A Skippers Tale Part XV

Choppy Waters

It has been a few days since my last update, so I thought I would fill you in on what has been happening in the Lawrence household.

Last week was a veritable frenzy of activity with appointments to be had, masks to be made and visitors to chat to.

After our initial consult with Dr Gill and the gang at the mould making room, Dad and I had to return to Sir Charlies for the final fit and adjustment to make sure that everything was already for any radiation treatment.  During our debrief we received a breakdown of Dad’s schedule, radiation every week day (excluding public holidays) for 30 treatments starting 26th March 2015.  That should take things through until the 11th of May, after which he will start his Chemo in June (will explain shortly).

It is expected that Dad will lose some hair during the radiation, more patches than the all over job, so it will be dependent on how much as to whether he starts sporting the Daddy Warbucks look or not.  The treatments take only about 15 minutes, but someone will have to accompany him each time to make sure all goes according to plan.

We had an appointment today with Chris Lammas who is the Medical Oncologist who advised that to give Dad the best chance that the Chemo will be administered AFTER the radiation so as not to wear the body down too much.  Unlike conventional chemo, this is delivered in tablet form for only the first 5 days of a 28 day cycle.  It is a much easier way to get the chemicals into his body.  Side effects might include some nausea but they have anti-up-chuck drugs for that part.  We asked how long he would be on this, and Dr Chris said indefinitely until one of two things happen… 1) they are no longer effective, 2) the body reaches maximum toxicity levels.  When Mum once again raised the question of prognosis, Mum said the Dr was unable to meet her eye to eye and then was very cagey about giving time frames.  So we really don’t know what to read into that…

Off the Medical and onto other news…

The weekend was full of visitors as I said, first up was Brian and Leanne who affectionately call Mum and Dad, P’ma and P’da (Perth Mum and Dad).  Lea and I first met down in PCYC in Albany and along with my other friend Julie have been my “Besties” since about 1989.  Actually my knowing Lea predates this by about 5 years earlier when we worked out that one Anzac Day down in Albany I had decided to pass out during the parade and Leanne’s Dad had been the attending Ambulance officer.  Leanne at the time was a cadet and had done her darnedest to find my Mum in the crowd, because Dad was marching with the Navy at the time… strange old world…  Anyway, Brian and Lea came around and we spent a nice morning chatting about all sorts of odds and sods.

Tony and Lyn, our next door neighbours until a couple of a years ago dropped around in the afternoon to catch up with us.  We discussed the fires that had been started down around their area and the chaos that it had caused for people trying to get home… we’ve all come to the conclusion that it is ‘interesting’ that within about 18 months of fire ripping through ‘bushland’ around the Perth suburbs that suddenly that area springs up as a new housing development site…

As Monday was a public holiday, we had a visit from Loui, Dad’s most recent boss, and Mark, one of the project leaders to do with the Gorgon Gas field up north.  Mark is a US import whom Dad worked closely with when he was at OMSA as Port Captain and is a really lovely guy.  Until this all blew up, I knew OF Loui, but I hadn’t actually met him.  I was pleasantly pleased to find the image I had in my minds-eye was correct and I am glad now to consider him real friend.  It was great to put a face to the name, and see Dad so happy to be chatting with them.

Sid (sub mate) came by around lunchtime, and I have to admit I have little memory of this as I had managed to flake out down the back on my bed for about three hours…

This next week we don’t have any medical appointments for Dad… at this moment, but we do have rehab people who will be dropping by.

I’m in for a CT scan tomorrow morning… as I have turned 40 this is where I expect the wheels to start coming off… or wobbling at the very least… time to get a pre-emptive ‘service’.  Speaking of which 100,000km services on cars are damned expensive!!! (my car had hers today).  I also have an appointment tomorrow to speak with my bosses again to work out what my plan of attack is next on that front.   I am at the point where leave without pay is almost a certainty until at least Dad’s daily visits to the hospital are finished.

So, that’s about it… stay tuned for the next thrilling instalment.


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