Saturday, April 28, 2007

Retirement looms

After my illness in Canada I have decided to reassess what I am doing. As I was being driven to the hospital by Dr Ronan Foley I said to him, "If someone told me I was going to die tonight, I would say, 'Bring it on; I don't want to suffer any longer'".

Of course, I wasn't anywhere near dying, just in a lot of pain, but it made me think what I was doing with my life.

I am 64 and the normal retirement age is 65. My contract with the University ends in September 2008, and I think that will be time to call it a day. The weather has been beautiful today and the garden marvelous. I think I have done my stint and I ought to take time to be with my wife, enjoying things together. In a few weeks we will have been married 40 years. In that time we will have taken just 24 vacations together, and some of those have really been just long weekends.

As the man says, nobody looks back and says, "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."

I semi-retired four years ago; this time there will be nothing semi- about it. Before I go I have set myself three tasks. I will publish a paper explaining why 98% homology rather than 97% homology is better for the VH gene mutation cut-off. I will finish a book I am writing on CLL for doctors. I will write a book on CLL for patients.

There are other things in my life to do. I should hate someone to write that CLL was all of his life on my obituary.


homeinarizona said...

Go for it! You won't regret it. There are others out there who can and will take up the slack.



Anonymous said...

First, congratulations on your long marriage. My parents were married for 49 years before my father passed away, and his children benefitted from a stable homelife.

Secondly, 65 tends to be the 'standard' retirement age. When the Social Security scheme was adopted in the 1930s in the US, the average worker lived one more year. Obviously, you should and hopefully will live many more years.

Lastly, I know you want to do more with your life, but serving the CLL community with your knowledge and helpfulness and intelligence isn't a bad life at all. How many people can say they've helped extend life for many people.

I try to share a few things with a few of my fellow CLL travelers. Personally, I'd be honored to have someone say about me after I was gone, 'he made a difference in my life.'

They will say that about you, Dr. Hamblin. That may not be enough for you, but it means the world to us patients.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Dr. Hamblin, and very well deserved! But oh how you will be missed - she said, eyes misting.

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry,
From one who is retired these 15 years. I wish you what you wish for yourself. But I see you as a person who has a brain that will not let you retire. I can see you writing and disseminating knowledge for a long time, whatever the subject. I wonder what your wife says about you being underfoot all the time. You cannot retire those neurons, they will keep firing.

At 80 with CLL, this is what I do, try and inject a little humour, correspond with the young. I enjoy spreading some of my experience in a helpful way. With your wealth of knowledge it will want to get out and you will want to get it out. Whatever you decide my mentor, I will hopefully follow your retirement progress and I will buy your book, though a poor substitute for you.

Anonymous said...

I found myself thinking that I must be listening to a newly dx CLL patient. Your illness brought this to the forefront of your mind. You realized that this is not the way YOU want to go out in this life. So, after many years listening to and treating your patient's, the Dr. has healed himself. Congratulations and get ready to go enjoy your life. You truly deserve it.

Anonymous said...


I know I give you a hard time on some issues but I respect you and your dedication, you have helped many thousands of people and for that I thank you.

Thinking about CLL is often thought to be the domain of us patients, we owe you a debt of gratitute that words cannot express.

Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Terry Hamblim, God are a most loved man among a person with cll still in w/w {for me} you have been such a rock..just knowing you are there for us..may your life be long and even happier than you might ever imagine..thank you for everything..Paula J. Goostree aka have been most kind to answer any and all my questions and I gleen much from that which you share with others..I love your blog!! You are a treasure..."terry hamblin" with or without capital letters yep I still have my memory slightly in-tact..