Monthly Archives: October 2010

Fill-up time again!

I had to have another blood test this week.

Positive news: Platelets are rising.

Negative news: Haemoglobin has fallen again so I have to go to the Hospital tomorrow to be topped up with another 3 units of blood. It will be nice when someone can discover where the slow leak is.

Negative news: In spite of eating more steaks, lamb, brazil nuts, mussels, marmite and foods high in iron, my iron count has gone down another point to 13. But then again, lose blood, lose iron! Still, the drop is not as fast as it was between 1 September and 1 October when it dropped from 20 to 14. We’re holding our own.

Positive news: The vitamin K component of my iron must be good for my platelet count to be rising.

Positive news: A few months ago my oncologist stated that my future was not bright because I have cancer in my blood-stream. By tomorrow evening I will have had 14 units of blood in 6 weeks. I must be getting close to flushing the old blood-stream out.

Best news: God is in control of our lives and is not playing games with us.

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Posted by on 28 October, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Latest on Radio-Frequency Ablation

Several weeks ago the Teaching Radiologist at the Otago Medical School in Dunedin spoke to me as he explored ways to facilitate ablating the metastasis in my lung using the technique known as RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation). He also believed it might be possible to ablate the two remaining mets in my liver at the same time. He evidently wrote to my Oncologist in Nelson at that time for her to ratify a process he had set up.

As I have heard nothing from him or my Oncologist since then I phoned him in Dunedin today and he said that he had written but has had no reply from the Oncologist!

I phoned the Oncologist’s secretary at the Nelson Public Hospital clinic to ascertain if the Radiologist’s letter had been received. I was informed that the letter was received and a response written. Unfortunately the Oncologist has been away for the past 10 days so the letter has not been signed or sent!

Grrrr. The letter will evidently be signed and sent tomorrow when the Oncologist returns to Nelson for her clinic. I was not given any clue as to the contents of her response to the Radiologist other than being told I would probably find out the next step before the Oncologist does. I hope that means the Radiologist has been given the go ahead and that he will be the next person I hear from.

Do you understand why the clients in the NZ Public Health System are called ‘patients’?  They have to be very patient!

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Posted by on 26 October, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Home again after break

Bronwen and I went to Hanmer Springs for a few days break. We stayed for an extra couple of days to attend the funeral of a good friend, Dr Jan Crawford (wife of former Medical Superintendent of Queen Mary Hospital in Hanmer), who passed away last Sunday night after a four year battle with ovarian cancer. It was a great funeral that reflected her deep and genuine faith and the esteem with which she and Robert were held in the community..

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Posted by on 23 October, 2010 in Personal


Latest blood test results

Had a further blood test on Monday after a drop in Blood Pressure on Friday. The results show the Haemoglobin is holding up at 107 (normal is 120-150), the same as when I left hospital last Wednesday. My iron level has not improved and is still low at 14 (normal 20 – 500) and my platelets are also low at 106 (normal 150-400). Apart from loss of energy, I have the strange side-effect of wanting to lick concrete, or smell gravel dust. It is a normal symptom of low iron levels called Pica effect.

Otherwise I feel fine. I have been able to cut back the pain medication for the metastases by 50% to only one Panadol four times a day.

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Posted by on 12 October, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Living it up

On Wednesday I was discharged from hospital after having a further top-up from the blood bank.

The timing was wonderful because …

… on Wednesday old friends arrived from Singapore. They had flown down for a few days just to visit Bronwen and me! I have known these elders from Christian Community Chapel in Singapore for nearly 30 years. Since Wednesday we have been enjoying good food and fellowship – both very Biblical pastimes!

Bronwen and I have been overwhelmed at their generosity of spirit to want to just fly all that way to spend time with us. We love them and the people in that church community (we always have) and the bond will not be broken when they leave Nelson next Monday.

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Posted by on 8 October, 2010 in Personal


Some good news

I was discharged from Nelson Hospital last evening after receiving 4 units of blood (brought my haemoglobin up to 107: normal is 120+). I also had another gastroscopy that revealed the ulcers have almost healed!

That was good news, but it means that the doctors are still not certain what is causing the slow blood loss. They believe it is probably aggravation to the lining of the stomach and the duodenum still being caused by the after-effects of the radio-active spheres. The surgeon took a biopsy and I should have his opinion within a few days

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Posted by on 7 October, 2010 in Medical, Personal