Force Majuere

22/02/16 -- As many of you have noticed, blogging here has been a bit of a minimalist activity lately. Especially across the past fortnight when it's been non-existent.

I do however claim "force majuere" in that I've been undergoing treatment for throat cancer since December. I thought I'd say nothing and largely keep on top of it, which I've just about manged to do, posting at least two daily market reports for EU and Chicago grains though 3 chemotherapy and 35 radiotherapy sessions during this time.

Thank God then, I mistakenly thought, when the last radiotherapy session finally came around on Fri Feb 5th. At least things could then finally start to get back to normal. Or so I thought.

On Fri Feb 5th, some of you will have been at the Locust Dinner in Liverpool, filling your fat faces with beer, wine, G&T's and whatever else took your fancy.

Unfortunately not me. My "back to normal" consisted of an impromptu free ride in an ambulance to A&E after my last radiotherapy treatment seemed to prove one too many and this wretched thing decided that enough was enough and it was going to make a desperate bid for freedom, and make a right mess of the Laura Ashley duvet set and curtains en-route at Chez Nogger.

Think of a cross between a scene from Carrie and the Witches of Eastwick, but without the cherries.

And that was only the start of it. At A&E they decided that I was in need of an emergency tracheotomy, not something I would recommend without the benefit of a general anaesthetic,

"If you feel any pain wiggle your foot," I remember the doctor saying. At one point the look on the assembled faces of doctors and nurses switched to one that became rather urgent and concerned. The dialogue between then did too. Cue panic. By the time he'd finished I was wiggling everything, just to make sure that he'd got the message.

An hour or two to pull myself together passes before another free ambulance ride, this time to York.

Here another team are waiting to do another op to stem what's left of the bleeding from what's left of the tumour in my throat. Except for various reasons they can't just go in through the throat, or even anywhere  remotely near the throat - this baby is done via camera on tubes and stuff that go in via the groin.

There are consent forms to fill in, saying that there's a bit of a risk that you could go blind, have a stroke etc, etc. Minor trivia like that, where do I sign?

Luckily the op went well. Where the pneumonia came from I'm not so sure, but come along it did, laying me lower even further.

Oh, did I mention that during most of this time I'm on a strict Nil by Mouth regime? And I mean not even a sip of water. My delicious evening repast is fed via a tube straight into my stomach - why they don't flush it straight down the bog & be done with it I don't know. My twice daily "milk shakes" aren't a lot to write home about either.

The pain killers I'm on cause some interesting complications in the bottom department, which makes coughing a bit of  a lottery, as you never know what 's going to come out from where, especially shortly after "lunch".

An I haven't even told you about Jeremy yet have I? Sleeps like a baby all day, but wanders around the ward pole dancing with his antibiotics on a stand at night, clattering into things and generally being a right pain in the arse.

I find myself drawing up mental "top tens" for when this is all over - drinks, food (is a bacon butty higher than a steak, hmmm, difficult), recuperation destinations (in the UK), recuperation (non-UK) etc.

Drinks funnily enough right now is headed by a tall glass of fresh Spanish style orange juice with lots of ice. God I miss that satisfying "thirst quenching" experience that you get from a long cold drink.

Anyway, the bastards finally let me out Friday. It's good to be back. Service will slowly return to normal.

If you are one of the many that will have emailed me across the past few weeks, I haven't even dared look at my inbox yet, I will start to work my way through that in the coming days.