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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…

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: What’s maddening about living with advanced cancer

20 Aug, 08 | by BMJ

Anna Donald It’s time to tackle Richard Smith’s third request for information about living with advanced cancer: what’s maddening about it?

Hmmm … where to start? There are so many maddening things about cancer.

Some are obvious: not being able to control your destiny in the illusory way you are used to. Not being able to work. Being too tired to see friends. Not having children. Not being able to adopt children because they’ve been through enough trauma, usually, without you dying on them. more…

Anna Donald starts unpacking

28 Jul, 08 | by Anna Donald

Anna DonaldWe moved. We are now living between piles of boxes and unpacked, random items: spoons; piles of sports socks; a wooden statue made from a tree in Oxford; the iron; a huge Herend teapot.

The first day was totally chaotic. It took me an hour to get dressed. I put on my socks. Then realised I had no idea where a shirt, trousers, or indeed any useful item of clothing might be. I hopped about the boxes and suitcases, freezing cold (it is mid-winter here), trying to locate anything wearable. Stuffed toys, ink cartridges, garbage bags and sleeping bags (all of which I managed to find before I found a shirt) didn’t count.

more…

Anna Donald goes to Tasmania

22 Jul, 08 | by Anna Donald

Anna DonaldApparently, we are moving to our new apartment on Thursday. Only we haven’t completed the sale as planned, on Monday. This is our fault, sort of. The bank didn’t send documents in time before we went on holiday in Tasmania. So we signed them late. more…

Anna Donald: Funerals and hairstyles

11 Jul, 08 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald Oh dear. I’ve just been to another funeral. The third one this year. Death swirls its big mysterious cloaks around us (what colour? black? rainbow? purple?), sweeping change to all of our lives. At this rate I’m going to outlive everyone. more…

Anna Donald prepares to move house

3 Jul, 08 | by Anna Donald

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. more…

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