Category Archives: Personal

Video of Doug’s Funeral

Funeral Services for Doug Duncan, Oct 11, 2011 from James Duncan on Vimeo.

On October 11, family met for a small funeral service at Nelson Baptist, after which they met at the cemetery for the interment. A bit later that afternoon, a larger celebration service was held at Hope Community Church. Both services are shown in part here, spliced together during the eulogy. Photos from the interment accompany the final hymn.


Posted by on 25 November, 2011 in Family, Personal



Stoma procedure healing slowly

The stoma nurse visited me this morning to examine the after-effects of the cauterization and artery stitching that I had a few weeks ago. Most of the pain I have comes from this area and it appears I may have to learn to live with it. The surgical procedure is healing slowly but well, however over the couple of years I have had the stoma it has herniated to the point that the skin is very tight and detaching the bag every couple of days for a new one feels like pulling a bandage off raw skin. Never mind though, it is like hitting your head against a brick wall – it feels good when you stop. I can live with that amount of pain – to be totally pain free will mean I am finally free of this diseased body. As there is still so much Bronwen and I are enjoying together a little bit more pain is not an insurmountable problem.

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Posted by on 13 September, 2011 in Medical, Personal


More diagnoses & more referrals!

Last week I had an ultrasound to try and determine the source of the blockage that is causing me to retain fluid in my abdomen, legs and ankles. I was able to see most of the action on the screen.

The kidneys seems to be clear and the lower vena cava (the major vein that runs behind the liver) was also flowing well. They could not see the hepatic vein so when I reported to the hospice with a view to having the fluid in my abdomen drained I had some more tests and these seemed to indicate that perhaps one of the metastases in the liver is applying pressure to that hepatic vein and causing a partial blockage.

They did not drain the abdomen because it is still reasonably soft and some of the swelling is caused by gas. It is a bit risky at this stage so I agreed with their suggestion that as it is not causing major problems, I should wait until it is absolutely necessary before I go down that track. Instead they have increased the diuretic medication and referred me to the physiotherapist at the hospital who specializes in lymphatic drainage. This should at least bring some relief to the swelling to the legs and ankles.


Posted by on 13 September, 2011 in Medical, Personal


Another Milestone

We’ve made it to another milestone.

Today is Bronwen’s and my 43rd Wedding Anniversary.

Many memories come flooding back of that Saturday 43 years ago. I played tennis in the morning before the ceremony at the Nelson Baptist Church in the afternoon. Bronwen looked radiant in spite of the fact she had the ‘flu. Shona and Bruce sang a duet at the reception in her honour, the Gilbert & Sullivan song, “Take a pair of sparkling eyes”.

The eyes have not lost their sparkle and she no longer has the ‘flu. Instead, its me no longer able to play tennis and having the ailments.

Bronwen has been such a faithful companion and put up with so many changes of house and country over the years that its a wonder she didn’t consider that she needed a change of man!


Through the highs and the lows, the valleys and the mountain tops, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, by God’s generous grace, we’ve made it to 43 years together.

And the last three years have been the closest and best.


Posted by on 7 September, 2011 in Family, Personal


One more mystery

About 3 weeks ago I developed some swelling in the left ankle. Several days later this spread to the right ankle. It has now spread up both my legs to my thighs so that I look quite puffy and can no longer wear my sheepskin boot slippers.

The Medical consultant saw it while I was in hospital and I’ve also been to the GP about it. Both referred to me as a conundrum of a patient. Both suggested the oedema is generally associated with the heart but in my case, the heart is perhaps my strongest organ. I am on some pill to try and drain the fluid and am also scheduled to have an ultra-sound within the next 10 days so they can determine the cause of the fluid retention.

We’re not running an ordinary marathon – it’s more like a steeple-chase. Clear one hurdle and there’s another just ahead. Through it all the Lord gives peace and strength. Those two seem to be semi-automatic. I have to ask him for extra measures of grace because the incessant achey-type pain around the stoma, the difficulty walking associated with the fluid retention and my frustration at not being able to take advantage of the beautiful weather to potter around on some of the home projects don’t always make me the calmest of people to live with. Bronwen seems to be the one who gets the automatic extra resources of grace.

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Posted by on 6 September, 2011 in Medical, Personal


After the landslide we’re clambering around the scree

Bronwen and I are both recovering from our dramatic visit to the hospital a couple of Saturdays ago.

She has had no more serious turns. In fact the one she did have was a ‘normal’ as far as we were concerned. If the ambulance hadn’t turned up I would have just packed her off to bed which is what usually happens and after 8 – 12 hours rest she would come right. That’s what the hospital sent her home to do anyway. But why not have a free ride when the ambulance was already here. We’d paid our annual subscription!

Apart from the pain of gas, etc passing over the cauterised and stitched areas inside my stoma, I am gradually improving too. When I was discharged on the Saturday night my Haemoglobin was 89. When I had my routine blood test the following Monday it had risen of its own accord to 96. Hopefully that is an indication that the problem has indeed been identified and dealt with. (Mind you, there’s always a doctor to bring you back to earth – he told me that in the taking of bloods there can often be a 5 – 10 point variance. In other words, my Haemoglobin on Monday could have been exactly the same as it was on Saturday night with no change!)

I’ll stick with a natural rise occurring with my haemoglobin levels.

There has been no more sign of bleeding since that Saturday 27 August,

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Posted by on 6 September, 2011 in Medical, Personal