Monday, 26 April 2010

nice one, mum

38 years and 9 months ago, my dad came home drunk from the pub one night and flopped on top of my mum. About 3 minutes later, a determined sperm swam towards an egg, with a single purpose in it's short, wiggly life. A while after that, I appeared in all my glory, albeit in a slightly simpler form than I am today. Roughly 9 months after that forgetful evening, I was dragged, totally against my will, out into the world, whereupon I would take-out my general dissatisfaction of being woken from my state of unborness upon the world in a perpetual state of general irritation and grumpiness until such a time where I would be left alone again with the great oneness from where we truly are happy.

However, you can't undo the past and as much as I wish that my dad had just tossed one into the sink that night somedays, here I am in all my cancerous and sober glory, at the somewhat no-mans-land age of thirty bloody eight.

A few years ago, I made a tribute video to my mum and stuck it up on YouTube. It was quickly taken down again, as I used the music from a copywrited song (Jimmy Eat World, 'Here,You,Me', but I noticed recently it had magically reappeared, with the publishing company realising that they could make money by providing a link to 'buy the song' on all 'fan videos' - (from the full YouTube site).

A lot of my friends have seen it before, but my new readers wouldn't have.

Nice one mum ... thanks for the last 38 year of madness. I'll see you soon.

my inbox this morninig

Here are some extracts from my inbox this morning ...

Hello SpencerSteel,

We at forums by Daniel Petri would like to wish you a happy birthday today!
Hello SpencerSteel,

We at ABXZone Computer Forums would like to wish you a happy birthday today!

Hello SpencerSteel,

We at Crowdgather Forums would like to wish you a happy birthday today!

Hello SpencerSteel,

We at Forums on the BleedinEdge would like to wish you a happy birthday today!

Hello SpencerSteel,

We at Future Producers would like to wish you a happy birthday today!

Hello SpencerSteel,

We at The Unofficial Access Virus & Virus TI Forum - since 2002 would like to wish you a happy birthday today!

Hello SpencerSteel,

We at Rage3D Discussion Area would like to wish you a happy birthday today!
I'd like to thank all of the above forums for their individual and personally touching messages.

It means a lot to me.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

April 26th

Just a reminder that there's are only two more shopping days left until my birthday.


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

"When's the big day?"

".. oh, the 11th of May. It's all booked. The weather should be lovely at that time of year."

That's right folks, book it in your diary - May the 11th is the day where I am split in two and my beloved tumorous spleen is removed from me.

I'll be at Watford General and I'll be going in at the ungodly hour of 7am, most likely incredibly nervously, with many scenes from 'Six Feet Under' replaying in my head.

Tomorrow, I have to go to a pre-op meeting for 'up to four hours', which sounds very tedious. On Friday I have to have my injections at the GP and next Tuesday, although unrelated, I have to go to join a new dentist because I was kicked out of the last one for non-attendance, as a bloody tooth-filling has fallen out and I don't want to be in the position of recovering from the loss of a spleen with sodding toothache.

I hate dentists. I hate hospitals. I hate injections. I hate GPs. I hate big spleens. I hate chemo. I hate the Conservative and I hate Labour. And I really, really hate Chelsea.

I'm back at home today - I left work early because I'm in a lot of pain. The spleen is really hurting. Oddly, the pain also runs up in the left shoulder and throbs like a bastard. Not the greatest simile there, as I'm really not sure how much a bastard throbs, but I never claimed to be any good at this English malarkey.

I never thought this arm pain was related to my spleen but my Consultant asked me some time ago ... "do you get shoulder pain" - I couldn't believe it ... "Yes, I bloody do".

Apparently, There's some nerves up there that the spleen is connected to or *something*. In truth, I wasn't really paying attention. This is how I went through school. I just shut off after a minute or two after getting the gist. So in this case, I got the idea, the spleen is connected to my shoulder and this sodding arm pain, just give me the bloody painkillers and no, I don't care how they work either.

So lots of pain today ... I'm exploring new over-the-counter pain-killers without too much success. I'm back on the chemo couch, looking at the sun out the window to my right and the three day pile of washing up to my right.

I have no desire to sit in the sun or wash the dishes.

That is all.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Look out ... it's Radioactive Cancer Man!

Today I was made radioactive so I could have a PET/CT scan. Just another ridicolous episode in my ridicolous life.

I was injected with a radioactive material and told to wait in a room for an hour. When you think about it, we put an enormous amount of trust in these people.

"Just stick this egg up your anus and chew this damp sock. I'll be back in 45 minutes."

I got bored within 2 minutes and discovered that as I walked across the room to get my phone, the Geiger Counter in the next room stared clicking louder. So I 'stealthily' took the following video.

I got busted just after I return to my bed, as there was a security camera watching me - and I got 'told off' by the nurses and was made to promise to delete it off my phone. I promised.

So, here is the YouTube video that I've now deleted off my phone.

Apologies for the finger in the way, I was trying to be spy-like.

Oh, you'll have to turn it up a bit, especially at the start, because i'm whispering like a spy.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

splenectomy: will trade organs for time off chemo

A splenectomy is a surgical procedure that partially or completely removes the spleen.

... and I'm getting me one.

I went to see my Consultant today. In her room was an unfamiliar face. I was introduced to Dr.Ahab, a surgeon. "This doesn't look too promising", I thought to myself.

To be fair, they didn't tell me anything I didn't know - as I had the CT scans myself from last Friday. A quick look at the image to your right, will show that my spleen (the largest lump on the right hand side, squashing my kidney, should tell you all you need to know). note: this image should be reversed, it's actually on the left-hand side.

So, the fat spleen is coming out ... but there is good news. The rest of the cancerous lymph nodes have responded well to chemo and shrunk. My Consultant seemed quite pleased with the overall progress. It is expected that once this operation is done and I'm fit enough to have the evil chemo again, that there will be around another 6 treatments and I will probably be clear. I've had 6 treatments so far, so I guess 'half way there' on the chemo front is almost reassuring.

The surgeon was a nice guy - he took me next door 'for a feel' and was quite impressed by the size of my spleen - to the point where he want's to show his medical students. I said that there were royalties and contractual issues we would need to agree upon first.

Before the operation, I need to have a
"PET-CT" scan (not 100% sure, but it shows up the lymphoma more clearly or *something*). I will also need a herd of injections from my GP - meningitis etc., to ensure I've had all my 'boosters', as spleenless people are susceptible to infection/illness. 

I've been told, with a serious face, that this is a 'big operation'. They will cut all the way down the front of me and open me up like a tin of beans to remove the spleen. I was warned of some possible dangers - some thrombosis type issue and some sudden sepsis possibility, but you can read about that on the Wikipedia link if you like. There's risks to everything and I'm not going to start worrying about them now, as my options are somewhat limited anyhow. My hospital stay is expected to be about 5-7 days and once I'm kicked out, I imagine I'll get about 3-4 weeks of recovery time, before the chemo starts again.

I will have to take penicillin for the rest of my life, daily - a pill in the morning. I imagine I will have to ensure I get booster injections and things like that as well - but really, no big deal.

I'm actually in a quite a good mood about this all, as ALL CHEMO IS CANCELLED!. This is great news for me. I've got a three, maybe four, week spell where I can eat, rest, work and create music without the sickness getting in the way. I intend to get a small holiday down with a very mate in Worthing ... just praying for a bit of sunshine in the next fortnight or so to make that perfect. The thought of a few long-ish walks along the sea sounds like heaven right now.

Right - there's your news ... I anticipate not a huge amount of new updates coming our way for a while now ... but at least you won't have to hear me whinge my way through another chemo session.

I'm off to start explaining to my spleen that things just haven't worked out between us - that it's not you, it's me and that perhaps it's time that he moved on. I think he will be upset but he'll know it's for the best. 

I hate these long goodbyes.


UPDATE: Lots and lots and lots of people have asked me today, "What's the date?" of the operation. Sorry I didn't make that clear. I don't know yet - I've just been told it's about 3-4 weeks. Rest assured when I know, you'll know very shortly after. S.S.

Monday, 12 April 2010

like a shaved peach

Something occured to me the other day. Chemo has a benefit. No, I'm not talking about that whole 'curing cancer' thing which people keep banging on about, but I'm talking about a far more impressive side-effect ... the complete lack of ear and nasal hair.

As a man of a certain age, I had discovered that in the last few years, that rogue hairs had been sprouting out of orifices that I would prefer they didn't. Tough, thick hairs. Hairs that make your eyes water a little as you pull them out. Quite satisfying in many ways, but when you notice the complete absence of them, you do appreciate your new peachy status.

Just this morning, I flared my nostrils at the mirror and took a satisfied look down into the smooth cavern walls - as hairless as the front row of a JLS concert.


And my ears - fantastic - no pieces of wire-wool poking out at impossible angles, attracting small woodland creatures to perch upon ...

And my eyebrows, which were often in need of 'Ground Force' type tending to, are thinned out and baby-soft - no more pulling at deeply embedded sprouts on their journey towards the sun.

So, there you have it ... one of the many benefits of Chemotherapy. Don't you just wish you were having it too? It saves a fortune on personal hygiene products ....

And then there's my downstairs area, it's like

Sunday, 11 April 2010

"Traps" - more KemoKore

I wrote a song yesterday. And I sang on it. This was very brave of me, as I have a baaaaaaaaaad voice nowadays.

I wanted to create something lo-fi and 'Eels' like.

It's very, very simple, but I think it has a certain indie-charm - maybe one day I'll do something with it.

So, as a special treat for my readers here .. enjoy this little diversion away from the normal pissing and moaning.

Traps by DeleteAllContacts

Friday, 9 April 2010

rough week, rough day

I can't actually be bothered to write this blog, but there is news, so I may as well tell it. For the point of a blog is to tell news. It's my commitment to you. Be grateful.

The last chemo session - 3b - was horrible, as per usual. Lots more of lots more of the same. Especially vomit. Lots of vomit.

The main difference came when I would normally be coming out the other side and returning to work - the 'chemo sickness' feeling left around Tuesday as per usual, but my body continued to be very weak. So much so that despite hauling my skinny ass to work on Wednesday for a tokenistic appearance, I couldn't get the same skinny ass back to work on Thursday. I just felt very weak, even going for a short walk would leave me breathless ...

Christ, this is pathetic.You get the idea. Moan. Moan. Moan.

The actual 'news' is this - I've just returned from a double-visit-day at the hospital. First up was to tidy up my PICC line and snip down the length as it's slowly been coming out ... then it was back in the afternoon for my second CT spleen scan. You may remember that I had a CT scan way back at the start in December and if you haven't seen it, the image is on this blog here

I'm going to write more about this situation later on - but without giving too much away, I've seen the CT scan results, I've actually already got the CD with the images on (I've got good contacts!) and although I await my Consultants opinion next Wednesday, it's fair to say that we are not looking at a miracle here.

In fact, the size difference is pretty negligible - to these untrained eyes anyhow ... it's still a monster and I know this, as it's in my bloody body - I feel like someone has tucked a balloon stuffed full of Paxo under my left hand ribs. I haven't slept on my left hand side since November. So, the images have only confirmed what I already knew - it's changed - but it's we are probably talking about a 3-5% change here. Worth the last 4 months of shite? You can answer that.

So, if you are of the betting persuasion, then I suggest placing a large amount of money on the word 'spenectomy' being used in upcoming blogs.

So that's why I am so grumpy tonight then? No, actually. I can live with that. Or without that, as it will probably be. The reason I'm so grumpy this Friday night is because of my ridiculous anticipatory nausea issue. Somehow my mental mind and body decided that the aniseed flavoured water than I had to drink before the CT scan (about a litre, over the course of an hour, so things show up on the scan) must have been chemo related - and so now I'm back on my chemo couch, on a Friday night, feeling bloody nauseous again for no reason. I wouldn't mind, but I've had this exact procedure and drink before with no side effects, so I know it's another phantom sickness. I was looking forward to a night off - feeling a bit better - making some music, relaxing and now I know that the only way out of this feeling is to go to bed ...


Today is one of those days. So stop reading now if you are easily offende ...

.. ah.

Monday, 5 April 2010

it doesn't get any easier

"I'm sure you'll get used to it and it will get easier".

No, I won't.

No, it doesn't.

Chemo = Scouting For Girls.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

the most depressing thing in the world

... is a flat iPod, flashing its cheery dead-battery icon at me, when I'm in the Chemo Unit, resigned to the fact that I am now forced to, yet again, listen to the never ending conversations about bone marrow, blood, scrapes, urine and such like. I'd pay £20 for an iPod charger.

The good news is that thanks to Lorazepam, I don't feel so sick. I've had an xray this morning as they are concerned that my PICC line has come out to far ... Just waiting to see those results before the poisoning can start properly.

Bored. And music-less.

Sent from my BlackBerry® 9700 wireless device