Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Round #5 is over

From the end of the wharf at the Quarantine Station.

Today I had the pump disconnected after the 5th round of chemo. I said in the last entry that I thought that having a reduced dose would make it all more manageable. Well.............. I was wrong. This time I seemd to be more 'depleted' with less energy, more discomfort and, just generally, feeling more pathetic. I've needed to rest much more during this last week. Everyone has commented that I look very healthy - and I like that. I certainly don't want to look like an invalid or a cancer patient.

I discussed this with the nurse today when I was being disconnected and she confirmed that, of course, the poisons accumulate in your body and are bound to have a continuing deteriorating effect. So, I guess I'll just have to get used to it.

Yesterday I went to the Chinese herbal doctor, who is also an acupuncturist. He asked if I was still having the groin pain. When I said I was, he placed needles in different places from before and with heat directed onto the needles on my tummy for 30 minutes. The pain came and went during the session (which was at 1pm Wednesday) but I haven't had any pain since then - and it's now 4.30pm Thursday. So........... looking good :)

So, I'm looking forward to this week "off the pump" - Saturday afternoon I'll be conducting a wedding for the daughter of dear friends. I conducted her sister's wedding in December 2009 and feel very privileged to be asked to officiate at this one too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Passed the halfway mark with chemo

I've now been hooked up for round #5 of 8, so I'm on the home run. Yippee. The reduction in dose last time allowed the mouth ulcers and cracked lips to heal, so eating and drinking are now not so torturous. And my husky voice is not quite so husky now. I will be on the reduced dose for the rest of the treatment and I think it will be quite manageable.

I have been having some unexplained shooting pain in my groin for the past few weeks, so the oncologist referred me for a bone scan - just in case the cancer had spread to the bones. I am happy to report that the bone scan only revealed old bones and nothing else, so that is good news. Doesn't explain the pain though so further tests are afoot. Meanwhile I'm taking slow release pain killers in an attempt to lessen the severity of the pain when it comes. Fortunately it only lasts a minute or two and then eases off.

So.... I had a great weekend in Singleton with my friend, Suzie and her daughter and grandchildren. The kids love the Hopemobile and love to just climb in and stand and look and point out things they see. It's very cute. They know to take their shoes off before climbing in, but forget to put them on again when they leave, so I have to chase them to put their shoes back on.

Max is three and a half and he LOVES the caravan :)

Back in the Gong after Singleton meant unpacking, washing and packing again in preparation for an Easter break away at North Head at the old quarantine station near Manly. On Thursday morning I was at the chemo clinic for my infusion and pump hook up (four hours in total) before heading home to finish packing and be collected by Gayle for the trip north. the weather was superb and it was a good trip with me doing the navigating.

We are staying in a lovely old solid brick 4 bedroom house that is owned by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and usually used for training programs. Lovely big bedrooms, two big bath rooms, separate dining room for 8, outdoor deck with furniture, everything you need for a short stay including fluffy white bath robes. They allow AFP personnel and civilian staff to rent them at Easter and Christmas. Below are Robbie, Gayle, Carmel and Atilla - the friends I am sharing my Easter weekend with at North Head. Pic was taken with my iphone and it's a bit fuzzy - and I wasn't drinking! My apologies.

Life is good fun here at North Head. Fish and chips and salad for Good Friday dinner with congenial conversation around the table and into the evening. I had a nanna nap this afternoon, so was rested to enjoy the evening.

And now to bed. Friday night ... oops Saturday morning 23 April at 12.10am. Good night.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday's find

I went to Clovelly Beach, in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Haven't been before and was told it was a fabulous place to snorkel. And it was!

A beautiful beach

Stunning coastline to the north

Every safety precaution!

Perfect water temperature

Stunning coastline to the south

Saturday 16 April @ 11pm and I'm in the Hopemobile in Singleton on the evening of Sydney's wettest April day in 10 years!! I'm dry and cosey :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

An Autumn Picnic at Bobbin Head

My chemo pump was removed again on Wednesday morning and I'm free from it until next Thursday. Feeling clear-headed again :)

Saw my Chinese Herbal doctor on Wednesday afternoon, who said my pulse is good, but blood results still not good enough, so there is lots of work to do. Keep up the herbs, the acupuncture and the strict diet regime.

I'm staying in Sydney with my friend, Suzie, and we are going to Singleton at the weekend to spend time with her daughter and her grandchildren. I'm taking the Hopemobile.

Yesterday I drove to Bobbin Head, in the Kurringai National Park, to meet my friend, Marcia and have a picnic. It was a brilliant big blue sky day - just perfect. We didn't go to the traditional picnic spots, but climbed up the hill a bit and onto a rock overlooking part of the waterway. Enjoy the view.

A special day out with a special friend

Friday 15 April 8.45am

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Arriving for a surf at Smith's Beach, Bunker Bay, with groom's father, Steve

Couldn't resist putting this one in again :)

View from the cafe where I had breakfast with my brother this morning. Can't complain.

Monday 11 April 4.30pm

Friday, April 8, 2011

A wedding and a week in WA at Margaret River

Lindsay and Matthew are now man and wife. Photo taken with my 'point and press camera' by a friend, directly into the sun - so not so clear. I'm sure the professional photographer will have perfect pics.

Have you been to Margaret River? The beaches, cliffs, surf and coastline are magnificent. we also went to look at the heats of the Margaret River Surfing Contest which is on the world circuit.

Of course, a lunch at Vasse Felix winery was the only way to finish the holiday with great friends. Only to be followed by a view of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean. And I'm the designated driver - so in great demand :)

And these are beautiful portrait shots of my grandchildren, taken by my daughter, Nikki, on her 'more than point and press camera' with amazing lens. I have these pics in my living room, so they are with me every day. It's as close as I can get most of the time.

And this was a week without the pump.

So yesterday (Thursday) I was hooked up again. As the dose of chemotherapy has been reduced by 15% to try to eliminate the eruption of mouth ulcers and cracked lips, my head is clearer than it has been in previous hook-ups. Feels OK.

Managed to shop, see the GP, attend a golfing friend's funeral, sign up with a new wireless internet provider - all by lunch time. Rested all afternoon, of course.

And now it's 9.30pm on Friday and I'm watching the Australian Swimming Championships. The team for the world championships will be announced tonight after the meet.