Swing Low, Sleep Lariat

A Jowell Jewel

Last year, Tessa Jowell was diagnosed with the same type of brain tumour that Graeme had. This week, as some of you will have seen, heard and/or read about, she gave an interview on BBC Radio 4 and made a speech in the House of Lords, which triggered a rare standing ovation. She has finished the treatments available in the UK and was calling for an increase in access to experimental cancer treatments. Here’s the best explanation that I’ve found for what she’s advocating. Continue reading “Swing Low, Sleep Lariat”


Stars and Strifes

My seizures start either in my head or in my foot. The head-led ones start with a funny feeling in my head then the seizing starts shortly thereafter going from my foot and travelling as far up my right side as the Grand Old Duke of Jackson can march. The leg-led ones start with my foot involuntarily lifting followed by my leg bouncing from my knee as if my reflexes are being tested in quick successful. Again, these seizures can go as far up my right side as the Duke can make it.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve only had two mainstream seizures but a fair few “funny head things”*, Continue reading “Stars and Strifes”

My Family and Other Animals

The last couple of weeks have been full of fun, anniversaries, tiredness and a few seizures. Oh, and a return to tumour business. Continue reading “My Family and Other Animals”

Chemo Confirmation / Cole’s Miscellany (Part Eleven)

[I felt that I couldn’t publish a blog without saying anything at all about yesterday’s attack in London even though I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said. Hope those of you in London (and your friends and family) are safe and sound. Take care.]

To mark the end of Brain Tumour Awareness Month, Brain Tumour Research is hoping to make Friday 31 March 2017 “the biggest, boldest and hattiest Wear A Hat Day EVER“. So get your hats out (or borrow one of mine) to join in!

Chemo (Round Two)

On Tuesday, I met with Dr M, my Consultant Oncologist, who asked me how I had found Round One (which I said had gone fine, as it did). She also asked how many seizures I’ve had since the “flurry of seizures”* (Dr M’s term) that I desc Continue reading “Chemo Confirmation / Cole’s Miscellany (Part Eleven)”

A Ton of Post[s] but no Telegram from the Queen

This is the hundredth post of this blog.

Today is the 170th day that I have known that the Squatter is inside my head. Therefore, on average, a post has been uploaded every 41 hours or so by me or one of my surrogates. That’s not too shabby a run-rate considering that Continue reading “A Ton of Post[s] but no Telegram from the Queen”

Cole’s Miscellany (Part Nine)

  • Meryl Streep’s speech rocked. Kellyanne Conway’s response did not (unless she misspoke and meant to refer to her paymaster instead):


  • Perhaps if I had the time and energy, I’d write a book about the impending transfer of power in the States called “From The Audacity of Hope to Mendacity and the Dope”.
  • That reminds me: the first rule of Narcissism Club is that no one else can join. But enough about Trump.
  • I recently came across the phrase “lift while you climb”*. I hope that we all aspire to do this (even if we forget it and/or fail from time to time) but fear that it’s not something that reflects modern life.
  • On a lighter note, the Flash Mob craze passed me by – is it still a thing? Anyway, I recently came across this one, which makes me smile not because I’m a big Black Eyed Peas or Oprah fan but because of the sheer number of people involved, how it started with one girl at the front and Oprah’s obvious excitement at the surprise.
  • My favourite piece of trivia that I’ve learned this week is that one of Newcastle’s many claims to fame is the world’s first electric street lighting, which illuminated Mosley Street from 1879.


*The full quote from which it derives is by Mary Church Terrell:

And so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping that the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition ere long.

Cole’s Miscellany (Part Eight)

  • For those who didn’t get the film reference (re Dumb-Ass) in my previous post, The Woman in the Thermoplastic Mask, watch this.
  • I read this article the other day reporting that Pfizer has been fined for overcharging the NHS for the Chocolate Fire Guard. Tut tut.
  • We had two parties for Leo last weekend and the Good Lady Grandma of the house made three cakes. This was the showpiece, which was appropriate for a boy for whom solid food was the answer (he’s barely stopped gobbling things up since he was introduced to porridge):


  • Sunday marked a year since Leo was admitted into hospital at eight days old and Wednesday marked a year since he was discharged. He marked the occasion quite literally with a mottled viral rash all over his back and tummy. Never a week goes by without a medical appointment for someone in this house and, as I’m in a holding pattern until my appointments next week, Leo was kind to step in and take one for the team.
  • This is what I wrote on Facebook a year ago, which is similar to posts on this blog about my recent experiences with the NHS but is worth repeating:

    The NHS and its staff get slammed (not least by the minister in charge of it) but we’ve just experienced the NHS at its best in helping our brand new baby boy overcome viral meningitis. It was very scary at times but the community care from midwives who agreed with our concerns and referred Leo back to the RVI and the care provided to Leo (and us) by the staff of ward 33 and the special care babies unit was absolutely amazing. This included amazing support and care over the weekend (shock horror). Everyone (including nurses, midwives, consultants, registrars, junior doctors, catering staff, cleaners, and all other staff we came across) was wonderful with Leo and with us. We couldn’t be more grateful that our boy is on the mend and back at home.

  • Leo is starting to speak, saying “hello”, “oh dear” and “all gone” . The letter two phrases might well be linked to his eating habits (see above).
  • Jennifer has been “helping” to sort out some things from our house as part of the Cole clear out. She has disturbing hoarding tendencies reminding me of the Doctor of the house.
  • This bookworm puzzle is a partial explanation of why I’ve Gone Quiet in the last few days. That, and a big step-up in the dating habits of me and the Silver Fox with a visit to Five Guys.
  • I have just learned that “i.e.” stands for “id est”. That’s me done for the day on the learning front so I can chill.
  • Miss W was kind enough to surprise me before my operation with key rings made for me and my people. She has about 20 left and is happy to sell them to those who would like one. They cost just over £2 so I would suggest a minimum of £3.50 so that the money can go towards brain tumour research. Let me know if you’re interested. The bowling ball has two holes (just like my head!):


No real update on the Squatter front. I: am still averaging a seizure a day; have possible movement in the troublesome toes (I need the official Toe-Watch adjudicators to confirm); and, am enjoying the relative calm before the possible storm of radiotherapy starting next week.

That’s all Folks!