Time for an update! It’s been a while 🙂

In my previous post was written just before cycle 4. I went on to have 3 more cycles before my consultant suggested we take a break and do a biopsy to see where we are. Only so much can be analysed from blood results so biopsy it was. I had the results from this a couple of weeks ago, where my consultant informed me I am responding very well to treatment, however, to consolidate the good results, I will be having 2 more cycles of chemo, starting tomorrow. Would have been great to be finished, but can’t really complain about 2 more given my initial diagnosis was 6 months of treatment. I suffered badly with illness after cycles 4 & 5 – horrendous vomiting the day after. For cycles 6 & 7 I had extra anti-sickness tablets to take to keep the side effects at bay. I didn’t have issues with vomiting after these, but was a bit “chemo-hungover” for up to 4 days after the chemo.

So, last treatment was 6 weeks ago in February, and lots has happened since then. My 7th cycle was the week before we were due to travel to Ireland for my brother Michael’s wedding. To ensure I was fit and had immunity to attend, I was prescribed injections of filgastrim again to boost immunity, having the last injection the night before the wedding.

We travelled to Ireland for the wedding by car & ferry, which gave me time to write my best man’s speech on the ferry. It was great to be home for the weekend anyway, but having a big family get together was extra special, caught up with my aunt’s & uncles and some of my cousins. Michael & Sandra sure know how to throw a party, we had such a great time. Both MrsQ & I, with my nephews & Dad did a spot with the wedding band, The Unusual Suspects, with whom my brother plays with regularly. MrsQ’s “Feelin’ Good” brought the house down!

I’ve posted more pictures from this trip on my flickr page.

March has pretty much been a “back to normal” month, being able to resume attending rehearsals and playing in concerts. It was great to sit in with Hitchin Band as they prepared for the London & Southern Counties Area contest in mid March. I thought sitting in and listening that they were sounding great and had a good chance at delivering a good performance on the contest day. Despite being well enough, I didn’t have immunity soon enough to play on the day, but was able to attend and listen… and then celebrate as they only went and won. This win means an invite to the National Finals later in the year in Cheltenham, which I will certainly be back for.

Hitchin Band – Stevenage 2023

My chums at Regent Brass were placed 3rd in the contest and will also be competing at the national finals, as will my chums from Manx Concert Brass on the Isle of Man. Looking forward to the catch up already!

I was also delighted to be able to play in 2 concerts in March. First one, quite local in Letchworth where the Garden City Singers were performing Jenkins The Armed Man. Myself and another trumpet player from Hitchin Band joined for this performance. This work is usually a full orchestra, but the MD had added trumpets & cello (for the Sanctus) to the choir reduction. It went down really well and the choir certainly enjoyed having extra musicians along to play.

The second concert was another matter, an afternoon family film music concert with Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra. This was a marathon, compared to the previous nights 400m concert! Music from Ben Hur, Jaws, Mission Impossible, Frozen, Happy Feet, Henry V etc.. kept me busy in the 1st Trumpet chair.

It was great to catch up with so many musician friends too as I’d not been in London for a concert for months due to shielding.

I’ve continued with my training on Zwift for my participation in 2023 Ride London / Essex. I should have tried to get out on the roads but other things got in the way. With treatment continuing, I might not have a lot of energy for parts of this month, so will have to try and make up for it in May, combining bike work with gym / fitness work, something I’ve not really done before. My fundraising page is up and running. I’ve received quite a few donations so far, for which I’m really grateful. If you can spare the price of a pint/coffee or more, that would be fantastic.

I think that’s about it really! Slightly nervous about getting treatment tomorrow after the 6 week break. I just have to make sure I take those anti-sickness tablets at optimal times and drink plenty of fluids!

Cheers now!