Thursday, 26 November 2009

Touch the earth

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.”

Climate change policies 'improve health'

Whilst the two political sides argue over the legitimacy of climate warming data and there is no doubt that the science has been manipulated to appease the different Governments, you should not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

When you go past the scientists employed/funded by self interested parties you see the true science, not altered graphs. James Lovelock has this on his website and in his books on Gaia. This is repeated in Steve Schneider's The Patient from Hell which is about his successful fight against cancer.

A special series of articles, published in medical journal, the Lancet, outlines how such policies could have a direct impact on global health.

Food: High-producing countries should reduce livestock production by 30%. If this translated into reduced meat consumption, the amount of saturated fat consumed would drop sharply, which could reduce heart disease

Transport: Cutting emissions through walking and cycling and reducing use of motor vehicles would bring health benefits including reduced cardiovascular disease, depression and dementia

Household: In low-income countries, solid fuel stoves create indoor air pollution. National programmes to introduce low-emission stoves could avert millions of premature deaths and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Pollution: Short-lived pollutants including ozone and black carbon contribute to climate change and damage health. Reducing emissions of these would offer immediate benefits

Energy: Decreasing the proportion of carbon-based electricity generation would give health benefits worldwide, particularly in middle-income countries such as India and China

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

You can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by:

  • Filling in a form online
  • Calling the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23
    (Lines are open 24 hours a day all year round. Calls are charged at your contracted rate for local calls)
  • By texting SAVE to 84118

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Breaking News!

Just off the phone to the Liver Doctor. He's heard back from Edinburgh and the great news is that as of yet they have NOT dismissed the application for a Liver Transplant!

They have requested a MRI scan. There seems to be some confusion over how many lesions there are in the liver. I was under the impression that there were two but this isn't clear in the CT scans and is NOT conclusive!

Two lesions and they will dismiss it and we will offerred different options such as the radio therapy where they put a prong into the lesion and microwave it to death. We then look to get the Liver to fight any HCV virus and regenerate as much as possible.

Transplant though is a cure all solution, fraught with it's own inherent dangers, but one that gives me the potential of actually collecting my meagre pension when the time is right!

While i'm elated, I know that there is still the overwhelming odds of refusal. It will not change my vision of surviving this and leading once again a life where I can achieve at the highest levels!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Cleanliness is next to godliness

Call me Dopey, but I've been sleeping for two hours every afternoon. The body is shutting down in its attempt to heal. However, today I've got the energy to go right through!

I'm down to 87.2kg (192.4 pounds or 13.7 stone) after last weeks 91.5kg (201.7/14.4) caused by bloating!

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary told to improve swiftly

Toilet in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary/Image: NHS Quality Improvement Scotland report
A hole in a toilet wall was one failing highlighted/Image from NHS Quality Improvement Scotland report

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has demanded "urgent improvements" at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

It follows a Healthcare Environment Inspectorate report highlighting issues needing to be addressed, including cleanliness and infection control.

Ms Sturgeon said: "This report makes difficult reading. I am disappointed that so much room for improvement has been identified."

A follow-up inspection was said to already have found some progress.

My own experience last year was that the staff were always working on cleanliness. Apart from the age of the buildings, there was no issue that concerned me.

A never-ending struggle


Meditation generally as it is accepted now is the practice of a system, breathing properly, sitting in the right position, wanting or craving greater experience, or the ultimate experience. This is what we are doing. And all that is a constant struggle, a never-ending struggle. This is a never-ending struggle, which is hoping to end all struggle! See what we have done. I am struggling, struggling, struggling to end struggling sometime in the future. See what tricks I have played on myself. I am caught in time. I don’t say, “Why should I struggle at all?” If I can end this struggle that is enlightenment. Total Freedom, p 334

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Drug Company Watch

Last night was the worst night of cramping I have ever had. I had had a good day and had joined in to the warm ups in BJJ and did some teaching. The rain was heavy which made me run from the bus stop. That was all. I ate decently, took my vits and even has a late afternoon sleep.

Wales and Chelsea won while we start to pack the house up ahead of our move out to the countryside.

Drug Company Watch
A few months back a certain drug - bevacizumab - was pulled from the UK because it is "too expensive".

Until recently, Pfizer were the only ones to have the patent for Irinotecan, they were the only ones allowed to produce it. Patent ran out, now other companies are selling Irinotecan for 10% of the price Pfizer were charging.

Meditation can not be a system


So Meditation is Not conscious Meditation. You understand this? It can Not be conscious Meditation, following a system, a guru - collective Meditation, group Meditation, single Meditation, according to Zen or some other system. It can Not be a system because then you practice, practice, practice, and your brain gets more and more dull, more and more mechanical. So is there a Meditation which has no direction, which is Not conscious, deliberate? find out.
J Krishnamurti: Last Talks at Saanen 1985

Friday, 20 November 2009

please sir, can i have some more?

please sir, can i have some more?

Whilst everyone is shouting at NICE for their decision:

Global Nexavar net sales as reported by Onyx's collaborator Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, or Bayer, were $229.2 million for the third quarter 2009, a 27% increase compared to $180.9 million in the same period in 2008. Onyx and Bayer are marketing and developing Nexavar(�) (sorafenib) tablets, an anticancer therapy currently approved for the treatment of liver cancer and advanced kidney cancer in the U.S., European Union, Japan and other territories.

Net income for the third quarter 2009 reflected growth in Nexavar sales and lower Nexavar commercial expenses, offset by expanded clinical development efforts, lower investment income and interest expense on the convertible senior notes issued in August 2009.

Source: PR Newswire

Onyx finally made a profit last year — the first time the cancer drug developer has gone into the black in the last five years. It made $1.9 million and returned just 3 cents a share, on revenues of $194 million. Those revenues were nearly double the year before as Onyx’s deal with Bayer on the drug Nexavar fully kicked in.

Could that profit have been any higher? Yes, it could, had not the top executives at the company gotten such hefty raises in compensation. In 2007, the company’s four named executives received $6.8 million between them. In 2008, those top four had become the top six, and they shared $11 million in total compensation.

In other words, executive compensation was roughly five times the profits the company returned to shareholders.

Now, Onyx has some excuses: They replaced a CEO, added an HR chief and a corporate development chief. But those moves were offset somewhat by the fact that the new CEO, N. Anthony Coles, was paid $2.8 million in total compensation even though he only arrived in March, whereas the outgoing boss, Hollings C. Renton, only earned $2.5 million before he left. Coles’ basic salary nearly quadrupled over Renton’s.

Here’s the summary:

  • Name, 2008 pay, 2007 pay
  • CEO N. Anthony Coles, $2.8 million, NA
  • Ex-CEO Hollings Renton, $2.5 million, $2.6 million
  • CFO Gregory Schafer, $818,000, $690,000
  • HR chief Judy Batlin, $937,000, NA
  • COO Laura Brege, $1.7 million, $1.4 million
  • Ex- chief medical officer Henry Fuchs, $2.2 million, $2.1 million
  • SVP corp. dev. Juergen Lasowski, $1 million, NA
    Numbers are rounded, includes stocks and options whose value changes over time.
Even here in the UK, we have been affected by the Right in the US using token phrases of fear when controls on companies or Health Care is concerned. There's a mantra of "freedom" used and the threat of 'socialism' or 'communism' are used to scare people away from really looking at this. Well freedom just ain't freedom when your back's against the wall.

The Drug companies are reaping in large profits in order to satisfy their shareholders. In a time of recession their profits are obscene.

Obscene is a strong word, but bear in mind some of these drugs are out the reach of many people because of their inflated cost, so people will die in order to satisfy the greed of the stakeholders.

And the companies that will provide these drugs? The Health Insurance companies will be investing their money into these companies because their returns are huge and they too can profit. No wonder so much money is being put into the political arena and promoting Private Health Care. In the mean time the poor will get a second hand service,if that.

That's not free market economics - its free market exploitation.

At the same time, other European Health Services provide these drugs because their societies view Health Care in a different light. Here in the UK we spend £1bn a year in Iraq which could be invested in the NHS (source) although recent figures put it higher at 1.5bn(source). This affect the squaddies who don't get a decent pension from the MOD for having their legs blown off.

Since the oil taps turned on in the North Sea we have wasted the revenue whilst countries like Norway have invested in their country and services to give their citizens a great standard of living. (source)

What type of society do you want to live in?
You might be in a hospital ward looking for hope, or seeing a friend or relative dying when you know that there's something that could help but it's priced out of range.

It WILL NOT change if you don't stand up and represent yourself. Whether its a letter to your local MP, writing to a paper, supporting an Organisation that will campaign on the relevant issues. If you do nothing then that's what you will get.

On another approach, you could change many habits that could put you in that circumstance. Reducing alcohol, reducing meat heavy diets etc would be a first step. Many options have been discussed before in this blog.

There are always choices and you can re-evaluate what you want in your life.

Cramps last night but feeling pretty good right now. Getting closer to the house move - clean country air awaits!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

On the BBC website

"Because of Bupa, I am able to have it, but that runs out at the end of January. The medical insurance only lasts a year. I would hope to have destroyed the tumour by then.

"[But] If I hadn't have had the drug, I would still have fought it and I still would have won.

"There's lots of people with different situations, if the tumour is small, they won't put you on to a drug, because they'll look at a transplant.

Patrick Davies
They've got a pretty hard job to do. I've got a lot of sympathy for them, we've all got to make budgeting decisions

"Once a transplant can't happen, that's when they consider the drug - you're talking about people in a very serious condition. That's why they're talking about only extending the life for six months.

"I just think it's a case of really, we as human beings in a society, should re-evaluate our priorities.

"Other countries have access to drugs that could make a difference because they have a different set of priorities.

"They've [NICE] got a pretty hard job to do. I've got a lot of sympathy for them - we've all got to make budgeting decisions.

"The chemical companies themselves have just as much responsibility as NICE, if they want to sell their product at a price we can't afford. Why are they putting it out at that price? I'm pretty sure it's because they want to make profit for their shareholders."

Im on the telly Bill!!!

3.15 News 24
Being Interviewed about NICE and Sorafenib

Liver cancer drug 'too expensive'

The BBC's headline Liver cancer drug 'too expensive' has personal meaning. The company I work for had a BUPA private medical scheme and so BUPA has funded my Sorafenib for ONE year only. Coupled with my mental state, my recovery has happened but I was the first in Aberdeen to have Sorafenib for Primary Liver Cancer.

Others, especially anyone who can't afford private medical insurance, will not have that opportunity. Of course a budget means these type of decisions are made, like them or not. But if my taxes were going more into the NHS than into ridiculous wars in Iraq then maybe the budget could stretch?

More than 3,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer every year in the UK and their prognosis is generally poor.

Only about 20% of patients are alive one year after diagnosis, dropping to just 5% after five years.

I am breaking those rules! I'm one year plus on the eve of the anniversary of the failed operation

It's your NHS, make a noise. Maybe the money put into conflicts abroad could pay for the Drug Treatment that your loved one's might need. You have a voice - USE IT!

If you have cancer, you can survive regardless of the type of treatment. You have to really want to.

Monday, 16 November 2009

There Is No Authority But Yourself

Its been a day in bed, feeling rather poorly. These days hit you out of the blue and there's no pattern to it. I'll be alright tomorrow but after participating in the BJJ on Saturday I hoped to take part tonight. This tumours may be on the way out, but it's going to go kicking and screaming! Not to be with training today then, that day will come though.

When i was in my late teens I was heavily influenced by a band called Crass, to the extent that i toured around with them helping and learning about PA's and Sound Engineering. I brought this knowledge back to Aberdeen and set up the Music Support Group which was then copied throughout Youth Work places in the city. Some of these still exist.

We'd put the money we raised from gigs into paying local musicians to teach young unemployed how to play guitar, drums etc. You see, you don't have to live to stereotype, you can achieve anything and you merely need to go for it. With the way our society is, there's many young people who don't get this and leave school believing that they are no good as that's all they were told.

It doesn't matter at what age you are, you can change and do what you dream of. Its just a question of identifying what your dreams are, beyond the barrage of materialistic icons that we are told we must have to be fulfilled.

My life went from the music support group into martial arts and despite the different medium, my life's work is the same. People achieve and can make their choices for themselves, regardless of whether i agree or not. They just need to have the strength to take responsibility for their own actions.

Thats what i have done with my illness, i've taken responsibility for my own situation and i'm going to change it. Many simply give up. Not me.

This is a documentary with people who never told me i was wrong, who allowed me to participate and don't judge. Some of it isn't pleasant but you have to understand that the end of the 70's and the early 80's wasn't a pleasant time for many.

Not prayer, not devotion


Prayer obviously produces results; otherwise millions wouldn’t pray. And in praying, obviously the mind is made quiet; by constant repetition of certain phrases, the mind does become quiet. And in that quietness there is a certain intimation, certain perceptions, certain responses. But that is still a part of the trick of the mind because, after all, through a form of mesmerism you can make the mind very quiet. And in that quietness there are certain hidden responses arising from the unconscious and from outside the consciousness. But it is still a state in which there is no understanding. And meditation is not devotion—devotion to an idea, to a picture, to a principle—because the things of the mind are still idolatrous. One may not worship a statue, considering it idolatrous and silly, superstitious; but one does worship, as most people do, the things in the mind—and that is also idolatrous. And to be devoted to a picture or an idea, to a Master, is not meditation. Obviously, it’s a form of escape from oneself. It’s a very comforting escape, but it’s still an escape. The Collected Works vol V, p 361

Saturday, 14 November 2009

A week of mainly UP's

Chris Moir receives instruction in between rounds

I had the Swine Flu jab on Thursday which saw me spend the whole of Friday in bed feeling poorly. After a good week where i put in some hours at work, the end was terrible. Kali had been the same all week too and Caz is fighting off a cold.

I managed to get it together to take a CSW workshop last night but I am chuffed to have gone down and participated in light drilling in the BJJ class with Peter PJJ Richardson and Scott Scotosan Pressley.

Generally, I'm much stronger and whilst I get the lows, I see them being less and less.

Don't know if I mentioned the new ring at the gym, seen here below!

Supporters who have given me words of support along with Caz

The foundation of a righteous life


Meditation is hard work. It demands the highest form of discipline—not conformity, not imitation, not obedience—but a discipline which comes through constant awareness, not only of things about you outwardly, but also inwardly.

So meditation is not an activity of isolation but is action in everyday life which demands co-operation, sensitivity and intelligence. Without laying the foundation of a righteous life, meditation becomes an escape and therefore has no value whatsoever.

A righteous life is not the following of social morality, but the freedom from envy, greed and the search for power—which all breed enmity. The freedom from these does not come through the activity of will but by being aware of them through self-knowing. Without knowing the activities of self, meditation becomes sensuous excitement and therefore of very little significance.Meditations, p 6

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A Time to Remember

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.....Men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them. George Orwell

To move forward to peace we need representatives who will not be tainted by financial gain or fanatical or fundamental dogma. But they need to be our representatives.

This requires an engaged population, not a disenfranchised one. It starts, for me, with personal responsibility, living ones life in a manner that you treat others as you would want to be treated.

Yesteday was spent with the fighters on a show in Aberdeen. Leigh and Ray stood up to represent - although others were unable to be matched - and both did well. There is no such thing as failure, there's just a different result. You take what you experience and you turn it into a win by learning from the experience and adopting the lessons. It was both their first time in that arena, so both will be stronger for it.
James McIntyre puts up with me
All it needs now is for Chelsea to win against Man Utd. I have no doubts.

The first step is the last step


... The first step is the last step. The first step is to perceive, perceive what you are thinking, perceive your ambition, perceive your anxiety, your loneliness, your despair, this extraordinary sense of sorrow, perceive it, without any condemnation, justification, without wishing it to be different. Just to perceive it, as it is. When you perceive it as it is, then there is a totally different kind of action taking place, and that action is the final action. Right? That is, when you perceive something as being false or as being true, that perception is the final action, which is the final step. Now listen to it. I perceive the falseness of following somebody else, somebody else’s instruction—Krishna, Buddha, Christ, it does not matter who it is. I see, there is the perception of the truth that following somebody is utterly false. Because your reason, your logic and everything points out how absurd it is to follow somebody. Now that perception is the final step, and when you have perceived, you leave it, forget it, because the next minute you have to perceive anew, which is again the final step.Krishnamurti in India 1970-71, p 50

Friday, 6 November 2009

CT Results

Scan results show further reduction in the tumour, down to 4.1 x 3.6. This is a reduction that is "Better than Most"!

A letter has been sent for Transplant consideration, although we expect, as previously discussed, that it will not be considered. It will however now bring in the top Liver brains to look at what they consider as best option, which include things like radio frequency.

Then after a small period of recuperation, the medication will focus on repairing the liver.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


Still not heard from anyone about the CT Scan results, so I phoned up the Liver doctor. Speaking to his secretary I requested notification of any results.

She did inform me that a letter has been sent off to the Head of the Transplant Team. This will be the request to have me considered for Transplant, something I talked of a month or so ago.

What that news tells me that the CT scan would have cleared e of any secondary Turmours, especially in the chest. I can celebrate that.

Whether there was a reduction in the size of the tumours in my Liver I am yet to find out, but i'm sure they are reducing.

Its not been a good week, i'm tired and daren't be too far away from the toilet!

We went to see Eddie Izzard last night and an excellent show he did with ninja sheep and camels on the Ark!

Perry turns 21 tomorrow! WOW!

Monday, 2 November 2009

It's raining; it's pouring.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
It's raining; it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he wouldn't get up in the morning.
Think I might need to build an Ark. The ducks will be okay though! More rain forecasted....hmmmmm

Still waiting on the CT scan results. They might be in the post but the Royal Mail strike may be disrupting their arrival. I'll phone soon to find out.

Last week was a good week. I put in quite a lot more work and I felt good. Friday afternoon saw a sleep needed though. I then went down and partially joined in the Friday night Kettlebell/circuit class. I felt good even though i was careful. I don't believe this was the cause of my unwell feeling on Saturday morning, where i felt sick and shivery. I took it easy on Saturday and Sunday, but felt weak.

Today was better in that I was in the office and alert. I was hoping to join in the BJJ class but I'm tired and there are spasms shooting through my liver when i move. I must pay more attention to the amount ogf water I'm drinking. I don't think I'm drinking enough at the moment. My Sunday night sleep was disrupted with cramps.

Other than this I'm slightly heavy at 90kg which some of which is water retention. My stomach is bloated, a sympton of a poor functioning liver. What I'm eating has not risen a huge amount.

Caz had a weekend away in Edinburgh with her pal Julie and took advantage with a nice spa trip on Sunday. I'm glad she is back but this predicament is hard for her too.

Lord of the Rings Fan? This is brilliant.

Stuart Godfrey, a friend, has made his own music video. Well done.

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