My name is Tim Channon. Today I am in 60s. I live in southern England, in Saxon times Wessex. (There is east, middle, south and west: Essex, Middlesex, Sussex and Wessex.)
I have a very wide technical background, and also one of those people who do things, usually on the go, if you don’t know, find out, part of lifelong learning.
Life ought to be fun, technical things most of all.
Tallbloke needed helping out, we seem to get on well enough and I have plenty to give so he can get some breathing space for a life. I’m trying to keep the flavour of his site.
I do have my own blog (link), largely non-controversial. Some items are cross posted on the Talkshop.
Added January 2016
December 2016 came a bizarre stream of activity and tears.
I was well enough to push for a minor prostate operation. Done under general anaesthetic. On actually looking there is nothing wrong with my prostate… no tests had been done. No signs of cancer, The prostate matter is separate. This has meant dealing with an indwelling catheter since Nov 2015, all through the rest I have had to put up with. No huge deal, just means I have to wear appropriate clothes and at times was concurrently dealing with a feeding tube, try getting out of bed with two pipes, or worse trying to untangle and get in. (a good trick is learning to set things up so that some degree of turning in bed is safe, I have to sit up all night anyway, a backrest because the upper valve of my oesophagus is missing, vomit, breath in, dead). The catheter problem also means good biosecurity, I’ve had no problem over more than a year, good going apparently. Things like always keeping your bladder above external bags, backflow problem. Cleanliness and scheduled changes / cleaning are the rule.
This started with a CT scan (x-ray tomography) at a private facility under contract to the NHS, good move, easy to reach, no parking problems, new machine.
A few days before I was going in for the prostate op. an appointment arrived to see the cancer surgical team on the date of the op., no explanation on why but I’d asked to see them over a clarifying matter. I put this appointment off to later. (turned out to be a 6 month follow up from surgery)
The day before the op. I hurt my back, concluding it must be sciatica, a new one on me, I look after my back.
On the day I go in for the prostate op the oncologist’s pa rang, can I see him two days later? Oops, this was not expected and there is a pending scan result. My wife tells me when I came out of general anaesthetic.
Back home I asked if the oncologist would telephone me. Nice chap and he did.
As I feared this was the hardest call I have ever had although the meaning was not put too brutally. The oncologist correctly describing where my “back” pain was hurting, cancer pressing on a nerve, not sciatica.
It has now been formally put in writing. A cancer, which has to be assumed to be a spread has appeared in my pelvic / spine region, in bones, is not curable. So far I am still clear in my chest, the site of the original and major cancer. This kind of spread I have seen written and was expected because of the delay in original surgery.
All major chemotherapy types have failed with me. No genetic match either. Heroics with these is not suggested, just yet anyway. What is the point in hell after hell when each is 10% might do something?
I was given one large radiotherapy dose (about 90 seconds) to the cancer causing pain, the one in bone(s) is left, hoping it will stay quiet.
The effect of radiotherapy peaks a couple of weeks after the end of radiation, although with my experience to date more like 3 weeks. Things reached near a crisis over good enough pain relief, the next move would have been a regime switch to morphine, avoided and the treatment seems to have contained the pain.
I juggle analgesics, cortisone (inflammation near the nerves), not too bad, no really nasty medication. Next I will try tapering off medication to see how low I can go. My GP (general practitioner) is fine with me dealing with this myself, he stays informed, eventually.
Used sensibly, good old common sense, the Internet is a godsend today, helping people like me become expertly informed if we wish. As with the rest of life, learning is lifelong, at least for do-ers, unlike passengers. To be fair few people get the acid experience of dealing with the real world, stand on your own feet under duress. Maturity.
I’ve been put into a clinical program to help the tomorrow, no help to me but this is what I want to do. They are taking genetic samples into the Oxford databases. This is about cancer mutations, one of the big goals we have to solve. Cancers have mutations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy select the fittest to survive. This is the same as the often overstated antibiotic problem but fatal.
If we can solve this one I reckon on say 30% to 60% or more of cures, less aggressive treatment, much lower overall cost. The other one, and what I need is genetic targeting to my genetics. There is an oddity with me, our family have remarkably long generations which will mean there is less natural genetic movement.
I will be introduced to a local hospice so I know what might come later on. I bought my own crutches (we use arm crutches in the UK) and alloy wheelchair, which unfortunately has solid tyres, not what I wanted but only cheap and very expensive chairs now have inflatables. New wheels? Maybe. If things get bad I move to electric. Wish I had the space here to do that now on second hand.
An improvement to self propelled (you do it) wheelchairs would be a control semi-locking the casters so that sometimes you can move using one arm only. Passive mechanical/magnetic brakes might do it. Chair can be persuaded to move in a near straight line. Or maybe hard locks, it is awful trying to use outside foot-ways or roads, tilt left right often.
I hope I get my brain back, get active.
Added November 2016
Coda added 2016.
Friday 13th November 2015 I was informed I have cancer, a serious one. Most things now involve the number 13! This is bizarre.
The shock to me was great. Diagnostics were done, critically a PET (positron emission tomography)  scan showed probably no spread so the surgeon carried out an exploratory operation involving cameras (three holes). He thinks he can operate but this presupposes no spread later on.
A major operation is the only hope of a cure, been put at 40% chance if chemotherapy is also done. I take this figure as optimistic but lets hope.
Writing early April 2016, been through ECX chemotherapy. This zapped me hence no blog activity, asleep a lot. Fun side… why do I keep a hair comb in my pocket? Habit. 🙂
And now? The idea is getting back fit enough for an operation. I’m waiting on another PET scan, critical, has the cancer spread?
Otherwise an operation is on. Will take a long time for recovery.
- PET scan involves starving yourself to low blood sugar, you are then injected with radioactive sugar, wait 90 minutes for selective absorption by multiplying cells, then a 30 minute full body scan. From this a 3D image is computed. Bad things glow.
After injection staff vanish, everyone keeps well away, you are ticking. I have a radiation record anyway from work long ago, no big deal for me.