Retrospective on 2021

Well, 2021 has been a bit of a downer in a number of ways. There has been some upsides though.

  • I spent the first part of 2021 burned out, as in – totally burned out – of my career and really needing a break. This affected my work. It turns out that unknown to me at the time, I had cancer, Hodgkins Lymophoma, and a lot of my lack of energy and generally feeling awful was down to a large tumor that had been growing my chest for some time and was pressing down on my heart and lungs. In June I was admitted to hospital and they diagnosed the cancer. In July I started chemotherapy. Now the good news is that Hodgkins Lymphoma is one of the best cancers to get if you were able to choose, as it has a very high cure rate and very low fatality rate. The chemo as of November’s scan seems to be working even better than expected and they were expecting a good outcome. So that is positive. I should hopefully be done with chemo by March 2022.
  • One of the good things about 2021 has been the job that I found in the music industry. It is still doing software engineering, what my career has been based around, but they seem like a very nice bunch of people, and were prepared to support me and keep me on around chemotherapy. I am still employed part-time and that has been a HUGE help financially as you really don’t get a lot of money in benefits from the government, even when you have cancer it seems, and my family have had to help me out quite a bit. I have also had some success in the work that I’ve been doing – it seems very appreciated which is something I’m not really used to!
  • I have continued DJing on Twitch which has been great. I still do my regular Sunday show for 4 hours most Sundays, and it is a lot of fun and I have a bunch of regulars who pop in. I enjoy it a lot. I reached 500 followers and raised a LOT of money via charity streams with other DJs, both as a DJ and also helping as an organiser.
  • In December Conny and I caught the omicron varient of COVID-19 and that was a huge worry at the time because of my low immune system due to chemo and cancer. However we both have beaten it now, I had a short stay in hospital but it wasn’t that bad. NHS staff were very helpful and I think it really helped that I had 3 vaccinations in my system at the time of catching it.
  • In Jan 2021 I took the third of the 10 week university level courses at Point Blank Music School as part of my study of Electronic Music Production. This course was on mixing and mastering. I have learned a lot from it already, although I still haven’t finished it as I was quite busy most of the year.
  • I single-handedly raised £270 from friends and family for a cancer charity for my mother (who also has cancer) during a 12 hour DJ stream on my birthday in 2021. Ironically I had no idea I had cancer myself at the time.
  • I ripped all of CDs to FLAC. Hundreds of CDs. Ripped hundreds of DVDs, PS2 and PS1 games too. Hosted them all on a Plex media server and gave the majority of discs away to charity.
  • I sorted all my physical books, split into different subject bookshelves, alphabeticalised and catalogued in GoodReads.com.
  • I have read more books this year than several previous years. I still have a huge backlog to go through though.
  • I played quite a few more computer games than I have for a while, including beating Cyberpunk 2077 in a no-sleep 28 hour marathon after it was released. (Although that was technically in December 2020 I am going to include it anyway). It was such a great game in my view, amazing storyline and setting.

Here’s to 2022!

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