New Year 2018

It’s a brand new year, so here’s offering you all my best wishes for 2018 and my thanks for your support in person, through correspondence, and on social media, which has been my main form of contact these past few months.

Having failed to send out a Christmas message due to my health issues, now it’s high time I updated you on my situation, especially as right now, I’m enjoying a good few days, helping provide me with a positive start to the year.

New Year 2018

The Aravis mountain range in Haute-Savoie in the autumn © Wink Lorch

Although we are now based in London we were able to spend a couple of weeks at our French home in early October, admiring the mountains’ autumn clothing.

From mid-October the furthest I managed to venture was to medical appointments and occasional forays to the local Yurt Café in Limehouse or once to the Victoria Park Market. Today I managed half an hour in The Narrow pub, so a New Year victory of sorts.

New Year 2018

The cosy Yurt Café © Brett Jones

Becoming a semi-recluse was forced upon me by pain when sitting down or bending, something we all take too easily for granted. Short walks have been fine, but for a while only being supine provided real relief.

It became obvious that the new treatments I was given, which I wrote about in September, were not addressing the pain from my Metastatic Prostate Cancer. So, at the end of November the oncology department at Bart’s Hospital decided to admit me for further investigations.

After a few days, I agreed for the team to take my treatment a stage further with the start of a course of Chemotherapy, mainly to help with the pain control. The plan is to continue this treatment on a 3-weekly cycle until March, coming into Bart’s as an outpatient.

So far, the journey has been up and down, as everyone warns about chemotherapy treatments – I managed to catch mild pneumonia, involving another short hospital admission before Christmas, and more recently, I found my taste buds disappeared making eating and drinking difficult.

But, overall, I have been in less pain and sleeping well as the pain drugs were also adjusted.

New Year 2018

The Bart’s Christmas tree © Brett Jones

Our National Health Service is a national treasure, albeit with some imperfections, and the care and attention the staff give to me, and patients everywhere, is tip-top. But, during our lifetimes we all must help ourselves as well – our bodies are precious, and we must look after them as best we can.

I am receiving great assistance and support from St. Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney, which among other help organised for an occupational therapist to visit supplying me with a variety of useful aids to make my days and nights more comfortable. Most importantly St. Joseph’s provide an advice line and a wonderful consultant nurse, who has time – that most rare commodity – to talk through problems and to advise. All these services are provided free of charge – as are most other health services in the UK; the hospice is funded part by the NHS and part by charitable donations.

Family and friends, of course, are loving and supportive as well. I am lucky to be able to live with my cancer cradled by all this care.

I enjoy social media, particularly Facebook, where I can easily participate in the big world outside, continuing to share my own photos from my limited excursions. I have made it a policy not to share anything about my illness on social media, hence why I’ve decided to write about it here on occasional posts. Please excuse the lack of wine and travel posts – there are thousands out there that can fill your reading gap and, after all, this remains my very personal blog.

Even if what is going on around us can be particularly unpleasant and, at times, an unconscionable mess, communicating with friends of all ages the world over, gives hope for a better future in 2018 and beyond.

New Year 2018

On my way in 2018 at The Narrow, Limehouse! ©Wink Lorch

14 thoughts on “New Year 2018

  1. Brett

    It truly aches me to read this.

    It also heartens me somewhat in the face of such open honesty and full embrace of what life has to give.

    You are a true friend Brett. And a really good guy.

    I wish you the best that can be and hopefully–if Wink invites me–I’ll come and visit in Savoie 😉

    • Dear Arnold,

      Mon cher ami, thank you for your very kind words of encouragement.

      Every time we’re in New York our visit is always made special and complete when we get to spend time together.

      We all have to end our journey sometime so as long as I remain positive and manage to master the pain I relish my time here. And knowing you helps me no end!

      Ah, yes, there are logs to be chopped with your fine precision so you are always welcome in Haute-Savoie!

    • Dear Beverley,

      Thank you very much for your New Year greetings and good wishes for my treatment.

      I remain positive and as long as I can master any pain that interrupts us, my glass (unfortunately not wine, but mere water) will always be more than half full!

  2. Brett, you are an international treasure, beloved by many. Happy new year, and best wishes for keeping up the good fight. Hope to see you again soon. With love, Katie

    • Dear Katie,

      Thank you for your kind comments, your good wishes for 2018 and for my health.

      I look forward to when we can meet up again.

      Best wishes, Brett

    • Dear Giampiero,

      Thank you very much for your long and strong hug from Italy – oooooh, delightful!

      And I miss you too, it has been a long time. But it is good to keep in touch virtually via Facebook etc.

      Not sure when we’ll get to your beautiful country but do let us know when you’ll be in England, when we could get together.

      I migliori auguri per il 2018!

  3. Dear Brett,
    Very best wishes from us both for a speedy remission and return to normal life. And don’t dream of leaving us (yet). Too many good people have gone recently. We don’t want to lose another of the best!
    Love, Charles & Kathryn

    • Dear Charles and Kathryn,

      Thank you for your very kind wishes and uplifting words – I have no intention of popping off yet…

      Love and best wishes, Brett

  4. Hello Brett, I’m so sorry to hear this news. I’m in admiration of your open attitude and positivity regarding your health issues and wish you all the very best. Warm wishes, Sue

  5. Happy New Year Brett. I wish you ongoing strength in this huge struggle that you are tackling so valiantly. All the best, Hugo.

    • And Happy New Year to you, Hugo.

      Your encouragement and support means a lot to me – thank you.

      Best wishes, Brett

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