A horrid winter and spring, will summer bring swallows?

Posted: June 2, 2016 by tchannon in Blog

Post by Tim


(c)2016 T N Channon, licence, attribute but otherwise do whatever you want
Panorama over Thames Valley looking east; Didcot power station visible;Â Over field of flowering oil seed rape; fair weather clouds; camera about 200 metres from the north downs “Ridgeway”.
Bar at left and right is part of gate, a straight steel bar, photographic projection is cylindrical. LG Leon LTE camera phone. Images stitched by Hugin.

Why? Enjoy, or not. Many do not like the yellow fields, not overkeen myself.
A little later I sat for some time looking over the downs near Lambourn. Fabulous view. Unfortunately I was not well enough to photograph.

New Talkshop readers probably do not know who I am. My name is on over 700 blog articles. Over the past year and more I have been ill, with the work of diagnosis and the side effects of treatment shutting me down, I sleep a lot.

I intended to make this blog article about one of the many good things I have stored up waiting to be completed. Circumstances, the flesh is too weak, is not going to happen.

The surgeon has now given me a date, 3rd June, this Friday.

This is for a massive cancer operation. Fortunately, after a long story where much of what could go wrong [1] has a new surgeon and team have taken me under their wing, a team at one of the best cancer treatment centres, Churchill University Hospital, Oxford.
I’ve been an in-patient at various hospitals four times or was it five, oh well. Some were exploratory, 6 keyholes. Been “swallow this” cameras as well. (not as bad as it sounds, burp)

The last of these was for a week and a half being prepared for the operation on the 3rd. Unfortunately or not this included being fitted with a feeding tube, I can’t eat or drink. I’ve been at home since using a metered pump for 15 hours a day. Yum. Vanilla flavoured feed. Not that this matters a jot, the stuff goes direct into my insides after my stomach. The reason for feeding goes beyond the usual avoiding weight loss, they are trying to fatten me up. My BMI is unfortunately normal, heavier people apparently recover from surgery better. I feel bloated.

Medication has to go in via syringes on the same route, either to the pipe or via a tap point on the feed set. Oh, the pipe is about 3mm outside diameter, rather tiny. Avoiding blockages is a nightmare.

I asked for and was supplied with a special rucksack, makes me mobile when I am being fed. This rucksack is surprisingly heavy, anon though apart from a small pipe. The missus thinks I will get picked up an a bomber, rucksack and wire!

I wish everyone well. Farewell? Maybe a 10% chance since this is dire surgery. All being well I’ll be back home in a couple of weeks or so. Extra lucky this is a cure. [2]

If you feel awkward there is no need to comment. I, in common with probably most cancer patients do not look for sympathy but we do like to talk. The medical staff, professional or charities know this. Attitudes generally are superb, just get on with it, play straight. I don’t recall coming across any nasty or poisonous individuals, unlike in normal life. On my part I am a bit of a joker, life is rarely ordinary. 🙂

The blog title.. watching my wife eating, seeing food and so on is surreal when you cannot touch it. Strangely I don’t mind, enjoy. Now the concept of putting things into your mouth seems odd.

I think I’ve cracked the AGW problem, turns out to be an instrumentation cockup, bad practices. The July 1st 2015 Heathrow spike provided telling information but the details are extensive, a lot of work producing articles.
The Mauna Loa CO2 data is fraudulent. I’ve known this for years. The evidence is compelling but there is additional weight added by indirect admission. I don’t know the right figures, doubt anyone does.

Thanks for the fish.

Post by Tim

1. Chemotherapy went badly and in the end seems to have failed, not doing what was intended. It’s left me in a poor state, I’m still suffering, perhaps permanent nerve damage. I can live with this. My hair is regrowing.

2 There is rarely a cure for cancer but cutting it out can work. The first two PET scans showed no spread. One scan is pending result. Operation delay or cancellation or failure, all TBD.

  1. catweazle666 says:

    Sorry to hear about your op, Tim.

    Best of luck mate, you deserve it.

  2. Hope that the new team does the job.

    My father had an operation, with radio and chemo in the followup. Lots of radiation; (30 days at ~1 Gray) finely targeted. Now clear of cancer but still getting regular checks.

    Doctor gave him another 20 years to live; when he was 83; roughly 2 years ago.

  3. Annie says:

    Best wishes Tim. Annie.

  4. Curious George says:

    Good luck, Tim. I’ll keep my fingers crossed Friday.

  5. Andrew Cooper says:

    Ho hum, forgot attachments.

  6. Andrew Cooper says:


    I was just admiring your clouds again when I realised I had taken another two photos on the same day of another rape field plus clouds (see attached). But it was specifically for the clouds that I took it- they were in long lines like yours, parallel going back into the distance. You need to zoom in- it was much more obvious in reality.

    Have they got a name apart from ‘fair weather clouds’ (or cumulus)? I’m wondering what separates them into lines?



  7. Richard111 says:

    Best wishes and good luck Tim. Hospital saved my heart problem with a triple by-pass.

  8. Best wishes Tim.

  9. ren says:

    Tim, please try. It is safe.
    Uncaria Tomentosa (of the family Rubiaceae) is one of two herbs, the other being Uncaria guianensis, that have the common name of Cat’s Claw; these two herbs are vines that grow in the Amazon forest and have traditional usage as anti-inflammatory agents,[1] with other traditionally claimed benefits extending to arthritis, bursitis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, and both stomach and intestine disorders.[2] This article describes the properties of Uncaria Tomentosa unless otherwise specified.

  10. tallbloke says:

    Tim, you are an exceptionally courageous individual.

    Now you have broken cover, you have a whole lot more people rooting for you and wishing you well. This is important. The power of good wishes shouldn’t be underestimated.

    So, everyone, please keep Tim in your thoughts over the next fortnight, he has some heavy duty healing to do, and needs all our support.

    With Tim’s permission, I’ll keep you all updated on his post-op progress via reports from his missus.

    Stay strong mate, and here’s hoping Friday is a great success.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Best of luck Tim.

    Agree about Mauna Loa data.

  12. Ian Bryant says:


    Your fortitude is inspiring. I hope it goes well on Friday.

    Kind regards,


  13. Graeme No.3 says:

    I think my wishes won’t get there before the operation so all I hope is that you read them afterwards. Goodluck for the future and more articles please.

  14. wyoskeptic says:

    I have found that when facing adversity, your attitude about what is coming does more than anything else for managing a successful outcome and coping with the overall situation. Seems to me your attitude is good, so all things being even, the results should follow as well as what fate will allow. (As the pilots say, God is my copilot, but Murphy is the flight engineer.)

    With that said, a spot of luck never hurts, so here are my wishes for the best possible luck and the best possible outcome.

    Good luck sir. May you be around to agitate (and castigate) the alarmists for a long time to come!

  15. gregole says:

    Thanks for all the great postings Tim – I haven’t read them all but read many. My prayers are with you.

  16. tchannon says:

    Thank you.

    Good news so far, everything seems to be in place at the hospital. The surgeon did not call cancelling the operation. Presumably the result of the final PET scan was sufficient.
    On second thoughts

    Late afternoon I got the tears, said to the wife I need to go out, she wanted to come with me, good. I love driving, a gentle stroll along country lanes especially, won’t be able to for ages. I drove up to Combe gibbet, the highest point in the south of England, just under 1,000ft. It is green, a June north wind, perishing cold. The air was clear enough, the view is moderately spectacular for England.

    Right now I am connected to a feed bottle via the pump. I’ll disconnect about 23hrs, feed in the final medication, flush and that’s it, clear space for the operation. All being well this is the last tube feed I have to do, ever.

  17. Tim,

    Wishing you all the best and quick recovery.

  18. tchannon says:

    A major discussion we need to restart is about planet rotation. This is tricky since several active researchers need anonymity.

    So far as I am concerned planets are not static bodies, the dynamics dominate what is going on.

  19. tom0mason says:

    Good luck and the very best wishes for a speedy recovery and seeing you back to posting more exceptional blogs.

  20. suricat says:

    tchannon says:June 2, 2016 at 10:39 pm
    “A major discussion we need to restart is about planet rotation. This is tricky since several active researchers need anonymity.
    So far as I am concerned planets are not static bodies, the dynamics dominate what is going on.”
    Whilst I concur, just ‘get better’ so you can discuss this! That’s an ‘order’! 🙂

  21. don penman says:

    best wishes Tim hope things start improving have always found your post worth reading.

  22. Good luck, Tim.

    If courage, integrity and humour can help then you have a good chance.

  23. RoswellJohn says:

    Didn’t check in yesterday so your operation is over by now; still Friday here in the US. All the best and keep up the great attitude as others have said. And when you are recuperating and strong enough to hold a book up, try reading You are the Placebo by Joe Dispenza.


  24. Roy Martin says:

    What news of the result of the operation?

  25. tallbloke says:

    Good news.

    Tim’s operation was successful and I spoke with him this evening. He’s in Oxford University Hospital Upper GI unit having had a tumour removed from his stomach. Today he is mostly tube-free and made a cup of tea for himself after going for the mandatory 80m walk along a couple of corridors. That means he’s now out of intensive care and in a single room on the recovery ward.

    Thanks for all your well wishes. The phone reception isn’t good enough for data where he is, but I hope Tim will be able to check into the talkshop himself soon enough.

  26. p.g.sharrow says:

    Very good to hear our friend is doing better…pg

  27. tchannon says:

    Well put Roger’ Thr following day Iasjed for painfillers, So may Iam with the firies..
    In fact the operation was on my lower euspogus, my stomach is good. This operation had a problem, 6 hoors under the knife, an hours or so longer than usual. They ciuld not separate my lungs.
    Intensive care was terrible. no sleep for 2 days, thid cupset the staff.

    I’ve been assigned a single room., nice of them. Thiis is a good,time to come out. As some of you guess I am autitic spectrum. H ence the my sommettime trang writing.. (I \m lyinf in bed as I WRITE TIS be bad)
    MOST OF my support tubes were remooved yesterfay. i AM STILL BEING FED BY PUMP.

  28. Excellent, Tim has been on my mind the past few days.

    Welcome back, Tim.

  29. Roy Martin says:


    It sounds as if Spring has arrived for you. You can now be pretty sure that the swallows will return soon.

    I can relate to your situation: Starting in May 2015 with an emergency operation to clear a blockage caused by a twisted bowel, had four life saving operations in an eight month period. Now back to close to a normal life, in spite of losing 1.8m. of my small intestine in the third op.. In my case no sign of cancer…

    Emerged with great admiration for the skills of the medical profession in general, and the lead surgeon in particular. Quite brilliant.

    In my experience a single room is a wonderful aid to recovery.

    Remember the old saying: “Be long sick that you may soon be well.” Follow instructions and be patient with yourself.

  30. ren says:

    Tim, zinc organic accelerate wound healing. Take my advice for the future.

  31. tchannon says:

    The swallows are my word play: before surgery I was totally blocked, only kept alive by a food pump. After surgery I can swallow at least in my flight of fancy.

  32. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Tim; The return of the swallows is wonderful after an extended absence.

    Peace and QUIET to rest is a blessing when every sound can be a SHOCK!

    And a working word processor with spell check is the best thing ever created for those of us that are word challenged. 😉 R & R …pg

  33. tallbloke says:

    Great to have you back on the blog my friend.
    Now, rest, recuperate and heal.

  34. tchannon says:

    Last Friday I was kicked out of hospital, a week after massive surgery, 6 hr operation, with complications so I was in intensive care for a couple of days. Day I came out of ICU, out of bed, pipes, etc. carried by nurses or physios, cling onto pole, walk, 80 metres.

    And so on. They found me a single room, which was welcome.

    Monday (one just gone), the staples were removed from my wounds. Don’t go there, certainly not with the spectacular… I have one on my front, one on my back.

    I am in a lot of pain.

    Can I eat? Yes. Swallowing worked immediately.

    Be able to write more tomorrow.

  35. oldbrew says:

    Sounds like progress, thanks for the update.

  36. tallbloke says:

    Steady as she goes Tim.

  37. Poly says:

    vasbyt Tim

  38. Glenn999 says:

    Been pulling for you. Keep up the fight!

  39. tallbloke says:

    I spoke with Tim at length on the phone last night. Niggling pains associated with scar healing and awkward sleeping posture etc but he’s cheerful and cracking jokes. He get’s tired and sleeps a lot,(pain and painkillers does that to you), but progress is good and he hopes to have dressings off in a few days.

    Keep up the good work Tim and heal carefully and well.

  40. tchannon says:

    Awoke at 5am in Royal Berkshire Hospital, more bother. Breathless for an unknown reason, not my scene. Probably a side effect of heavy pain control or thr surgery but testing for infections has to be done. Awaiting an x-ray and blood finals.

  41. tallbloke says:

    Take it easy my friend. Hope it’s all settled down now.

  42. tchannon says:

    I’m back home again, hopefully with all the nasty little gotcha’s behind me. (bite my bum instead 🙂 )

    This time I have two partially collapsed lungs, put down as a side effect of the massive surgery. No treatment other than wait. A CT scan showed no lung blood clots. (I inject anti-clot daily at the moment)

    A surgeon, not the one who operated on me, has given me the bad news. On examination the removed chunk of me showed the cancer had broken through on the centre section. 😦

    This means maybe radiotherapy and then wait, almost certainly it will be back, months or years. I am not happy, especially over the lack of care on chemo failing and the time delays, until too late.

    The operating surgeon did well, a very difficult operation given the size of the cancer, not helped by a lung problem which stretched the time to 6 hours and extra days in intensive care on oxygen. (I don’t remember, fortunately) The anaesthesia was good, don’t remember going under. On recovery no headache, just blurred vision. I was of course dopey for a few days.
    Pain, ah, ouch, still on painkillers and in pain, morphine if it is bad, none of this heavy doses.
    I’m hoping the worst of this is over so I can start to tail off the medication in a week or two.

    The two main incisions, maybe a foot long each are healing well, no infections. OTOH skin near these has nerves either hyper or dead, only time will sort this out. Alas a section near one scar is swollen, causing me a lot of grief, especially at night. When this subsides I’ll be a lot better.

    Eating is proving very troublesome. One of the dieticians has switched me to no drinking, only eat by mouth, fluid (water) goes in via my feeding tube. (best warmed to body temperature in the microwave first, otherwise it feels weird)

    Time, 6 months to a year before you get back to normal, or kind of. Right now I am out of breath just from climbing stairs, can just about walk to the end of the street and back, wobbling. This is improving. In effect I am housebound.

    So, a long slog [keeps looking over shoulder]. I’ve left out a few fun extras I have to cope with, nothing to do with the operation.

    Being fairly open will I hope help someone else one day. It’s okay to ask questions including on “awkward” subjects.

  43. tchannon says:

    Image not for the faint hearted.

    Squeamish image

    Shows the front incision before the metal staples were removed. (are just pulled out using pliers, yes, tad unpleasant) 🙂

    I’m holding the feeding tube. 3mm outside diameetr, probably silicone rubber, white clamp allows stopping, at end is screw fitted for syringes or feed pipes. A white plastic triangular fixing anchors the pipe, a stitch at each corner holds it. (a dressing is covering this)

    Today no staples and is healing well.

    There is another large incision on my back.

  44. catweazle666 says:

    Looks like you’ve been through the mill, Tim.

    Just keep your spirits up, my wife – who survived a nasty cancer of her female components, most of which were removed – reckons that a positive attitude is worth any number of pharmaceuticals!

  45. tchannon says:

    Anyone getting far with complex treatment has to have strong head.

  46. RJ Salvador says:

    Your scar has my cancer scar beat by at least a factor of 2. Congratulations on getting home. From my experience, I can confirm your estimate that it will take 6 months to a year to get back to feeling normal. I was still getting bouts of fatigue 6 months out. The scar gave me electric type shocks and had numb zones after one year but as I approach two years that has stopped. Other than being home I found getting off the narcotics and walking were the best recovery steps I could take. I wish you all the best for the rest of your treatment and recovery. Your a tough dude.

  47. tchannon says:

    Compare scars, giggle. 🙂

    I have numb zones too, apart from my brain, that’s always numbskull. And the hypersensitive, hurts so I am on fairly strong medication, tramadol, with morphine as needed. Slowly the pain is subsiding, when that has gone far enough I’ll switch tramadol to codiene, both backed by paracetamol which apparently enhances the effect.
    The hospitals are paranoid about tramadol, controlled drug. A nurse, not helper, dishes out this med and watches to see you take it, then initials the documents.

    When I was an inpatient a nurse gave me 2x tramadol (dose assigned to me is one or two), I wasn’t paying attention. Later I went out for a wander around the hospital, neat walking along the ceilings, err… Sure it stops the pain, not so sure about the wisdom.

  48. oldbrew says:

    TC: tramadol is well-known for causing nightmares and the like. Best get onto something else if/when possible.

    All the best.

  49. tchannon says:

    Odd stuff indeed. Some people can’t take it for various reasons. So far it works in my case. I’m in more or less constant pain.

    I gather tolerance develops so it’s not so useful longer term.

  50. tchannon says:

    I’m reluctant to make much noise on a blog so I hope a few are reading this old thread.

    Until a week or so ago we were hopeful the cancer removal was also a cure, PET scans showed no spread. They did however show chemotherapy failed, the tumour grew larger instead of shrinking. After the operation the removed tissue is examined in the lab. Sickeningly this showed the cancer had just broken through in the centre section.
    There is talk of radiotherapy to try and kill any cancer cells which leaked, more chemo is ruled out for the time being, partly given my bad reaction last time.
    Monday I learnt, confirmation this was a very difficult operation where they managed to get it out without killing me but were unable to remove where it had broken through… was resting against my heart, cutting the outer heart layer is far too dangerous.

    I’m afraid the prognosis now is terminal if with a small chance I am free. It will be back, when and where unknown. Months or years.


    Otherwise I am making slow progress, healing continues, incision pain is lessening, have crazy itching and nerve dead patches moving around.

    I’ve come off the blood pressure medication and … no more fainting. Pressure measurements are inconsistent, still rather low, I’ve ordered a much better instrument (Omron M6) to get some reliable figures. I can keep tabs on what is going on, work with my GP if necessary.

  51. oldbrew says:

    Sorry it’s not the best news TC. Let’s hope the medics can keep on top of any problems.

  52. tchannon says:

    Indeed bad news, been some weeping.

    Up until now I was treated very seriously, a cure was possible. Now the fear is being put onto the scrap heap as not worth serious attention. To some extent this is fair enough given limited resources, bugger it, it’s my life.