It's three months since my transplant so there are lots of tests at the moment. Last week it was the bone marrow biopsy and today the PET scan. However, I have been looking back at the period when I started my PhD as the distance in time is allowing me tobe more objective. I had met my superviser briefly the previous year when I first applied and I was disappointed that he was not more enthusiastic. He seemed really to be tryingt to say that a PhD was for students about to set out on an academic career rather than for someone my age keen to pursue an academic interest. If tuition fees weren't being charged I could understand the priority, but learning is supposed to be lifelong.
I started the PhD in February 2009. Straightaway my supervisor reminded me that in view of my chemotherapy, I might have to suspend my studies. Whilst this is exactly what I did have to do in the end, this wasn't really said so much for my benefit but because the University cannot afford to have students falling behind with their work as it reflects badly on the supervision. I do appreciate this and I was able to meet all deadlines. It was certainly interesting and demanding which is exactly what I needed during that period. Having finished teaching the previous year, I really felt a sense of purpose.
The chemotherapy initialy was not qute as bad as CHOP-R haed been in 2007 and I didn't lose my hair so I didn't look or feel like a victim to the same degree. However, during this period a search was being undertaken for a potential bone marrow doonor which proved difficult. It was during this time that I found out that I was donor conceived. This was a life-changing experience and not in a good way as I felt it as making the hunt for a bone marrow donor more dificult since I was no longer confident about my ethnic background. Throughout this period I ontinued with my studies and did not mention this discovery to my supervisor as the relationship was not close.