Friday, March 5, 2010
Last couple of weeks have been somewhat hectic in this part of the world. A number of massive fires broke out in areas around where we live.Some tense times! Although we had some rain, the drought seems set to continue. Daytime temperatures are often in the high 30's.
Off to Jo'burg again this weekend (Margi is doing a workshop there on Sunday)
Until next time, take care out there!
Friday, November 13, 2009
One of the comments made by a German Doctor was "If you have a chronic disease and you think that it is incurable, then it will be incurable. Similarly if you think that the disease is curable, you will be cured"
This statement which was repeated by some other researchers, throughout the movie, but not in the same words, supports what I have always felt for many years now.
My assertions that positive thought can and does cure diseases, will I feel be proved correct. If the findings presented through the medium of this movie are even only half valid, current day medical science will in most cases become almost totally invalid!
A very thought provoking movie and if you get a chance to see it then please do so.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The results of my PET/CT scan and the examination by the ENT a month ago were very encouraging. In conclusion the PET scan report read "There has been a significant response to therapy when compared with the previous scan done in March 2009......................No new lesions are identified and no metastatic lesions are seen in the organs. No parenchtmal metastases or lymphadenopathy is seen. No skeletal metastases are noted"
Apparently one of the main concerns was that the tumour that I had coyuld spread easily to the bones and there is no sign that this had happened. There is one node in my neck that has been noted as being not quite "normal" but it is felt that this is as a result of the radiation.
What have I been doing for the last month. Click on - My Kgalagadi Adventure will provide some of the answers. I am still battling a bit to put on weight. So many are trying to lose weight and I never thought that I would ever battle to put on weight!
It is great to be home in Knysna. My strength is improving daily and I find myself able to tackle things which until quite recently would have left me exhausted.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Yesterday I was admitted (for the last time!) to the Morningside Clinic where the PEG (feeding tube) and A-Port were removed. I have to admit that the PEG was a life saver but I am very glad to be rid of it.
A lot is planned for the next while. About a week after we arrive back in Knysna, we have a bit of a holiday planned. We will be going to Vermaaklikheid for 2 nights, Arniston for 1 night, De Hoop Nature reserve for 4 nights and then 2 nights on a working farm near Villiersdorp. Margi will then present a workshop on the Saturday.
We will be on our way back to Jo'burg at the end of the first week in October. Margi will be presenting a Teacher Training Course for 2 weeks. After I have had a PET/CT scan and seen the various specialists, I am escaping to the solitude and beauty of Kgagalagadi and the Kalahari. Margi will join me for a couple of days after she has completed the traing course.
I am often asked how I manage to remain so positive and focused. The answer lies in my planned activities for the next 2 months. Live, but truly live the present. A day does not go by without me noticing how blue the sky is and seeing the changes as Spring takes its course after Winter. Tomorrow and the days to come hold absolutely NO fear, but must be planned for. Note that I have not mentioned the past. I cannot change the past but I can positively influence what lies ahead. Every moment is precious.
Until next time, take care out there!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Some while back I wrote about having observed that many people have little knowledge (I am generalising) about cancer and the treatment thereof. In some some cases, even patients who are undergoing treatment or who have recently being diagnosed with cancer. Yes, one may die of the disease but the huge advances made in treating cancer mean that in many instances the disease can be cured, particularly if detected early. I have found that there is a general consensus that all your hair will fall out if you undergo chemotherapy. This is not so. Some modern day chemotherapy drugs do not cause one's hair to fall out but may have other side effects not experienced with other chemotherapy drugs.
I am now eating almost normally even if I do take a while to consume a plate of food. Another step forward.
Look after yourselves and take care.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I have had a number of questions about my feeding tube. I know that on occasion I have cursed the tube. It is not uncomfortable but gets in the way and is a general nuisance. In hindsight, I now realise that this simple little device has actually been a lifesaver. Credit must be given to Wikipaedia for the description of what a feeding tube is:-
A gastric feeding tube (or "G-tube," or "button") is a tube inserted through a small incision in the abdomen into the stomach and is used for long-term enteral nutrition. The most common type is the percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube. It is placed endoscopically: the patient is sedated, and an endoscope is passed through the mouth and esophagus into the stomach. The position of the endoscope can be visualized on the outside of the patient's abdomen because it contains a powerful light source. A needle is inserted through the abdomen, visualized within the stomach by the endoscope, and a suture passed through the needle is grasped by the endoscope and pulled up through the esophagus. The suture is then tied to the end of the PEG tube that will be external, and pulled back down through the esophagus, stomach, and out through the abdominal wall. The insertion takes about 20 minutes. The tube is kept within the stomach either by a balloon on its tip (which can be deflated) or by a retention dome which is wider than the tract of the tube.
Gastric tubes are suitable for long-term use; they last about six months, and can be replaced through an existing passage without an additional endoscopic procedure. The G-tube is useful where there is difficulty with swallowing because of neurologic or anatomic disorders (stroke, esophageal atresia, tracheoesophageal fistula), and to avoid the risk of aspiration pneumonia. It is also used when patients are malnourished and cannot take enough food by mouth to maintain their weight, such as with mitochondrial disease.
I know that what I have written over the last couple of weeks has helped at least one person to cope with and come to terms with this disease and it's treatment and I hope that many more will be helped by what I have written and will continue to write.
take care out there.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
We went for a drive along the coast, south of Mossel Bay. A couple of years ago we had done the same and the whole area was full of wildflowers at this time of the year. Sadly, the current drought, which is apparently now the worst in 150 years, has taken it's toll and there were no flowers to be seen. Great drive though which saw us reaching Stillbaai, No whales spotted either.
Earlier this week I managed to get some food down orally but it is almost as if someone took a pin and pricked my bubble yesterday. I loast all interest in eating and had to once again resort to using the feeding tube. Throat is also sore at the moment. Anyhow, it would seem that i must be patient and accept that two steps forward may be followed by half a step backwards. Otherwise, I have picked up a bit of weight and most days I feel like a human being again. Still feel weak and cannot work up much enthusiasm to do anything too strenuous.
Winter has arrived again in the Southern Cape and some mountain passes are closed with snowfalls. Just wish we could get some rain. I hope that we do not have a repeat of November 2007 when in most areas the Southern Cape experienced rainfall of more than 400mm in the space of 72 hours.
Take care and look after yourselves.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
We hope to go and have a look at the wild flowers along the coast this weekend. I am looking forward to that. Have a great long weekend and take care!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Anyhow I guess these are all further lessons in patience although I did consider myself a reasonably patient person if I knew that patience was needed in a particular circumstance.
It is one of those glorious days on the Garden Route, little cloud, no wind and reasonably warm. take care!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I really am tired of the roller coaster ride I seem to be on at the moment. One day I feel much better and the next I am way down again. Since arriving back on Monday afternoon I have again not been feeling at all well. I put this down to a bit of fatigue from Monday's travelling. I am sure that a bit of R&R will only see an improvement.
I continue to take strength from that wonderful news given to me by the ENT last week and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel which is not that long anymore.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Tomorrow (Monday) we will drive back to Knysna. Cannot wait to get back. It almost does not seem real that we have been in Jo'burg for almost 2 months.
I have watched most of the Tour de France. It is almost incomprehensible that the cyclists are able to ride at race speeds for three weeks with only 2 "off' days. One fact that does come across is the fantastic teamwork amongst the variuos teams. But then I guess that every success is marked by excellent support. I make use of this opportunity to again say that Margi has been an absolute pillar of strength. Her love and support has certainly helped me get where I am today. Alistair has also been a huge source of support and encouragement, especially during the last 2 months. I would also like to thank all our family and friends who have helped us to get to today. The love, help, support and encouragement has almost been overwhelming. Take care!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Not able to have a party though as I now have thrush in my throat and I am nursing a sore throat from hell. Take care!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I strongly believe the ATTITUDE one adopts towards every challenge and event that needs to be dealt with is of paramount importance. NEGATIVE ATTITUDE = NEGATIVE OUTCOME and similarly, POSITIVE ATTITUDE = POSITIVE OUTCOME. An easy recipe for success or failure, not only when fighting a life-threatening disease, but in everything we attempt, be it a job, a relationship, an unpleasant task or anything we need to achieve. A very liberal sprinkling of stubbornness and determination is also an advantage to adopting a POSITIVE ATTITUDE. It is not easy to always adopt that POSITIVE ATTITUDE, but then we need to remember the price that may have to be paid if not adopted. A dear friend of ours, Kim Beckett sent us
That is enough for now and my rambling along. Take care out there!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I only have 2 radio-therapy sessions left. Still very strong mentally but the physical effects continue to take their toll. I now have had to resort to using the feeding tube for all my nutrition. One advantage is that all those "good things" that I should eat but did not like the taste now go down the feeding tube and I do not have to taste them. I still obsess about food, being able to taste and smell my favourite dishes. Last night the taste and smell of a nice curry with roti assaulted my thoughts!
At 3:00am this morning, the thought struck me that over the last 5 months, I have only spent 6 weeks at Spirit of Amberfield, our home in Knysna. Cannot wait to get home, see the mountains again and breathe some clean fresh air. A walk on the beach at Buffalo Bay also would be most welcome.
Again I must thank all of you who have left comments on my blog or sent emails to Margi. It really does help to know that there are so many persons out there rooting for me. Take care.