Time : Day + 180

2am. A warm greeting to all. Apologies to all those who have been awaiting an update, here it is. In short, I have been busy trying to re-integrate into life: I am back working at the Royal Academy of Music (3 days a week). Students and colleagues have been touchingly supportive. It is surreal to be back to work. I am also busy practising and working with 2 new musical projects, which is a welcome source of absorption and comfort. Surprisingly the obligations of work help create the motivation to get on with my own creative projects, more than if I had all the free time in the world. I was getting very low and unmotivated with empty days but am feeling more positive now. I feel the past few months post-BMT have been, in many ways, the toughest part of the journey- hard to believe isnt it? Health-wise, things are pretty good: no GVHD, engraftment appears to be full and my stamina is slowly increasing. My medication is minimal: Penicillin twice daily and Septrum 3 times a week. I was looking back at some of my old entries and only a few months ago my daily medications were unbelievable. How I recovered from it, I don’t really understand- but I am grateful and I am trying to justify my experience by living my life better. What that means exactly I am still working out. Anxiety is also improving, although I am faced with various stresses and challenges at this stage in my life. I am 34 and I feel I have lived a number of lifetimes with this experience- but somehow, life goes on. What I do know for sure is that life is short. Fleeting. I feel we need to grab it when we can because we are on very fragile ground. Although I feel this vulnerability keenly now, it has also lessened a lot of petty stresses in my life. Being presented with one’s own mortality, leaves one with little to fear.

I had lunch with Tim Stollery ( a fellow cancer survivor) – there we were just like normal people. He said that he was finding it hard to cope with the fact that the world hadn’t changed it all despite him personally having a life-changing experience. I would have to concur. I will probably spend the rest of my life assimilating and deriving meaning from this event. I still don’t feel sorry for myself or ‘regret’ this- only in the anguish it has caused Bridget, my family and friends. I just feel indescribably grateful to have a life at all, to love and be loved, play music and to have some more precious time to rediscover the good in the world. Well it’s late and I am lecturing in the morning, so I will sign off. After work, I may go and surprise the docs and nurses at Charing Cross Hospital (Where I spent Nov 2004 – March 2005) and thank them for, you know, saving my life and all that. Still can’t believe that it is not yet a year since DIAGNOSIS (Nov.22) Occasionally the bizarreness of it just hits me and I have to call Bridge and ask “Did that really happen?” Well apparently it did. Anyway I will endeavour to write again sooner and post up some more pics and music. All my best to all of you, love Milton.

P.s. I have memorized the names and the dates of the reigns of all the British monarchs from 1066-2005, the birth and death dates of 50 composers and the melodies and chords of 63 jazz tunes recently. Why? Erm, so I won’t get invited to parties perhaps?

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