Monthly Archives: January 2010

More waiting – and mind games!

After seeing the Christchurch Oncologist on 8th January and being transferred to the Nelson Public Hospital Oncologist, I have finally been given an appointment to see the local specialist – February 16th.

Once again we play the waiting game. Speaking to other cancer sufferers, they agree that this phase can be the toughest to endure. Six weeks from CT scan to appointment to just discuss (not begin) treatment! What are the metastases doing in the meantime? How can we plan our year to include visits to family and treatment? The mind games require great discipline to deal with. We have to constantly remind ourselves that our futures lie in the hands of God, not the medical profession.

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Posted by on 23 January, 2010 in Medical


Acknowledgment vs Acceptance

I have met people who worry if they hear someone admit they have cancer. It as if somehow the cancer is given legitimacy if it is acknowledged.

Having cancer is a fact that must be acknowledged before it can be dealt with it. It does not go away by denying its existence. I acknowledge that I have cancer in my body. That is a fact. What I do not accept though is its legitimacy to be there.

I also acknowledge that a fact is less than a truth. And the truth for me is that God is able to remove any disease, including cancer, from anyone’s body, irrespective of what medical science can or cannot do.

Some people are so superstitious in their fear of death that they don’t like even saying the word and instead refer to “the big C”. Well, friends, for me the big C is Christ, not cancer. And He knew the number of my days before I was born (Psalm 139). No cancer will cheat Him of fulfilling His purposes in and through me before those days have been fulfilled.

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Posted by on 21 January, 2010 in Devotional, Personal


Another mountain to climb

On Thursday 7th January, Bronwen and I flew to Christchurch for my regular CT scan of the liver as part of the SIRFLOX trial I have been under. We met the Oncologist on the Friday morning.

The news was not good.

After being clear for four months, the scan showed the presence of nine new metastases scattered throughout my liver and one in my lung. If there had been only a few metastases, and they had been confined to one or two segments of the liver, there might be a possibility of surgery to remove them. Consequently, I have been dropped from the SIRTs Trial monitoring programme and transferred to the Nelson Oncologists.

Needless to say we were shocked, gob-smacked and stunned at the news as things had been progressing so well. The surgeon told us he had only undertaken the removal of the primary because it looked as if a complete cure might be possible. Our GP had received the results on the Friday via email and he also confessed to being stunned.

I am not in as bad a condition as I was when I was first diagnosed in 2008. My liver function is normal and my CEA (cancer markers) are only slightly raised. When I was first diagnosed I was given 18 months without treatment. That time is almost up, and now I have been given another one to two years, although that’s in God’s hands. Apart from still recuperating from surgery I’m in better shape than I was in October 2008. At least this time I do not have a primary cancer to keep disseminating its cells throughout the body.

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Posted by on 15 January, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Don’t put off doing things

One thing I’m learning with my new lifestyle is to ‘do it now’. We often plan things for ‘when I’m feeling better’, or for ‘when things improve’. I’m discovering that things may never improve, so do it now.

Today I was feeling lousy and uncomfortable in every way but I had promised Abe and Phoebe for several days that I would take them fishing. Abe’s been talking about it to his mother on several occasions so I got up today telling myself ‘today is the day’.

I had a visit from the Stoma nurse this morning and she read me the riot act about lifting heavy things and advising me on new types of underwear to buy to give me better support! My day was not going well and I felt physically crook but I had made a promise.

The weather was warm but blustery and at 1.15pm I picked up the children and headed down to Port Nelson to an already crowded wharf. I fixed up the fishing rod with new hooks and baited them with good old squid bait. I showed Abe how to launch it out into the briney and slowly wind it in. He happily applied himself to this while I set up another line for Phoebe that we dropped over the side of the wharf.  By the time I turned my attention back to Abe he was alleging he had something on the line. When we pulled it in, hey presto, there was a 6 inch sprat on the line. Needless to say he was over the moon. Although we had many nibbles over the next 90 minutes, we didn’t catch anything else, but that was enough.  A Fisheries Protection Officer came along the wharf and was suitably impressed with Abe’s catch telling us that we were the only ones to have caught anything. God is good – He is truly a ‘Father to the fatherless’ and answered the dreams of one little boy. The first thing we did when we got back to the car was to thank God together.

I delivered the children back to their mother at 3pm and came home for a rest. I still felt physically uncomfortable and lousy but very very grateful to God and was a very happy grandad.

And here it is – Abe’s first fish.



Posted by on 5 January, 2010 in Personal