Monthly Archives: September 2009

Apologies for frankness

Someone close to me has suggested one of my latest blog entries borders on being crude. If others feel the same, I apologise. I know it would be a lot more polite to write about my condition if I had cancer of my finger, but where I have it is often the butt of jokes anyway (sorry – couldn’t help myself!). In the midst of all the pain the area is causing me at the moment, I’ve got to turn into into a laughing matter somehow. Most of you know I’ve never been particularly PC!

I will write more factual stuff as I find out about it from medical reports and analysis of progress so far.

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Posted by on 27 September, 2009 in Humor, Personal


I’m finally suffering from hair-loss!

When I began the cancer treatment last December, I was warned that I might suffer hair loss. Being very thin in the middle on top was not a concern to me so I was almost welcoming the prospect and wondering what the new look would do for me.

I suffered no hair loss at all while the liver was being treated. It took until half-way through the radiation and chemo therapy for shrinking of the rectal tumour for hair loss to occur.

I haven’t got a before and after picture to show you, but let me just say that the hair loss is in the affected area only. On the top of my head, I’m as thick (or at least my hair is) as it was twelve months ago.

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Posted by on 27 September, 2009 in Humor


Silent on the blog but not the bog!

I’ve had people contacting me about the silence on the blog. I’m sorry about that, however I am still alive and kicking.

These last couple of weeks have been two of the most painful in my life (although I’m told the mind effectively blocks out the worst of our memories).

I suggest the American CIA could forego waterboarding torture in favour of rectal radiation therapy and elicit whatever confessions they want. After 24 sessions (with 4 to go) I can do a very good impression of a Muslim at prayer, only my forward and backward rocking movement would not be as calm and sedate as theirs’.

I can understand why some people, after a round of radiation therapy, would say, “never again”. In fact, I am saying it now. Not only ‘sunburn where the sun don’t shine, but imagining taking a hot shower in salty water and towelling down on top of that. Ever had a skin-graze where the wound has oozed and the secretions have dried bonding it to an article of clothing; and then you’ve quickly tried to tear the clothing from the grazed area, reopening bleeding pores. Well that’s a little bit like what someone having radiation therapy on a tumour in the rectum has to go through every time they go to the toilet. Oh, and just for good measure, the treatment causes diarrhoea!!

Just call me spiderman – I’ve learned to climb bathroom walls without having to hold on to anything!

And that my friends is why the blog site has been quiet and the bog-site (NZ slang for washroom or toilet) has not been.

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Posted by on 27 September, 2009 in Humor, Personal


Going to church is a pain

Some friends took us to a church service in Christchurch today and we found it to be a real pain!

The music was deafening. It was ear-splitting. I’m not sure how the musicians on stage tolerated the sound. Perhaps they had ear-plugs. If so, the ushers should have afforded the congregation the same privilege by issuing plugs at the door along with the church bulletin.

No, I’m not anti-youth, but why do we try and justify the volume by claiming it attracts young people, Maoris and Islanders (which was the reason I was given today!) My understanding of South-sea Island and Maori culture is that the music was not storm-force electronic.

And how can we suggest God is behind a method and form of ‘worship’ that not only causes physical pain, but causes permanent damage also?

I agree unequivocally that going to church has always been a pain, and should still be. Shouldn’t it be the pricking of the conscience that causes the pain, rather than the splitting of the eardrum: Shouldn’t the ear of the heart be sensitised, not the natural ears being deadened.


Posted by on 13 September, 2009 in Personal


Odd spot!

Bronwen has a pacemaker. Read on …

The Christchurch Press recently reported that “relatives of a dead man in Spain asked a doctor to confirm his death a second time because his body showed no signs of going pale hours after he passed away, … The 70 year old died of a heart attack and his body was on display at a funeral home in Lorca, … when his family noticed that it still had a healthy pink glow.  They then called in the doctor to confirm that their loved one was in fact dead. The doctor concluded that the reason the man still had a healthy glow, despite having passed away, was because his pacemaker was still running.

Bronwen could live forever!


Posted by on 8 September, 2009 in Medical


Playing second fiddle

If ever I had illusions of being star quality, they were dissipated this morning when I attended my regular session of radiation therapy at Christchurch Oncology Dept. The staff are typically friendly and supportive but the first thing they want to know from me is, “Have you brought your assistants with you today?”

Then all the staff want to talk about is Abe and Phoebe who happily play quietly in the waiting room and talk with people in the waiting room while I go in for my 2 minute zapping session.Abe Phoebe Oncology

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Posted by on 7 September, 2009 in Medical