Welcome, Nephew!

Posted on May 8th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

What a privilege it is to announce the arrival of Angus Harrison Cam Barr, born 3:30 this afternoon, as I was writing the last post. The birth went well, although Angus will spend the night in the special care nursery after experiencing a small lung tear in his first breath. We are all so proud of our sister Rach and Michael for their part in bringing this treasure into the world.


What comes next

Posted on May 8th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

We have decisions to make. That’s what is next. I’ll get to that later.

Today we were back at the clinic for a blood check and chat with specialist Brad about what comes next. My bloods are doing well. Everything that needs to come up is coming up, and everything that needs to come down, is settling. My time back home has been good in that I have only had one vomiting episode yesterday morning and have been feeling fine generally. My neck/headache has been a concern and last night it almost rendered me immobile, as the pain was so great.

It seems each day is only going to be pretty short as the afternoons are spent sleeping. I have just woken up from a three-hour sleep this afternoon and yesterday was not much different. My body always feels like it needs it. There is never a time when I feel I have overslept. Wonderful. My legs have lost most of their strength. A short walk here or there warrants a big rest (can’t get more specific than that).

We had to talk about two main things today with Brad – what next, and kids. The ‘what next’ aspect affects the ‘kids’ issue and it will take some thinking through. There is a drug called Thalidomide that has been proven beneficial as a consolidation treatment to stem-cell transplant treatment. The plan would be to go onto this drug for 12 months to make this treatment as effective as possible, according to current research. Most of you would know about the negative connotations associated with Thalidomide being the morning sickness drug that caused birth defects some decades ago. It can be a nasty drug, but like I say, it has shown beneficial outcomes for people in my situation.

If we choose this road, we would need to sign a stat-dec saying that we are using at least two forms of contraception. According to the drug company, we cannot take the risk of becoming pregnant while on this drug. So our decision involves whether to have this treatment for 12 months, or to start trying for kids as soon as possible. I know it is a decision that only we can make, but it is another one where faith, facts and feelings play a huge part. We have a couple of weeks to decide.

I will be having a full-body PET scan in a few weeks also to see if anything of concern shows up. Brad was very pleased with my progress, and he has been very sensitive and understanding with our required decisions. People can be heroes for one of many different reasons. He is one of mine for many reasons. When your life is medically in the hands of someone who has dedicated such a big part of their life to making folk like me well, I can’t help but be in awe of their commitment. When they go over and above their call or duty as Brad often does, their input into a life becomes more valuable than words could ever say, something that can never be repaid.

I could say the same for the nursing staff I have had. There is something about being at one’s most vulnerable state and being looked after so well that can bring depth to the word ‘gratitude’.

As of 4pm, sister Rachel is in labour and all is progressing well. We’ll be meeting and celebrating the arrival of our latest family member later tonight.


Libs and I after a bit of a trim.

Nurse Sarah taking out my CVC- a brilliant job.

What the CVC (Central Venous Catheter) looks like.

Where it has been hanging out for the last 3 weeks, quite uncomfortably.


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