Day 25 has marked the end of a very long period of treatment. Today was my last day of popping chemotherapy pills for the rest of this treatment period and God willing for ever. That is twelve months of chemotherapy, and eighteen months of treatment finished.

With Georgie on the Ardess Hidden History Trail
With Georgie on the Ardess Hidden History Trail.

Finished but not over.
I am very aware of the toxic cocktail coursing through my veins and that it will take approximately 6 months to clear the system completely with what could end up being quite a nasty spike in withdrawal type symptoms on the way. So today was also a beginning; the beginning of the recovery after such intense treatment and if to just keep me on my toes and not let me forget that fact I felt pretty off sorts all day today and have developed an impressive looking rash all over the body. But all was not lost today because I managed to find some time with my son James today in amongst his hectic sporting, theatrical and social calendar. We nipped up to Loch Lomond in order to do a very short 2 mile walk looking at the history of the area on a trail called the Ardess Hidden History Trail. It was the perfect relaxed physical activity after such an adventurous day yesterday but just enough to clear the head on the first wee hill. The head cleared I had a delightful couple of hours with James teaching him some of the finer points of navigation as he led Georgie and I round the trail while taking in the enormity of the challenge that the crofters would have had daily as they scratched out a living in their busy little settlement of turf houses balanced precariously on the side of the hill. We explored the streams, the woods and the wildlife and even managed a selfie. We talked about happy memories we had together which always started with the question “Daddy, do you remember when???” It was a delightful afternoon that ended far too quickly but I was reassured as he grabbed for my hand on the road back to Mum’s car. On the way home we had a great view of a red squirrel in a shrub right next to the car. James had never seen one that close so to see the squirrel that had eluded us for the entire walk was a great way to end the day. As we drove home I pondered which seizure to tell you about today and as it had been a wildlife centred afternoon with a particular focus, in parts, on water I decided to tell you about the eels seizure.

I had just been discharged from hospital after brain surgery. It was definitely the right time to go. I was looked after beautifully but was climbing the walls inside the hospital all day every day as I recovered so managed to convince my brilliant surgeon that it was definitely time to be allowed out for a walk. The ward sister took some convincing and it did in fact take a route map with coloured spots on it which were the locations at which I had to report in. The walk was a treat and went without a hitch. The following day I was allowed out for another walk without a route map. It was a beautiful sunny day so I was delighting in life as I saw the intriguing buildings and grounds of Fettes college which were empty with the children on holiday. I decided to give myself a tour and meandered around the lovely grounds in the very heart of the city. With not another sole in sight I had a wonderful hour or so …. 

On getting back to hospital I reported in only to be given a thorough, and well deserved, stripping down. I had been gone that long that they had called out the police who had sent out search vehicles. As I looked a lot like Mr Bump in a straw hat I was quite surprised that they, along with the nurses out searching in their cars never found me. I was hugely apologetic and promised to use a route map from now on. It was time for me to be discharged.

I felt good and was sent home with a bag full of drugs to keep me going. It was great to be back and the following morning took the dog out for a short walk in to the ponds. As I got there I had the most uncomfortable feeling that I had a mouth full of eels and the more I tried to convince myself how ridiculous that was the more they wriggled and writhed in their tangled and slimy mass inside my mouth. I turned for home and on getting home realised that we had to call an ambulance. I couldn’t wait long. It started to feel that the eels were beginning to constrict my throat. The ambulance arrived and took me straight to the Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Still the eels writhed in my mouth. On reaching the assessment ward I needed the loo. Still the eels writhed until, on returning the short distance from the loo, one of the eels broke free from the mass and slipped straight in to my wind pipe triggering the most violent of gagging, choking type seizures. I fought noisily for every breath as the hospital team tried to get me to where they could pin me down and inject me with a sedative. They succeeded and the eels just went, disappeared. Quite the most extraordinary episode and it was after that that the strength of drugs was increased to Kepra which has just about stabilised the seizures. Certainly I have not had any more eel episodes but don’t think that I could quite deal with a plate full of jellied eels just yet!!  So today has been one of endings, beginnings, happy journeys and fishy tales but best of all it was a chance to spend some quality time with my son.

So the challenge and it’s numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 25
Total Miles Cycled: 112
Total Miles Walked: 103
Total Miles covered under own steam: 215
Total Height Gained under own steam: 9,361 feet
Mountains Climbed: 4
Days of Conservation Activity: 2 1/4
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
People Met and Hands Shaken: 101
Pots of tea shared: 3
Pills popped: 136

If you see me around do please give a cheery hello and shake my hand or toot your horn and give a cheery wave to show your support and encourage me on.
Thank you all for your incredible comments and support. Please continue to spread the word and please consider sponsoring me to Beat The Beast.

Thank you

Yours aye