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.