Wednesday, 23 September 2009


I was meant to have another dose of intrathecal chemo today, but my white blood count was too low, so no-can-do. In addition they have taken me off all the chemo tablets - except the steroids.

In addition, addition, I have started a course of antibiotics to try and fix my cold and hacking cough.

I go back in a fortnight to see if I’ve improved enough for further treatment.

But otherwise I feel just fine - although rather tired with all the coughing and poor sleep. Appetite is rather lacking, but I'm not suffering any pain and currently am not on any painkillers.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Best flags in the world

Yes I'm showing off again - just had confirmation that Julia managed to set two new records in the 9-11 year olds in both the 50m sprint and long-jump.

But another reason for the photo is to show the three best flags in the world, all in one place. The maple leaf and the rising sun are beautiful symbols that the world recognise and admire. The silver fern is equally beautiful and loved by Kiwis. The most vigorous trading of uniforms at the Transplant Games was between the Canadians and New Zealanders - we appreciate good style when we see it.

My dying wish* for my country is that we dump the current flag that no-one really likes (or uses) and replace it with the Silver Fern that everyone likes and more importantly, everyone uses. It is the flag every Kiwi athlete grabs when they win, the flag every backpacker stitches to their pack, the flag the world recognises, admires and coverts. It is this recognition that will also make the transition from our confusing Ozzie-like flag incredibly easy and above all incredibly cheap (watch the trough feeders squeal about that). No PR hacks need be involved, no designers employed to come up with some ugly creation (South African flag springs to mind), and above all no need for bureaucrats, Maori and whiny white liberals to stuff it all up, because they too like the silver fern.

* I do have other wishes but it appears that the non-productive, welfare mentality is here to stay and is why this country best embrace the diary industry rather than hampering it, because that's all you've really got. All other commodities will be stuck in the ground for ever. But no need to worry about your kids, they'll find work ... overseas.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Mid-month Bloggers Bash - Update

There is a impromptu mid-month Bloggers Bash at Galbraiths. David Farrar from Kiwiblog and other bloggers from Wellington are in town and want to catch up with the Auckland bloggers. Kick off is 5.30pm this Thursday the 17th.

Update: What a night - never seen so many people. Unfortunately I was rather tired so didn't last the whole evening, but glad I turned up. Thanks everyone for making the effort - great to meet you.

Saturday, 12 September 2009


I know the Labtests contract was a controversial decision. Personally I could never figure out why you would replace one monopoly with another. If you truly wanted to keep costs down then surely a competitive system makes more sense. But maybe I don't understand the complexities of the situation.

Anyway, I was happy to give Labtests the benefit of the doubt, and headed off on Monday to have my first sample taken. Speed to process me was a little slow, but every business needs time to settle in, so I wasn't worried. The collection technician was a lovely lady and didn't freak out with my difficult veins - double bonus.

However, the sample was taken on Monday and needed for treatment assessment on Wednesday (I decided to give them an extra day just in case). Diagnostic Med Lab would usually have it with my Doctor that afternoon or at the latest the next morning. It's Saturday today and I still don't have results.

This means I can no longer use Labtests for my tests - one way to decrease the queues I suppose. Now I have to go in an hour early for each chemo treatment so the overworked nurses can take the sample and give it to the hospital labs. I then sit around for an hour taking up space waiting to see if chemo will be administered.

For the system to work as it should, will not just require them to double their speed, but increase it six-fold. Can't see it happening.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Sniffy update

I saw the Doctor on Wednesday, to have confirmed what I was expecting, that we have kind of come to the end of any real treatment options. Can't have any more Radiation Therapy, so the tumours that remain and new ones will just be. Basically the Intrathecal and PEP-C chemo that I started this week will hopefully slow the cancer growth some and give me as much extra time as possible. On day three of the PEP-C and I seem to be tolerating it well - only slightly nauseous, only 27 days to go. The Intrathecal will probably create ulcers in my mouth, so will probably stop these weekly injections at that point.

The lovely Hospice Nurse is coming over next week to start discussing pain management and palliative care. Going to beg, borrow or steal one of the those lovely lazy boy chairs to recline on and enjoy MySky. But not at that stage yet, feeling remarkably good at the moment and look deceptively healthy. My cold has dissipated and I seem to be have the cough under control - although god my ribs hurt.

So, for the third time, I start the process of getting 'my affairs in order'. It seems no matter how much you try there's always something outstanding, but I've discovered that I just can't make it perfect.

So off to the movies this afternoon and will be ordering the works - popcorn, icecream and Snifters - damn no Snifters! My work here can never be done :o(

Friday, 4 September 2009


Just finished my 10th Radiation Therapy this morning. See Doctor on Wednesday to discuss next treatment(s). Steriods have really kicked in now, so turning into Michelan Man again. Feeling fine.

I watched 'District 9' this week. Really it deserves an Oscar for best film and best actor - never seen anything like this before - fantastic.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

She's a winner!

3 Golds
1 Silver

Just like Usaine Bolt, Julia just ran down the track in an effortless style and won - very cool.

Tennis - Gold
Swimming - Silver
Running - Gold
Long jump - Gold

It was a fun time in Brisbane, nice and hot, probably a little too hot for the athletes. Great team was the
NZ Transplant Team along with the supporters (see below). NZ pulled together 30 medals, 14 of them Gold.

World Transplant Games Federation has been holding international sporting events for transplant athletes for 20 years. This shows how successful transplant surgery truly is and at the same time it raises awareness of the need to increase organ and tissue (bone marrow included) donation.