Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oncology results and a day in the city of Melbourne

Last Friday I had my blood tests and saw my oncologist Dr Allan Zimet on Tuesday 25 March 2014 for results and the okay to fly to Washington for the annual ADAO Asbestos Conference.

Allan gave me the green light to fly with a letter to show Qantas airlines just in case they were to question my flying given that I have advanced mesothelioma.

My bloods were fine and I am to have a scan upon my return from America, then see Allan end of April for results.

I remember last year when I flew to the ADAO Asbestos Conference in Washington with Bernie Banton Foundation as I had to have a scan prior to going.  It was very much touch and go as to whether I would be able to fly due to pain and breathing difficulties at the time.  Luckily my appointment on the evening before we were due to fly out of Australia - my oncologist gave the okay to fly.   Thanks to my fellow friends of Bernie Banton Foundation I was able to have 3 seats together and lie down for most of the flight thereby easing the fluid buildup in my tummy/abdomen area and with the help of morphine based medication I was able to have a comfortable flight over and back.  Most of the times my breathing behaved itself although the smaller flights between Washington and New York caused a bit of concern however I MADE IT!  I spoke at the Conference.
This picture is of my wonderful oncologist Dr Allan Zimet and myself on 25 March in his rooms at John Fawkner Hospital, Melbourne.   What a good looking doctor!  No wonder I have been seeing him for all of these years!  Honestly it is thanks to Allan that I believe one of the main reasons why I am still here today and living well.  So thank you with all my heart!

Today I caught the express coach into the city of Melbourne as the train was delayed so a bus was used for the journey.  So much quicker down the freeway and into Southern Cross railway station.  A quick change to a metro train for one station and within 5 minutes I was at Flinders St station and walking across the Yarra River to the NGA (National Art Gallery) to catch up with my eldest daughter Jo and little grandkids Henry and Oliver for a couple of hours.  Below is Henry aged 4 climbing!

Having seen Jo and kids to their car in St Kilda Road, I walked back over the bridge into the city and went to my favourite hairdresser and stylist - Just Cuts, The Galleria, Cnr Bourke and Elizabeth St.  I love going there - staff are friendly, professional and I get a quick style cut within 20 minutes - no time consuming and exhausting sitting in the chair for an hour or so.  That is one of the things that I hate doing anymore since living with mesothelioma as I find it so exhausting.  No pictures for the moment!  Lisa at Just Cuts mentioned that anyone who has been touched by any cancer and needed to have a wig, they are only to pleased to 'shave' their head in a private and comfortable room for free!

I walked up Bourke St to Southern Cross station and caught the V line country train home.  Part of the walk was slight uphill and I found myself a little short of breath however I just walked through it!
When I do come into the city via train, I try to walk everywhere including taking the many stairs at the stations rather than the lift or escalator as many other passengers do not even hesitate to do!   The train takes just over an hour and is a nice modern and comfortable service with actual conductors on the train.  So if anyone misbehaves then they are soon put in their place and sometimes put off the train! 

I have a photographer coming at 9am tomorrow morning for a newspaper photo and a phone interview just after.  I guess that I need to tidy quickly the house up inside as I think this lovely rain we are now experiencing will keep happening so a photo inside might be the go this time rather than outside!

6 sleeps until we leave for Washington - more on this in my next blog!

Our beautiful young and brave warrior Michael who is only 29 years with deadly mesothelioma in America is not doing too well.  My heart goes out to him and his mum. His mum and myself were messaging at 4am last night her time.  She was beside herself seeing him in a foetal position on the floor in so much pain and there was absolutely nothing that she could do except give him love and support.

A beautiful girlfriend and dear friend on the Gold Coast, Queensland has just been to Sydney and had intensive radiation seeds straight into her liver.  She is back home now and not doing to well - I hope her pain can be regulated fast.  She is such a brave and gutsy lady!

Life is not fair at times.  My saying is live in the moment and let the universe take care of the big picture.  Similar to what my oncologist and myself say - When something presents itself then we deal with it ... . 

I believe that is what has gotten me through so much over the years living with mesothelioma!

So more on my trip to Washington in the next blog!