Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Family and visitors

Our kids have been staying for a week or two now and it's been great having them here.

A close friend of my hubbies ... a guy he made friends with while at primary school ... and his wife have been visiting from New Zealand.

Local friends, many of them Kiwi's living in this same area in Australia, visit most days to see how my hubby is doing. It's a tough time, as apart from his time in hospital and his not feeling very well, it's also the time his managers, supervisors and contractors have returned to work ... without him. I can't begin to imagine what that must feel like for a man who really enjoys his job as GM.

We're so lucky to have wonderful kids and wonderful friends.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Hubby home ...

After much discussion, it was decided that my hubby would have an endoscopy on the Monday and it showed that the tumour had narrowed his esophagus in two places. We then had a discussion with the gastro doc, who was confident that the placement of two stents was the way to go. Other discussions with our oncologoy team, raised areas of concern, but finally my hubby agreed that he would have the two stents put in. This was done on the Tuesday ... and a nervous time it was. Fortunately it all went well and he recovered with no obvious affect to his lungs.

We were still hoping for him to be released on christmas day, but the docs said he had to stay till boxing day, so that he could be guided through the ... clear fluids, full fluids and soft food choices. On christmas day the four of us went out for three hours. We found a fish and chip shop, bought a feed, then found a spot by the sea and enjoyed our dinner. It was horrible to see how quickly my hubby was exhausted by his outing, and we had to return to the hospital, so he could have pain relief.

On boxing day I left home about 7 am, so I would be at the hospital for the doctors rounds. Unfortunately my hubby's docs were on leave, but we still had a good discussion with the doc who saw him. We left with a pile of liquid morphine, morphine patches and other stuff. The letter for our pallative care team about my hubby's need for oxygen wasn't there ... but hopefully that will be followed up this week.

By the time we got home, my hubby was exhausted. Our daughter had the oxygen machine running ... so he sunk into a chair with that and liquid morphine.

That night was a horror. We didn't seem to be able to get on top of the pain, and my hubby became quite distressed. Around 9 am I phoned the emergency pallative care number and our nurse phoned the duty doctor for advice. She organised stronger liquid morphine, to be administered more frequently and a stronger pain patch. This was wonderful, as all we had to do, was collect the script, take it to the pharmacy and pay for the drugs.

The second night, my hubby had a far better rest and although I needed to massage him once through the night, his 'bones' (shoulders and back) didn't seem to ache so much. He also got out of bed and slept in the recliner for a few hours, so that pressure was being distributed differently. My hubby was amazed he'd slept so well ... and his morning was a good one. He sat in the wheelchair on our back deck for a few hours, enjoying the sun and giving our son and a friend who's visiting from NZ, instructions about what needs doing to our back area. We think he may have overdone things ... but it was great to see him enjoying the fresh air, family and friends.

Here's to tonight being similar, or better, than last night!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Hubby still in hospital

It's three week and my hubby's short visit to hospital continues to drag out. The 80+ km a day drive from home to the hospital and the 80+ km a day drive back is starting to take it's toll, but not as much as my need to have him home ... my need to get him out of that place and back to things that are more familiar to him.

The 'talc' mix was put in his lung last week and the tube removed on Friday. His x-rays showed two small areas with fluid/air in them, but the lung doc is happy with how the scaring has worked.

On Friday a doc from the Gastro department arrived and said he wanted my hubby to have an endoscopy done on Monday, as the problems he's having eating and holding food down (soft, minced food) may mean that the tumour has thickened, and he may benefit from having a stent placed in the esophagus. This all sounded scary, but good, but today my hubby's oxygen levels have dropped ... we're not sure why ... it maybe related to the infection he has at the site where the tube went into his lung ... no one seems too sure. But anyway, due to his oxygen levels being low, he may not be able to have the endoscopy done, as the risks would be too high. I'm not sure where this leaves us with regard to his eating ...

I just want to take him home!

Our daughter arrived last Wednesday and it's been great having her for company during the drives to and from the hospital and at home during the short evening, before we fall exhausted into bed. She brought her dog, Charlie (a moodle - maltese x poodle), with her, and Wilson and him are having a great time! Our son arrives on Monday ... and then our family will be together for christmas ... just gotta get hubby out of the hospital!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

15 December 2008 - 29th Wedding Anniversary

Wow ... tomorrow is our 29th wedding anniversary and I love my man as much now as I did when I met him 30 1/2 years ago!

I wish everyone could have a marriage as wonderful as ours.

We've done so much together, been to many places and experienced so many things.

We have two gorgeous kids, who've grown into the most amazing adults.

We're truly blessed!

Hubby still in Hospital

Two weeks have passed, and a few things have happened, unfortunately nothing that was really planned.

Last Tuesday a large tube was put in his left lung to drain the fluid. Nearly six litres was removed and this was very painful. The lung doc was pleased with the x-rays, that showed hubbies lung was working hard to expand. My hubby was distressed with the pain, and I've got to be honest, seeing him in pain is something I deal badly with.

Hubby was also coughing a lot and bringing up phlem, which we were told was good. Then he coughed and said it felt like something had 'clicked' in his neck. His face had started to swell and by the time I got a nurse (within a minutes) his neck area was very swollen. This caused a panic and three doctors were called in. Our oncology doc said the tube had to come out, as she was concerned something bad was happening. She quickly removed the tube and then stayed and talked us through many options ... scary stuff. She was worried that my hubby's neck would continue to swell and that his breathing was compromised. She asked us about resuscitation and recommended we mark my hubby's file 'not for resuscitation' ... we had discussed this, but listening to a doctor talking like this was something neither of us coped well with ... and the tears fell. She asked if I wanted to stay the night in my hubby's room, which was nice, as I'd already decided I wasn't going anywhere.

I slept on the reclining chair ... it was comfy and I did get some sleep ... well a little sleep. My poor hubby barely closed his eyes, as he feared they'd not open again. Every time he started to doze, he'd 'jump' as his subconscious woke him agin.

The morning came and his breathing was still good ... a huge relief.

More x-rays and then more problems. It was found he had a pneumothorax, which is when a hole develops in the lung, allowing air to escape into the space between the lung and the chest wall and collapsing the lung. This had to be corrected by another tube being put into the same area to remove the air. Doctors rushed in and after three attempts the tube was in the right place. My poor hubby was exhausted, tearful and in loads of pain. He was so over this whole hospital thing, I was worried he'd discharge himself. The nurses gave him more and more morphine to help him relax and to help his pain. He was given patches and needles.

Over the past three days, his pain levels have decreased a little, and he's trying hard to keep on top of the pain, by asking for morphine rather than waiting till he's already in pain. He's still not sleeping well ... and he's rarely eating ... both worry me heaps.

Now we wait for the hole in his lung to heal. His lung doc is confident this will happen quickly and still wants to do the 'talc' in the pleural space thing, to get this area to scare and therefore prevent fluid buildup. My hubby will allow this, as long as the tube he currently has in, can do the job. Due to the pain caused by these tubes, he's not prepared to have another one ... and I don't blame him!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Week 170 - Adjustment 23

November 2008

I've been real slack taking photos ... so these are nearly a month late, but hopefully they will record some progress.

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Gap closing over impaced canine
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Open Bite
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The 'openness' of my bite is annoying, but I've been reassured it's part of the 'gets worse before it gets better' stuff.

Hubby still in hospital

Unfortunately what we'd hoped would only be a couple of days, has turned in to a week ... or more.

My hubby's bone scan came back almost clear. There's two marks behind one eye, but his team don't appear too concerned and have suggested it may just be marks on the scan. The CT scan shows that the tumour has grown ... which we expected, and has moved into the stomach area, but not by a lot. There are swollen glands in the stomach, but they said these weren't to bad. His team were happy to report that his liver is clear at this time. The chest x-ray showed the left lung flooding with fluid and the right lung with a smaller amount of fluid. Fluid removed from the left lung contains cancer cells, but we've not sort clarification of this yet ... will try and be brave enough to talk about this with his team tomorrow. Surgery is not an option, as my hubby's oxygen levels and breathing are not great enough for this. Instead we're to see a 'lung Doctor' on Monday and hopefully s/he will agree to put a tube in the left lung, so that it can be drained more easily.

A stressful time, but if we can achieve easier drainage, then quality of life will be easier to achieve.

I just want my hubby home! To be honest, I want much more than that, but I've got to accept that somethings we just can't have.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Family begin to arrive

One of my hubby's brother's, and his wife flew in from New Zealand on Tuesday. It's great to see them!

Our daughter flew in on Wednesday. She's exhausted, as hasn't slept since she finished night shift. Sooooooooooooo great to have her here.

We're still not totally in our new house, but Wilson and I slept here on Monday night. Two friends stayed with us, due to my hubby being in hospital. It was strange being in a new place, but I woke up feeling good, which I take to be a positive!

My hubby is breathing better, but has limited energy and seems to be sleeping more and more. It's really hard to know what to do and at times I just have to walk away, as it's breaking my heart to see him change like this.

Our son is in Perth for the next few days with one of his bands, and he flies in on Sunday. Them more relations fly in from New Zealand on Monday. It'll be tough on them, as that's the day my hubby will be admitted to hospital, but hopefully only for a couple of days.

Two litres removed

My hubby was admitted at 7.30 am on Monday and by 9 am had, had one litre of fluid removed from his left lung. The Intern who did the surgery under the guidance of our Doctor, said the fluid came easily and recommended that if the x-ray was good, my hubby should stay in hospital and have another litre removed the next day.

The x-ray showed fluid around both lungs, but the left lung is still the worst. My hubby showed almost instant improvement with his breathing and general well being, so it was decided that he should stay the night.

The following morning at 7.30 am I was back at the hospital to support my hubby through his third fluid removal surgery. Again it went well and the x-ray showed a tiny improvement.

Later that morning we spoke with our Palliative Care nurse who talked about alternatives to having fluid removed. These included using talc to 'glue' the outside layer and lung layers together or having a tube inserted into the area between the lung and the outer area, that's left in place, so that fluid can be removed more easily.

He followed this discussion with a talk to our Doctor, who phoned the Oncology Department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and discussed options with them.

We went home that afternoon and our Doctor said he'd phone within two days to let us know what QEH though of the options.

The following day our Doctor phoned to say QEH were prepared to admit my hubby on Monday (the day of his 50th birthday), to do a scan (something we'd planned to not have, due to my hubby being diagnosised as terminal), and then to do the talc or tube ... or something. We will have many visitors from NZ and Oz here, but my hubby was feeling so much better after having two litres removed in two days, that he had no issue deciding going into hospital was his best option.

So here's hoping that the scan will allow something to go ahead! Loads of positive thoughts please!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Second Surgery on Monday

Our Doc looked worried as soon as we walked into his office on Thursday. My hubby had only walked the short distance from the waiting room to his office and his breathing was heavy. After checking his breathing and the usual 'knocking on his fingers' around his back, our Doc said there's fluid in both lungs, but the left is still the worst and he's prepared to take more fluid from it, if that's what we want. We both agreed it was! He gave us a choice of any day from the Friday, till the end of next week. We chose Monday, coz that means if he decides to take another litre off the following day, it will be all over by the Tuesday, which we think is the day our first visitors arrive from New Zealand.

We're to be at the the local hospital by 7.30 am on Monday morning and our Doc is planning to insert the needle to remove a litre of fluid, around 8 am. He asked my hubby if his Intern could do the job, assisted by himself, and my hubby agreed. Our Doc thinks this would be a good one for his Intern to do, as there's a lot of fluid, which means it's easier to find.

Our Doc said that depending on how my hubby copes with the one litre removal on Monday, he may or may not take another litre on the Tuesday. We're hoping it all goes well and that another litre is taken.

Here's to my hubby coping with the fluid over the weekend, and then finding great relief after the surgery on Monday ... and hopefully again on Tuesday!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

My Hubby

At his Docs appointment last Friday, it was mostly good. His pain meds have been increased from 5mg to 25mg, and are mostly helping, but I'm noticing that now (nearly a week later), they're not taking care of all his pain.

My hubby still isn't able to go to work and I can't help feeling that he may not be able to go back again. This is heartbreaking, but he's better to stay away and feel better, than push himself to go and feel exhausted. A new GM has been appointed, and that's hard for everyone involved, but we have to accept that it's necessary.

Food intake is minimal and although he's always had a fantastic appetite for nearly all types of food, he's totally lost interest in the stuff. Our Doc said this was problem due to toxins being put out by the tumour (or tumours). He's trying to drink to keep some strength ... protein drinks like Ensure Plus and he's making fruit smoothies ... both of which I'm sure do help. I've lost my cook ... she wails in self indulgence ... but she knows that loosing her cook is nothing compared to what the future may hold.

Our doc has agreed to take more fluid from around my hubby's left lung, and may have him stay in hospital overnight, so he can take one litre of fluid on one day and one litre the next day. We're trying to delay this being done for as long as possible, as family and friends from New Zealand begin arriving next week ... and some will be here for around two weeks. Hubby's 50th birthday will be both a fun and challenging time. Great to see so many members of our family and friends, but it will be a big shock for them to see my hubby, coz when we visited them in New Zealand last July/August, he was looking so much healthier. My hubby is going to have to find the strength to disappear to our bedroom for quiet times whenever he needs them. It will be tough ... but we will get through this!

Today my darling man is looking pale, tired, and grey. Not a good look! He's also frustrated, so damn frustrated, coz he wants to be working around our place next door, but even walking over there is exhausting and requires him to sit down. Cancer is so damn cruel!

Our good friend James is still working for us everyday, but we're going to have to let him return to work, as don't want to upset the balance in any way. He's loving working around the house and would happily continue to do it for a few more weeks, but unfortunately we can't afford that luxury. We do know that after James returns to his real job, he will join our many friends who come round to offer help at nights and weekends. We are very lucky people to have so many great friends.

We go to the doc tomorrow and think it'll be time for more decisions re fluid removal. Plus another increase (or change) in pain meds.

Friday, 14 November 2008


I've loaded photos of our house and the beautiful Wilson, to an online photo storage site. Here's the addy ...

Please check them out and let me know what you think.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Week 170 - Adjustment 23

My ortho is happy that my upper right gap, over the impacted canine is continuing to close.

He's not so happy that my bite is still open and appears to be catching on a back molar, right side.

Powerchains were removed and both archwires removed and more bends put in on the right side.

New purple powerchains and I'm to continue with the same elastic configeration - Size 3/16".
  • Left side - a triangle, from upper canine to lower canine and lower premolar
  • Right side - a triangle from upper first molar to lower canine and lower premolar

My ortho brought up the subject of retainers ... wow ... does this mean he can see a light at the end of the tunnel for me ... I'm excited, but I'm still not prepared to ask about time frames. Anyway he said that the cost of my 'plates' has been covered in my original payment, but that he'd also recommend I get upper and lower fixed retainers. He uses a gold wire and they cost $250.00 each. He said in general the fixed retainers do hold the teeth in place more definitely, although you have to be careful with them, as it means never eating very chewy lollies. He said my oral hygiene is excellent and that he'd never recommend a fixed retainer to anyone who didn't have very good oral hygiene.

My right side has a few aches, but in general this was a much easier adjustment than my last one. Here's to my gap being closed when I have more chair time in February 2009 ... it sure is strange typing that!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Friday - Hubby is feeling better!

A new day and my hubby is feeling better. :-)

It's so good to see him smiling and happy. He's able to walk to our new house (which we built next door to the one we currently live in), without having to stop for breath. He's been worrying terribly that our new house won't be finished before he dies ... I wish I could convince him not to, but I realise he's doing this for me.

We have awesome friends who've spent every weekend (and some evenings after work), this past month, working on the boundaries, preparing retaining walls and the like. Today we 'employed' a friend ... who does work for the business my hubby is GM of, but he's taken two weeks leave to work for us on our new place, preparing the outside so we can move in. We're going to pay him his weekly wage, but it's still such a kind act, as I know he'll achieve heaps and my hubby will feel loads better while that's happening.

This weekend there's more digging (bobcat) needed to 'cut' the land for more retaining walls and getting ready to order the fences and gates. We're going to have to have a meeting with our neighbours who we share boundaries with to organise fences. Our neighbours over the back are close friends and there house is nearly at the 'roof on' stage. They visit most days, so we just have to make a decision with them. The other neighbour, whom we both share a boundary with appears to 'hide' away all weekend when we're out working around our land. Not sure why, but we're going to have to talk to him, coz we need to get these fences organised asap. He's been in his house a few months now, it was built earlier this year, so hope he's allowed money for fencing in his budget. Sadly he's not had any work done around his house, which I'm sure would look really nice with some gardens, paths etc.

Post fluid removal surgery - the following day

My hubby has not felt well today. His side is bothering him, but we're hoping that's due to where the needle was put in. He still looks a better colour and has a little more energy, but the huge improvement that was obvious yesterday is not so great today.

We are hoping that tomorrow (Friday) will have him feeling better.

He's off to our pharmacy in the morning to get his script for a slow acting endone pain relief med. Hopefully with the use of 'slow release' he will get more pain relief over a longer period of time, without the extreme need to sleep after having meds. I can tell he's not happy about the thought of wasting precious time sleeping due to taking pain meds, but he's also realising that he needs this med. So many conflicting issues!

While we were at the hospital both our doc and a nurse spoke to us about the need to include Yuri (our palliative care nurse) in what's happening. Unfortunatley he's away till Monday, or they'd have organised him to see us while we're still at the hospital. We need to get our head around the idea that palliative care is about 'quality of life while you're living' and not about 'dying' ... this is a tough one for us both! We've only seen Yuri once, when he came to interview us at home. My hubby told him then that he didn't want anything to do with him ... well not him personally, but with palliative care. It really is tough, coz as our doc explained, all he's doing now is palliative ... so there's no real difference. Neither of us had looked at it this way before.

We've been told that Yuri will be able to help us with food to help my hubby when he's not wanting to eat ... which apparantly the toxins released by the cancer often cause. Also if the fluid on my hubby's lungs requires the need for him to have oxygen, Yuri can arrange for us to have a machine that he can use at home, to get the oxygen levels in his blood up, and hopefully to help with his energy levels.

This journey is one I hope none of you evere have to experience!

Surgery went well

We arrived at the hospital just before 8 am and our doctor was waiting for us.

My hubby was admitted and then the work began to get all equipment ready to removed the fluid from around his lung. This was done in a 'normal' hospital room, so it was important to have everything as sterile as possible.

I was sitting by the bed, and was never asked to leave, so I stayed for the procedure.

Firstly they gave my hubby some meds to relax him, and since he still doesn't take much for his pain, only a few endone here and there, he kinda went cross-eyed for a bit, but luckly he came good.

Next the doc did his sterilisation routine, scrubbed, was growned, gloved etc. There was a nurse, an medical intern and a student present, so quite a busy little room. Numbing stuff was put in the area they were planning to put the needle in, and then a larger needle was put in. They work 'blind', which is kinda scary when you realise they working around the lungs and ribs. After a bit of moving the needle, and considerable discomfort on my poor hubby's face, a good flow was established.

Our doc removed 60 mls at a time, and then it was released, by a separate tap into a container. Two containers were taken to send away for examination. A litre of clear brown fluid was removed and then the needle was removed. An hour or so later we walked to the x-ray section, and he had another x-ray. After that he rested on the hospital bed, until our doc returned from his general practice around 1 pm. He checked the x-rays, and unfortunately they show little improvement, which possibly indicates more fluid had accummulated since the previous x-ray, the day before. Our doc said that depending on how my hubby recovers from this surgery, will help with the decision as to what to do next. They may take more fluid off, but will neveer take more than 1 litre, as it can have a negative affect to take more. It was soooooooooooo disappointing to see so much of the lung still surrounded by fluid, and also a couple of small patches have shown on his right lung.
Hubby is feeling better and is breathing better.

Our doc said to go home, but to take care. He asked to see us in a week. My hubby mentioned he was flying to Brisbane next week for business and was swiftly told that 'no he wasn't'. Then our doc explained that although the x-rays show no air hole in his lungs, he cannot risk going at altitude. Good thing the subject came up before we left.

The improvement in my hubby is incredible! All fingers crossed! :-)

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Surgery tomorrow morning

My hubby is having surgery tomorrow morning to remove fluid from around his left lung.

This past week has been horrid, with his energy levels getting lower and lower. He's been so frustrated by this, as he's not even been able to go to work for any time. His directors are amazing, as they've told him not to worry ... but still he does.

Our doctor is doing the surgery and has been honest with us about what may happen. Best case senario is that the fluid will remove easily, there won't be any 'hole' left in the lung, or infection, and the fluid will not return for a long time. Next best ... same as above, but the fluid will return in a few months/weeks. Next ... same as above, but the fluid will return in days. After that it just gets progressively less desirable ... which includes lung problems from the needle used to drain the fluid, and the risks of infection.

We're aiming for the best, which includes my hubby being able to stay on his feet for an hour or more and being able to breathe with ease. Plus an improvement in appetite would be welcomed.
All positive healing energy is welcome ... thanks!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Wilson is growing so fast!

Today Wilson is 12 weeks old ... incredible! Here's some more photos.

Wilson aged 8 weeks
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Wilson aged 9 weeks
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Wilson aged 10 weeks
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Wilson aged 11 weeks
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House Keys

Finally ... we've had that oh so important meeting with the builders of our new house and now have in our possession all keys to doors and windows. Wow ... it's finally happened. Amazing that we started this experience nearly two years ago ... have to admit I'm kinda over it, but I know that my hubby can't chill to he's sure our new place is finished and we are living in it.

The house looks huge and I'll has been nicknamed 'the Taj' by our neighbours. I must take a photo or three and put some on here.

Now we can complete all the bits and pieces the builders don't do. The carpets are down in the bedrooms and we had all the main rooms tiled by the same tiler our builder uses, so that we could have that job done during the 'you're still locked out of your house' stage. Tomorrow or Thursday the concrete for the driveway and front walkway will go done. Hopefully it won't be too long till we can afford the concrete for the back, as the red dust will get in everywhere till we do. Concrete is expensive, and with the high cost of fuel, it's a shocking price. Hopefully on Thursday on electrical people will arrive and put in the down lights, fans, outside lights and outside sensors.

Left to organise ... our home theatre guy has to complete all the work to get our TV's, sound system, etc working. He's putting our speakers out of sight, and other interesting stuff, all of which has to be done before we'll move in. Organise for phone lines, so that our line, plus our internet will be able to move next door, the same day we do. Fences ... these are essential, as need to know Wilson is safe. Work on the retainer walls has been happening the past few weekends, with many of our friends working hard to get this done, as they realise my hubby no longer has the energy to do this type of work.

Plus we have to buy ... fridge with ice maker (have plumbing in place), new microwave, something to hang towels from for our ensuite, a hall table for keys etc, office furniture, storage containers for some cupboards and in the pantry, another length of pipe for hanging clothes in our walk in wardrobe, and many other bits and pieces.

Major stuff to organise ... two water tanks to collect our rain water. Outdoor enterainment area ... have it kinda planned, but need to get the people who're going to build it, to come round when the retainer walls are up, so they can finalise the plans. We need moss rocks for our front garden, and possibly one back corner garden, plus a friend needs a drawing (with measurements) of the stand we want him to make, so we can grow three or four wisteria up it and over, so it will grow like a large umbrella ... then we can get the top soil (organic with water crystals) delivered and work on the front garden, veggie gardens, fruit tree area, and back gardens can begin.

Still heaps to do ... but we hope to move in before my hubby's 50th on 1 December 2008!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Kids Visit

Our kids have just been here for five days ... it was awesome!

We're so lucky that they were able and prepared to take time away from their work and friends and spend some precious time with us. They flew in last Wednesday, and out again today.

This was the first time they'd met Wilson and all three appeared to get along well. Wilson is still stuck in the 'chewing everything in sight' stage, which isn't the best, but he's still very cute and growing bigger every day.

We continue ...

My hubby now has fluid on one lung and it's definitely a negative when it comes to energy levels and everything seems to be affected by that. Our doc didn't want to do anything about it at his last appointment, but think we'll be putting more pressure on him at our next appointment, as this is really tough on everyone connected to us.

My hubby continues to be sooooooooooooo brave, but he's not eating like he did a few weeks ago, and his continuing weight loss is making how he looks a major concern.

We've received word that at least eight members of his family are coming from New Zealand to spend his 50th birthday with him. Wow ... that will be huge, considering we were planning to spend the time in Sydney with our kids. It will be fun ... so now we focus on 1 December 2008!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Wilson's First Day

At 8 am on Sunday 28 September 2008, we picked up our new puppy.

He's 7 1/2 weeks old and totally cute. He's also incredibly social, as we have friends staying with three young children, plus he had many visitors during the day.

We're very happy that Milo has helped us to find a new dog to have in our lives.

Wilson is his name and he's a Maltalier - Maltese x Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Here's his first photos at his new home.

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Week 164 - Adjustment 22

September 2008 - 37 Months

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Left Side
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Right Side
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Gap over my impacted canine - Right Side
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Thursday, 25 September 2008

Week 164 - Adjustment 22

My Ortho was happy as the gap over my impacted canine is showing signs of closing. Awesome news!!!

He removed my ligs and archwires and made many bends in both the upper and lower archwires before putting them back in, taking them out, more bends ... repeat, repeat, repeat. He kept checking my bite, which is still open and only meets on the right - second molars. He's trying to get my bite to close as well as working to finishing closing the gap! Finally when he was happy with the bends, he put the archwires back in. He then put powerchains on both arches … the purple ones. My upper arch hasn’t had a powerchain for a long time, and this is the first time it’s gone over the gap of my impacted canine … so here’s to that gap being totally closed very soon.

New Elastic Configerations
I’m to wear elastics on both sides - Size 3/16". Left side is to be a triangle, from upper canine to lower canine and lower premolar. Right side is to be a triangle from upper first molar to lower canine and lower premolar.

It didn’t take long for my teeth to feel the changes … seems to be both upper and lower teeth on my left side, and think it’s due to the bends in the archwires more than the triangular elastic. The discomfort is only mild, but this is the first time I've experienced this in a while. Here's to that gap being gone ... totally gone!!!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

A Tough Week

My hubby has been tired and feeling generally unwell this week. This is scary, as he has been looking so good since we were told he has terminal cancer, that at times it is possible to forget what lies ahead.

He was very upset on Tuesday, as he felt he could no longer go to work, even for a few hours. We talked and cried together for a while, and he's decided to not try and go to work every day, and on the days he does go, he'll go for maybe only four hours.

The trip through the centre of Australia to Darwin was an awesome holiday, but when we got to Darwin, my hubby spent long hours fishing ... so I think it's to be expected that he's feeling tired.

This week we will organise bloods and a visit to our GP, who the palliative care team, have said we can keep as our primary care giver for now. Important for my hubby, as this is the first doctor he's felt good about.

Here's to next week being better!

Monday, 15 September 2008

We're back

We had a great holiday in the Northern Territory!

The trip up in the train was fun and we had an awesome time seeing Uluru and Kata Tjata. A truly magickal area of Central Australia.

The weather in Darwin was fantastic ... with most day temps in the mid 30's and night temps high 20's. This is the weather we love and we were totally comfortable.

Our kids joined us in Darwin for a holiday and that was loads of fun. They're gorgous and we had a great time together ... sweet as!

The markets in Darwin are amazing and we loved the opportunity to watch the amazing sunsets, while sampling the foods of many countries, and being entertained by some amazing musicians. We spent time wandering round the markets and found some great goodies produced by very talented people.

It was great catching up with friends and we hope to get back up there again soon!

It was tough leaving, but we needed to get back to South Australia to see how our new house was progressing.

My hubby is still eating well and looks great!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Trip to the Northern Territory

The Ghan On Wednesday we board The Ghan and travel to Alice Springs. We get off the train on Thursday and spend a night in Alice Springs. Then it's a coach ride to Uluru. It's about 400 km to Uluru, but the coach makes a few stops, including one at a camel farm, and about 5 1/2 hours later we'll arrive at Uluru.

We're staying for two nights at Uluru, so we can get some major cultural experiences. On the first night, we're doing the Sounds of Silence experience. Then early the next morning we're doing the Sunrise and Base Walk.

On Saturday a coach will return us the 400 km to Alice Springs, where we stay the night. On the Sunday we will board the next Ghan and travel to Katherine. After a few hours to do some tourist stuff, it's back on the Ghan to Darwin.

We arrive in Darwin on the Tuesday, mid afternoon.

Our kids fly in from Sydney on Wednesday.

On Thursday we hope to go the Mindel Markets.

On Friday Merv is hoping to take the kids Reef Fishing.

Then hopefully on Saturday it will be a ride down the Adelaide River, doing a Jumping Crocodile Cruise.

Late Saturday night, some more friends arrive and Sunday will probably be a rest day with maybe a visit to some markets.

Our kids fly back to Sydney at 1.40 am on Monday morning ... very early, but it means they're back home in time to go to work.

The rest of our time will be spent chilling with friends, visiting markets, eating out and for my hubby to do as much fishing as he can. My hubby and a friend are planning a barramundi fishing adventure on the Daly River. They will have a guide with them, so here's to it being a load of fun.

We haven't bought return tickets, but expect to fly back after about a three week break.

Saturday, 23 August 2008


My hubby is sleeping peacefully on the couch ... he was watching the Olympics ... and me, well I'm enjoying Lindt Chilli Dark Chocolate ... and it's awesome!

I had considered sharing ... but now I'm not so sure!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Three Years - 3 August 2008

When my treatment started, I had no idea it would be lasting this long ... and longer ... Probably a good thing, as I may not have started treatment had I been aware of this!

Three year summary ...

Left Side and Right Side
Upper Arch and Lower Arch
Patience ... Patience ... Patience ...

Dentist and Hygienist Appointments

Had another round of appointments with my dentist and hygienist and received an A1 report from both.

My hygienist calls me her model patient ... and it does feel good, as it makes the extra effort I make during my night cleaning worth while!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Olympic Medals for New Zealand

New Zealand is a very small country, with a population of around 4 million.

We love sport, with our first love being rugby union. We never have a large team to go to the Olympics, but we do dream of medals for our amazing athletes.

Finally today it's happened ...
2 Gold - New Zealander's Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindells have taken the gold in dramatic fashion in the women's double sculls event.
New Zealander Valerie Vili won the Olympic shot put gold at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing
1 Silver - New Zealand cyclist Hayden Roulston won silver medal in the 4,000 m individual pursuit.
2 Bronze - New Zealander Mahe Drysdale claimed New Zealand's first medal of the Olympic games, in the men's single sculls event.
New Zealand Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater came third in the Men's pairs rowing event.

All Blacks Win!

An awesome outcome!

We played South Africa in South Africa and kept them to 19-nil ... amazing. Dan Carter missed a conversion and three penalties and yet we still managed to score the win!

We rained on Percy Montgomery, 100th cap for South Africa ... but are we Kiwi's concerned about that ... not in the least!

We are still in with a chance to take out the Tri Nations!


A Maltalier is a cross between a pure breed Maltese and a pure breed Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Breed Information

Coat - minimal shedding, non allergenic coat that is soft and wavy
Grooming - regular grooming required, this includes brushing daily and clipping regularly
Size - 20-30 cm
Weight - 3-8 kg
Temperament - great house dog, good with people of all ages, easy to train, very intelligent and extremely loyal make a fantastic lap dog, or companion very laid back
Colour - any colour combination except chocolate

I've chosen a blenheim coloured male and here's a pic of the three blenheim coloured males. It was take on 11 August 2008, when the pups were five days old.
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I get to collect our puppy on 28 September 2008 at 8 am ... and I can't wait!

New Puppy

With the guidance of the spirit of my beautiful dog Milo, I was lead to the breeders of Maltaliers - Maltese x Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

I made contact with the breeders ... who surprisingly only live about an hours drive away, and they said they were hoping for another litter later in the year. That was about six weeks ago.

When we returned from New Zealand, there was an email to say seven puppies had been born on 6 August 2008 and would I please let them know ASAP if I was still interested. I did, and since then I've seen a photo of these babies and have chosen a blenheim coloured male. I've paid the deposit and now we wait for the puppies to grow strong with their Mum.

We will collect our puppy on the morning of 28 September ... and to say I'm excited is an understatement. I keep wanting to buy things for our new baby. I've already bought six months of flea treatment, a new purple collar, toys, blankets for Milo's bed (which is still in good condition), a small purple hot water bottle, a harness that includes a seat belt connection ... nice and easy to keep your dog safe. Plus toys etc.

Next I plan to buy dry food and freeze chicken necks in single bags, so I can give my new baby one of those a day. Did I mention that I'm very excited.

At the moment I think his name will be Wilsyn ... or at least that's what my daughter and I want. My hubby isn't against this name, or totally for it, but now he's got to try and find another one ... or Wilsyn it will be! When we're sure of the name, I'll get a name tag made for his new collar.
I've also been to my vet and booked him in for Puppy School!

Monday, 11 August 2008

My July Bite ...

How I prefer to bite ...
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How I'm supposted to bite ...
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And the bite that makes my upper jaw look like it's in class I ...
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Planning trip to Darwin

My hubby is feeling good and is eating well ... very important with the type of cancer he has.

So now we're planning our train trip to Darwin, plus organising our kids to fly to Darwin to spend some time with us!

Can't wait to see them both, and as they've not been to Darwin before, I'm sure this will be a fun time for them also.

My hubby is planning to take them fishing and we'll all do the Market thing ...which Darwin is so great at. Plus we'll take them to see the crocodile's jumping ... which is a great trip on the Adelaide River.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

We are back

We had a great five days in Sydney with our kids, then it was off to New Zealand.

We arrived at the same time as a storm 'hit' the North Island and there was plenty of 'fat' NZ rain landing on our island ... the South Island.

We flew into Christchurch and spent a night with my hubby's bro and step bro. Then to Ashburton for lunch with an Aunty and Uncle of my hubby. Spent two nights in Waimate visiting my parents, bro and sis. Then to Moeraki to my girlfriends for the night, plus a stop in Oamaru to catch up with a couple of my hubby's Aunties. Next to Mosgiel for four nights with my hubby's Mum.

We had many gatherings with family and friends, including a 'live wake' with around 50 people. Friends organised this, and invited between 20-30 of my hubby's past work and hockey friends. Seems like the news got out and many more made the effort to call in. It was an emotional time, but exciting to see so many friends in one place.

Next we flew from Dunedin to Wellington and spent a night with an awesome couple we met when we lived in Fiji. Then a friend picked us up and drove us to his home in Hastings. Then a day trip to Wairoa to have lunch with the Mum's of two special friends. This was a great time, plus my hubby and I shared our first 'boil up pie' ... and it was good!

Next our friend drove us to Auckland, where a girlfriend of mine from Fiji joined us for tea, for our last night in New Zealand.

Flying Business Class was fun ... loads of leg room, good drinks, food and service!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Planning our Trip Home

It's been 25 days since we were told that my hubby's cancer is terminal. It's consuming and I'm finding that difficult to cope with.

Our daughter has been staying, while she recovers from her back surgery. She's returning home, when we fly to Sydney this Wednesday. I know already that I will miss her something wicked, when we return from NZ.

We have a HUGE few days planned before we fly to New Zealand.

We're flying to Sydney on Wednesday and my hubby is going to a Trade Show on the Thursday. He wasn't going to bother, but he's been getting phone calls from people he's worked with over the years, who want to see him, and this is a good opportunity to do that. Friday and Saturday will be spent with our kids, and that includes going to the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Union game on Saturday to watch our much loved All Blacks play Australia at our favourite sport!

We're staying at our favourite spot, overlooking the harbour ... so hopefully that will allow us time to refuel before our flight across the ocean.

My main wishes at this time are ... that my hubby will enjoy his time back in New Zealand, and that I will become strong and be able to support him better!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Trip to New Zealand

We are booked to fly Sydney to Christchurch on Monday, 28 July 2008.

We will then drive to Dunedin/Mosgiel over four nights. Spending four nights with my hubby's Mum in Mosgiel, before flying to Wellington. We'll be spending one night in Wellington and then a friend will drive us to his place for three nights. We'll then fly to Auckland for one night, before flying back to South Aussie.

We're not looking forward to this trip, but we know it's necessary to visit family and friends while my hubby is still feeling strong.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

I loathe having to be practical ...

Today we visited a lawyer and wrote new wills, including the Power of Attorney stuff. I'm finding this being practical really tough ... but I know we need to do this and my hope is that when the practical stuff is over, we will live a full and happy life!

In my dreams, life is as it was always going to be ... and now I have to work to get my awake mind feeling this way also! My hubby is being so strong and so positive ... I really don't know where he get's his goodness from!

I love him today, I loved him yesterday and I know I will love him even more tomorrow!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Visited our kids ...

Last weekend we both flew to be with our kids in Sydney.

Our daughter was having back surgery, so I was already booked to go over and spend time helping her. Now with the dreadful news we had just been given, we felt it was important for the four of us to be together, as this was a time of great sadness, but also of support for each other.

We had a sad but wonderful time together.

Our daughter's surgery went well and she's now joined us in South Aussie.

Our son had two days off work and didn't play or sing in any bands while we were visiting, so we were able to be together as much as possible.

Much grieving was started. Hard, but important.

Those words ...

Last week my hubby had his first post chemo/radiation appointment. It was worse than we could have imagined. The doc had to tell us that after six weeks of treatment, the tumour showed no improvement and was therefore inoperable. His advice to my hubby is to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, as his chances of survival are not good. He said that with the type of cancer he has, there's a survival rate of 20% at one year, and he wouldn't comment about after that.

He said the cancer will spread ... lungs, liver, kidney, bones etc.

To say we were both shattered, would be a massive understatement!

We're to continue seeing this doc at the end of each month.

What now ...
We're planning a trip home to New Zealand to visit family and friends. My hubby wants to fly business class.
We'll meeting with our real estate agent, as we think we'd be best to sell the house we're currently building.
We've cancelled our trip to Europe.
We're taking the Ghan to Darwin.
Hubby will go barramundi fishing in the Northern Territory.
... and any thing else that he wants to do.

We're both continuing to work ... but my hubby is only doing part days and having his second and third in charge, do much of the work. The directors of the company he runs have been excellent so far.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Week 150 - Adjustment 21 - Photos

June 2008 - 34 Months

How I prefer to bite ...
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How I should bite ...
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Left Side ...
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Right Side ...
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Left Side - Class I bite ...
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Right Side - Class III bite ...
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Monday, 23 June 2008

Week 150 - Adjustment 21 - continued

Two brackets moved
Ligs changed to purple

Two brackets moved. Ouch ... removing the bonding off the lower left second molar was nasty!
New powerchain. I was able to have my favourite grape coloured one, as my ortho won't use the heavy duty boring grey, due to two new brackets needing time to secure there bonding.

Movement ... not much.
My bite ... still slightly open. Class I on the left (how much do I love hearing that!), Class III on the right ... damn impacted canine gap!
Elastics 3/16" - continue wearing on the right side only - 23 hours a day! Change once a day.

We're still trying to work miracles! :-)

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Week 150 - Adjustment 21

I am soooooooo over the gap over my impacted canine!

The damn gap is holding up my progress ... and has been holding up my progress for over two years ... such a long time to be waiting for a gap to close.

I feel sorry for my ortho, as he keeps saying he's sorry that he can't do any more until the gap closes ... and I know this is correct ... but I need progress ... I need things to happen so I really can accept that my treatment will be over before I turn 100!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Adjustment 21

I have an adjustment this Thursday ... incredible, as I usually have three months or longer between appointments and this time it's not even a full four weeks!

I'm getting brackets moved on my top arch ... so here's to progress!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Sterling Homes

These people are incredible. We're paying them to build our house and yet they won't discuss anything with us now that the process has started.

I've been chatting to friends who're building with other large companies and it appears they're all the same once they start getting your money. So why don't we stop paying? Wouldn't we love to do that ... but what happens then ... we have a part built house that we've paid way in advance of what's been done ... including the things we didn't want done. To change now would mean loosing thousands ... tens of thousands of dollars ... and I'm guessing Sterling Homes and other builders like that, know they've got us caught between the rock and the hard place ... so they can continue to do what they do and that's build what they want and get paid to do it by someone else!

This is an extremely frustrating experience made worse coz my hubby is a builder by trade. Also due to our house being built next door to our current residence, we get to see what's happening every day. Plus we get to talk to the contractors working on our house and ask them questions. Most of their answers are direct and they don't have any issues telling us things as they see it.

Here's hoping the final product is up to the quality we expect and if we remain disappointed with Sterling Homes like we currently feel, that we can sell the house quickly and move on!

Friday, 30 May 2008

The Rainbow Bridge

We received a beautiful card from the Veterinary Practice where Milo was treated. With the card, came a copy of this beautiful poem.

Author unknown

Just this side of Heaven, before the Pearly Gates
Is a sunny meadow where your pets can rest and wait.
It's where the slanting sunshine meets the highest clouds,
A floating bridge of rainbows, so far above the ground.

This is where we wait for you, if we have gone before,
Just out of sight of mortals, just outside heaven's door;
Here we play in sunshine, frolic free from age or pain,
And anticipate the joyful time when we will meet again.

Every pet that's lived on Earth can bide his time, can wait,
For that special person to come walking to the Rainbow Gates,
And everyone who's loved a pet will find them safely here,
Frolicking on Rainbow Bridge till your own time draws near.

One day there comes a feeling, a trembling in the air,
And then we know it's time to run and come to meet you there,
Faster and faster on that day, across Rainbow Bridge we'll run,
To meet the humans we love best, come walking in the sun.

Alas my friend you cannot pass across Rainbow Bridge with me,
But when your time for glory comes, waiting for you I'll be -
Then together we will walk upon a path of glittering light,
No more to suffer, nor to part, but to live forever side by side.

Every pet that's lived on Earth can bide his time and wait
Until together with his person he goes through those Pearly Gates,
And everyone who's loved a pet, you'll find them waiting here,
Safe and sound on Rainbow Bridge till your own time draws near.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Week 147 - Adjustment 20

A quick adjustment. My orthodontist is concerned that my teeth aren't moving as they should be and wants my next appointment to be a longer one. He plans to change the placement of some brackets with the intention that this will help correct the necessary alignment.

Uppers - Ignored

Lowers - Strong grey powerchain replaced. Small gaps from the IPR (15 October 2007) still need to complete closing.

The hook on the lower left molar had come away from the base of the bracket. My ortho had no idea how this could happen. He removed the base of the bracket and cleaned the glue off my tooth ... no discomfort. He said he'd replace this at my longer appointment in June. Said it will be a good test to see how far the molar moves over the next three weeks. It's a second molar, that has moved into the place of an extracted first molar. I can tell it's already moved, but hopefully only a small amount. My orthodontist says the amount of movement a tooth like this gives, indicates what might happen when all brackets are removed and therefore indicates the type of retaining that may be needed.

I'm to continue wearing a class III elastic (3/16" elastics - red bag) on the right side - minimum of 23 hours a day, change once a day. Wear in a class III configuration - upper right first molar to lower canine. This is to continue closing the gap over my impacted upper right canine and help with my very crooked midlines. I have been wearing a class III elastic on the right since August 2006!

Next appointment - 19 June 2008.

Friday, 23 May 2008

European Holiday

We visited our travel agent today, after hubby's radiation treatment. We've filled in the forms to apply to our travel insurance company to delay our trip till 2009. Our Doc has filled out the medical form and now we need our agent to fill in the details regarding costs, what we've paid, and any differences that will need to be addressed due to the delay.

We're now looking at May 2009, as we don't want to travel at peak, but do want to try and get good weather. Our agent found that the cruise we want, left Rome this year on 10 May, so we're hoping the dates will be similar for 2009!

This gives my hubby plenty of time to recover and for both of us to become much fitter and able to cope with long days of walking ... as there's so many things we want to see while we're in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Milo died this morning ...

on blogger
on Blogger
on blogger

Our precious Milo ... aged 10 years, died this morning after being attacked by a dog while I was walking her on Monday.

The local veterinary clinic staff worked hard to save our sweetie and were shattered that she wasn't able to survive the huge op she had last night. Dr Fiona said, that a few minutes after she'd phoned this morning to say Milo had made it through the night, Milo took a turn for the worse. Dr Fiona stayed with Milo and stroked her fluffy ear, as she knew how much we loved her and she didn't want to leave her. Thank you so much Fiona and all the staff who worked with Milo!

We are shattered. Milo was one of those special friends who made it into the hearts of all who met her, especially those who didn't think they liked dogs.

She has left us with many wonderful memories and friends in Fiji, NSW, Queensland, South Australia and friends and family who've visited from New Zealand.

The world has lost a very special creature, but our lives are richer for the privilege of having Milo in them.

We will miss you our darling! Enjoy being with your special friend Otis, our ginger cat who died while we were living in Fiji!

Monday, 5 May 2008

Hubby's Treatment is going well

My hubby's team were so impressed at how well he was after the chemo drugs were underway, that on the Saturday they organised his first radiation. I drove him to St Andrew's, and it didn't take very long at all ... maybe 10 minutes, and I think the radiotherapy was only for 2-3 minutes of that. The longest part, is making sure he's in the correct position so that the machine does it's three zaps in the right places and misses the vital organs.

During the next week he had a nasal gastric tube inserted down his nose. First they tired it 'blind', but the tumour wouldn't let it past. Next they used the endoscope and the job was done correctly.

Hubby's not very happy about the NG tube, but they said it's better to put it in place now, than have to try and get it down if the tumour swells. Plus this is a better option than a PEG tube.

We were allowed home a few days later, with boxes of 'food' ... tins of jevity to put in the gravity fed bottles. Hubby is to use 1,800 mls a night in his feeding tube. Then during the day, he's to drink as much ensure plus, as he can. Plus he's allowed to try thicker liquids ... and he has successfully done this, including eating some mushy vegetables. Yah! The priority is not to loose weight.

He's had 10 radiotherapy sessions and is feeling good. He's definitely tired and lacks energy, but we're guessing that was the least we could expect. His weight loss appears to have slowed and although he's lost nearly 40 kilos, he's feeling good. Hubby's hair has started to become fine. He's always had very thick, wirey hair, and he now has soft 'run your fingers through' hair. The chemo nurse told us this would most likely happen ... wonder if he'll become a 'nude nut'.

Here's to the next 18 doses of radiotherapy and second round with the two chemo drugs going well. :-)

Friday, 18 April 2008

Chemotherapy has started

My hubby had his first doses of chemo today! It may sound strange, but we were both happy and relieved that this happened, as we so want this cancer removed, but first it has to be treated, to get it to shrink.

He had a PICC tube inserted on Wednesday and then was admitted to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as they want to watch his progress at the beginning of his treatment, as they're concerned his fluid intake may be compromised. Often tumours in the oesophagus can tighten during the early treatment and close the oesophagus. Here's hoping that doesn't happen.

The chemotherapy drugs he's having are ... 'The use of two chemotherapy drugs, Cisplatin and Fluorouracil. This is being used to treat oesophageal cancer. The chemotherapy is given at the same time as the radiotherapy (on the first week and again on the last week) as it helps to make the radiotherapy treatment more effective. The Cisplatin is given in the clinic each day for around 2 hours, for the first three days when you start radiotherapy and then again four weeks later, for another 3 days. The Fluorouracil is placed in a small pump and is given slowly into a vein 24 hours per day, for four days, on the first and fifth week of your treatment. To allow the fluorouracil to be given at home, it is usual to have a central line inserted into one of the veins of your arm. The pump that you take home is set by the nurses to give you the right amount of drug each day. The central line can stay in place for the whole of treatment.'

The Cisplatin was given over a two hour period and looked quite spooky, as the bag was covered with a black bag. Then he had some fluids to flush the vein, and next the Fluorouracil was attached. It's connected to a small pump, that will administer this drug slowly over the next two days. Think another pouch is then inserted for another two days ... making that four days in total.

On Monday hubby's to have his first radio therapy and I can drive him between the two hospitals, as he has to go to St Andrew's, since TQEH doesn't have a radiation machine.

My wish for my hubby is that everything goes well and he's released from hospital soon. I accept that for now ... this is the best place for him to be!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Photos of progress ...

I've been meaning to post pics taken after my last adjustment and also for the past two months ... but life just got way to busy.

Here's some comparisons. It looks like the gap over my impacted canine is continuing to close ... slowly ... but closing ... and that's good.

April 2008
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March 2008 ....... February 2008 ....... January 2008

My bite continues to feel real strange ... and I think this pic explains why. Remembering I had a class III bite until late last year ... now look ...
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This is how it looked in January 2008 ...

My open bite has improved, which is great news ...
April 2008
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March 2008 ....... February 2008 ....... August 2007

If you check out my April 2008 'front on' photo above, you'll see that there's still some gap left from the IPR work done on my lowers back in October 2007. The gaps are reducing ... just slowly.

I can't wait till all these gaps are gone on my upper and lower arches ... as I'm sure it will then be about correcting my bite and getting a date to get rid of these things! Bring it on!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 31 March 2008


Never get sick around a long weekend ... or at least that's what my hubby's medical team kept saying as we waited for the results.

Finally a week after the biopsy was done, the Dr came to tell us that unfortunately the tumor was cancerous. It's quite large and they recommend shrinking it before considering surgery. One positive, it's appears to be a primary tumor, which means there's no signs of tumors else where in his body. It's recommended that a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy be used to shrink the tumor, then surgery to remove it ... if that's what we want. The surgery for this type of tumor is huge! It requires two surgeons, one working from the abdomen and the other from the chest. They remove the tumor, then stretch the stomach and the oesophagus to meet each other.

We were told that we have to make all decisions, as that cannot be done for us. We will have all the options explained, but it's up to us if we do any or some of them.

It was way to much to take in ... but at least we had a diagnosis and for that we were grateful.

The following morning, when his medical team arrived, my hubby was told he could go home. I was with him, as I wanted to hear if there was any more that could be explained, but we were told that the Oncologist would have more answers and hopefully we'd have an appointment with that person next week.

So more waiting ... but at least my hubby is home! He's still on fluids only, and he's been making veggie soups, custard, jelly and drinking the ensure and enlive the hospital gave us to take with us.

Hopefully we'll see an Oncologist this week!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Humps along the way ...

My hubby (of 28 years) is unwell. He's been unwell for quite some time, maybe six months or more, but I guess we always thought he'd heal, with rest and love, like his hockey injuries used to. Unfortunately this isn't a hockey injury and over the past couple of months (and weeks) it did become more and more obvious that this time, rest and love alone was not going to heal the issues. He's also lost 38 kilos, seven of them in the past week. It's good for him to have lost weight, but not in this way, or at this speed.

He was finding eating difficult and in particular bread and meat became impossible to eat. Then any foods that weren't moist, or were doughy and soft, had to be ruled out. Over the last few weeks his choices became even fewer and while I was in Sydney last week, he finally was unable to keep fluids down. When I returned to Adelaide Airport last Sunday he appeared as pale as a ghost and looked run down, exhausted and most unwell.

On Monday the doctor sent him to hospital. He was 'fed' two bags of bloods and put on IV fluids. On Tuesday he had a Cat Scan and unfortunately a shadow was found around the lower part of his oesophagus and upper stomach. All other organs were clear, but he needs to go to a hospital in Adelaide.

On Wednesday I took him to Adelaide and he was checked into the QEH. Today he had an endoscopy and now we have to wait for the results.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Week 136 - Adjustment 19

12 March 2008

My orthodontist announced my left side is now Class I ... exciting! Unfortunately my right side is still Class III ... and the gap over my upper right impacted canine is still not closed, but it's gotten smaller!

  • To continue with class III elastic ( 3/16" elastics - red bag) on the right side - minimum of 23 hours a day, change once a day. Wear in a class III configuration - upper right first molar to lower canine.
  • No ligs changed (last change was 15 October 2007)

  • Strong powerchain removed
  • A new strong, 13 link, grey powerchain added across all lower teeth
  • There's still a small gap either side of my lower right central incisor. All other gaps have closed since I had the IPR.
I'm frustrated that gaps have reappeared between my upper centrals, only small. Plus a noticeably sized gap between my upper left central and upper left lateral. I didn't mention these, as at this time it's all about the gap over my impacted canine closing, so my right hand side can become class I.

Next appointment in 10 Weeks - 21 May 2008.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Heat Wave in South Australia

The last record heat wave was in 1934 – eight days in the mid 30’s. Today marked day nine of temperatures higher than the mid 30’s … a record heat wave for South Australia.

The weather forecast is for another week of these high temperatures.

Records are something that we usually celebrate, but due to the drought having continued for several years, this intense heat is something we don't need!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


It's my 19th adjustment tomorrow and I'm excited, as I've not seen my ortho since December. Unfortunately the gap over my impacted canine has not yet closed ... but there has been progress. This gap is frustrating, as it's taking soooooo long to close!

After my ortho appointment, my hubby is taking me to the airport, as I'm flying to Sydney. My hubby will join me on Friday. We're visiting our kids, who both live there. It's exciting, as our daughter has bought her first home, a town house in Plumpton, one of Sydney's western suburbs. We're staying with our daughter, and will see both kids as much is possible during the stay.

Our daughter is participating in the World's Greatest Shave, on Thursday, a fundraiser for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Then on Sunday, we fly back to Adelaide ... hopefully refreshed for work on Monday!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

House Plans

Here's the floor plans ...

Floor Plan

The front of our house is the left of this scan. It's a long ranch style house, with a simple arrangements of rooms. We've gone for a large open plan area through the centre, with hallways opening off either side. One end is my hubby and mine ... our bedroom, walkin robe and ensuite. The other end has three bedrooms, laundry, bathroom and toilet. Bedroom 2 ... the one by the front entrance, will be a therapy room, and will be decorated suitably for me to work with clients.

The room called 'Dine' ... with the double doors, will be an office. It's planned to be a 'versatile room', which means it can be a fifth bedroom, formal dining, or a 'whatever you' like room.

Our entertainment area will run from the back of the double carport, to between the laundry and toilet. Some will be covered and some not.

... we are still waiting for the the founds to be laid ... doing our best to be patient!

Here's a pic of how the finished house should look ...

House Look

The double carport has double auto doors, which adds to the length of the place, when looking at it from the road.


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