Les poissons en France

Friday, January 28, 2011


Issued from the Hospital at 5.30pm i.e. I have just spoken to him on the phone. He said that he went down at 10 o'clock and was back around 12. Procedure was a little uncomfortable but hailed by everyone as successful. He has had ECGs and lots of blood pressure checks and says he feels fine - and certainly sounds it. He had a platelets transfusion so lets hope they hang around until Monday so that he can complete cycle five of the chemo.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Up and Down

You will realise that both of us are not comfortable with continually reporting on health matters. Even though we obviously realise the seriousness of John's condition, our gut reaction remains that health problems are an inconvenience that get in the way of the rest of life. However we have come to the conclusion that reporting on the blog is the easiest way to keep you all informed of the current situation, particularly as it is constantly changing!!

John didn't have the "repairing the electrical circuit in the heart" procedure scheduled for last week, as his platelets were too low. The Cardio department blamed this on the chemo and the Chemo department blamed it on the anticoagulants administered by the Cardio department. There we are left in the middle!! Our local doctor also added his "tu penuth" and changed John's medication. Too many cooks comes to mind.

Much scratching of heads and discussion at Toulouse on Monday when we went for the usual chemo. The platelets had again crashed to an incredible low (normal 250,000, Johns were 33,000). Can you tell that we are becoming armchair experts on platelets!! However, much to our surprise they gave him a transfusion of platelets and then gave him his chemo. Apparently transfusion platelets (more trivia) are of a poor quality so we are not expecting them to permanently boost his own. However he has PASSED HALFWAY, although we do not expect it to be plain sailing all the way from here.

He is scheduled to go into hospital on Thursday for the heart procedure on Friday and home Saturday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One Step Forward...?

Whilst I don't want this blog to become a continuing litany of my ailments, at the moment my health has rather overtaken both of our lives!

Yesterday I had an appointment with the Haemotologist who is controling my chemotherapy. She speaks good english and so we were able to be sure that we understand what's happening. I'm now halfway through the treatment and she was able to show us that the production of the protein which is going to the heart has drastically reduced. The results so far of my chemotherapy are very encouraging and indicate that, at worst, my heart function will be stable (as it is now), or, at best, my body will be able to purge the heart of the proteins to give me a normal heart function. Having said that, one can not talk of a cure, only of remission, as there's never a guarantee that the condition won't come back.

That was yesterday's good news. Just towards the end of the consultation with the haemotologist she listened to my lungs and chest and declared that I have an irregular heart beat! So, I had to have an ECG, and then take the printout back to the Doctor who's administering my chemotherapy. He looked at it and then faxed it to the Heart department. 3 hours later I was given an appointment in the Cardiology department for next Monday. I'm going to have to stay in overnight so that they can do 'something' ( not sure what!) In the meantime the local nurse is coming to the house morning and evening to inject me with an anticoagulant (rat poison?). Whilst this was all very unexpected, it shows how quickly the system reacts to any problems that arise.

We never know what will happen tomorrow, and perhaps it's just as well.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What Would Jamie Think Of This?

You realise we dont have too much to say these days about our life in France, as it is on hold. However you may be interested in this "snippet" which John read in the local paper. I would say that it must have been a slow news day, but on the contrary I have to admit that it is about the extent of "news" in these parts.

The Lunch Menu for 3-11 Year Olds at St Germain School.


Starter Cabbage with Grapes. Whether the cabbage is cooked or not I'm not sure, although I suspect it is a cold starter of raw cabbage with grapes.

Main Course Toulouse Sausage and puree potates


Fruit Compote


Starter Soup

Main Course Lasagne Bolognaise with salad


Fresh Fruit


Starter Grated carrot

Main Course Cheek of beef with carrots in gravy




Starter Cold Meats

Main Course Fish fillet in a seafood sause with rice


Seasonal fruit

Typical family fare we believe.
NB - the children do not go to school on Wednesdays, a throw back from the days when they attended school on Saturdays we believe.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Off We Go

First of all let us wish you all a Happy New Year and we wish ourselves a "healthier" New Year. We have always said that "if you've not got your health you have nothing", well we've found out the hard way.

Can you tell that we both feel a lot more positive today? We went to Toulouse yesterday expecting John to not have the treatment, as the results of the blood test he had last Thursday showed that lots of things were worse. By mid morning the doctor told us that yesterdays results were good enough to have the injection and even some things, like the platelets, were up to normal. Today John is a different man, doing little jobs that he normally just can't be bothered with. Perhaps the tap in the kitchen will get tightened? We are aware that this may well be a false dawn because the day after the first treatment of a new cycle has been good before. Furthermore I can move my neck through 180 degrees today for the first time in weeks. The two old crocks are creaking forward!