Tag Archives: follicular

Twitter is rubbish and brilliant. At the same time. Lymphoma news I couldn’t easily have found elsewhere.

Two updates for the price of one, today…

I’ve been on Twitter for a few years now. At first I just couldn’t understand what it was all about, but as it grew and by following friends that I knew who had migrated from elsewhere on the internet, I soon got the hang of it. It has rapidly grown into one of the biggest wastes of time on the internet (as if that wasn’t bad enough in itself) and also one of the most useful.

If you have an interest in tropical fish, or cabbages, want to know what’s happening in your town, or Liverpool Football Club (other teams’ Twitter feeds are available, apparently..) you can do so easily just by following individuals and companies on Twitter. The same is true of Facebook, but there are massive privacy issues on there that Twitter have so far, for the most part, resisted adopting. Long may it remain so.

So, by the judicious following of a couple of organisations, I have learned some interesting things over the last couple of weeks.

For example, Lymphoma Research have recently posted a link to an article on “Reduced intensity treatment in early-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma” which, although not directly related to the lymphoma that I have, was an interesting read nonetheless.

Another source, Non-Hodgkin’s Today have lots of useful links, such as this one comparing cancer survival rates across various countries and this one on the “The evaluation and optimal use of rituximab in lymphoid malignancies”, something that is definitely relevant. There was this one, from a couple of months ago, about a new drug from a company called Gilead, which is being tested right now for those people who are no longer responsive to Rituximab.

All good stuff and very difficult to find if you are not pointed in the right direction.

Another month… where do they go?

I suppose that it’s a good thing that a month has gone by with no post to this blog, but the whole point about a blog is that it is updated regularly – I don’t think that once a month qualifies  really. So apologies for that.

What it DOES mean, though, is that I am continuing to be well and not calling upon the good services of the health service of my consultant. It also means that this week is the week for my next quarterly check-up. Friday morning to be precise.

As I have posted before, this is most likely to be my consultant’s last clinic for me. This puts me in a bit of a dilema, really. Do I continue attending the local hospital, where I have received excellent treatment through him and the staff on the haematology ward, or do I consider a new referral (presumably via my GP), to The Christie, the large teaching hospital in Manchester. While that is 50 odd miles away from home, they are one of the two top oncology hospitals in the country. They have excellent facilities and do pioneering work.

My consultant has hinted before that “next time” he might refer me to The Christie in any case as they have the ability to administer interesting treatments such as Zevalin, a monoclonal antibody radioimmunotherapy. This stuff is like the Rituximab, but with added radiation. So, not only does it lock onto the CD20 marker on the diseased lymph cells, like Rituximab does, it also administers a dose of radiation to it while it’s at it. All clever stuff. They also have the ability to do stem cell transplants and other more serious treatments that a more local general hospital might find too much. Who knows what I might need in the future (if anything), but if there is a need for something more challenging, The Christie is the right place for it and it might be of benefit to get into their own system sooner rather than later.

Let’s see what Friday brings.

So, what else did April bring? Easter came and went without so much as a whimper and we did go to the Grand National this year for the first time in a few years. It’s a great day out (especially if someone else is paying – thanks to Adrian!) and fortunately, everyone and their horse got round safely. As usual, we didn’t win any money, but we didn’t expect to.

We also had a trip to Whitby in North Yorkshire last week with some of the Leica gang. We had a good day there and a good overnight stay at The Morritt Arms Hotel, just south of Barnard Castle on the A66. We have stayed there once before, but the owners have spent some money on it recently and it become even more comfortable  Very good food, reasonable wine and very friendly staff. Highly recommended.

Now, it’s time to take stock and think about the summer holiday in Islay coming up at the end of June. This makes it sound like life is just the gaps in between holidays and weekends away – which I suppose it can be really…

I have been invited to speak at an international conference on car parks at the end of May, so that will be interesting, if you like car parks. It’s only in London, not Sydney, or Tokyo, or somewhere similarly exotic, but one can’t have everything.

Our project in Blackpool is really starting to take shape now – the steel frames for the council office and the supermarket are almost complete and the scale of what we are doing is there for all to see. It’s very exciting and worth the time it took to get this far. We have excellent teams working with us up there and it’s a pleasure working with them all. I have put a photo of the site in the Photograph of the Week tab.

Finally, I can’t let today pass without mentioning Betsy, who is two today. She has finally turned into a lovely little dog and has become sensible in her teenage years. Happy BIrthday Betsy. 🙂

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