A Skippers Tale Part XVIII


Just a quick update on the goings on in the Lawrence wheelhouse.

Dad continues to have his radiation therapy daily at Sir Charlies. Considering what you hear about people losing hair etc through the process, Dad is proving that Lawrence follicles are a tough breed. Granted, does still sport a very nice crew cut, it seems the only area that is subject to any change has been the patch around where the resection for the biopsy was done, Dad mentioned that when the hair comes through it’s a bit brittle and tends to break off easily. That, along with a touch of dry flaky skin around that part of his forehead is about the only visible side effects that seems to be occurring for now.  He has his last round of radiation on the 8th of May after which we have to wait a month before Dad can start his Chemo treatment.  It’s expected that during the break another round of MRI’s/CT scans will be completed to see what if any effect the Radiation has had on the Tumors.

The Warfarin for the PE’s, however,  is creating a situation of its own. With Dad now down around 69 kgs and his fat stores and muscle mass a tad depleted, any bumps and scrapes that he might encounter have a more noticeable affect in the way of bruising and the like. Calvie our little tuxedo cat caught Dad a cropper this evening when she was startled by Coco jockeying for position on Dad’s lap. Calvie has left some telltale kitty claw marks down the side of dads cheek and neck. But nothing too bad.

DVA has sent back a small forest of forms for Dad’s doctor to complete, so today we headed up to see his GP Norm. While we were there Dad had his blood pressure checked. 110/70. So a little on the low side, but all in all very good all things considered. He just has to be mindful not to jump up to quickly else he might get a bit dizzy.

All this of course is not helped by the fact that for the past three weeks HMAS Lawrence has been up to the eyeballs with bronchial flu! Dad, ironically, has been the most resilient of all of us… my money is on the fact that the germs can’t get a hold with the radiation treatment each day. But Mum and I have really been whacked with it. I must take responsibility for it… sort of… I went on my weekend jaunt earlier this month for a Pop Culture convention in the city. Sunday night I felt the onset of a sore throat so I called down to the hotel kitchen for a pot of hot chocolate and a salt shaker… A what?   Salt Shaker. <<Insert whistle of crickets>> “You put salt in your hot chocolate?” I then had to explain that I wanted to salt water gargle… Anyway… what I first thought to be a simple case of getting hot then cooling off to quick and getting a cold, was something more chesty and substantial and probably gotten from one of the seething masses at the Convention. Not fun… I won’t terrify you with the details… but not fun… And then I just had to go and share didn’t I… Mum is still hacking a bit… So being run down myself and also doing the parental care has really knocked me a bit and the last week and a bit has actually been a bit of rocky one for me.

To cap it all off, the time frame for my full move back to Mum and Dad’s has been brought forward due to the unexpected (well sort of) sale of my best friend Lea’s property they are renting. Because the sale was for cash, the settlement terms are basically only 4 weeks… so Lea and Brian (who had expressed an interest in renting my place) are moving in in two weeks. FECK!!!!!!!! So between feeling like death on a SAO and the idea of having to pack up my house, the past two weeks have been a bit stressful, because in addition to the move, construction of the studio hasn’t started yet, so we are also having to juggle moving stuff around in Mum and Dad’s place as a stop gap measure… and they haven’t been well…. My anxiety has been slowly creeping up the closer this weekends move looms.

I do have to however give a shout out at this point. I would have been a jabbering hysterical wreck right now if Leanne the Superhero BFF hadn’t been around. Leanne and Brian have gone above and beyond to help me with my place. I am ashamed to say that realistically it’s been a massive hoarding shambles since Mum fell ill last August. And the more I left it the more it became difficult to know where to start. Enter Leanne stage left: Lea and I have been friends since we were about 14 and there isn’t much either of us could do that would shock the other. So, for the past two weekends – despite the fact that she has her own house to pack, Lea and Bri have come down to my place to help declutter the detritus from my house so I can at least distinguish the forest from the weeds. I love these two people very dearly and I can’t sufficiently put into words how awesome they have been… I am, however plotting other ways… they will after all be my neighbours soon <grin>

So… this Sunday the crossroad migration will occur once more… I am preemptively thanking my friends who have offered to lend me a hand in the move… I just hope that when it’s over I can have a nice little nervous breakdown… preferably in the spa with a suitably intoxicating bevy in my hand

Until the next time

Yoli, Barb and Fred.


A Skippers Tale Part XVII

Stay the Course

It has been a long time between posts, so I thought I would put something out there to ensure you all that Dad is still with us.

Since my last post life in the Lawrence domain have settled into as much as a routine as is possible. Our days are very much based on how both Mum and Dad are going at any give time.

Dad has his good days and his… not bad days… but less good days. By this I mean that there are days when he is bright-eyed and bushy tailed and ready to take on the world (within limits) but then there are days when he is completely wiped out and will spend much of it in bed.

One good thing is that Dad is being able to take himself most days in and out of the Cancer Centre for his Radiation treatments. Some days I will go in with him (usually when there is a follow up consultation with Dr Gill) but for the most part, the taxis pick him up and drop him off quite nicely.

On the taxi front, I fear that one young driver is seriously in schtum and has been referred to the disciplinary board because of a complaint I lodged. The first day of Dad’s treatment was the last day of the India/Australia cricket semifinal. The young driver had his radio tuned in to listen to the match… nothing wrong with that. Where I had my issue was the fact that a) every time India hit anything, he was checking the score on his phone!!!!! b) that bloody device they use for their fare information! He spent probably 60% of the journey fiddling with it, and as a result nearly had us up the Khyber of the car in front! Add to this change lanes without indication (three times in the MIDDLE of an intersection) and a very unusual relationship between his foot and his accelerator and I was at the point of telling the stupid twonk to pull over and either get us another taxi or let me drive! But despite all this we made it home alive… nauseated but alive… and I put in a complaint. When I received notification from the Taxi company that he had been referred to the board I thought that was a bit stiff just on the say so of a passenger… then I remembered… those taxis have cameras in them now… one look at the footage of me in the back seat would be enough to show disgust, horror, fear, queasiness in a matter of seconds… oh well. Since then the trips have been much much better.

Buster and the guys from the Navy continue to be a blessing to us. After being super efficient and getting everything signed down at the meeting in Rockingham (see last blog), we found we had signed things in the wrong place… typical. So Buster swung past to get them corrected. During the course of the discussion we were lamenting the fact that to get the area where we are putting the ‘studio’ down the back for me cleared was going to cost about $1000. Buster took one look at it and Bob’s Your Uncle; a clean up crew appeared at our disposal. They made short work of the backyard, in fact they were so efficient they even attacked parts of the garden we hadn’t even dreamed of attempting to tidy!

Many photos were taken and those of you who get Up Periscope will see the bit I was asked to write in the next edition. I will see if I can get a link put on here when I can.

This weekend I am heading into the city for an event that’s been on the cards predating Dad’s illness. Mum had originally considered if respite care might be an option for that weekend for all of us, but given how things are travelling she’d decided that with a bit of forethought on our part that Mum and Dad should be able to hunker down and take it easy this weekend together.   And it’s not as if I am going to be any great distance away if I was needed.

The weather has turned a corner here in Perth apparently and so now the next thing we need to make sure is that Dad keeps warm and doesn’t get any chills. Normally around this time of the year we get dosed up with the Flu shot, but we need to check with the guys at Sir Charlies if Dad can even have the shot this year, or if it is better just to leave it until his has finished any treatments.

Apart from that, all is well here. We are getting into a fairly secure routine. I’m going in to see work tomorrow and see what my options are for continued leave, because although Dad is, like I said, good on some days, even then it is too much for Mum just by herself so I really need to look at my options as I am fast running out of available leave!

Much love to all until next time.