Cancer. The bits I now remember.

I mentioned a rather important thing that happened in my life just lately, but parts of it were still a little “fuzzy” in my head when I wrote it.

After speaking to my wife on the phone I’ve gathered a bit more info on how I got to the bed I’m rigged to now, and it’s even more frightening than I first thought.

Right now, I’m at the QE Hospital in Birmingham. Just before I was a bit further north in a hospital called Good Hope.

Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield

The last few days there were a little “messed up” in my head so I skipped over them in the previous post.

This is what I can now piece together based on some lengthy chats with my gorgeous rock of a wife.

After I’d been admitted (and we knew it was cancer etc), I started getting really hot and sweating. My actual real body temperature was fairly normal. Turns out my body was failing me. When a kind offer of “pain relief” came along, I took it – perhaps foolishly thinking I was getting paracetamol.

My wife has opened up to me on what actually was happening. It wasn’t paracetamol. I was off my absolute tree on morphine.

My kidneys were going – I think they were operating at about 30% and the doctors kept pushing me to drink more else I’d be on dialysis.

In my “normal head” I thought I was somehow getting super-special treatment because my wife was at my bedside. This is something strictly not allowed at the height of the COVID-19 problems we have now, but I thought I’d some how “swung it” because I had the gift of the gab or something.

Wrong. Another morphine cloud.

The reality is harder to digest. Just minutes ago I got a flashback of the words, “Palliative Care” and – with my morphine-filled brain flopping along – I remember saying, “Oh, that’s not good news for me is it?”

No, Leigh. No it’s not. It’s bloody devastating. It’s end-of-life stuff.

My wife was dealing with all this. My son had been told he wouldn’t see me again. I was in a magical planet of drugs where having hours left to live or hitting a dialysis machine was a minor bump in the road. I might have enough time for a brew. Weeeee…..

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The biopsy took a while to process, to test, to check. There were two things it could be. The consultant had a “hunch” which one, but couldn’t go too far up that road without totally blocking off option two

I was a mess. I fought, I kicked, I tried to get up and walk around – my stats were screwed.

The fluid on my belly was now on my chest. I couldn’t breathe in or out properly. The fluid wasn’t draining. I was bouncing around tachycardia, with almost every observation making me look like I’d run 20 miles.

I was allowed a bedside visit because I was dying.

Then, in the nick of time, the biopsy result came back. Somehow a drain eventually went in and started working. The “hunch” was right, I started responding. Things balanced. I got dropped on an ambulance to the QE and, somehow, I’m still here.

This morning one of my consultants said, “All we know about the previous hospital is that you were very much touch and go. You’re very lucky”.

I’ve compared this to buying a lottery ticket and then going on to win the jackpot. Somehow I’ve managed to get this far.


So this morning, I was awoken by nurses at 5.30AM. I watched the rain, and I cried like a lunatic…



The “Beating Cancer” Spotify playlist grows as my world slows down a bit