Two Crazy Weeks

I never anticipated the popularity of this blog, or the pressure of actually having to regularly update it. Please excuse my absence over the past couple of weeks. As you can imagine, Christmas, and its preparations, are absolutely exhausting. Couple this with chemotherapy and you're left with barely enough time to sleep and celebrate.

But I'm back! There have been a few exciting events since I last left you.

1) We've hit 21,000 independent visitors since October. That's equivalent to the entire population of the town of Jerudong in Brunei.

Yeah, I've not heard of it either...
2) I underwent my second chemotherapy session. It's already starting to become routine and feeling more comfortable. I went with my mother to the Macmillan Centre of UCH as usual for my appointment on Tuesday 17th December.

Unfortunately, there are already some hiccups. It seems the chemotherapy is destroying my bone marrow at a greater rate than my body can either repair or renew the damaged cells. This leads to a general drop in white blood cells, prominently the number of neutrophils. Neutrophils are a key component of the immune system and are the body's first line of defence by causing inflammation around the infection to prevent spreading.

Medically, this is referred to as neutropenia and is a very common occurrence in chemotherapy patients. It is common practise to then delay the next treatment until the neutrophil levels have return to normal amounts, showing that the bone marrow has adequately recovered.

In my case, the chemotherapy is a little different. I have a session of chemo every two weeks, but two sessions are called a cycle. These cycles are split into the A and B sessions. I learned that an A session can be delayed, but a B cycle cannot. I underwent chemotherapy that day.
I had my custard cream fix, just ten times bigger.
3) I met Roy Hodgson. No offence, Roy, but I'm not exactly the biggest football fan. I didn't know who you were before that day. He came to the Macmillan Cancer Centre to present the Teenage Cancer Trust (that provide the 'extra-curricular' activities that the centre offers) with an oversized cheque for £300,000 on behalf of the Football Association. For those who are still confused, he is the manager for the England World Cup team in 2014.

To see the video, click HERE.

That's F.A. TV, not FAT V. Also featured on the BBC London News.
4) CHRRRRRRIIIIIISTTTTMAAAAAASSSSSS happened. And it was the best Christmas that ever was. I may be full on Jew, but that doesn't stop it from being one of my favourite times of the year. It was particularly fortunate that my family were all in good health (risk of infection for my low immune system!) and we were able to spend the days together.

My parents and grandparents all pooled together to get me a PS4. Awesome! However they are sold out everywhere and it should arrive in a few weeks. Boo! If you are a burglar, please don't believe this paragraph. Ta.

The single moment that really moved me this Christmas was the love and generosity from my cousins, aunts and uncles in the form of a care hamper. They had secretly researched all of my favourite things and things they know I will need in the coming months. I'm now well stocked up on jelly. And Borders Gingers - I think we've single-handedly kept them and Hartleys in business.
Our Christmas Montage
Wow, my fingers are tired. I guess that should do for now. I intend to make another update tomorrow as I am going for a minor procedure to get a PICC line installed. It's a permanent tube which goes from my arm to my heart. This means that I won't need any more needles for chemotherapy. For those who want to suck up to teacher, you'll find all the information HERE.

Finally... I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.


Joshua Lerner

Hi! I’m the 'star' of Livin' With Lymphoma. The blog was founded on the 31st October 2013, on the day I was diagnosed with Stage 4B Hodgkin's lymphoma. I hope you find it funny and informative.

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