The check up on 6 February showed that there are no new tumors since the operation in the autumn of 2018; good news.

As part of the follow-up from the last check when I said I was getting more breathless, I had a lung function test. The result shows that both my lung capacity and the ability to transfer oxygen into the blood are around 70-75% of what they were in 2013 before any treatment. Together, that means my capacity is around 50%. That is just something I have to live with and I’m OK about that. Indeed, it helps to have some sort of objective measurement so my expectations of what I can – or hope to be able to – achieve are not too high. At New Year at Stroanfreggan I made it up the hill behind the house, admittedly being towed by Kiki (Ruth’s dog), and that was a great achievement.

As far as the referral to the heart clinic goes, the conclusion is that I have a leaky aortal valve, but they are not too concerned about it and will call me back to check on it in 3 years. It seems as though my blood pressure is high and they put me on FUrix, a diuretic for a 2 month trial. I stuck it out for about a month feeling giddy, with numb fingers and toes and extreme breathlessness, so gave up. And felt immediately better. Being a scientist, I thought I would experiment and started taking half doses. But I had the same adverse effects. So I’ve stopped again and await a consultation on 22 Feb. In the meantime, I’ve been monitoring my blood pressure, although I know the machine we have records values lower than the true value. Nonetheless, I think generally it doesn’t seem high.

I am busy with my watercolour painting and a drawing class and am due to start with another group on Saturday mornings drawing at the Glyptotek. Will I be able to do justice to Marcus Aurelius? The Valby book club, Copenhagen Stoa, knitting, keep fit, yoga and a daily walk, and not to forget Koncertkirken, fill my daily life.

I should finish with another word of thanks to Peter Mejdahl for his care. His parting words were: we will arrange another check up in 6 months, but in the meantime, if there is anything you are worried about, get in touch. He will also write to the heart department to ensure that they are aware of my treatment history, for instance, the chemo could well have damaged my heart, so they can take that into consideration when prescribing medications.