Laughing

Categories: Featured, Personal Life
Laughing

Many of the recent posts on this site have focused on the struggle and difficulties we have faced in light of Anja's diagnosis of cancer. And as much as we certainly do have enormous difficulty coping with all of this every single day, we also make sure we have time to smile, laugh and even joke around about it all. The only crazy thing with all of this though, is that even though WE can laugh, when we mention this attitude to other people they look at us as if we have truly lost the plot. The thing is, even before all this came upon us, we both knew exactly how we felt about death and all it entails. The whole 'funeral thing' has been an issue with which we see absolutely no point. Consequently, there has been a very strong element of truth in our jokes when we say to each other 'When I die, just throw me in the wheelie bin - and remember to close the lid.' I mean, isn't the way in which we all choose to be 'disposed', totally up to each individual? Sure, we need a clean, sanitary method and we are not against other ...

Life changes so quickly

Categories: Featured, Personal Life
Life changes so quickly

Please note before reading: this may sound like a letter of complaint, a long-winded whinge or perhaps even selfish of me to write. However, it is none of the above. It is simply an update on our situation and the reality of our lives after Anja being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Less than 4 months ago, life felt extremely different than it does for us right now. In fact, it was only back in March over the Easter weekend, that we went up to Edinburgh and came away with a plan to start a new life there within the next 12 to 18 months. One week later that dream was shattered of course, when we were told the devastating news that Anja had lung cancer. And at the risk of sounding totally depressed, pessimistic and out of hope, I have to say in all honesty, it's very much been a downhill trip from that point to where we are now. Obviously, the news that Anja does not have long to live, is in itself hard to deal with, but as the last few months have passed, our daily way of life has also been shaken to the core. Life for us, ...

Friends in time of crisis

Categories: Featured, Personal Life
Friends in time of crisis

If there was ever a sure way to find out who your friends are in life, a personal crisis will be the time when this is truly determined. Up until recently, we would have said we have quite a few friends. These 'friends' include people with whom we work, people we have met along the way in our new life in England, and also those people we know online. So, with Anja being diagnosed with cancer and being told she has very little time to live, you would think that ALL of our friends would come to the fore. This assumption, however, is wrong. It now seems that we have only a few friends. A handful of people have stoood out heads and shoulders above the rest as true friends, because they have shown they really care about us. They phone and email every day, they offer their 24 hour assistance and they are 'here' for us whenever we need them. These friends have helped us cope with this whole crisis and they continue to do so, every single day. They offer support to us not only in the form of words, but also with actions and support that really does make ...

The bigger the company…

Categories: Featured, Personal Life
The bigger the company…

Is it just me or do you find that dealing with big companies generally means less service, longer phone calls and more hassles? I recently purchased a new car and with the deal came 6-months free comprehensive insurance. Excellent, I thought to myself, that's more money saved. I have had no accidents in that 6 months and my no claim bonus of 5+ years has remained intact. But 6 months passes very quickly and before I knew it, the time to pay for car insurance was upon me once more. Now, with everything else that is going on around me at the moment, I just did not have time to do the whole compare prices exercise, so I opted to stay with the same car insurance company and avoid any hassles. Big mistake it seems! Again, because of all the problems we are going through right now, I decided to pay by monthly instalments and therefore, have the money at hand for more important things, like looking after Anja and making sure she has everything she needs/wants. So, all the forms were filled in and a direct debit authority signed. I then forgot about it and got on with life. Simple. ...

Slice and dice

Categories: Featured, Personal Life
Slice and dice

As part of Anja's ongoing analysis of her illness, the next step after the bronchoscopy and CT scan, was to undergo a further scan known as a PET scan. PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography. This scan is more intensive and is done in order to take a deeper look at what is happening within the body. With a PET scan you first have an injection of a very small amount of a radioactive drug (tracer). The amount of radiation is very small – no more than you have during a normal X-ray. It only stays in the body for a few hours. Depending on which drug you have, the radioactive drug will travel to particular parts of your body. The most common drug is fluorine 18, also known as FDG-18. This is a radioactive version of glucose. When FDG-18 is injected into your body it travels to places where glucose is used for energy. It shows up cancers because they use glucose in a different way from normal tissue. And it will show up changes in tissues that use glucose as their main source of energy for example, the brain. [via] Unfortunately, ...

Colours

Categories: Featured, Webtools
Colours

Colour [or 'color' for those of USA persuasion]: a quality which objects have, and which can be seen, only when light falls on them. No matter where you look, you see colour! Wars have been waged over them and others play with them. They bring fear, happiness, sorrow and all the myriad of other emotions we all exprience. Red rag to a bull, green with envy, as calm as the blue sea, black with hatred - are just some of the feelings and 'vibes' associated with colour. And in this new world known as the Wide Web World, Web Wide World, World Wide Web [or Internet], colours are used in thousands of different ways. However, as any web designer will tell you, there are colours and then there are colours. It's all black and white you see - but not really. White and black are not generally known as black after all [yes, yes, I know black and white are not colours but that's not the issue]. The point is, white becomes #ffffff and black becomes #000000 and everything colour-wise works from these junctures. And as you delve deeper into colours and you work with them daily in code, you start to ...

DEATH: The Final Frontier

Categories: Featured, Personal Life
DEATH: The Final Frontier

To boldly go where everyone has gone before... Right now, with my wife's length of time left on this planet very uncertain [but ultimately very brief], we have both discussed the whole package that dying brings - the pain beforehand, our quality of life, and the moment of death itself. As mentioned before, we are realists and we understand why her death is not so far away, but as much as we are both terrified of the prospect and spend our days on a bizarre rollercoaster of emotions, the practicalities and logics still keep us focussed. Yes, we do realise that what we are experiencing is not a new phenomenon, it happens to millions every year, and yet for us it is all new and all very much 'in our face' at all times. To be truthful, I could write this post a hundred times a day and still come up with different perspectives and feelings nearly every time. Only moments ago, as I read through the last interviews of those who have already passed away, it jolted my senses and threw the floodgates of tears wide open, but now, I am in control again and can smile as I look at ...

Gee Mail!

Categories: Featured, Webtools
Gee Mail!

Once upon an eon ago, I used a webmail product called Hotmail. Truth be told, I think I still have an account or 50 in place, but none of them are ever used. I have also used Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, a work-based Outlook Web Access [OWA] and numerous other email options. But one stands out head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion, the monster we all know as G-Mail [or GoogleMail for some]. For more information on why it is called G-Mail in some places and Googlemail in others, do a quick search on Google itself. And why do I choose G-Mail? Basically, it works. It rarely has any downtime, it is so easy to set up and use and it's quick, reliable and does everything I want. The fact it is web-based has obvious benefits in that it is accessible from any location with an Internet connection and it has all the functionality and features that I need. The 'but' though comes from my personal wish to set up an email account in my own fashion. Functionality is excellent and so is the ability to use it as your base email portal - by directing all other email accounts ...

This only happens to other people…

Categories: Featured, Personal Life
This only happens to other people…

Bad timing. Why is this happening now? Why me? Is there a God [and if so, why is She/He being such a bastard]? N0, NO, NO, this cannot be happening - it's just a bad nightmare! And then you realise it IS happening and worse, it is happening to YOU! Millions have been diagnosed with cancer, many of those millions have died from the disease, and yet in this world of self-centred daily existence we call modern-society, those who it does not affect usually turn a blind eye. What doesn't affect you directly is often of no consequence and although you may feel some form of mild-compassion for those poor sufferers, hey, what's it got to do with you? Right? And now WE join the statistics! A loved one has become a victim and has been diagnosed with the severe onset of lung cancer. Our world has immediately collapsed. The tears flow, the daily reality becomes a roller-coaster of unknowns and raw emotions and nothing seems to matter any more. Everyone offers help and yet what can anyone really do? You find yourself caught in a world where everything is blurred, nothing makes sense and your brain refuses to operate normally. Music ...

I just know the time has come…

Categories: Featured, Personal Life
I just know the time has come…

I had this thought many moons ago, that one day I would live in Scotland. I would say I had this 'dream' but that sounds kind of corny doesn't it? But I am being more honest if I admit, yes I did actually dream of living there. Not only once either, but many times this be! And I have never placed a foot in this big old city known as Edinburgh, that is, not until last weekend. And now I know for sure, I am moving to Scotland to live. I will give myself 12 months at the most and no matter what the circumstances in my life, I am off. I have heard many people say to me that Scotland is a beautiful country and they would love to live there, but I know [I think they probably do too] that they never will. It is just talk and nothing more. But me, well I am not dreaming of something that will never happen. I am sure to the bone. In fact in my mind, I am already there...

There’s more than one of me out there…

Categories: Featured, Personal Life
There’s more than one of me out there…

Had an interesting turn of events recently, something that has never happened to me before at any rate. Woke up one morning last week to find the number plates on my car had been stolen. Nothing else done to the car - luckily it has a fairly good security system - but finding the plates missing pissed me off completely! Amazingly, the police classed this as a priority issue and were here within an hour, so I had my crime log number and reference number within a couple of hours too. Good work on the part of the police, but is that it? Is this little episode in my life over? No, not by a long shot it seems. So far it has cost me only £13.00 to replace the plates after a visit to my local MOT car parts establishment. [It still blows me away that I could actually purchase new number plates so easily on a Sunday morning, but that's life in the UK for you.] However, the police warned me that I could [make that should] expect some nasty surprises in the mail within a few weeks and maybe even some knockings on the door as ...

Welcome to Erratic Souls

Our Philosophy of Blogging: To write what we will in whatever way we choose, without fear of regret. Our meanderings may wander ‘erratically’ at times, and there is certainly no certainty we may not change our mind, but one thing is absolute, we will always be honest to ourselves…

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