Month: January 2014

Second chemotherapy session

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I felt very good all the time I was in the Netherlands. In fact some people commented that they wouldn’t have guessed I was ill if they didn’t already know. The only real indications were that I got tired quite easily and, when out walking, I occasionally had to ask people to slow down a bit.

I got back to the UK last Friday night and, since Saturday, I haven’t felt quite so good. My breathing started affecting my voice again, I felt tightness in the chest again and some of the dull pains came back. I should have had my next chemotherapy session in the first week of January, but I was away. There’s a reason the sessions are three weeks apart!

I went in for the second session on Wednesday this week. As before, I was attached to a drip from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, while three litres of chemicals were pumped into me. I didn’t feel quite so tired this time, except towards the end. I have felt fine in the days since. Once again, I’ve had no bad side effects!

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A typical day at Passout

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A group of three volunteers set up and maintain the breakfast table. It has cereal, pouring yoghurt, sprinkles, bread, spreads, cheese, hams, chopped fruit, tea, coffee, boiled eggs… It’s available till after midday, so you can make rolls for your lunch.

After breakfast, you might go on the Wifi to check emails and so forth. Some people like to go for a run; others like to go for a walk. You’ll usually be able to find companions for either. There were some more organised excursions. One group went swimming in Eindhoven, where there’s a very nice pool with lots of fun slides. Another group went to a climbing centre in Eindhoven. There was also a visit to Utrecht for a circus show. Once the show’s run had finished, one of the performers came for the rest of the festival.

In the middle of the day, there are often non-juggling workshops. That’s when I gave my Sudoku workshop. There was also a Backgammon workshop and a Lindy Hop workshop. Naturally, you can always go to the hall and pass clubs. Just about everyone at the festival passes clubs, and well too. So you can ask anyone to pass, whatever type of pattern you want to try. With so many good passers in one place, there are often new ideas to test. When not passing clubs, jugglers like playing games. Many people bring their favourite board and card games, so there are plenty to choose from, and usually many willing takers.

In the evening, a group of five or six volunteers make dinner. When William was the chef, he made Snert, which is a Dutch pea soup. Apparently, the way to test how good it is is to stand your spoon in it! After dinner there are usually one or two juggling workshops. Sometimes they are on theory. You need theory to record patterns, but also to create new ones. Of course, people also play games and drink into the small hours.

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