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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Full dose

Had my appointment with the oncologist who immediately made comment about how good I looked the night she saw us at the Malabar restaurant and how scruffy she and her family looked. She was pleased to see me enjoying life to the max. She was also encouraged by how quickly I am bouncing back after each dose of chemo, even allowing for the delays which are allowable under the trial protocols. There had been debate about giving me a reduced dose but because of my attitude and ‘bounce-back body’ they decided to go with the full dose again. I’m happy with that.

I am not sure if my recovery rate is because of what I am not eating or because of what I am eating. Or maybe its as Solomon said in one of his proverbs: “The spirit of a man sustains him in his infirmity.” I’m just happy I am not having the huge negative side-effects that are possible.

 
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Posted by on 31 January, 2009 in Medical

 

When a nosebleed is a blessing

8 days ago I was cursing a nosebleed where I lost 200ml blood due to low platelets. That meant my chemo appointment had to be delayed till yesterday (Friday).

Last night I had another small nosebleed at 4am during which I discovered there were prowlers around our back fence, car and the church. I turned the outside light on and went out in my underwear shorts – that was their first fright! They retreated to the village green over the road and started vandalising signs and things. I followed at a discreet distance and took some long range photos. The flash going off was their second fright – fortunately they could not tell where they were coming from but they imagined they’d been captured on film. I then came inside and dialled 111 (something I should have done first) but was able to give a good description. The police turned up about 10 min later when everything was quiet so I don’t know if they got the guys. If they did, then that would be their third fright.

Nosebleeds can be a blessing!

 
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Posted by on 31 January, 2009 in Humor

 

Cancerous society

I’ve been reading some of the lame excuses offered on behalf of offenders in our courts. There is a mentality that suggests that society causes people’s problems, therefore society must pay the consequences of its neglect of these misunderstood criminals: that our emphasis should not be upon punishment but on rehabilitating these poor lost souls. There are lobby groups agitating for more sensible sentences for some our worst offenders who are presently slapped across the wrist with a wet bus ticket before being released back into society. 

I wonder how oncologists would respected if they treated cancer in the body the way the politicians, psychiatrists and social workers treat cancers within society. The oncologist must be gentle with the poor misguided cells rampantly spreading in rebellion within the body. The medical profession should show them mercy in the hope that they may be rehabilitated.

I am happy my oncologist does not see cancer in that manner. Instead she and the nursing staff are dedicated to cutting it out, and/or suffocating its life. Their intent is not that other cells will be warned against becoming rebel cells, or to encourage some of those errant cells to mend their ways and to once again become productive members of an otherwise healthy body.

There are cancers within society that need to be cut out and deprived of the resources that allow them to thrive at the expense of the rest of society.

 
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Posted by on 27 January, 2009 in Devotional, Humor, Medical

 

It is not all ‘peaches and cream’

There are many frustrations when one walks into a dark valley and sometimes they get on top of a person. It is not only hard for the ‘patient’ who is not being patient. It is also very hard on the carer who sometimes finds they need caring themselves.
There are moments when there are clashes of expectations, and emotional defences are weak. Bronwen and I are human and have such moments. I’m not always the mild-mannered man and she is sometimes the immovable object. Sometimes we are blind to each other’s needs.
After one such occasion recently, I put pen to paper and wrote the following little poem. I hope it blesses someone both to know other people react badly too, and also to know there is a Helper who picks us up, dusts us down, and points us in the right direction again.

SOME REALITIES IN THE VALLEY OF DEATH

Two wounded dragons* passed by o’er two days
Both in such pain as they mooched on their ways:
He could not make himself heard for her ears;
She grappled frustrations while facing her fears.
He did not realise he’s not long to go;
She – much to do with him now, then to cope!
Clashes of pain, of hopes and lost dreams;
Time may be less than originally seemed.
But God quenched the fires, lanced the shock, gave them back
The arms to embrace and all else that they lacked.

(DSD – January 2009)

*Bronwen has no objection to the use of the word ‘dragons’ as she agrees that probably best described our demeanors.

 
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Posted by on 26 January, 2009 in Devotional, Poetry

 

Tribulation works patience …

In the TV series, Hogan’s Heroes, Colonel Klink the prison-camp commander would say, “Ve have vays of making you talk!”

God is Lord over all the earth and as a benevolent King says, “We have ways of making you rest!”

After a couple of frustrating weeks, I had to miss chemo again on Friday because my platelets were VERY low again. Everything gets set back one week. (If anyone knows how to lift platelet levels, please let me know)

Being the person I am, I like everything to be done pronto. Now that I’m in the programme, I naturally want to get stuck in and get the 12 fortnightly chemo sessions done and dusted. But being the person I am, there is still a deal of Godly character to be done in me, not the least being resting and not driving life at my speed. So God has ways of making me rest, and one of those is to delay the chemo and make me rest and trust his good providence.

We have our daughter Philippa and her family from Winchelsea in Victoria here with us for 10 days so an added blessing in all of this is that I’m not enduring any side-effects from treatment while they are here.

 
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Posted by on 24 January, 2009 in Family

 

Why I m not a good blogger

 

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People tell me to ‘just rest’ but seeing the mess increases the stress! Bills pile up and just the management of my treatment takes a surprising amount of time. It is more than a trifle frustrating the way cancer can take over one’s life and focus switches from wellness to the disease.

At least I’m now at the stage where I can walk away from much of the workload. I concluded that being overly concerned about all the work is detrimental to health as well. I do my best to complete responsibilities but rank everything according to what is top priority. I do the other things as time and energy permit.

What is interesting is that I have attempted to do that most of my working life. Suddenly a death sentence trims the fat even more as I realise the world will not stop or grieve for some things that don’t get done before I am.

 
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Posted by on 21 January, 2009 in Humor