Ronny Allan: Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer during COVID-19 restrictions 6 – A story of footpath etiquette, sheep, donkeys and dopamine

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In the first update of this series, I explained that I kept my diary going, but again, only on my public Facebook page, so I was prompted to document these on my blog site to cater for those not on Facebook who only see what I produce in blog format. But it’s my intention to also post these on my other public Facebook sites. Because I was self isolating, Chris was also isolating under the rules and she was also feeling under the weather. During our self isolation period, the government ordered a “lock-down” (a bit like the shelter in place term used in USA) but out of self isolation, we were still allowed out for some exercise and other essential trips such as doctors appointments and shopping for essential items.

The second update is nice walk to a local beauty spot and back.

The third update is a potpourri of events including hair issues, broken tooth and my first COVID lockdown injection covering 14/15 Apr 2020.

The fourth update is a story of bikes, ponies, wisteria and Vitamin D covering 16th – 21st Apr 2020.

The fifth update is a story of  greenery, sun, adventure and Irrfan Khan covering 22nd – 29th Apr 2020.

30th April 2020

Well it’s raining and sunny – 55 minutes of rain then 5 minutes sun!

But we did manage a quick walk yesterday afternoon and I have a story about ‘ancient rights of way’ and sheep! The lead picture is a road on the outskirts of town – we have been trying hard to keep away from others and using quiet country lanes and/or footpaths has been our tactic since lockdown. We had previously reported a blocked public footpath which runs parallel to the road in the picture – it looks like the landowner has tried to put people off using it by breaking the ‘stile’ used to get over the fence. In UK, these are ancient rights of way, rights which have been built up over centuries. There’s a system of reporting in place and we were pleased to find yesterday that one end of this section has been re-opened/repaired and we await to see what will be done at the other end. A victory for citizen power and Mrs A who was running this campaign!

Later we were passing a farmer’s field containing sheep and noticed one of them was upside down struggling to get up. We had read about this happening so we knew the sheep would be in serious trouble if it didn’t upright itself. After seeking advice on a community Facebook group, it was confirmed a common occurrence and yes dangerous for the sheep concerned. We were then amazed to see another sheep nonchalantly wander up and nudge the upturned sheep about 3 times and up it went. Annoyingly no video clip of this sheep phenomenon. That all took around 20 minutes but Mrs A was determined to resolve the issue before we continued on our walk!

I hope you’re all managing OK in your respective lockdowns, I’d love to hear your stories of how you’re coping etc. In the meantime, please stay safe.

2nd May 2020

I was reflecting on why walking makes me feel better in the head.  Your emotions rely on 3 main hormones. One is dopamine, the achievement hormone. I have an article called “sometimes you gotta climb that hill”. It’s a metaphor for doing something difficult (i.e. it doesn’t have to be a hill). Click on the link above. This is a 2 year old post near Weston Super Mare in UK. We cycled to the bottom of this hill, there was a café – we needed a stimulant so tea and cake was in order ….. but after that, we realised we still had to go up the hill – thus my facial expression! You don’t want to do it, but dopamine helps you do it and you feel better after doing it. The hill in the picture wasn’t a big hill, but it hurt. The ’emotional impact’ at the top is borderline medicinal. Thanks dopamine (thanks also to serotonin and endorphins!)

3rd May 2020

Weather is not that great today but Wednesday onwards is looking superb. We managed a longish walk yesterday so this is a story of footpaths, lakes, donkeys and thatched roofs.

We have found so many isolated routes, after 8 years of living in this area, we’ve now managed to work out there’s a route from home to a place we normally drive to and park. So yesterday we tested it out – map and compass in pocket just to make sure.

We walked up our recently discovered isolated paths and into the New Forest proper which is mostly an open area with plenty of wildlife. It was great to see new arrivals to Mr and Mrs Donkey. Shortly after that, an interesting ridge feature on an old thatched roof cottage, past an ancient pub (google Alice Lisle) and then some wonderful pictures through the lakes towards home. Approx 5 miles.

Other stuff

I’ve been working on reorganising some of my Facebook pages, I had 5 and now down to 3. It would have been down to 2 but Facebook isn’t playing ball so will try again later. I’d like everyone to also ‘Like’ this linked page ➡️Neuroendocrine Cancer⬅️ but please don’t unlike it, I’ve spent some time building that up! And if you know anyone who might benefit from that page and/or this one, be sure to suggest it.

The lockdown has given me some time to look at a new software package I had to help convert my blogsite into a website. I’ve also been working on an A to Z facility and rather than just knock up a big long table which is a pain to keep up to date, I wanted to integrate it into my website where updating is much easier as I can then link to references etc. It’s proving to be more difficult than I thought but I’ve published a prototype version which will be useable for some but it’s far from being a complete project – I need to get the A to Z button ‘widget’ sorted and I need to populate short descriptions which will take weeks.  It does however link all my blog ‘tags’ to an article containing a description until I can populate them (although I have done the first few in the list as a prototype). It’s also prompted me to normalise and reduce the number of tags I use – see what I have so far clicking on A to Z – be gentle, it’s the beginning of a new project 👀

Private Group. There’s a constant stream of new members and discussions continue in this Facebook private group (click here to join). The group is quieter than usual but Neuroendocrine Cancer issues continue, people continue to be diagnosed and arrive in need of help – often just someone to listen. London and New York are the biggest two cities represented in the private group and I see them both in the headlines – please take care all.

Many thanks and stay safe

Thanks for reading

Ronny

I’m also active on Facebook. Like my page for even more news. I’m also building up this site here: Ronny Allan

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Ronny Allan: Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer during COVID-19 restrictions 7 – A story of swans, cycling, VE Day and my 124th monthly cancer treatment

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Share on pinterest Pinterest Share on whatsapp WhatsApp Share on email Email In the first update of this series,

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