Saturday, 31 January 2015

A Year in Pictures – 30 January 2015 – Moormead

Moormead Park, Twickenham lies to the north of the railway line between North Twickenham and, to the east, St Margarets.

Formed towards the end of the 19th century from waste ground vested in the Parochial Schools, ostensibly to provide space for exercise and recreation and thus for the encouragement of good moral character, it has the pleasant atmosphere of a village green as well as perking up local property values. Each July since 1979 Moormead has been the site of the St Margarets Fair, for which the weather is usually spectacular (although sometimes the heavens open). The River Crane was diverted to form the western boundary of this small park, which accommodates tennis courts and a children's playground at its southern end. One of the local schools use it as a playing field and on Saturdays it is the venue for children's soccer.

My walk every Friday to French conversation class takes me across Moormead. This morning the light was beautiful on my outward journey but I did not have time to try and capture some of its atmosphere with my camera. The shot above as taken on the return journey, when the light was much more bland and less mysterious. I hope to give you more images of Moormead as the year continues.

The title and sub-heading of this blog have changed, prompted by the fact that it has moved on from its original purpose of inviting readers to accompany me on a journey through the experience of a rare lymphoma, Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia, and its treatment. I have been well now for four years, having had two thorough goes of chemotherapy between September 2010 and August 2011. The accounts of all that are still available here and I will continue to refer to medical matters whenever it seems right to do so.

I go back to University College Hospital in Euston every three months for a blood test and my cell counts are currently normal. In the time since I was diagnosed, knowledge of WM has increased substantially, as has understanding of the mechanisms of many cancers. New treatments are being developed that are more precisely targeted and, as a result, more effective and better tolerated than the machine-gun spray of chemo. Just this week the American Food and Drugs Administration (the FDA) has approved one new agent, ibrutinib, for the treatment of WM specifically, the first positive move away from using treatments that are hand-me-downs from the treatment of other blood cancers. The future is exciting, but the new agents are very costly, so there are complications ahead.

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