I have just returned from Ireland after a few wonderful days spent in an idyllic cottage in Waterville, with a Lough to the rear and the Atlantic on the other side. After seven months of gruelling chemo it was great to be able to recharge away from all social and professional obligations and to spend time with my daughter who arranged it all.
After my first lot of chemotherapy it was very good to be able to have some months of remission, to gain strength, finish my teaching on a high note and to be able to make some wonderful trips with my husband. However the other side of the coin was the horrible shock of learning in November 2008 that the remission was over and lymphoma had returned.
I knew it would; mantle cell lymphoma doesn't go away but then the talk turned far more seriously to bone transplants and then the whole future, if I have one, became much more serious. Chemo therapy started again in January 2009 but I still maintained my private teaching although it also coincided with a broken foot. Our visit to the bone marrow clinic did provide us with hope especially as I was able to say that I was of Scots-Danish descent on my mother's side of the family and English on my father's - not really a problem compared to the difficulties some people have, particularly if they come from the Southern hemisphere. So although there were major difficulties ahead we did have some hope and then things began to change!