Huddersfield-born Nadio Granata is a chef turned marketing, PR and publishing guru who now lives on a house boat on the Thames. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with throat cancer. He’s charting his cancer journey with a blog and we’re re-publishing some of them here.
The good news is that Nadio has rung the hospital bell to mark the end of his gruelling radiotherapy treatment but he says the symptoms could get worse before they get better. Friends recorded an emotional video as he made a speech and toasted the latest stage of his recovery.
Nadio is keen to show his ‘warts and all’ experience to give hope, inspiration and a dose of reality as he fights back from the Big C. It’s not for the faint-hearted and the language can be industrial at times, so you’ve been warned!
Nadio writes: The purpose of this blog is twofold. One, is entirely selfish. I make no apology for not wanting to ‘suffer in silence’ and therefore chose to write a blog to capture and save those ‘as-they-happen’ feelings and instances that I hope will punctuate my journey back to full health.
Regardless of whether they are positive landmarks of success or perhaps less positive but nonetheless meaningful and relevant to my reader.
And secondly, I wanted to provide a running commentary from the patient’s perspective as opposed to those leaflets or YouTube videos you can download about how to cope with cancer treatment. I am sure they are highly interesting but they’re just not my bag.
And so, to this blog. This is a ‘typical’ day from my six weeks of treatment.
My day always starts with a glance at my Google calendar before going to bed the night before.
Working from home, during the pandemic, has become the norm for many of us and I have been doing this for over two years now.
My career as a marketing director with my own company and co-founder of a Think Tank, enables me to work from practically anywhere at any time.
Whilst this has huge advantages when dealing with cancer treatments, it does require even some basic time management skills such as making sure I know what’s in the diary before I go to bed!
My sleeping patterns have significantly improved over the course of the treatment. Those early nights of coughing and spluttering the whole night, have been swapped to a good, heavy, morphine-induced sleep with zero toilet breaks or other interruptions other than the occasional bout of very painful hiccups.
My last radiotherapy session of the week was booked in for 8.24am so I actually had to schedule my alarm clock for 7am to allow time to shower and do my morning meds before grabbing an Uber electric bike and cycling the three miles to Charing Cross Hospital.
Friday’s radiotherapy session is always the best. Straight in to the waiting room, confirm my name and address and then through to the treatment area.
Stripping off to the waist, whilst my mask is unpacked, the bed settings are adjusted and my Beatles playlist is uploaded.
I am guided into place by the nursing staff, paying particular attention to the narrow green laser which indicates the central point.
Slowly the mask is placed over the face. One last gulp. Lick the lips. Breath out.
Let’s do it.
Some 20 minutes later I am back on the road, hunting for another Uber battery powered bike to get me home.
11:00-13:00 is spent tidying up the boat, responding to my business emails and general chores whilst I have the energy.
13:00-14:00 is spent taking my meds and my main feed for the day. I lay out all the different potions along with various glasses and syringes which I then fill with this sticky, sugary cocktail. Starting with a fresh water flush, I insert about 50mls into the syringe which I then attach to the valve on the end of the flexi pipe sticking out of my stomach.
A few seconds later and it is already making its refreshing way through the stomach and into my digestive system.
I then follow this with 2 x bottles of Endure. It’s sticky, sweet and smelly but essential in the battle to stop the weight loss and keep my energy levels up.
14:00-14:45 Business call with India. My role as a marketing consultant to tech companies is extremely varied. Most recently, due to the limitations brought about by my treatment, I tend to focus on writing White Papers and consulting on strategic partnerships where I can bring gamechangers together.
Fortunately, much of this can be facilitated remotely and with the wonderful support of my client and associates, and my use of Post It notes, we are still getting great results.
15:00-16:00 Business call with Age of Human Think Tank. Putting humanity back at the centre of business is a personal passion of mine and together with some extremely clever people, we have kicked off a global movement to achieve this aim.
This call was limited to myself and co-founder Steve Cook who provided a whirlwind update on some of the initiatives we are actively working with and specifically our roles as I recover and take up more of the reigns.
16:00-17:00 Exercise. Two hours of intense meetings, even with limited contributions from me, can be exhausting. I use the next hour to slip on my flip flops and grab some sunshine whilst walking a couple of loops of the marina.
17:00-18:00 Emails and social media catch up. I use this time to wrap up any loose ends, quick follow-ups from previous calls and prepare an empty desk (head) for the weekend.
The chemo after effects have already kicked in and I have guests staying over the weekend so it’s important to be prepared as much as possible to ensure they too get value from their visit.