When the blog bites

23rd April 

I hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew as it seems my blog is going "gang-busters". I guess you are all enjoying it or you wouldn’t be reading it but with over 4000 hits now, I feel a certain measure of responsibility to keep at it.

I had intended to write occasionally to try to convey what is like for us and mostly what it is like to be me. It turns out that writing a blog is really fun. I have to control myself the whole time to stop writing more and more and becoming one of those tiresome Facebook pests. But with nothing much else to think about, the possibilities abound. For years I have been thinking about communications plans, media releases, Q+As and trying to figure out what they are talking about in meetings. All of a sudden it has stopped. The void is now getting filled with so many ideas, as I said, I have to resist the urge to write up a storm all the time. I never expected it to be so big or so popular. Thank you all for your comments and for following us on this journey, for better and worse.

It is not a diary, and not intended as a detailed description of Brian’s treatment, more a kind of commentary of how we are trying to get through this. But I know that for many of you, what is happening to Brian is a primary concern, so here is a small update.

He is pretty good, all things considered. Sometimes I have flashes when I think maybe the doctors made this all up or perhaps they got it wrong, and then Brian asks me what day it is again and I realise that I am the one that is wrong. He is easily confused and has trouble thinking too far ahead but he works hard to keep up with what is happening around him. His memory is still good and so is his sense of humour. It is just that he can’t tell jokes any more, but he can shoot me a wry look that says it all. He is very well-behaved and compliant, of course, I have been trying to get him to be well-behaved and compliant for 30 years. It just shows, you should be careful what you wish for!

He is very slow and unsteady on his feet and is pretty weak. He can’t walk far and is easily distracted, forgetting why he started something before he finishes it. We protect him and cover for him as best we can.

There is one more week of chemo to go and then I am not sure what will happen. There is not much else they can do but I am hopeful that they will keep the chemo going. It seems to be working and causes him no pain or illness. We are lucky, Wellington Hospital has stellar oncologists and Brian has had wonderful, pragmatic but compassionate care from everyone. It cannot be easy treating this terrible cancer when there is so little hope to offer patients.But no one skirts around that, they just keep on doing their best and looking for ways to help. We feel lucky.

Every day I don’t know what will happen next, the websites offer horrible stories that I try to avoid and each day seems different, sometimes better sometimes worse. It seems the future is clouded in arcane and unpredictable variations. Today he really good and I fleetingly thought maybe he is getting better, but tomorrow is likely to be different. We went to the movies (flashing the Gold Card at last), he slept through most of it but it wasn’t very good anyway- he didn’t miss much.

So, thank you again for your support, for reading my blog and for your thoughtful comments. It is back to Foxta del Sol for the weekend for us- ahh bliss. L

PS Still haven't found the cat!


ANZAC DAY 25th April

Didn’t go to the Dawn Service, the prospect of getting Brian up, dressed and walking all that way by 6am was just too daunting. We usually go and last year I even found myself having a nice little chat to John Key as we walked along to the marae. It was all very pleasant and it took me a few minutes to realise that we were surrounded by a phalanx of security with their short hair, sharp suits and earpieces.

So instead I listened to the service on the radio and felt sad. It made me think of my father and wish he was here, wishing there was someone to lean on. Of course my father has been dead for 25 years now and would be 100 this year. I guess if he was still alive I would be looking after him too and he would be doing the leaning – wouldn’t be exactly ideal.

It’s funny how Anzac Day has taken on a life of its own now. It is so different from when we were growing up. I took absolutely no notice of any of it and no interest in what my father did in the war. Now I wish I could ask him.