Chapter 48: The 10 Best Decisions I have Made in Life

Since my last blog I have had yet another CT scan and a consultation with my oncologist. It went pretty well; you’ll be pleased to know. The cancer has neither shrunk nor grown but it is being successfully held at bay by my splendid chemotherapy drug. That’s three consecutive positive scans now which is helping me feel a lot more hopeful. At some point I suppose something will have to give though. Either the cancer will start to outcompete the chemotherapy, or perhaps, just perhaps, the chemotherapy may eventually knock the cancer into remission. Alas, the first option is by far the most likely, indeed my oncologist hasn’t even broached the subject of remission, but the longer I linger in this limbo state, the more possible it seems to me. 

As it happens this “limbo” state in which I find myself is quite agreeable, especially after the shit I’ve been through over the last two and half years. Nonetheless, I am still undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatment and living with all of its associated side effects for which I am taking morphine and steroids, hence I am still signed off work by my doctors. However, I am no longer confined to my house and bed and I no longer need to visit the hospital on a weekly basis. I’m therefore going about my new principal business of enjoying life. As a comparison, I spent the first week of August in 2016 in Salisbury General Hospital suffering from severe side effects of my chemotherapy treatment. I spent the first week in August in 2017 in Southampton University Hospital where I had a pleurodesis operation to drain the fluid from my lungs after the cancer had spread to my liver, hip bone and right lung. I will be spending the first week of August in 2018 staying in the The Fowey Hotel in Cornwall and visiting my family. Things are definitely on the up.

So as I sit relaxing in my beautiful garden on a sunny afternoon I started to smugly ponder on all the great decisions I have made that got me to this point in my life. Here are my top ten best decisions of my life. Apologies in advance if they sound a little self-righteous:

Going to college and university to study Computer Science and Software Engineering after being made redundant at the age of 19 from the textile factory I was working in.

Moving from a large housing estate in Basingstoke to the charming small village in rural Wiltshire. (Joint Decision)

Every record, CD and book I have every bought. Especially the records by Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and the books by Douglas Adams, Carl Sagan and Sue Townsend.

Taking out life insurance, critical health insurance and pension plans when I was still young and healthy.

Leaving the IT consultancy I worked for and becoming a freelance IT consultant.

Returning to full time employment with employee benefits and statutory sick pay before finding out I had cancer.

Stopping going to Church and appreciating and understanding the natural beauty and genuine wonder of the universe and the fragility and preciousness of life through critical inquiry, rational thought and empirical evidence as opposed to intellectually unsatisfying, arbitrary and frequently divisive and intolerant supernatural fairytales and indoctrinated prejudices.

Only taking medical advice from the professional qualified doctors fully trained in evidenced-based medicine.

Having children. (Joint Decision)

Marrying Tori. (Joint Decision)

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