It’s 3 years now since I was told I had 9 months to live.
I’ve had my arse removed, a chunk of my liver removed and half a lung went this year.
The thing is that I’m doing well, as fit and healthy as I’ve ever been for a very long time. I cycled 40K yesterday.
I croak still, they’re working on fixing the issue with my vocal cords but I do voice exercises that help and in 8 months they will be able to operate to fix it if I’m not happy with progress in a non-operative world 🙂
The reason I blog about cancer is to try and encourage people to not give up. It can be a killer but giving up is the major killer, not the disease!
It’s a hell of a shock when you get the diagnosis, it’s not real, that hits later.
I worked to get everything sorted for imminent death and that’s been really useful. I’ve dealt with all kinds of things that people put off until it’s too late.
I’m more relaxed and happier than I have been for a long long time.
So if you are diagnosed with something horrible, chill, it’s not the end of the world 🙂
It’s been a long time since my last post and that’s because I’ve been battling with my third bout of cancer. It was harder this time, for a number of reasons. The main one being that the last one, a third of my liver removed, was so easy. This time there were a few delays, bad timing, the scan was done just before the Christmas holidays so everything following was delayed. Then they decided that keyhole surgery was not possible this time and that I had to wait for their ace slice and dice guy. I like keyhole surgery, the first 2 were done this way and the recovery period is much shorter, much much shorter. Anyway, I was cracked open, a translateral incision which means that he went in from my side and my back, spreading the ribs apart and removing bits that were in the way. 4 days after the operation they removed the drainage tubes from my chest and the next morning the remains of my left lung collapsed. I forgot to mention that when they started the intended to remove a single lobe but when they got in they removed a wedge of another lobe, lymph nodes, and bits from my thorax. so, to deal with the collapsed lung they had to insert a new drain. This was inserted from the top of my chest and pushed down until it bubbled and hissed. I was warned that they could only anaesthetize the start of the incision and that I may feel some discomfort as they inserted the metal tube. Discomfort! if I hadn’t already had radiotherapy on my arse it would have been the most painful thing ever and with no painkillers.
19cm of steel tube rammed in.
5 days later after it was removed I was allowed home. A total stay of 12 days instead of the expected 5 or 6.
It’s taken 10 weeks to get back to something close to normal but I still tire easily. I had to prove to myself that what my surgeon had told me was true that I would be back to normal as they were only removing stuff that didn’t work anyway!
Last week I flew to Croatia to go to Plitvice Lakes National Park and to walk/climb 12 waterfalls and lakes, something I’d have found hard before the op 🙂 I made it but spent the next day sitting on the Riva in Split recovering.
Of course, because this has been an ill-fated adventure, when they removed stuff from my thorax they managed to nick and paralyze my left vocal cords. I’m being operated on tomorrow to try and fix this which is a bit scary as I fly to LA on Wednesday.
I have removed all my material from Youtube with the exception of a small showreel and a message to go to Vimeo.
Why? because I have got totally fed up with Google’s, hmm better be careful here lawyers may read this 🙂
OK, when I used Adsense the stats for visits that Google reported were hugely different to those my server logs showed. Yes I filtered out all the spiders etc and made sure that I was only counting “Real” visitors. There was still a 4* differential.
CML was consistently in the top 3 in searches at this time.
I stopped using Adsense, the revenue had dropped hugely and I didn’t like the figures as mentioned above.
CML dropped down the search results, obviously this was a coincidence…
I kept getting warnings about copyright from YouTube and I kept replying that this was showreel material and in my contracts I was allowed to do this and that anyway under EU law I was the co-creator and had every right to use this material in this way.
YouTube never replied but never took anything down, however, when it came to monetisation they didn’t seem to have a problem surrounding my material with ads but of course that revenue never came to me.
After over 3 million visitors I decide that enough was enough and removed all my content.
Coincidentally CML dropped further down the Google search rating especially after I removed all Google tracking codes from CML. These tracking codes are meant to have no effect on your search position and are purely to provide useful data, oh yeah?
It seems like this is becoming an annual event for me 🙁
Even though my blood scans show completely clear CT scans have shown a tumour in my right lung. My doctors think that this is simply the tumour that they thought they had killed with microwaves last year wasn’t totally killed off.
So, for the third year in a row I’m off to have surgery, this time to remove a node of my right lung.
This time it will be using robot assisted surgery which will give me the quickest recovery time.
After this is finally removed it should be an end to the problems as the blood is clear and all the CT and PET scans show a single tumour with no other traces anywhere.
I’ll be going in immediately after the BSC show in London.
The question of why there is no trace in my blood is an interesting one. Could the CBD I’ve been taking for over a year be a factor?
I uploaded my new camera tests a couple of days ago and looking at the stats I can’t help but me puzzled.
The tests are at https://www.cmltests.net and for the first time I’ve uploaded the original raw files from the cameras as well as 4K h264 versions.
I make it very clear that these are very large files, so 23% of the people visiting try to watch them on their iPhone!
The smallest files is 8GB of raw footage HTF do you watch that on an iPhone?
For people who want to see real original footage from, Alexa Mini, BMD Ursa Mini Pro, C200, C700FF, Fuji X-H1, Kine Terra, Kine Mavo, Panasonic EVA, Panasonic Varicam, RED Gemini, RED Monstro and the Sony Venice you know where to go.
The words I dread hearing, “we’ve found a small lesion in your lung”
I’d just had a scan that involved loading me with radioactive sugar after which I had to lie absolutely still, no twitching of fingers and toes! until it had been processed by my body. Apparently any muscle movement would use up the sugar.
They then did a full torso scan looking for anything that shouldn’t be there and sure enough there was something, smaller than 1cm. in my lung.
The first decision was to use radiotherapy to blast it which would have a 5cm blast radius but the radiotherapist said it was too close to both the Aorta and the nerves that control breathing. Hmm, heart attack or paralysis of the lungs, neither sound much fun.
The radiotherapist came up with an alternative. They’re going to insert a wire into my chest tomorrow and then using either microwave or HF they’re going to blast the lesion/tumour and this method will only create a blast zone of 1cm.
It’s kinda like bombing and minimising collateral damage. I had no desire to be in the “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” category!!
So it’s now a simple procedure with just the one night stay and that’s just because I’m having a GA.
It was my first visit to CameraImage this year in the past commercials have made it impossible to attend.
I now wish that I’d turned down some of those jobs so that I could attend!
It was an amazing meeting of cinematographers, I met people I hadn’t seen for 30 years and I also made new friends amongst the people who introduced themselves as CML members.
Apart from taking part in a couple of great panels, one on the future of cinematography and the other on ACES I had lunch with John Bailey, Stephen Poster and Vittorio Storaro.
Yes there are problems with overcrowding and scheduling but overall its well worth it and I’d recommend it to any cinematographer and anyone involved in cinematography students included.
If you intend to attend all the parties you’re going to need a very strong liver!!
I’m currently comparing the BMD MP and the C200 in detail, they’re very different cameras in lots of way and they both produce great images. I’ll be posting a detailed review of them on CML in a month or so.
They are very similar on paper but in real life just so different. I had hoped to include the Panasonic EVA in this test but they don’t seem to be able to get me a camera. Funny how if your “review” consists of shooting a few pretty pictures you can get a camera but if your test is almost a destruction level one you can’t…
I went to LUMC for my 2 weeks post-op check yesterday and talked with my surgeon
The good news is that they got the entire tumour and there is nothing left of it.
I am now clear until a future scan reveals something. I live from scan to scan now and will for the next 5 years, if I’m that lucky!
Once I’ve completed 5 years without a recurrence I’m considered clear.
4 more weeks of injecting myself twice a day with anticoagulant then I can live a “normal” life.
Get in, get the pictures and the job done and get out leaving a bit of a mess behind!
Not too bad, 7 holes this time but in a few months there’ll be barely a trace. 2 of the scars from the last Laparoscopy are visible in that shot, I know where to look, and one in the navel hidden.
The bag in the bottom right of frames if my constant companion.
So, I was part of an experiment here, they injected me with a magic potion the day before which was converted to nothing in the bits of the liver where there wasn’t a tumour and that when viewed under UV light glowed where there was a tumour.
As they operated they switched back and forth between the light sources and could even mix them. They cut until no blue glow was left.
Apparently it’s the last little bits that cause all the grief, using a conventional approach they have to cut far more than just the tumour to make sure that they get it all. Using this method once there is no blue glow there is no tumour.
They took sample of the area left and the results from the path lab are clear.
I haven’t tried to line the shots up but it’s pretty cool as it is!
I couldn’t get the video or actual screen grabs, these are my scans of a priny I was given, the real thing is pretty clear.