North of the wall is a dangerous place – you must never go there!


There was a 60 minute silence last night as another episode of Game of Thrones was aired.  Not a Facebook post or tweet in sight.  This has to be ‘up there’ in a list of the best TV series ever?  Don’t know about you but I’m sometimes confused about who is who and how they are related and/or connected!  (see useful chart at the bottom of this post)

Chris and I love the introduction bit.  She likes the music, I like the geography.  There are some obvious correlations there, e.g. ‘The Wall’ is meant to relate to Hadrian’s Wall with those horrible barbarian Scots to the north 🙂  Thank God Hadrian’s Wall and the climate in particular, isn’t as bad as portrayed on GOT!  

I did contemplate using ‘trousers’ as the theme of today’s blog following some interesting banter on my Facebook page.  The debate centred on the type of causal clothing one should wear if one is of a certain age. Most of the debaters were ex-military which made for some interesting input followed by even more interesting output!   Anyway…. having recently reduced from a 32″ to a 30″ waist, I made the trip down town today to buy some new jeans and came back with nothing, the ones I really liked seemed to either start at 32″ waist or did not include a short leg option.

However, Chris and I did manage to pick up two suitcase  bargains in the Debenhams sale.  For the last 6 holidays we have been enviously watching all those flash people with their ‘push along’ suitcases whilst we huff and puff behind them with our 1980s luggage.   ‘Roll on’ Gatwick next month!   

I’ve skipped a couple of days worth of A to Z terms so need to catch up.  Read on as I know from feedback that quite a lot of you guys enjoy my ‘layperson’ explanations of complex medical stuff!  Two important ‘techy’ bits here to cover the ‘M’ and ‘N’ components of my A to Z.

Metastatic Cancer

In a nutshell, Metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread from the part of the body where it started (the primary site) to other parts of the body. When cancer cells break away from a tumour, they can travel to other areas of the body through the bloodstream or the lymph system.  The spread of a cancer is often described in terms of a ‘stage’.  This shouldn’t be confused with ‘grade’ which is normally how aggressive a cancer is – I talked about this in my blog of 11 May.  Staging and Grading for Neuroendocrine Cancer can be complex and there doesn’t appear to be a standard that all NET centres adhere to. There is a complex grading system proposed for Neuroendocrine Cancer known as TNM (Tumour, Node, Metastasis) but mostly it’s still referenced by the simple Stage 0 to IV (0 to 4) model.  For some types of Neuroendocrine Cancer there appears to be an even simpler model of ‘Local’, ‘Regional’ and ‘Metastatic’.   My stage is ‘Metastatic’, Stage IV or TNM – T4N2M1 depending on which one is being used.


Appears to be pronounced ‘….crin’ which was a revelation for me after 12 months!   I had never heard of this word until it had been imprinted all over my internal workings!  It’s amazing how much of the human body we take for granted.  The neuroendocrine system is made up of the nervous system and the endocrine system. The systems work together to keep your body functioning regularly. Neuroendocrine describes certain cells that release hormones into the blood in response to stimulation of the nervous system; i.e.

  • Your brain sends signals to your nervous system that control various body functions 
  • Some messages are sent to the glands of the endocrine system. These include the pancreas, hypothalamus, thyroid and parathyroid, pituitary gland, adrenal glands, ovaries, and testes.
  • These glands release hormones that control important body functions, such as growth, metabolism, reproduction, and response to stress or injury.

Sometimes neuroendocrine cells can become cancerous and in certain types (mainly Carcinoid), it can result in the neuroendocrine system secreting excess hormones which will create dangerous problems for sufferers.   This is one of the reasons I now avoid alcohol, very large meals, certain types of food and stress…….. so if you’re out for a meal with me and you notice the bill is exorbitant, don’t let me see it 🙂

I went on to produce a blog explaining the word ‘Neuroendocrine’ to  laypersons – you can read this here:  CLICK

Don’t forget to check out the GOT chart below!

Thanks for reading

Ronny Allan

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