Sunday, September 26, 2010


Hello it's Wend here, Nick has asked me to post a little update. Basically he had his stem cell transplant last Wednesday. He has been pretty poorly ever since. He is managing to sleep lots, and we are trying to take it a day at a time. He is an inspiration to me with his courage and determination, and it breaks my heart every day to see him suffer. But he retains his unique sense of humor you'll be pleased to know!

The main things he has asked me to pass on are apologies if he does not reply to text messages. But mostly thanks for the messages of love and support he has received. Below is a picture of some of the hearts he has received in his room. Please keep your messages coming they give him so much strength. You can either sent them to me at home or to Nick Hart, Ward P4, Royal Hallamshire Hospital. Thank you. x

Friday, September 24, 2010


Ok so things are kicking in and my tummy is rubbish. Crap night being sick 'til there was no more! Will try to get blog up to date. Use the time wisely!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hotel Hallamshire

Ok so I'm here in my room with a stunning view. I can see Houndkirk moor and Holmesfield and Porter Clough from my window.

I can also see a whole load of love and best wishes. Wendy had gone round friends and family and the neighbours and given out love hearts so they could write a little comment on for me to read. It's such a brilliant idea as they're now on my wall in my room and they get read everyday bringing me hope and happiness.

A couple of them have quotes which I think are brill, the first is Dr Seuss the second I'm not sure but it made me sob the first time I read it and it still sits there to remind me how lucky I am.

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind,
Some come from ahead and some from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me."

"In a world of misunderstanding,
tell you one thing I know.
It's a rich rich man,
who has a hand to hold."

By that I'm a very rich man.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Being alive is BRILLIANT

It's been an excellent couple of weeks, except for having a bit of a cold, not man flu I assure you!

It has been emotional because in the back of all our minds is the coming stint in hospital which is a massive unknown. I'm sure my body can cope, it's been through so much but it's still going, which is nice. Whether my head gets through the coming weeks is a bigger question, yes I have to stay positive and not give up, I don't like giving up. But there are going to be days when my emotions get the better of me and I just want to get out and get my life back.

That's the brilliant bit, we've had a bit of a glimpse as to how our life was and how it could be again. I've eaten curry and drunk beer with my dear friends. I've driven the car again, not far but it's been nice doing a bit. I've done a little DIY (amazing for a technology teacher and the shelf is still up 3 days later!). We've been to the park as a family and I pushed my kids on the swings. I've made Wendy breakfast in bed, I was knackered for the rest of the day but the pancakes were pretty good, even if I do say so myself! I've even thought about engineering problems and teaching and a future. A future where I'm not holding the sofa down, one where we're travelling round Scotland on a motorbike, where we're packing the car up to go on holiday, one where I'm running and biking again and feeling fit.

Anyhow that's all in the future. For now I concentrate on getting through the next few weeks and not forgetting to write Wendy's birthday card........

Next year Wend's birthday is going to be great, not sure what I'm going to do for it but it needs to be special.

Being alive is brilliant, yes sometimes it hurts when you stub your toe or Carys looks into your soul and says "I'm just so worried about you." But being alive means I'm here to have those sensations and to feel the wind on your face and to be there for Carys to hold her and try to reassure her. To tickle Georgia til she falls off the sofa and to to hold Wendy while we watch a film on tv.

I'm aiming to be alive for a while longer an I have to keep that in mind when my emotions get the better of me. Keep those feelings surrounding my heart to protect it to keep it safe from the demons that my head and hospital food conjure up.

I have amazing friends and family and it's them that will have the hardest time coming up. I send my love to you all and thank you for your support so far. I need you now as you need each other.

Monday, September 6, 2010

....... to down and then back up

Then results day.

The usual waiting and waiting ensued, we chatted and people watched and waited. Then it was us, we have stopped second guessing results as it's too hard emotionally. Having said that I was feeling very relaxed after the good week I'd had.

So the results. The chemo is continuing to have an effect, the lump is now 64mm x 56mm down from 75mm x something else! This is great news, it means that we can go for the high dose chemo and the stem cell transplant now.

Then came the talk about the high dose chemo which scared the pants off me. It really gave me an awful feeling, being in hospital for a minimum of 3 weeks with a minimum of 2 weeks in isolation with restricted visiting, no kids. Maybe 6 weeks in hospital. With possible risk of viral infection, fungal infection or infection from my bodies own bugs. Possibly 6 to 12 months before my immune system is back to normal. Infections can turn from an infection to death in a matter of days, so any little tickle etc is taken really seriously.

This was the time my sense of humour left. I felt like the colour drained out of me and my smile disappeared again.

Now as I write this my smile is back but it's strained at times. I'm knackered and I'm bloody scared. I don't want to be away from my family again and I certainly don't want to be ill.

But and it's a big but they haven't told me to measure up for a box and they're doing all this to me to give me more life so I take it on the chin and get through it. I'm sure my body can do it I need to convince my head it's a good idea though!

Down to back up.........

The rest of the week was an existence for me, I didn't want to swing from manically happy to manically sad so I tried to stay in the middle. I managed some success with that but I was almost too successful.

As we sat in bed drinking tea Wend asked how 'How did we get here? When we have nothing to say to each other?' I volunteered that it hadn't been a normal summer and that as we're together so much during the day we have few new topics of conversation. Wend asked where my smile had gone, why didn't I laugh anymore.

Then it happened, it all came out in a massive sob. All the negative thoughts and feelings I have, I hate being stabbed everyday for an injection to thin my blood, I hate going to the toilet as it hurts like bloody hell sometimes, I hate going to the hospital, I'm scared of what's next, I hate seeing the hurt in Wend's eyes when she looks at this ill baldy bloke lay next her, I hate feeling shit, I hate that the kids walk past me and go to Wend for an opinion on something, I hate being knackered after walking up stairs, I want to travel, I want to work, I want to be intimate with my wife, I hate having tubes sticking out of my chest, I hate that the bloody clips on the tubes (obviously designed by a bloke) have sharp corners which stick in my nipples when I move or am asleep, I want to ride my bike, I want to plan, I want a motorbike, I want my life back. I want my f*cking life back.

Any how my sobs didn't go unheard and all of a sudden there was a pile of crying Harts on the bed. I apologised to George as I am hard on her but I expect too much sometimes and I see how similar she is to me and I want to give her the shortcuts that took me so long to learn. We held each other like only a family who feels can, that tight desperate clinging that would hurt but the pain our hearts feel over rides it.

It seemed to be a very therapeutic crying session though because as the day went on my mood lifted, why I don't know but it did. It felt like a weight had been lifted, I didn't keep all the feelings in on purpose I just didn't want to voice them.

Bank Holiday Monday was going to be a joint party for little Lola, (my sister, Viv's second) and for George which Viv had very kindly organised. Unfortunately the snot fairy had been to Viv's house and delivered streaming candles and bogey bubbles to the kids. Definitely a no go zone for me. The girls had been wanting to go out on their bikes for ages now and so we called on the dynamic duo of ma n pa to see if they'd take us somewhere suitable.

Rother Valley country park is an old open cast pit on the outskirts of Sheffield, technically Rotherham, which although it doesn't sound attractive is a brilliant place to visit. Since the coal lot pulled out they flooded it and made it into part nature reserve and part watersports venue. They've landscaped it and over the years it's matured into a really nice place to go, so off we went!

Dad and I drank coffee and watched the dinghy's and the kayaks playing in the sun and Wend and mum took the girls round the main boating lake. It was heavenly, watching the world go by, the clacking of ropes on masts and the lapping of the water on the pontoon. A real change and a real lift.

That week was to be a great week, mostly. The CT scan on Tuesday required no nasty drink and no cannular and as a result it took five minutes instead of the usual hour and five. I felt great afterwards so got on the bus and went to meet mum in town. Feeling great I thought I'd look for a new telly, I'd seen one with 300 pounds knocked off so I thought I'd spend the money that people have collected for me from work (truly amazing and so touching it made me cry, shocking!). Walked in, the shop had one that had been delivered and then returned as the customer hadn't understood what they were buying, so the shop took it back and knocked a further 70 quid off it! Done, bought it, gone digital. I didn't want to go digital but we have done and now we have 99 channels of repeats and dross!