Tag: Caterham 7

Transplant +733: 2nd Rebirthday

Saturday marked the second anniversary of my stem cell transplant. With everything that’s happend since last year, it was a much more muted event. I did get a fantastic card from Jane.

2nd birthday card - cartoon dinosaurs going "roar"

As the weather was good (not too hot, but sunny), I took the 7 for a trip over to Sutton on Sea for fish and chips. Some things I learned:

The B roads between Newark and Sutton on Sea are much more fun to drive on than any of Lincolnshire’s A roads. Safer too, given the standard of driving demonstrated at roundabouts on the Boston ring road. A hint to Boston’s SUV drivers – you give way to traffic coming from your right, even if (especially if) it’s a strange little yellow car that you’ve just seen from your perch in the sky.

Mablethorpe has changed beyond recognition from the 1970s; Sutton on Sea hasn’t. Unless you really want to experience Blackpool packed into 500 yards – but without the benefit of the illuminations and trams – avoid Mablethorpe and head to Sutton on Sea instead.

Sutton on Sea War Memorial and Lincolnshire Flag

Waldo’s fish and chip takeaway on the High Street serves a decent portion of cod and chips – and they’re incredibly well organised in dealing with the demands of COVID-19.

The 7’s fuel tank seems to have a range of around 230 miles. Fortunately I remembered to stop at a petrol station after 229 miles of spirited driving.

On balance I would probably had a nicer day – but with much more crowded roads and less good tarmac – if I’d stayed in my usual haunts around the Peak District. But I did get to see the North Sea for the first time in ages.

The beach at Sutton on Sea

On the cancer front, it’s all much the same as it has been for the last year. I remain in remission and I’m hoping to restart maintenance treatment – after a COVID-19 pause – in a couple of weeks. I continually overestimate my ability to be active. After this little adventure Sunday was spent dozing in front of the Tuscan GP. Today has been work – and my brain stopped functioning by 2pm. Tomorrow should be much better …

Good news – and looking forward to playtime!

Hurrah! The good news on Wednesday morning was that my white blood cell (neutrophil) count was just above the minimum for “normal” adults for the first time in three tests. This would suggest that my bone marrow is hanging on in there after all. I’m therefore back on the watch and wait routine until September, assuming that nothing out of the ordinary happens.

My medical team remains of the opinion that I’m in the luckier 15% of people with MCL as it’s still behaving indolently rather than aggressively three years after diagnosis. There’s still no evidence to suggest that my survival prospects would be improved by taking the chemotherapy option sooner rather than later. I’m happy with that – but there’s a little voice nagging in my head telling me that if we really knew how to treat MCL, it wouldn’t be so. Some lifestyle changes – not taking on too much physically and mentally – also seem to be helping with the tiredness I sometimes feel.

This weekend marks the 60th anniversary of the Lotus 7 and the owner’s club have a celebration weekend at Donington Park. I’m going as it’s nearby and I’m looking forward to it. Something tells me the gnu is also looking forward to the event – you can see the gleam in his eyes headlamps.

Is it playtime yet?

Little darlings: Dealing with watch and wait anxiety

I’m three days away from my regular watch and wait appointment at the hospital, and I’m panicking again. Last time my white blood cell count was low, so I was “promised” another bone marrow biopsy if it hadn’t moved back closer to normal this time. They’re not fun. I can feel myself coming over all unnecessary as I contemplate the prospect. To try to distract myself, I’ve therefore spent the day doing two things I’ve really enjoyed.

This morning I took the gnu (or he took me, not quite sure which!) out along the roads to Carsington Reservoir and back. I even had time to pull into the visitor centre for coffee. That was just after he’d found an impressive turn of speed to overtake a couple of vehicles alongside the dam. There’s clearly nothing wrong with his fuel and exhaust system, unlike that of his driver. He’s a little darling.

Carsington Reservoir, as seen from the coffee shop

The gnu, as seen in the car park

The second was being taken on a date to see “Despicable Me 3” this afternoon. Like Mark Kermode I think that the minions can do no wrong. They’re little darlings. Watching them perform the Major-General’s song from The Pirates of Penzance was definitely the highlight of the movie for me. But I admit that I also found the fart gag before the film even started funny. Is that wrong? I even managed to put up with a little shit darling constantly kicking the back of my seat with something approaching good grace. If you were sat in Derby’s Intu Showcase, screen 2, row F, seat 5 for the 1700 screening, it’s you that I’m talking about. Don’t do it again. Ever. The next person you do it to might not be as reasonable as I was. Or enjoying the film as much. Or both.

That was my Sunday. Only three more sleeps until the watch and wait anxiety dissipates again.

Caterham highs and lymphoma lows

I’ve had a strange week. Last Friday started well enough. I went over to the Caterham dealer at Donnington Park and test drove a 270 SV. I was grinning like an idiot all the way around the route. It was definitely the most enjoyable road car that I’ve ever driven. I was hooked. I sat down in the showroom. I drank coffee. I ignored the nagging voice in my head that was telling me a car price list with paint, windscreen, doors and assembly on it as optional extras can’t possibly be a good thing. I ordered one. My flexible friend has never had to be quite so flexible.

Embed from Getty Images

For the avoidance of doubt, I feel that I ought to add that I’ve bought a full-sized Caterham 7, not the toy version illustrated above. Although it looks very cool too. My car will be a similar colour though, once the optional paint has been applied of course. Fortunately “Brum” (as my newly ordered car has already been named by my beauty blogger daughter) won’t be arriving until I’ve just about finished my MSc, so it won’t be distracting me from the many hours of transcription and analysis I need to do for my dissertation, not to mention writing it all up between now and mid-September. The other good thing that’s happened this week was getting a good mark on my final module assignment, so if I’m not motivated to finish the MSc now I suppose I never will be.

However, the lymphoma beast seems to be rearing its ugly little head. I’ve never felt so physically tired as I have done this past week and the enlarged lymph nodes in my neck are throbbing constantly. Unusually for me I felt so out of sorts this morning that I decided to work from home. It’s probably a good thing that I did as I needed to sleep for a little while this afternoon to get through the day. Blergh.

I make that two highs to one low this week (even if the lymphoma low has hung around since Sunday), so I’m still winning on points.