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)