Postponement of my PhD

I’ve not made a habit of writing personal posts here on my blog, but my current life situation influences my work and my ability to blog on a regular basis, so I think a little explanation is appropriate. Since the beginning of March I’ve been staying in my mother’s home taking care of her. She has recently been diagnosed with incurable lung and lymph node cancer. I do not wish to instigate a debate on cancer by writing this post – there are other excellent forums out there for that.

Without getting too personal, I think it’s safe to say that being a cancer patient and a cancer patient relative is a very tough job – my mother and I (as the rest of the family and our friends) are slowly learning to live under these new circumstances. One major lesson learned already is that now it is the cancer that controls our lives – cancer is so unpredictable and things may change rapidly. I’ve been trying to keep up with my work, but not very successfully. Especially this unpredictability and the emotional stress that follows makes it almost impossible to keep appointments, deadlines, plan ahead etc. I’m probably what many people would characterize as a workaholic, I really do enjoy my work, I’m still immensely fascinated by my PhD project, I value teaching and supervising very much and I do have some fantastic colleagues … but none of this comes even close to what I feel for my mother!

So – together with my PhD supervisors – I’ve decided to apply for a postponement of my PhD period, so that I can take care of my mother and try to make the best of whatever time we have left.  The postponement has not been effectuated yet, but I expect it to happen soon. This means that I will not be blogging as much as I used to, and it also means that I will not be as much in-world. However, I will work a little whenever possible – working is a way of trying to maintain just a little normality/sanity in the midst of a truly chaotic situation.

I’m privileged with supporting friends and colleagues form near and far – I’ll take this opportunity to thank all … sometimes there’s just no energy left to respond, but it means the world to me :-)