Sunday, 4 June 2017

Enjoy life and create memories...

Its been quite some time since my last post…I’ve been busy getting on with life! It’s been a great start to the year so far.

I guess the big news is that my blood tests that I had done some weeks back came back all clear. I had the bloods done locally and arranged to collect the results from my GP surgery. I then scanned them and mailed them directly to the specialist nurses at Basingstoke. I was pleased to get a response within a couple of hours to say that they had looked at them with Tom Cecil and all looked fine. The CEA, CA19-9 and CA 125 tumour markers were all within their normal ranges. So a big sigh of relief albeit with the caveat that my tumour markers have never been high to my knowledge at any point in my journey thus far. Never the less, a good sign.

 So the plan is now to carry on as normal until the next scheduled CT scan in October and continue to make the most of life.

As previously mentioned the year thus far has been a good one, I feel well and am enjoying life. We started the year with a family trip to Lyme Regis where nine of us shared a fantastic house at Harcombe just outside of Lyme itself. It was beautifully equipped and even had an indoor pool that we made use of. It was a fabulous weekend that the family will always remember.

I continue to get underground with the lads and have even combined my love for photography with caving and started to get some pretty good results. The first trip of the year saw Jess join me for only her second caving adventure. Now she is a lot older I think she enjoyed it a lot more. The trip saw us showing her and “uncle Dave” the sights of Box mines in Wiltshire. The mine was originally started back in the Roman era extracting the stone to build the nearby city of Bath. This continued down the centuries with the mine reaching its peak in the 1800’s. Many of the miners inscriptions from the period can still be clearly seen on the walls as if they were written just yesterday. During the second world war munitions were also stored in the mine and an area beyond the “Wind tunnel” is still owned by the MOD. In all there is over 90km of passage to explore with the highlight being the impressive Cathedral chamber where the stone was hauled to the surface.

Jess & Uncle Dave in Cathedral chamber, Box mine, Wiltshire.

Mark in Cambridge grotto

My second trip was a true caving trip into Fairy Quarry caves exploring Fairy, Hillwithey and Hilliars cave to view the spectacular formations in Cambridge grotto.

Tracey and I also managed our first holiday away together without the girls since before they were born. We stayed in New Quay, Wales and had a fantastic week there. The holiday was amazing and we spent time walking hand in hand on deserted beaches and exploring the local coastline. It was perfect.
New Quay head from the harbour wall.

I continue to exercise regularly swimming twice a week and now starting to run again more regularly. Working with the local physiotherapy team I’m slowly getting back into it and running a short distance once a week with no back pain whatsoever. It’s great to be back as I love my running!

I am also looking forward to my local lake to re-open after the closed season so that I can get back to my fishing. I love the spot where I go, it’s quiet and away from everything nestled between hills in a small valley on the edge of the cotswold hills. Its full of wildlife with grebe’s, kingfishers , buzzards and deer. With few people wanting to walk the two fields to get there with all their fishing gear its always quiet and the perfect place to wind down and who know’s, even catch a few fish!

Life is good right now, life is really good. The pessimist in me however cant help but think that this cant continue, that something will come and spoil the happy vibe.After all I cant get away from the fact that I still have Pseudomyxoma Peritonei. Whilst I have been well, we have been watching my waste line, despite all of the exercise my tummy does seem a little bigger, is this just age or is this the first signs that Pseudomyxoma is taking hold again? I know Tracey is worried by it as it is one of the tell tale signs. Is it PMP or just middle age spread? This is the worry that we have as PMP sufferers and I guess the worry that any cancer sufferer has. Any little thing, any little sign, a bad day when you don't feel so well, fatigue or an ache or pain somewhere… it the big C again? For now we’ll keep watching, I have contemplated measuring my waistline regularly to look to see if its growing but I don't want to get obsessed by it. For a first time in a long time cancer seems a long way away from my life things are going well and people are forgetting what we have been through and to some extent , because I’m well, the fact that I still do have cancer. I’ll take that and run with it as long as I can. There is a lot to be said for blissful ignorance. So until the CT scan or anything else happens I plan to just keep on doing what I’m doing. Enjoy life and create memories….


  1. Getting my annual CT scan tomorrow. Wish me luck! Nancy

  2. Hi Nancy, really sorry, only just picked up your message. How did things go?

    1. All clear! Hope you get the same message : )

    2. Yaaaaay! fantastic news! So please for you :-)

  3. I am so relieved that you are doing well! Congrats on getting through what seems like a rough treatment plan. I do have a question - my sister has just been diagnosed with this and it seems to be very advanced as her stomach is extremely distended and she is skin and bones.

    She is currently in ICU trying to get her strength up for surgery. It seems like they may be going in to remove the bulk in a short 2 hr operation, and then they will go back to do the cleaning up, etc in the MOA at a later date. Have you researched anything that says that this may lessen her chances of survival? I don't think that she can withstand a 12-14 hour operation but am worried that once the cancer is 'disturbed' it may lead to a poorer prognosis for her. Any info would be helpful. Thanks.

    1. Hi , Thank you for making contact. To be honest I'm not sure that I can answer your question. If your sister is weak at present and unable to cope with the huge operation then to break it down into smaller operations seems to make sense. If, by removing the bulk in the first operation they can improve your sisters situation moving forwards then that may well put her in a good place to then undergo the follow up procedure. It is a huge operation and does take its toll on the body immediately after but you can make a full recovery and get back to normal. As I say, I'm no expert and you need to trust in the surgical team and the treatment plan they have in place. Don't be afraid to ask questions and keep asking the question if you aren't happy with the response that you get initially. I wish you and you sister the very best of luck and if you have any questions you think that I may be able to help with please do not hesitate to make contact.
      If you haven't already made contact with the Psuedomyxoma survivor team then it may also be worth getting in contact with them. They have a great support network and run a buddy system as well as having groups on social media where patients and their families can talk to others in the same situation.

      I wish you all the luck in the world,