Thursday, September 29, 2011


OK. Not really in the mood for writing, so here goes - briefly

  •  CT scan showed tumour in back muscle is torturing the muscle but not impacting on spine or major nerves - that's good
  • It means that radiation is not required but that pain management is required
  • so, I have pain patches and several pain killing drugs of varying strength - all of which are to be used/taken simultaneously, along with the oral chemotherapy, the Chinese herbal tablets, the tablets for my restless legs (which haven't managed to get a mention in all this until now) - OH! and the Vitamin C powder and the anti-constipation stuff!! Not much time for anything else in my day, really :)
And how's the pain? - you may well ask. It has dissipated somewhat but not entirely. I am managing to sleep through the night and get through the day as long as I don't spend too much time on my feet. The most comfortable position for me is sitting.

So, that's not too bad, I guess. And it means that driving the Hopemobile is not going to cause me any more discomfort than the usual stiffness and needing to stretch after a couple of hours behind the wheel. And as I don't do long hauls, all will be OK.

I'm back on the Gold Coast spending time with family - Tim and Oscar and Debs and with friends - Carolyn and Warren.

Also managing to catch up with other friends, Judith and Morton.

Wedding at Kingscliff on Sunday and then off to Mooloolaba in the afternoon to spend a few days with Carole in an apartment on the beach.

All for now. This is more than I thought I'd write :)

Thursday 29 September @ 10pm

Friday, September 23, 2011


It's nice to be back home in The Gong - to catch up with family and friends, to enjoy the beautiful place that it is and to catch up with 'things' that need to be done. Took this pic when I was having a cuppa with a friend at a beach cafe, just a short walk from home.

Among the 'things' that have to be done while back at home are blood tests, doctors' appointments and scans. Unfortunately the result of the blood test was not good - the tumour markers have increased in the 2 months since I last had chemo treatment. So.................... I'm back on the chemo tablets with strict instructions to take the correct dose as advised and to call immediately should I have any concerns. And to come back in a month, have another blood test and see the oncologist. News like this certainly causes the spirits to crash! I've been there before :)

I also consulted my GP about the pain in my left leg and side. She referred me for a CT scan on my spine and lumbar area to see if the tumours are tangling with nerves. Had the scan yesterday (Friday) and will see her again on Monday for the results. If her thoughts are correct then radiation is the only option. I'll worry about that when I get the verdict.

In the meantime, tomorrow I will conduct a wedding at Mt. Keira Lookout and get back on a plane on Tuesday afternoon to return to the Gold Coast, so that I can be prepared for my October 2 wedding, which will be held at a resort at Kingscliff.

The trip home last Wednesday was eventful. The 9am flight I was to catch was cancelled at 8.45am and I was lucky enough to get a seat on the 10am flight. As this change destroyed the arrangements I had for my arrival in Sydney, and my mind was busy with thoughts of calls to cancel stuff, I was delighted to find a special friend was also on the same flight. Her car was at the airport and she was happy to drive me home via the places I needed to visit on the way. We encountered a massive traffic snag due to a truck accident, so our trip together was much longer than it should have been.

My friends are amazing and I am continually grateful for the way they and the universe look after me when I'm in a bit of a pickle :) Thank you, Carol. It was an amazing day, with a magnificent friend.

Thank you to all my friends who make this life journey, which could be totally revolting, as eventful and happily serendipidous as it is.

Saturday 24 September @ 3.16pm

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Gold Coast

How lovely it has been spending time with my son and my grandson. Walking on the beach, playing at the park, jumping on the jumping pillow, reading bedtime stories and having lovely conversations - most of which I can understand :) - and talking with Tim about his work and his life and his dreams. It's been a very special time. Oscar really loves his 'Lifesaver' outfit - can't you tell?

And now Tim has gone off to Auckland with mates to watch the rugby, Oscar has gone to stay with his Mum and Nanna, and I am at Currumbin staying with my very dear friends, Carolyn and Warren. They have a lovely home in a quiet spot on Currumbin Creek. I feel very relaxed here and WARM!!!

The SWELL Sculpture Festival is held in September at Currumbin Beach - 'getting art out there'. A series of sculptures are installed along the beachfront - similar to 'Sculptures by the Sea' in Sydney in November. This one below is called The Gathering.

We went to see the sculptures late in the afternoon, as the sun was sinking. Sunset below over The Alley where Currumbin Creek meets the Pacific Ocean.

And this morning we drove to the fishing harbour at Tweed Heads to buy prawns. No prawns, but there were plenty of spanner crabs.

Carolyn and I go back a long way - as teenagers we trained as Physical Education teachers together and I was the bridesmaid at her wedding in 1968. Our time together is so easy and comfortable and I'm really looking forward to the next couple of days together before I head back home on Wednesday.

The pain I mentioned earlier has got worse, so I'm keen to see my GP on Thursday morning. Meantime the pain patches are playing their part. But before that I will see Dr. Chen shortly after I fly into Sydney on Wednesday. If you wish to see his website, just click on his name.

I've had an inquiry from someone about Dr Chen, through this blog. Angela, I hope this helps. Please feel free to mention my name (Terrie Baxter) if you are making contact with his rooms. You will see a testimonial from me on his website. Lot of water under the bridge since then, but I'm still battling on :)

Jannie Annie, are you Jan LeM from SA?

Today, Sunday 18 September, is my granddaughter, Willow's, 5th birthday. She celebrated yesterday with family and friends, but without her mother, who is on her return journey from her successful ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I'm very proud of them both.

It's late. Time for bed @ 10pm. G'night.

Monday, September 12, 2011


And this morning the blog WILL allow me to load photos :) Oscar and Tim cooking together

Sharing the road from Killarney to Boona with a farmer and her herd

Driving east at sunset - towards Killarney

Having a cuppa in Texas with cycling mate, John

Casuarinas and willows beside the weir on the Macintyre River at Inverell

East or west? East wins, hands down

Well Inverell is a lovely town - but it's very cold this September. It was my mother's home town. I always remember her saying that the water froze in the pipes overnight in the winter and she couldn't wait to get out of there. The war came and she joined the WAAFS - she was out of there.

It was there that I decided to continue my journey in an easterly direction, rather than heading west to sample the hot springs of Moree and go further west to visit my niece, Bianca, and her family in Mungindi. I'll have to save that for another time - in warmer months.

I headed north for a little bit until I crossed the border into Queensland. Stayed overnight in Texas - still very cold - but woke up to a sunny morning and wandered into the town in time to meet up with one of my cycling and walking buddies, John. We had lunch in the local coffee shop and he told me about the Cycling QLD Big Ride that he was doing. Eight hundred cyclists of varying ability and fitness levels are riding for 9 days between Goondiwindi to Brisbane. They have a rest day in Stanthorpe tomorrow. Much like the ride I did in 2005 which went for 9 days from Kosciusko to Kiama. The rest day was in Quenabeyan. Couldn't do it now, of course, but glad I did it then :)

From Texas I turned east toward warmer climes and after a pleasant afternoon's drive through beautiful farming landscape, I stayed overnight in a caravan park at Killarney. And phew! it was several degrees warmer than the previous nights.

Today I've continued east, through more magnificent scenery, including some tropical rainforest in the mountains, until I reached Southport on the Gold Coast and am now settled in with Tim and Oscar.

No more driving for a while. Just fun with Tim and Oscar and catching up with some other family and some friends - in temperatures that only require a light jacket, or even just a long-sleeved shirt - maybe a T shirt, if I'm lucky.

I have taken pics along the way, but this $%#&^# blog won't let me post them tonight!

10.04pm Monday 12 September.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Upper Hunter to Liverpool Plains and beyond

Hopemobile beside the creek at Wallabadah, south of Tamworth

Agriculture and mining side by side in the Upper Hunter

Blossoms in the streets of Nundle where I visited the Woollen Mills and a reconstruction of a gold mine.

And from Wallabadah I travelled via Nundle, to Tamworth. Beautiful agricultural scenery which is unusually green due to all the rain over winter.

The last three days and nights have been spent with my friend, Robbie, in her home in Tamworth. We had leisurely days in which she went about her usual activities or kindly took me to show me some of the sights of Tamworth. I also visited some family members (Stacey and Lyle, April and Hamish) and some friends (Trudi, Ella and Hamish). Robbie was kind enough to invite an old friend from my student days for dinner one night - we had fun reminiscing. Robbie is a great cook, so I've been very spoiled while I've been in her home.

This morning before I left Tamworth we went to visit the magnificent equestrian centre, opened in 2009, where the NSW Dressage Titles are are being held over this weekend. It's an impressive complex where a variety of events are held throughout the year, not only equine activities.

At 10am The Hopemobile and I left Tamworth and motored north via Manilla, Barraba and Delungra on our way to Inverell. I was born in Inverell - way back when :) - and have not been back since I was two months old. It's time to visit.

We drove through rain and wind all the way today and the road works between Barraba and Inverell mean that my vehicle is not so sparkling clean as it was when I left.

Tonight I'm staying in a caravan park, had a bistro meal at the local bowling club and am getting ready now to snuggle down and prepare for a minimum of 4' overnight. Brrrr.

Health update
  • hair has stopped falling out - in fact, is starting to grow again
  • largest tumour is pressing on nerve and causing discomfort on left side and down left leg, so plenty of Panadol Osteo is being consumed.
Daughter update - yesterday was Day 1 of Nikki's climb on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Her Facebook entry says -
Camp Day 1 - cold, tired & dampish but happy campers

So, all good so far. Here is the link to her blog about preparation for the climb and the reasons for doing it

This last pic is of Robbie and me at the Tamworth Lookout

Monday, September 5, 2011

On the road again

Well, the Hopemobile and I are on the road.

I spent the weekend in Sydney, with the bonus of having brunch with Tim and Debs at Waverley on Sunday morning before setting off to head north. I drove to Singleton to stay overnight with the Williamsons - Sarah and Hamish, Max and Lucy. The children (Max and Lucy) love the van and we spent some time sitting in it reading stories after dinner.

Today I meandered up the New England Highway under blue sky and sunshine, stopping for short breaks along the way and detouring into the small towns of Denman, Jerrys Plains and Sandy Hollow and into the Washpools at Towarri National Park.

Tonight I am camped at Wallabadah beside a creek with several other happy campers who tell me they often stop here on their travels north or south. Cooked some fish, sweet potato chips and tomatoes on the BBQ beside the creek before retiring under the doona to read and to write this post. G'night :)