Friday, December 29, 2006
Christmas in the New House; Kas with Xmas Tree; Matt & Kas on top of The Cobbler; The Cobbler standing just under 3,000 feet; The Group having a well earned rest...
We were looking for all the signs, constantly surfing the weather channels to shed some light on the Christmas weather. I've managed to experience one white Christmas a few years ago in the bonny lands so I can't be too disappointed with the news that it won't be white. As the frost rested on the windshield of the all cars in the neighborhood and the sun sunk over the white horizon, it's funny to realise how Christmas Eve can still give me a child-like buzz. I love it, waiting for an appropriate time to wake up and tear into my presents patiently waiting for me under the tree. It was the 3rd one we've spent in Scotland and I do love it; the Smith Clan make a huge deal of spoiling me... but I'm getting to the point where I'm ready for one with sun, surf and BBQ's. Maybe it'll be the year after next as my folks have agreed to take the journey over and spend it with us next year. Already looking forward to it!
Well the fingers have stayed crossed, I've remained positive and I've tried to keep my body from getting pushed too hard...so I was a bit surprised when I received my latest PCR result last week. The last one was about 2.5% and unfortunately we've been told that it still hasn't budged, we have a stubborn one on our hands. It's hasn't thrown me off my tracks but it does get me a tad frustrated when I feel that it should be going my way and that the drugs should work for me the way they were designed to. I'll now be heading back to see the consultants and we'll have a look at the next viable option...it seems that the wonder drug Gleevec isn't working too well on the dodgy Leukaemia cells lurking in my body. They will be running a "Mutation Test" to test the effectiveness of the medication in my cells and they'll also consider three things: increase dose from 600mg to 800mg (maybe a few nasty side effects), change drugs to Nilotinib - "Son of Gleevec" and the third option is the Bone Marrow Transplant. I'll find out in the New Year when I'm back next seeing the docs. The docs say "keep your chin up" but after the turkey I've managed to munch in the past week, it's more like "keep your chins up"...
The photos I've attached a just from last week when a group of us (Kas, Mhairi, Bob and I) took on The Cobbler on Boxing Day. We started near Loch Lomond on the Scottish west coast and with our new boots on, we strided on up towards the peak of this highland hill. The views were pretty limited as we spent most of the time in the clouds, mist and snow at the top. Not bad for a few amateurs; zero to 3,000 feet. A nice bit of training for the 20,000 foot monster of Mt Kilimanjaro!
In the meantime, we will continue to press on and look for the positives...confident that we can eventually tame this beast. We have a New Years Party (Hogmanay) at our new pad on Sunday night so there will be a few photos of that night on my next post...plenty of the Karaoke Comp.
Have a great NYE and keep the messages and emails rolling in...
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Photos: Matt at Jacobs Creek; My big bro Nick, Claire & Hayden; Kas & Hayden; The Gun Show with Kas, my wee sis Tash and Tam; Group Photo at Jacobs Creek; Mum, Kas and Dad enjoying some wine...
I never thought I was going to make it. I’ve sat on the dreaded
It was brilliant to be met by Mum, Dad, Tash and Grandpa at
As you can imagine, I hardly let Hayden go in the week that we spent in
My mum had organised a huge family ‘get-together’ at a BBQ site near the
After the farewells, and emotional ones at that, we were back on board my good friend the aeroplane and off to
Then was it was time to almost get serious and start preparing Drew for the wedding the next day in the beautiful
The wedding was set in a stunning old winery, Chateau Tanunda, in the heart of the wine region. We were set up casually on the croquet pitch, rose petals were strewn from side to side and the sun even seemed to ponder in the afternoon sky in an attempt to see Alana climb out of their 1920’s car. The ceremony was nice and relaxed…I was so stoked to see them get married that day. With the scares of potentially requiring a bone marrow transplant at the same time, I was glad that my body was settled enough for me to come back to Oz and see my good mate get married to Lanski and be surrounded by all my closest old mates…
The remaining couple of days in the Barossa were spent checking out a few of the local, and not so local wineries. My parents flew to
Then it was back to the
It’s been such a good way to ‘escape’ this dodgy cancer. Even though I know it came with me, it’s more that I managed to escape everything else that come along with the Leukaemia ‘package’…doctors, PCR’s, oncology wards and to some extent my CML Diary (although I’m very happy to be writing in it again). I’m only human; I think I will just need a break from it all every now and again…
Now it’s back to life as I left it a couple of weeks ago – plenty of Scottish drizzle, the busy period at my work, doing what I can to raise awareness for Anthony Nolan and Leukaemia Research…and then back to the docs next Wednesday for a very important PCR test. Fingers crossed…
This Diary Post was just going to be a few photos…but after looking through them again, I decided they definitely require a few words to explain how important they are and how much they mean to me. They are all based around Leukaemia Research…each of them displays some pretty gutsy stuff to show how vital it is that people highlight worthy charities and also how hard some people work to make them successful.
The first couple of photos are of my Mum and Dad. They are taken at the Rugby League ground in a place where I grew up, got in trouble and met some of my closest mates (and got in trouble with them)…Cowra. They were there in a way similar to me…it was something they (or I) would never have done before the word Leukaemia started to get thrown about and now they are participating in a huge charity fundraiser. This event was a tough one; each team has to walk through the afternoon and the night, around and around the oval. There were hundreds of people there to raise money for Cancer Research…not bad for a small town. Gusty effort and one I’m proud of them for!
The other photos are from this years Anthony Nolan Scottish Ball held in
The night then kicked in and provided all 650 people with an extremely brilliant night…raffles with great prizes, cheer leader show (I closed my eyes!), some good tucker and a band that had me burning up the dance floor when I tried to impress Kas with my best robot moves.
Anyone up for a good night next November?...check out the ANT website!