26 May - A summit reached

On Sunday I completed a five mile walk that included one of Lakeland's lesser summits. I think I probably overdid it a bit. We did complete the last section up hill from Cockermouth town centre to home in a taxi. But despite that I am pleased with what I accomplished,

Before setting off I was anything but sure I would get all the way to the summit which is 254m high. I was surprised how well my legs felt. I certainly walked a lot slower than I used to do but I didn't find the ascent at all taxing. It was only on the final couple of hundred metres that I began to tire. The sight of the summit spurred me on until we reached it.

I should have been overjoyed at having accomplished this, my first fell walk since discovering that I had a brain tumour. But my happiness was marred by the discovery that one problem that has occurred since my treatment does not appear to be going away. My sense of balance is hopeless.

I am like a toddler who has just learned to walk but hasn't completely mastered it. Except I am rather a large toddler. Although I manage to avoid falling over with the help of my walking stick I panic when I have to negotiate uneven ground, and usually need Olga's hand for additional support. Two walking sticks might help, though I have always preferred to keep one hand free and regard an additional stick as an encumbrance.

I think I have heard others who have had brain surgery and radiotherapy mention balance problems. It may be an effect of the radiotherapy as I don't recall having a balance problem in my first weeks of recovery. I have mentioned it to my oncologist and he asks me about it but doesn't pass any further comment. I am afraid that some part of my brain has been irreparably damaged and that no matter how well my fitness may improve I will never be rid of this problem.

14 May - My 60th Birthday

Olga and I on my 60th birthday
Today I turn 60 years of age. Never mind the health issues. Today I feel great and so lucky to be alive and living in such a lovely place with my wonderful wife Olga. My heartfelt thanks to all my readers and wellwishers.

11 May - DVLA replies

After my last appointment with my consultant oncologist, who seemed satisfied that I would be able to drive, I wrote to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) enclosing the completed forms that they had sent me after my earlier enquiry several months ago to reapply for my driving license. Today I received a reply.

The reply said that they had written to my consultant and expected a reply "within six weeks." The rest of the letter seemed designed to prepare me to wait a long time. Their enquiries "can take some time to complete" it said. The rest of the letter could be summed up as "don't contact us, we will contact you."

Only in my wildest dreams did I expect the letter would contain a new driving license. But the knowledge that I will need to wait weeks before I get any nearer to getting back on the road is quite depressing.