A celebration for Guy: dates and details

At last, we have a date for you.

Friends, colleagues and professional acquaintances are invited to give Guy a good old send off. We've booked the main hall at his sailing club near the family home in Norf London from 5pm til 9pm on Friday June 25th.   This is the place.

There will be beer, BBQ and boats (to look at, at least), which I think the man himself would have liked.

There is (limited) parking, and Manor House tube station is a brisk five minute stroll away.

There is also a perfectly acceptable pub, The Brownswood Tavern, a mere two minute stroll from the reservoir, for post-party beering.

A map is here. Directions from the tube are easy peasy: once out of Manor House tube, walk down hill along Green Lanes (ensuring first that you are on Green Lanes and NOT Seven Sisters Road) until you see a castle on the LHS. This is where the party is.

I've set up an email especially for RSVPs. Ingeniously, I have chosen to call it guykewney.celebration (AT) It would help to get an idea of numbers, so if yoou are RSVP-ing on behalf of more than one person, let me know. Otherwise we'll run out of beer.

We're also opening a memory book, so if you have any photos or have written anything or have thoughts about Guy that you want to bring along (hard copy), we'll be collecting those as you arrive and making up a folder on the day.

We'd love to see you there. 


PS: anything else you need to know, ask me on the new gmail account, or here.

Memorial Service

Hi everyone,

It has always been our intention to hold a memorial knees-up for Guy for his industry friends to come to. Especially people who are not able to make it to the funeral on the 22nd.

The original plan, which seemed sensible at the time, was to hold this on his birthday, April 30th. However, the reality of trying to organise two big events after such a traumatic loss has now sunk in and we are putting the memorial planning on hold until after the funeral. There is just too much paperwork to get through!

We are now thinking of arranging something for the end of May as a more realistic timetable. We have some ideas, but all suggestions are welcome. 

In the meantime, if you want to raise a glass to Guy on the 30th, please do so in the full and certain knowledge that there will be more to come.


Funeral Details

Hi all,

Before I get to the details I must thank everyone for the kind words and messages of support over the last few days. It has been very sad but wonderful to be able to page through all your messages and memories of my dad.

Guy's funeral will be held at the Islington and St. Pancras cemetery (which is in East Finchley, obviously...) on April 22nd. The service will be in the chapel and will start at 1pm. All are welcome to come to the service and say goodbye to Guy. It will be family only at the graveside.

Flowers are welcome, or donations to Marie Curie, St. Joseph's Hospice, Mare Street E8, or Macmillans. 

Thanks again, from all of us.


So long and thanks for all the fish.

It could only ever be that subject line, really.

I am sorrier than I can say to report that Guy died tonight, about an hour ago. I'm updating here because I can't think of anything else to do. Please keep Mary especially in your thoughts.


Smoke 'em if you've got 'em...

 Hi all,

Keep Guy in your thoughts, if you think them, prayers if you pray them, and hearts if you can find room. I think we're pretty much on the final run in, now. Guy's on a morphine drip after a fall at home today, and very shaken. So we're all just hoping that whatever is to come is as smooth and painless as it can be.

Thanks for all the support and kind words so far. It means a lot. More than you could ever know.


Twinkle twinkle little bat

 Hi all,

It has been a hell of a week, chez Kewney, by all accounts, but Guy is still Guy, and is hanging in there in a very relaxed fashion. He says dreams and reality are intertwining themselves from time to time, and that healthwise, he has no real sense of anything very much at all, but he suspects the primary of acting up. But his mood is calm and if not exactly upbeat, as good as anyone could possibly expect.

Messages from friends are good, phone calls welcome but will have to be well-timed to catch him awake. Perhaps he is a dormouse, rather than a hunkymouse these days. 

He also mentioned Tebbo's memory board has been very sustaining, so any extra thoughts will be very welcome there.


Lucy the Daughtermouse.

Winding down? or just a slow day?

Yesterday was busy. We had the Family Team in; Alice and her Martin stopped by to move my bed to a more accessible position. A heck of a logistics effort, speedily and smoothly done! and backed up by Lucy and Tom and Maggie, Mary's sister.

But it did require me to get out of bed, and get down stairs - which I did, and which took quite an effort. And after that, I was, naturally, quite tired. So not too surprising to me to find myself low on energy today and also, not particularly hungry, either. So I started gently, had two bits of toast, ate my pills like a good lad, and did a bit of trypewriter work and listened to the Andrew Marr show on Radio Four, and then - dozed off.

My oncologist rang, saying that the blood tests really didn't show anything either wonderful or worrying about them, and was more interesting in "How do you feel?" to which the answer is "Quite relaxed, not very energetic, taking the day easily..." and so on.

That is, really, pretty much what I'd expect in the final stages of a terminal illness: a sense of fading purpose, a sense of reducing energy, and a sense of withdrawal. Especially with the organ affected being the liver, and everybody I know having a cold, and my doctor has sent out for antibiotics "just in case" and a couple of peaks in temperature to around 101 F - nicely brought down by paracetamol - confirming her in making this a priority. So, no prognosis one way or another, but "there could be residual infection, so let's stamp on it."

If that's what it is, I'll gradually  improve and start to feel a bit better, and in that case, I may have a couple of months of gentle recovery before the end. If it's just "slowing down for the last station" then I might have a couple of weeks and just "fade to grey" as the final script directive. Either way, I know my place ("bottom of page 94, sir!") and neither script is worrying me. Heck, I may even have a surprise!

[Turns page...]
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Sorry, whoever you are...!

Somewhere in the London 020 area I suspect there is a very puzzled citizen.

Around 4 PM Friday, my oncologist rang me at home, to bring me up to date on the latest blood test results. She left a message when I didn't answer. But the system, despite having 1571 and a built-in voicemail for the DECT phone, recorded no missed call, nor any message.

MIs-routing is the most probable diagnosis, obviously. A one-way call could be the problem; one end can hear, the other can speak - no voice to record. But the end result is: no blood tests results, till Monday.

Latest mild concern: eurethra. I don't doubt the kidneys are under strain, but the symptoms are that all this "hi-Tango" wee is causing a restriction to the drain from the bladder. I'm having to stand up to pee. Well, I do a little pee sitting down, then it stops. Then I stand, and (obviously!) turn round; and do another pee and get lots more out. Then I sit down, and suddenly, there's more!

At this stage, I'm going to not panic. I'll take the view that as the bile in my system reduces, this problem will reduce, too. But that could easily be two or three weeks of dark brown widdle, so it's pointless expecting any sort of diagnosis unless it becomes a real blockage. That would be a rapid A&E trip, and a catheter job. Not welcome! So cross everything.

Further bulletins as events warrant...
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So THAT is what an opiate fees like...

It has been a truly horrid week; stomach cramps, weakness, exhaustion, and dread. I really, truly, didn't appreciate what effect an endoscopy can have on a human in poor health; I expected to just get better.

Still no data on how the jaundice is going. We did have a blood test yesterday; results tomorrow will give a clue. But getting my digestive system working again is the hard part; it's really tough work just eating. And in the last two days, I've had cramps, and colic, and yesterday, I asked the doctor for something stronger than paracetamol or ibuprofen. "What do you need?" she asked.

When I was in UCH, they gave me Tramadol. It turns out to be "a powerful painkiller, but also a mild opiate," according to Gerard, the hospice nurse. "OK" she said, and wrote a prescription; we brought it home from the blood test,  and when I went to bed, and Mary said: "How's the cramping?" I said: "Ibuprofen isn't enough. Let's try the Tramadol."

It took a subjective two hours to kick in.

On the clock face, 20 minutes, but I was not looking at that; I was just crampinng. "Can I take two?"

Apparently, yes. So I took the second, and went to sleep without any discomfort whatever, waking up every hour just to have a drink, and then straight back into sleep (sometimes, obviously, via the loo!) and dreams of being asleep.

Today, the sedative effects were still pretty obvious when Mary brought me breakfast. Not ravenously hungry, I just ate a slice of toast and jam, and am eroding a banana with my teeth in a casual sort of way, and in an hour or so, I'll take another. Gerard recommends spending a week taking three a day, and then "review it" - but fundamentally, it's not going to harm me to take it longer, so I'll take it on the grounds of comfort and relaxation, and carry on smiling at everybody who has had to endure my cramped grimaces for the last week.

Tomorrow, the test results; we'll  know more about how the jaundice is developing. Otherwise,  no news is good news if you're mildly sedated and feeling no pain. I shall relax, recuperate as much as possible, and await developments.  But yesterday, I just wanted to crawl into a dark little hole and die; today, I'm cheerful and comfortable.

Works for me...
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