I mentioned before that I am looking to dip my toe back into the waters of actually doing some proper work which for me is getting back on the speaking circuit. This is a scary prospect as it is doing something ‘normal’ and my mind ends up in overload of ‘what ifs’; what if I let my guard down, what if I stop being a patient and return to the human race, what if I tempt fate – it’s scary but I’m told it’s also normal to feel like that, so I’ll crack on.
I have spent a fair bit of time thinking about how I might incorporate my challenge with ‘luke’ into the story of our Atlantic shenanigans and how the lessons learned from those relate to ‘normal’ life.
In addition it has meant a little shift away from ‘Atlantic Experience’ to ‘Ian Rowe, Inspirational Keynote Speaker’ with a revised logo and some text tewaks to the website, my Speaker One Sheet and my Introduction Card.
‘Luke’ turned up just as I had provisional bookings for proper fees for different international events and so although I am not starting from scratch as before I have gone backwards and want to get moving forwards again and not least contribute to the family budget if nothing else to try and take some weight off Lisa.
At present therefore I am looking for almost anything; I need the practice to see how best I can incorporate aspects of ‘luke’, re-train my voice to speak to larger audiences be it with or without a microphone and not least see that I am physically able to get to an event, deliver my talk, and get home again without being wasted for the following few days. Having said that, I don’t mind too much if it wipes me out for a few days so long as I deliver up to standard at the event.
So, firstly at the moment the website has had a front page re-vamp which you can see by clicking here
Secondly I have had my Speaker One Sheet updated and you can see that by clicking here
I’d be very grateful if people would have a look see and let me have any thoughts/comments via email: email@example.com
Next on the list is to carry on working on a Q & A script for a ‘showreel’ video which will be used to sell me and my speaking work – something that will need to grip people within say 20 seconds and get my message across in around 1 minute…..hmm, me taking 1 minute to say something! Big challenge ahead then!
On the health front things continue to move forward and I have been prescribed two new drugs for my bladder which are meant to help relax one of the bladder muscles to make going for a wee easier and the other is to help reduce bladder over-activity and so reduce the frequency of weeing. There are side effects and it feels like I have acquired a good number of these which have overall made things worse. They include nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, headaches, dry throat, dry eyes and dizziness/fainting when standing up particularly from lying down.
From my perspective the issue with my bladder is not over activity but simply capacity, although I have produced some much bigger wees (150ml which compared to the average of around 75ml a month or two ago is a massive change) and have had gaps very occasionally of up to two hours with little or no pain. So having a drug that reduces bladder over-activity seems pointless as my bladder is not over active, it is just reduced in size from the inflammation. If I’m producing 150ml and I’m sure I even saw very nearly 200ml it would seem it is finally making progress all by itself. Both drugs have similar side effects and I’ve been on them for just over a week now. I will persevere this week but will be asking for them to be dropped as the side effects outweigh any benefit.
Looking forward therefore to seeing my Consultant a week on Friday and hoping he will say I can ditch these new drugs….
Tomorrow I’m in hospital for a scan on my left kidney to see if that has recovered at all in terms of its function so have a massive fingers crossed time for that. The scan is pretty straightforward but they have to give me a diuretic beforehand which last time saw me going for a wee every five minutes so not massively looking forward to that, but hoping there is some improvement. If it has deteriorated since the last scan there is a chance my kidney will be removed and I really do not want that.
Thursday will be a day in hospital for regular IMg treatment – this is to support my immune system and help it get back on two feet and next week I will find out how that is all going as my blood tests for clinic will include testing my immunity plus also testing my ferrite level. The latter is the iron overload from so many blood transfusions and is why I have the self administered iron chelation treatment 5 days a week which is a needle into the flesh of my tummy and an 8 – 9 hour infusion overnight. Really want to see the back of that too as my tummy is getting sore all over and I can feel lots of hard lumps under the skin where the needle has gone in and the drug has been slowly pumped in. Unpleasant. I think I must have done this 30 + times but it is still horrible but I suspect I have some months of it to come yet.
Finally, for things in hospital, I have another ‘Gentleman’s Sausage’ procedure due next Monday to go back into my bladder, remover the stent they put in a few weeks ago via my back, take a biopsy of the ureter between my kidney and my bladder and insert a new stent. Not looking forward to that either but I guess it needs to be done but it will mean another week or so of razor blades and broken glass!!
Think that is generally it for the moment, up until I started the new drugs I was beginning to feel relatively normal and had got out and about a bit to see some old mates and even have a bit of a business meeting with a great idea put forward by a friend who has heard me speak before about how I might bring in the ‘luke’ story a little bit. See the pic below, as Martin pointed out to me our rowing track on the ocean crossed the Tropic of Cancer – now quite topical so the heading would be ‘Atlantic Rowing and the T(r)opic of Cancer…..I liked that idea!
Just in case you are reading this as you’ve picked it up from social media, please do take a moment to sign up to the blog using the email subscribe box at the top right of this post or below.