20 September - Doctor appointment

An appointment with our GP today. For the last few weeks I have been bothered by a fungal infection causing patches of dry, itchy, scabby skin around both my ankles. It is probably the result of my immune system being weakened. I saw the doc a couple of weeks ago and she prescribed a steroid-based ointment which had no effect at all. Now I have been given a different ointment to try which I hope will be more effective.

The GP asked how my walking was coming on. I told her that I was fine walking on level ground with my eyes focused straight ahead but that I still tended to lose my balance if I turned my head, for example to look over my shoulder or down at my feet if I had to negotiate uneven ground or dodge around pets or small children.

The doc got me to close my eyes, extend one arm and try to touch the tip of my nose. I did this with both arms and then repeated it. Each time, I missed my nose by a couple of inches. The doc said that she is not a neurologist but she thinks that the part of my brain that deals with balance has been damaged and so I am keeping my balance using my vision mainly. She doesn't think that the lost ability will come back - my brain is just learning a new way of dealing with it.

One day I will have to see if I can still ride my bike. I have ridden it down the road and back one time since my brain surgery - but that was probably before I started the radiotherapy.

6 September - Less than 89 kilos

Another four weeks with nothing much to report. I'm feeling pretty well. People who see me in person or who saw the picture taken on our 10th wedding anniversary tell me I look very healthy. So I must be.

My weight this morning was 89.2kg. It has gone below 90kg and stayed below 90kg for the last 4 or 5 days. So I'm almost down to the weight I was before I went into hospital and have achieved my goal of getting down to 89 kilos.

I feel perfectly normal when I'm at home doing nothing much. It's only when I try to do something more physically or intellectually challenging that what I believe to be the long-term effects of the radiotherapy make themselves felt. I now have a very poor short-term memory. And walking further than into town and back or to the park feels like quite hard work.

I have been walking without a stick but still have moments when I feel I am going to fall over. The doctors don't seem to have anything to say about this. Our GP said it might be one of those things that I will just have to live with. One day I will try and see if I can still ride my bike. I did ride it once since my brain surgery - just down to the end of the cul de sac and back. But then I didn't have these giddy spells - though they only happen when I'm standing up.

I feel as if I could drive a car if only I was allowed to. I have written to the DVLA to ask what I have to do to get my driving licence back. I'm still awaiting a reply to that. It's been more than a year now and I have never - touch wood -had any seizures or fits. But the GP said I might have to wait two years before I can get it back.

Now that I'm feeling so much better the inability to drive is making me increasingly frustrated. Olga is still having lessons, but I'm not yet willing to bet on which of us gets our driving licence first!