Monthly Archives: November 2010

A weekend of doing very little

Bronwen and I enjoyed two lovely warm days reading, sleeping and strolling along the beach at Little Kaiteriteri this last weekend. The national outrigger canoe competitions were on while we were there so we enjoyed watching that as well. There were crews from both the North and South Islands. We returned to Nelson on Sunday afternoon to celebrate Abraham’s 7th birthday party with his friends and a BBQ  at Tahunanui Beach.

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Posted by on 15 November, 2010 in Personal


People are very kind

A couple we do not know has offered us the use of their holiday home at Little Kaiteriteri, an exclusive little beachside resort, over the bay from Nelson. We will enjoy relaxing there from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

Such random acts of kindness are a blessing wherever they are found.

When we get back to Nelson it will be in time to celebrate our grandson Abraham’s 7th birthday party BBQ.

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Posted by on 11 November, 2010 in Family, Personal


Radio-frequency ablation on hold

I had another Blood Test on Monday and appointment with the Oncologist yesterday (Tuesday).

Blood test reveals haemoglobin slowly going down again at 99; platelets hovering around 97 and affecting clotting process; iron level has dropped dramatically to 5 (from 13.5 two weeks ago and 20 in September). Also of concern is the increase in liver function rate to 234 (normal is 20 – 50).

A follow-up CT scan has been ordered and the Nelson surgical team again asked to find the source of the constant slow bleeding and seek to stem it. That means a colonoscopy and another gastroscopy with biopsies if they find bleeding sources. Until the bleeding problem has been rectified, no specialist is going to agree to any other intervention procedures to deal with the remaining metastases.

I hope all this can happen soon.

‘It’s a long and winding road …’

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Posted by on 10 November, 2010 in Medical, Personal


Cancer etiquette

When a person has cancer it is often hard to know what to say to them, and for them it is often hard to know how much to tell about their condition.

An article on the web by Christopher Hitchens on Cancer Etiquette is a must read to help understand the plight of those who dwell in “Well Land” and “Tumour Town”. From what I’ve experienced, I think Christopher sums it up perfectly. The short, easy to read article is called

Miss Manners And the Big C

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Posted by on 9 November, 2010 in Humor, Medical, Personal


Some ministers need a ‘Madagascar’ experience.

I had occasion to attend a national gathering of Ministers and elders. Having never been overly excited about the minutiae of church politics and administration, I was interested to watch the same people getting to their feet and pontificating about words and clauses in resolutions and recommendations. I listened to debates about structures and programmes; I heard exhortations on how to update ‘worship’ and attract people into pews and consequent benefits for church finances.

As I sat there and endured it all, I had a ‘wow’ moment. It suddenly dawned on me that what many of these ministers and elders needed was a “Madagascar experience”!

For those not familiar with the movie, Madagascar focuses on four ‘star’ residents of the Central Park Zoo in New York City who are also best friends: a lion, a zebra, a giraffe, and a pregnant hippo. When one of them goes missing, the other three break out of the zoo looking for him, and eventually all four are captured and put in boxes to ship them back to Africa. the continent their species originally came from. An accident at sea strands them on the shore of Madagascar. Having had humans take care of them their entire life, the four know nothing of surviving in the wild, or that one of them, the lion, is genetically predisposed to eat his three best friends. Exploring their surroundings, the four friends soon meet the Malagasy locals (a type of lemur given to having loud “rave-like” dance parties) and their carnivorous enemies, the ‘foosas’. As the two sides try to use these four new, strange friends to their benefit, our heroes are also confronted with the reality of their predestined roles in nature.

As I sat in the Assembly of church divines, I imagined each of them back in their home parishes fulfilling roles much like the ‘stars’ of the Madagascar. Just as the lion would practice his roar so the preacher would practice his sermon. The choir would practice its songs and the ‘worship leaders’ their roles. Then, just as the Central Park Zoo would open its gates to the public, so the churches open their doors at 10am, the public arrive and pay their money to see the performance. At the end, the public leaves having been duly impressed and the stars return to prepare for the next show.

All this may sound rather cynical, but as I sat and listened to all the debates and discussion about inconsequential matters as far as extending the Kingdom of God is concerned, I wondered what many of the ministers would do if they were transported into the ‘real world’ and the streets to confront wild people and situations that did not fall neatly into their proscribed jargon and patterns. It may force a reality check, the end result of which would be far more realistic sermons and empathetic Bible studies that would give their faithful attendees and supporters something tangible to work with during the week at the coalface of business and factory life.

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Posted by on 8 November, 2010 in Devotional, Personal


Some progress on RFA likely

Because my local Oncologist was not keen to pursue RFA of the lung metastasis as I still  have two remaining in the liver, I queried the possibility of having those two liver mets resected. She was not sure it was a good idea but agreed to refer it to the surgical and oncology team in Christchurch.

A response has come from Christchurch agreeing that surgical resection of the liver is not advisable, however the team there did suggest that those metastases could be ablated using the Radio-Frequency Ablation procedure. They also suggested that the met in the lung should be resected at the same time. Praise be!!

I have an appointment with my Nelson Oncologist next Tuesday to discuss the matter further. I am still keen to proceed with the Radiologist in Dunedin who has been very supportive and pro-active throughout. At least I am pleased that at least now someone else in the field is suggesting RFA as an effective treatment in my case.

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Posted by on 4 November, 2010 in Medical, Personal