In August last year I wrote a blog post with the title “This is not goodbye“. In it I talked about my cancer diagnosis (I have mantle cell lymphoma) and that I’d decided to suspend my studies for a year to fight it off. Sadly, it was also written about a week before my mother died, so deciding to postpone the final year of my Occupational Psychology MSc was definitely the best thing to do at the time.
The good news is that I’m back and studying again. I’m sure that some of you reading this might not believe me when I tell you that I’ve really missed the pressure of assignment deadlines, but I have. We distance learners are an odd bunch I suppose! The not quite so good news is that my lymphoma isn’t gone, but it is under control as (to use the medical jargon) I’ve been fortunate to end up with an indolent variant. This means that I’m able to live normally at the moment without chemotherapy or drugs, even if I do get rather more tired than I used to. If you’re interested in what I’ve experienced so far or, more importantly, want to know about the symptoms of lymphoma and what to do if you think you have them, I’ve been keeping a lymphoma diary on my own blog.
Unsurprisingly, things have changed on my course while I’ve been away. I was expecting that the first piece of work that I would need to complete would be my dissertation proposal in October, but that’s now not due in until December. Instead, the first deadline I have is for the assignment on the psychology of training and development module, due in early November. However, I’ve made a resolution that I’m not going to waste the extra time I have for the dissertation proposal, so I’m already knee-deep in books and research papers on salesperson performance. OK – I’m exaggerating. Maybe I’m just ankle-deep in them.
Even though I feel more daunted about the prospect of study than I have ever done since I first started my journey as a mature student with the Open University’s Exploring Psychology module back on January 27th 2007 (I just checked the exact date on their equivalent of blackboard – amazingly, I still have an OU login that works!), I’m looking forward to the challenge. I think. Please remind me that I wrote that as soon as I inevitably start whingeing about the workload and feeling tired again. It will be my own fault …