The Hospital rang. There's a bed for me. I'm to be there before 4pm so I'll be going in shortly. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm scared. Not just of the operation but the aftermath. It's going to be a long hard slog and I just hope I'm up to it. Please keep me in your thoughts and those of you who pray, say a prayer for me. I'm not a religious man but I won't turn down help from any quarter.
I complained recently that An Post had not been forwarding my mail to my parents' adress in a prompt manner. I returned home from IMAG to find a pile of mail waiting for me but only a small pile. There was at least two weeks worth of mail missing. Well today I found out where it had gone. My home address. I went home to check out the place, pick up my suit carrier for my trip to Brussels and to pick up some books and DVDs for my upcoming hospital stay. And there on the hall floor was the missing post including a TV licence renewal notice and some late bookings for IMAG. This is simply unacceptable. The sooner competition comes in the better.
The short hospital stay was uneventful. I was transfused with four units of blood to boost my haemoglobin levels and I was sent over to St Vincent's Hospital for an endoscope. The good news is that the scope revealed nothing "sinister" to use the doctor's word. In other words the cancer hasn't spread. However, there does appear to be a problem with a valve at the base of my stomach which is hindering the passage of food into the intestine. This happens in otherwise healthy people as well so it's nothing to worry about. But the only solution they can offer me is to go on a liquid/liquidised diet until I have my operation in two weeks. After that, I'll be on a liquid diet anyway for a few weeks and it is hoped that by then it will have righted itself.
Unfortunatley, they didn't tell me this until after I'd had my tea last night. Well they did, but I was stil groggy from the sedative and it didn't register, so right now, I'm feeling a bit icky.
I went into hospital for my weekly blood test this morning and I told them about my vomiting problems. They suspect an ulcer and want me to have an endoscopy. Also my blood count is low so they're giving me a transfusion. The end-result is I'm heading back to hospital for a short stay. Hopefully out on Thursday.
Since I'm staying with my parents for the duration of my treatments, I decided to have An Post redirect my mail to their address. It saves having to traipse over to Finglas to pick up my post. The redirection service costs €40 and in the beginning was quite good. I got mail a day or so after I would have gotten it at home. However for the last month or so, An Post has taken to holding my mail for a week to ten days, bundling it all up and delivering it in one go. At the moment, for instance, I haven't had any mail in almost two weeks. I have not received a new insurance certificate for my car and who knows what else is stuck in a sorting office somewhere. This is definitely not acceptable. It's high time An Post was privatised and started delivering a proper service (no pun intended).
IMAG 2006 (Irish Mensa Annual Gathering) is over and was a success, even if I say so myself. That's not to say it went without a hitch. It didn't but most people didn't notice, of if they did they didn't mind. Some of the hitches were my fault. Because of my cancer I took my eye off the ball on a few items but fortunately they were relatively minor.
A lot of the success of the weekend was down to the help I received. If you're reading this Ella & Davy, Paul, Fiona, Eamonn & Elaine, Vin and John, Jill and Elizabeth thanks for all your hard work.
Unfortunately, in the run up to IMAG my digestive system decided to take a turn for the worse. For the past few days I have endured upset an upset stomach and bouts of vomiting. I'm due to visit St Luke's Hospital tomorrow for my weekly blood test and I'll speak to a doctor about it then.