Now you can all sit back down.
I guess everyone has a story to tell, so here's a breif overview of mine so far. I was diagnosed at age 10 with Hereditary Glomerelo Nephritis, specifically Alports Syndrome. This effects renal (kidney) function and by the age of 22 I suffered end stage renal failure, meaning dialysis. I did that for 2 years (and met my wife) and then was offered a kidney by my sister. The transplant was successful for 7 years during which time we had our first child, now 8, but it then slowly rejected. Back onto dialysis again for about 4 years and having another child, then as luck would have it I was called into the hospital late one night for another chance. I grabbed it with both hands and have been trying to make the most of it ever since.
My son is 8 and my daughter is 4 next month.
Last November I was told that my liver function was declining. I was told to ease off the grog, but that's a bit hard whrn you're a non drinker. Tests followed early this year after a trip to the south to (successfully) climb Mt Kuskioszko and I was informed that I had Constrictive Pericarditis. This is calcification of the muscle that surrounds the heart and is a side effect of dialysis. At this stage thankfully I had slowed my heave boozing days (remember I don't drink) and my liver finction was looking better. An MRI and CT scans for the heart condition showed a shadow on my upper left lung, and .... wait for it ... that's what has led me here.
2 weeks ago I had a biopsy and was informed last week that I have small cell lung cancer, which may also be neuroendocrine carcinoma. During my heavy boozing days apparently I was smoking quite heavily. Oh, forgot to tell you , I never have smoked either. OK, there was this one time behind a feriends shed and if I recall, maybe I inhaled.
Today I met with the oncologist and it is fortunately (I think I can still use that term!) a slow growing type, so they are planning to attack it with chemo and radio starting Thursday. Surgery is not an option, apparently. Carboplatin and Etoposide are 2 names that I have scrawled on the notes from todays meeting. Research day tomorrow at work (while the boss isn't looking!)
I guess by now you might notice that I cope with all of this with humour. That's my out. I will probably just be a voyeur here rather than too much of a contributor, but I welcome emails from ppl who might want a chat or similar.
BTW, you may notice that I look fairly shagged i my avatar. I was the highest person in Australia with my feet on terra firma at the time that pic was taken.
Anyway thanks for the ear. Must log out, I don't want to miss my beauty sleep.
Yes humour is a great way of coping. Keep it up and hope the radiotherapy and chemo go well.
As we sail thru life, don't avoid rough waters, sail on because calm waters won't make a skillful sailor. Anonymous
Harker and Sailor - what will poor Coke think of you guys. He'll wonder whether he's logged onto a mad house . What associate cancer with humour?What next?
Hmmm, maybe he should join the writer's group - we're all a little mad are we not?
PS Welcome aboard Coke
Hope the chemo and radio went OK last Thursday and hope any side effects remain at bay. It’s been a while since I climbed Kosciusko, but here is a description of walking in Northern Victoria from the Bluff to Cobbler. All the places mentioned are mountains, apparently named by a bored survey team a hundred an fifty years ago. Rumour has it that the nearby mountains called The Governors, they originally named the Governors Balls. Somehow Mt Buggery stayed on the official maps. A group of us used to call ourselves the ‘mad buggers walking club’ and left a log-book in an army ammunition box on Mt Buggery - I wonder if it is still there. All of this, was of course, a long time BC.
From Sheepyard Flat to Buggery,
Is just a three day walk,
With packs and tracks and tents and gear
And friends with whom to talk.
We scale The Bluff and reach Bluff Hut
Fill in the log-book there
And camp the night and yarn away,
Camp fire, tall tales and much hot air.
Next day, pass Lovick and his hut,
Hells Window, Magdala and Big Hill.
Our goal tonight is Howitt and the Springs
There camp and stop with time to kill.
Cross Cut Saw and Buggery
Around the Terrible Hollow
Speculation, Viking and Despair
We leave until the morrow.
Then out the Wonnangatta track,
To Cobbler Lake and plateau
Past the Mount to waiting cars
Long drive, then dinner with Bordeaux.
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. John Lubbock
Hi Coke, I too hope that things went well.
Glad that you have retracted your earlier statement, Harker. I don't know whether they should have told you about the writer's group, they don't let you get away with anything.
Anyway, good luck with your "journey", and yes, humour is certainly the only way to go,
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.