This post will come as no surprise to those who caught my Facebook updates over Christmas and New Year. For those who did not let me summarise: things went very badly wrong!
My white blood cell levels crashed and I was twice admitted to Frimley Park Hospital with infections my immune system could not cope with. I have now been prescribed a new regime of chemotherapy with a single agent, Ibrutinib which I will start on Monday. This is a new treatment but everything I have read about it sounds very positive.
This inevitably meant that my cochlear implant surgery, which should have been yesterday, has been postponed until my white blood cell count improves. This may be several months, so I’m not going to be getting out to Cons, writing group meetings etc until the summer.
In other news: physical copies of Nandor, book 2 of the Nandor Tales, are now available. The e-book version has been out for a month or so, but there are as yet no reviews (hint!). The audiobook of Exile has been delayed due to the illness of the narrator, but I’m told it should be available in Feb.
Things have been quiet around here, mostly because I’ve been sitting at home taking my Ibrutinib and waiting for things to happen. Some things I’m still waiting for – the audiobook of Exile, the hardcopy of Nandor – but now I have significant news. My cochlear implant operation is to be on June 1st. Now this doesn’t mean I’ll have hearing back immediately; there’s a 4 week wait before it is switched on, and then the completely unknowable of how well it will work. But it is a bid step forward from where I am.
Going well, tolerating the drug (Ibrutinib) well. The knee and ankle pain has largely passed thanks to the steroids. Consultant says blood are OK and has approved me to go back on the schedule for the implant surgery.
One week into the new treatment.
Last week was tough, particularly Thursday and Friday. My ankles got sore and swelled up, my knees got sore so that I could barely walk. I was prescribed a hefty dose of steroids which I started Saturday and which worked pretty quickly, by Sunday I was walking freely again. I have had no other side effects and the swollen glands in my neck have gone right down. Had bloods today and the key indicators are all heading the right way.
So far so good!
I have been approved for cochlear implant surgery to go ahead on Jan 17th, provided I can stay well until then.
Oh, and I sold another old story
Been a while since I could say this as I haven’t written a worthwhile short story in over 5 years so obviously this relates to an older story, but I’m happy to say that ‘The Locked Room’, a collaboration with the talented Gaie Sebold, will appear in the 4th Spectral Book of Horror Stories.
Less than a year ago, Aron of Darien risked his life to deliver Nandor from its enemies. Now a new peril threatens; Lady Celaine is abducted and the bonds of friendship and honour demand Aron returns once again serve the Earl of Nandor. The road to rescue leads them to the infamous city of Keshan and, beyond to a war zone where they face a barbarian horde. For Aron the stakes are higher than ever as he faces demons and traitors and a decision that will change his life.
Due out in November.
Health update: I saw the Haematologist last week and my blood results are stable. No further treatment is planned. I have an appointment on Friday to be assessed for cochlear implants. I very much hope I’m accepted as these offer the prospect of some functional hearing again.