Today I had my childhood immunisations to boost my immune system. This involved an initial consult with a doctor (as it turns out David Ritchie who is one of the gurus of Peter Mac) and five injections delivered by a nurse. The injections covered included Polio, Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Pneumococcus and Meningococcus.
I will require boosters for these in two months time. I also need to get Hep B injections by my GP as these are not covered by the hospital funding at present.
The best part of the process was getting the lollies for ‘being a good boy’ just like when we were vaccinated as a child.
We took advantage of the time with David Ritchie to ask questions on the path forward.
I was particularly interested in the survival statistic for patients with AML which I have read is only about 60%. David reassured me that this is the statistic prior to a Bone Marrow Transplant but each person increases this stat with the hurdles they survive such a successful transplant, GVHD and other things. It improves with time so at the two year mark post transplant the survival rate is closer to 90%. And once passed the 3 year mark patients with AML are considered to be cured from cancer. Here’s hoping!
This information was very encouraging given I am at the 9 month mark post transplant and things appear to be going well.
He also reiterated that the haemoglobin might take a year or more to return to normal levels. In the meantime I will continue to require blood transfusions every month or so.
I have been suffering from headaches every morning for the past week which generally last until lunchtime despite taking a few panadols. David suggested I increase my intake of fluids (minimum of 2 litres per day) and also to increase my magnesium from one tablet a day to 2 or 3 to see if this has an effect.
In general over the last few weeks I have been feeling lousy each morning but much better in the afternoon. David said this will vary from patient to patient and might take 18 months or more before I feel at my best. He indicated this is completely independent to the state of my blood tests.
I was due for blood tests on Monday of this week but chose to have these taken last Friday as we were hoping to be out of town for the weekend and Monday.
The tests were positive with the platelets increasing from 42 to 87, which is very exciting. Neutrophils were 1.7, White blood cells 5.9 and Red Blood Cells at 86. I will probably find they are below the magic 80 level at my next test in 10 days time requiring a blood transfusion.
I have now stopped the blood thinning injection Clexane for my blood clot where the PICC line was previously. That was a daily injection that I am happy to do without!
We had a brief lunch with John Dunn who was in Melbourne for an MYOB conference last week. Dunny is quite a comedian and often gets referred to as our very own Russell Coight.
We managed to dress up one night for a Geelong Grammar dinner in Melbourne to recognise the outstanding contribution to society of a past student. The recipient of the GGS Medal was Glen Liddel-Mola who has spent his career in Papua New Guinea working on improving child and maternal health and birth control.
On Saturday we drove up to Dookie and stayed with friends Alice and Richard Tallis. The Tallis’s operate a vineyard and cellar door on their farm. It was a busy day for them on Sunday with more than 100 people booked for lunch.
We then drove up to Wagga via Devenish to check out the silo art and Corowa (with time to stop in at the Chocolate and Whiskey factory) and stayed the night with the Preddys. Steve and Jenni Butt came over for dinner and it appears that we haven’t seen Jenni for over a year – but it certainly didn’t feel that long.
I attended a Proway board meeting on the Monday and Jan caught up with Julia Ham (almost a politician in Wagga) and Fe Tucker. We also had a quick cuppa with my parents before heading back to Melbourne.
Lachy and his girlfriend Hanna flew in from Bali on Monday night, in time for a memorial service for Peter Wetherall, the dad of Lachy’s good mate Harry Wetherall. Peter was just 62 when he died of lung cancer.
Last week we saw ‘Ladies in Black’. This is an excellent movie starring Julia Ormond as shop assistant Magda and Angourie Rice. The film is based around the team of the Goodes department store in Sydney in the late 1950s and follows the life of Lisa (Rice) working as a temp over her holidays as she eagerly awaits her Leaving Certificate results for entry into university (which is not encouraged by her father, played by Shane Jacobson).
Another character (Fay played by Rachael Taylor) is also a focus as she looks for love beyond the yobbo Australian males of the time. She is enchanted by the European men and eventually finds the perfect companion.
This movie is a great ‘feel good’ movie and will bring a tear to most eyes with a few laughs as well. 8/10
Massacre at Warrigal Creek
This documentary made by students at Swinbourne University covers the horrible massacre of more than 100 aboriginal people in the 1840s in East Gippsland, Victoria. The film makers interview a number of historians to gather their views as to what happened all those years ago. The documentary is professionally made and leaves you with no doubt that this was a very dark chapter of our past. The film will be shown at limited venues in Victoria at this stage.