When I was first asked to write, I had a major dilemma on my hands: it was several years after leaving University and upon finishing the book the question arose as to what to include in the Bibliography.
Obviously, many years of reading had formulated my theories and assumptions, and if I was forced to include the title of every single history book I had read then I ran the risk that the bibliography would be larger than the book itself. On the other hand, to exclude books that may have helped to formulate my ideas would be unfair on the authors of those influential works. Click here to read more »
After several months of worry, operations and recovery it is a relief to be able to start work again without the niggling side issues that have plagued me for so long.
It has been very hard to get back into the swing of things after such a long time out. Nevertheless, I’ve just brought the story down to the death of Orestes, which is nominally the end of the book. I am now waiting for the school half-term holidays to be over (they go back on Monday), after which I can begin the process of amending/adding to the text of the last chapter prior to reading through and correcting spelling mistakes etc. Once that is done, it’s on to the Introduction and Conclusion. And the sending out of drafts to friends/colleagues to get their input – it saves me from a lot of problems!
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In my last post I said that I wouldn’t be updating things on my blog but have realised that one more update may be useful. On Monday 28 April I went into hospital to get the result from the first test after the operation. Although it will take years’ more tests to be positive, the first indications are that the cancer has been removed – a PSA result of 0.0007. Thankfully, this means that I do not have to go through Radiotherapy or Chemotherapy – yet.
I will now need to go back for a new test every 3 months for at least the next 18 months, in the course of which I am hoping that the PSA level will remain low, or possibly go even lower. If that is the case, then the cancer is no more, it has ceased to be, it has gone to meet its maker ….
Well, you get the idea! And I’m sorry to quote Python again after all these years!
In the immediate future, what this means is that I can now get back to work. I have been commissioned to draw some maps, but after that I will get back into the book and hopefully finish it well before the end of the year.
Once again I’d like to thank everybody for their good wishes and support. It has been very much appreciated. I just hope that the future will bring the news that I hope for.
Thank you all.
I won’t be posting any more updates about the prostate cancer on my blog. I’ve realised, from talking to others, that many people feel embarrassed to talk about their problems in public. I have no such feelings: I didn’t want or ask for cancer and I see no shame in the problems I am having during my – admittedly very simple – treatment for the condition. Had I opted for radiation therapy or chemotherapy I would doubtless feel a lot worse and have far more ‘interesting’ stories to tell. However, even something as simple as a Radical Prostatectomy has its drawbacks and I decided that I would document my experiences and feelings so that others in the same position would have some sort of reference if they felt that they needed it.
Consequently, I have written a long and fairly detailed account of my operation and its aftermath, which can be found on the menu to the left on the main page entitled ‘Me and My Radical Prostatectomy’. If you know anybody who is having or has had the same procedure and is wondering if their recovery is standard or odd, I would be grateful if you could point them in the direction of the page, and if they want to contact me privately to compare experiences tell them to use my email address. However, remind them that experiences vary from person to person and I am not a medical practitioner, just a poor sucker that’s been through it!
First of all, let me say a quick thank you to all of the people who have sent messages of support regarding my illness. It has been very, very much appreciated. I didn’t know so many people read my blog!
My most recent news is that I went into Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital on Friday 7 March for a “Robotic Radical Prostatectomy”. Although I was due out on Saturday, typically there were complications and I was kept in until Monday. However, I am now back home and slowly recovering from my ‘ordeal’. The incisions appear to be healing nicely and hopefully on Monday (17 March) the staples will be removed – which will be a relief: the whole area itches like crazy.
At present I have only two reasons for complaining. One is that I tire very easily, which is why at the moment I am only allowed on the computer for short periods, usually no longer than four minutes (though typing this has taken much longer – I’m going to be in trouble with Jo!)
The second is easy to understand for all men. Tubes should not go there. They simply shouldn’t! When I am walking I look like a 90-year-old man with bladder problems! And it has to be left in for a fortnight. Two weeks! Fourteen days!! Will this torment never end?
Yes, alright, “it will end after fourteen days”. I know that. It’s just that as far as I am concerned that’s a very, very long time in the future …
I have just had it brought to my attention that there is a page entitled: “Tubidy harika müzik dinleme ve indirme sitesi” on the site.
I would like to point out that it has nothing to do with me and that so far I have been unable to delete it. Hopefully, this will be fixed soon. In the meantime, I would advise readers NOT to look at this page or click any links displayed: I have no idea about the purpose of this post.
Hi all. After posting the last page I’ve noticed that I still have a small problem with the site. Recently it was invaded by what I think is a spambot – though with my limited knowledge I could be wrong. Until it is completely fixed please be aware that any link called
canli radyo dinle
or similar was not put on the site with my consent and I will NOT be held responsible for anything that happens should you click on the link and be taken to a “bad” website.
Especially if it leads to ‘adult only’ content!
(I don’t know where the link leads, as I refuse to click it myself! Yes, I am a coward … )
Just to let everybody who’s interested know, I now have the date for my operation: 7 March 2014. This means that in less than two weeks I’ll probably be out of circulation for a while, except for sporadic visits, as I don’t know what effect the op will have: will I be fighting fit after it, or will I be bedridden? I simply don’t know, but I’m hoping for the former.
In the meantime, I’ve now started on the ‘rule’ of Odovacar and have decided to finish with his death, so the book will include the end of the ‘Kingdom of Soissons’ as well as the ‘Fall of the West’. The book was originally due in to the publishers at the end of March, so I have some time left before even the original due date. Having said that, I’m hoping that it will be finished before the start of the school summer holidays in mid-July. Otherwise, the holidays might not be good!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their positive comments and best wishes. I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have taken time out to either post messages or send me personal emails. Thank you all very much.
Firstly, let me apologize for the length of time between the last post and this one. I was hoping to maintain a higher profile than has been accomplished. On the other hand, I believe that I have a good reason for my recent laxity – and for keeping this post short.
Sadly, shortly before Christmas I was diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer, after which I was sent for tests to determine what action to take next.
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Sorry about the delay in posting any new blog entries, but I’ve been ill. (It’s alright: nothing major!) That, plus the fact that I’m still desperately trying to catch up with writing after the need to take on ‘external’ work to pay the bills, hopefully explains why I haven’t been here for a short while.
(In case you’re interested, the attempt to re-take Africa in 468 has just failed and I’m about to start on the ensuing Civil War!) Click here to read more »