Monday, March 14, 2011

In Honour of Dad

Hi everyone.

As some of you may know, before Dad passed away I had decided to take part in the Leukaemia Foundation's "Worlds Greatest Shave" in 2011, to honour my father. Now, I know Dad didn't have leukaemia (blood cancer)- he had throat cancer- but as far as I am concerned, cancer is cancer. It scares people. It isolates people. It makes people feel like they're alone. I wanted to do this as a show of support, for Dad and every other cancer patient, to let them know that they're not alone. I thought that, for me, the best way to show my support would be to shave off my hair. So I went about trying raise some money; my target when I first signed up was $1500. I hit that, so I upped my target to $2000 just before the funeral. The day of the funeral, I received $1000 in donations. That brings me up to about $3000 in donations. I have to wait for a week or two until all of the money I've banked goes through before I get a final figure, but I'll let you all know when I know!

Anyway! On the 12th of March, I shaved all my hair off.
I went from this:

to this:

...and I've never been more proud of the people in my life. Thank you to everyone who donated, whether it was 5c or $5 or $50! It's so great that you got behind my family and I, and more importantly, it's so great that you supported such an amazing cause.

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your support.
Dad would be so proud of you all.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

...And So Our Fight Has Ended

Hi everyone.

My wonderful, brave, amazing father, Barry Francis Lynch, lost his battle with cancer two days ago, on the 22nd of February, 2011 at approximately 8.00pm. He passed away peacefully at the hospice, and is now free from pain and suffering.

His funeral will be held on the 2nd of March, 2011. If you would like to come, please email me and I will send you the address and time.

As I am participating in the Worlds Greatest Shave in honour of Dad (even though he didn't have Leukaemia, I believe that cancer is cancer, where ever it is, and any research for Leukaemia could help find a cure for other cancers), if you would like to, please feel free to donate the money you would have spent on condolence cards and flowers to either my Worlds Greatest Shave page (to donate, click here) in your name or to the Cancer Council of Australia in memory of Dad.

I'd just like to thank everyone who has read this page for your support. You are all amazing people and I'm so honoured you've let me share my fathers journey with you. Please let Dad's battle be warning for everyone- think about what you are doing to your body when you smoke, and if something doesn't seem right, go see a doctor. It's better to be safe, healthy and feel a bit silly, than to be sorry you didn't go get checked out sooner.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Hi guys.

We've really hit rock bottom.

On Friday the 11th, Dad had 4 bleeds over the course of the day. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, he had 2 bleeds each day. On Tuesday the 15th, he had one massive bleed. The tumour had also started putting pressure on the blood vessels and tissue around itself, and on Tuesday we watched a lump start off the size of a pea grow to about a 7cm lump in diametre, and about a good 3 or 4cm in height. We got told to watch it as it could break the skin and he could start bleeding from that too. Lo and behold, it broke the ski and bled, though they managed to stop it before it got too bad. He is now heavily sedated and on large doses of pain killers. He's not been fully conscious since about Sunday evening, and the last few days he's just been out of it.

The sad reality is that Dad will never wake up again. If he does, he'll have severe brain damage caused by anaemia (which in turn is caused by the bleeds). Mum and I are ok. We just want Dad to be out of pain- it's not wishing he'd die, because I honestly wish this wasn't happening at all... but it's so selfish to keep wishing he'd stay here with us even though he's in an insane and cruel amount of pain.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

No Need For A Post Title

Hi guys.

So, we've had better weeks. On Wednesday Dad had a small bleed, but it stopped itself. Then yesterday, Mum sent Dad a text just before we left to go see him asking him if he wanted the newspaper. "No, but bring tissues, I'm having a bleed" was his response. We rushed down there only to find out he had had FOUR bleeds over the course of the day, from 6.00am to his last one at about 3.45pm. The hospice hadn't rung us at the request of Dad- he didn't want to worry us (needless to say, we almost throttled him when we found out!). Dad was not very well and the nurses had sedated him. We stayed with him all last night and he was fine- tired, sleepy and lethargic, of course, but technically fine.

Mum and I went to go home this morning to get another change of clothes and have a shower and such, and as I was driving down the highway we get a call- Dad had just had another (massive) bleed, so I did a u-ie and drove back (we got about 3/4 of the way home!). This one was bigger than all of yesterdays combined, and he is really not well now. He is sleeping and heavily sedated. I'm over saying it's not looking good, so I'm just going to say we're sitting and waiting to see what will happen. Dad's never had so many bleeds so close together, so we don't know what to expect.

I'll let you all know how it goes.

Sorry if this is a bit rambling and incoherant, I don't function well on little sleep.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Hi all.

Dad had another bleed last night. He lost about a cup of blood and it stopped by itself.
He is ok, just tired and weak (as he always is after a bleed).

There's not much more to say, really, I've said it all before.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Hi all.

Just a quick update- Dad's bounced back. Again. And again. And again. And again. And now he's back for another round! We got to the hospice at about lunchtime (since we called this morning and the hospice said to wait until later to come as he was sleeping) and there Dad is, sitting up on the edge of his bed cleaning his glasses. After staring at him for 30 seconds in disbelief, Mum and I both burst in to tears (of happiness, may I add)- it was such a shock, considering yesterday we were told to say goodbye (again).

So yeah! Dad is still very weak, and the "final outcome" has not changed, but for the time being at least Dad seems to be ok.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fever... in the morning.

Hi everyone.

We've jumped back on the rollercoaster for another ride.
At 3am this morning Mum and I got a call from the hospice, telling us that Dad had a high temperature (though not as high as last time) and was having seizures and to get down there as fast as we could. We raced down there and Dad was not in a good way. He is very weak- moving his lips slightly to mouth words at us seems to drain him. Dad is aware of what has happened- he remembers before and after the seizure, he knows he had a seizure and he knows what the doctor asked him/told him.

The doctors seem to think his seizures are caused by the infection and fever, but they can't seem to find where the infection is (just like last time). They're treating him with broad-spectrum antibiotics, but this is purely for his comfort- they're not giving them to him to prolong his life. We got told by the doctors today that this is "the beginning of the end", so to speak. Dad is a very unwell man, and he is in a hell of a lot of pain.

If you want to pray for Dad, don't pray for a miracle- pray that he is not in any pain, because a miracle ain't going to help us any now.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hotel de Barry

Hi kids!

Last time I updated things weren't looking too good, but true to form Dad's done a complete 180.
Sorry I haven't updated for ages again, but we wanted to sort everything out before I posted.

Dad has gone in to palliative care in Murdoch (which is the south end of whoop-whoop when coming from our place near the Swan Valley). I'm not going to go into great detail as to why Dad is now in palliative care, but it wasn't working having Dad at home. We couldn't give him the care he needs, and moving Dad to Murdoch was reccommended to us by his pain-management team at Royal Perth, since his pain is becoming a lot more unmanageable. I will not have anyone question why Dad, Mum and I, as a family, have decided to do this. I will not have anyone make the assumption we have abandonded Dad, or given up on him. Some people have been hinting quite un-subltely that it's not the right thing to do, and all I will say is that you have no idea what it is like at home, so until you do (and I hope to whatever diety you believe in that you never have to), don't pretend to be an expert on, or totally cool with, caring for someone who could quite possibly bleed to death at any moment (and who has now had 4 bleeds in a month, with one of those at home). Let me tell you, it's not easy, for Dad, Mum, or myself.
 EDIT: and I'd also like to say thank you to everyone who has been supporting Dad, Mum and I through this decision, whether it be in the form of a hug, an email or some kind words. It makes it a lot easier for us knowing we have people who understand, or at the very least see, where we are coming from.

Moving on, the hospice is a 45 minute drive in no traffic, and at least a 1hr 15min drive in peak hour- pain in the bum, yes, but the place is amazing. Dad has his own spacious room (it's as big as our living room!), complete with his own private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, bar fridge, carved headboard for his hospital bed and ceiling-to-floor windows with access to a paved courtyard. The courtyard has about 10 outdoor settings, and leads to manicured lawns with pergolas for picnics. In the complex, there are "conversation areas" scattered throughout, with armchairs and fish tanks and water features. There is also a "family room" with a large flat screen TV, vending machines, fully functional kitchen (for guests to prepare food in), and leading out from this is a kids play area (with better playground equipment than most schools!) and a BBQ area with a whopper of a BBQ. All the staff are AMAZING, to say the least, and in the four days we've been here every staff member has popped their head in to say hello and have a chat. There are no visiting hours, and they can roll in some beds for Mum and I to sleep on, would we like to stay the night.

For those who would like to contact Dad, he's connected to the internet, so you can email him or message him on Facebook. If you'd like to visit Dad, please contact me and I'll give you the address.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Another Rollercoaster Ride

Hi All.

Dad's had another turn.
On Sunday (2nd January 2011), Dad had a small haemorrhage at home. It was only a small amount of blood he lost (think the "normal" persons nosebleed), but it scared the shit out of Mum and I (and Dad, obviously). We called Silver Chain and waited 45 minutes for them to come out (since our rep was in Maddington- she made bloody good time, too!) and check him out. It stopped by itself, so we went on with life as usual (although we were even more cautious as usual).

Dad still wasn't feeling 100% for the rest of the day, and he woke up yesterday (Monday 3rd January) still feeling off. He slept a lot of the day yesterday and about 6.00pm he woke up from yet another nap really feeling off. A little bit after that he suddenly said he felt cold, and started shivering uncontrollably (to the point of almost convulsing). Mum took his temperature and it was something like 38degrees (which is high- according to the nursing staff, anything over 37degrees is something to worry about). We were getting ready to drive him to the emergency department when he suddenly said he was super, super cold. We took his temperature again and it had hit 39.4degrees. We called an ambulance (which got here in record time!) and they carted him off to the ED.

We spent about 5 hours in the ED while the doctors ran tests, took bloods, etc. They called his oncologist and it was decided Dad would be admitted to hospital (Ward 10A, where he was last time). By the time we got up there and got Dad settled, Mum and I got home about 2.00am.

We got back into the hospital early this morning to catch the doctors. Dad wasn't looking too well (his fever keeps spiking then dropping from about 39.35 down to 37 and then back up) and he was really hot to touch.

Mid-to-late morning, Dad started haemorrhaging again. It wasn't a large bleed; it was smaller than the first two but greater in volume than the third on Sunday (I wasn't there for this; I'd just gone to my Aunty Robyn's to try and get a couple of hours sleep after weeks of Mum and I not sleeping). Ever since, he's been in and out of lucidity. Sometimes if you ask him the same question twice in a row he'll give you two different answers, or just doesn't understand what you're asking him. He is very weak.

According to Dad's oncologist, he will be in hospital indefinately- there is no way they can send Dad home the way he is (Dad's pushing to move his arm, let alone his whole body, anyway; he is bed-ridden).

I will keep you all posted, but as you all understand, I will hold off posting for a few hours, or even days, once I get news as I will ensure Dad's extended family in Queensland are informed so they don't have to find out through the internet.

I would once again like to thank everybody who reads the blog, whether or not you email me or leave a comment, for your thoughts, support and love. You are all amazing, wonderful people who make this crappy situation a little better for Mum, Dad and myself.

Until next time,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Being Lazy

Hi everyone!

I'm so sorry for the lack of updates again- I've been so lazy between Christmas and New Year (ah, who am I kidding? I'm just lazy in general...).

Dad has been behaving himself so far- he's giving cheek again, but I'm not going to complain about that!! He is still getting tired quite easily, but he is slowly becoming even stronger. We went out last night to my grandparents house for an hour or two and Dad really enjoyed it- besides trips to the hospital, that was one of the only times he's been outside the house! Dad also drove down to the shops yesterday (which are about a kilometre from our place) along the back streets- I know I say it in almost every blog post, but he really is the most amazing, strong man.

Dad started chemo again on Thursday 30th December 2010. It's a gentler dose from the previous one he was on, and the drug is normally used for treating breast cancer, but apparently throat cancers also respond very well to it. So far, Dad has been fine with it. He's not experienced any side effects (yet), so fingers crossed all will be well in that regard, however, he does have to watch it for up to three weeks.

That's all the news so far- I hope your christmas and new year were wonderful and happy, and may your 2011 bring you health, joy and love.