Tag Archives: health

This is the end…

No, not that end, but the end of this blog.

And that’s because there is nothing left for me to say on it. After 10 years, it’s job is done.

I am well.

I have actually been well since the end of my chemotherapy in 2010, but it’s only after several years than one can be sure. As time, and research moves on, it is becoming clearer that, for the lucky ones like me, there may be a “cure” for B-Cell Follicular Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after all. Cure may be too strong a word, but “remission long enough to get you to the end of your life anyway” is how I am looking at it.

Basically, there is a proportion of the population with this who respond extremely well to the chemo and fantastic treatments currently available. Some 80% of patients survive 24 months without relapsing and needing further treatment, or unfortunately, dying. If you can get beyond that 24 month period, then it seems that you are more likely to never relapse. I will be 10 years from the start of my treatment in February and am confident that I am through this now.

Rituximab, as I have said before, has been a game-changer and the newer versions are even better. Great news is that Rituximab is now off-patent and available at a much more reasonable cost, so hopefully more people around the world can benefit. But, thanks to the people at Roche who needed the high price to bring it to market in the first place. Let’s hope that the research ongoing today brings forward better and better treatments.

I will still see my consultant going forwards, but only once per year instead of every six months, but can foresee a time when I will stop that too.

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but I am thankful for all the people who treated me and supported me when I was ill. And I hope that someone with NHL reading this has got something out of it – that was one of the reasons for starting it in the first place.

Now, it’s time to look forward to a great holiday in the US in the Autumn celebrating Ann’s birthday, our first ever Christmas away from home and a couple of trips booked for next year too.

But most importantly, our daughter’s wedding in a couple of month’s time. It’s going to be a great day.

I will leave this blog with a couple of photos taken a fortnight ago near the Severn Valley Railway, near Kidderminster. What a beautiful spot this is.

Severn-Valley-Railway

Poppies

Thank you.

 

 

PS – Since Flickr now have a policy of restricting the number of photographs on their site and Apple have stopped iWeb, I might set up a photography page on here. I will add a link if I do.

Working while on holiday (revisited)

With thanks to my friend AF for the link, here is an interesting article about the wisdom of keeping up with office work while on holiday.

Staff holiday – why it could be bad for business

I have posted about this before, while I was on leave, and it is interesting that professionals in the insurance and HR industries are thinking about the effect that this has on people.

Still deciding about two weeks next year, but I will take soundings from those colleagues who have been taking split weeks as well as those who have completely left the office behind for two (or more). What I have noticed is that some of the more senior staff within the organisation do tend to go completely off radar while on holiday as do those who read The Guardian. Maybe I need to reconsider the Blackberry in the bag next time, or at least have the email function switched off.

On the other hand there are others with whom I work who refuse to check emails while on leave, then complain that it takes two weeks on their return to catch up with themselves, while in the meantime, decisions get undecided and progress on projects slows. And their stress levels get turned up to 11.

What I did notice myself, having been keeping up with emails, is that I didn’t really feel that I got the best out of my holiday.

I don’t think that there is any easy answer and I don’t think that there is a right answer. But keeping the balance right is the important thing.

Unfortunately, the consultation was as I feared …

… but worse.

The fellow I saw wasn’t even a locum, he was a retired haematologist from out of the area who they seem to have found just as a stop-gap. He didn’t know my previous consultant and he clearly hadn’t read my notes before I saw him.

I was a bit taken aback when he said “Well, I don’t know what to say to you”. Now, I am a reasonably well-informed, reasonably intelligent, professional man who has been living with this to my knowledge for these past four years. I know what’s wrong with me and I know what the “Watch and Wait” is all about and I know what the prognosis is likely to be. It’s only the time-scale that is the unknown factor at this stage.

If I had been a worried pensioner, and my consultant had said that, I would probably still be on the cardiology ward…

I told him what was wrong with me. I told him a brief history and he did a very brief examination. I told him about the lymphoedema in my leg, but he wasn’t interested in that. He asked me when I wanted to be seen again – I almost told him “tomorrow, but with someone who cares”. But of course, I didn’t.

Not impressed at all by this, I have to say. Maybe I should have taken my chances at The Christies after all, but while I am “well”, it’s not so important. Goodness only knows what would be happening if I’d told him that my symptoms had returned – what sort of care would I get then?

I need to do some research and then see if I can get referred to another consultant.