Friday, November 9, 2012

A great loss

Terrie Anne Baxter passed away Wednesday November 7th 2012.
Loved by many and especially missed by her family and close friends.
Aged 65 years.

If your life has been touched by Terrie please join her family for a Celebration of her life to be held at Glennifer Brae, Murphys Avenue, Keiraville on Saturday November 17th at 2pm.
Please consider that parking will be limited.
No flowers. Donations to Cancer Council Australia, Wollongong to the Jodi Lee Foundation in her name gratefully received.


Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm still here!

Just a quick update.

Since I last wrote I have been having some good days and some bad days. I am beautifully looked  after by my sister and the crew of friends who have rallied around and the nurses who come daily to administer the medication. I am in no pain and able ( with help) to get out of bed to shower and sit in the sun for a brief time. I even sit in white cane rocking chair -)

Thank you for reading and sharing this journey with me.

Terrie. Saturday

Friday, October 12, 2012

And now

My dear readers
The trip home from Atlanta via San Francisco was great.   Nikki and I spent a day together in downtown San Fran and visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It was marvellous. My sister, Leigh, joined us in our hotel room in the afternoon and it was lovely the three of us being together for a few hours

Nikki saw Leigh and me off through the security system at the international terminal before she went off to catch the red-eye flight back to Atlanta. Leigh and I settled into our business class seats and had an excellent trip to Sydney. Still on a fluids-only diet, I consumed a considerable amount of ice cream during the flight :-)

Once home again it was straight into tests and consultations with doctors. It is now time to tell you that my prognosis is, yet again, not good.

As my readers you have been the inspiration that has kept me going over the past 6 years.

I hope you know how important you are to me.

I have been able to get up in the mornings knowing there is more to the day than doctors'appointmentsbloodtestsscansherbaltabletsacupuncturerestricteddietchemotherapyradiotherapyvomitingheadachesnoalcoholcheesenoredmeatoncologistsradiotherapistsgeneralpractionersnursesradiographersbloodthinnerstedssurgeryhospitals
I thank you every day for your love and support.

You know that I have recently been in the USA, in Atlanta, with Nikki and her family.  While there I was hospitalised twice in a month with a blocked bowel. The CT scans taken on both occasions, a month apart, and the PET scan I had in Sydney last week show rapid growth in the tumours that are attacking my small bowel. The doctors say these blockages will keep occurring more frequently and that eventually, sooner rather than later, my system will shut down. There is no further treatment that I can have that will be effective.

Needless to say, I am not just giving up. I will continue to live each day as full of energy as I can, implementing preventative treatment while I can, and getting on with normal life while I can. So, please keep in touch and let's keep doing what we always do.

I won't always be able to respond and I'm sure you'll understand that.

I have moved into my sister-in-law's home in Mt. Ousley at her
very generous insistence as she will not be there. There is room there
for me and for my sister, Leigh, to stay and care for me. And plenty of
room for visitors to park and stay!

Terrie. Thursday 17 October

Sunday, September 30, 2012

From my beautiful daughter

Nikki wrote this last week. Just click on the link

Terrie - for now

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Going home

Well, the doctors have advised, the patient has listened and considered, the family has agreed and I am heading home next week.

I am still on a fluids-only diet, which is keeping me going. I guess that's what it will be until, or if, there is some resolution with the blockage in my bowel.

I will fly from Atlanta to San Francisco on Monday and my beautiful daughter will accompany me. We will stay overnight there, when my equally beautiful sister will join us on Tuesday. She and I will fly together from San Francisco to Sydney while Nikki returns to Atlanta.

How difficult it will be to say goodbye to Nikki and her gorgeous family who have embraced me in their new home in the US over the past two months. It has been such a special time. I have read Winnie the Pooh to the children and tonight, 9 year old Zeke read a chapter of his Harry Potter book to me and 6 year old Willow is now reading her new school readers to me. What a treat for a grandma! I will have precious memories of them all in their new home, in their new country.

Nobody really knows what I have ahead of me, but my conversation with my Australian oncologist has given me the courage to return home and help me look for a resolution.

So now I fly, with strict instructions from doctors about medication and consumption beforehand and during the flight.

Terrie - for now

Monday, September 24, 2012

On a lighter note

During the past week we have celebrated Willow's 6th birthday. We made fairy bread and introduced it to her American party friends. Mainly they were not so keen. The parents were fascinated, but hesitant to try. So most of the fairy bread was eaten by the birthday girl and her brother.

Terrie, for now

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Not such good news

Since I last wrote I have had another stint in the hospital. My bowel blocked again and I had to have a tube put down through my nose into my stomach to drain all the contents from my stomach to take the pressure off the small bowel. Not an exciting experience, I can tell you. The drain was in for about 24 hours and I stayed another 24 hours before being allowed to go home on a full fluids diet only. That was a week ago.

It has meant that I have had to delay my return home to Australia as it was considered I was not yet in a condition to fly the distance.

Difficult and emotional times

Friday, September 14, 2012

More of Atlanta

On Thursday nights here in Edgewater Cove, the local community comes out at 7pm - each adult with a glass or a beer in their hand and most with a dog on a lead - onto the corner where the school bus stops, and has a social get together. The kids come too and for about 90 mins there is social interaction and chit chat across all generations - on the road There are the grannies, like me, the middle aged parents and their teenagers, the almost middle aged parents with their younger families. The little kids run mad with the dogs and balls and other toys, while some of the teenagers tend to the little kids and the others stick with the adults. It's a very pleasant thing to do and a great way for Nikki and the family to k
meet some of the neighbours.
Of course, among the kids there is often some teasing that results in tears and tales told. Nik and Sam are out at a cocktail party tonight, so I'm the babysitter and offered an looked forward to taking the kids to the 'block drinks night' on the road. Needless to say the new kids on the block, Zeke and Willow, are the main target for teasing by the long termers. They're not used to it yet, but they
will eventually find their feet and be a match for the others. So tonight I had a little girl in tears and her big brother confused as to how he could help.
What was so lovely to see tonight was a 12 year old girl, seeing Willow upset, and without being solicited, inviting Willow to join her group - which was much quieter. Once the sobs had subsided, she agreed to join and was happy for the rest of the time.
Some of the local neighborhood ambience!
The Mail System
Of course each house has a letterbox. Here in the US, each letter box has a small metal flag of a different colour to the box. If you wish the mail man to collect your outgoing mail, you put a stamp on it, place it in the mail box and raise the flag! Once he delivers your incoming mail and takes your outgoing mail, he lowers the flag.
It's Willow's great delight to check the mail box each afternoon when she gets off the bus. There are tears, or sometimes much worse - a tantrum, if the mail has already been collected.
Oh dear! This constipation thing is ever-present. These pain killing drugs are killing my bowel system! Off to see a GP to see what I can do to relieve the ever-present anxiety of the next vomiting onslaught.
OK. So he gave me scripts for what I needed and advised me to continue giving myself an enema every day as well as taking a sugar mixture daily to make things easier.
I'm very diligent when given instructions - enough said! No more vomiting attacks. Very good. However my abdomen grumbles loudly all day and I feel more bloated as the day goes on. Feeling good some days and not-so-good others.

Sitting on the top step, consulting YouTube

Out on an excursion to the local Mill, bush tracks and waterfall.

Some of my fond memories of my stay in Vancouver. Leigh and Bob with their son, Josh. Riding in Stanley Park, characters made of ceramic tiles, shards and mirrors on display at the Museum of Anthropology.

On our excursion to the Mill it was exciting to see the local wildlife in action - garter snake having frog leg for its meal.
Terrie - for now

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Atlanta - the first month

Well, it's a month. Since I wrote that last bit, so much has happened. The children have started school and are now used to the system with the bus and finding their classroom once they arrive at school. Timetables, rosters, PE days, science lab days, library days, photos days are all scheduled and there are papers all over the kitchen as reminders.

We have visited the wonderful aquarium here and the Coke Museum, of course, as Atlanta is the home of Coca Cola.

The day's routine begins with getting the kids off to school,on the bus by 7.24am. Fortunately I don't have to do that, so rise at a more leisurely time. At first I was going out for a walk around the neighborhood each day, but the pain in my left leg increased when I did that - even though I had bought the most beautiful pair of hot pink joggers to pound the pavements in

So I had to alter my daily exercise routine and start going to the pool each day to do some laps Very pleasant as I have the community pool all to myself and sometimes spend a few hours there swimming, sleeping, listening to my music and reading.

I've been in touch with my pain management guru, by email, and he has altered my medication so that the pain is not so severe. We haven't quite got the formula right yet, so am still going to the pool rather than pounding the pavement.

I've had a couple of other health lapses as well. Three weeks ago I woke to severe abdominal pain and vomiting. After half a day of this Nikki insisted she take me to a hospital, so we went off to the ER at Northside Hospital. after and X-ray and a CT scan I was admitted with a possible blocked bowel and had to stay overnight - nil-by-mouth, with drips in my arm and very pleasant nurses seeing to my every need. By morning my system was looking and behaving much better and I was given permission to go home after lunch if I could remain stable after fluid-only breakfast and lunch. That happened fortunately, so Nikki brought me back home after lunch on the first day of school for the children. I was so sorry not to see them off on the bus or meet them on the first day. Anyway there have been many bus send offs and arrivals since then.

They close the pool after this weekend and I'm not ready to get back into those pink joggers yet, so not sure what I will do for some exercise. I haven't been able to do much these last couple of days either as I have been severely constipated, caused by the additional pain killing drugs, and have had fierce abdominal pain again. As none of us wants me to have another hospital visit, I have been on fluids only for the past two days, and following advice from my oncologist at home via a Skype call, I am taking a daily tonic to soften the bowel contents and also administering a daily enema. Not pleasant, but having the right effect. This needs to continue indefinitely.

The reason I am including all this grisly detail here is because I use this blog as an ongoing record of my health journey. Sorry if it's a bit unpleasant.

Life goes on in the Moffitt household, as it does in most. It's just lovely being here with them, and having them with me when I'm not in such good shape.

It's currently 9.30pm on Wednesday 29 August and all is quiet. We are expecting the delivery of a new lounge on Friday!

Terrie - for now

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My time in Vancouver

In my last entry I totally omitted the time I spent in Vancouver with my sister, Leigh, and her husband, Bob. Very remiss of me, not the least reason being that they very generously gave me their bed while they slept on a blow-up mattress on the living room floor.

Although they live in Calgary, they have a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver, and they choose to spend the whole summer there.

It was wonderful to see them again! To see their Vancouver environment and to do some Vancouver things with them. While I was there we saw a Matisse exhibition at the local art gallery. Matisse was a mystery to me until then, art connoisseur that I'm not, and I really enjoyed this visit and his paintings.

Leigh also arranged for me to see a Chinese acupuncturist, for which I was grateful. my Chinese Herbal doctor, Dr.Chen, had suggested that I seek acupuncture when I can as 3 months is a long time to be without treatment. I had also seen a practitioner in Hamburg while I was there.

Leigh and I visited Granville Island one day, going across on the cute little ferry from the mainland. Then we walked back to the mainland. The weather was quite mild, so Leigh and I went out for a bike ride one day-see pic below. We had intended to do it more than once, but ran put of time and good weather.

We also had a wonderful family dinner with Bob's sister, Evelyn, and his brother, Tom and Tom's wife, Jenny.

We strolled along the beachfront during the pleasant evenings and generally had a great, summery, quiet time.

My visit there was also a chance to see Leigh's middle son and his family. Scott and Sarah now have 3 sons and it was great to meet with them and spend time getting to know the little boys. Sarah's parents also invited us for a beautiful dinner in their new home in North Vancouver.

From Vancouver I flew to Atlanta, via Chicago, and started my lengthy stay with Nikki and her family.

Right now, it's 10.38pm in Atlanta on Tuesday 21 August.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A quick photo trip now that I can add pics

Nikki has helped me find a way to add photos to my blog using the iPad, so here you go.....

This is a pic of the suitcase full of the drugs I had to leave home with. Amazingly no country, at any airport entry, questioned me about the amount of drugs I was carrying.

In Hamburg at the Rathaus (Town Hall) which, according to my guide, has more rooms than Buckingham Palace.

Still in Hamburg. This is the view from the kitchen window at the back of the apartment where we were staying. Very pleasant. Right outside the front door was the option of a punnet of fresh strawberries or a delicious ice cream - or both of course.

So many Smart cars in Hamburg, and their drivers use a very innovative way to park!

Sue and I were on a walking tour that was in German only. Towards the end we had had enough, so sneaked away for tea and cake in a rose-covered courtyard.

And now I'm in Lalinde, France, with Wilna. This is the view from my room in the chateau.

And a view looking the other way.

My friend, Wilna, as we arrive at a nearby village to view their 14July celebrations. The blue and white paper flowers are made by the people who live in the village during the winter months in preparation for this summer celebration.

We actually drove on to Bergerac for their fireworks and had pizza while we watched them.

Lalinde village square with locals and visitors enjoying the sun and coffee.

Wilna at the front door of the chateau on the day I was leaving. She drove me to Bordeaux to catch the train to Paris.

And she took one of me at the same time!

On our way to Bordeaux we stopped for lunch at the beautiful and ancient St. Emillion.

And now I am in Atlanta, Georgia with Nikki and Sam, Zeke and Willow staying in their great bog new house in Roswell. A considerable dent has been made in the drugs bag, but there are still 7 weeks to go!

One night last week I fell in the bathroom and banged my right side against the side of the bath. Had to call Nikki to help get me up and wasn't too sure what damage I had done. Being on pain killers has its advantages and disadvantages. However it's now almost a week since it happened, and although I have been very stiff and it's been difficult to move from one position to another, today I'm not feeling so stiff, the sore spots are still there but it's obviously getting better.

As the family moved into the house on the same day I arrived, there have been lots of boxes all over the house, lots of unpacking and still lots more to be done.

The children start school next week and Nikki has been flat out getting all documentation and medical records sorted so that everything is correct and they will be allowed in the front door on day 1. This week there are some familiarization sessions including a test run on the school bus. There is a school bus stop just a few houses from here and they need to be there by 7am, so it's an early start. Never mind, like most kids they are up early very day!

The house in Georgia.

Right now it's 1.40pm on Monday 6 August and we are about to take the children to the local library.

Location:I'm in Atlanta, Georgia now

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Germany and France so far

As I am fortunate enough to be flying Business Class, I have to say the flights went well. First to Singapore and then to Munich and finally Hamburg. My friend Sue was there to greet me with her smiley face, to help me with my luggage and to whip me away in a taxi to the 2 bedroom apartment her daughter owns. Her daughter is in Lisbon, recording a new opera by Peggy Glanville-Hicks. This year is the 100th anniversary of Peggy's birth. She wrote the opera Sappho, but it wasn't produced before she died. Sue's daughter, Jennifer Condon, has gained permission from the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Trust, to finalise the work and have it produced. It is being recorded in Lisbon as I write, with a stellar cast, including Deborah Polaski in the leading role. Go to if you are interested in learning more. The Hamburg I saw is centered around a lake and canals. Sue and I did a cruise on the lake and then a cruise out on the harbour where the port is busy with its commercial activity. It is a very leafy city, with all the streets lined with trees. Everything is very green. Right outside our apartment was an ice cream stall and a strawberry stall. Needless to say I ate far too much ice cream and strawberries. The Rathouse (Town Hall) in Hamburg has more rooms than Buckingham Palace according to the tourist guide spruiking on the double decker tourist bus we took. Sue very cleverly found somewhere for me to have acupuncture. So a bus ride on the excellent public transport system took us to the university hospital where we found the Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine. A gorgeous young doctor in a white coat who spoke excellent English was the practitioner and I had two sessions of acupuncture. We also went by train to Berlin and stayed for two nights. Once again we did the tourist things on the sightseeing bus and a train ride to Potsdam. For those of you who have been reading this blog for a few years, you may remember the young Opera singer, Emma Moore from Wollongong who won aria competitions which have excellent prize money. The prize money is to be used to allow the winner to study opera further. Emma is now studying opera singing in Berlin and came with us to Potsdam for the day. So, back to Hamburg from Berlin and then on a plane to Paris and a train to Bordeaux, where I was met by my friend, Wilna, who drove back to her chateau in Lalinde where I am now staying until Monday. See for a peek at my current accommodation. Chatting over meals or cuppas is what Wilna and I do when we get together. There is no need for sightseeing as I have visited many times before. We have also cleaned up the garden around the swimming pool, trimmed and tidied all the window boxes - and there are many - cleaned out the fridge and power hosed the pool tiles and the sandstone front of the chateau. Wilna has been busy and I've been her assistant. Today - Saturday 14 July - is France's national day. Unfortunately it is cold and raining which will spoil a lot of the celebrations. Tonight we plan to go to a neighbouring village for a meal and to see the fireworks. Keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will behave. It is 11am in France on 14 July

Friday, June 29, 2012

Port Douglas

Lots of fun and laughter, plenty of cups of coffee with cake, delicious meals at restaurants, little bit Of shopping, walks along the beach, dips in the warm ocean, sailing with friends, visit to the Daintree, in the jacuzzi every evening. I have discovered that my iPad won't allow me to upload pics. Apparently there is special software required. So until I can work that one out there will not be any pics. Health I have all the tests and scans and seen the relevant medicos for the results My arm is doing well and I'm moving to the next stage of not wearing the brace all the time. Need to keep doing exercises as prescribed. All good. The scans on my abdomen show that the two largest tumors (of 3) are growing. I am having more pain in my leg and pelvic area and have truckloads of drugs to deal with that. The offensive tumours are not on vital organs ( they are attached to the peritoneum) so will not hasten me to my last moment for some time. The leg pain is a problem. The prescribed medication for my pain and all of Dr. Chen's herbal medicine fill a small pull along suitcase, so I am going to have to take two suitcases - one for medication and one for clothes. I have doctor's letters, PET scan disc and written report. These are supposed to get me through customs every time. Phew. I certainly hope so. Both bags are packed now and I'm ready to go. Flying out tomorrow (Sunday) at 3.15pm. Right now it's 1pm on Saturday and I'm getting ready to go to the beauty therapist for wax, manicure and pedicure. Have to look good on the outsideeven if I'm not so good on the inside.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Since I last wrote a lot has happened, but now that I look back at it, it's all pretty insignificant.

I booked return flights to NZ in January 2013, to stay with my friends, Hilary and Pat, and to perform the marriage ceremony of their niece, Sheryl to her fiancee Tom, and to have a little NZ holiday

I have a new brace for my arm, which is healing nicely.  I'm still very diligent about my exercises and massaging the scar and surrounding area of my wrist.

Attended a day of Professional Developments for Marriage Celebrants.  It is a requirement to retain registration with the Attorney general's department.  Very good quality training from AssentTecs.

Attending sessions with a rehabilitation physical therapist to help keep the muscles in my left hip and pelvis in shape to help reduce the pain in my left leg.  I'm back on some of those dreaded pain killing medications, as the pain has returned. I had about 2 months free of pain after the radiotherapy.

Took my friend, Cooki, to the airport so he could fly to the Gold Coast and drive the Hopemobile home.  They arrived back safe and sound on Wednesday. Phew!

On Friday I had a blood test - the usual 6 week test - and saw the oncologist for the results on Tuesday.  Not good news.  The tumour marker is continuing to rise. That means that the chemotherapy tablets that I have been taking are not having any effect.  So, stop taking these and have some scans to take a look to see what the picture is.

Today I had a PET scan and on Monday 25th I will have an MRI.  I see the oncologist for the results of both.

Why the wait?, you might be asking. Well, on Sunday I'm off to Port Douglas with three very close friends for some time in the sun, away from this cold winter. While there we will be celebrating Carole's 70th birthday.

So - this coming week will be full of fun and laughter with the girls, in the sun at Port Douglas.

I have also been working with my travel agent on plans for an overseas holiday spending time in Germany, France, Canada and USA - spending six weeks in Atlanta with Nikki and her family after their move from Durban.

All for now. Hope you're happy, Gayle! :-)

Right now it's 7.30pm on Friday 15th June.

My pic in local rag

Illawarra Mercury (local newspaper) article and photo from Tea by the Sea. TB and Dean McLerie,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We are at the end of May already!

This past couple of weeks has been quite quiet in terms of activity and happenings. I have been catching up with friends and battling to do things at home with a splint on my arm. I visited the Hand Therapist who was impressed with the range of movement I have in my wrist. That's a testament to my dedication for doing my exercises.  I thought he might say that I can take the splint off - but that was not to be.  It must stay on for 6 weeks. That means another two and a half weeks.  I see him again in 2 weeks when he will refer me for an xray, which has to be taken at 6 weeks.

In the meantime the pain in my left leg has come back.  It started gradually two weeks ago with a few little twinges shooting from my hip to my knee. It has increased over the time and I am now back on some of the pain killers that I thought I had farewelled for good.

I have an appointment with the oncologist in a couple of weeks and will grill him about why the pain has returned, what can be done about it and what I can expect in the future.

I plan to fly out of Australia on 1st July and be away for ten weeks. I do hope that this won't put paid to those plans.

The last week in May is when Australians are encouraged to attend the world's biggest morning tea. I was a guest of the Cancer Council at their Tea by the Sea last Thursday morning.  I was very privileged to be picked up and driven by Dean, owner of  Paragon Executive Car Service. He also drove me home and then offered to drive me to all my appointments that day.  Wow! What an offer for a girl who can't drive because of a broken arm.  I had 3 medical appointments that day and Dean very graciously took me to all of them. We finally parted company at 4.30pm after a long day. Needless to say, we are now good buddies. The Tea by the Sea event raised over $10,000 for the Cancer Council.

Girls at the Bubbles Ball
On Saturday night I went to another fund raising event. The Bubbles Ball is held each year to raise funds for those supporting breast cancer patients. It's for women only who are asked to dress in something they have purchased from an Opportunity Shop. There were lots of hilarious outfits, great entertainment by all-female casts, a silent auction as well as the opportunity to make donations through other means. I was very daring and had a henna tattoo painted onto my right hand. It will last for about 2 weeks, so people have been asking me about it when I've been out and about this week. This event also raised over $10,000.

I'm writing this on Thursday 31 May @11.16am

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Two Weeks with the Beautiful Isabel and her Family

This photo was taken on Mothers' Day.  She was on her best behaviour.  We went to a restaurant at Broadbeach for lunch and she slept the whole time - even while her Mum and I ducked into a gorgeous shop before we got in the car to come home.

The two weeks with Isabel and her family included:
  • lots of cuddles
  • lots of washing
  • lots of time spent just gooing over her
  • lots of time spent with her brother, Oscar
  • lots of great time spent with her Mum and Dad - Debs and Tim
  • the time spent with Oscar included story time, of course, and both of us riding bikes and scooters. Unfortunately those outdoor activities were cut short on Monday 7th, when I came a cropper off my scooter, took a lot of skin off, bruised many body parts - that are still hurting - and broke my left arm.
What followed? - emergency department at a local hospital, Xrays, CT scans, surgery, plaster casts then a more modern plastic cast, 2 nights in hospital, visit from surgeon and hand therapist who issued instructions about exercises, referral to Wollongong hand therapist and instructions for another xray in 6 weeks.

That brought on decisions that had to be made about all sorts of things - doctors' visits had to be changed, I had to elicit the help of my friend, Ros, to gather scanned documents that would help excuse me from jury duty I was supposed to commence today. I was excused.

Well, now I couldn't drive the Hopemobile home, so it stayed at Tim's and I flew home this morning. Still working out how and when I can get it back to the Gong.  If, as you are reading this, you think you might like to fly to the Gold Coast and then have a leisurely campervan trip back the the Gong, then let me know.

This has all been typed with one hand, so now I need a rest.

It's 6.16pm on Tuesday 15 May 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A week's gone already

So, the appointments mentioned in the previous post happened and the outcomes were the same.  All going well. Keep doing what you're doing!

And the mammogram, well.......  the operator was friendly :-)

Saturday was very busy. I conducted two weddings which both went very well. All parties were pleased. The weather was fabulous which certainly contributed to the success of the events as they were both outdoors - no need to resort to Plan B.

And Sunday was spent very quietly at home resting after a busy Saturday.

On Monday (yesterday), Carole and Ros and I travelled to Sydney for an overnight stay at the Sydney Harbour YHA which is right at the foot of the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In the afternoon we went to the Indepent Theatre in North Sydney to see the Bald Archys exhibition. Artists submit a comical piece on canvas of a high profile person in our community. There were many of our Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Rupert Murdoch, Ita Buttrose and lots of other Australian characters. We laughed out loud at some and really couldn't figure out the point of others.

In the evening we attended a panel discussion at City Recital Hall, Angel Place on the topic

Poverty amid Plenty: Exploring ideas for a more equitable and sustainable world - as part of the

City Talks 2012 program.

The MC for the event, Adam Spencer, played an excellent role, very professional and well prepared and presented the panel members with challenging and stimulating questions in their area of expertise. The speakers presented a range of ideas and opinions and outlined some of the current programs being conducted globally - in the case of General Electric - and by the city of Sydney in an attempt to address the issue at a local level. 

One panel member, Rachel Botsman, social innovator and author of the influential book "Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live" proposed one of the simplest and most easily embraced concepts - rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses, we get to know the Joneses and explore the possibility of sharing resources with the Joneses and others.

It created a great topic of conversation for us over our delicious pizzas at the Australian Heritage Hotel afterwards.

Our stay at the YHA was excellent and I recommend it for anyone wanting to stay right in the city of Sydney.

This morning we saw the Salon des Refusees - some of the portraits that were not chosen to be hung in the Archiblad Portrait Prize. Then inspected the new section of the Museum of Contempory Art, lunching there on the rooftop before catching an afternoon train home.

It's now 7.04pm on Tuesday 1 May - and I am packing my bag to fly to the Gold Coast tomorrow to spend some time with Tim and Debs and baby Isabel. The Hopemobile is still there, so I'll drive it home when I return.



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Medical Week so far

This week is my medical week - a medical appointment each day of the week, finishing with a mammogram on Friday!!

Monday - blood test in the morning with results going to the oncologist for my 2pm appointment. Well..... all good. Tumour markers are not high, liver function is as good as can  be expected. I am to continue on the low dose of oral chemotherapy and come back for another check in 6 weeks.  I told him of my plans to travel overseas in the middle of the year and he told me to 'go for it'. 

Tuesday (today) - a 2pm appointment with the radiotherapist to discuss the outcome of my radiotherapy treatment.  All good here too.  He said that he was delighted with the outcome - in fact, it is better than he expected it to be. No need for any more radiotherapy - for the moment.

And ahead - Wednesday - visit to Dr. Chen for acupunture and consultation.  Thursday - visit to GP for regular overview of my health. And Friday - mammogram.......ooooh goody!

Right now it's Tuesday 24 April @ 8.26pm

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Home again, home again

So....... I spent a lovely time with the family in Brisbane and then on the Gold Coast. For the last week I stayed with great friends, Carolyn and Warren, in their home on Currumbin Creek. It's like my home away from home. Did movies and lunches and a lot of lounging around.

On Thursday I visited Isabel and her family again, had lunch with my ex-husband and went to a Pilates class - an interesting combination of activities in one day. On Friday morning Carolyn deposited me at the Gold Coast airport for my 8am flight to Sydney.  I caught a train from the airport and was home in my own place by noon. I had never been to a Pilates class before, so.....needless to say...... I can hardly move now. Ouch. I guess this too shall pass but I won't be going back in a hurry.  It's the kind of hard work I used to do...... but it's so far in the past that my mind and my body just can't manage it any more :)

Meanwhile I have ahead of me a week full of medical tests and appointments. I also have meetings with wedding couples and two weddings to conduct next Saturday. Keeping busy!

It's Sunday 22 April @ 5.23pm

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And now you've seen the whole family

Big brother, Oscar Charlie Eddy

Isabel with her dad, Tim Eddy

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New mother and daughter

Debs Alyssa Skene and her new daughter, Isabel Skene Eddy. Two beauties :-)

Here she is :-)

Isabel Skene Eddy
Born @ 9.13am on Thursday 12 April 2012 to parents - Debs Skene and Tim Eddy.

Isn't she beautiful?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The little girl has aRRIVED SAFELY

At 9.13am today Isabel Skene Eddy came into our world weighing 8lb 2oz and standing 56cm tall.  Mother, Debs, and daughter and father, Tim, and big brother, Oscar, all doing well. I have tears of happiness streaming down my face as I write this.  Just as well you can't see me. :-)

Photo to come soon

Thursdsay 12 April @ 12.25pm.  I'm in Toowoomba in the Hopemobile

Moree - Mungindi - Goondiwindi

From Moree I drove 122km west to Mungindi, where my niece and family live.  What a wonderful couple of days I had with Bianca, Cahrlie, Tom and Sam.  They live in cotton and wheat growing country and have a crop dusting business - very busy.

Charlie took me up in his helicopter for an overall look at the coutryside and at the spraying operation as well as the cotton picking procedures.
Charlie and Tom

Bianca and Sam
Flying low to spray cotton
On the ground with the cotton

Picker unloading a bale

Picker in action
I'm in the picker!

Cotton from the air - ready to pick

 So, after a beautiful couple of days I had to say farewell to them all at Mungindi and get back out on the road.  I drove to Goondiwindi  and stopped for a break by the McIntyre River.

I could smell petrol and wasn't sure that I should be, so I called roadside assistance and the RACQ man came in his truck to see what was wrong - if anything.  There sure was something wrong - the hose that takes petrol from the inlet to the tank was broken and petrol was leaking at quite a rate.

The Hopemobile had to be towed to a mechanic and the hose replaced

onto the tow truck
As it was late afternoon by this time and they weren't sure how long it would take to replace the hose, I booked into a motel for the night.

So, here I am in my motel room on Thursday morning, 12 April, having picked up the Hopemobile (with its new hose) getting ready to get back on the road - to Brisbane, where my newest grandchild will arrive today!!!  Very exciting. I anticipate receivng a call with the news of his/her arrival, gender, name, size etc and that all is well with everyone, while I am on the road from Goondiwindi to Toowoomba.

I'll keep you posted :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

On the road again

Well, right now I am sitting in the Hopemobile, having had 15 minutes in the thermal pool at the caravan park where I have stayed overnight in Moree, having showered and dressed and had my breakfast.  The sun is shining beautifully and all's well in my world.

When I left Carinya Downs on Thursday I drove north for just a short way to a property between Cowra and Canowindra where I stayed for 2 nights with beautiful friends, June and Ross. Above you can see Jo, almost 60 years old, ready for a drink at the tap. Also the cattle and some of the beautiful landscape.

After 2 special days and nights with them, I headed north for Parkes where I visited The Dish, the satellite that played a role when man landed on the moon back in 1969.

I drove on and stayed overnight in a quiet carvan park at Narromine.  That brings me to yesterday, when I headed off north again, driving through Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Narrabri and on to Moree. I stopped in each town and some points along the way, to enjoy the scenery and the local towns. Lunch by the river at Coonabarabran.

Wide open spaces and native vegetation - beautiful. This is on the road between Narrabri and Moree.

Meanwhile, no pain, feeling great and enjoying this beautiful country. I hope that everyone has had a pleasant Easter break, celebrating in whichever way you choose.

It's 8.13am on Monday 9 April, 2012