Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Seoul: December 30


World Cup Stadium

The cafe where we had breakfast

Walking from the apartment in that BIG coat. It doesn't look good but it's warm.

Going down the escalator to the train station at World Cup Stadium

Rick walking near the apartment

Seoul: December 29

We arrived safely last night. It was wonderful to see Stuart and Cherie , the minute we got off the airport bus. With Cherie's expert help, we made it to Jee's apartment. We went by train and taxi. We had a fun ,so we had presents for them both for Christmas and then we had some special ones for Cherie. Cherie's birthday was on Boxing Day. Cherie ordered us Chinese food to be delivered for a very late dinner. It felt later to us because we had lost two hours somewhere on the plane!

Monday, December 28, 2009

What a great Christmas!

We had a great time in Canberra with family. We ate lovely things and enjoyed each other's company. We went to church together on Christmas Day and on Sunday. We also had fun at the Boxing Day sale and chatting together.... inside, because of the much needed rain that fell. We remembered those of the family who are in far off places.
Now we are in Sydney, ready to fly out to Seoul in the morning. Deirdre drove Richard, Mum, Dad and me from Canberra, in James' car.
Deirdre is kindly taking us to the airport at 6am tomorrow. We hope we won't get mixed up in the long lines waiting to get processed at the check-in.
Our first stop on our trip will be Seoul. We are looking forward to seeing Stuart and Cherie when we arrive.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

We have had a great time together at Bruce and Sylvia's in Canberra. Sylvia prepared beautiful meals for us all. The welcome, steady rain and the lower temperatures today, helped to make the day very pleasant. 16 members of the family were able to be here for Christmas. We have others in USA, Victoria, Seoul, Sydney, Tasmania, Queensland and country NSW.
It has been such a special treat to have Christmas in Canberra after 32 years of travelling elsewhere.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Today the Sydney part of the family are coming to have Christmas with us in Canberra! This has never happened before. It is exciting for us. Sylvia has been wonderful and is managing the food side of things. She does that so well. I haven't been much help to her !
I am settled on the treatment I decided on, and we are nearly all packed to go on our trip. We go to Sydney on Monday Dec 28 and fly out on Tuesday Dec 29. I am sure that the blizzards happening in Europe right now, will be all over by the time we get there on Jan 2!

Hope you have a Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Treatment decision made!

Monday December 21
What a relief to report that today I have made the necessary decisions regarding the follow-up treatment.
I have decided to go with a 5- year course of hormone blocker medication and have an operation to remove my ovaries in February or March. I will not be enduring chemotherapy.
This decision wasn't an easy one, to say the least, but I am satisfied with it. I have been presented with the information available ( not as clearly at first, as I would have liked!) and I believe this is the most effective path to take.
After making these difficult decisions, I decided to buy a coffee and something to eat. I was asked politely if I wanted to " have it here" or " take it away". I found that choice a hard one to make, so I realised that I had been under some pressure in the past few days!

Unsettled weekend

I have felt very unsettled about the lack of clear direction from the oncologist concerning the next step with treatment. If this is an indication of how the medical profession has to work these days, to avoid possible legal action for wrong advice, it's a very sorry situation we are in!
It helped to speak to my cousin and my brother-in-law who have had experience in this area.

It's just the feeling that you want to decide the best option for treatment, but when you finally get to see the person with the expertise, he can't seem to manage to help you!
I find that disturbing, frustrating and sad.

Today is a new day! Hopefully some progress will be made!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Manouvering through the medical maze.

The oncologist, on Thursday Dec 17, knew an awful lot about the treatment options but had trouble conveying the information clearly to us!
The following day I was able to ask questions of two nurses in the field. They both contacted the specialist for me and got some much needed clarification. How great is it to have people like this to call on?
It now seems that the preferred option for me is the surgical removal of my ovaries and 5 years of tablets, with no chemotherapy. I can choose chemotherapy as well, but it only adds a little benefit. We can apparently still go away on our trip, whatever I choose.

Roz and I couldn't have guessed that from the discussion we had with the oncologist!

This will hopefully be explained more fully to us on Monday.
I am taking my full think- tank team with me: Rick and Roz! Three heads will be better than one or two! We are prepared !

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Visit to the Oncologist : Dec17

More decisions to make and some surprises!
A few weeks ago, I was told by the surgeon that I would probably not benefit from having chemotherapy.
Today I was told, by the oncologist, that I would benefit from chemotherapy.
The oncologist recommended that I have hormone therapy ( in tablet form for 5 years) and chemotherapy to lower the chances of the cancer returning.
I will speak in more detail to an oncology nurse next Monday 21st. After that appointment I should be able to make the decision about chemotherapy. Having the hormone treatment is a given. This also means that we are still not 100% sure we can go on our overseas trip on Dec 29!

This is disappointing, but it's also a challenge.
Life is not boring, that's for sure!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Where did the last week go?

December 16 : I am feeling really well this week. Almost all discomfort from the operation has gone. The past week has been filled with end of year and Christmas celebrations with school staff and with the church community. Also I have spent hours on the computer , booking flights and hotels for our trip. This activity can keep one occupied for days!
Almost everything is booked now.
It's very exciting! We are travelling first to Seoul, to see Stuart and Cherie. After 4 days in Seoul, we are off to Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Berlin. Followed by a 9-day organised tour of Spain , starting in Madrid and ending in Barcelona. After that tour, we spend two days in Paris, before returning home via Seoul for one night.
Can't believe we are going! We need to pack very warm clothes!
We left it till now to book , as things were so uncertain for me, in the past couple of months.
Lots to do, leading up to Christmas. The days go very quickly.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lunch out and Choir Dinner

Tuesday December 8
Jee took me for a lovely Thai lunch. She has kindly offered us her apartment to stay in, when we are in Seoul. They will be visiting relatives in US.

That night the choir had a farewell dinner at the club for their musical director of 23 years. It was a lovely occasion. Richard ( who is president) and his committee did a great job.
I stayed awake well! I can really feel that I am getting back to normal health. A little further to go, but on the track!

We also decided on booking an organised tour of Spain for 9 of the 18 days we have in Europe! Big decision and it's very exciting. This will not only be fun, but it will minimise the walking with bags and searching for accommodation and the tourist destinations. This will help me manage better. We've never been to Spain, so it's going to be wonderful. Now we need to organise what will do each side for the Spain tour.
I also has a swine flu vaccination today, in preparation for Winter in Seoul and Europe!

If I get the "all clear" from the Oncologist on Dec 17, we leave for Seoul on December 29.

December 7

Monday lunch with friends and some research about the coming trip. Deacons meeting that night.
I am feeling better and no where near as tired after an activity. Not needing painkillers for sleeping now.

Driving in December

December 2 - 6
This week I've had some lovely dinners out. One on Tuesday with the small group, and one on Friday with three good friends.
I've rested in between medical appointments and church meetings.

I found out more about the risks of Lymphoedema and was given more exercises to do, to help with shoulder movement and lymphatic drainage. I DROVE to the hospital for this appointment! First time since the operation.
Another result of being in Canberra for 32 years is that you get to know many people. This time it was the Physiotherapist that ran the workshop! She also fitted me for the special compression sleeve and gauntlet (glove) for travelling by plane.

It has now been 4 weeks since surgery and I am noticing more improvements in pain and movement. Sunday December 6 marked one month after surgery.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday Dec 1

Now we are in December! It was a cool, pleasant day for the start of Summer. I had a very restful day at home, before being taken to the Christmas break up party for our small group. The company was very pleasant and the food was delicious.

Monday November 30

I had lunch with friends at the mall, and picked up my results from the Bone Density scan. It looks to me like I have normal bone density. I think this is good! The doctors use this info to see if they can feed me a bone-thinning drug! Sounds a little odd to me!
Tonight we had a surprise guest for dinner. Rick's brother Andrew dropped in. He had been visiting Canberra, for work that day. Cameron came over too, so we had a nice catch up.
I know I am feeling a little better each day.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday November 29

We went to church and did a little food shopping on the way home. I spent the whole afternoon resting. I needed to recuperate, after all the activities of the previous week.

Saturday November 28

Had brunch with friends, followed by lunch with other friends! A busy day... but fun!

Friday Nov 27 - at home

I rested today, after a hectic day yesterday. I found out more information on our travel insurance and options around our trip that has been planned for Dec 29 to Jan 23. I also talked to Stuart about the timing of our visit. Will I be well enough? After considering some good alternatives, we still think we'd like to go on the dates as planned, if we are able. Deb dropped in late afternoon, and then we had dinner with others.

Wedding Anniversary

Thursday 26th November
Yes, we've been married 32 years today! We had a lovely dinner out, after a busy day.
Today I found out that my appointment with the oncologist is later than I expected. It's not until December 17, so I have to be patient once more. At that appointment we will discuss the pros and cons of taking medication for the next five years.
I also went to my small group in the morning. This is always a good time.
I decided to show them how well the operation went!

Then in the afternoon Barbara took me to get a bone density scan. We also talked to another friend who is going through a similar experience.
A busy day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rick's new job and good results from surgeon.

Monday 23 Nov: Barbara picked me up to have lunch with friends at the mall. I realised that the weekend's activities had made me quite tired., but they were fun.

Tuesday 24 Nov: I eagerly awaited the 3pm appointment with the surgeon.
Rick and I were given the rest of the pathology report, which was very good. It confirmed that I did not need radiotherapy or chemo therapy and that I would be referred to an oncologist to discuss ricks and benefits of hormone therapy. The cancer was hormone positive, with no evidence of the cancer spreading to surrounding vascular or lymphatic cells. This is great news as it's the simplest to be treated. The surgeon also said that the wound is healing well.

Wednesday 25 Nov : I've spent the day relaxing, reading up on hormone treatments and resting.
Rick rang to say he has been offered a short-term job, starting Monday! This is wonderful news.
He is happy with this job, as it's sounds interesting and the hours are flexible.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Nov 22

It was really good to be well enough to go to church, after only missing two Sundays! Also great to catch up with everyone. People have been so caring and supportive.
Lunch at a cafe, with Cameron, felt like nothing had changed! I do need to take it easy though. The wound is healing and is quite uncomfortable this week.

We came home to a lovely clean house, courtesy of the amazing bunch of people at school. They have generously given money, so that I can have the house cleaned. What a wonderful gift!
We are very moved by this and are thankful to all of them.
What great school community to be part of!

Saturday Nov 21

I rested at home all day, so I could enjoy the special gospel choir concert, that Rick was a part of, in the evening. The choir performed in front of about 6oo-700 people. They did very well. It was a lot of hard work, with so many words and special parts to learn! It was a great concert.
We celebrated at the after party and then Rick had to pick up the advertising signs that he had put out on Canberra roads, a week before.
Only one out of eight was found!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Second week after surgery

Nov 16 to Nov 20
This week has been busy.... well, busy for a person who has recently had surgery.

Monday morning, early, saw the community nurse come to take the drain out and monitor the wound. Such a relief to have the drain disconnected. Later that morning was my first outing. It was to Daphne's Thanksgiving Service. It was such a lovely service for Daphne. Following the service, I joined family and friends for lunch and then went back to Lee and Greg's for more food and chatting. I caught up with old friends, while Rick returned to work. I managed really well on my first outing!

Tuesday I rested and talked to friends. So many kind people have visited and sent cards and e-mails.

On Wednesday I needed the community nurse to visit to help me with a bad reaction to the dressing. It was a relief to know it was an allergic reaction, rather than an infection or straining the stitches by doing too much! A trip to the mall with a friend that afternoon, plus more visits from friends at home, helped to pass the time nicely.

Thursday proved to be a very pleasant day, full of social engagements. Morning tea and meeting with a special group of ladies, resting at home and then attending a baby shower for 4 women from school. Great to catch up with the school crowd. So hot! then in the evening, over to Cameron's with Rick, for a short visit. On the way home we had dinner out. I didn't stay up much past 9pm!

I can't drive as yet, so people have been driving everywhere!
Friday ( today) I've had a pleasant day at home. A few more visits and phone calls too. I am so glad we have air-con ! I think it got to 38 degrees.

Rick had a job interview today. This sounds positive.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Resting and relieved

Friday 13th Nov & Saturday 14th Nov
It was a great relief to know that I won't be needing those heavy duty treatments. Friends came to visit, including our dear friends from Nowra. I talked to others on the phone and via e-mail. It was so great to celebrate the news with them all.
I have been given beautiful flowers, gifts, dvds and meals from wonderful people. Some lovely friends even delivered fresh fruit and veg to the door!
We feel very fortunate indeed to have such a wealth of supportive friends and family.
Thank you everyone!

I forgot to mention that on Thursday morning, Nov 12th , I had my first visit from an ACT Health Community Nurse, to check on my progress ( drain and wound). I had the BEST nurse!
Some of you may know who I am talking about. I have known her for many years. How great was that?

Fabulous results - back early

Thursday 12th Nov 2:30pm
Where was I when I heard the news?
Well, I was lying down having a rest, when the surgeon rang.

I thought it was a lovely gesture that she should take time out to ring and check up on me.
After I told her "I was doing well and resting like a good girl", she said that she had some good news for me.
It was a wonderful moment, that was totally unexpected. I was told it would be the following week when I would get the results.

I wrote this e-mail below and sent it to lots of people:

"I have great news!

The pathology report came back quickly.

The surgeon just rang me to say I will NOT be needing Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy!

The cancer was a Grade 1 (slow growing) and was 2cm in size, as in the original pathology. They checked a bigger suspect area around that, and it was found to be clear of cancer.
The 2 lymph nodes that were taken out were completely clear.

The only wait now is on the "receptors" report (hormone- related etc). These findings will determine whether I need to take a daily tablet for the next 5 years . The specialist will have those results on Nov 24, when I see her.


Thanks to all of you who have been thinking of me and praying for me etc.!

Much love and celebrations here,

from Janelle."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Taking it easy at home

Thursday Nov 12
I am resting at home. Yesterday I had some lovely visits from friends. I also had phone calls and received cards. Lots of people are thinking about me!
Friends came to baby sit me when Rick had to be at is choir meetings.
I am finding that I get tired easily and I can't think as clearly as usual!!

Rick had a job interview yesterday, as well as a couple of hopeful phone calls about jobs. This is good news for him.
He is here today and is looking after me very well.
Today the community nurse is coming to check on my progress.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home from Hospital

It's great to be home!
I am sitting back home in my reclining chair, sending you a message to say all is well.
Rick came and got me from the hospital this morning and I arrived home about 1o:45am.
I got a good report from the nurses, even though my blood pressure was a little high. They said that it's a MUST that I rest and not resume normal activities for a couple of weeks. This is to recover properly from the effects of the anaesthetic and the assorted other drugs I have been given.
The surgeon saw me yesterday, Mon 9 Nov. She was pleased with the surgery and my recovery so far.

I found that my stay in hospital was very pleasant indeed. The surgery was relatively painless, compared to others I have experienced. So much support has been available from the health system, which was both surprising and overwhelming at times. I am grateful to be living in a country such as this!
Thanks to family and to friends, who have shown their love and support in all different ways. This has been very much appreciated.
My job now is to rest and wait patiently for the pathology results, which will determine the next step in the treatment. All looks positive so far, but no firm conclusions can be drawn until all the tests are done. The results will be available within the next ten to fourteen days.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday November 8

Deirdre is here in the hospital, typing this for me:

Today, my family from Sydney came to visit. They were very pleased to see me so well and able to have a joke or too.
They caught up on all the news of the big op and are extremely happy all went so smoothly.

This message is being typed in the hospital lounge, on Jeni's laptop (my sister-in-law). We have taken up the whole lounge. It looks like a meeting of some committee... but it's my lovely family who travelled a long way to see me.

I will be back home on Tuesday.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Love Janelle

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday November 7

Janelle rang me this morning to say that she had a decent night's sleep and that the surgeon came to see her.

The surgeon said:

- the op went very well
- her patient looks very good.
- Janelle should go for some walks in the hospital garden today (presumably the hydration drip comes out).
- the anaesthetic would wear off by tomorrow and that some tiredness might set in.
- three lymph nodes were removed and tested. They were all clear.
- in about ten days Janelle would get a phone call from her with the pathology results for the removed tissues

Here is a picture I took of her in the morning, just before they removed the drip:


Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday November 6 - The operation

Janelle and I arrived at John James Hospital at 7:30AM and various tests were carried out on her. The main one was to pinpoint the sentinel lymph nodes. At 2:45PM she was taken into the Operating Theatre wing of the hospital. I then went home because it was too upsetting, waiting there and thinking about it all.
I got back to the hospital at 6:15PM and Janelle had already eaten her tea. Cameron had arrived. She had a drain bag and a drip, both of which will probably come out tomorrow so that going for walks won't be quite as hard. She has been told to use her arms normally except for reaching up high. She is very happy about it all. I left her at 10PM to come home. She was dozing off.
Her phone number is 02 6281 8709. Please don't ring her until after 9AM so that her sleep is not disturbed. Visiting hours are any time except between 1PM and 3PM. If visiting please do not stay too long. To get to her ward, go in the main driveway of the hospital grounds and proceed till you reach the end of the main hospital building. Turn right and park in one of the visitor spots. Go to the door which gets you to the Curtin Ward, go in and up the stairs. Find C21.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday November 5

It feels like I am packing for an exciting holiday starting tomorrow! I am thinking of the meals being prepared and I am imagining being able to rest in a bed with a view. There's bound to be lots of kind people looking after me too. I am not dwelling on all the other bits that will accompany this "holiday".
Today I am off to spend time with some lovely women from church. We will have our normal small group time this morning ( some people would say it's never "normal small group time" ha ha) and then we are having lunch together at Kathryne's place. They are such supportive friends, who are a delight to spend time with. I am very lucky. We have lots of laughs, which is really important, I think.

A cake made for me, by Kathryne. She made a delicious lunch to go with it.

Wednesday November 4

Today I had the morning at home. I met Roz for lunch and visited the kids at school, to see them practise for their big performance on Friday. The kids had made me lovely cards and messages and I was given flowers, chocolates, sudoku puzzles , origami and hugs. It was really good to see them all, and their teachers. Deb dropped in and I talked to others on the phone. Everyone is wishing me all the best for Friday and beyond. Lots of people are praying for us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dragon Boats and Melbourne Cup

November 3
Canberra has a public holiday for Melbourne Cup! It's apparently the last year it will be a public holiday in Canberra.
This morning at 6:10am, my lovely friend Leanne took me to the dragon boat paddling on the lake. What a lovely way to start the morning ( even though it was quite early!)
I suppose we will watch the Melbourne Cup this afternoon. I won't win. I know that because I haven't put money on any horse!

Visiting Lugarno Nov1&2

Sunday started off with church, and then lunch with Cameron.
On Sunday afternoon, Bruce, Sylvia and I travelled to Sydney. We visited Mum and Dad. Paul and Jeni, and later on Deirdre, were able to drop in and see us too. We had a very nice time and seemed to fit a lot in to the one -day visit. We returned home on Monday night. It was good to be able to see the family before I have the operation this coming Friday.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday October 31

We had a busy day catching up with things at home and helped Cameron, for a little while, move his stuff to his upstairs bedrooms. He is getting ready for his two boarders to move in a weeks' time. They will be staying there for three months.
Rick had a concert/gig with his Canberra Men's Choir and I went to two parties, celebrating with some and farewelling others.
What a big week I have had!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wed Oct 28 to Fri Oct 30

These have been good days. I've spent time with good friends and talked to others on the phone and via e-mail. I very much enjoyed the time with my special small group on Thursday and we laughed a lot. I also attended a leaders meeting at church, which may be my last for a while.
Friday turned out to be a very good day. I had the opportunity to teach at school, on the new campus. This was fun and it was the first time I have worked there. I also was able to go to the staff morning tea at the original campus, followed by "drinks" after school. It was a great way of catching up with heaps of friends and I am grateful to all those lovely people at school, for being so supportive and caring. They gave me plenty of hugs and wished me well. I am only doing that one day of relief. I am glad I did it.
Even though I have to wait another week for surgery, it is finally feeling closer. I think the coming week will go quickly. Is this actually happening? Maybe to someone else!
I am very fortunate to have such lovely friends and family.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good results - October 27

The results: I found out today that all my body scans are clear. This is great news.
I stayed home in the morning and then I spent some time with my friend Lee. We visited her mum in hospital. It was a good day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pre-Op tests October 26

How appropriate.... today is Pink Ribbon breast cancer awareness day. Rick came with me for two scans. I had to have a full body CT scan (to check organs) and a full body bone scan ( to check... you guessed it.... my bones.) The results have arrived at the specialist's office, but I need to wait until tomorrow for the results. More waiting involved. Waiting is a big part of this journey!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Moruya Jazz Festival

October 23 to 25
Rick and I travelled to Moruya for an enjoyable time at the Jazz Festival. Rick sang three times with his Choir. They were very well received.

While we were at the Jazz Festival, almost 40 of my school mates were competing in the "Dragons Abreast" regatta. Both teams made the finals. Such skill and fitness! Leanne kept in touch to give me updates. I am sure they all had fun. It was good to feel part of it, even though I was far away.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21

Today is Stuart's birthday. He turns 24.
We can't be with him to celebrate, but we know he is well and happy in Seoul.
Rick sent him this image as proof that this is his birthday! This is how cute he was 15 years ago!
He is now more handsome than cute.

My friend Bev ( from Floriade flower arranging competition fame), took me for a drive "down the coast" today. We visited the year 5 school camp. I paddled in the ocean and got a little sunburnt, even though it was cool and overcast. We had a lovely day.

Myrtleford, Victoria

White waratah, Myrtleford

Sun 18 to Tues 20 October
We arrived at our little home away from home, outside Murtleford township, at about 7:30pm. What a lovely spot! The self- contained cottage house, we stayed in, was perfect for us. It was on a lush green farm, complete with frog noises. it was a very cute, cosy and comfortable cottage with everything we needed.

The next morning, after a leisurely start, we made our way to the bike track and commenced our 60km return ride... from Myrtleford to Bright and back.

Add Image

We thought of Jeni when we reached Porepunkah. What a beautiful place!

It was a lovely place to ride. All flat and sealed for many kilometres. The whole track is 96km long. We did the last 30km portion that ended at Bright. After a good rest and a lovely lunch at Bright, we started on the journey back to Myrtleford. I thought 60km was a bit long! Maybe 40kms would have done me nicely! All in all, a lovely day.

Resting on a bridge over the Ovens River

On Tuesday morning, we took our time to pack up and drove to Beechworth for lunch.

From there, we travelled home to Canberra. We stopped at Gundagai. I thought it was a very long way! My sister-in-law has family down that way. What a long drive she has from Sydney, to visit them!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 18

I am writing this from a fast food outlet at Yass! Wonderful wi fi.
Rick and I are on our way South to the Victorian high country , to ride our bikes on the murray to mountains bike track. We are staying near Myrtleford for two nights. This weekend has been fun.
Yesterday ( Oct 17) we had a relaxing day at home and went on a bike ride around the lake. This morning early, I had a wonderful time training with school pals in a dragon boat, on Lake Burley Griffin. It was a treat to be on the lake. the weather was perfect and the company was delightful.

Then on to church, which was great too. Then lunch with Cameron at our usual cafe.
Now we are heading off South, with our bikes on the back of the mighty Jazz.

Will be back home late Tuesday afternoon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

October 16

Rick's birthday - Friday 16th October
After some tests I needed to get done, we enjoyed lunch and a movie. What a lovely time we had and I enjoyed thinking about other things for a while. I am feeling more settled today. Lots of things are become clearer for the next step. This is good! We had dinner at home and I even cooked a cake. Nice to concentrate on more simple/mundane things after so many days of waiting for and then hearing results, contemplating the options for surgery and having to make decisions.
I had some good conversations with friends today. I am also appreciating many good wishes in e-mails and offers of prayers from many lovely people.
All in all, a very good day.

October 15

I enjoyed spending the morning with friends and in the afternoon, I was able to ask more questions of the surgeon and also talk to my GP. Both valuable conversations, that provided me with more information about the surgery to come. I slept better that night!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Visit to Surgeon - October 14

October 14
I now have a date for surgery. It's going to be November 6. It's good to have a date. Now just have to work on not waking up so early each morning! I was given more information to read and there are very helpful trained people available to talk to if I need to ask more questions.
All in all, a useful day. It provided the next step in this journey.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13

Resting and waiting. Today I am at home and taking it easy after the busyness of yesterday at school. I've realised already that there's an awful lot of waiting involved in this journey.
Today is a waiting day. It's been nice to have the chance to rest a bit. Tomorrow is the day of the appointment that will lead to more information and an operation.

October 12

Monday 12th October
A busy but very worthwhile day at school. I said goodbye to my great class and to the very supportive staff. They are a wonderful bunch of people. I did a handover with two very capable teachers and packed up as much as I could.
I am very happy that the children will have a great time this term. My mind is still buzzing with thoughts of school and whether I have forgotten to pass on things to the new teachers.
That will pass, I am sure. Now it's time to rest, relax and think ahead.... but only a little ahead! One step at a time. Wednesday's appointment, with the surgeon, is the next step.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 11

Sunday 11 October
We are off to church soon.
I am relieved about handing over my class to two very capable teachers.
The school has been very supportive.
Over the weekend I have talked to some lovely friends and family, which has been great. I am very lucky.
I will teach on Monday and that will give me a chance to say goodbye to the children and the staff. That will be my last teaching day!
The future is unknown as yet . Wednesday should help with the next step.
My brain is very busy, thinking about everything!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Farewelling Ma, Pa and Deirdre

Freezing October weather, even for Canberra!

Thursday October 8

We farewelled Mum and Dad and Deirdre , as they left for Sydney about 9:15am. It was a farewell marked with confusion. It was amazing that we had a garbage truck trying to turn around in the culdesac as Mum and Dad were arriving and getting out of the car! You had to be there to really believe it! Somehow, only the garbage was collected and Mum and Dad have survived to tell the tale.

Only minutes after their departure, I got the call from the specialist to say I had an appointment for Wed 14 October at 12noon.

GP visit - October 7

Deirdre came with me to the GP. We discussed what would happen next and the doctor faxed the relevant papers to the specialist. Hard for me to choose a name off a page!
We returned home to await the call from the specialist. None came. That was an unsettling time. In the afternoon, we joined the rest of the family at Hawker. That evening we had a lovely dinner with everyone.

Results - October 6

Tuesday October 6 at 2:30pm
I found out that I had breast cancer. Wow! Big news. Both Rick's and my reaction seemed to be a bit of shock, but a sort of disbelief really. We were calm and they explained the results and what would happen next. I actually needed an operation! There was the realisation that life would change now!
I felt really positive though. I didn't mind the fact that I would need an operation. I wasn't keen on thinking about the possible follow-up treatment though!

Mum and Dad and Deirdre had arrived from Sydney about noon. It was lovely to have them here. They all got a shock when they they heard the news.

Waiting - October Long Weekend

Friday October 2 to Monday October 5
These days were pleasant. I was kept busy with good things to do and supportive people to be with. I had a biopsy wound to take care of, which also kept my mind off the waiting for results!
On Saturday night, I ate lots of curry with friends. Church on Sunday and lunch with Cameron.
We went to Floriade on Monday. The flowers were wonderful. Rick's choir sang, while Bev and I had fun trying to win the flower arranging competition! We got to take all the lovely fresh flowers home, but somehow I don't think either of us win! You can't be good at everything, can you?

Start of a new journey, October 2009

Thursday, October 1
The day started with me going to ACT Breast Screen to have follow- up tests after routine mammogram results, from September 18, came back a little questionable. I had been rung on Tuesday 29 Sept to tell me of the need to clarify the initial findings. This was my first real day of the school holidays!
I took plenty of stuff with me to do as the tests and waiting around would take 4 hours.
I got my Spelling lists done for the term, which was a good start.

The tests involved extra mammograms, ultrasound, examinations by a surgeon and a nurse and then a biopsy ( 3 samples). Everyone was so efficient and caring and the sandwiches were nice.

At the end of the 4 hours, I was told that the results of the biopsy would be available the following Tuesday. They suggested I keep myself occupied with fun things to do and being around supportive people, while I wait! This seemed a long time.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fun at Floriade 2009

Bev and I had fun entering a flower arranging competition today. We are both sure that we will get the necessary votes to win! Friends need to log in and vote. Looking around, after completing my creation, I couldn't help but notice a few others that may just beat mine!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Autumn in Canberra

Where else would you rather be?

More photos from Stuart & Cherie's wedding & reception

Cherie's aunty, who helped me get dressed for the wedding ceremony. This is in the foyer, before the service.

Cherie's aunty and my job was to light the candles at the beginning of the service. This aunty was Cherie's dad's sister.

Cameron and Richard in the wedding hall, just after the service.

The reception was an informal occasion with a delicious self-service buffet.
Rules were: Start when you like, eat as much as you like and sit where you like!
No speeches to interrrupt our eating pleasure and we didn't even wait for the bride and groom to arrive! They actually didn't have a lot of time to eat. Thye were moving around and talking to everyone.

A toast to the married couple at the "cutting of the cake".
This was the only formality at the reception.

Stuart joined us for a while.

Kikuo, Tomoyo and Yuko were sitting with us. They came from Tokyo to the wedding.
The wedding cake is in the box!

Cherie showing Cameron her wedding ring. Her sister is on the left, dressed in a hanbok. This is Cherie's third change of clothes. Stuart and Cherie had matching navy jackets as part of their casual "going away" outfits.

Supper, after the wedding, in our apartment. We shared Stuart and Cherie's wedding cake with Yuko and Kikuo ( Stuart's Japanese friends).