Long-winded, verbose, detailed and exhaustive exposition on the meaning of ‘Christmas’

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

Happy Birthday Jesus, Saviour of the World.

6 comments.

The space between

Posted on December 20th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

In the last few days I have had chats with people who have been affected in some way by cancer. I am not isolating cancer from other illnesses, it is just what they happened to be dealing with. A wife of one of the guys has been living with cancer for a number of years and they journey each day through a real uncertainty of what the day will present. I had been buying music gear from him for some time, and one particular day about six months ago, I had a chat with him about how he deals with her illness. His response to the situation was to live in the short term, the here and now. He would sometimes just take his wife on trips spontaneously and do as much as he could to make their plans in the future happen now.
Elizabeth and I had been making plans to spend some time overseas for 2008. I told him of our plans and he was full of encouragement. His response was to ‘Just go! You never know if your opportunity may disappear tomorrow.’ I went in a week later to grab some music gear and I told him that I had been diagnosed within that short amount of time.
I went to see him on Tuesday this week, the first time I have seen him in that six months. He told me that each day he wakes up and the first thing he does is make sure his wife is still breathing. “It is the most beautiful sound in the world! Even just to lay awake, listening to her breathe, it is the most beautiful sound.”
Being quite unwell himself, he told me that because of the depths of emotion he has gone through over the years he often finds himself getting quite emotional, even at the smallest hint of emotional beckoning. It seems that the traumas he has endured has awakened aspects of his character that had otherwise lay dormant.

Today I met up with one of the jewelers working next door to me. This Christmas he will wake up to the deafening absence of his wife’s breathing, having lost her to cancer last month. As you would expect, you could sense a facet of pain that lets no part of his body escape. His eyes hid nothing.

In many ways, these two guys have shared a very similar journey. But I can’t help feeling that at this point in time, they couldn’t be further apart. For the guy at the music shop, there is time that separates where he is at compared to that of the jeweler. And that time, that space between – it is everything.

4 comments.

We wish you a hairy chestmas

Posted on December 17th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

Sister Rach and BIL Michael arrived yesterday so we are enjoying all being in the same state over Christmas. Very exciting year coming up. We were able to watch a DVD of the ultrasound scan showing their baby taken about a week ago. Amazing footage! We could watch the baby sucking its thumb, opening and closing its mouth, moving arms and legs. It should be making its grand entrance into the world early May.
As for me, I am not sure what to expect day to day. I am not sure what determines the way I physically feel from day to day. Yesterday was pretty good. I was able to move pretty well, apart from some back pain in the evening. This morning I woke up sore and just haven’t been able to shake that lethargic feeling. I am at the studio now but doing very little. I cant stand for long, can’t use my arms for long, and can’t concentrate for long. But I find that coming into work each day makes me enjoy being at home more in the evenings, and I don’t go stir crazy as quickly.
So I am really looking forward to these coming weeks and Christmas. We went to our first Christmassy event last night at a carols by candlelight where Carms (younger sister) was singing. Very nice.
In reference to the heading today, I am coming to terms with the fact a smooth, hairless patch on my torso is now going to be with me for life. Fantastic.

1 comment.

CT Scan

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

I have been having sternum pain recently so I had a CT scan yesterday. They injected an iodine contrast while I was having the scan, I think to bring greater definition to the indication of blood flow. We were able to get the results that afternoon. The report is detailed but it doesn’t really give information that can be acted on. We see the specialist again in early January. At least it didn’t present bad news.
For now, I am really struggling with the lack of energy and being sore all over. Just hard to move around. I am at the workshop now, but sticking to the desk work at the moment. Quite relaxing actually, and I will be ready to crash tonight. Kind of in a matter-of-fact mentality at the moment. There are times it is just too much effort to reflect.

3 comments.

In brief…

Posted on December 10th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

Good to have a good weekend. Feeling better in some ways but the pain and return of swelling in my chest on Friday was enough to inform the specialist and we booked an MRI. I am really grateful to a friend who has really looked after me with my MRI bookings for prompt appointments. It will be good to have a report done before Christmas and the new year. I am going to try and have a normal week this week.

0 comments.

Injectathon

Posted on December 6th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: All The Videos, Let's talk.


This is the ‘prelude to a harvest’. I am injecting a growth hormone that increases the production of stem cells and forces them into the bloodstream in a higher concentration. One of the side effects is bone pain, similar to growing pains. It felt like something was sqeezing my spine from the inside in a throbbing motion whenever I stood up or sat down. This footage contains sub-cutaneous needle use.


The Stem Cell Harvester. The blood comes out of one arm, goes into the centrifuge to be spun around. From what I understand, the red blood cells go into the bottom level, the plasma comes to the top, and the stem cells are located in the layer in between. This process is able to get about 1mL of the good juice per minute. Like liquid gold, but less pretty to look at.

1 comment.

New Videos

Posted on December 5th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I will be uploading a few videos from the last month or so over the next couple of days. I will backdate them later, but for now, happy viewing.

0 comments.

Measure Up

Posted on December 5th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: All The Videos, Let's talk.


These are two of the wonderful staff who looked after me for my radiotherapy. The music in the background was usually either Johnny Cash or Elvis. Very difficult for me to keep my hips still during Suspicious Minds.


This is the machine that administers the radiation. No one is allowed in the room except the patient while it is emitting the radiation. This particular footage shows the machine twisting onto its side to take a profile of my chest in X-ray. A few times a week they would take such an X-ray to monitor the progress of the therapy. The screen that you see unfolding is the receiving part of the digital X-ray.

3 comments.

Looking forward

Posted on December 5th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

It was just this last Friday that I was commenting to friends that I was feeling the best I had for about 9 months (apart from the steroid phase). I felt like I was actually getting better. Spoke a little too quickly as I came down with another virus on the weekend that wiped me out for the last 3 days. I returned to a familiar practice of sleeping the day away and managing pain. It felt like my body was twice its normal weight and I ached all over.
My chest pain has not subsided, but we are not sure if that is because of the virus or something else. I am going to wait until tomorrow to call the specialist, just in case it starts to disappear. I am a bit hesitant after the last time I was admitted to hospital when I felt such pain but, unfortunately, this is part and parcel of the process it seems.
I got to the point where I was just fed up with being sick. It has been 9 months now since I have been physically limited due to pain, and 15 months ago when I was sick for almost three months. The novelty has worn off. I can only appreciate more and more what many people go through with chronic illnesses where I would still be classified as a short-termer. I can understand that people must get to the point where they have just had enough, where it may seem that ‘giving up’ is actually a winning option, where the will to keep on going is a decision rather than a desire. When I have been sick in the past, I have been driven by the knowledge that I will be better soon. Chronic sufferers don’t have that certainty. As a song lyric states, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Go you good thing Anastacia. I am still looking forward.
Today I am back in the office, just catching up on paper work and what not. I have about 3 hours worth of energy per day, and that energy is basically used up just sitting up in a chair. I am yet to see how long I can last doing extreme Latin dancing.
Speaking of which, Happy Birthday to you Liza as you celebrate with your fam in Bogota. Your overcoming cancer has meant we are blessed every day we get to spend with you and Brett. You are an inspiration.

3 comments.

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