I’ll be honest with you – I spent much of today circling the drain.  And that’s despite yesterday’s incredible show of support from book bloggers, readers, authors and just about everyone else connected to the publishing industry.

If you missed details of that, check it out here: Tommy’s Army

The promised fatigue has finally kicked in.  I thought I was tired over the weekend, but trying to get up this morning was nigh-on impossible.  The trouble was, I had to. I had to drive to Preston for today’s radiotherapy session – R6/24 – followed by a progress meeting with my consultant.

The problem with fatigue is that… well, it isn’t anything.  It’s not ‘tired, so have a nap’, and it’s certainly not ‘shattered after a period of hard work’.

It’s just, as the youngsters of today say… MEH!

I don’t like MEH!

I’ve never liked MEH!

Don’t get me wrong – I love relaxing and chilling out and whiling away the hours as much as the next guy – but I want it to be my choice!  Not because I don’t have the energy to reach for my cup of tea.


And that’s another thing!  Everything has started tasting the same!  And by the same, I mean the same as cardboard.  Lord knows I’m restricted enough in what I can eat at the moment, but you’d think it might be possible to ascertain more than one flavour from a bowl of Scotch Broth, a Hazelnut Yoghurt and a cup of tea!


All MEH!

And so it was when I met my consultant – Dr Bizwaz – for my progress meeting.  He is great.  Really great.  He commented that he could see where the swelling in my face had started to reduce (“I’ve never seen you looking symmetrical before!”), chatted about how I’d coped with the first week’s treatment  and then admitted that he’d heard about my recent breakdown and had purposely hidden himself away from me all last week as a result!

He said that he knew he’d had to put me through so much, at such a tough pace, right after giving me some terrible news.  He said he’d been expecting me to crack!  And, when I did – he ordered the radiographers just to get me through the first week of treatment as swiftly as they could before he saw me again.

Then, he went on to tell me just how bad the next few weeks are going to be.  No might be, or could be.  It’s going to be this way – and you’re going to hate it.  And, if I could give you a break, I would.  But, I can’t.  Not if we want to get rid of this for a very long time.

I came out of that meeting grinning.  I felt much better, despite the rotten prognosis.  Because – once again – he’d been 100% honest with me.  No bullshit whatsoever.  I really, really like him.

So, week two is underway.  I went to bed at 6.30pm this evening (yay, cancer!), and I’ve just got up to take my morphine before heading back for another attempt at sleep.  I just thought I’d take the opportunity to check in with you while I was here.

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  1. Sometimes its good ish to know in advance whats going to happen then you wont get any nasty surprises
    Love hugs and support coming your way Tommy. X


  2. Tommy, weve been lucky enough to entertain alongside and support some pretty awesome people in our career, and also became real close friends with Jeremy Beadle who, unknown to so many, worked tirelessly in his spare time for many charities, and who was in himself a spectacularly lovely and generous human being, but we’re in total awe at how youre handling this Tommy. Youre an inspiration to us all and we’re willing you on with all our hearts. Go get this thing matey, and show it who’s boss! And by the way, the photo you posted from the Kareliya is fab and brought back many brilliant memories. Love and well wishes from me and Tina Xxxooxxx


    1. Thanks Nick! I often think back to those days at sea – hard work at times, but so much fun and so great to travel. Plus, great mates like yourself and Tina, fun acts and lots of late nights in the disco bar!


  3. Good that he was honest with you. Sucky that he couldn’t have said better things! Well at least you know what to expect. Meh is an awful feeling though. Hope you feel far less meh soon.


  4. Thinking of you always matey x


  5. Hey, you’ve got a symmetrical face out of it. That has to be a tick in the win box!
    Everyone’s behind you on this Tommy. Keep on fighting the good fight. X


    1. I think this is the most symmetrical I’ve ever been in my life, Steve! I’m losing weight, too – which is a more welcome side effect. Beats working it off at the gym, at any rate!


  6. Just do what you can. I have been there with 30 radio sessions and 2 chemo. I also had a peg. My family kept me going by sending funniest on Facebook and making me eat to maintain body weight to help fight the effects of treatment.
    It will get harder, but after treatment finishes time will heal.


    1. Thanks Deryck! We’re trying to keep the laughs going here – sitting down and moping about it won’t do any of us any good at all.

      Eating is getting tougher – but then, there’s something wickedly pleasant about crumbling up a block of blue cheese into a bowl of broccoli and stilton soup – under doctor’s orders!


  7. So sorry that the treatment is knocking you for six Tommy.
    I know it’s easy for me to say but I guess each week done is ‘a week down’. I really hope it gets easier, or at least easier to keep chalking off all the little victories towards the big one.
    Thinking of you often.

    Lots of love
    Moya ( Ruskin)


    1. Thanks, Moya. That’s certainly the way I’m trying to see it.


  8. That’s the first week out of the way. You can and will do this. We’re all thinking of you! xx


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