As requested, a quick update. Yesterday was my first trip back to hospital, to get a second dose of one of the lovely cytotoxic drugs. Unlike last time it only took a few hours, and was carried out in the chemotherapy day unit. Despite being slanderously described as “the cancer farm” by one worried / frustrated wife, it was very comfortable and efficient. There were several rooms, each of which seeming to house ever more people plugged into beeping machinery all of which was going off at different intervals, yet the nurses were on the scene very quickly whenever it was my turn to be plugged / unplugged.
The tea was plentiful and hot, and they even managed to find some sandwiches left over so that I could have a second lunch. One side-effect of haveing a low red-blood count seems to be an insatiable desire for red meat and carbs, whereas I have no sweet tooth at all.
That’s all for now, I’m off on my daily constitutional down to the river.
Lat night Mark cooked risotto, while I directed, encouraged, took photos and drank beer. The recipe and photo-diary are below:
Moving away from the heat, tonight I’m staying in the countryside at a mountain lodge operated by the National Taiwan University. We had a beautiful (unfortunately camera-free) sunset, followed by some fantastic food:
Earlier in the day however, we were slightly hotter. Niels and I were sampling in a river valley in the full sun, at 34 degrees and near 100% humidity. I’m now drinking my sixth litre of water for today. Sampling from 10.00 until 4.30, we have managed to get 40-odd samples which should give me plenty to do back in Cambridge, and if the results are ok a chapter of my thesis. Sounds scary talking about that sort of thing, but it’s a reality I am having to face up to quite quickly.
Three days down, two days in the lab, and still just the one merde incident. I feel like keeping a track of the number of times I successfully dance across the pavement, avoiding another well-laid trap. However, keeping score like this is fruitless; if I score a point each time I avoid some, I effectively lose a million points each time I fail.
On a lighter note, the food today has been great. For lunch we had the plat-du-jour at a local Spanish restaurant, a fantastic paella stuffed with chicken, prawns and saffron. Back in the lab the lasers are switching between playing ball and playing up, but data is appearing quickly at least and I will have plenty to keep me busy over the winter. This evening I wandered around the Christmas-lit city centre with Lauren (who is being paid to do a masters here!) but unfortunately it was raining and I’d left my camera at the hotel, so pictures will have to wait until another night.