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7 April 2014 / erikduval

One down – or how I almost disappeared completely in less than a month ;-)

Many thanks, for the support – here and elsewhere after my earlier message… I’m really a bit overwhelmed by all the nice words and feel very privileged by your Facebook comments, tweets, blog comments, emails, paper messages, etc. Keep them coming… MUCH appreciated! You can’t begin to understand how much a nice word can do at a difficult moment…

Many of you mentioned that you were a bit uneasy about what to do. Do you ‘like’ a message about someone having a chemo session? Do you ‘favourite’ a tweet about that topic? Don’t worry, I’m figuring this out too… And, again, every time I get a ping from one of you, I feel a bit stronger. Thanks.

I’ve also learned that some of you are fighting your own battles. Know that many think of you too. I can’t fight for you. As someone wrote to me: ‘we all must fight our own battles’. But I wish you strength. And support when you feel weak. Let me know if I can help.

On a more practical level, last week started good: turns out my heart is strong – in a literal sense… That means I can get the full treatment. I hope it will be true in a more metaphorical sense too. And then I had the first chemo session last Thursday. Started well. I sent a few people a message on the theme of ‘piece of cake’. Not smart 😉

The chemo came back with a bit of a vengeance, and made me feel like a Very Completely Squeezed Lemon by Friday. A Really Very Completely Squeezed Lemon. The net result is that I needed to be hospitalised on Saturday morning because of dehydration. Was kind of necessary: with the speed I was loosing weight, I would have disappeared completely before the end of the month!

Anyway, things are back under control, or so I hope and I left the hospital two hours ago… I’m in good spirits and enjoying a bit of work. Am also enjoying some music – a bit of Wagner or Bach doesn’t hurt anybody…

In any case, that’s one chemo session down. One battle won.



Leave a Comment
  1. josemota / Apr 7 2014 4:49 pm

    This is very sad news. I wish you strength in these tough times and sincerely hope that you overcome this. All the best.
    José Mota

  2. Sabine Vandenplas / Apr 8 2014 9:26 am

    We’ve only met once – your keynote on MOOCs in Leuven. You made quite an impression.
    I’m sure you will impresse the world in this too – in a very different way – but with the same ‘panache’!

    All the best.

  3. sharonslade / Apr 8 2014 11:36 am

    Hi Eric – I met you briefly in Vancouver at LAK13. So sorry to hear your news. I hope the lemon hydrates soon and you can retain your sense of humour throughout your treatment. Hang on in there – best wishes, Sharon

  4. Marcel / Apr 8 2014 8:14 pm

    Hi Erik, you talk about this with the same passion as on the topic of learning analytics, the only time I met you. Again you have inspired me. Somehow I believe that you will get through this exactly like you intend to do.


  5. Ruben Verborgh (@RubenVerborgh) / Apr 9 2014 12:17 pm

    Erik, this is very shocking news but I’m glad your first session went well. I wish you all the best! The open way you communicate about this is an inspiration for many. There’s nothing that can stop you from being you, and that’s admirable.

  6. Dirk / Apr 9 2014 4:29 pm

    Erik…old college story from back in the teenage days…. a “buddy” from school gave me a left hook by total surprise. A “joke” to see “how I would respond”. Well, I “responded” by needing each and every fiber in my body to remain standing straight and not collapse.

    I guess you got that surprise left hook the other week – and sounds like you’re ready to take the next one well prepared. Oh the stories you’ll be able to tell!

    . D

  7. Chris Van Hoof / Apr 15 2014 4:54 pm

    Hi Erik, what a shock ! Glad to hear that you are holding up (and keeping your sense of humor) – I’ll make sure to keep pinging !

  8. Carsten WILHELM / Apr 23 2014 11:32 am

    Met you once in Paris where I had the chance to hear you speak about and talk to you about Learning Analytics and all that stuff, hope you get better soon so we can expand our exchanges,

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