A new existence and my first cold (Part 23)



There is no cure for the common cold so with all the bugs that are going round at the moment it was inevitable I was going to catch something.

After weeks of feeling good on the 'steds' (steroids) I am now starting the come down. Coupled with a mild cold and slight chest infection, I just feel run down and drained.

You try not to worry but it's hard not to. I know that the steroids and other drugs I am taking are stopping my immune system from working - so what exactly is going to fight this infection off?

The good news is that most colds are caused by viruses that are limited in their ability to do serious damage. Most just get into your system and burn themselves out.

But for people like me because my body is putting up little resistance this process can take longer and other infections can develop.

That aside the good news at the moment is I haven't got a temperature which means the infection is limited and I can continue to function as normal.

I'm writing this post while having my latest round of treatment at Rotherham.

Like I said in my previous post this is never the life I would have chosen for myself.

But with the help of my ever-supportive colleagues at the Huddersfield Examiner I have started to carve out a new existence.

I have now reprised my role as 'digital journalist' which means I am effectively editing the Examiner's website. My job is to put on any breaking news, ensure all the stories are in the right sections and edited correctly along with selecting pictures to illustrate articles on the web.

The role also means I should be trying to encourage more people into the site through the forums - and blogs.

When I talk about living a new life I also mean accepting that you can no longer plan ahead. I initially found this incredibly difficult - my life plan was that around about now I would have been working for a national news operation in London.

That's what I planned but things change. Now I'm just grateful that I still have a job and that once again I've got a useful function.

Resuming my role frees up an extra reporter in the office which for regional papers is invaluable.
I should add at this point a big thank you to fellow Examiner reporter Sam Casey who has been covering me for the best part of a year.

It's fair to say he was mildly pleased when the remote kit arrived and I was able to work from home.


The steroid dose continues to be reduced so, again, we will have no idea how I'm going to be until the next couple of weeks have passed.

But I have accepted that now. I have sort of trained myself not to think too far ahead. I have work to keep me busy along with as many little projects on the side as I can come up with.

This is coupled with taking Poppy out whenever we are able, seeing friends and family and generally trying to have a good time.

My new attitude also means I don't get scared or inhibited like I used to. If I think something needs saying then generally I will say it.

One of my biggest fears used to be public speaking. I'm still not good at it but I've been asked to talk in front of hundreds of people at several big charity events now and I'm just not phased by it. I suppose living with death hanging over you for so long has to have some hardening effects.

I also find myself very intolerant of people who moan about things that simply do not matter.

I still hate the fact my face is bloated and again my hair has changed - it's come back thick and dark. It's about two steps away from an afro. The 'steds' have also changed the rate at which my hair grows so its receding patches are accentuated.

When I look in the mirror I don't see me looking back which is quite difficult.

I think that's why I still like wearing my hat. I can imagine Trinny and Susannah saying it helps detract from my engorged head.

But the new me doesn't care that much.


At the Yorkshire Press Awards it was a black-tie do and as you can see from the pictures I decided to keep my hat on just because I wanted to.

I would never have done that a year ago.

I'm sure some people will have thought I looked like a right plonker but I genuinely was not concerned.


Steds and Compo hat, or no steds and compo hat.. you'll always be the real slim shAD to me ;)


i read with continual amazement, some jealousy and a feeling of inferiority, your blog.
Three major awards in nearly as many months, international recognition in your field of work, the continual increasing, close openess, deep love, pride, affection and fierce devotion you have from your family and freinds and i think how fortunate you are.
How wonderful that something so awful as leaukemia can lead to things so many of us want, but can't have because we lose our way in life or never find (or can be bothered to search for) or are fortunate enough to have, the catalyst which triggers off our enlightenment thrust upon us .
I think many people discover what is important in life too late for it to make a difference.
When i feel low i read your blog and press the refresh button of my priorities.
Congratulations on being alive and knowing it as opposed to being alive and not knowing it!

(colleague and friend of your father's NHS.)

Hey, I go away for 2 weeks and you're a megastar award winning journo. Well done - you deserve it.

Did I meet your colleague Sam on a press trip to Galway in September? Maybe it was a Yorkshire Water thingy in the summer. Anyway, the name rings a bell.

Hope you fend off the cold virus - I copped for a major chest infection (hospital, oxygen, nebulisers, intravenous antibiotics, the lot) when I caught a cold during chemo. Take care.

Bit of annoying news from hospital - bloods suggest wretched cancer may be growing back sooner than we had hoped. Scan tomorrow, consultant Thurs, and poss more chemo. Hey ho, I guess that's the way it goes. Only 8 months since I finished the last lot!

You stay well.

Jill x

PS I like the hat.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Adrian Sudbury published on December 5, 2007 12:51 PM.

The second bone marrow sample (Part 22) was the previous entry in this blog.

A 50% chance of dying! I'm not having that - it's nearly Christmas (Part 24) is the next entry in this blog.

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