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From the other side

Anna Donald’s last blog

3 Aug, 09 | by BMJ

Anna Donald Anna Donald died on 1 February 2009. The blog below was found on her computer posthumously. At a memorial service for her at UCL on 26 April 2009, a six minute video was shown that was edited from material shot for a documentary and interactive website that will be launched in late 2009. Follow this link to watch the video. more…

Anna Donald

2 Feb, 09 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald Anna died on the morning of 1 February, Sydney time. She was surrounded by her family and by the prayers and thoughts of her friends around the world. Anna took great comfort and encouragement from the comments made on this site, and her blog was one of her great delights over the last few months. Thank you to everyone who has taken part. Michael

Anna Donald on the joy of carers and nasogastric tubes

22 Dec, 08 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald I’m lying in bed at 4 in the afternoon drinking Yakult. The little pot of yoghurty bacteria, recommended by a friend. I have no idea if it will help my grumbly tummy/abdomen, so, like so many things, I’ll give it a go and see. I still have mucositis from my mouth right through my gut, making eating hazardous and throwing up an embarrassingly common and unpredictable event (for example, in my carer’s car). I’ve started to carry little plastic bags in my handbag, just in case. more…

Anna Donald blogging again

12 Dec, 08 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald It’s been a bit of a rough five weeks, as readers might have guessed from the protracted absence of blogs. Apparently I was “overdosed” on chemotherapy and ended up in hospital for 4.2 weeks. Which is four weeks too long. Though to be honest, I was so out of it during the first two I could have been anywhere. I just remember a blur of nurses, nappies (!), being bundled into an airbed (which makes little scuffling noises as different air pockets are inflated beneath you), and constant visits from my devoted family and friends  who loomed over the bed, some with horrified looks. more…

Anna Donald’s American dream

6 Nov, 08 | by BMJ

Anna DonaldI have just finished sobbing for hours over Barak Obama’s winning the US Presidency. I lived in Boston, Palo Alto (California), and Albany New York as a small child. My father a student on a scholarship, we camped all the way across the country and back. (What possessed my family to go south in summer and north in winter is beyond me, but it did mean seeing spectacular ice formations in Wyoming, hanging off the gutters of the motel we could just about afford.) more…

Ice cold in Alice with Anna Donald

3 Nov, 08 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald I have just returned from a 40-year “anniversary” with my father, who adopted me, sort of, at two. A long time ago. When Morris Minors still bootled about with wooden interiors; Chuppa Chups had not yet been invented; and the moon was still unmarked by human boots. Martin Luther King, however, was dead. more…

Anna Donald on colonialism and skin tone

17 Oct, 08 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald A blog, at last. I apologise to kind readers who have been wondering where I’ve got to. We went on holiday for a week – seven days in the equatorial sun in the far north of Australia. It was heavenly. The sea was green and 23-25 degrees centigrade (for US readers who might think we visited the Arctic sea if these temperatures were Fahrenheit). The beach was four miles long – or at least I think it was; it’s called four-mile beach. Maybe I’m being too literal. more…

Anna Donald: When I wish I didn’t have cancer

18 Sep, 08 | by BMJ

Anna Donald I am lying in bed, propped up with a silly number of pillows. I’ve stolen my husband’s, who is spending the night in Taree, a small country town about four hours away, where he is arguing a case about termite control. I’ve always wondered how he knows so much about such an esoteric range of subjects. Now I’ve figured it out.


Anna Donald: What makes me feel good?

10 Sep, 08 | by Anna Donald

Anna Donald This blog is in response to a fourth question from Richard Smith: “What makes you feel good?” The question stymied me a bit. Not because there aren’t oodles of things that make me feel good. But because I don’t have a coherent way of laying them all out. A list? In the end I’ve resorted to those that felt most important. Forgive me for a long and rather shambly blog.


Anna Donald: Who are we?

28 Aug, 08 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald I’m in the middle of an exciting and depressing thought. Basically, that with the demise in the West of theology we have no valid way of talking coherently about existence. I know this is true from a practical point of view because writing this blog is difficult. I am forever stumbling over words and concepts to express my experience of living in the shadow of death. Psychobabbling. So what makes it so hard (apart from my literary ineptitude)? more…

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