Categories
Leukaemia

Treatment Latest

I have only one week remaining in Phase III of my initial
treatment. Once that is completed, there are a few weeks
recovery followed by the Bone Marrow Transplat procedure.
However, the last week of Phase III has been held up
as my platelet level (a blood cell that enables clotting)
is too low (66 when it needs to be above 100). My schedule
has been pushed back a week already, and if the platelet
level is not above 100 by Monday, then it’s time for
another Bone Marrow Aspiration to see what’s going on.
I have already filmed one of these (“My Aspiration” video)
so am not desperate to have another, but if that’s what’s
needed, so be it. If my platelet levels are above 100
then I continue with my final week of chemo in Phase
III. Then it’s goodbye to Charing Cross Hospital (hopefully
for ever) and on to Bone Marrow Transplant at Hammersmith
Hospital in late March. So fingers crossed, let’s hope
that the low levels are just the cumulative effects of
all the chemo and nothing too concerning. Onward!

Kind Souls

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the very,
very kind souls who have organized concerts to support
my chosen charities. They are:

Martin May, Valerie May and their associates on Saturday
19th February who are playing in Haddenham in support
of the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Colchester Institute Guitar Department under the direction
of Tim Pells are playing in the Head Gate Theatre, Colchester
on February 28th in support of the Leukaemia Research
Fund.

Renegade Big Band, 7th February at RAM, who raised a
fantastic

Categories
Leukaemia

Hello Milt-Heads!

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and I’ve slept like a trooper. (A particularly sleepy trooper on valium).

It’s Valentine’s Day Eve.

I would like to encourage all visitors to send loads of valentine messages to your friends & lovers this year. You KNOW it feels good receiving them, be honest now…

Fizzy Fingers & Tingling Toes

The effects of the vincristine chemotherapy have still not abated. My fingers are just as numb and tingly as 4 weeks ago. It is most evident doing fiddly jobs: opening packets, turning pages and PLAYING GUITAR. Oh well, vincristine saved my life in Phase I so can’t really complain – I will keep you updated on the latest developments: FingerWatch…

Heaven Forbid

Okay very dangerous territory here. Lethal. But I would like to talk a little about religion. Now, I know people can become fiercely upset about this subject; even taking up arms to defend a point of view, so I will apologize in advance for any offence my personal opinion might have on the reader’s sensibilities.

I would have to say that I lie somewhere between the atheist and agnostic camps. I see such beauty in the world and at times I imagine that there is some order to the universe, but in general I do not sense the presence of an omniscient, benign entity keeping tally on our little lives and readying the scales for the after-life: Accept HIM and avoid the eternal barbeque etc.

This does not mean I don’t believe in the value of faith, compassion, morality and spirituality. However, I have never seen such things as dependent upon a belief in a G-dude – but hey that’s me. In fact, perhaps these are INDEPENDENT values from religion – we all know what damage can be done in the name of most religions.

I also fully admit that I know NOTHING and believe very little. Which means that I am completely open to suggestions and am not hanging onto any belief (or non-belief). So I am ready to listen to any ideas people have: the world was created in seven days, an after-life, water/wine tricks, karma, dinosaur-fossils as “faith-testers”, elephants with special powers, the A-team and so on. Really I am.

What I have difficulty in accepting is that any human, or group of humans on earth have THE ANSWER. How can they know for sure? Faith? Well there exist people with equally strong faith with completely different beliefs – so who’s right? I humbly suggest no-one.

I always wondered when it got down to it and my life was on the line, would I pray to a newly-found God. Well, I know the answer to that.

I didn’t and I don’t. (gasp)

The only belief I felt was that in my lust for life, joy of music and love for my family and friends.

I have the utmost respect for everyone’s opinion (clearly the greatest art has been created with the love of God in the heart). However, I do not relate to:

  • The need to impose one’s belief on others, door-to-door or otherwise
  • The belief that one book holds the truth and if you haven’t read it or don’t believe it, tough tutus, it’s eternal toasted crumpets for you.
  • The ‘fear’ of holding a differing opinion. Following a religion ‘just in case’ it is true. I call that ‘After-Life Insurance’ and surely an ominscient geezer would see right through that trick fairly sharpish.
  • I wouldn’t want to believe in a God that ‘saves’ people who accept some doctrine without questioning it and ‘damns’ those with independence of thought or the courage to think differently.

What I do know is that I believe in, and love: life, music, people, nature and creativity.

I am not sure if I am a ‘good’ person, I just do what feels right to me and I do my best to appreciate the life that I have been given. Clearly, I make many, many mistakes and have done regrettable things in my life. If my thoughts means no harp & wings and a mighty long time in the furnace, then so be it. At least it will make a change from the bloody English weather.

Love, peace and good will to you all – my friends, everywhere.

Milton

Categories
Leukaemia

Report from the Cancer front-line

2 months post-diagnosis, I thought I might share various thoughts on the “cancer battle”. The following, of course, represents my own personal views and I can’t speak for the entire cancer community, but I speak as honestly and directly as I can.

It’s a Lovely War

In many ways, once diagnosed I felt as if I had been enlisted into an army fighting the evil C empire. Living in an acute/terminal ward, to put it delicately, ‘rooms become available’. Or, as Tim puts it, people ‘go up to the 20th floor’. Death is everywhere and it is astonishing how quickly one gets used to it. Of course it is terrible to hear of a death, and to witness a family mourning, but very quickly one refocuses and gets back to the matter at hand: one’s own survival. There is also a sense of camaraderie among fellow patients and a mutual moral support system that arises, just as I imagine arises in a battling army. The haircuts are remarkably similar as well.

Alone Together

It seems paradoxical that despite the completely overwhelming and miraculous support from family, friends and wonderful strangers, I face the core of this challenge alone: My body, my mind, my mortality and my life. So at once cancer has brought me a level of interconnectedness with humanity and a degree of autonomy previously unimaginable. It feels as if the love and wishes of many give me the strength to face this challenge alone and without fear. And I’m not scared- I know I ‘should’ be – but I am not.

Healthy Living

I am a non-smoker, rarely drink (as anybody who has drunk with me will attest), am a ‘healthy eater’ and before my diagnosis exercised daily. So why did this happen to me? “No idea,” my doctors, who happen to be very intelligent and learned, say. So will I become one of those examples cited by smokers and drinkers as a reason to continue with an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’? Quite possibly. However, if I get through this, I will continue living as healthily as my commitment will allow. Why? Well two reasons:

  1. Quality of Life. I prefer to live without, for example, a dependence of cigarettes and the associated breathing difficulties. Even if I knew I would never contract a life-threatening disease from smoking, I would not choose to do it.
  2. If anything happens… I would not like to have entered the first few weeks of my treatment without healthy lungs, liver and kidneys. No way. No siree bob. If cancer IS completely random, then it could hit anybody at any time; and if it does hit, trust me, you want us much going for you as possible.

Soldiering On

I just want to live. I am nowhere near finished with what I want to do on this planet, and to leave now… well, it would be just untidy and rather rude. So I’ll do what I can, I’ll take any treatment to give me every chance of getting through this. A side-effect of one of my chemotherapy treatments is numbness and tingling of the fingertips. I have this and have no guarantee that it will go away. You know how much I love playing the guitar, but if that’s what’s needed to live, bring it on! As I have mentioned before, my priorities have now become concrete. Many things in life, are laughably unimportant. But the stuff that I value now – I will never stop fighting for.

Love & Peace,
Milton

Categories
Leukaemia

Report from the Cancer front-line

New track – ‘Chemo Burn’ is up!! Check it out on the music page now!

Categories
Leukaemia

Report from the Cancer front-line

To mark the passing of the one-month anniversary of MiltCentral.com, I felt it opportune to write a short message to you all outlining my current medical situation.

First of all, as always, I must thank you for the incredible love & support I have received around the world from family, friends & ‘strangers’. It is deeply appreciated and inexpressibly powerful. Thank you all!

I have just reached the end of Phase II of my chemo treatment. Phase I (4-5 weeks), you may recall, dealt with the initial leukaemic condition and continued with weekly chemo sessions interspersed with many L-Aspaganase injections (The painful ‘arse-shots’ that the international community seemed to enjoy me receiving!)

At the end of Phase I, I was in ‘remission’; there was no visible evidence of leukaemia in my body. This is, of course, good news but is nothing resembling cure. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) tends to come back and fast – it is generally just a matter of time before it returns after remission.

Phase II was heavy: 11 doses of chemo received in 6 days straight. Fairly tough going, made slightly more surreal by writing, recording and filming the Christmas single & video in the middle of it all! This was followed by a 3-4 week recovery period, when my flattened blood levels were allowed to return to normal. During this period a truckload of antibiotics were administered to help protect me form the countless germs out there.

I am very pleased to announce today’s neutrophil level as 1.1! This not only marks the end of Phase II, but because of a fast recovery, I have the added bonus of a week at home! I haven’t been home for almost two months, and haven’t even left the ROOM for 3 weeks!

Phase III starting on 24/1/05 is a 4-week session starting with a delightful 24-hour chemo session. After Phase III, we embark on the grand finale: Bone Marrow Transplant. This is, in its entirety, a 3-6 month process and I will be documenting it fully.

Am I scared? Nah…

Best wishes and love to you all,

Milton
x

Categories
Leukaemia

So long, farewell, it’s time to say goodbyeee…

Milton has finally given that infection the kick up the arse it deserves! He is feeling much better for it and thanks everyone for their support. Incidentally he may get knocked down, but he seems to GET UP AGAIN!

Milton Breaks Through!!!
To top it all, the 0.0 neutrophil count curse has been broken. On Tuesday, Milton has a staggering count of 0.1! Once it hits the big 1.0, he can even leave the room for a while! These may seem trifling rewards, but trust us, they are not!

Virtual School of Rock
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Milton taught at the Royal Academy of Music via webcam! These were review sessions before Friday’s exam (which was completed in the ward). “The students were delighted,” Milton said.

Blood Blips
Milton has been composing abstract electronic music completely based on his blood results. Daily values are interpreted into musical data. Every sound is there because of a reading. Milton chose how each blood level links to each musical value and then it was a “hands-off” approach. Each day represents a bar, and each bar is one second long, mapping his medical history, clearly. Check it out, on the music page, just don’t expect Mozart!

Landmark Video
Milton’s new video is one of his favourites and breaks the mould of the whole Chemotherapy/Hospital Ward/Cancer film genre. Not to be missed…

Categories
Leukaemia

Happy New Year Everybody from all at MiltCentral!

We start the year with an incredible 14,000 visits!

And since it’s a new year, we’ve got new videos and a new competition!

Milton’s neutrophil level is rock bottom(0.0), which means few visitors and low energy, but he’s feeling better all the time. Just consuming his 12th bag of blood overall – all you people who donated: you are making a real positive difference to other peoples’ lives. Rock on!

Bridget, Jimi, Milton and his mum spent a lovely New Year’s Eve jamming jazz standards (okay, not Milton’s mum) and watching the incredible firework display over London.

Milton is presently struggling with infection – but is determined to get through with as little discomfort as possible. He is still editing video and responding to messages, but new tunes may have to wait a couple of days…

Categories
Leukaemia

MiltCentral Christmas Single Video

The incredible music video for “That’s Christmas” – the MiltCentral (alternative) Christmas Single – is here at last!! Check it out on the music page now! Many thanks to Ken Clark for his amazing work.

Calling all animators/java & flash programmers/clever people…

…We need you to help us create MiltToons and MiltGames – please get in touch!

Milton’s Latest Crazy Notion – the Map Of Love World Tour
Milton woke up today saying “Wouldn’t it be novel to visit every red dot on the map of love someday?” Well, Milton’s notions have had a habit of turning into reality lately, so a Milton world tour may well be on the cards. And he means every spot – Limerick, Ruma, Illinois, Inca Trail, Cape Town, and Hawaii…

Keep Milton busy – let’s get those spots everywhere!

Doctors declare first case of mysterious new disease.
Do you have a cold sweat away from your computer? Do you find yourself browsing the guestbook into the wee small hours? Does your heart jump when you seen a new vid up? Did you cry when you saw “The Odds”?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may well be a MiltHead! MiltHeadonism is a highly contagious yet apparently harmless condition. Find out how badly you are afflicted in the challenging competition quiz! The most MiltHeadonistic entrant will be treated immediately with exclusive & fabulous MiltCentral gifts…

(HEALTH WARNING: Doctors have suggested that MiltHeadonism may lead to increased heart size, lower stress levels and increased attractiveness.)

Categories
Leukaemia

10,000 visits!

It’s our two-week anniversary – and we’ve already gone past 10,000 visits..

Warm Seasonal Greetings to all of you!

A Big Thank You for the enormously positive response to my Christmas single. I wrote, recorded, edited & mixed the tune in 2

Categories
Leukaemia

Merry Christmas everybody!

The MiltCentral (alternative) Christmas Single is here! Listen to it now on the music page!

Categories
Housekeeping Leukaemia

It’s a big day today folks…

Today, filming begins at MiltCentral HQ (a.k.a. Milton’s ward) for a TV documentary on Milton and the site! The film will follow Milton through his fight with leukaemia and the ongoing story of the vision that is MiltCentral.com. If all goes well, this could be a truly amazing way for our message to reach many more people – so we’re all really excited. We’ll keep you posted on the developments!

The MiltCentral (alternative) Christmas Single is coming…
…and we hope to break all records by getting it heard all around the world – via the Internet! Make sure you check back on Christmas Day to download this year’s Christmas song with a twist..

New video
Milton clearly enjoys showing us his bottom, because he’s brought it out yet again in his latest heart-warming video – ‘Wish You Were Here’. Personally, I think his first attempt at bum-blotting-out (or whatever that fuzzy effect is called) is, quite frankly, half-arsed…

Site Stats

The traffic here on MiltCentral is continuing to astound us – we’re now way past 7,000 visitors, 40,000 pages viewed, and close on 500 messages. While this is an incredible result for a site that is only 10 days old, it has meant that the server we’re currently on is struggling a bit. Keep hitting refresh if the vids ever get stuck (and if you happen to own a web-hosting company…)

– Matt J

Categories
Leukaemia

Milton has been given a Pakistani name!

I would like to extend a huge thank you to the wonderful Matt Jenkins
…for making my vision possible. (From a sketch on an evelope to THIS!)

He didn’t eat or sleep for 48 hours to html-ize my very specific design and without him this wouldn’t have happened. Much love, brother.

Categories
Leukaemia

My dear friends, here’s my latest:

The website continues to be an extraordinary success – thank you so much.

Looks like I’m going to be here for sometime. We are talking Xmas, New Year, most probably all of January and maybe beyond.

During that time it will be more chemo, chemo & for an extra bit of fun some more chemo.

I will be fine, but please stick by during that time, because my life is better with all of you in it.

Much love,

Milton

P.S. A new computer arrives tomorrow, so expect new videos and music very soon!

Categories
Leukaemia

This is a dream!

I am awed by the response to my site.

There are so many people to thank for this – I can’t even begin to name them – but I love you all. I will answer every one of your wonderful messages in the guest book as soon as I can. (I’ve done the first 100, go see!)

All I can say is that there is so much LOVE in the world, I feel I am about to drown.. but in a good way.

Next three days are interesting for me:

  • Wednesday: Chemo
  • Thursday: Bone Marrow excavation + L-Asparaganase (The arse one) + IMAC G5! (Thanks bruvver mark @ Dreamtek)
  • Friday: Chemo in spinal column (To prevent unlucky leuky getting to my brain)

All the procedures will be filmed. I will be brave, strong, and not let any one of you down. Keep coming back my people, your love is making the world a better place.

My studio is down till iMac G5 arrives Thursday – apologies for no original music yet – I promise it’s coming.

However, I humbly offer you a new video of a one-take improvisation over a RATM track. Just blast it around the world, people.

Rock on and you all have a beautiful day.

Milt x

Categories
Fundraising Leukaemia

A warm welcome to !

This is the third-week anniversary of my leukaemia diagnosis, and I would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to the hundreds of you who have sent messages of love & support. They have helped me more than you can possibly imagine.

MiltCentral.com promotes a positive approach to healing and dealing with serious diseases.

I truly believe that our attitude, strength & love can heal us.

There is too much shame, taboo, silence & fear surrounding cancer and that must be changed.

I have no fear, resentment, anger or self-pity about my leukaemia – to get through this those emotions must be discarded.

In this site you will witness an honest account of my leukaemia in the hope that it inspires others to approach this challenge with courage, love and positive energy. That is how it is beaten.

  • Video clips & photos of my treatment and life here in Charing Cross hospital
  • Interviews with doctors, nurses, patients and their families and friends
  • Music that I have composed & recorded here in my ward
  • Encouragement to give blood, bone marrow and money for research
  • Some writing from me and others about handling this disease

Cancer will touch us all in some way so try not to look away.

The more we see- the less we fear- and the less we fear the more we can truly live.

Hey, sign my guestbook!

Categories
Composition Leukaemia

The MiltCentral (alternative) Christmas Single

Filming on the MiltCentral (alternative) Christmas Single is happening today – and everyone is invited to join in the video! The documentary film crew will be there to capture the action, and the video will accompany the song on its launch on MiltCentral.com.

So come and join Milton and the gang at Bond Street from 10.00 to 12.00, and help us make Milton’s song the most popular download this Christmas! (If you need help finding everyone, call me on 07830 287737 and I’ll try to point you in the right direction!)

The MiltCentral (alternative) Christmas Single is being written and produced by Milton to prove that love spreads faster than leukaemia – we want to get it heard as many times as possible, all around the world. The aim is to eventually beat Milton’s original leukaemia cell count (344,000) when he was diagnosed!

Milton’s Christmas Party and New Year’s Concert..
The whole world is cordially invited to join Milton on Christmas Day for a packed day of live chats, webcams, music and much more from MiltCentral HQ. Don’t miss it! And on New Year’s Day, Milton will be hosting a live concert from his room.. watch this space for more info!

– Matt J