"Anniversary" weekend

Notwithstanding the previous post, it’s hard to believe that it’s only three years ago this weekend that I first discovered I had a problem that turned out to be the lymphoma. It feels like much longer than that, so much has happened in the meantime. Trouble is that when first diagnosed, the consultant gives you a “worst case” prognosis, and that sits at the back of your mind. Three years in, typically, I should be looking at maybe another five years, tops. That’s not long – and definitely not long enough. But, since I am very young to have got this, I am not typical. Which is good. But also means that it’s a bit of an unknown. Which isn’t.

As I said, I do feel very lucky that I have been able to receive some of the best treatment available. The team at The Countess of Chester are really excellent. Hardworking, dedicated, friendly, caring. What more could you want. From the first time I went into the unit, I knew that they would look after me to the very best of their ability.

I have a loving family and very supportive friends and colleagues – extremely important when dealing with something like this. I am a lucky man. I am sure I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again – “Thank you” to everyone.

Could be a lot worse though. A former colleague of mine died of cancer last weekend and we are going to her funeral on Tuesday. Some of us are very much unlucky – cancer really is a bastard.

Time to stop feeling sorry for myself. Lots to do this year, including the trip to Scotland at the end of next month, Copenhagen and the wedding. All of which are going to be fantastic.

Before all that is the Lymphoma Association AGM, being held in a couple of week’s time in Manchester. I am thinking about maybe volunteering as a “buddy” – but need to talk it through with some people first.

The Leica User Book 2012 is still selling – well, it will always be “still selling”, as Blurb don’t stop selling them until you say so – what I mean is that people are still buying them. Another 24 sold last month, meaning another £240 will be donated to AICR next week when the payment clears in my account. There is also some top-up money to come from the 2010 book, which is great. We are at around about £20k in donations in total now. What a great effort. Sales will inevitably slow down now, but it has definitely been a worthwhile exercise. I will have to think about another book of my own.

Finally, I have been invited to make a presentation to the Shirley Photographic Society in September. “An Evening with Andy Barton”, they have called it. I am convinced that they have the wrong Andy Barton, but it does sound as if I am the star turn that night. I am slowly putting together a print collection and will sort out some slides too. Will need to assemble a programme otherwise it might end up as “Five Minutes with Andy Barton”. Preparation needs to start now…