Tuesday, December 04, 2007

44. Silly Season Again

PHOTOS: The Happy Family; Kas out walking with Chloe; Kas and my sister Tash setting up the Xmas Tree; Tash; Wee Chloe; Kas and Chloe; Chloe playing; Squirrel's in the Backyard; The Anthony Nolan Ball; Peter mocking Neil and Ali & Caroline...
I'm loving this new family life. I'd be lying if I said it didn't take a while to get used to... I used to be a real advocate for 8 hours of snoozing per night and my whole spur-of-the-moment attitude (Kas called it impulsive) has even had to take a backseat. Chloe has really guided most attention away from CML and our time is now spent looking after the wee one and getting on with life - no time to sit back and wallow in self-pity, never really been my style...
As usual there's been quite a lot to deal with over the past month, nothing strange there...I love this festive period where everyone tries to cram so much into the final months of the year. Silly season has arrived! My work in the booze industry is at an extreme high and I'm enjoying being so busy. The next few weeks will leave very little time for anything else so I better make the most of it. I have, however, made some time to keep spreading the word for Leukaemia Research and the Anthony Nolan Trust - as promised, I managed to squeeze my big head in front of the BBC News camera and do an interview for the recent Anthony Nolan Ball. A famous artist, Peter Housen, has donated one of his John Lennon paintings to the charity and it was my job to describe what the £20,000, that was raised in an auction, would mean to people in need of a bone marrow transplant. I'll upload the video clip as soon as the BBC send it to me.
The Ball was a great success - after all costs and expenses, they raised well over £100 grand! We all had a great night, easily the best Ball I've ever been to. 10 of us went last and this year there were 30! A man who had donated bone marrow to a 4 year old American girl was interviewed by the Speaker...they then played a video clip of the girl, who was now 10 years old, and she described how much the transplant meant to her and her family and how she owes everything to him for his generosity. There wasn't a dry eye in the place when the Speaker announced that they had flown the young girl into Scotland to meet her donor - she walked on stage and gave him a huge hug. After that pertinent reminder, it was then time to get on the booze and get the party started. Apologies to the Thistle hotel for smoking up their dancefloor two years in a row...

The following weekend was time for the Annual CML Conference and this year it was held in Edinburgh. There were over 400 attendees on the day and my daunting task was kick off proceedings with my patient presentation. Luckily I had met with the other speakers the night before, all leading CML Consultants from around the world, and had been given a few insider tips for my talk. The presentation went down quite and the patients, carers and doctors all seemed quite happy - I even got asked by one of the leading Consultants if I would join them full-time to speak at conferences. Food for thought. Anyway, the day was as I'd imagined a Bio-chemistry uni lecture to be...very technical and extremely scientific. There are plenty of things to look forward to for newly diagnosed patients - the talks were about vaccines, new therapies, new transplant styles and new tests. A very informative day and I was glad that Chloe could have been of assistance during my presentation...a little reminder to anyone with CML hoping to have a family.
Kas continues to shine at being a mum and seems to have everything under control. She's beginning to meet up with other mums from our area and making the most of the coffee and lunch outings. It's great to hear that wee Chloe is making a few friends...even though she's not really conscious of her own actions it's funny to hear all the babies hanging out together. My sister arrived a few weeks ago and has been employed as our nanny...an unpaid nanny. It's great having her around and it's great to see her with her niece. She will be starting work tonight at the same place I worked when I lived here 6 years ago. Any touch of Australian Chloe can have is a very good thing! On Boxing Day my folks will also arrive and they'll have their chance to have a well earned cuddle...with Chloe, not me.
Well my latest PCR test was taken 2 weeks ago and the results should be back with me in the next week or two...I'm trying not to get my hopes up this time and getting myself ready to hear the same result again. It's definitely not a pessimistic attitude...more like a realistic one. I really need to be prepared as I will be happy if it stays the same and not going up. Fingers crossed for the coming weeks...
On other news I'll say good luck to my grandpa in Sydney who's just been diagnosed with bowel cancer. They've also found tumours in his liver but after tests, it seemed they may be benign. He's going in for surgery in the next week so please keep him in your thoughts. My thoughts are also with my dad who is driving back and forth to Sydney to look after him.
So until I post my BBC news report and PCR result, keep the emails and messages coming in - also check out my mate Dave's blog who is currently going through a BMT....


Anonymous said...

Matt, I am so happy you continue to do well and as always, Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a healthier 2008!

May God continue to bless you and keep you…..

Love Stacy


Stacy Dvorak
Shakopee, MN
United States

Anonymous said...

Hi Matt and Kas
Hope you had a fabulous Christmas Day and the holidays will continue to be great for you with your parents visiting.

Just wait till little Chloe is about 4 or 5... you will be up before dawn to see if Santa has been... I remember it well with mine...and you won't mind one little bit.

Love to you all and here's to a healthy, peaceful 2008.

Annette and Rich