Ronny Allan: Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer during COVID-19 restrictions (Episode 8) – a story of nurses, trees and Canada


12th May 2020

I had minimal exposure to nurses throughout the first 55 years of my life. I did spend a night in hospital when I was 16 having been knocked unconscious in the boxing ring (….you should’ve seen the other guy). Bar the odd mandatory injection, I avoided nurses (….and boxing) for many years after that. But now ……

Today is international nurses day. These guys have hit the headlines recently and many of us are dependant on them for ongoing care etc.

I’d like to publicly thank all the nurses and healthcare assistants who helped me get better and brought me here today – and who continue to watch my back!

Always thank your nurse, sometimes they’re the only one between you and a hearse!

12th May stared off OK with the Nurse thanks but then I received bad news about someone I’ve known since my diagnosis, mostly online. I was so sorry to hear about the passing of Tore Åsbu. Tore was one of the very first patients I actually met outside of my local area. We had already connected via the internet and quickly discovered a shared military interest. I eventually met him in Barcelona in 2017 and 2018.

He headed up the Norwegian NET Foundation and ran a European NET Group which he later agreed to subsume into my own online support group. He was involved at the international level too. Sincere condolences to his family.

RIP Tore

14th May 2020

An 11 mile cycle ride today. We cycled up the western border of the New Forest and Hampshire, through some lovely villages full of wild animals – they seem to live perfectly alongside humans! Headline statement for the ride is that we have never seen so many animals in a short space of time. Sub-headline – a horse decided to inspect my unattended bike (it’s a Harley…..) and emptied its bladder near the back wheel. I couldn’t retrieve the bike for a minute or two as they can be unpredictable and it wasn’t exactly a small beast. I can also tell you that a 24 hour urinary 5HIAA for a horse would probably need a 20 gallon container 😱😎😂🐎 We’ve been through these villages a hundred times in the car, we knew what to expect but so much better on a bike.

The UK slightly reduced the lockdown measures from yesterday so we saw more people than usual but I can honestly say everyone was maintaining social distancing – except one idiot who was feeding a donkey from a car window (in the New Forest that is a big no-no regardless of the virus)

We will continue doing what we always do, keep a wide berth of others and don’t touch anything that isn’t on our person. Some pictures for your visual feast.

See the rest of the pictures by clicking here

17th May 2020

A story of exploration, risk management and Canadian War Heroes.

The UK has relaxed some of it’s lockdown measures one of which is that we can now exercise for longer than the previously recommended 1 hour. So yesterday, we amazed ourselves with a 22.5 mile cycle ride, 66% of it on forest tracks. We were out for more than 3 hours, 2 hours of cycling and 1.5 hours of admiring the forest and its animals – we also took sandwiches and tea! The forest was busier than normal (as expected) but people appeared to be abiding by government advice on social distancing. To derisk, we chose routes we knew would be more isolated and the results of that you can see in the photo selection below.

We visited the Canadian War Memorial in the middle of the New Forest in 2014, so this was a return visit to pay our respects – I put some further explanation on the photos – check them out. Our last visit was just after a storm and we spent some time tidying up. 🇨🇦

Thanks for all the feedback on these updates, we enjoy our adventures out, I enjoy writing up these diary entries and if you guys enjoy reading and seeing the pictures, it’s double bubble!

See the rest of the pictures by clicking here

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.

My 12 lockdown episodes

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 a nice walk to a local beauty spot and back.

The third update is a potpourri of events including hair issues, a 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

The sixth update is a story of footpath etiquette, sheep, donkeys and dopamine covering 30th Apr – 3rd May 2020.

The seventh update is a story of swans, cycling, VE Day and my 124th monthly cancer treatment covering the period 6th – 11th May 2020.

The eighth update is a story of nurses, trees and Canada covering the period 12th – 17th May 2020.

The ninth update is a story of cream teas, peaks and blue sky covering the period 18th – 23rd May 2020.

The tenth update is a story of the Wall, Swans, Dundee and New Forest History, covering the period 26th – 29th May 2020.

The eleventh update is a story of Walking the Wall, coping strategies and the London Ga68 PET, covering the period 30th May – 5th June 2020.

The twelfth update is a story of surviving, cycling, Scottish holiday memories including the ‘Fairy Pools’, covering the period 7th – 15th June 2020. 


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