May Bank Holiday Monday 2018 and then . . .

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, exactly one week after my penectomy operation (total penis removal) at Weston General Hospital under David Dickerson
Last night, between 2am & 3am, I made a virtual speech about my journey from one spot of blood in my urine twice a year, forty years ago, to the removal of my penis and a tumour 8″ long reaching back inside as far as my tail! My super District Nurse said I am the fourth person she has visited in Calne this year having previously seen only one other penectomy (total penis removal) in forty years of nursing! I desperately need to make this known publicly as David Dickerson, my surgeon and a specialist penile cancer consultant, intimated that he cannot comprehend the increase in cases over the last year. I have, this week, started collating data from three consultants, the NHS Cancer Registry and ex-colleagues at the JR2 & Churchill Unit in Oxford. I have to ensure men know what none of us men ever want to talk about and do it “from the horse’s mouth”!

I will eventually return to update my cancer blog on here but in the meantime I would ask you to consider what/where might be an appropriate forum to get the message across ~ thank you! Rog

Monday Bank Holiday, 28 May 2018

Chalgrove Art Exhibition, Oxfordshire. My sister, her daughter and an old friend of mine exhibit every year and my wife and I enjoy the day out!

The very next day . . . . . from feeling absolutely normal for three whole years I suddenly had a sore penis; bear in mind it has been totally inactive for the three years following the removal of my bladder, urethra and prostate. I rang my surgery and had an appointment for that afternoon! The verdict my wife had predicted as a fungal infection in the tip of my penis. The following day the soreness developed rapidly despite the prescribed cream. That night I awoke several times crawling up the bedroom wall, literally, as stretching was the only way to get any comfort. Friday morning urgent appointment with my own doctor who, having examined me, said “Sorry, I don’t know Roger, you had better contact your Urology Consultant.” Fortunately because of my cancer being contained by him for 25yrs I had his contact mob no and he rang me back that lunchtime and added me to his next local surgery at Savernake Hospital the following Thursday!

Thursday, 7th June 2018 (Our 43rd Wedding Anniversary!)

He thoroughly examined the fibrous tube inside my penis and made copious notes and a very visible phallic symbol full of horrible squiggles . . “I’ll fit you into my day surgery on Monday and I can take a biopsy from your penis ~ actually come tomorrow morning with a book!” So ten days after my first complaint I am talking about lopping it off and my wife is sitting next to me going snip snip with her fingers ~ one week to wait for biopsy results which reveal “recurrent cancer”, thankfully not secondary.

Friday, 15th June 2018

My Consultant advises total removal rather than treatment first and he will contact the surgeon at Southmead Hospital. We shake hands with a mutual understanding and he, my consultant and ‘friend’ for nearly thirty years, has tears in his eyes. A hurried exchange follows “to keep in touch” despite his being on holiday for the next two weeks, and finally places a hand on Daph’s shoulder ‘to be brave but positive’.

QUO VADIS? : Wherefore goest thou?

PART THREE: The New Vision from Within

Nothing can really be fully understood without personally experiencing that moment!

Attempting to explain my reactions during and after my osteopathic treatments can probably be compared with trying to write down the emotional effect listening to music has on your body, even when you are deaf! In Part Two I started to relate the beginning of this ‘journey’ from the basic stage, as conveyed by the Lymphoedema Nurse, to the intermediate ‘platform’ of my Cranial Osteopath’s couch. I am now two years along this path and learning more with each treatment.

Mary Monro, my Osteopath, has twenty years of practice and a wealth of satisfied clients including my wife and a good friend who originally referred her. We three could convey a simple message that said her treatment has worked for us by relieving the symptoms of our physical discomfort. I will attempt to elucidate my personal body response both during and after her therapy and that will undoubtedly be more difficult than I can imagine.

An essential part of any therapy is to understand the immediate problem and to put it into context by evaluating the patient’s medical history; the last thing any practitioner needs to do is conflict with an individuals current treatment or medication but at the same time gain an intimate understanding of underlying conditions. My first appointment with Mary was an hour in length half of which was a personal introduction using my prepared notes on my lifelong physical and mental health starting with the fact that I was tongue-tied as a new born baby!! Having cut my frenulum, the piece of tissue that ties your tongue to your palate, I was able to feed properly, screem properly and my mother maintained that it enabled me to talk non-stop as a youngster; I have the distinct feeling that Mary understands . . . !!

The first part of every treatment I have received involves touching my toes – Mary, not me!! Lying down on a medical couch she gently holds one foot in each hand and quietly contemplates as if she is equating your medical background and general disposition with what she can “feel/interpret”. The astonishing part for me, as described in Part Two, was to discover that I had a problem in my lower back which suddenly gave a resounding “clunk” as it realigned itself: “Was that you?” I asked, “Maybe” she replied, and that was the start of this remarkable journey.

Every single session is different and it seems to become accumulative; it starts and ends the same way, hands on feet to assess ‘before and after’ which is always recorded on my medical notes. Beyond my unexpected “clonk” Mary has now successfully treated my lymph glands out of sync around and below my stoma site, my leg, my back and last but not least my lungs.

My right leg attests to the fact that it now drains correctly but still manages to ZING up and down with ‘inside out’ pins and needles during the session as the debris finds it’s way out via my heart! Then her unbelievably healing hands – it’s not my imagination I can assure you, the heat, the pulsing sensation through my veins, through my lymph glands and “liquids”, and the sudden dryness in my mouth rendering me speechless – I am starting to levitate but all I think is really happening is the change of pressure in my body makes it feel lighter on the couch! Oh, apparently Mary is working on my lungs as BCG live treatment in my bladder years ago has left me with a form of TB; also those seven nodules that initially showed as secondaries on my lungs have caused shortness of breathe and recently revealed themselves as possibly causing ‘resting tachycardia! Yep, nothing will ever phase me and I been temporarily discharged from my TB consultant as all tests proved negative!!

The session leaves me so drained that I’m almost comatose; can I raise my body into the sitting position . . . eventually. I often wonder if I should really drive home.

I am blessed to have been and continue to be treated by a cranial osteopath who is constructively professional; I only wish it was accepted as genuine therapy by the Medical Council.

July 2018. Mary Monro came to visit me at home to “assist” my journey into hospital without charge ~ how caring is that? Bless you and thank you Mary xxx

QUO VADIS? : untangling western medicine v. being open minded?

PART TWO: Osteopathy and Lymphoedema Nurse

Following a major operation to remove all the cancerous growths including and attached to my bladder and beyond in March 2015, as already recounted here, I am confronted six months later with a swollen leg especially my right foot!

This is not intended as an account of my physical symptoms but more about my coming to terms with a new form of treatment that has completely changed my concept of medicine and healing. My initial reaction to my swollen leg was disbelief that it could happen overnight and thwart my ability to drive to Cornwall. My GP was convinced it was related to my lymph glands being removed and referred me to the Lymphoedema Nurse at Dorothy House in Trowbridge. I completely understood why Prof Gillatt had removed all the lymph glands that were attached or linked to my bladder as this is currently the best way of eliminating any secondaries and establishing if your cancer has spread ~ the biopsies thankfully showed all of mine were clear.

I had already learnt how important it was to elevate ones leg so that it was higher than ones heart enabling natural drainage to start as per my amazing daughter-in-law’s advice. What I had not appreciated was that there are mechanisms that can be manipulated within one’s body which can ‘excite’ the lymph network!

I had little knowledge of the above nor of its huge role in the functioning of the immune system. You can see the amazing concentration of pelvic lymph nodes in the lower abdomen which enables you to understand how the removal of the bladder including the associated lymph glands might affect the organisation and distribution of fluids in that area and beyond, down into the leg and back up to the heart. My initial response in trying to interpret all of this was frankly ‘what the f’ck is going on’ ~ there is no pump mechanism ~ how on earth can it work? That was just the start of this journey which took me from lymphoedema nurse to cranial osteopath.
I met Moira, Lymphoedema Nurse, Reflexologist and Theatre Nurse, at Chippenham Hospital. Apparently tickling the surface of your skin is the easiest way of stimulating the lymph glands as they are adjacent to blood vessels and use the circulation to move tissue damage even from small cuts. My diary comment declares that I was really spaced out after the treatment! Being my first experience of fluids actually moving around my body in response to an external force was a real eye-opener as it had an immediate effect on the swelling in my foot. The following week I was pleased to hear that there was no need for bandaging, which had been a second option, as there was significant improvement and much less swelling proving that fluids were getting back to my heart and removed from my body! A few weeks later, following our holiday with leg “elevated”, we met again but did little more than chat only to be told that my next appointment would be a review with a discharge outcome!

With the prospect of my lymph glands being unable to maintain their normal functions I made an appointment with my wife’s cranial osteopath. She had resolved her back problems having also remarked that she couldn’t understand why her bladder seemed to be paralysed, which it is!! Remarkable. I provided her with a full medical history and explained that my main objective was to get my life back six months post op. My glands, circulation and immune system were out of snyc and I still had debilitating issues following the TB/BCG treatment especially breathlessness and coughing.

I was a bit apprehensive as to whether it would be effective but having laid down I couldn’t shut up! She quietly placed her hands on my feet and within a minute, ‘clonk’, a vertebrae in my lower back realigned making us both jump. “Was that you” I asked; “Maybe” she gently replied, smirking! The rest of that first session was frankly awesome ranging from pulsating internal recycling to infra red lamp syndrome! It is incomprehensible and utterly impossible to recount. “I am merely the conductor, your body does the rest; parts are not singing in harmony, some are not in tune, lots of post-op debris and your right groin area is a bit higgledy-piggledy”!! The following day I was utterly exhausted and I recorded in my diary: ‘I have no idea what has been going on in my legs last night but the discomfort at times even woke me up!’ I knew my immune system was shot to pieces but this was alarming. 

A week later and I landed on her couch and within half a minute ‘clonk’ went my back so loudly that we both laughed aloud ~ I didn’t even know I had an issue with my back!!! She moved around to my right hand side where all the debris seems to collect and within minutes my legs are zinging up and down, sensational but difficult to describe. I recall that after quite a few sessions I remarked that it was very similar to having pinzen’needles inside out but moving quickly along my limbs; you can really feel parts of your body beginning to work but don’t ask me how, not yet! Mary is a very quiet, gentle mannered lady whose skills should be acknowledged by the NHS; her medical knowledge and professional manner is remarkable and should be recognised by GPs and Medical Consultants as a positive interface with their patients without recourse to invasive medical drug therapies.

QUO VADIS? : untangling western medicine v. being open minded?

When one assumes that you are at last in charge of your body after years of abuse by something beginning with ‘C’ around the corner comes a spiritualist medium followed by a cranial osteopath to releave you of your misconceptions!

I genuinely believe that medicine prescribed to treat invasive conditions is the best way of restoring good health when ones immune system appears to be unable to help – that was until quite recently. In retrospect the turning point for me became the motivation for this hesitant blog as my cancer was no longer contained within my bladder and my persistent cough resulted in a scan revealing seven nodules in my lungs as per my original blogs. Secondary cancers take no prisoners and at best I would be fortunate to contain it. My wife had her legs taken from under her and she had me on ‘death row’ without admitting it. Then came the phone call from a fellow drinker the outcome of which I have hesitated to explore not wishing to undermine the integrity of the outcome.

I need a moment for you to be able to place a coherent perspective on what happened next and it is best explained by providing a little of my family background. With C.of E. Vicars and Bishops on the one side and Methodists and Mediums on the other, family discussions after church on a Sunday could become a little disparate and fractionalised. Mother would be refusing to even stay in the same room if spiritual and ghostly aspects were presented having been frightened rigid by her Grandmother; she was apparently an extraordinary medium with the ability to prove the point using manifestations and in extreme circumstances levitating furniture which rendered people speechless. One from the C.of E. stable was an exorcist who would use powerful religious ‘white collar’ magic as I call it, which will excuse my admitting here that the room where I am writing this has four Easter Palm leaf crosses, suitably placed around the walls, which have been previously blessed on Palm Sunday but not burned, obviously!

On my bedside table I have a Missale Romanum in Latin and English, which “jumped” off the shelf into my hand in an antiquarian bookshop, sitting atop a Bible given to me by my Godfather. On top of both is a special gold cross from Rome holding a glass Buddha within its chain! Above the entrance door to our house on the inside is my soul Mantra ‘Peace’. My faith is unusual in that having studied the ‘Six religions of the World’ at Marlborough under the instruction of a very wise sage, who is wagging his finger – “tortology Mant!” – my future path took many years to reach a point where confirmation became plausible under the direction of Rev Denys Ruddy, head of Readers in the Oxford Diocese.

In the meantime I joined the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) when I moved to London after leaving Marlborough but found the factions within it too distracting and I concentrated on the resurgence of hypnosis and the ability to harness the energy surrounding mind over matter. I remain convinced that “energy” as an interactive force is what enables us individually to link between spaces unseen around us and create what I can only describe as an interwoven spirit of co-operative cohesion; this, I believe, has a hierarchical structure which I experienced that particular afternoon more than ever before and I am unlikely to be that fortunate again . . . .

My spiritual home is Salisbury Cathedral and as a young boy I vividly recall asking my father what the bell was that I kept hearing in my head: “the Matins Bell” was not the answer for which I was prepared! I had grown up experiencing wonderful apparitions of a black cat companion on my bed, finding myself literally floating down the stairs which really annoyed my father, listening to unusual inexplicable voices in my head which I eventually learnt to switch off, and an unhealthy disposition towards matters spiritual!

PART ONE: Mr Biker-man c/o Merlin!

So here you are, if you’re still with me: a friend rings me in the middle of trying to get my head around secondary cancer of my lungs insisting that I fix a date to spend a moment of my time with him; yes, he is a spiritual medium and the requested meeting had not come from him but from ‘biker-man’ leaning over his shoulder excitedly pointing at my photo on the screen saying “that’s him, get him here, that’s him!”

It was an unusually busy Wednesday afternoon in October three years ago with my granddaughter’s ‘Tea Concert’ at school after lunch, yet another scan at the hospital and then pub dinner with good friends in the evening ~ somewhere in the middle of which I met up with ‘biker man’s’ spiritual medium ~ let’s call him “Merlin”.

Merlin and I sat talking for a while in more depth than matters more temporal in the pub, only for him to say about the ‘biker-man’ and the reason behind my invitation to the studio. He then sat me down on a rather hard wooden chair facing an equally bland exit door, switched off all distractions and placed his hands on my shoulders from behind. Quietly he intoned words to relax me and started to ‘work down’ through my body only to find that my lungs became something of an obstacle at which point he completely changed direction and said ” Oy, guess who’s just turned up ~ Mr Biker-man ~ didn’t take him long! I’ll leave my hands on your shoulders but it will be his energy not mine . . . . I’m letting him take over.” How much time elapsed I truly have no idea but it was fairly heavy going and Merlin had gone silent until he surprisingly said that biker man had called upon another ‘presence’, I can’t recall his exact words, but the atmosphere had changed dramatically!

I will never understand or be capable of explaining what was happening inside my body although I did try in my diary a week later because the ‘energy healing’ continued for sometime. My chest was being intricately examined for most of the remaining session and eventually Merlin asked that I gradually surface but to be aware that I would be inexplicably exhausted so not to stand up for a while as most of the “healing” moves down through the body. It was horribly unnerving to see that he was actually standing on the other side of the room because to me his hands had never left my shoulders! He obviously appreciated my astonishment and explained that when Sananda took over from biker man he, Merlin, was ‘removed’ from the situation that he had initiated. I had no idea what he was talking about nor who Sananda was!

In retrospect I truly know how blessed I was that day because the secondary cancers were shrunk and eventually disappeared much to the astonishment of the MDT (multi-disciplin team) at GWHospital, also the oncologist and respiratory consultant who confessed “You really are a mystery Mr Mant”. Having referred to my diary it would be more illuminating to quote the relevant entries:

OCTOBER 2014

8th. Message left from JI my consultant at GWH re my recent scan – sounded v. glum. His secretary rang later to say that he was on leave but she would email his contact details. Rang GPs & reception gave me wrong impression; GP rang back to say that lesions on my lungs are secondaries from bladder cancer. He has booked a full body scan to assess extent of “damage”. JI rings 5mins later to say he’s off to Spain but all is in hand – case going to MDT meeting & senior radiologist is reporting back to him Monday lunchtime but I can ring him at anytime; given both of his private no’s. He is a godsend. Daph tells daughter in law (nurse practitioner) and shows her the report that was emailed to me from GPs.

9th. This a.m. poor Daph has already got me on death row so I asked her for a reprieve! Tears do help but the shock wave is still on it’s way:- hey, we’ll get there together. Realistic chat with daughter in-law after work.

11th.  Awful night, could not get back to sleep, shock wave has hit brain and v.difficult to address. Too much still to do and I cannot leave Daph with all this mess! Talk about a shitty-city brain ~ everything over analysed and no route out found. It is manifestly obvious what needs to be done but it hurts so much that having been poorly for so long and then getting my cold at start of August from then my constant cough has ‘wasted’ me – but it at least was a blessing in that I would not have been given an X-ray – it was a direct result of that image that I was given CT scan! So here we are trying to recover from JI sounding so glum [He has been my bladder consultant for over 20yrs and always so up beat & positive] – secondary cancer, brown lists & me are something I cannot contemplate X

12th.  I confess a whole week has passed with nowt written here BUT “That was the Week that Was!” never to be repeated! To say that jointly we have been to hell and back: emotionally it has been the biggest challenge of our lives.

13th. This journey is horrendous and until you confront it as the person whose life it is threatening you cannot understand the impact. I spent half the w/e and today creating a short film trailer that incorporates my poem “My cough is here to stay”. It was almost cathartic and my way of conveying the news to my friends. The responses were so helpful as Daph & I do not really know how to cope with this despite the fact that we can do it together.

14th. Six o’clock and a message left by Merlin made it v.clear: “Hello Roger, I think you had better come and see me as soon as possible!” Probably the best invitation EVER & later arranged for tomorrow – I need a drink!!

15th. Left to get to Merlin’s by 4.30. We sat, drank coffee, talked about me and my faith/belief/spiritual world, also my Mum’s and Granny’s views. He said that biker-man had become really excited insisting that he rang me and apparently had been ‘around’ since I had taken a friend to see him but stayed with her and he mistook the real link with me! Anyway I sat on the hard chair and he started on me only to realise that biker-man was there again really agitated about the association that Merlin had got wrong – magic!! He had been trying to get through to Merlin ever since her visit because of my unknown condition which he had continued to work on but needed to use Merlin’s hands! The next few moments I was in a time warp especially as neither of them could move down through my chest and then the atmosphere totally changed. I had no idea Sananda had taken over apart from the energy that was being forcibly distilled through my body. In retrospect it was probably a good job that I didn’t know that Merlin was standing on the other side of the room! I confess I found it so difficult to “ground” myself even with Merlin’s help and I was utterly shattered but to be told that over an hour had passed was mind boggling. He wouldn’t let me drive home for a while as I was so light headed and rang Daph as we were meeting friends for dinner and it was already gone seven!

16th. Desperate to go to the toilet but can’t, totally blocked! Also v.anxious as I need to wash my feet in fresh running water but cannot leave the house. Merlin rang to check on my ‘well being’ and offered to help from afar! Eventually drove down to Chavey Well outstream from Clamy spring – v.cold water but profoundly moving. Apparently both are an intrinsic part of the purging process.

 17th.  GP rang with results back from scan which show that nodules have shrunk – YEAH!!!! WOW xxxxx JI rings ten minutes later, talks to Daph and then I tell him and he agrees that it cannot be secondaries! He has referred me onto respiratory consultant who will be in touch . . . A_M_A_Z_ING!! Neither Daph nor I can get our heads around it. Apparently JI had discussed my case at MDT meeting hence immediate referral. Merlin really helpful both yesterday and today – thank you for your support. Need to find out/read all the theories about Sananda, Jesus and all the other people with which his energy is associated ~ absolutely humbled that he ‘engulfed’ me X.

18th. This has been a revolutionary week in our lifetimes – from sec.cancer on my lungs to shrinking nodules; biker-man (D. remembered it must be Terry’s son) to bring Sananda to cleanse my body and soul which has continued into the w/e; for JI to say I can contact him at anytime ~ I am truly being looked after and even D. has cheered up!

19th. Onto my “New World”: despite my spiritual faith sustaining me and my biker-man energy being a true angel, this has been really hard work some of which I need to record here. An amazingly apt quote from F’bk last week: “If you saw the size of the blessing coming you would understand the magnitude of the battle you are fighting”.

20th. It has been hard work getting our heads around the amazing results from the second scan and JI’s comments but look forward to getting better and curing this cough completely. Goodness knows what has happened to the last two weeks but we equate it with winning the lottery without jumping up and down! Reminds me of the ‘Divine Comedy’ – one wonders what individuals go through in life to write that but Danté has taken on a different persona since experiencing such extremes as having secondary lung cancer one week with seven lesions the largest being 24mm to them shrinking the following week, and yet it is difficult to get excited. Even the children are bemused but obviously as pleased as we that we shall have a future together

21st. The blessing was the original X-ray/CTscan1/ CTscan2 and in between I receive the message from Merlin a week ago and the most incredible healing of a lifetime: it was really awesome to glow from within as biker-man gave way to Sananda whose spirit apparently was the embodiment of Jesus Christ and too many others to list here! I am still glowing and astonished.

24th. Left car at pub last night and ring Merlin for a lift and to show him Chavey Well and talk about my work in Castlefields. Thank him for giving me my life back – not an easy thing to say to anyone! Having returned Merlin does a top-up as my back is so bad and just as I’m trying to focus he says “Hello, here he comes” and I am literally once again engulfed in an overwhelming presence which gives me so much love and understanding. At the same time my back has gone away and although exhausted from the ‘treatment’ I am cleansed by the most awesome experience of my life.

26th. Clocks back an hour. It is astonishing that no matter where you are Sananda’s blessing continues to work: hands tingle all over and my body becomes quite heavy – yet it is peaceful and loving!

27th. A good friend of Merlin’s messaged me about moving away after 30yrs in Wiltshire and at the end said “I think young Merlin was quite excited that he had connected you with Sananda as he said it was an incredibly strong link. I hope you have found benefit from it.” I am well impressed that he has spoken about it especially as it reinforces what I felt – I am so, so blessed and fortunate to know him and for biker-man to link up with him!

31st. ( I replied at length reiterating much of the above) From all this I decided to blog for the first time as rogermant.me and give my interpretation of the hospital’s input, JI my consultant, and Merlin’s huge engagement with my well being – how about that – I do need to speak out in Linda Bellingham’s memory, for CRUK (Cancer Research UK) and for the “Merlins” of this world! And then message from GP re Lung specialist and Oncologist’s referral: NO FURTHER ACTION repeat body scan in three months!!! Response from my daughter in-law: “How random is that – completely bonkers!” and from my son “Remarkable but quite bizarre”. And from me: “Roger, over and out”.

PART TWO: Osteopath and a ‘New Vision’ 

Let’s take a rest after major surgery in March 2015 and start this next journey ‘QUO VADIS’ in my next chapter here!

That Was The Year That Was . . . and IS

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It is a very different world that tries to undermine our amazing civilisation and attack our daily existence. This year has proven to me that no matter the damage caused through terrorist attacks, through storms and warfare, through political ends and acts of insanity by demagogues, whatever the outcome we all have the resilience and resourcefulness to overcome those perils. When it comes too close to home it can undermine our welfare and even take our lives but those that survive appear to have a strengthened tenacity and fresh goals to prevail against the force of disruptive evil.

The photograph above shows my personal tribute to the memory of Charlie Hebdo and also entitled “Je suis Charlie” the slogan and logo created by French art director Joachim Roncin and adopted by supporters of freedom of speech and freedom of the press after the 7 January 2015 shooting in which twelve people were killed in his newspaper office.

That was a pivotal moment for me because it hurt all of us.

Are we shaken by the manner in which these atrocities appear to be escalating? It hurts me that no individual innocently going about their daily life is immune from the cowardly acts that have been perpetrated in the last two years. No city, no airport, train station or building is immune from being a ready target but the long term psychological damage that it causes is an indeterminate amount of suffering for which I pray to relieve. We all have a certain ‘package’ of hurt whether it be mental, physical or self-inflicted, but by moving through and beyond that pain or worry we grow in wisdom and in our care for others.

.. .. .. .. and yet again today in London

From Darkness into Light

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From Darkness with a solitary candle . . .

<<< 2015 >>> THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS

I really should not be surprised that a year has passed without my opening my account here ~ suffice it to say I can reveal that all of my cancer ridden organs have now been removed and my journey thus far has been eventful!

THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT IS <<< 2016 >>>

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. . . into Light, processing by candlelight in Salisbury Cathedral

to be continued . . . .