Saturday, 19 June 2010

The phones are fixed

The telephones have now been fixed after two weeks but it will be a few days before the internet is up and running. I learned on Thursday that the PET scan shows no activity in any of the sites where I had lymphoma before which is a good sign. There were some signs of slight activity in my throat but the medical staff have concluded that this is the result of a slight infection and, in fact, I was sick for no particular reason on the day after the scan.

Now I can begin to look to the future but I'm reconsidering the events of last summer as I have some important decisions to make. By June 2009 when I began my blog, I had been having chemotherapy for six months and it was taking its toll. I had been enjoying my PhD studies as this gave me a focus. In July 2009 Anna took me to a cottage in Ireland belonging to a friend's family. This was a godsend as I was low physically and psychologically.

The weather was pretty cool and sometimes wet but the experience was uplifting and just what we needed. We managed to maintain a balance between doing some work and going out.

The first cycle of chemotherapy which I had in 2009 was only partially effective and this worried me as I knew that a bone marrow transplant could not take place unless I was in full remission. So a new drug had to be found and this, in the end, did prove effective. However, by the end of the summer I realized that I was going to have to suspend my PhD studies.

This was a bitter blow as I had fought hard even to start alongside having chemotherapy. It had been something to hang on to when my whole background started to fall apart but by the end of summer the chemotherapy was affecting my concentration so suspension was inevitable. Instead of starting a new semester in October 2009, all I could cling on to was the fact that the new chemotherapy drug seemed to be working and I should prepare for a bone marrow transplant, perhaps in the spring. The fact that there was so much preparatioon to be done as I would be in hospital for weeks and semi-isolation for months was some focus for my attention which helped to compensate me for having to suspend my studies.

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