Added: 23-2-2007

Ah Copenhagen. Back where it all began. Cheap Netto Chardonay in my hand, Theo Parrish on the stereo, a comfortable sofa and a view out of a 5th floor window onto snow covered Gormenghast roofs. Off to my left is a giant unit of vinyl, ordered as only a librarian can. Usually when I stay in Copenhagen these days it’s on someone’s floor – this time I’m in luxury at my library friend Andrew’s flat in Nørrebro and all is good.

I’m back because it’s presentation time and next Tuesday Dave and I will talk about all things America at the sociology department of the University. While the talk will at first glance resemble an interminable holiday slideshow it will of course be a tour de force in understanding our American cousins through the medium of walking. At least thats what I’m telling myself…

This is a shorter journal entry than I imagined because I just managed to lose the previous one I spent the last 25 minutes writing. That one was much better, with superb musings on how Denmark still has seasons and things to do, and England has “Bugger me! Snow!” and no decent places to eat in Herne Bay. If Dave was here now I’m sure he’d have things to say about that. Unfortunately, he’s not arriving until Monday but if this was an awards show I’m postiive he’d be blogging via satellite from his secure unit somewhere deep in Croydon. Despite his best efforts he failed to find a giant native American to bust him out and now he has to wait until he is released on Saturday evening before he can get his flight. I’m looking forward to meeting again – I haven’t seen him since we landed at Heathrow on the OhShitI’mOne ManDown Express and the driver from the insurance company refused to take him in my taxi despite his first destination being on our route.

Anyway, losing a journal entry really takes it out of you. It’s cold here in Denmark, there’s snow everywhere and it’s great. More soon…

Stuart                            Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

yes, yes

Added: 14-2-2007

yes, yes. some technical difficulties somewhat. its ther now and i will try and add daily for those 3 or 4 people with a fascination for inactivity.

Dave                            Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

Status report

Added: 13-2-2007

So here’s the plan. We finished the first stage of the walk, then I got cancer. Not the end we wanted, but there you go. Since then we’ve returned to the UK and got back on with our lives, me with monthly blood tests, Dave with a quest for financial security that has now led him to a hospital in Croydon (Dave, hurry up with that promised Journal entry mate, the people want to know what you’re having pumped into you!). The walk alternately seems a long time ago and as-if-it-was-just-yesterday to me, but after watching Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s Long Way Round DVD this week I realised I cannot wait to get back out there and finish our ridiculous trek off.

Therefore some planning needs to be done. I am basically now on what is called a surveillance program for my cancer situation, which means I have to have monthly blood tests and chest x-rays, and quarterly CT scans in order to check whether the little bugger has come back. So far my blood tests have showed normal tumour marker levels and my one CT scan has come back clear. Sighs of relief all round then, but things don’t get any easier. I need to keep having these tests for the next few years (although the CT scans will become quarterly and then six monthly). The big questions is: where does this leave the walk?

Well, I feel good. Very good. Physically I”m fit as a fiddle, as Master Ace once said, and very much enjoying this winter break as it is giving me time to read up on my history of the US and prepare articles, presentations and eventually a book proposal for an as yet undiscovered brave publisher. I am therefore proposing to carry on as normal, and get the walk back online this year. It’s a gamble, but when the alternative is to sit around and wait for a possible recurrence (according to my doc I am rocking about a 40% chance of recurrence, not so good but then it means a 60% chance of nothing coming back (duh)), I think I know which side I want my bread buttered on. We must get back out there, and complete what we set out to do.

So, as I said, here’s the plan. I need to carry on with these checkups. If something recurs while I am in the UK it’s simple – chemo for me (and, sadly, if it recurs in the US, back home I come. But whaddya gonna do?). But if I can get through the February, March and April tests then things start looking better, and I’ll get on a plane come May 1st. What about the tests, I hear you chorus. Well, this is the thing. I am proposing to take my surveillance regime abroad, take it on tour, get it out there and in the clean fresh air of Kansas, the Rockies and further west. How to do this? Careful liaison with my UK and US doctors for a start. However, the extra hurdle is that the good old US of A has a kinda not-free-at-the-point-of-delivery health service, as we all know (I certainly do, seeing as I was approached for my insurance details while lying half-clothed on a gurney in the GWU emergency room), and I’m going to need some help with getting my medical costs covered.

What sort of help, and who is with me? I need at most six blood tests and x-rays paid for, and likely 2 CT scans. I can get these at hospitals on the way. How much does this cost? Frightening amounts for the scans no doubt. But I’m gonna try to do this. I cannot sit around being the Man Who Walked Halfway Across America. That’s just not a good pub story, and I live for pub stories. First of all I am writing this here to see if anyone reading it has any advice for me on where I might get financial help from to do this thing, or any advice at all on how to proceed. I have already identified Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation as a potential partner, an organisiation that I think a partnership with would be ideal, completely perfect (Lance is like the patron saint of all TC people). I’m approaching the Foundation to see if they can help. I have to be broad though, so if anyone has any ideas, or  thousands of dollars lying around, please get back to me via the email at the bottom of the page or the Guestbook.

So now I have something to write about – my quest for cash/help. More to come as soon as I know it…

Dave, now speak to your people. You’re lying around in bed all day getting paid for it, right?

Stuart                                Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

Online announcement

Added: 12-2-2007

Very quick journal entry this one. Just to let anyone in the general area of Scandinavia (especially Denmark) that the announcement for our February 27th presentation can now be found here and here. At this point we don’t have money to fund travel grants to come and see us prattle on about rubbish, but we are reliably informed by the organisers that there will be free coffee. Free coffee people, it rarely gets better than that.

More soon when I have more than two minutes left on a library computer…

Stuart                                Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

Conferences and papers

Added: 2-2-2007 1

Site down there for a while folks – we’ve moved to a new web hotel. As we are still planning on getting some upgrades to the site (changing that silly photo of us on the front page, making the Gallery easier to navigate, actually having a route on the ‘Route’ page etc.) we figured this was a good thing to do as our webmaster has his own hosting service and we can keep it all in the family, like.

anyway, apologies for those of you who tried to get in, and many thanks for people who got in touch to say we had disappeared. also – if anyone has tried to email Dave or myself at our email addresses in the last week it is very unlikely that we received anything. please re-send all messages relating to general issues, encouragement, life-threatening conditions and large transfers of money from African bank accounts (that’s you, Prince Tony Prince)

now some extremely exciting news that will undoubtedly have lots of people booking plane tickets to Denmark. At the kind invitation of the Sociology Department at the University of Copenhagen, Dave and I will be giving a presentation on our walk on the 27th of February to assembled students, movers and shakers and top models (Location and time: 19.00 Tuesday, February 27, 2007. CSS room 1.1.18). We’ve got an hour or so to wow people with our pictures and our insights, and then there’s free coffee. Following that it’s a free for all as we take questions and crack bad jokes. everyone can come, hope to see you all there, Denmark’s a lovely place, let’s do it. February 27 people, more news as it comes in…

oh, and I’ve also completed an article on the walk for the BuB library journal in Germany and let me tell you, library journals in Germany don’t come much bigger than BuB. the article in, er, German, will be in the March edition of the journal but I’ll post it on here in the Project section soon…

Stuart                                   Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

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