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Sunday, 25 November 2012

She named the brain tumour Steve!

I'd always wondered what it would be like to have 3 in the bed! I didn't think it would be like this. My partner has named her brain tumor - Steve! Not Melanie or Jane, no...Steve! FFS!

The last post on my partner's brain tumour was on Sunday the 7th October 2012. This was just after she came out of hospital having undergone surgery to partially remove said tumour. She has a Glioblastoma multiforme (Wooo, I hear you say?!) to be precise or GBM as we call it in the trade!

I remember the Oncologist saying that when treatment starts that it would be a fast process. They were not wrong!

After coming home from hospital we spent a "relaxed" couple of weeks with my partner improving each day. I helped cut her hair so that it was all short in preparation for one of the possible side effects of treatment which is hair loss. 3 weeks passed by and we were starting to go to the pub with friends, having them round for dinner walking the dog together, you know? The normal things in life!

She started her radiotherapy and chemotherapy both on the same day, Wednesday 31st October, spooky hey? She is a Pagan and we thought the date was cool!

The hospital had everything sorted for the treatments. The next 30 days were planned to the second.

On the Monday before we went to have her mask fitted for radiotherapy. It's a plastic mesh mask that is sculpted for her face. She is to wear this each time she has radiotherapy so that she can't move whilst being zapped. There are 30 daily sessions each lasting about 10 minutes. I sat in the room as her mask was fitted. The supervisor was a great character. He must know that it's a scary procedure but what a great guy! Thanks Iggy!  My partner said that she enjoyed the experience! Weirdo! LOL. After being fitted I casually asked about the mask and the guy said that I could have it. He had read my thoughts. Did I really want it though? A nurse then explained the daily treatment process and the possible side effects. Scary shit!
On the Tuesday we were "invited" to the chemo ward. Chemo tablets for her. One dose every day for 30 days. We were met at the reception and given the tour. Have you ever been to a chemo ward? Wards of people, 8 to a ward. Some of them having chemo intravenously, some coming in for other chemo related treatment, most looking poorly. A young lady was having a walk helped along by who I thought was her brother, they both shared the same height and facial character. She looked really poorly. I remember she had beautiful blond hair but her eyes! The area around her eyes was red as though someone had put lots of make-up on her. She was weak. I couldn't stop staring as they walked towards us and then carried on looking for normality.  I felt immature and naive. I felt out of my depth and really scared! I squeezed my partner's hand. The tour carried on. She introduced us to "Ward 3, the poorly Ward" We didn't dwell on it's implications... The nurse was however very kind. Afterwards she took us into a small room and explained the chemo treatment process; weekly blood tests, weekly meeting with the Oncologist, medicines dispensed by TWO nurses weekly and then the inevitable possible side effects. I shan't list them! When I was given this information my mind automatically went to the worst case scenario. Damn you brain! No pun intended! She also has anti-sickness drugs to take alongside the chemo tablets. She has been advised to take these whether she feels sick or not.

We now carry around a "Get of of Jail Free" card in case my partner needs to go to hospital for an impromptu visit. Any increase in her temperature and we have to go into hospital. Any feeling poorly, sick or general unwellness and we have to go in. We flash the card and get seen immediately. Cool hey? Not!

I was nervous that first day. When you are in a situation like this different parts of your mind make themselves known to you. Positivity and practicality (I am a man after all!) have made themselves known to me. Huggability has been a welcome visitor. Cowardice has also poked its bloody nose in.
We got to the hospital on time and my partner, having taken her first pills earlier went in for her radiotherapy. She came out with slight markings on her face from the mask but she said that she felt fine!

We had made it!

We went home.

She started feeling nauseous and started to vomit a couple of times. I had to phone the Hospital and they wanted us back in. Guess where? Yup! Ward 3! Four hours later and yet more anti-sickness drugs prescribed we were allowed to go home.

Apart from that first day, the first couple of weeks have gone swimmingly! The daily radiotherapy appointment is fairly early in the morning. Usually missing the rush hour traffic but Derby is still a nightmare, especially around Markeaton Roundabout. Locals will know what I mean!

The morning regime is now like a military operation. Wake up 6.15-coffee-take anti-sickness drugs-coffee-wait half an hour-take chemo tablets-coffee-wait half an hour-have breakfast-coffee-go to hospital-get zapped-come home. It's more hectic when my kids come to stay.

We still managed to get to the pub once or twice a week. We got taken out for dinner, went to a friends birthday get-together. Everyone of our friends have been kind and understanding!

No side effects. That was until Monday 19th.

My partner woke up with swelling to her head, similar but not as bad as just after the operation. Her head became itchy, around the scar. After the daily treatment routine we nipped into Ward 3, now thankful for its existence. The doctor was great but as it was not causing medical distress we were sent home. Her hair then started to fall out. Almost as if there had been an internal signal, "No, we can't hold on to these hair follicles!" Shouted the brain. Small clumps. It seemed to happen over a couple of days. She now has little hair on the front part of her head. She has said that she hadn't realised how important her hair was up until then. She used to have long blond hair, sometimes going down to her bum. Wow, she is a stunner! Steve, the twat, has zapped her confidence.

Make no mistake my girl is a fighter. She's 33. Fit! Coor! :) And has a great attitude! We are doing OK!

We went out last night. Very good friends birthday party. We knew all of the 30 or so people there. Great bunch! We were looking forward to going out. My partner went out with a short blond bob wig. She looked beautiful.  We had a great night but I felt a sense of detachment from some. I guess people don't know how to react when one of their friends has cancer. I don't blame them.

This round of treatment will last until 10th December then she has 3 weeks "off" followed by a six month course of higher grade chemo from 3rd January.

Fuck you Steve!!

Friday, 16 November 2012

MusicBacker - The UK Music Crowd Funding Stage

I recently asked a number of social media followers to vote on which domain name they preferred for an up coming Crowd Funding project. The results, as promised are shown below. Voting has now closed. Thank you all those who got involved. I think the answer is obvious...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Universal Jobmatch

Received this notification today from the JobCentrePlus.

All agencies that use the job centre to post their vacancies will be using the new system from 19th November 2013.

"Dear  Recruiter
Introduction to Universal Jobmatch  - New Recruitment Service

I am pleased to announce that on 19 November 2012, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will launch Universal Jobmatch, a new free* online job posting and matching service.

This exciting new development will be one of the largest jobsites in the UK, and will save you time, effort and money by speeding up your recruitment process.

From 19 November you will need to post all your jobs online using Universal Jobmatch as it is replacing both the current Jobcentre Plus vacancy management services  - Employer Direct and Employer Direct Online.

By using new technology, Universal Jobmatch can quickly, easily and conveniently match your recruitment needs to a supply of suitably skilled jobseekers.

With your own Universal Jobmatch account you can manage all aspects of your recruitment online and at your convenience.
This includes:
  • placing jobs and receiving a shortlist of suitable jobseekers
  • reviewing the jobs you are advertising
  • reviewing the CVs matched to your jobs
  • selecting the jobseekers you want to apply for jobs
  • explore the number of potential jobseeker matches before posting a job and, receive an anonymous list ranked by best match first.

Jobcentre Plus advisers will provide support to unemployed jobseekers to improve their CVs so that they represent themselves and their skills effectively. This will help to ensure the best matches to your jobs.
Universal Jobmatch will be accessed via GOV.UK
Please see our frequently asked questions for more information."

I'm wondering if the recruitment world as we have known it will now change?

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Domain name research help needed

I need a little help please!
My business partner and I are starting a new venture and we are doing some research on appropriate domain names (and business names). 

Ever heard of Crowd Funding? 

As Wikipedia puts it "Crowd funding or crowdfunding (alternately crowd financingequity crowdfunding, or hyper funding) describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.[1] Crowd funding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster reliefcitizen journalism, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, startup company funding,[2] movie[3] or free software development, inventions development and scientific research.[4]"

Our idea is to initially create a site specifically for the UK Music Industry. A site where bands, musicians and artists can come and upload a project that they wish to fund. This might be their first album, a gig or merchandise. Individual supporters (the crowd) pledge a small amount of money to help fund the project. In return the band offers gifts. This might be; a signed T Shirt, gig tickets, a song written for them or any host of things.

We have shortlised our favourite names and we are now doing some research. 

Would you leave a comment and let us know which one you think is best please?


We are also asking the question on one of our Facebook Pages, so hop over there if you you like.

Prefer LinkedIn?