Friday, 14 August 2009

Now the news of my latest CT scan has given me more hope that the bone marrow transplant will be a reality, I can’t help looking back at the despair I felt earlier in the year that a bone marrow donor would ever be found. I couldn’t understand why my DNA was uncommon and the only person to turn to was obviously my mother.

My mother is 95 years old. She will be 96 in September. She is lively and intelligent but very, very deaf. She spent nine years living with us very happily but when she became more frail she decided she needed 24 hour a day care and moved to a residential home. Her bedroom overlooks the park where she played in as a small child and where she did much of her courting with my father.

She enjoys sitting in the conservatory where it is light enough for her to read easily and she can see the birds in the garden. I knew I had to talk to her about something very personal but that afternoon there were quite a few people around. In that situation, we normally communicate by writing things down so I don’t have to shout about private matters.

I still have the notes of our conversation. I tore them from the book so they wouldn’t be seen by anyone else. I remember quite clearly asking her if there was anything odd about my background. She beckoned me to come close to her so she could whisper in my ear. What she told me was a shock and I had to compose my face very carefully because there were people around. I needed to ask her a number of questions and these all had to be written down. The news was shattering.

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