Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Farewell to a beautiful warrior!

It is with a heavy heart that I write this blog.  At 4.30pm today a beautiful and brave warrior Steve who lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland lost his life to mesothelioma cancer.  He fought so hard and yet deadly asbestos got him too!   My heart goes out to his beautiful wife Gail who is now left to pick up the pieces of their life together without him.  This cancer takes the best and Steve was one of the best!

Today we went to the hospital in Melbourne for my picc line 'grease and oil change'.  Due to the Melbourne Cup holiday yesterday day chemo ward was very busy and we had to wait 1.5 hours for an available chair to sit in while the picc line was cleaned and dressed.   While waiting we went for a walk and had a coffee/green tea at a little cafe then came back and I spoke to a lady who was a 14 year survivor of non hodgkin's lymphoma cancer and as normal chemotherapy had stopped working she was paying for another form of chemotherapy that was not on the 'free list'.   Today was her first treatment at this hospital in day chemo ward so I was able to introduce her to all the nursing staff and make her feel welcome.  The cost of each treatment for her is $3,000 that she has to pay upfront and cannot claim any of it back, however as she said if it buys her more time and quality time then it is worth it.

While I was waiting for my picc dressing I was able to make contact with a guy Dante and his wife Joyce.  Dante has pleural mesothelioma and had just got his scan results - not very good news however his oncologist (mine as well) was changing his chemo regime and continuing with the treatment.  It was great to finally meet them and answer their questions.  While waiting in my chair with the picc line cover off and the nurse Lana had gone to sterilise her hands .... I leaned over to Joyce with my details on a Bernie Banton Foundation business card.  DISASTER!!!  My picc line came out!!!   A phone call to my oncologist and he said 'take it out completely as it is exposed to air'.  So out it came ... and chemo treatment is scheduled for next Tuesday ... and depending on whether my veins are okay for chemo or if I need another picc line inserted we will see on the day!  Maybe this explains why last week the nurses couldn't get blood from the picc line!!

Yesterday while working in the garden ..... very slowly from me ... as a tightening of my chest was happening after the lightest work and I would have to sit down to recover for a few minutes .... Keith was burning a pile of dead wood as the fire season approaches next month.   All was going to plan .... and the wood pile was almost out .... when bingo - it roared flames up into the air so high and jumped to another huge pile of wood that was dangerously near a huge gum tree.  K raced to get a hose and I raced to get a ladder to cut down branches from the gum tree that may have gotten alight.  After 2 hours the drama was over and we were both exhausted and grateful that it didn't spread further.

My heart is with Gail and Lisa.   May Steve and Tom be resting in peace.