Friday, May 16, 2008

50. Sunny France

PHOTOS: French Resort; Chloe on first Holiday; Jules and John stocking up on French Rose; Sinclair Clan relaxing at Restaurant; Provence Vineyards; The Holiday Girls; The Golfing Boys; John Teeing off over the Water; Colin struggling to hit past the Ladies Tees; Mhairi & Gerado walking the Babies; Kas and Chloe; The Mums, Lorna and Kas; Dave and John building the BBQ; Dawsie Practicing for the 3 Peaks...

I can still recall watching people at an airport a few years ago. I’ve always been an avid people watcher, not anywhere to the extent of Kas where I feel she may even introduce herself to strangers because she listened in on their interesting story, but more of an enjoyment to watch life go by. Thinking back, the ones that stood out most to me were the young parents, trying as hard as they could to look after their baby and still keep an eye on their piles and piles of luggage. I wondered what on earth they could be taking with them? I would chuckle under my breath and promise to myself if I ever had a baby, I would keep things to a bare minimum and not turn into one of these flustered, sweaty parents. To my disbelief a few weeks ago, I turned into one myself…

I still can’t really say why we had so much gear. We were leaving Glasgow the next morning at 3am on a trip to southern France to see our mates from Scotland and Australia; thankfully, one other couple Colin and Lorna also had baby Eva joining us. I'm sure we couldn't have been the only couple with a baby! We each turned up with seven items of luggage plus a two piece pram...and I’m sure if Kas could have her way, there would have been an eighth full of toys and more nappies, just to be on the safe side. Instead of just leaving two hours before the flight in the pre-baby days and queuing with the regular mob, this thing had become an operation! It was my first time I’d had to apologise for my baby after Chloe grabbed hold of the ladies freshly permed hair who sat in front of us. I knew I couldn’t relax until I had arrived at my destination and the bags were emptied from the hire car – lucky for us, we did arrive at a stunning resort in the middle of the Provence wine region not too far from Nice. Nice! I know I’m always banging on about how busy things have been, but for the first time in a long time, we did manage to relax and we tried hard to keep our minds away from the Oncology ward back in sunny Scotland. It was great to see the wee girls Chloe and Eva play with each other the whole week on their first holiday away.

My sister Tash, who was also living in Glasgow, has left the bonny shores of Scotland and has just arrived back in Australia after her travels through Europe. She had planned to stay on much longer but unfortunately the bad news from back home has kept on coming our way.
We never lived near a nuclear power plant when growing up, certainly never under power lines, eaten fish with more than two eyes, lived near landfill, an airport or anywhere that could have any been deemed as radioactive. I’ve put my Leukaemia diagnosis down to luck, a series of cellular failures that have gone wrong at some point in the past three years and something that could have happened to anyone. But the news from my Mum has left us with a more than a few questions. She has just been diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. As you can imagine, it’s not the best news for us. Surgery is planned to go ahead on the 30th May, so please have her in your thoughts on that day. Lucky for our family, she’s a very tough lady and someone who I’m sure will put up a huge fight. I’ve never been one to say “I’m so unlucky” and those sort of people who are negative can really grate on me – there’s no doubt the news is rubbish but I do believe that life doesn’t put things in front of you that you are unable to handle. My mum told me that. We’ve also had too many good things go our way to consider us unlucky; my daughter Chloe and my brother’s kids Hayden & Eliza and the news that my PCR levels are dropping at a great rate. It's a tough situation once again on whether I board a longhaul flight and get home to see my family. It's leaving me feeling pretty far home right now and the fact that I will miss two of my mate weddings later this year as well, is sure making it harder. Thankfully the sun is shining on bonny Scotland right now.

The 3 Peaks Challenge that we have planned for 21st June is really gaining momentum now. The training has been going pretty well, we have a practice night climb sorted out for next week and that’ll give us a chance to don the head torches and see how hard walking up a hill in the middle of the night can really be. Our target fundraising total of £6,000 is doing quite well but we still have another grand to go. All the boys are feeling the excitement already, so I’m sure our adrenaline will get us through the gruelling 24 hours.

Thanks for the emails, updates and comments – I’ll be back in with the docs in three weeks time for my PCR testing. This one will hopefully show that it’s dropped below the golden 0.1% mark. It’s currently hovering at 0.3%, so there’s not too far left to travel. They’ve asked that I only see them every 3 months after this visit, so fingers crossed it all continues to go well…

*Congrats to Nina and Anthony on the arrival of their baby boy Brodie! Nina and Kas have been best mates since they were 4 and it's funny to see how similar their lives have been.
**Congrats to Ish and Amy on their engagement – gold! About time big fella…
***Please support our 3 Peaks Challenge at


Annie - Steven's mom said...

Hi Matt
Your family is beautiful! And that vacation sounds awesome.... and yes, I laughed at your description of your airport discovery. :-)
Next time you talk to your mom - please tell her I am thinking of her, and will be on the 30th too. Not sure if she will get any emails before then.
Its so good to see you moving on with life and I will be sending strong thoughts for a pcr that is well down from last time.. all good on that front though -all good :-)
love and light
Steven's mom

Anonymous said...

hi Matte,

the pictures are so beutiful and you have a nice family

Matte, receently ( 3 weeks ) i have diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia

i treat with 4 capsules of Gleevic /day

during 14 days of treatment my WBC countdown from 94 to 15

my doctor said you should continue your treatment forever and i cant be pregnancy

i have 29 years old , 1.5 year married

please send me some useful information that you have find