Monthly Archives: September 2010

Lung and Liver Metastases

We’re still working on this one. I was talking to the Teaching Radiologist in Dunedin who did the SIRT procedure and he is still believes it is worth ablating the metastasis in the lung. He admits it will not be curative but will prolong the disease-free interval. He also wants to re-inspect the CT scan to see if it might be profitable to use RFA to remove the remaining metastases in the liver as well. He has even offered to come to Nelson at his own expense to perform the procedure here and has spoken to the Nelson Public Hospital Radiologist who is evidently keen for him to do so. It all seems to depend on my Oncologist, who to this point has been more obstructionist than helpful. God can move the minds of kings though, so pray with us that He will sort out the bureaucratic impediments that hinder our progress.

At the moment I am experiencing no symptoms from the metastasis in the lung and only minor pain from the liver mets. The ulcer doesn’t really bother me too much either. I do notice that my reduced haemoglobin levels adversely affect my energy, but I am exceedingly grateful that I seem to be very much better than when I was first diagnosed in September 2008.

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Posted by on 28 September, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Time for a break

It’s school holidays. Becky is feeling quite a lot better and the children are back at home. Her medication is down so she is now able to drive again. I’ve planted out the vege garden and mowed the lawns. It is time for Bronwen and I to get away for a few day’s break. We’re off to Picton till Friday to mooch. The Inter-Island ferries pass by right in front of our motel room and the sea air and time together alone will be very therapeutic. We don’t care if it’s wet. We are addicted to Wasgij puzzles, so we have one of those to do; we love books. so we’re armed with those; and we cherish each other, so our days should be full.

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Posted by on 28 September, 2010 in Personal


Latest CT Scan results

I had the scheduled CT Scan as an inpatient because of the blood transfusions I was receiving. That evening the surgeon took a sneak preview and gave me the ‘thumbs up’ signal to say that though the report had not been written, the metastases in my liver were continuing to reduce in size.

I received my written report in the mail on Friday. In summary it states that:

The tumour in the lung has increased from 1.3cm diameter to 1.5cm diameter but continues to cavitate. There are no other nodules visible in the lung;

The two largest metastases in the liver have reduced from 2.4cm diameter to 1.5cm diameter and 1.4cm diameter to .9cm diameter. The liver evidences ‘diffuse inhomgenuity in density’ (probably due to the belting its had over recent months). No other discrete nodules can be identified.

There is no evidence of cancer in any lymph nodes; there is no extraneous fluid; all other organs appear normal and there is no trace of cancer in my spine.

I would think that is all good news, but when I visited the Oncologist on Monday afternoon, she poured cold water on the report declaring that the treatments have not eradicated the metastases and there are no further options she could suggest. As far as she was concerned the last round of chemo has been completed; she will order a new blood test in 6 weeks and see me again just before Christmas. What she will do then I do not know but I will not be idle in the meantime! I was amazed that she saw no positives in the treatments to this point, and gave no credence to any further measures we have been considering in getting rid of these final tumours. The fact that there had been 9 measurable measurable metastases in the liver in January and now there are only 2 measurable ones must surely be a positive basis for continued hope?

We think so anyway, and will be investigating all possibilities to see the last of the nasties eradicated.

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Posted by on 23 September, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Unexpected twists and turns

After being diagnosed with anaemia-induced angina last Friday morning, I had a massive bleed into my stoma on Friday night – I lost about 5-600ml. Bronwen wanted me to go to the Emergency Department right away but since it was 10pm and the bleeding had stopped, I refrained.

The weekend was full with Abraham’s soccer on Saturday, church on Sunday, Abraham’s soccer prize-giving in the afternoon. On Monday I made breakfast for all, then took Becky to an appointment at the Public Hospital. In the afternoon I felt very listless so lay down. Eventually I decided I should contact my GP about having a blood test. At 4.30pm I received a phone call from the doctor saying he thought I should be admitted for another transfusion of blood. My haemoglobin was down to 64!

Over Monday night and Tuesday I received 5 units of blood. I also had anther Gastroscopy which revealed the ulcers were smaller but the overall duodenitis was inflamed. I was placed on a drip which fed some drug into me to help the lining recover. I had my scheduled CT scan on the Wednesday as an inpatient, the results of which I will receive next Monday. I was eventually released on Thursday morning. My haemoglobin had risen to 112 (the level for a normal male is between 130 & 180).

I’m still expecting a good result from the CT scan as I feel fine apart from the occasional bleed and anaemia neither of which seems to be cancer related.

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Posted by on 17 September, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Better. but still not at my best

After having the 2 units of blood last week and completing the 7 day course of antibiotics for the ulcer, I am feeling a lot better.

I don’t think I’m at my best though and am finding I now have anaemia-induced angina. It is very frustrating to start weeding the garden, or take the children for a bush walk, or go out in a cool wind and have strong chest pain. This afternoon I couldn’t even walk 50 yards on the flat to a footbridge by the Brook Stream without having to stop because my legs went to jelly and my chest hurt.

A visit to the doctor this morning resulted in him explaining that when one is anaemic, the heart has to pump harder to the vital organs and more adrenalin is released to enable this. He has given me a very mild prescription of beta blockers to slow the heart down.

Curiously, I find that if I rest and then continue the activity, the pain goes away. The doctor said that it is the initial ‘acceleration’ that causes the extra load on the heart.

I’m taking liquid iron and foods that will raise my haemoglobin to rebuild the health of my blood supply. It should improve in the next few weeks.

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Posted by on 10 September, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Made it to 42!

42 years ago today, Bronwen and I were married in Nelson. 2 years ago there was considerable doubt that we would make it to this anniversary. We thank God for His grace and confirm that, in spite of the health battles we’ve fought over the past 2 years, God saves the best wine till last. (John 2:10)


Posted by on 7 September, 2010 in Personal