Saturday, 31 October 2009

Do It Yourself Medicine

Well nothing is all bad or all good and this period is no exception, a good chat with my son and a visit from a friend today. Ray has a lovely log fire going and my daughter and I sat down to plan how to get me as fit as possible without antibiotics or an operation. I have no idea when I shall be seeing the ENT consultant again or what the medical profession plan to do, so in the meantime I have adopted a mucus restricting diet, Vick’s vapour rub, breathing steam and nose washes. You can see I am having a fun weekend! The point is it is no use being passive; I have a deadline. I know there are other hurdles to overcome: I may not be in remission; the bone marrow donor may not be available on the required day etc. and all this is understandable, but I have to feel that I am doing something.

This weekend other donor offspring may, like me, have received an invitation from UKDonorLink about joining a Panel. I think this may have been a blanket invitation. I would have liked to volunteer but I wouldn’t be able to attend the meetings if my transplant goes ahead so would be useless, but an articulate representative is required to put forward our views. It was pointed out to me yesterday that the Telegraph (Rebecca Smith 29th October 2009) had an article about a fatal heart condition which had been passed by a donor to 9 out of 22 of his donor offspring. I read this with interest. The article says :

It is thought to be only the second time a genetic disease has been passed on via sperm donation.”

But how do we know that? Since so many donor offspring have been kept in ignorance of their origins and even those who do know they are DI conceived, have no knowledge of their biological parent, it is impossible to say how many offspring have been affected by genetic disease.

In my own case, people have said that I am “unlucky” to have suffered both breast cancer and lymphoma. That may be true but since there is evidence of very great longevity in my mother’s family (she is 96, her elder brother lived to 94 and she has younger sisters in their mid/late 80s) there doesn’t seem to be any predisposition to cancer there. Of course, there is no evidence and this may be down to environmental factors but I have the feeling that this is the tip of the iceberg although we may not ever know the truth because of the secrecy surrounding the practice.


  1. Hi Allison,
    I recently found your blog and have read with great interest. I'm currently in remission for Non-Hodgkin's of an unknown strain and consider myself very fortunate to have come through several months of chemo more or less unscathed.

    I'm always thinking about what might have caused my disease. Thanks for making the case for stress. It's not a factor I've considered before.

  2. A study some years ago discounted stress but in my experience most of the people I know with cancer had experienced real stress but not only that it was the way the stress had to be dealt with. In my case we all had to be "professional" i.e. no emotion. This stiff upper lip has a lot to answer for. I do hope your remission is really long-lasting. All the very best.