New Year – new sh#t

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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.

Total Surprise

I’m on the shortist for Best Newcomer at the British Fantasy Awards.  I don’t know how this happened, other than I published a book I desperately hoped people would like. It seems enough people cared to vote for Exile, so thank you very much if you voted for me.

I now have to organise going to Fantasy Con.

One week on

Went back to St Thomas’s Audiology dept yesterday for tests. I went through all their tests with very little difficulty. They were astonished! This is almost unheard of. I already have greater capacity than some people ever achieve! I was able to use the phone and can watch the News without subtitles. Lots of background noise still defeats the system though so I will need to use the Bluetooth mic for conversations is such situations.

Day two

Yesterday I heard the phone ringing, answered it and was able to speak to the person on the other end. Doesn’t sound like much but I couldn’t do that before. Currently trying to follow the TV without subtitles. Everyone still sounds like Donald Duck.

Switched On!

My cochlear implant was activated today and I’m glad to report it worked well enough for me to hold conversations immediately. Everyone sounds rather squeaky but at least I can hear them. High background noise causes problems but in a quiet environment I can function well. My own voice sounds much louder than before but I’ll get used to that.

Breaking the silence

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.