The Radio Times

Friday’s appointment involved a minor hiccup as the Radio machine was, in the radiographer’s words, “playing silly buggers”. She reassured me that it wasn’t zapping anything that it shouldn’t have been but it simply wasn’t doing anything. I was lying there in The Mask for about 10 minutes listening to a few Christmas songs while they sorted it so the overall length of the appointment was longer than usual. It’s a good job that I’m not claustrophobic!

By the way, my only clue as to the time that passes while I’m in The Mask is the number of songs that I hear. I accept that this is neither a standard nor wholly accurate time-keeping method but it’s the best that I can do! Continue reading “The Radio Times”


Seizin’s Greetings

What a difference four years makes to the Cole family Christmas tree in terms of size, colour and authenticity🎄😂:

Wishing you all a Christmas full of as many as possible of the people and things you love most in the world.

While I am on a seizonal theme, I made it to Jennifer’s nursery nativity yesterday (her second and final performance of the season). The timing of it could have been better (I had a seizure an hour before we were leaving) but it could have been worse (I didn’t have a seizure during the performance!). It was another treat for me to see J and her nursery crew on their best behaviour and looking so cute so I’m beyond thrilled that I made it. Continue reading “Seizin’s Greetings”


Today was the start of a new chapter in the Squatter Saga. I’m not planning to describe how it’s gone after every one of my oodles and noodles of radiotherapy sessions as I’m guessing that will be monotonous for everyone, including me. However, I’ll make an exception for my radiotherapy debut.

Contingency Cole

I mentioned this on Facebook earlier so apologies for the duplication for Facebook users. Contingency Cole (aka The Human Gantt Chart aka The Silver Fox) ensured we arrived at the Freeman Hospital a whole hour before my appointment. I joked that it wouldn’t have happened if I was in charge as I’d be closer to the appointment time (albeit late)! Continue reading “Radiohead”

Going Gaga Over Radio(therapy)

It’s been just over six weeks since Mr H’s Halloween hewing of the habitant in my head. Tomorrow it’s the turn of Dr M’s radiotherapy team to launch a six-week assault on the Squatter.

I’m hoping that Roger Taylor was right when he wrote that:

You had your time, you had the power
You’ve yet to have your finest hour
Radio – radio

Plan A

Earlier today, Graham and I met with my consultant neurologist, Dr A. You might recall, if you’ve been paying attention, that I was referred to him after the seizures were still averaging once a day despite the cocktail of drugs I have been on. Dr A’s remit is to come up with a balanced cocktail of anti-seizure medication to reduce the frequency of my episodes and, if possible, to cease the seizures completely. Continue reading “Going Gaga Over Radio(therapy)”

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!



The Woman in the Thermoplastic Mask

Earlier this week I told you that I was having a mask made, which wasn’t strictly true: it’s described as a “thermoplastic immobilisation device (head shell)” on the leaflet that I was given. However, I couldn’t think of even a tenuous link to a reference (cultural or otherwise) for the proper name. I am therefore going with “mask”. It might be worth Hollywood doing another adaptation of the Dumb-Ass* novel with a brain tumour twist. QC, please can you have a word with your Hollywood connections?

The Mask

The immobilisation device was made by the Mould Man in the Mould Room. (When we met Dr M last week and, on the way, first saw signs for the Mould Room, Graham and I both thought it was weird putting a room full of fungus near cancer patients but, alas, we were mistaken.) Continue reading “The Woman in the Thermoplastic Mask”

From a Bit of Fanfare to the Pit of Despair

Warning: This post is very much a stream of consciousness. I noticed on proof-reading that there is a distinct lack of structure and flow. I usually realise this when editing but have decided not to do anything about it on this occasion due to a lack of energy for reasons that will become clear.

The last week has been an emotional rollercoaster. I spent most of the week (in fact, most of the last few months) doubting that I would make it to my dear friend’s wedding on Saturday in the Lake District. It wasn’t until Thursday that I felt like the energy tide was turning in my favour and I dared to go out and buy the silver trainers that would replace the pretty silver shoes that Bridey had bought for us months ago (i.e., when I could walk without the splint and a limp). Continue reading “From a Bit of Fanfare to the Pit of Despair”