Dear all, This is Alison. Today Mark was admitted to hospital for the rest of the week to finish his treatment. He cannot control his sickness and the travel is becoming very difficult. His PEG has also been causing problems. Dr Johnson – who for some reason we all call Dr Dan (to be fair his first name, not just some random name) and who I think I could easily have been teaching A Level to a few years ago – says that it is remarkable that he has got this far without being admitted. It has been a difficult week so far and not the start we were expecting. However, discussions with the consultant and registrar today were constructive. My Mum has been over for the last 2 days holding fort and giving emotional support – thank you. One place Mark and I feel very safe in at the hospital is the Helen Rollason centre which offers complimentary therapies and has peaceful music and a nice fountain etc. The BBC filmed there 6 weeks ago at the start of Mark’s treatment and it was just featured on the One Show. I’m not one for fundraising, but I have been happy to buy my Christmas cards from them this year and hope in the future I can give them something back, along with Macmillan who are also fantastic. In one sense it is unbelievable that there are only two days to go until active treatment is over, but Mark will need to recuperate and build himself up after and we will be visiting the hospital frequently. Hopefully as he gets stronger his blogs will become more frequent again.


8 thoughts on “Hospital

  1. Greetings Selfies,

    Thank you Alison for keeping the blog updated, with all that you have going on, we really appreciate it.

    It’s no wonder Dr Dan is surprised – in the relatively short time he has gotten to know you guys he simply hadn’t seen the steely determination that runs through your man. Whilst his ‘flesh may be weak’ at this time, it’s clear that his fighting spirit is more than willing. Just one final round to go and whilst we know that climbing down the mountain is not as easy as we’d like to imagine, you do at least have the chance all to catch breath and recuperate.

    I’m wondering what Mark’s first meal will be once he is able to resume eating in the standard practice – steak and kidney pudding or a spicy vindaloo? I wouldn’t be surprised if Neil or Brucie organised a sweep stake on it!

    On a practical note, if you’re unable to be at school before the end of term, do you want pigeon holes clearing and stuff taken home (to yours of course)? In the grand scheme of things that may the last thing on your mind, but if it helps, just say and I’ll sort it.

    And so I sign off with a prayer, that you are all given the strength to endure tomorrow and every day afterwards can enjoy the descent as strength returns.

    Take care and with love
    mogs x


  2. Please tell Mark that I have just got back from Monk-Jones house supper. It was a fabulous evening and he should feel very proud of his House and the great job that Ellie did. The Heads of House spoke very well and it was clear that Ellie knew the pupils very well and really shared in their joy at winning the competition. The young ladies on my table think Mark is by far the funniest House master and enjoyed the tales I told them about him!!!!! Not really- I behaved myself.
    Sorry he is not so great as the treatment comes to a finish but I feel sure he can summon up the strength and willpower to continue the fight and begin to build his strength back before too long.
    Thinking of you all.
    Cloughies xxxx


  3. And so the curtain has come down on the end of a long term and a course of gruelling treatment for you. From you’re vantage point we ants have scurried hither and thither and now at last have the opportunity to enjoy a lie in tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, you guys have scaled arduous heights and can at long last begin the descent into a form of normality. How you all deserve it.

    Doing the job I do, I do get the joy of seeing how we operate across the campus – PS assembly could not have been more formal. A dignified silence prior to Bill’s entrance, the school looking tip top smart as you like. I give my Christmas message – like the Queen’s but with wrapping paper and ribbon. Then it’s a as dignified as you can dash to the Mem Hall to set up for their assembly. All was going well until one of the work guys accidently nudged one of the projectors thus giving us double vision. Jiggling didn’t help so up the ladder I sped to turn off the machine and down again to set up the presentation. Just in time before a posse of prefects with antlers on their heads enter the Hall pulling a sleigh with a Santa headmaster sat inside! The random distribution of Quality Street and Haribo caused mayhem, but the assembly was most enjoyable! I think Bill might take to the idea!

    Christmas lunch served to the support staff, I’m now off home to catch up with family I’ve hardly seen this last 10 days or so.

    Take it steady coming down, Mark – one step at a time is all it takes, so be patience with yourself.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon when you’re feeling stronger.

    Take care


  4. Dear Mark and Alison,

    I’m just on my way back from visiting Sandy and Rachael and in shock at hearing your news. I just thought I would write you a quick note to say that I’m thinking of you and your family at what must be such a trying time. Sending warm and positive thoughts and looking forward to seeing you when you’re restored to full health in the not too distant future.

    Ellie x


  5. Dear Mark,

    I’m sorry to hear that you have not had a great time of it as the active treatment comes to an end; I hope that this week is a better one.

    I was hoping to upload a video that I thought might cheer you up but as I’m not very technically minded I can’t see how I can do that…The video is of Isla clapping – she’s coming along so well, sleeping through and everything! She is such a happy baby that, believe it or not, I’m no longer a grouch in the morning šŸ™‚

    It was hard going back into work last week and leaving Isla with Grannie/Darren but feel better for it; going in in January isn’t so daunting now.

    I was so happy to hear of Monk Jones winning the Autumn House Supper (and to think they did it winning the sport competitions – WHAT!!! šŸ™‚ I took Isla along and had a lovely time, Ellie did a great job organising it.

    Well I best be off – Isla will be wanting her dinner soon (I never realised how much of my life would revolve around her sleeping and eating habits!)

    Sending lots of hugs and well wishes.

    Jay x


  6. Hey Mark,

    I hope the descent is going according to plan and as you are slowly regaining some strength. The start of the holidays has been as hectic as the end of term here with a rush to see outlaws who’ll be away at Christmas, writing the annual letter to family, friends and those others who were once close but now we only manage to catch up with at Christmas time. Also made two varieties of chutneys to use up the apples we had from the tree at the bottom of the garden and distilled the damson gin we’ve made for the first time. The gin soaked damsons formed the base of a very potent pudding that eldest daughter and I scoffed – just knocked up a nutty flapjack style topping that went very well with them.

    Took the girls to see Paddington tonight as a festive outing – enjoyable experience, though the film is sure not to linger too long in the memory although it did have it’s laugh out loud moments. Near the end there was one piece of high drama and the tension in the auditorium was broken when a young voice gasped, ‘No!’ at the do or die scene that playing before us.

    The plan is to get on and finish letter and writing Christmas cards tomorrow and hopefully will be able to squeeze in making pecan marzipan and decorating the cakes. I also need to do some shopping – just what do you get that says ‘I love you’ without costing a fortune? Answers on a postcard please!

    Also planning what to say at the church’s carol service on Sunday (4pm Mem Hall – to be followed by mulled pies and minced wine!) . I’m thinking it could be about the faith God puts in us, as shown by Jesus being given to Mary, but I need to mull it over more.

    Anyway chap, I’d better go, I’ve got the dentist and a filling to look forward to so I’d best sign off.

    Take care


  7. Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the blog… mogs is there – arghhh!

    Greeetings lovely Self family – a week into the descent and I hope that without any sense of rush, things are slowly settling down and that Mark is feeling better bit by bit – obviously we’d all like those bits to be big, huge, gigantic bits, but will happily accept little bits!

    Dentist went well although her assistant is as delicate as an rhino handling cut glass – far too many times she shoved in the suction thingymebob far too far and caused me to gag! She was the same girl who, when I walked into the reception was, with the decorum of a geordie builder, was pulling up her leggings over a large or pregnant belly. Classy!

    The pecan marzipan is simply divine! Couldn’t get hold of liquid glucose so substituted it with maple syrup – oh my word, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, pecans, maple syrup and egg yolks heated and beaten till cooked- lush!

    Mulling over what to say at the carol service, I’ve changed direction and am now looking at how the successful Old Testament prophecies only came about because of personal struggles. All that stuff about the virgin giving birth and Bethlehem being the place may sound as though God had it all planned and it’d be a smooth delivery but the reality is that the discovery of the virgin’s pregnancy nearly led to the break up of the betrothal and public disgrace and the coming out of Bethlehem meant that the mum had to travel 4 days on an ass, heavily pregnant and a little stressed out as the only place they could stay was a stable. Ironic that there were “tidings of comfort and joy” but for those involved were “feelings of discomfort and annoyed”. He never promises an easy ride, just that He’ll ride along with us – I guess you guys know that more than most.

    Anyway, may all that you take is care and all that give is love this Christmastide.

    Thinking of y’all


  8. Hello,
    Just a little note to say that I am thinking of all of you and to wish you all the very best in the next phase of your recovery.
    As usual, I have gone to see my parents for the holidays. After another hectic term at the College, it is a bit weird, but lovely to suddenly have time to do lots of other things; so I am trying to make the best of the next few days with my parents. Days are strangely slower here and I share my time between doing crafty activities with mum and spending day on the golf course with dad: so far, I have knitted a little pouch (with beads and everything!!) and I have made mum a wall organiser; Then in the afternoon I play golf with my father: he has been going everyday for the past year so he is making great progress; not quite the same picture with me, but it is still a great way to spend an afternoon and so good to catch up and get some fresh air. Tomorrow the rest of the family starts arriving so with 12 of us in the house, I feel that this may be our last quiet evening.
    Take Care,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s