Sunday, November 23, 2008

how time flies

My goodness, how time flies. I've been having so much fun that I didn't realise that it's over a month since I wrote anything here.

Well, in a nutshell - life in Pottsville is almost over. I leave on Friday, stay the weekend in Coffs Harbour for a Teachers' College reunion and then drive back to the Gong.

I've been continuing to enjoy this northern New South Wales environment, meeting new people, soaking up the sun, playing tennis, riding my bike, catching up with friends and family members and - during the past 2 weeks - hosting some friends visiting from Wollongong. It's been great.

I've also had good news from blood tests - liver function and tumour markers are steady - so nothing's getting worse!Oscar with his Mum and his cake

My grandson, Oscar, has turned one; I've finally become an officially registered Civil Marriage Celebrant in Australia; I had a fun day at the Murwillumbah Races on Melbourne Cup Day (won nothing though) and I've managed to get many family members to commit to a family Christmas gathering on Christmas Eve at my father's home in Wollongong. Lots of you will know how hard that is to achieve with family spread all over the place and the families of partners/spouses also having to be considered.

And Yes, Linda and Michelle, I am the Mrs Eddy who taught PE at SCEGGS Gleniffer Brae in the 1970s. It's amazing that you found my blog!

Some pics of people here over the past few weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

10 days away from Pottsville

Yes, since I last wrote I've been back home in Sydney and the Gong for a variety of events. As I write this, however, I'm back in the calm beautiful Pottsville after a hectic 10 days.

While I was away I

1. Visited Dr Chen who was delighted with the state of my health and the fact that my wounds from the fall from my bike had healed very well

2. Did a bush walk with friends around Berry Island and Balls Point on Sydney Harbour

3. Had my annual precautionary colonoscopy - which was all clear!

4. Went to the wedding of dear friends of mine and caught up with lots of old friends from my 'raising children days'

5. Went to a friend's 70th birthday party

6. Helped to host a party at home for my father's 88th birthday - a very successful day

This pic is of the 88 year old birthday boy, my Dad Ron, and my brother, Scott. You can see they have some characteristics in common!

And now to some more R&R in Pottsville.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


The gorgeous Oscar, 11 months

650 new rain forest trees at Palm Vale

Sculptures at the SWELL Festival at Currumbin

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Life in Pottsville

Well, it's more than 2 weeks since I arrived and life has been a real mixture - all good except for the fall from my bike which resulted in a lot of bruises and grazes but nothing serious. I look like a bit of a war casualty, but am still walking, riding, swimming as normal!

It was a loooooong drive to get here. Fortunately I had a friend for company who did all of the driving, so I was the navigator and the sightseer! We diverted from the Pacific Highway at Kempsey and came via Crescent Head, Hat Head and South West Rocks. What a pretty part of the world. I recommend the detour to anyone who has the time when they are driving north. We stayed at South West Rocks and had a magnificent breakfast at the cafe at the Trial Bay Gaol - which is no longer an operating gaol, but a tourist attraction.

My days since then in residence at Pottsville have been relaxing, warm and a nice balance between being eventful and quiet.

One day each week I've had a visit from my son Tim and his son, Oscar. Oscar is 11 months old and is just about ready to take his first steps. He stands up on his feet - far too wide apart, wobbles a bit and then plonks himself down on his bottom. But he crawls like a mad man! There's no stopping him once he sets his sights on where he's going and he thumps along at a pace. It's nice that Tim has the time to come down from the Gold Coast to visit me with Oscar once a week.

The first Saturday I was here I went to a planting day on the 100 acre property of friends who live at Palm Vale, near Murwillumbah. They called on all their friends and about 30 people turned up and planted 650 rain forest trees during the day. It was a sight to see. A bare hillside in the morning and covered with 650 little trees protected by 650 plastic sleeves by late afternoon. My job for the day was as a kitchen hand - don't laugh! My friend's 2 daughters were the cooks and we had to cater for the troops for lunch and dinner. They were well prepared, experienced, resourced and were very good at giving me specific instructions for my role. I was also the official photographer and will post some photos in the next post.

I've joined up with the local tennis club and am now playing tennis 3 times a week. Two mornings with the ladies and in a mixed group on Tuesday evenings. Am also cycling and walking and swimming from time to time. Lots of outdoor activity, so the sun tan is improving.

The local farmers' markets are full of delicious fresh organic produce and I'm enjoying going to different markets on different days of the week to stock up my fridge. I've also made friends with the local "What's Good for You" shop, fish shop and baker, and am picking up nice fresh supplies from them regularly. I also get my daily vegie juice at a cafe next to the paper shop - so sit and start the crossword while I'm having my juice.

Yesterday (Sunday 27th Sept) I joined the Bikes to Brunz ride for National Bike Week, and rode my bike with a group from Billinudgel (where there's a famous pie shop) into Brunswick Heads. The ride took about an hour and finished in a park with riders who had come from about 7 other directions. The town put on entertainment, food and lots of info and support for bike riders. They also launched a new booklet with information about cycle paths in the Byron Shire. It was a beautiful sunny day and a great day was had by all.

Oh! and in the first week I was here I visited the SWELL Festival at Currumbin Beach, near Coolangatta, where they had a whole lot of sculptures along the beach. It's a similar concept to the one held in November each year along the Bondi to Coogee walking path. Will also post some photos of those next time.

Well. There you are. That's life at Pottsville for the moment.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Heading North Again

Hi everyone. Tomorrow - Wed 10 Sept - I'm heading north again to warmer climes. I'll be spending the next 3 months in a small place called Pottsville. It's on the Tweed Coast, in northern New South Wales, not far north of Byron Bay. My cousin and her husband have headed to Western Australia for 3 months in their caravan and they have entrusted me with their house and garden.

I'm taking my bicycle, golf clubs, tennis racquet and swimmers and am expecting to live a warm, outdoor existence while I'm there getting to know the area and the people. Some friends are planning to come and spend a few days with me from time to time. The invitation is there - if you would like a few days on the Tweed Coast, you're most welcome to join me. Fly into Coolangatta and I'll pick you up.

I'll be returning to the Gong on a couple of occasions for special events during October, but expect to be leading the simple coastal life in Pottsville and surrounds for the rest of the time. I can still be contacted on my mobile phone and by email.

Talk again soon

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mumma (that's me) and her brood - July 2008

5 year old, Zeke, who started school last week in Hong Kong. The thing he liked most was going to the playground! The thing he liked least was waiting for the teacher - it was boring!

2 year old Willow, who can't quite swim yet but still jumps in with all the big kids and waits for someone to pull her out.

9 month old, Oscar, who has just moved
with his Mum and Dad to live on the Gold Coast.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The good news continues

Yes! Yesterday I had the blood test and today went to the oncologist for the results. And they were all good! What a relief. Liver function readings have all improved, tumour marker is steady and platelet count is back to normal. Wow - I must be doing something right. Everyone kept telling me that I look well and that my colour is good - and now I believe it.

Tomorrow I see the Chinese herbalist, who will be just as pleased and positive, I'm sure.

My time on the Gold Coast is finished. The last two weeks were wonderfully warm and I spent a great deal of time just sitting in the sun and walking on the beach letting the warmth soak into my bones. It felt so good. Back home in Wollongong now - it's cold and windy with a wintry sun. Not quite the same as up north.

So normal life resumes - whatever 'normal' is. Actually I don't really think it's quite normal for me to be watching so much television - but the performance of the Olympians is so compelling that I am spending quite a bit of time out of the cold wind and in front of the television. It's so inspirational to see the efforts and achievements of the young and not-so-young athletes. Of course I'm cheering for the Aussies, but they are all so impressive - striving so hard and elated with their victories. It's exhausting - and I've only just recovered from Wimbledon tennis and the Tour de France with Cadell Evans! What a feast of sporting excellence right in my own lounge room!

Hope you're enjoying it all too. Talk again soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

a cold, wet day on the Gold Coast

Well, I am now considered competent to be a Civil Marriage Celebrant in Australia. Now I need to go through the bureaucratic paperwork to become registered. It will happen all in good time. So, I'm telling people that if they know of any couple who is planning to tie the knot in 2009 - and they would like me to officiate - just put them in touch!

Oh! and you know that warmer weather I was hoping for on the Gold Coast? Well, today it's blowing a gale, freezing cold and pouring with rain! It's probably warmer at home in Wollongong. I haven't poked my nose outside the door today - but I have finished one book and started another! Talk again soon.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So far, so good

Hi everyone. Hope life is going as well for you as it is for me. Tomorrow I'm leaving home to go north for a little over 3 weeks to house sit on the Gold Coast. I'll be glad to get away from the winter chills - do hope that it's going to be a bit warmer up there.

I have completed the course I've been doing which will qualify me to become a Civil Marriage Celebrant in Australia. That is - I've submitted all the assignments and am now waiting for the final assessment results to come. So far, so good. Once I receive my Certificate of Achievement I need to submit an application for registration to the Attorney General's Dept. They review registration applications every 3 months, so I'm not sure exactly when I will officially be a CMC! One thing at a time, though. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Today I had my regular fortnightly visit with the Chinese Herbalist for a consultation and acupuncture. He says I'm doing very well. Because I'll be away for a while I have a small acupuncture needle in my left ear that will stay in for 10 days. It's to give me energy to substitute for the session I'll miss in 2 weeks time. I feel well and have been walking and riding my bike regularly to keep up my fitness level. Yesterday I even had a game of tennis - it's been a long time, and it felt great. Golf will come next, but I'm still working up to that.

Well, off to pack my bag for the trip north. Thanks for reading. Talk again soon.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

all still going well

Hello my friends

I just want to let you know that everything is going well still. I'm feeling very healthy, I'm building up my fitness by doing lots of long, strenuous walks and I'm very busy working through all the reading, research and assignments for my course.

My next appointment with the oncologist is on 13 August and before that I need to have a blood test. When I see him he'll have the results and hopefully all will still be well.

My course to become a qualified Civil Marriage Celebrant is very interesting and challenging. There is so much legal information that you need to be aware of and to inform the bride and groom about. It's interesting, but the legal language needs to be waded through carefully to fully understand it all. That part is heavy going.

On 13th July I will have a practical assessment for my presentation of a mock marriage ceremony. The 'stand and deliver' part does not worry me, of course, as my POWERtalk training has given me confidence for that; but the content of the ceremony and making sure I have included all that needs to be included requires real attention to detail and is a real challenge. I'm working on it now. I'm sure I'll be fine, as I've passed every assessment thus far, but I'm still a little nervous about it. Having nerves is healthy, of course.

A few days following that assessment I'm off to the Gold Coast in Queensland for 3 weeks to house sit for a friend. It will be nice to exchange the icy winds of winter in Wollongong with the warmer temperatures of the Gold Coast for those few weeks. It will still be cool, but not as cold as here at home.

I love this method of talking to all my friends around the world who go to the trouble of reading my blog. Thank you for reading and for the messages you send me in various ways. they keep me strong. XXXX

Sunday, June 15, 2008

an update

Only a month has passed! And it's gone so quickly. And I'm very well and bouncing about full of energy. My fortnightly visits to the herbal medicine man have had good reports, so - health wise - things are great.

I was pleased to be able to attend the National POWERtalk conference in Campbelltown. There were some excellent workshops and it was a chance for me to see people from all over the country that I hadn't seen for a long time. It was fun and rewarding.
And then, of course, I jetted off to Honkers and spent two weeks with Nikki and her family there. There are some pics here, of course ! As well as taking Zeke to the school bus and meeting him in the afternoon, I went with Willow to her playgroup and to both their swimming lessons as well as many trips to the swimming pool and the playground. The rest of the time was spent with all of them in the home environment or out walking. It was very special. No shopping whatsoever - can you believe it? But I did go out to a nice restaurant one night, with Nikki and a friend, followed by a reflexology massage. That was particularly great because just that morning Nikki and I had hiked from the harbour up to The Peak on Hong Kong Island. My feet and calves certainly appreciated the treatment that night. I then continued to do that every second day to build up my fitness. We also went to see the Queen Rock Musical "We Will Rock You".
Since returning home I've been trying to do some more hiking to increase my level of fitness. The weather hasn't been too kind, but I've managed to do a fair bit of walking - long walks as well as going places by foot instead of taking the car. That has a few benefits, of course - -especially with the price of petrol at the moment!
And just to add to the mix, I've taken on an on-line course which, if I manage to pass all assessments, will allow me to perform civil marriage ceremonies. I'm finding it very interesting - lots of reading and legal stuff - and challenging assignments. So far so good.
Thanks for reading. Talk soon

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Official Remission!

What a great word - "remission". And that's what the oncologist told me today when I visited him for the results of the latest blood test. Tumour marker has gone down even further and the liver readings are holding their own! Now, that's news I really like to hear.

And what does it mean in the short term? That this weekend I can attend the annual national conference of Powertalk International and next Wednesday I will board a flight to Hong Kong to stay for two weeks with my daughter, Nikki, her husband, Sam, and two of my gorgeous grandchildren, Zeke and Willow.

And after that - well, I'll just have to start making plans, won't I? I don't have to have another blood test for 3 months.

Thank you to all of you who have sent me your wonderful messages and thoughts and given me your great support. Talk again soon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I forgot to include Clarence in the previous pics of life at Rosebank on the NSW north coast. His girls Chloe and Clarissa weren't posing that day!

Time away

It's been a while since I wrote. I've just spent a lovely 2 weeks up on the north coast of New South Wales housesitting for some friends who are travelling in Italy - lucky things! But I considered myself very lucky too. The house is on a 30 acre farm with a few cattle and a beautiful garden which attracts lots of wildlife including beautiful birds and koalas. There is a pool and, of course, lots of warm sunshine, so a lot of time was spent in the garden and by the pool. Not a lot of time in the pool as the water was rather chilly. A couple of my friends came to spend time with me - at different times - and I spent a week on my own. A great time was had by all.
We did a lot of visiting the small villages in the local area, the tourist places - such as Byron Bay, and the local markets at weekends. We walked on the beaches and enjoyed the beautiful hinterland with its sub tropical growth, as well as eating at some of the quirky little cafes. Lots of organic produce and eating places, so it was easy for me to find something to eat whether I was shopping for food or eating out.
It was Anzac Day while I was away so Ros and I went to the Eltham Pub (the only establishment in Eltham!) for lunch and the Two Up game. You can see Ros being the Spinner in one of the pics above. I've also included some of the funny and interesting things and signs we came across in our travels - toilet seats and snakes and roving stock! For those who are concerned about the bruise on my arm - haven't a clue how I got it, and it's gone now. That's what happens when your platelets are low.
My health is great and I'm confident that this week's blood test and the consultation with the oncologist next Tuesday will confirm that. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Miracle Continues

Today the oncologist's secretary called me to let me know that the blood test results are all clear - as I had hoped.

Thank you all for your love and support. It has carried me forward and given me the confidence to believe that anything is possible and, as a result, has given me this very positive outcome. I am free now of tests and doctors' appointments for another 6 weeks. Of course I'm still perservering with the herbal treatment and acupuncture provided by the wonderful Dr Chen of North Ryde and will continue to see him every two weeks for acupuncture treatment and a fresh dose of herbal tablets. It really is a wonder I don't rattle when I move! I take about 120 herbal tabs each day. They must assimilate into my body very quickly and start doing their good work instantly.

Life ahead looks busy - hunting for a new place to live as the family home is to be sold, housesitting for 2 weeks in the hinterland behind Byron Bay - and possibly a trip to Hong Kong to visit my daughter and her little family. And all without the dastardly effects of chemotherapy to deal with. I like it!

To read some of the eloquent account of Wilna's travels, and see the magnificent photos from her 40 day Pilgrimage with a Purpose, go to her camino blog at

Until next time we talk/read - stay well and laugh every day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Your ongoing support is miraculous

Yes, my friends. The scan I had last week is totally clear and I don't have to have any more chemo for the time being. One last blood test-for which I get the results tomorrow, to confirm that - and I'm only thinking positively.

Last weekend I went to a POWERtalk seminar in country New South Wales and was able to stay at my Dad's farm. There are 3 very cute alpacas there (see above) as well as cows, sheep, race horses, grapevines and fruit trees and crops. It was a beautiful place to spend the weekend and to come back to after an action packed day of activity at the seminar.

And now time to rush of for my scheduled breastscreen!!!! It just never stops.

Monday, March 17, 2008

the news is OK

Well, it's time for another update. The past month without having the chemo pumped into me has just been the best! I am back to my normal energy levels and have been riding my bike and walking often, surfing every day and feeling very normal and full of energy.

Today I went to the oncologist who had the results of yesterday's blood test. The platelet count is still too low to be having chemo but all other readings are OK. So...... as it's 3 months since I had a scan, I'm scheduled for a scan on 28 March and to go back to Professor Clingan (oncologist) on 1 April for the results of the scan. Meanwhile - still no chemo. Yippee again! I'll see Dr Chen tomorrow and hope that he says that my condition is still excellent as well. It feels excellent!

My gorgeous little grandchildren are still wonderful and doing great things. The youngest, Oscar, is now 4+ months old and is still a happy growing little boy who has now travelled inter-state, to Queensland, to be introduced to his mother's extended family.

The two Hong Kong grandchidlren, Zeke and Willow have just had a marvellous ski holiday in Whistler, Canada, and Zeke is now on his way to being a champion skiier - according to me! Just before they left Hong Kong for Canada, Zeke turned 5 years old and the family went to HK DisneyLand to celebrate. I think Willow looks a bit apprehensive about Minnie, don't you? Enjoy the pictures below.

So, I'm off to the surf. The water's great. Have a safe and Happy Easter.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

back from my trip

My apologies - pics mentioned below and not appearing were in while I was writing, then they disappeared. Gremlins! Will put them in later if I can.

Hi! This photo (see next entry) was taken by a delivery man in the street as I was getting into the van to leave on my trip. I couldn't help him with his inquiry about an address, but he could help me by taking this photo as there was no-one else at home.

I was away for 9 days altogether and it was the most fabulous experience. On the first night I camped at my son, Tim's caravan park, just to be sure there was someone to help me if I couldn't make it all work properly. Anyway, I came out with flying colours and didn't have to ask for any help. But it was a lovely excuse to spend time with them, especially little Oscar

Isn't he gorgeous? He's 4 months old.

Some cuddles and play time with him sent me on my way on my trip. The weather was excellent all the way and I surfed and played golf between drives, meals and visiting places along the way.

Sometimes I went off the main road into National Parks and stayed overnight in the bush camps. In the photo below (not below: see next entry) I was preparing the fire for cooking my evening meal at Mimosa Rocks in the Eurobodalla National Park. There is a magnificent isolated beach down some steep steps from this camp ground.

In Pambula I stayed with friends, Carmen and Ray. Carmen and I played 9 holes of golf together as well as walking along Pambula Beach and having a surf.

I got back on the road then heading to Meeniyan in South Gippsland, not far from Wilson's Promontory, where Scott and Jan are running the local pub.

The weather turned cold, but there was still no rain and we were able to do a great deal of sight seeing - all over the place. It's beautiful, very remote and I wouldn't want to live there, but I'm so pleased I've been to see it. It was great to see Scott and Jan in their temporary working environment and to spend time with them.

And after it was all over, I went to see Dr Chen, the herbalist and acupuncturist, who was very pleased with my condition and said he only needs to see me fortnightly now, rather than weekly. So, I'd say, all in all, the whole thing was very good medicine!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


No chemo for another month. This morning I had a blood test and this afternoon I visited the oncologist who had the results of the test. And.......... the platelet count is far too low for me to have chemo tomorrow, so he's given me a month off. Yeah! For those not-so-medical buffs the platelet count is 66 and the normal range is 150-450.

What does this mean for me? It means I have to take care not to bump into things and not to cut myself as the low platelets will not allow the blood to clot and I'll be bruised and bleed a lot. Sounds easy, you think. If only you knew how many times I bang into things in my hurry to get somewhere and cut my fingers with sharp knives! Anyway, I'll just have to slow down and be more careful. The exciting thing about it is that I have a month when I will have a normal level of energy and probably not have to schedule a nanna nap quite so often. I'm really quite excited. It means my trip down the coast next week will take on a new dimension. I'll have much more energy to do things than I thought I'd have, so I'm going to take my golf clubs with me and see if I can get that swing back with a little bit of practice every day.

I can hear you saying "just take it easy, Terrie, don't do too much". OK. I know, and I will.

For those if you who have been reading for some time, you'll know my friend, Wilna who lives in France at Chateau Lalinde, is doing the amazing Pilgrims' Walk across the top of Spain. She started last Sunday and has been walking every day over mountains on rocky paths and really punishing her body to achieve her set target of kilometres each day. I've been following her progress and exchanging text messages with her daily. She says it's the hardest thing she's ever done, at the same time, the most wonderful experience. She's been writing a blog in the weeks leading up to her departure and there are some amazing photos in the early entries. So, if you're interested, you can see it at

The other exciting thing that has happened this week is that I've been talking with Tim and Oscar via Skype and webcam. It's so lovely to chat to my son and see him while we're chatting as well as seeing my grandson, little Oscar, and hearing him gurgle and laugh and squeal - and scream! Oh how I continue to love being a grandmother! Soon the Hong Kong family will be doing it with me too.

I visited the Nan Tien Temple, near my home, with a friend during the week. The photo at the top was taken looking across the waterlilies towards the temple. I love the willow tree. Talk again soon

Monday, February 11, 2008

Two Weeks Later

Well, it's already 2 weeks since I last put an entry here. I know there are some readers who would like me to write more regularly, but honestly I really don't think there's that much to tell!

I've been enjoying spreading the good news that I reported last time and everyone is so pleased for me - as I am too, of course! You are all such wonderful supporters for me and it's so great to hear from so many of you as often as I do.

Since I last wrote I've had another chemo infusion and been on the chemo tablets - I finish this round tomorrow. I'm very lucky that I don't have terrible side effects from it and am still able to function fairly normally. The greatest effect it has on me is to rob me of my energy. And you all know how frustrating that is for me. I can't just keep on going all day like the 'Eveready bunny' does. I find that as long as I make sure I have my nanna nap each afternoon I can still do most of the things I like and need to do.

Since my victory in the surf with Bob Speed I've been going for a surf most days that I'm at home in Wollongong. The water is a great temperature, the waves are rolling and it's very invigorating. I'm sure that effort contributes to my sound sleep each afternoon.

I am also spending quite a lot of time in Sydney staying with my friend, Suzie, at Leichhardt. As I am the proud holder of a NSW Senior's Card, I can ride on public transport all day for $2.50. For those who don't know, Leichhardt is in the inner west of Sydney not far from the harbour, so buses and ferries have taken me to art galleries, movies, theatre, botanic gardens, dinner with friends and given me the pleasure of seeing lots of parts of Sydney that I haven't seen before. If you're a Sydney friend and I haven't caught up with you yet - well, let's get together soon.

Current round of chemo finishes tomorrow and the next one starts next Wednesday, so I have a week of feeling normal to do some extra things - like riding my bike and going for long walks - and perhaps not having to sleep every afternoon.

The week after next I hope to take my friend's campervan and travel along the south coast and into Victoria to Wilson's Promontory to visit my brother and his wife. They have been there for about 6 months and will be staying another 6 probably, before they return to Wollongong.

For those who don't know Australian geography, it's the southern most tip of the Australian mainland. Directly south is Bass Strait which you have to cross to then get to Tasmania. I plan to drive only a few hours each day and stay in a coastal campground each night. I'll tell you all about it when I get a chance. It will be my next adventure!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Good news this time

When I was at the tennis recently there was a young man with the following words on his T shirt " death is not an option". I commented to my sister that I would like a T shirt with that message on it.

Well, my friends, it's good news. Today I went to see the oncologist who had the results of my recent CT scan and blood tests. He was able to show me the scan on his computer screen. It shows that all the tumours have either disappeared or are dead (it's an OK option for those little suckers!) How about that!

When I commented that that might mean he was out of a job, he cautioned me not to be so hasty. Yes, they are gone after three months of chemotherapy treatment, but he recommends that I stay on chemotherapy for another nine months. He says that research shows that patients on treatment live longer than those who are not, and that we should remember the saying "when you're on a good thing, stick to it". That was a Mortein ad, wasn't it? Anyway the 'living longer' argument certainly has some appeal, so I agreed to continue on the chemo for another 9 months.

He has taken me off one of the three chemo drugs that I have been on - the one that destroyed my platelets. So hopefully the platelet count will increase and I won't have to keep eating black pudding! Actually, to be truthful, I stopped a while ago. It was too much - eating it every single day.

So, it's back to the chemo regime tomorrow morning, bright and early at 8am. It hasn't stopped me going to Melbourne to the tennis, or body surfing at Wollongong City Beach and beating my brother-in-law to the sand on a couple of waves! So, I guess I can live with it for a while. Periodical scans will keep an eye on things and if it's still all clear after 9 months then I guess I can have a break.

Thank you all for reading my news and for the support you always provide for me. I believe my excellent results are a combination of many elements, not the least being the magnificent support, encouragement and friendship I get from you all.

I'll talk to you all again soon.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Don't forget that I have a new email address, please. Lots of people are still emailing me at the old address and I will be closing it down very shortly. I don't check it very often, so don't always see your messages at the right time.

Since I last wrote I've had a blood test and a CT scan. The blood test shows improvement in every relevant area. I will see and hear the results of the scan this coming Tuesday afternoon when I go to the oncologist. Whew! It's a stressful time. Meanwhile - this is my week free of chemotherapy when I feel very human again.

Since I last wrote I've also seen my new grandson, Oscar, and will include a pic below. Leigh and I have also been to Melbourne to spend two days at the Australian Open Tennis Championships. We had a fun time and saw some great tennis. See above a pic of the two of us, having a break between games, in our 'tennis watching' mode taken in front of the big screen and the garden in the grounds of Melbourne Park.
Bright-eyed Oscar at 9 weeks

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January marches on

My dear friends who go to the trouble of reading this blog on a regular basis, my humblest apologies. No entry for over 2 weeks! Just goes to show what a great time I've been having. And I've been away from my computer (and any other) for quite a bit of the time.

Some of the time has been spent back at the beach house at Vincentia and I owe a great deal to my sister-in-law, Shaz, who has made it available for me to use with my friends when it has been free.

I'll just give you an update on a variety of things today.

My Face
The stitches have been removed from the cut on my face and it is healing nicely. There is certainly a scar but as luck would have it it's in line with one of the 'laugh lines' around my mouth and is hardly noticeable. I'm madly rubbing Vitamin E cream into it many times a day

The 3rd round of chemo is well under way. I'm definitely not the usual Terrie while I'm on the tablets, but it still allows me to function almost normally, as long as I put time aside to take my nanna nap after lunch each day. In fact, yesterday I slept for 4 hours after lunch - almost until dinner time! But that allowed me to go with friends to have a meal and to see the award winning movie, Atonement, which I really enjoyed. I have just finished reading the book, so the story was very familiar to me and the movie is very true to the book, except at the very end.

General Treatment
Blood tests continue and the readings are always encouraging. The tumour marker is still within the normal range (just like yours) and the liver function readings are improving every time. The doctor I see most regularly (weekly for herbs and acupuncture) is the herbal doctor, and he is always encouraging about my progress and says that we make a great team. More blood tests coming up and a CT scan at the end of the month before seeing the oncologist again. The scan will tell the picture. This is the time that I both dread and look forward to with anticipation, at the same time.

What Might Be Ahead
If you read the comments on this blog you will see that my friend, 'red shoes', asks about whether I have the camper van ready for my travels! She is planning to fly from France and join me for some of my travels! The answer is - not yet. But I've been doing my research and am closer to taking the plunge. Another dear friend owns a camper van and is allowing me to 'trial it' while she is travelling overseas for 3 months from February. So, look out folks, you just might find me arriving on your doorstep anytime - with my accommodation with me!

My sister and her husband are still with us and will return to Canada on the 30th of this month. Life will be much quieter then. They are enjoying the summer, away from the chilly Canadian winter, and are spending their time visiting Sydney grandchildren and friends all over the place as well as cycling and swimming almost daily on our beautiful coastline.

Once they have gone I plan to spend some time in Sydney with my friend, Suzie, who has invited me to stay and enjoy the wonderful variety of things to do in Sydney - especially during the summer. Of course, modern communication allows me to keep in touch with you all by the same methods - wherever I am.

Well, for now - that's all folks! Thanks for reading. I hope you are enjoying your January and keeping well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Vivre 2008

The date says 2 January, but it's really the 3rd. I don't know how to correct the date!!!!

Well, Christmas and New Year have both come and gone and it's time to get on with the work of 2008.

After a beaut Christmas with family, and sadly saying goodbye to the Hong Kong connection, my New Year began at the beachside resort of Vincentia on Jervis Bay. These are pics of

1. the beach, 2. the magnificent Christmas Bush flowering in the area and 3. the view from our beach house out over Jervis Bay.

My friend, Suzie, and I had a relaxing few days at the beach house. We took our bicycles, swimmers, books, Scrabble and crosswords - and the black pudding! On New Year's Eve we were tucked up in our beds well before midnight. We did watch the Sydney 9pm fireworks on the television, so we didn't totally miss out on the spirit of celebration and heralding in the new year.

And now it's back to routine. The next round of chemotherapy starts next Wednesday (9th) - that's as long as the black pudding has been keeping my platelet level up! The blood test next Tuesday will tell.

Those of you who read my previous blog may remember the pic of my 60th birthday celebration. I've been reminsicing today, as it's exactly one year ago - I was Princess for a day. A lot has happened in the intervening year - a lot of positive stuff, and I want to thank you all for much of that.

Your friendship, support, encouragement and provision of opportunities for laughter and camaraderie has helped to keep me healthy and happy - and defy all medical prognoses! Let it continue in 2008 and beyond!

Happy New Year, my friends. Enjoy this pic of my three grandchildren. Oscar (1 month), Willow (15 months) and Zeke (almost 5)