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Categories: Personal Life
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I have decided that I will not be adding any further articles to this site. I will also stop using my current Twitter site and anything else related to this site in anyway. Thanks to those people who have shared their thoughts.

Anja passed away today

Categories: Personal Life
Anja passed away today

The world has lost a truly beautiful person this evening as Anja took her final breath and finally passed away, peacefully as she slept. Her short but difficult fight with cancer is now over and she can rest in peace forever. I am too broken to write all the words that are in my heart, but for those of us who knew Anja, we know she can never be replaced. She was a very unique individual who touched the hearts of all she met. Her loving spirit will live on in all of us and her memory will never be forgotten. I am now a broken and shattered soul who will never find true happiness again, but I feel honoured and privileged to have known Anja, to have been her husband and to have shared so many happy times together as one soul.  Above all else, Anja was my best friend and the love of my life. Goodbye my angel. I will love you till my dying day. I can never let you go... The sun is always shining even when it is dark!

And then there is despair

Categories: Personal Life
And then there is despair

This may not be the most well-presented piece of text I have ever written, but it is from my heart. And anyway, I really do not care. To write it now, this minute - helps me stay sane. In the past 72 hours, Anja's condition has very rapidly declined. 3 days ago she could still hold a half-coherent conversation with me. She was extremely tired but still chose to sit out of bed for much of the time. Her appetite significantly dropped but she could still chew a few mouthfuls of food at some points throughout the day. She still chose to suffer in pain and make the effort to leave her bed and use the bathroom. Her dignity remained intact. We could hug. We could smile at each other. We could communicate. 2 days ago, Anja was simply too tired to sit up, she could not stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time and she stopped eating almost completely. A few crisps and a spoon of icecream was all she could take in. Sleep took over. She tried to smile but her energy levels were too low. She held my hand in hers and looked contented as ...

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, ...

Diabetes in a sweet world

Categories: Personal Life
Diabetes in a sweet world

So, like millions of others, I am a diabetic. Type 2, or as so many like to call it - the lifestyle disease. People say we become diabetics because we eat the wrong foods, don't do enough exercise and are generally big, fat slobs. Idiots! I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 35 years of age and hardly a drop of fat on me. I was fit, active and certainly not a chubby! But then my body started acting weirdly. Too many visits to the toilet on a nightly basis, eyes going out of focus constantly and then the blood tests and the glucose check. Wham - another statistic joins the list. And for those of you who have no clue about diabetes [because, hey, it doesn't affect you right?], well let me tell you, it does change your life. It's not just about not eating too many cakes or whether or not to have that extra biscuit with your cuppa, it's also all about how you feel overall. A healthy diet can keep it in control but not always. Sometimes, there is absolutely no explanation as to why your sugars go up one day and down the next. Worries ...

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 ...

Run, Run, Run

Categories: Personal Life
Run, Run, Run

Warning: long [and probably boring] post For anyone who enjoys running, you will know the exhilarating feeling that it provides. For me, sprinting was my first love and as a child I used to run to school, run back home [a good 5 miles in some instances] and I ran for the sheer enjoyment it provided. Why walk through a bush path [I'm Australian] when you could run? I just loved it. It made me feel good and to be honest, it was really that simple. And I could run fast. Faster than all of the kids in my class, faster than any of the kids in my year level, faster than most of the kids in the school, even those much older and taller than me. Sports Days were fantastic. I was able to run in relay teams, sprint events, open events against anyone and everyone, and competition was healthy and well-embraced. We supported one another - even our rivals - and we appreciated the efforts that the person had put in to even take part. Winning wasn't everything! I ran in other sports too, in soccer and in rugby - where I played on the right wing and just waited ...

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 ...

Glamorous travelling

Categories: Personal Life
Glamorous travelling

We recently had to fly from England to Rotterdam and then obviously back again. And as much as we all tend to think that the process of flying is exciting and glamorous, in reality, it is anything but enjoyable. Those few fleetings moments of pleasure as the plane takes off, turns in the air and lands again are all encompassed in hours of waiting, mixing with tiresome and rude people, and having to spend far too much on basic requirements such as food and liquid. And as anyone who has travelled in recent years will confirm, the security measures and the longer waiting times as a result, are just about enough to make us stop travelling altogether. A one hour flight turns into 5 hours if not longer. Arrive at the airport 2 hours ahead of the actual flight time, line up for check-ins [and wait], go through customs and be treated like criminals [and wait], go the departure gates and be treated like sheep going through a dip [and wait]. It's not a pleasant experience. The security checks are a farce too. I was told to open my bag and remove the dangerous substances. What dangerous substances I asked. Turns out ...

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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