Sunday, November 8, 2009

Losing Oneself..

I am so excited!

It is interesting to be sitting here, knowing that thoughts have been rushing through my head for hours, as I contemplate this Post. It has been some time since I felt like this.

I had mentioned in my previous Post that the journey has been arduous. Why is it that when 'The King' has done so much for me over the months I feel like I am losing myself. There is the expectation that dinner will be served at the usual time and the house will be run as efficiently as it has in the past. I have completely lost the desire to be chief cook and bottle washer.

I am feeling that somewhere along the road, I have sacrificed myself. I hear Jeremy's words in my head. It was at the time of my breast cancer diagnosis and he told me that he would have to leave home as I did everything for him. He informed me that, if I learned to do it for myself, I would be alright. I am wondering if I have failed hopelessly, or if there is still time to learn to do things differently. Should it be the latter, where do I start?

I am feeling that 'The King' controls my life. I have learned that it is not good for our relationship to be together 24/7. I certainly appreciate the fact that he has, so willingly, driven me to appointments during my treatment.

We have one television at the farm and I have never been asked if there is a programme that I might like to watch. 'The King' controls the controls. The house has open plan living [not recommended with industrial deafness.] At times, it seems there is nowhere to go....

My lymphoedema is particularly bad, making typing and writing even more difficult. My fingers have become so dyslexic that I constantly touch extra keys. Proof reading is very important.

Living at the farm, in isolation, unable to drive the distance to Newcastle from Vacy, I ask myself how I can learn to make MY LIFE a priority and take better care of myself. This is absolutely essential if I am to live long enough to find my life purpose.

In saying all of this, I am grateful to have access to Tai Chi and yoga classes, which provide friendship and exercise, at a very reasonable rate. It is fair to say that Donna is by far the best yoga teacher I have encountered. It is not all bad at Vacy...

I believe the next three months could possibly be the most important of my life. This month I have Jeremy's birthday and Angel Date coming up. Once through that, I know that Christmas, followed by my birthday, is a very emotional time.

I believe the underlying problem is that I would never leave my child an orphan; my reason for living. How do I learn to live for myself?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Living with Loss

It has been too long! At last I feel well enough to begin writing once again.

I use the view from the farm house to meditate and reflect. The days are beautiful! We have had very little rain over the past months and yet the early morning mist still settles in the valleys. I love it!

I made the decision to do a quick Post after checking my Comments for the first time in months. Debby noted that she was to undergo a PET Scan. I decided to check her Blog, which resulted in this attempt.

The return of my cancer in the same breast has had ramifications leaving me to reflect on the loss in my life.

I was 12 the year my Father was taken from me in an horrific accident. He was travelling to work and the vehicle in which he was a passenger was hit by a train at a level crossing.

In 1965, just 5 years after my father's passing, I gave birth to a baby girl. As an unmarried mother, I had no way of supporting myself, let alone my beautiful baby girl. My daughter Carla was given up for adoption.

I suspect that these experiences strengthened me. Fortunately I had no idea of what lay ahead of me.

My life remained relatively normal until 1994 when my much loved husband of 27 years lost his long fought battle with cancer.

In December 2005 I had a mastectomy [after battling cancer in that breast from 2002]

I felt very much that the loss of my breast was another blow. At no time had I sought help to deal with my emotions, although I did find Prayer Counselling very useful.

The early months of 2006 were spent travelling to and from Dubbo; my Mother's health was failing. Mum died in October 2006.

There was no time to mourn her passing as my beloved youngest son Jeremy Jon was tragically killed in an horrific motor vehicle accident just weeks later. No mother ever expects to lose a child in her lifetime. A piece of me died with Jezz; my bleeding heart attempting to live with the loss.

The confirmation that my breast cancer had returned in April of this year meant my life was thrown into turmoil. I was taking Oxycontin for pain relief. It was actually a relief in some ways to find that there was a reason for the unbearable pain that had become my constant companion.

The cancer was back and actively destroying nerves and muscles; it had spread to the brachial plexus. [If you are not familiar with the brachial plexus, it is worth doing a quick search on the web.]

I was told the cancer is inoperable and incurable. Radiation the only form of treatment that would give me another chance at life.

The treatments presented no problems, although the radiation burns were very painful. It appears to have worked well on reducing the pain as I have been able to reduce my pain medication considerably.

Unfortunately, I completely lost the use of my right arm and hand. This was initially very confronting as it is my dominant hand. As I battle daily with the exercises to improve strength and fine motor skills, I have learned to accept that this is yet another loss that I must learn to live with.

There have been many tears shed as well as frustration at every turn. I have lost the desire to eat and the fatigue has almost beaten me on occasions. I have been unable to drive, due to the fatigue, and I feel that I have been imprisoned at the farm. Each time I leave the farm it is with Haydn behind the wheel and me in the passenger seat. I have missed my social outings and contact with girlfriends. Actually, it is fair to say I have missed my contact with friends, as this has meant that my blogging friends were also put on hold.

As you can see, there are times that I have felt like I have given up so much. Guess that is what has lead me to write about the loss in my life; I know your comments will educate and inspire me.

It feels good to be back.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Update

I cannot help but notice how much more difficult writing has become with the increased dosage of Oxycontin/Oxynorm used to reduce my pain levels. It has been nine agonising months since I began to feel the pain in the right shoulder and arm. It seems that, at last, we are closer to finding the cause, and the solution, to the pain that has kept me away from the keyboard and the very people that brighten my sometimes dark days. I have missed you all and look forward to resuming regular entries.

Reflecting on the period since my mastectomy in December 2005 I seem to be getting a clear picture. Shortly after my surgery Haydn and I found ourselves travelling frequently to Dubbo to spend time with my elderly Mother who was experiencing severe abdominal pain and was not at all well. Mum died several weeks prior to the accident that took the life of my youngest son in November 2006.

In June 2007 I found myself with another breast lump. I was not surprised! Although I sought medical advice, and the lump was monitored, I now realise that I did not see a future for myself. My will to live was simply not 100%. Fortunately, with time, my body, mind and spirit has undergone enormous healing, and I am, once again, doing battle to give me back my life.

Looking at my reports I see that I have had several CT scans and one bone scan over the past months. I am still unsure why nothing was done however, I believe we are now close to finding the solution that will soon see me pain free. Could it simply have been that I was not ready for the fight?

In February my regular GP returned from an extended break. At the time of my consultation, I presented with pain in the arm and limited usage plus a loss of strength. There was also the problem of pins and needles in the three middle fingers I had been prescribed morphine in January by another doctor in the practice. My doctor recommended an MRI. Our Medicare system meant that he was unable to requisition it as it could only be done by a specialist. Firstly there would be a process of elimination.

Thankfully, my condition is now been treated as urgent. Appointments have been moved and changed and my MRI was done Tuesday. Yesterday I returned to Dr Katekar to be told that there appears to be a local recurrence. The pictures are consistent with metastatic infiltration of the right thoracic outlet, including muscles and the nerves of the brachial plexus. Ouch! No wonder the pain is agonising. In simple language, it seems that there is active cancer in the nerves.

I am to see my GP on Monday. Hopefully, he will have set up an appointment with an oncologist at the Mater Hospital (getting closer to that elusive cup of coffee Lisa.) Dr Katekar made it clear that he in not an oncologist but did suggest that I will possibly be given radiotherapy to reduce the size of the tumour and to kill the active cancer in the nerves. Bingo! The pain will then be reduced and so too, the need for morphine.

It seems that a tremendous load has been lifted. I am encouraged by the scans which show there is still only one tumour. It has not increased in size although there is an abundance of fluid and swelling in that area. I am optimistic that, reducing the tumour size slightly, will allow me to co-operate fully with my body's own self-healing mechanisms as the radiotherapy does its work.

Today I give thanks, knowing that this is a good outcome. Our prayers have been answered!

I am grateful for your friendship and your loyalty and feel excited at the prospect of, once more, becoming a regular contributor and follower.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Finding Joy in the Garden

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
—Eleanor Roosevelt
Today became a day of reflection and contemplation as I began the wait for the appointment for the MRI knowing that it would determine the path ahead.
Haydn and I went to the Maitland markets; we know that Autumn is the perfect time to plant. On our arrival home I walked into the garden and snapped a few pics for this post while Haydn got the ride on mower out.
Even using the camera is difficult at this time. I pray that it is nothing more than the Carpal Tunnel that is causing the problem. Not having use of the three fingers on my right hand can be challenging.

The small green tree frog has made a home on the leaf the frangipani. We were given two frangipani plants by Mick, a tenant in one of the industrial sheds in Haydn's complex.
This Allamanda Cherry Ripe survived sheer neglect after the sale of our home in Charlestown. We lived in a colourbond at the factory for 18 months while waiting for the house at the farm to progress to the point it was habitable.

Two weeks ago we went to the Vacy Village Country Fair and bought this apricot Chinese Lantern from the CWA lady. It was reasonably priced and funds raised went to the CWA. It is nothing more than a stick and now has almost one dozen flowers


The colour in this picture does not do it justice. This magnificent magenta Buddleja davidii or Butterfly Bush attracts the most amazing butterflies to the garden for about 9 months of the year.


This Euphorbia Diamond Frost was planted in November when we undertook the transformation of the bush garden in memory of Jeremy. The flowers are like millions of tiny butterflies and it flowers all year round.


Purple Fountain grass surrounding the frog pond in the bush garden.


The magnificent flower of the Gordonia Axillaris.



Love the delicate flower of the Grevillea Orange Marmalade.



This lavender Butterfly Bush is in the bush garden and flowers almost all year round. The plant was bought for $1 at the markets in Lakes Entrance when we went to Victoria for the butterfly Release on the first anniversary of Jeremy's accident.

This is the lemon miniature Chinese Lantern bought also for $1 at the markets in Lakes Entrance. It has not stopped flowering.


First flowers on my Protea Pink Ice.


Once again, the colour of the flowers on this Butterfly Bush are so much so much prettier than the picture shows.
The intention of the garden is to provide a natural and safe habitat for birds, butterflies and animals.
I certainly felt at peace with the world when I came indoors and decided that sharing it with you would bring even more joy.
Wishing you all love, light and laughter.












Thursday, April 2, 2009

Is there light at the end of this tunnel?



Kookaburra picture courtesy of Wikipedia

On Thursday of last week I sat in the office of my GP feeling worn out and tired. My spirits lifted when I learned that my doctor was doing a Letter of Referral to Dr Michael Katekar. Dr Katekar, a Consultant Neurologist, had me admitted to hospital in 1998 where it was determined that I had a mass abutting the right hand side of the pelvic wall. The mass was irritating the obturator nerve causing severe neuralgic pain. At one point I was taking over 150 mgs a day of oral morphine.
Dr Desouza explained that he would fax the Referral to Dr Katekar who would determine the degree of urgency and have his receptionist phone me with appointment details. Silly me! I expected to hear from them immediately; I sat by the phone. On Monday morning, after yet another sleepless night, I felt the need to take some responsibility. I phoned Dr Katekar's surgery. My enquiry drew a blank although I did receive confirmation that my name was there. Patience needed here.
On Wednesday evening I stood outside, taking in the beauty of the countryside, and the freshness of the air after 175 ml of rain which had bucketed down in just 48 hours. Enjoying the stillness, I smiled when I heard the call of the kookaburra, observing that the sound had come from the meter box beside the house.
I immediately took my copy of Animal Dreaming to a quiet spot where I read what Scott Alexander King had to say about the symbolic and spiritual language of the Australian Kookaburra.
The message is clear; time is right for me to take responsibility for my own healing, including the release of pent-up pain, confusion and resentment which could be very confronting. There is an alternative to this internal suffering. Kookaburra is calling for me to probe deeper than the superficial laughter, to awaken to my inner truth and the dawning of a new day. Kookaburra is Spirits way of restoring faith in my quest for personal healing.
I was not at all surprised to find the following morning there was a phone call from Dr Katekar's office to say that an appointment had been made for 9.45am this morning, Friday 3 April.
The nerve conduction study clearly showed the severe damage to the nerves in the wrist. Ah! Ah! Carpal Tunnel explains the pins and needles, loss of strength and problems with the three middle fingers on the right hand.
And there's more. Dr Katekar then began sticking needles into my arm, turning the dial to increase the nerve stimulation. Help! I have been conditioned never to allow anyone to put needles into my lymphoedema arm post mastectomy. My paranoia now apparent as I began to breathe deeply, knowing that my priority is to find the reason for this pain that keeps me awake at nights, away from my friends and requiring regular morphine just to get out of bed each day.
Dr Katekar quickly pointed out that there appeared to be another problem. The index and little finger on the right hand behaving differently to those on the left hand. He recommended an MRI of the cervical spine and brachial plexus, pointing out that he was obliged to tell me that there is possibly a recurrence of the breast cancer in the axillary region.
At best, there could be a simple problem in the nexk. At worst, the lumps that have appeared above the original incision could be a recurrence.
I acknowledged his comment understanding only too well that the journey continues.
I phoned Hunter Imaging to make the appointment and learned that Dr Katekar had already made contact. He apparently explained that the test was a matter of urgency. Earliest available appointments were 6th and 7th May! The receptionist was delightful and said that they would look at rearranging some appointment to get me in ASAP.
Once again, I am bemused to learn that the appointments are made for consecutive days as Medicare will not pay if they are done on the same day. No problem! Do we care that it is 180 km round trip for us to make our way to Cardiff and return which means Haydn giving up his days also as I do not drive while taking the 40 mg of Oxycontin night and morning.
Life goes on..






Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where to Now?


I am finding life extremely difficult at the moment; miss you all so much as I search for answers. Rest is high on my list of priorities right now.
My pain levels increased over the weekend to the point that Haydn drove me to Greenhills shopping centre on Sunday afternoon to pick up a prescription for Endone. I knew that it could not wait until Tuesday when I was scheduled to keep an appointment with Nancy Evelyn herbalist extraordinaire.
I awoke at 1am Monday morning literally screaming in agony. At 8am I was on the phone to my doctor's surgery begging for an appointment. Haydn was happy to drive as there is no way that I was up to it. After 1 hour and 20 minutes I found myself pacing the floor as I waited for my 10.45am appointment.
Dr Mark Desouza was excellent. He asked about the steroid injection into the bursa that he had requested on my last visit and I said that there was a two week wait at Newcastle Radiology. I like to go to that particular practice as they bulk bill me as an oncology patient. Mark's concern was obvious; he immediately called Hunter Radiology, successfully arranging an afternoon appointment.
Dr Chan looked at the ultrasound, we had a lengthy discussion on the safety of injecting into my lymphoedema arm and I decided that it was worth it. I am aware that there are risks with taking the amount of Oxycontin that I consume each day and decided that I am damned if I do and damned if I don't. Anything to take away the pain.
I took the time on Sunday afternoon to e-mail Dr Fluhrer in Sydney, asking for his valued opinion. I am still waiting for a reply. He will charge $55 to my credit card when he eventually gets around to responding. In the meantime, I consider my situation is to be treated with the utmost urgency.
Thankfully I slept soundly on Monday night as was very excited to find that it was 5am when I awoke. Unfortunately, it did not last! Once again I was screaming and unable to function as the pain was debilitating. Haydn helped me pack a bag for hospital as I was convinced that was the only safe place for me. I have been going through this for the past 8 months and, at times, feel completely worn out.
My first appointment for the day was with my herbalist Nancy at Nancy Evelyn & Associates. I was a complete mess when I arrived. On looking into the iris she decided that there was inflammation above the elbow on the right arm and that there was little she could do for me. She suggested Bowen Therapy. Daphne Templeton, the resident Bowen Therapist had not arrived at the practice. Nancy phoned her home and explained the problem, Daphne was happy to come in immediately as she lived reasonably close.
Daphne suggested that my condition is a classic case of post mastectomy lymphoedema, made worse by the removal of a melanoma above the elbow on the same arm in 1996. There are pockets of lymph collecting in several places. She did amazing work! I could feel the lymph begin to flow although I found the treatment very painful. An appointment was made for Tuesday of next week and I was instructed to put washing crystals into a pillow case and wrap it around the area leaving it for two hours. I did that last night and eventually had to remove it as the drawing action was too intense for me to bear. Once off, I could not believe how wet it all was. No doubt it was very effective!
These two angels gave freely of their time; no charge for the consultations.
It was then off to the doctor. I explained about the pain that I had endured on waking and, once again he managed to get me an appointmen at Hunter Radiology for a CT Scan of the neck. I was to be there at 2pm. I have no strength in the middle three fingers of the right hand, also tingling and loss of sensation. Mark is thinking that it is possibly coming from the area in the neck between C6 and T2. Praying that the CT Scan will give some indication.
My medication was changed. I am now to take 40 mg Oxycontin night and morning with 10mg Oxynorm for breakthrough pain. This can be taken each two hours. All well and good. I may be pain free but can I function normally?
Today was a good day. I remained almost pain free and will ring first thing tomorrow morning to see Mark for the results of the CT Scan. Hopefully, we will know tomorrow where we go from here.
In the meantime, I had suggested to Nat - http://easygivingheart101.blogspot.com/ that I believed Jeremy had a message for me and was unable to get through the pain to give it to me. I was hoping it would come to her as they have done in the past.
I was excited to find in my Inbox this morning the following from Nat;
'The heart of the matter is that you have a Mother's heart. You feel that as a mother you have failed because you did not keep your son alive. Keep him safe; keep him well. You channel all your energy into elevating him, glorifying him. But he has been glorified. He has been exalted on high. You need only love and remember him, you do not have to carry him and lift him up. It is time to lift yourself.'
Nat went on to say that it is time to lift my own heart up. Time to live fully for myself. I did not lose half of myself when I lost my beloved son Jeremy.
I found the message very powerful. As you can imagine I am overjoyed that Jezz continues to get through to me in his loving way.
Know this has been long. I congratulate you if you have managed to get to the end. It is important for me to keep this as my own record especially as I am unable to write in my Diary currently with the problem with the nerves in my arm and hand.
Tomorrow, I will see Dr Desouza, yet again, for the results of the CT Scan. Praying that there is a simple solution, nothing more than a bereaved mother that bottled her grief to the point that the pain was expressed physically. I am asking for a miracle!
Please pray for me and may your days be filled with love, light and laughter.
It would also be useful if someone could help me with formatting. How do I manage to get double spacing when the Post is published? I do double spacing, always in the draft, and yet it is all bunched up and difficult to read when published. Help! Please...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Following Right On



Thankfully it is Friday! I have not forgotten the love and friendship that filled the Comments on my last Post and will certainly respond later in the day. This has been a tough week in many ways, although there is no doubt in my mind that it has shown me one of the many reasons I love to blog.

I do hope you can feel the love and appreciation that is coming your way in gratitude. May God Bless you and keep you strong.

A quick update for those of you interested in Ness' progress. Chemo was due to begin this week. I was contemplating a suitable gift to send her, knowing how difficult the journey is, especially for someone just 32 years of age. I carefully chose a beautiful blue Swarovoski butterfly from my own collection rather than buying her something new. As the name Vanessa means butterfly, I had the feeling it was just perfefct.

My relationship with Haydn!!
Haydn did apologise and has said that he will make a real effort. I accept that he will do his best! My stepdaughter Claire tells people that 'Dad duped Cheryl!' She has always said that he became a different person from when we met until we walked down the isle. He then reverted to his former self! Interesting observation!
Unfortunately, Hayd seems to think that had we not had the many dramas that have plagued our time together his life would be different maybe even perfect! Somehow, I struggle with that concept, although there are times that I feel our relationship has not had a chance. To me, life is what I chose to make it. Maybe that is why I am so good at playing 'mind' games with myself.

I was smiling reflecting on Lisa's Post and the media in our lives. Do we or do we not watch television and read the newspapers? Personally, I choose to watch a couple of programmes that inspire me and sit comfortably with my belief system. It seemsHaydn has become very negative since retiring. Watching TV from 4pm until bedtime at 8pm tells me that is not what I want for myself. He states frequently that Melbourne Bitter (beer) is his 'best' friend. Is that sad or what?

Only time will tell whether or not our relationship survives this. At least there is open discussion.

Saw Dr Desouza yesterday. He provided a request for a steroid injection into the bursa using ultrasound for accuracy. First available appointment is 2 April. He does feel that maybe the doctors had been looking for something complex while, just maybe, it is a couple of simple things. Let's hope he is right! I am mindful of Jeremy's message! I have to want to live!!!!

In the meantime, I have decided that there are risks involved with taking the Oxycontin and Endone at the rate that I gobble them up so I have now made the decision to seek the help of an acupuncturist. It seems I have nothing to lose except my pain.

During the 2 week wait I will seek out the services of a physiotherapist as well as the acupuncturist.

I do have Haydn's full support on both. That is great news!

Until next time my friends... live life to the full and may each day be filled with love and laughter

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March Mayhem


Today has been a sad day!
I have always made an effort to keep the close personal 'stuff' off these pages believing that my writing is to be an 'inspiration' for future generations. A way to get to know me when I am no longer able to be part of their lives.
Today I have reason to reflect on the month of March.
14 March 1994
Raymond John Radford beloved husband and father passed to Eternal Life
18 March 1942
Raymond John Radford born to this life
21 March
Leigh, to become wife to Haydn was born
31 March 1996
Leigh passed in tragic circumstances
31 March
Haydn's Birthday
March 2003
Cheryl diagnosed with breast cancer
Seems that since marrying Haydn in 1996 March has been one month that we like to put behind us.
Was I surprised to find today that I was practically given my marching orders? Probably not! It has been brewing for some time. It seems that I am guilty of making 'bad' choices regarding my health. How do I know that all of the supplements that I take work?
Probably good to do a quick brief. At the time of my diagnosis I made the decision to choose complimentary and alternate therapies believing that my own healing system was capable of healing me. Having had a melanoma I was not prepared to undergo a biopsy in the belief that if there were melanoma cells in the breast lump then it could easily be spread. Melanoma is insidious! I had no intention of dying and leaving my youngest son an orpan.
Finding that my step daughter lied to me about her eating disorder caused me enormous stress. It may have been less had I not discovered bags of vomit in her bedroom! I am not sure that I have ever learned to handle stress without it taking its toll. My cancer returned in 2005 and I underwent a mastectomy.
At the time I said 'thank you' but 'NO thank you' to both chemo and radiotherapy. I was either very brave or very stupid. The jury is still out on that one!
OK I must admit that behind the unrest is a reading from a psychic who said that I would marry again after meeting the man of my dreams. I thought nothing of it at the time or I would never have allowed Haydn to read the notes. Haydn has been stewing over it ever since.
Today I was informed that there is nothing between us, that we have grown further apart. As only Haydn can, I was brutally told that any fool could see that being on the computer was responsible for both the thrombosis and the pain that now turns out to be bursitis.
Let me offer by way of explanation that Haydn's first wife Leigh suffered from mental illness and spent many years seeking help for the pain that the doctors could find no cause for. It was certainly real to her. She was almost bedridden for extended periods of time.
As Haydn has watched me suffer for the past 8 months it has brought back memories that he would like to forget. I have been accused of being 'different!' I am wondering why that is such a difficult thing to accept.
I remember Haydn standing beside me at the time of my breast cancer diagnosis in 2003 saying 'This is our journey'
Now I am faced with the knowledge that his almost 13 years with me feels like an extension of the 30 he had with his late wife. He wanted someone that has been happily married. I put up my hand! What he got was more of the same.
My grief - the loss of my beloved child - plus 8 months of pain has seen the physical side of our relationship change. God forbid he even mentioned going to a brothel. Sounds pretty desperate to me.
Throughout the sermon there was not talk of the two legal battles that have taken place over the past few years. The solicitor -chosen by Haydn - that employed secretaries, incapable of producing letters without errors. Haydn and I were left to either write the letters, or proof read and do corrections, prior to the letters leaving the solicitors office. This is coming from two people that left school at 14 to join the workforce.
Then the house was sold in February 2008 with a planned retirement in June of that year. Haydn's partner in the Company put a stop on the Trading Account in June knowing that it was the end of the financial year. Another legal battle which has only just ended and has cost many thousands of dollars.
While the battle raged we lived in a colourbond shed at the factory. I cooked for 18 months on a camp oven in an industrial shed.
The timing of our retirement was slightly off with a huge decrease in Haydn's asset base. Like many others he has lost a lot of money on the share market.
So my dear friends I do hope you can make sense of this. I am not sure I can as I contemplate my future.
I have just realised that I am still having problems with formatting. In particular the spacing is not as I want it to be however tonight is not the night to worry about it. Hope the reading is not too difficult.
Live life, laugh and love always xo

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One Step Foreward

Guess it is about three weeks since I gave up my regular habit of being on the computer blogging, lighting candles on Memory-of sites and emailing near and distant friends. It was August 2008 that the debilitating pain in my right shoulder and arm began. I have been taking Oxycontin and Endone since the beginning of January. There is never a time that I am completely pain free.

An ultrasound yesterday confirmed that I do have very pronounced bursitis of the right shoulder. It seems that there could be another problem as it appears that the tingling and numbness in the three middle fingers of that hand is not related to the bursitis.

I will be seeing my doctor on Thursday for confirmation and treatment options. The length of time taken to diagnose the problem could, in fact, mean that choices for treatment are limited. Too late for simple steps like rest ice and elevation although I have been doing that for the past three weeks.

An injection of coirticosteroid drugs into the bursa, under ultrasound is often recommended. Given that I have lymphoedema in that arm there are risks involved with needles into the lymphoedema arm. At the time of the mastectomy the instructions were very clear. Any activity that involves the risk of broken skin leading to infection and possible cellulitis is to be avoided.

Yesterday while waiting in the doctor's rooms I sat next to a patient that was coughing and spluttering. I immediately thought of whooping cough - without the whoop, or even pneumonia. After dinner I became aware that I had a sore throat. Being me, I decided to gargle with my Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) and even took a dose, not taking into account that it could see the morphine in my body as a foreign substance and knock it right out. That done, I found myself in extreme pain, which is not being controlled by the 20mg of Oxycontin which I currently take night and morning.

A very valuable lesson; I am paying the price.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another Tragic Accident

Damian and Jascha
As a family, our first opportunity to settle came when we purchased the Lakes Entrance Squash and Fitness Centre, Victoria in 1981.
Damian and Megan settled into St Brendan's School very quickly, loving the fact that they would not be expected to move again. We had always been on transfer status with Dad Ray working for International Harvester Company.
Damian very quickly made friends. Among his close personal friends, Geoff Bottom was a stand out.
In 1990 my late husband Ray was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Removal of the tumour left him paralysed down one side. At that time it was discovered that he also had a tumour in the lung.
Ray was no longer able to perform the duties that he loved so much at the Fitness Centre. The Centre was sold and we prepared for a move to Lake Macquarie as Ray wanted more than any thing else to spend precious moments with his elderly Mother. Knowing that he had limited time, this filled Ray's heart with immense pleasure, giving him a deep sense of peace and love. Pearl always referred to Ray as 'My Baby'
Ray, Damian, Jeremy and I made the move to Warners Bay. Megan chose to remain in Lakes Entrance giving her the opportunity to keep her horse and other animals.
After Ray's passing in 1994 we were a little lost. Geoff Bottom made contact with Damian and suggested that they move to Melbourne together. Geoff said later that it was a great move as Damian was an excellent cook and kept an immaculate house. He had been well trained!
The constant cleaning of the squash and fitness centre gave him good skills. The children well remember the hours spent sweeping floors, cleaning toilets and showers as well as the glass front door that patrons insisted on touching with their hands rather than using the door handles.
Living in Melbourne Damian met and married Amanda. Geoff, who was best man at the wedding met Melinda (Amanda's sister) as she was also part of the Bridal Party. They married shortly after. They made the move back to Lakes Entrance.
On Thursday evening there was a tragic motor vehicle accident in Lakes Entrance. Geoff's first born child JAY (Jascha's cousin) lost his life.
Geoff was in Melbourne, intending to catch up with Damian at the time of the accident. A very close family, Geoff's children were with their sister (Aunty Liz.) I understand all of the children were in the 4 wheel-drive vehicle at the time of the accident.
It is with a sad and heavy heart that we say goodbye to this precious little 10 year-old.
RIP
JAY BOTTOM
An Angel in the Book of Life
wrote down your babies birth.
Whispered as she closed the book
'Too Beautiful for Earth'

Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Unusual Messenger

This morning I received a card, wishing me good health and a lifetime of beautiful sunsets. It came from Kim, a delightful, but distant friend. In the card she mentioned that she was to have a psychic reading today with Jacki at Warners Bay.

This afternoon I phoned to thank her for the card. Her voice was animated and she began the conversation by saying that she had been waiting for my call.

It was amazing! I learned that my name had come up throughout the reading.

Jacki began by asking 'Who is Cheryl'

Kim said that I was her friend.

Jacki said there was something about breast cancer and that I am causing my own cancer problems. She went on to say 'She is angry at losing her son.' Her son says it was time for him to go. If he had not been taken in a motor vehicle accident it would have happened in some other way.

Kim was was writing furiously at this time and amazed that she was learning so much from Jeremy, through Jacki.

Kim, realised at this time that she was feeling pain in her neck.

Jacki said 'You have a problem with your neck!'

Kim replied that there was nothing that she was aware of and was laughing when I told her this afternoon that my General Practitioner, Dr De Souza had suggested to me on Monday that he thought that one of my problems was coming from my neck and the area of the T2. He suggested that I could have several problems, the major one being in the area of the neck/upper spine. We will be looking to do a CAT Scan once the ultrasound has been done of the right shoulder. That is scheduled for Monday morning.

Jacki said there is something about a web site and that Jeremy is always with me when I am on the site. How proud I am to have had the opportunity to set up a Memory-of site to keep his memory alive. Through the site, I now share the journey with my amazing Angel Family friends.

Jeremy wanted us to know that there was someone with him at the time of his passing. I am not surprised by that, but now wonder if he is in fact referring to Michael, who came upon the accident and held Jezz in his arms as he took his final breath. Just maybe, it could have been his much loved Dad who lost his battle with cancer in 1994.

Jacki to Kim; Cheryl's son says for Mum to 'Wake up to herself!' She is doing this to herself. She must want to live!

I have been told that I must write 'The Book.'

Laughingly I asked Kim how she felt about paying for a reading that so obviously had important messages for me. I think, just maybe, it is time I took her to lunch.

As I sign off for the evening, with love and gratitude, I would like to say how much I appreciate your Comments to my Posts. I feel your warmth and support. It does have a huge bearing on my ability to get through each day at this very difficult time.

I find that I am still able to follow your blogs but not always able to leave comments due to my current limitations. This has certainly gone on much longer than I would have expected however, I find myself being patient as I seek the answers that will allow the healing to take place.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Tough Lesson

Hello all
I find that I am nowhere near resuming normal activities, even after 2 weeks of being a 'lounge lizard.' The doctors are still looking for the cause while I continue to seek outside help with alternate therapies.
Being on the computer is agonising however, I felt that I really wanted to share with you the following which I have taken from the book 'Extraordinary Healing' by Art Brownstein MD. I am testing the theory.
I quote: 'Pain, particularly of a chronic nature, often carries with it deeper messages than merely indicating that something is wrong in your body. Although pain can be a living hell, it can also be a great teacher and a blessing in disguise. Pain opens us up, broadens our horizons, enlarges our perspectives, expands our minds, makes us more tolerant, teaches us patience and endurance, and toughens our spirits and moral fiber. Pain teaches us compassion and understanding and teaches us to become better people. After you've been through pain and you've survived the sheer brutality of its force and power, you'll never take anything in life for granted again. As gold is purified by superheating, so too the hell fires of pain can purify your soul and make you a better, stronger, more caring person.
No matter how long it has lasted, pain in always temporary. Once you have learned its deeper lesson, the pain will be released from your body and you will be free from its tyranny.'
I am waiting patiently to be released from this, often unbearable, pain and look forward to being on top of life once again.
Until then, know that I love you and miss everything about the amazing friendships that I have formed since beginning this journey

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Progress Report on Ness

The above picture is one that Ness sent to me shortly after Jeremy's accident and I feel it is perfect for this Post.

In my haste to do my Post last night I completely omitted to give you news on Ness. I am sure our angels will protect me as I type, knowing that my previous Post stated emphatically that I was banned from the computer for one week.
Ness arrived home Tuesday. She sounded bright and cheery. As mentioned in a previous Post she underwent a Sentinel Node Biopsy prior to surgery. After surgery her sister Bec had mentioned there was something in the sternum.
Ness explained to me that the Sentinel Node Biopsy drained to the breastbone, rather than the axillary lymph nodes. The doctor said he had never seen this before and Medical Journal articles indicate that it is very rare. He knew therefore, at the time of surgery, that he would need to remove lymph nodes in the breastbone. He went very deep which resulted in soreness and pain. Had it not been for the result of the Sentinel Node Biopsy, he would not have looked for cancer spread in that area.
Ness said she felt the presence of her very powerful Guardian Angel and felt eternally grateful to Jezz for his presence. She therefore smiled when the doctor made the comment that, in his opinion, she must have angels by her side.
Once again, I am reminded of the book written by Wayne Dyer 'You'll See it When You Believe it'

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Go Zone

The unthinkable has happened! I have been given the message - no computer for at least 7 days. Yes! I am having withdrawls and it is not easy.
As you know I was scheduled to see Nancy Evelyn, my much loved and respected herbalist yesterday. Nancy has been with me on this journey since 1998; she is scratching her head.
I was distraught! Nancy does not have the answers either. The iris shows an overall improvement with only small areas of inflammation. Nancy suggested that Bowen Therapy may be useful. As often happens, I was one jump ahead of her and had previously made an appointment to see a new Bowen therapist in the afternoon.
I approached my appointment with Steve, from Advanced Body Network, with an open mind. After explaining the symptoms to him he took his book and showed me how the nerves affecting the arm come from the neck. Basically, he said it could be a simple neck problem. If I had three treatments and there was no noticeable difference then we were wasting our time (and money)
I know that since Jeremy's accident in November 2006, I have totally ignored the signs. I continued to drink the coffee and pay little attention to my acid/akaline balance. In December 2008 the voice in my head said that I was doing this to myself. Why did I think that I could reverse the damage in one day? For 2 years I had not honoured my body. So. I am a slow learner..
As Steve commenced the treatment, I found tears welling in my eyes. I felt the presence of our precious angels and the background music was 'A Hundred Thousand Angels' by Bliss. I am familiar with the song as I have it at home and listen to it often.
My angel guides whispered in my ear 'no computer for 7 days'
As much as I love to blog, missing everything about the writing, and the fabulous friendships, I feel I must listen to the Word of Knowledge that has been given to me with such love.
If I have not replied to your comment on my previous post, please understand that the pain is just too intense to allow me to continue.
I intend to be back, bigger and better than ever. And pain free! I will be counting the minutes....
Many blessings and much gratitude until then..

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Group 33 Luncheon

This picture (a bevy of beauties) was taken by a staff member today at the Mattara Hotel Charlestown at the conclusion of our monthly Breast Cancer Support Group luncheon. I am wearing the buttercup yellow T-Shirt.

We lovingly refer to ourselves as Group 33; coming after 32 previous groups at the Mater Hospital Waratah.

Interestingly, about half of the group come from the Newcastle region while the remainder reside around Maitland. We agreed that it was prudent to alternate the venues allowing us equal travel distance over time.

Our introduction to the group was early 2006 which means that most surgery was performed in 2005. It was common to find members absent while undergoing chemo/radiotherapy during the course.

It is a blessing to find all in good health with no re-occurence. It seems I am the only one to have any issues with my health and, as I do not want to let the team down, it is important to find a reason for my constant pain which is eased only by the use of morphine.

Thank you to Lisa for kindly sending me new followers. Probably a good idea to do a brief summary (if that is possible.) I believe an overview would give a better understanding...

I write because I can and have found it to be good therapy, saving on counselling and psychotherapy costs. How much more enjoyable to know that there are readers and new friendships waiting to be formed.

Bloggers unite....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Update on Ness

My conversation with Ness yesterday was brief. Sent some flowers off in the morning and she said her room resembled a busy florist shop. That brought joy to my heart.

Apparently the morphine, given post surgery, caused a reaction. She had a sleepless night, the staff making every effort to settle down the skin rash that was preventing her from sleeping. It was still a problem when we spoke. I understand she has now been given pethidine to relieve the pain.

I am still unsure of the extent of the surgery and the removal of lymph nodes. Ness indicated that the discomfort in the sternum was related to the removal of the glands (lymph nodes) in that area.

Her son Dilon arrived to see her at the time of my call. I could hear the excitement in her voice as we said our goodbyes.

No doubt, it will be a time of mixed emotions as the healing process begins. There will be much uncertainty as she learns what follow-up is recommended.

The journey has only just begun.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Animal Dreaming News


In my Boxing Day Post I referred to the work of Scott Alexander King after purchasing a copy of Animal Dreaming. I then placed myself on the list to receive updates.


This came hot off the press today and The Team have said it is fine to share, so I am doing just that. I hope you find it as interesting as I have.
Scott says;

Well, it's February ... and hasn't the year started with a bang? And for many, a devastating bang at that.
We here at Animal Dreaming would like to extend our heartfelt wishes to those affected by the massive floods in Queensland and the bushfires that have taken hold of Victoria.

Many people have emailed asking Scott to share his thoughts on the bushfires and the estimated million or so native and domestic animals that have lost their lives to the flames. And to these questions, Scott has offered these thoughts:
"Well, the truth of the matter is (from a practical, tangible perspective), the Australian bush is designed to burn. It's meant to burn so that it may regenerate and remain healthy. And unfortunately, we humans like living in its depths. Worse still, we humans have among us individuals who like to burn things. And as far as the animals go ... sadly, after first sensing danger and fleeing the bush, they get used to the smoke and return to the forests thinking all is safe ... and then when the wind changes direction, or someone intentonally lights a new fire, they get caught in the fury. Besides, where can they go to escape the fires? Everywhere they go has been developed by humans - even most of the bush they have always called home. Nothing is 'natural' any more, including the cycles of the bush and the flow of the water ways. Everything has changed and despite our influence on the natural balance, we expect everything to stay the same. And it can't.

From a metaphysical point of view, however, Mother Earth is shifting. Simple. Her health is suffering and she is in the initial throws of fever. The world is changing and we are experiencing the affects more intensely than ever before. Everything is suffering as a result, from the weather to the economy. Sure, we're counting down to 2012, but seriously ... we have sped up the process of change in ways none of us could see coming (or rather, in ways none of us CHOSE to see coming). The Earth Changes are upon us, just as the Ancients predicted. And although that may be the case, we're also experiencing a slight case of trying to 'shut the barn door after the horse has bolted'. We willingly embraced the technological age and encouraged the faster-than-is-healthy development of the material world as we know it. GREED has replaced NEED. For the longest time, we ignored the warnings and even tried to deny the first signs of global warming ... and because we chose to hide our head in the sand, we're now screaming full-pelt toward global depression and the 'end of the world' as we know it.

Now, before anyone emails me and tells me I am being negative ... I don't for one second believe the 'world is going to end'. Not in the way many of us fear, anyway. I do see a time approaching, though, when the 'ME' attitude of many will be replaced by 'US'. When 'ME' will come to mean 'WE'. The world has to change. And we must change with it. We must unite ... or pay the price. Things can't continue the way they have been for much longer. Something has to give, and unfortunately, the way it looks, I fear Mother Earth's health will the first to go.

Over the past few years we've been receiving signs from Nature that things are about to change ... the whales beaching, for example, the death of the bees (in their millions), the sudden appearance of more-than-ever-before-experienced sharks in our bays and waterways, not to mention the signs being offered by the Earth Mother herself ... the mudslides, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and fires; fires of such force that defy history or explanation.

Something is happening, and we need to prepare ourselves. We're still in the early stages, and I truly believe that, if we join forces and work as one, as a people, as a global tribe, and begin to share, support and defend one another, we can deflect a lot of the fear that's bound to arise."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Surgery for Ness

I have had to 'make do' with one of the few pictures that I have on file of Vanessa. This one was taken when we gathered for a Butterfly Release and dinner on the occasion of the first anniversary of Jeremy's passing. Ella, my precious Granddaughter is telling her a 'tall' tale.
Today is the day that Vanessa was scheduled to undergo a mastectomy in Bairnsdale Victoria. As Ness is just 32 years of age, I am reminded that cancer does not discriminate.
I became aware throughout the day that my behaviour was somewhat unusual as I consumed almost a block of chocolate and countless cups of Chai Latte as I waited for the phone call to tell me that she was out of surgery and in recovery.
I knew that Ness was scheduled to be admitted at 9am this morning. The doctor planned to do a Sentinel Node Biopsy which would be performed prior to her surgery. This is done to determine if there is any spread to the lymph nodes.
As Ness had organised for her younger sister Bec to call me with news, I was thrilled to hear that she was in surgery about 3pm. It was expected to take just over 2 hours.
I found myself eating chocolate rather than dinner as I sat waiting for the phone to ring. 'The King' said he was happy with left-overs.
It was almost 9pm when Bec called to say that Ness was in recovery. My understanding is that there is some concern. It appears to be more serious than first thought. I have been told that all of the glands have been removed and there is a problem with the sternum which had not shown up in the scans last week.
As I sit doing this entry, I am aware of just how difficult it is for me with so many memories of my own journey.
Ness has had the experience of learning to move gracefully down the path of grief. She will find herself on a similar path as she comes to term with the loss of a breast. Although this is completely different, it will refresh memories and can be a very emotional time, probably even more so for one so young.
Let us pray that the Light of Love will enter her body as our love, friendship and support help her body to heal and allow her true spirit to shine.
I cannot imagine where I would be today, if it were not for the very special friends that have given me a heart full of joy.
Please pray for Ness

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Recovery Begins

Tragedy taps the spirit of generosity at St Michael's Grammar School in St Kilda. The Principal, Simon Gipson surrounded by good donated in aid of the Bushfire Relief Fund.

This family survey the remains. Attention shifs from recovery to reconstruction. The State Government in Victoria is planning tough new fire regulations. The Premier has said that some planning changes could be introduced prior to the Teague Royal Commission Report.

Marysville residents meet at the Alexandria Relief Centre before being taken to inspect what is left of their homes. The town remains a police crime scene, with unknown number of bodies still to be recovered.
Marysville, a beautiful town nestled in a valley surrounded by waterfalls, creeks and tall mountain ash. Of approximately 200 houses and buildings only about 10 or 12 remain standing.

Pink, who was deeply affected by images of the fires announced a donation of $250,000
Today the first of the Memorial Services was held to celebrate the short life of bushfire victim Greg Lloyd who was looking after a house at Yarra Glen with his girlfriend Melanee Hermocilla and her brother Jason.
The congregation mourned the loss of a deeply committed Christian, who had been School Captain and Dux of Heathdale Cristian College.
A yound man with a zest for life and a booming laugh taken before his time, in tragic circumstances.
The United States have sent a specialist fire crew of 60.
The death toll has now risen to 189.
Let us pray for all whose lives have been lost and those who have lost everything. May the hand of friendship continue for a long as it is needed and beyond...





Sunday, February 15, 2009

Life at the Farm

Life at the farm seems to be 'ever changing' at the moment. Last week we were in the midst of a drought. Temperatures soared reaching 4o degrees plus on some days.

The wallabies, finding little to eat in the paddocks, had decided that the pickings were greener closer to the house. I think they were disappointed!

Saturday was spent indoors as the rain continued. Overnight we woke several times to hear the rain falling.
First thing this morning we checked the rain guage only to discover that we had more than 6 inches of rain overnight.

We grabbed the camera and jumped in the ute. It is unusual to hear the water running off the mountains. Here it is running into an already overflowing dam.

Nowhere for it to go, combined with drainage problems, and it covers the road in and out. We realise that we are in trouble if it continues.

Notice the few raindrops that were on the lens of the camera?

Back to the house to start the generator for our early morning 'cuppa.' We had a power outage that lasted 9 hours.






Friday, February 13, 2009

Vanessa

At the time of Jeremy's accident I met Vanessa; a delightful young woman. Jeremy thought so too. They had been together the whole weekend prior to his accident.
Each time I went to Bairnsdale I had the opportunity to spend time with Ness. She always made time for a coffee and a catch up.
At the time she wrote the most beautiful verse. Although I have not been able to put it in its original format, the sentiment is too precious not to Post.
JEZZA
Awaken to a message
In my bed I would lay
'Good Morning' gorgeous
Another beautiful day
Are you up and about yet?
What's your plans for today?
When do I get to see you?
Miss you babe, you'd say
Reply to a message
In my bed I would lay
Good morning my sweet
You have just made my day
Can't wait to see you
Only one more day
I miss you too baby
Soon I'm out to play
I'll look forward to it baby
Not the same when you're away
That feeling felt between us
We both thought weird hey!
Surprised by the comfort
Shared as we lay
The old married couple
That had so much to say
To a room filled with music
When hearing was betrayed
Our eyes would do the talking
Just go with it. It's OK
Amazed by me the straight girl
Who loved you in everyway
To me you were like sunshine
Filling my heart with rays
We shared similar thoughts
Neither judging what other may
And appreciated the little things
Like a smile can brighten a day
Then when the night fell
In my bed I would lay
Sweet dreams gorgeous
Tomorrow you will stay
Goodnight my sweet
Sleep well I would say
Look forward to tomorrow
Wish it was today
Awaken to a message
In my bed I did lay
Our tomorrow was here baby
But you'd been taken away
Time once looked forward to
Now filled with dismay
The sunshine I once felt
Had now turned to grey
You come to me while dreaming
And wipe my tears away
You don't have to let go baby
In your heart I will stay
My sweet I say 'Thank You'
How can I ever repay
All you taught and gave me
In such a selfless way
Dance like no ones watching
You showed me that OK
Sing like no one's listening
I'll drive you crazy every day
I will cherish our time forever
The world forgotten as we lay
And my smile will return
As you'd want it that way
Be free sweet angel boy
In the stars you now lay
Forever young, forever beautiful
Taking care of us every day.
Ness (far right) with Megan and Ella (granddaughter)
At the time of the Celebration of Life service for Jeremy I met Vanessa's Mother who simply said that she did not know my son but she was so very grateful to him for giving Vanessa back her life.


Last night I spoke to Vanessa (meaning butterfly) only to find that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. At just 33 years of age I heard, and felt, the fear of the unknown. She is scheduled to undergo a mastectomy on Wednesday. My prayers and love will be with Vanessa. I smiled when she added that she was glad to have Jezz as her Guardian Angel
Oops! Just could not get the spacing on the verse as I wanted it. No patience this morning! I believe it is worth making the effort to read as it is.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another Day of Torment

It is with a heavy heart that I compose myself sufficiently to complete this Post. Worsening conditions are predicted for townships in Victoria's north-east and Gippsland regions. This area is close to my heart and the focus of today's Post.

This picture was taken in Dargo, which is one of the areas being threatened. Jeremy on the far right (arms raised, blue tank top) made it his favourite place to celebrate occasions such as New Year, Australia Day and Easter. I have wonderful memories of the fun and friendship he found in the region. I remember the laughter, as he related some of the stories/antics, that only he could feel comfortable to share with his Mother.

A hellish ligh descneds outside Dargo (The Age Newspaper)
With twenty-four fires burning out of control in Victoria there are some 4000 firefighters battling the blaze and 1800 hectares of bush burned.
I have now learned that Megan's partner Jason is expecting to move his log harvesting equipment from the coup to the firefront at Dargo.
Jason and Megan were successful when the DSE called for Tenders with five year contracts; Jason now logs the area.
In times of emergency he is called on to use his equipment.
When Megan told me that they could be put under contract to The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) later in the week I knew that they would be protected. Jeremy's Spirit lives on in the area. Megan will take Jeremy's love with her as protection.


In February 2007 I was in the area when something like 47 fires joined up to form the Great Divide Complex. Jason's machinery, under contract to DSE was used in the firefighting efforts. That became Megan's first experience of being on the front line of firefighting.
While we are experiencing the worst bushfires in Australia's history Haydn and I sit at home watching the news and feeling absolutely useless.
We realise that things in NSW are still uncertain. We have only to look at our own property to realise that now may not be the 'perfect' time to leave home to help others. The picture from our window is very much of a sunburnt country.
We will certainly be putting our names forward, when the time comes, to began the rebuilding programme. After all, Haydn is supportive of the fact that I have lived as many years in Victoria as I have in NSW. East Gippsland was home to me for many years. I have wonderful memories and treasured friendships.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Victorian in a State of Crisis - February 2009

Although these are not daughter Megan's pictures, they have been taken from her Facebook pages. Megan's partner Jason is a logging contractor; he has well over $1,000,000 worth of harvesting equipment at risk if the fires reach his logging coup.
The last time I spoke to Megan they were preparing to head up to the coup to 'bury' the equipment in the hope of saving it if the fires goes through. Even in good condition there are risks with getting too and from the area in which he works. I find myself a little anxious as I write. Jason is a 'bushie' and although he knows the area well, the weather conditions are totally unpredictable.
We know the old saying 'A picture tells a thousand words.' The death toll stands at 36.


I pray for the safety of all concerned. Megan and Jason are members of the Swifts Creek DSE; they are on standby and will go into the firefront should they be required.
The firefighters continue to do amazing work and the volunteers that provide the food to sustain them are to be applauded. Relief Funds are being organised. These are difficult times and I know that fellow Australians will do what we do best, with community spirit shining through.
Today has not been a good one for me in terms of the amount of morphine required to control the pain. As a result I find that words do not come easily. I am sure you understand that my heart goes out to all that have lost family and personal possessions and I ask you to remember them in your prayers.








Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tough Couple of Days

Big 'Thank You' to my Earth Angel Friends for caring and encouraging me during the challanges of the past months.

Dr Mark Henderson amused me yesterday. He said that he had no idea what to do about the swelling and redness in the veins as he had just come out of ED. I asked him what 'ED' was. When he said Emergency Department I suggested that had he said ER I would have understood immediately. He asked a senior doctor about my condition. I was advised to do nothing at this point. I was told to watch for changes and warned to call an ambulance, or get myself to hospital immediately, if I felt concerned.

I think I learned that my condition in the surface veins is called Thrombophlebitis even though there are clots. Technically Thrombosis is in the deep vein.

You can imagine my distress this morning to find that I have swelling and inflammation on the opposite leg. I found myself emotionally overcome as I knew that there was more; there is a problem. I am missing something.

Sent and e-mail to Paul in which I explained my current situation. I am suffering dreadfully from the side effects of morphine; the most notable being constipation. His reply stated that can be an effect of the morphine. It is because the constipation allows material to recycle from the bowel by way of the portal vein leading to the liver and thus the blood becomes a little loaded with toxins. I was advised to take one tablespoon of Epsom Salts before retiring. Warned in advance that it is not pleasant...

I know it is time to get off the morphine however, that is not possible with the pain at its current level.

Gathered up my books and began reading. In 'Take Control of Your Health and Escape the Scikness Industry by Elaine Hollingsworth I came across a story from a woman that suffered dreadfully from 'aching veins.' The problem improved when she went off a multi-vitamin supplement containing Ginkgo Biloba.

I then went to Mark Stengler ND who recommends Ginkgo Biloba. It is believed to have a 'tonifying effect' on the venous system which allows for the more efficient return of blood to the heart. Ginkgo has a natural blood-thinning effect. It helps to prevent blood platelets from sticking together - platelets being the cells that form blood clots. It is therefore 'perfect' for someone given my current health isssues.

I am taking a Life Balance Antioxidant Supplement containing Ginkgo. Paul is also taking the same supplement. He is very impressed! I do not feel it is the supplement itself; maybe just the Ginkgo.

I have decided to avoid the Antioxidant supplement for the time being as I search for the answers.