Anna Donald prepares to move house

Anna Donald We have finally bought an apartment. A home in Sydney. We’ve been renting since October. Being in limbo on two fronts, health and home, was getting a bit much. So we bit the currency-exchange-bullet (our money is in sterling and the Australian dollar is at a 23-year high) and bought something.

We haven’t moved yet. That’s why I’ve taken so long to write this blog. The last two weeks have been full of house-moving preparations amid my daily routine of meditation, pills, exercise, prayers, dreambody work, hypnosis, EFT (emotional freedom technique – aka tapping and talking)  – the whole business is awfully time consuming. And I’m very slow. I still have “wet lungs” due to residual (and hopefully disintegrating) cancer in the lymph vessels in my chest, so have coughing fits if I move too fast. And being on chemo (as tablets) slows everything down, although it’s easy to tolerate, so far.

In any case, I am not a natural nomad. Not only do we have the usual complement of kitchenware, sofas, clothing and shoes (my husband likens me to Imelda Marcos, which is very unfair. He has no idea how many shoes most women own. He thinks two brown pairs, one black, and one for tennis should suffice.) We also have way too many books – I’m talking thousands –  many of which I know we’ll throw out when electronic book readers become as ubiquitous as MP3 players, which is soon, now that Amazon’s Kindle product is out. We’d need quite a few donkeys, camels, and horses to lug this lot along the Silk Road. We’d be the laughing stock of the Khyber Pass, unpacking and repacking our ice-cream maker and golf buggy into a line of yurts.

Happily we’re not nomads – or at least we won’t be any more. And we have a whopping great removal van to spare the animals. Just a few more weeks, a few more days of terse conversations with the Australian telecom providers to move the telephone line to the new address, after being on hold for 52 minutes and then being cut off. At least it’s familiar: “We’re sorry for the delay, please hold and you will be connected to the next available agent.” Who writes this stuff – for Australia AND Britain? Someone has the Monty Pythonesque task of inventing automatic voice-overs. Do they ever flip? “We’re not sorry for the delay; we don’t like people which is why this computer is talking to you. Because we don’t like you we will play just 8 bars of Mozart’s clarinet concerto before interrupting you with this message again, until you are connected in approximately 5,674 hours, 45 minutes and 23 seconds.”

Every time I am put on  hold I feel such affinity for John Cleese and Douglas Adams. Stuck between Panic! and Don’t Panic!. 42. I was in England too long. Rather than say, when, almost comatose, I am finally connected to a human being: “Jesus mate that was a long wait!” I say “Oh hello, thank you so much for your assistance, might I trouble you to ask” – OK. I don’t say that exactly. But I haven’t yet excavated Radio 4 from my head, which is probably a good thing. I miss Radio 4.

So, in essence, I haven’t had much time for cancer. The drugs are working. My feet blistered for a day or two, but diclofenac gel worked wonders as it does for so many things. I can breathe without a coughing fit every 5 minutes and my liver apparently is happier, according to the blood tests. Cancer is still THERE: this ever-present keeper that sticks me to the straight-and-narrow (flaxseed oil every day!). But it hasn’t taken over my life too much. Australia’s call centres, on the other hand…

Anna Donald, Blog 10

  • Tom

    Hooray on all fronts.
    Love ya.

  • Mai Luen

    congrats…should have given you my sister’s number…she’s a professional nomad and a damn good mover!!!

  • Dear Anna

    Congratulations!! Very pleased that you have found a lovely apartment in a beautiful area so that you can properly settle down. God Bless! Lots of love, Urmila

  • Tom

    Check out if you can get iPlayer in Australia… you might be able to listen to all your Radio 4 faves over the web… though possibly it only works on UK IP addresses.

  • justin

    Best wishes for the move and all the fun of a new environment. I am delighted to hear how you are getting on with the new tests. But look I know you are a winner , especially in the big battle ,but you dont stand an earthly chance against Call Centresitis – most people endure the press button code until the’ we dont give a stuff about your call however hang on there are only 5 more demented souls ahead of you’.You obviously have more resilience.

    best wishes and prayers


  • Shrilla

    Hey Anna!

    Great to hear that things going well. Have been checking your blog and your progress regularly. You write so beautifully, as ever. Not sure that you’ll remember me- we worked together on an EBM project at the London Chest eons ago. Your blogs are inspiring and bring out such a range of emotions in the reader (and I’m sure the author)

    Keep up the positive mental attitude and blast those cancer cells into oblivion!

    Big kiss


  • Dr.Viveck Atheya

    Dear Anna
    It appears to be a sure sign of recovery-your cribbing about phone calls and shifting.
    May HE/THEY grant you health and peace and satisfaction.

  • Justin

    Hi Anna – have finally tracked down your legendary blog. Hope the move went / goes OK – (i thought you’d got rid of those books – i knew you must have stashed some away somewhere) really glad you’ve finally found somewhere – are Aussie house prices dropping as fast as over here? Your daily regime sounds exhausting – all those amazing sounding mind / body things – i’m just trying to imagine Michael joining you in a spot of EFT (and Viv rolling his eyes at the lack of any solid evidence base!). Keep on bloggin. Polly, Caitlin and Sadie send all their love too.

    lots of love

    PS – how dare you have another friend called Justin!

  • Les Simpson

    Dear Anna,
    This note was stimulated by your Blog 10 comment that you are taking flaxseed oil. You may be interested in my findings which indicate that omega-3 fatty acids could be helpful, but you should be taking 6 grams daily of fish oil. Flaxseed oil contains alphalinolenic acid, the smallest of the omega-3s. It needs to be elongated to eicosapentaenoic acid – the effective agent. This requires that the enzyme delta-6-desaturase is functional, and cancer is one of several chronic conditions in which the enzyme is dysfunctional.
    I have found that blood samples from anonymous cancer patients have changed red cell shape populations. About the time I was doing that work, a daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. So I was able to follow her progress in pre- and post- radical mastectomy, and during radio and chemo therapy. The pre-mastectomy red cell changes continued in the post-mastectomy phase; they were amplified by both radio and chemo therapy, but declined in concert with post-treatment symptom severity. Her mood/tiredness etc was greatly improved by 6 grams daily of fish oil. This is because eicosapentaenoic acid has been shown to increase the fluidity of the red cell membrane, thus improving blood flow. Cancer journals were not interested in this information.
    I wonder if you are aware of the affects of the omega-6 fatty acid, gammalinolenic acid on tumour cells in culture,
    or of Prof Van der Merwes study of oral gammalinolenic acid on untreatable malignancy ?
    With best wishes,
    Les Simpson .

  • Anna Donald

    Hooray! Pleased to read things are going well / better / okay / fine.
    What a woman you are…alas, men just do not get the shoe thing.

  • Dr Dominique Beck

    Dear Anna
    A friend of mine has given me the Good Weekend article about your life’s work because of my own work with EFT, Vipassana, mind-body, etc after leaving academia. I would love to know more about your experiences with EFT, given the amazing tool it is and the little knowledge we yet have about the way it works – and heals.

    Very best wishes

    Dr Dominique Beck

  • SpaceOdyssey42

    Nice article!