Yay!

Posted on August 29th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I am back on line thanks to great friends that know one or a billion things about computers, numerous phone calls to telstra, a memory upgrade, uninstalling a virus checker and the fact that there were no sledgehammers handy for the last few weeks within my immediate reach.
Everything is going well at the moment. Had to go to the doctors again yesterday morning to get some antibiotics for bronchitis that I have come down with. I don’t really feel that affected by it apart from the chesty cough, but it would be good to get rid of it sooner rather than later.
Elizabeth’s folks are over from Melbourne at the moment which has been great and they have been looking after us sensationally, so it has been a relaxing week or so again. It has been good at this time too as Elizabeth has headed back to work part-time at the moment (3 days per week) until we are able to make more of a decision regarding the future work schedules. The folks she works with have been nothing short of amazing with their understanding and support. We are really thankful for them all.
After spending the last few weeks trying to nut out computer issues, I am looking forward to getting into some writing stuff again and putting up some videos. Till then, have computer-issue-free day.

4 comments.

Crashing, slow, painful, frustrating and time consuming.

Posted on August 24th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I am fine though, it is the computer that is giving me the most pain at the moment so apologies for not keeping up with things. I hope to be back into the full swing of things with a usable computer by early next week. Have a fantastic weekend and thank you all once again for your encouragement and friendship!

CMH

1 comment.

The sucky side of sick

Posted on August 18th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I am forgetting what it is like to feel well and healthy I think. It has now been nearly 6 months since I started feeling pain and losing strength in my arms and neck. Somedays it is frustrating because I will feel mostly fine, but that is because I guard my movements carefully, so whenever I do have to use my arms for work I feel like there is a hole in my chest that doesn’t allow my arms to do what they need to do. A simple task like washing some things at work the other day just brings waves of pain. The side effects of the stronger painkillers are too much, so I have gone back to non-prescription stuff. Even so, I am pretty thankful that I am more mobile now than what I have been in the last 5 months or so. I just wonder about the next phase of life, whether I will be able to get around without the pain.
The other things symptoms of what I am experiencing at the moment include unclear thinking, feverish sweats, dizzy spells and skin irritations because my immune system is shot. I am trying to remain physically active as much as possible by walking to and from work which is about 15 minutes each way. Even after that though I am sweating, dizzy and exhausted by the time I get there. I think the constant exhaustion makes my mind cloudy most of the time, so every day just seems like a daze.
On the upside, Libs is on holiday at the moment. We had already taken this time off before the diagosis as we were going to be taking holiday in Sydney, Darwin and Alice Springs, so it has worked out well to just have this time at home to recouperate a bit before the treatment starts. So our days at the moment are spent wandering between the workshop, cafes and pottering around the house. Could get use to this.

11 comments.

Measure Up

Posted on August 14th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I have overdone it. A day at the studio workshop the other day has left me sore and lacking mobility. Libs and I got stuck into painting a bit more, putting together furniture a bit more, cleaning up a bit more. It is looking great and I have just sit back at times and in disbelief how happy I feel about all this. There is something just profound about seeing things come together so well around me that it overshadows the health situation. It is not an escape because these feelings are existing together. I feel the perfect mix of the lovely stuff and the unlovely stuff continually throughout the day. Today, the unlovely stuff is my right shoulder that refuses to give me strength. I can’t lift a phone to my ear or a cup to my mouth without the help of my left. They make a good pair really, but lefty thinks it is about time he took over doing the main stuff now. It is time to get my repeat of painkillers now anyway, so we will see how that goes.

Things have been very busy over the weekend and even now I feel like the week has just begun, but it is Wednesday tomorrow. What happened there?

Today I hung out at Radiology again. Nice place. Just me, the CT scanner, 3 Radiotherapists, a Consultant, a Resident and the Nurse. Quite a meeting actually. They took all the coordinates of the lesion to plan the therapy and gave me a tattoo on my chest. It is not the dragon I was hoping for but it will do for now.

Libs is now on holidays so we are going to be able to spend these next weeks just taking things easy before therapy starts on the 31st. What a life!

3 comments.

Oncolologically speaking,…

Posted on August 9th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

First day at oncology/radiotherapy unit today. It was really just a meeting with the doctors that will be looking after things for the next few months really. I have been constantly impressed with how people are looked after and I once again really feel like I am in great hands.

I have a CT scan this coming Tuesday where they will take final measurements of the tumor and work out the plan of attack. The downside to this is that it may take up to two weeks to finalise the plan before actual frying takes place. I have come to see the wait as not really frustrating now, just part of the process of getting better. The medications I am on at the moment anyway are doing a sensational job of keeping things down and knocking out some of the crud anyway.

The treatment will take about five weeks all up once it starts and then the next batches of testing can take place to see if there is any spread in other parts of my bod. Unfortunately, I may never be able to grow my chest hair back on the area that they target with the radiation which could be aesthetically concerning, but I will ask if I may have similar elective radiation treatment on my eyebrow, backside, knuckles, back etc to make the most of this opportunity. Plucking is getting me down.

9 comments.

The Roid to Recovery

Posted on August 8th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I am loving these steroids. I have been more mobile in the last 4 days than I have been in the last 5 months. The swelling on my sternum has gone down enormously, the pain has really settled and I am able to walk with very little discomfort. I even broke out into a short sprint the other day (about 30 metres) at about 4km per hour, felt the wind rushing through my hair for the first time in a long time. The thrill.

I am feeling wired. Asleep at 1-2am, up at 5:00am and ready for work. Hyper during the day apart from a nanna nap if I need it. This is the good life. It is going 6am at the moment and I am just about to head into the workshop to get an order out. Did the same yesterday with Dad. I was so excited by the day. Working with my dad, feeling pretty mobile and getting an impressive amount of work done was very positive for me. Came home buzzing.

Damian headed home on Monday night about 1am bound for China. Miss him already and I feel honored to have such a strong ‘brotherhood’ of guys that have helped us get through this stage. We have been so well looked after, by everyone really, over this month that it will always remain a pivotal time in our lives. We now have friends staying from Darwin for the week, then Lib’s folks are coming over for the next two weeks. We have never felt alone through all this.

I have got my first appointment with radiology this Thursday to get marked up and slotted into a time slot for the next month or so. Really looking forward to some action being taken, although I kind of feel like I am getting better all the time with these drugs. I am on steroids, anti-gout meds, painkillers, anti-reflux, anti-inflamatries and the odd sleeping tablet to settle me down at night. Fantastic combination.

We have been experiencing some technical difficulties with our computer over this week too, aparently due to a virus checker being missing from my computer for about 11 months (saved a lot of money by not renewing it). Things are slow now and shutting down. Could just be sympathy pains.

4 comments.

News Flash

Posted on August 3rd, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

We saw the specialist today. This is what he said:

He confirmed it is the Plasma Cytoma and not the Multiple Myeloma as far as the tests can tell at the moment. This means that we are not looking at Chemo at the moment, just Radiotherapy. This is great news.

My sternum is going to be ok. He said that the sternum will mostly grow back so it looks as though no surgery will be needed. This is great news, but I was looking forward to a cup holder being incorporated into my sternum upgrade.

The swelling/tumour has doubled in size in the last week. This has caused a lot more pain and so I am now on a whole concoction of tablets, including steroids. This means that I may come out looking buff after all!

Once therapy is over, I have a 1 in 3 chance of developing Multiple Myeloma. This will most often happen within the first 1-2 years after treatment so I will be monitored especially during this time. For now, I am just so relieved that I have this prognosis as there is a big chance that everything will be ok.

I will continue to keep folks posted, and I am just so grateful to be surrounded by incredible people. It has been a month to the day that I was diagnosed with the worst-case scenario where we were gearing up for the ‘last’ of everything- last birthdays, last anniversary, last crumpet with honey. We have had a big month. Along the way, my family have been dealing with a few other major decisions and issues. It is good to be at this end of the month, and even though we know there is a way to go, we have complete peace.

Love to you all.

CMH

Song for the day:
Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News, I’ve Got A Bad Case Of Loving You (of course in a completely platonic way, and because of the news he delivered today)
Them Bones Are Going To Rise Again.

20 comments.

24 hours

Posted on August 2nd, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

In the next 24 hours I should have my results back from the specialist together with the treatment plan. At this stage we are fairly sure that we may be able to avoid chemo for the time being, and we have been told that the radiology department should be calling any day to start radiation treatment. Things are looking good. We will put up the details of the consult as soon as we can. Thanks for your encouragement and support.

2 comments.

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