Category Archives: Medical

Not a week to remember …

Last week was not a week to savour.

Once again, over the previous weekend, when all the doctors had gone home to their families, my body decided to do its rebellious thing. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights I had raging fever, night sweats and coughing spasms. My stomach felt as if it had been David Tua’s punch bag. It was tight and distended. I resisted pressure to take myself to the Emergency Dept because I had a pretty good idea based on experience what would happen.

Monday, the coughing started to subside. I had a blood test and the haemoglobin was 103 which was pretty good. Tuesday was quite a good day but then on Wednesday I had an enormous wave of nausea hit me at about 8pm. It struck again at 6am on Thursday morning, 7.30pm Thursday night and finally at 3.30pm on Friday morning. Interestingly there was no actual vomitting with any of the waves but they left me very exhausted. The one on Friday morning came more as an explosion from my stomach/abdomen area and since then my midriff is not so tight, I am able to eat a bit more again, and there have been no more waves of nausea.

During the midst of these attacks, I felt the Lord seemed to say to me, “Try and find My face in the storm”.

One special blessing came one morning when Phoebe, who loves to write little notes from her heart, brought a piece of paper and placed it on my desk in front of me. It read, “I lov you gradad but if you diy I wil stil lov you too. XXX”. That makes the sunshine break through the clouds!

Leave a comment

Posted by on 13 August, 2011 in Medical, Personal


I wish I knew what is going on!

After waiting a while to get it, on Friday I received 3 units of blood that lifted my haemoglobin to 118. That should take care of the immune levels as well to fight the viral chest infection I’ve had for a couple of weeks.

And then …

… yesterday afternoon I started to bleed again. I had lost 450ml by bedtime and a total of 720ml up to 10.30 this morning. That is 75% of what I got 5 days ago! I would love to know why these bleeds suddenly happen, and then just as suddenly stop. I also think it would be great if some surgeon could just knick into my abdomen and cut out the offending 5cm of duodenum that has the damaged tissue. If I could get that cleared up, my quality of life would improve dramatically because apart from these bleeds, the metastases themselves don’t seem to be causing me too many problems.


Posted by on 4 August, 2011 in Medical, Personal


Let the blood be efficacious!

Spent 9 hours in the Day Stay Unit last Friday getting my blood supply topped up.

Hopefully now that I’ve got some extra blood in me my immune system will be in better shape to fight the viral chest infection I received as a birthday present a couple of weeks ago.

As usual though, the 2 days after blood transfusions are pretty tough but this time has been complicated by the fact that I was running a high temperature with the fever. I spent most of Saturday and Sunday in bed.

Bronwen has also caught it from me so neither of us was feeling too flash on Sunday. I like sharing blessings, but not those kind so thought it best to keep away from attending church.

Today I am feeling mildly better so hopefully soon I’ll be back to feeling dangerous!

Leave a comment

Posted by on 1 August, 2011 in Medical, Personal


I’m getting to be well known among my ‘blood brothers’

It’s nice to make friends wherever you go, but there’s always some you’d be happy to have a little less to do with.

I walk into Medlab for a blood test and get a cheery “hi, welcome back” from the staff there. The nurses at the Hospital Day Stay Unit where I get the transfusions recognise my voice on the phone and seem happy to be seeing me again. They are all becoming ‘blood brothers’.

I had a blood test on Monday and the results showed my haemoglobin had dropped to 89 after the bleed 2 weeks ago. My iron levels have also dropped significantly. That usually means an automatic transfusion so I had another test today for cross-matching. The GP has set up an appointment for me to have 3 units of blood transfused into me this Friday.

I called the Day Stay Unit to confirm details and they are already primed for my arrival at 7.45am. The nurses are always so warm and cheerful. Just wish I didn’t have to keep meeting them like this.

I hope I can hang on to this next lot of blood for longer than the 2 weeks the last 2 units stayed with me!

Leave a comment

Posted by on 27 July, 2011 in Medical, Personal


Better news on lungs

I went to the doc today about the coughing spasms and tight-chestedness I had on Tuesday night. He listened to my lungs and assured my I am getting a good volume of air into the lungs. Nor is the problem related to the lung metastases. He said I have picked up an upper respiratory lung infection and should just lie low until it gets better. He said I need to be careful exposing myself to the cool night air.

I came away quite relieved.

Leave a comment

Posted by on 21 July, 2011 in Family, Medical, Personal


Since when did birthdays become like Halloween?

Yesterday I celebrated making it to my 66th birthday. Overall it was a great day but somehow turned into ‘trick or treat’.

The day was calm clear and cool. We went into the city and Bronwen bought me a lovely warm shirt for the cooler months. We then went to lunch with Ron & Joce, some lovely friends and strolled along the beach. It was a balmy afternoon.

When we came home I ended up having some coughing spasms that lead into a mild asthma attack. I also discovered that I’d lost 250ml of blood.

Later we went to Rebekah’s for dinner where she had cooked a lovely roast chicken and veges. Abe & Phoebe had made and iced a marble cake. We had the party hats and all. It was very pleasant.

When we got home it went from treats to tricks again. I had another coughing fit that lead into more severe asthma that lasted till 4am. I also continued to lose blood and ended up giving away more than the two units I had received last week. Fortunately the blood loss stopped at 850ml at around 5am.

Not exactly the climax to a wonderful day that I had expected. On the other hand, you could say that God saved His gift until the evening – another large measure of His enabling grace through another physical hurdle.

Leave a comment

Posted by on 20 July, 2011 in Medical, Personal