Well, after thinking that I had no hospital visits until next year, I was called in for a bone scan last month. It’s a routine procedure but unfortunately, my results showed osteoporosis in my spine and osteopenia in my hips and I’m now waiting for an appointment to discuss treatment. It wasn’t a total surprise as I knew my vertebrae had collapsed due to the leukaemia in my bone marrow - I’ll be interested to see if they can do anything about it. The scan itself was ok - the nurse described it as “a giant photocopier” and I was in and out in 30 minutes. My last blood tests showed that I have high cholesterol too and I’ve been prescribed statins - I’m modifying my diet as well to try and reduce it. I already have a fairly healthy lifestyle but my mother had cholesterol issues so it’s likely that my levels are hereditary rather than food related. My kitchen is full of vegetables, seeds, porridge and plant stanol drinks - but no cake or biscuits sadly...

October was my birthday month so it was a good excuse to treat myself a bit - there have been a few comedy gigs, a couple of 80’s evenings and yes, more theatre. I was lucky enough to get a ticket for an evening with Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys - it was a launch for his new book and quite a small event (I even got a signed copy of the book!) “Please” by the Pet Shop Boys was the first album that I ever bought - I saved up my pocket money in 1984 to buy it on cassette so it was great to hear him in conversation. I also ticked off another two things from the “wish list” that I
made in hospital - a return to the Randolph, my favourite hotel in Oxford and to sit in a box at the theatre (which we did at the Gielgud Theatre).

Just before my birthday, I went to a show in London - it was West End stage performers singing at a Hallowe’en themed evening. I went with two friends and we all dressed accordingly (Veronica from Heathers, Wednesday Addams and I was Javert from Les Miserables.) Nobody gave us a second look on the Tube (despite the fake blood!) except one elderly lady who kindly pointed out that Hallowe’en was still two days away... The evening was hosted by Matt Lucas - he spotted me in the second row and asked me to come up on stage. He decided to call me “Claire Javert” - I did see him after the show and thanked him for the opportunity - I mean, who gets to be on a West End stage with Matt Lucas - especially when he’s dressed as a Rubik’s Cube ??