This is my first blog entry in over a year. In July last year my mother suffered a ruptured duodenal ulcer. Sadly whilst receiving treatment for this she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In October she underwent a hysterectomy and after being readmitted 3 days after dis-charge for a chest infection and bladder infection she finally returned home on October 31st. We had a lovely Christmas together but sadly she suffered a fall on January 18 this year and fractured a vertebra in her neck. Whilst in hospital she developed Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). She smoked for just under 40 years between the ages of 15-54 and although she quit for good in 1980 the smoking had damaged her lungs. High blood pressure for many years meant that she ended up with atrial fibrillation and needed to take an anti coagulant medicine Warfarin. It was the Warfarin that caused the duodenal ucler. She had to stop taking the Warfarin not only to prevent a further bleed but also in preparation for the surgery. Post operation her GP decided not to re start the anti coagulant treatment. So along with the COPD a heart echo revealed a large blood clot in one of the chambers of her heart. I managed to have a few good hours with her the day before she passed away which was at 7.15pm on Tuesday 3rd February this year. I have managed to keep up my academic research and decided that returning to write my blog was a good step to take at this point especially as I am about to attend a graduate school development programme workshop on "Getting Published on the Web".
I am, no longer at Southampton. Despite my mother's illness last summer I soldiered on with the Latin but the lack of scribal support meant that I failed the module. I changed to Portsmouth University where I had began my post grad studies in 2001 on the MSc in Museum and Heritage Studies sadly interrupted by my mother's bowel cancer in 2003. I enrolled on the MRes (Master of Research) in Humanities and Social Sciences in September. I am about 3/4 of the way through the first year and am just beginning preliminary research on my dissertation looking at legal disputes between Protestant clergy and Catholic laity in the Archdeaconry of Lewes in Sussex during the reign of Elizabeth I. I was most fortunate in that Portsmouth took the credit - 30 credits from the core module that I completed last year at Southampton as the 2nd module of this 3 module course the subject specialism module is also 30 credits so they took the Southampton credit as CAT/APL - Credit Accumulation Transfer or Accredited Prior Learning. So I am only undertaking 2 modules the research preparation and development module and the dissertation. I am thoroughly enjoying the course!