Monthly Archives: July 2010

Missed chemo again

Whenever I receive chemo the immediate side-effects are minimal and I manage to live a fairly normal week afterwards, but the cumulative effect is building. It is taking longer for the platelets to return to normal and I seem to be consistently anaemic. This means that once again my normal round is delayed a week and is now scheduled for next Wednesday.

On the bright side, the Dunedin radiologist phoned me and is positive about the scan results. He wants to proceed with eliminating the tumour in the lung by Radio Ablation Frequency and is attempting to work out something with Christchurch Hospital to have it done there within the next few weeks.

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Posted by on 27 July, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Limitations of Biographies

I enjoy biographies of great people and great Christians but biographies have their limitations. I find there is a tendency to compare oneself unfavourably with those written about. We can begin to feel our own lives are very mundane: we seem to fall short  by comparison. They seem like giants, we seem like dwarfs.

I was musing on this one day when it seemed like the Lord said, “Is it a competition?” To whom do we compare ourselves in our acts of Christian service? And don’t tell me we don’t. We are continually assessing people, often unconsciously, and grading them according to our “good Christian” criteria. Are we looking at the stars or the quiet saints in the pews?

When I became quite unwell in Hanmer Springs a few weekends ago, an elderly couple who are very dear friends offered to drive us back to Nelson. The man and his wife both have slow-growing cancers, diabetes, joint problems and other physical ailments that they do not let inhibit their loving actions. They were prepared to make the four hour trip and then drive straight back to Hanmer Springs. I was humbled by this example of God’s love. They probably won’t have a book written about them, but their lives are a revelation of quiet, faithful, unsung service to God and His people.

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Posted by on 23 July, 2010 in Devotional, Personal


CT Scan report seems promising

On July 15th I had the CT Scan to observe the initial effects of the treatment and received the report on Tuesday. There are a couple of parts that need a medical interpreter (Jargonese seems to be rife in medical reports too!), however the report seems to indicate that significant progress is being made.

The report states that “there is a reduction in the volume of the known hepatic masses.” It then lists several of the metastases in the liver and shows that some have reduced by up to 50% already, and one that had been 14mm is no longer ‘discernible’.

There seem to be no new metastases anywhere in the body. All lymph areas are clear. There is nothing in the bones. What’s left of the bowel is normal and there is no free intraperitoneal fluid in it (I gather that is a good thing!)

The tumour in the lung is the same size but ‘central cavitation‘ has increased. I believe this means it is dying from the inside out. Something is starving the blood supply to the tumour. Again, all good. I hope to talk with the Dunedin radiologist later this week and have an appointment with the local Oncologist next Monday. The question of ablating the lung tumour will be discussed then.

On the negative side, I have an enlarged spleen (possibly due to the various treatments and infections) and some renal cysts (non-cancerous) remain the same. I am significantly anaemic and have very low resistance to infections. This will explain the current feelings of exhaustion and inability to shake off a persistent chesty cough.

Considering everything that has been thrown at my body over the past 2 years, I am happy to be where I am and very aware that it is the Lord’s incredible grace that has brought me this far. I have at least 2 more rounds of chemo to go and what happens after that will depend to a large extent on how my body is handling the abuse.

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Posted by on 21 July, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Yay! I’ve achieved my first goal!

Today I am 65 and now qualify for the National Superannuation! I am no longer on an Invalid’s benefit – meaning I am no longer an ‘in valid’ person. I can now legitimately say I’m retired, whatever that means.

Two years ago there was real doubt that I would make it to this day. I am here and the world looks good.


Posted by on 19 July, 2010 in Personal


Giving thanks for divine protection

On Friday, 9th July when Abraham and I drove down to Hanmer Springs for the weekend, we stopped at Maruia Falls for lunch. It is on the main highway, about 22 kilometres south of Murchison. The falls are interesting in that they were formed during the 1929 Murchison earthquake. I wanted to show and explain the geological feature to Abraham.

After I had photographed him beside the river I turned to walk back up to our vehicle. My feet slipped on the rocks and I crashed down on my left side on the rocks. I landed on a rock on my stoma – no pain, but it precipitated some bleeding for the next 24 hours!  The left side of my head smacked the ground very hard, the main impact being between the left ear and my temple. It was so quick that I had no chance to put my hands out to protect myself. What amazed me was that my head landed on an area of soft grass about 30cm x 30cm (1 ft x 1 ft). There was a rock 4cm in front of my nose and another large one just above my head. On inspection I discovered that it was the only clear patch of grass free of stones or rocks for several meters around.

The area is out of mobile phone range (for my phone anyway) and no-one else was around. If I had landed on a rock, I wonder what Abraham could have done, and where I might be now!

When we gave thanks for our lunch we also gave heartfelt thanks for God’s wonderful protection.

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Posted by on 18 July, 2010 in Personal, Photos


A few days late but …

This should have been posted a few days ago but since returning from Hanmer Springs last weekend I have been laid low with a cough and chest infection.

Abraham and I drove down to Hanmer Springs on Thursday 8th to spend the weekend amongst old friends and to collect Bronwen who had been down there for a week’s break. It was a great weekend with Abraham tall enough to ride the hydroslide, and there was enough snow for him to careen down the slopes on his sled. We came home via the Kaikoura and Blenheim. We discovered a wonderful seal nursery at Ohau Point and eventually arrived home on Tuesday afternoon.

My chest infection started getting worse on Sunday night and on Monday evening I spent a few hours at Blenheim Hospital Emergency Dept getting the breathing under control. The rest of this week has been lying low to combat the infection and also to allow my body to recover from the chemo.

I am so grateful that we were able to make the trip last weekend. I definitely could not have done it this week.

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Posted by on 17 July, 2010 in Family, Personal