraldine who is a senior qualified (State) Nurse. Geraldine very kindly stays overnight during my bad Chemo nights. This kind of help and expertise I have is truly phenomenal and YES, I so much respect and appreciate it. 

Getting back to last night and that pint went down just beautifully during my Chicken Kiev. Without finger protection, grabbing the ice cold pint of beer is akin to me holding the pint but the outside of the pint is wrapped in spiked cut glass, hence the gloves. When I go to swallow the beer, a similar sensation (but not as acute) will replicate itself in the back of my throat. It's the Oxaliplatin drug that's part of my 'Chemo' cocktail which causes this. In the heal of the hunt, the timing of the evening was good as I bump into Cllr. Gerry O'Connor. Gerry is the manger of Dunshaughlin Community Centre (and has been for some time) and I serve in an honory role on the board of management of this entity. We had a nice quiet 10min departure chat before Team Murf and Cllr. Gerry headed for the hills. More catch up chats when suits would be great Gerry, the kettle is always on here.



When I got home last night, I had an email from the professional social site 'LinkedIn'. I noticed that my recent post on my own profile on this site caught the attention of one of the senior directors of my employer 'PayPal'. What a nice surprise that put a smile on my face and we all know that with similes comes those nice boosts. 

It's a nice feeling when one of the senior directors 
of PayPal 'Annette Hickey' pops up on my LinkedIn profile
 and provides a welcome surprise vote of confidence in my direction.

Annette: "I won't let you down, that's a promise" .... Murf


The Bad
Photographed this week as my Toxic Tuesday came and went. 

My blood levels were up considerably on my self proclaimed morning of 'Toxic Tuesday'.  From a previous reading of 0.5, they shot up by a factor of 10. In English, this means it was all go for my (1 week late) Chemotherapy. You see, if the bloods aren't high enough, the Chemo waiting to get to you will put you in hell and give you a guaranteed infection where the only resolution is a multiple overnight stay in hospital, hence the importance of having this right and why you hear me banging on a lot about me not bumping into you if you have an infection or are sharing the same work or homesapce with somebody that has. 

For my 'Toxic Tuesday'  there is two, possibly three goes to find a vein. Nothing can be done about this, it's an Aidan Murphy vein thing and to be fair, my Saint Jakki is so apologetic to me during the process I just close my eyes and wait for the pinches. It's a small price for me to pay to get my anti-cancer poison to tick. Jakki works this process at lightening speed, you can't not but notice Jakki's 15 years Oncology experience here at work in a most competent and diligent way I might add. Jakki Cosgrave, you legend !!

was in the hot-seat (above) from approx 10am till 2pm. I have to say, the time just whizz's by. What the above photograph cannot depict or indeed show you (understandably), to protect the privacy of other VIP's (very important patients), is that there are two other individuals each side of me and two more across the room and they are all there for a very similar reason to mine. To warm the waters (and to Alison's embarrassment) I'll usually start by gently teasing the brilliant staff in a fun and open way. They'll tease me back (which I want, love and dearly encourage) and before ya know it, I'm looking at similes on 5 other open plan cubicles and you know what? the beautiful part is, the owners of these smiles don't even know they are wearing one. Before you know it and for those that feel in the mood, the atmosphere changes again where there is now open chats between us. 
Murf's Toxic Tuesday's stealth coffee morning (brought to you by Chemotherapy) is now in full swing and open for business. 

Click HERE to see this live demo in action. 

It was during my Chemo infusion that morning, my iPhone buzzed into life. Somebody had just rung my new (networked) doorbell. Within seconds, my postman was in full (one way) HD camera view at our home front door in Dunshaughlin with me in the Bons Secour Hospital (laced up to my Chemo drop). We were also in full two way audio conversation. I explain to him that I'm not actually inside the house right now but actually in hospital. I could see by the look on the man's face, he was probably thinking that I was telling porkies (lies) and was talking to him from my bedroom. The live footage is automatically uploaded to my cloud account in the servers in California. I love this piece of kit. The ballooning fraternity (started by Sir Andrew of Blagdon) have some time ago christened and started to call me 'Capt. Gadget'. Hmmm, I wonder why (lol). 
It's only on the way home and do things go South. I can feel every bump in the road, my stomach begins to tighten and cramp. Luckily Alison took some very posh hard rimmed circular puke bags with her from the hospital. I christened one as we stopped off in Dunboyne and Alison ran in to my GP to have a prescription ready for later that day. Then it was home and wrapped up in bed where I was quite literally 'sucked' in to a deep sleep from 3pm - 6 pm. Aoife was being picked up from school by Alison's sister Margaret. That night (see my previous and most recent blog) was just terrible. It's now 5:30am on Thursday morning. I'm writing this blog since 3:30am but I must say, I feel in much better and improving form. It's the post Chemo steroids that are at work here. Let's see what today brings. Bring it on please...


The Reaching Out. 

I have permission from the author to publish (the above) here on the proviso that all names, genders and locations remain confidential, absolutely. 

You see, since I started this blog, a lot of things have happened from it. I'll stick my hand up twice and mention two salient points:

No. 1: I said I would attempt a blog to see if sharing my story would help me but since I never done one before, I had absolutely nothing / zero to loose. It's now helping me enormously, so say the 66,000 page views it has currently received. 

No. 2: I never thought of the impact my blog would have on other people's journeys. This type of feedback came and is still coming to me as an amazing and indeed very humbling surprise. Feel free to email me at

For me, this piece is the most imporant part of this blog and to be truthful, probably the most important part of a few of my blogs both gone and a few more to come. Here's a person that's going thru their own personal life issues. This isn't the first person to write to me with this type of feedback. To say I'm genuinely humbled when I read these and follow on privately with them, is a complete and warranted understatement. As brief as this 'first contact' message is to read, I can assure it was in no way composed and written at ourreading speed. The first cut is the deepest !

One word that keeps on coming up on people's feedback to me is that 'I' word, you know, that one which kicks off with 'inspiration'. I don't wish to sound ungrateful folks, but I don't agree that I inspire. What ??
You see, I think I appear (and have been told) that I compose and write well. Perhaps I have stumbled across a hidden virtue that I appear to have, which has the ability to pull you in to my story where you are traveling the journey with me, not looking in, but on the inside looking out ?. What I can tell you, with some conviction respectfully, is I am showing you my way, letting you sense between the lines that I am writing. From that, your 
mind gets stimulated. With luck, you get to sense my back story. 

What I'm trying to tell you here, in my humblest opinion is that we inspire ourselves. This may well and truly be the result of reading somebody else's musings but I do strongly believe we do fire up our own inspirational thoughts, but we need a catalyst to kick them off. I have my catalysts that push my receptive inspiring thoughts and I beleive you do too !!

I'm dedicating this now to one of my catalysts 


After being in touch with this little angels Mammy, Annmarie Norman and tipping my hat in the direction of Aoibheanns Dad, Jimmy, this formidable force along with Mick Rockford set up a registered charity "Aoibheann’s Pink Tie “National Children’s Cancer Charity” 
This was was set up in 2010 by Mick Rochford and Jimmy after the tragic loss of Jimmy and Annmarie's daughter Aoibheann to cancer aged just 8 years. During Aoibheann’s year long battle with this dreadful disease, the family found little or no financial or practical support  for children and their families. Jimmy and his family had a large support network of friends and family but found that many likeminded parents on Aoibheanns hospital ward had virtually no support at all. Aoibheanns Pink Tie since it's inception has come a long way in acheiving it's goal in fulfilling this need. 

I would now like to dedicate this blog to the late, extremely brave and angelic 9yr girl Aoibheann Norman. 

(Click link above to access Website)

"To Jimmy, Annmarie and Mick, keep it rocking"


Thanks as always for reading my blog.

 I hope in some small way, you took something of use from it. 

If you are dealing with a similar situation to me, 

or if you just want to get in touch:

Simply click here to say hello or if for later, take note of my email address below. 

My email account is both secure and encrypted




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