On creativity, sharing & empowerment

Personal aplastic anaemia blogs tend to end abruptly. Following weeks or months of emotionally charged posts, without announcement, they just… stop. This leaves my mind to flit anxiously between the only 2 possible scenarios: a. the patient has grown tired of recounting their health journey and neglected to inform their readers, orb. the patient has diedContinue reading “On creativity, sharing & empowerment”

How hard times can save your life

Don’t you hate that phrase? “When life gives you lemons… make lemonade!” You’ve just lost your dream job. Or found out your partner slept with your best friend. Or your kid has contracted a serious illness. And some well-meaning moron tries to infuse you with their glass-half-full approach to life – when all you wantContinue reading “How hard times can save your life”

How are you?

It’s a question we ask and are asked constantly – which is curious, as it tends to elicit such a meaningless response. “I’m very well, thank you! How are you?” Any elaboration on all that is going on for you – or just an honest “I feel crap” – is generally received with unease. A full-bodied answerContinue reading “How are you?”

Being born becomes easier with age – true or false?

I have a bumble bee jasper stone, polished into the shape of a heart, about the size of my big toe. A jagged grey line cuts right through the stone, bisecting it in the middle, breaking the heart in half. The left side is yellow flecked with delicate wisps of off-white and golden ochre. TheContinue reading “Being born becomes easier with age – true or false?”

So long, farewell, auf wiedershen, good night

Goodbyes come in many guises. Some are grief-stricken, some are joyful. Some are laden with regret, some are triumphant. Some are transient, some are final. This week, I am doing my round of goodbyes. As I temporarily retreat from ‘normal life’ – knowing that the party will carry on without me – I feel likeContinue reading “So long, farewell, auf wiedershen, good night”

Thanksgiving Haikus

Someone, somewhere is undergoing a rigorous set of medical tests. Soon, he will begin a self-injection regime to send his stem cell production into overdrive. When his bones are near bursting point, release will come by circling his supercharged blood through a cell-separating machine. He will go home drained – quite literally – his marrowContinue reading “Thanksgiving Haikus”

The art of being prepared

Do you remember those saccharine sticks of rock you used to buy at the seaside? The ones with words like ‘Southend on Sea’ impossibly inscribed along the middle. If you sliced through my bones, you would find the word ‘Planner’ debossed in indelible ink along their core. How does an inveterate planner prepare for anContinue reading “The art of being prepared”

Bouncing back from a bad patch

It’s hard to be inside. I mean, confined to a room with no view of the wild world, no sweet scent of nature, no feel of the vagrant wind caressing your skin. Last week, I had a trial run as an in-patient. Keyhole surgery and a 2-day hospital stint. A preparatory exercise ahead of theContinue reading “Bouncing back from a bad patch”

Good things come to those who wait

Picture it. It’s 1998 and the world is spinning faster each day. The Internet is teaching consumers to want things NOW. People can ping a message across the globe in seconds. Businesses can take instantaneous digital payments. Pubgoers – more importantly – want their pint drawn in 10 seconds. But your stout proudly takes 2Continue reading “Good things come to those who wait”

What a hallucinogenic honey hunter can teach you about risk and reward

I’ve been badgering the doctors for the precise risk-profile of my upcoming procedures. Demanding hard stats – like the fact that 80% of aplastic anaemia patients are still alive 5 years after initial diagnosis. Percentages that allow me to build a framework around my condition – to neatly place each possible outcome into a boxContinue reading “What a hallucinogenic honey hunter can teach you about risk and reward”