Monday, 23 November 2015

23 nov 15 ... Dealing with Disappointment.

We are just home from a quick trip to Sydney, and have spent the weekend unpacking, washing and packing again for our family holiday to the Gold Coast with the children. We have been planning this trip for months, logistically it hasn’t been easy to fit anything in around Brendan’s cancer treatment and amputee clinics…but we found a week that worked and locked it in.Today the radiation oncology department rang to say they needed Bren in Sydney this Wednesday to prep for his upcoming treatment – yep ...Wednesday was the day we were to be driving to Queensland, not spending the day in Sydney. The best laid plans had come undone and all I could do was cry. Pretty much every time I had to tell anyone that mattered! That was before we had even told the children.

When they had both come home from school; we sat around the table and had a family meeting. The thought that they were in trouble gave way to disappointment when we told them the news. Bren, Tyz and I all cried…again. Bades held it together; they both understood that getting dads radiation treatment underway and getting him better was more important than a holiday.

We thanked them for being awesome and told them awesomeness was like a boomerang…when you put it out there it always comes back to you.

The fact that Brendan’s medical team make things happen quickly is awesome, even when the timing doesn’t really feel awesome. But the speed at which they make things happen these days is a reminder to us that he is dealing with an incredibly serious illness and we want to do everything we can to get on top of it…so when they say "we can do this now", we say "we’ll be there. " Time is everything. We are also incredibly grateful to be surrounded by lots of awesomeness - as it allows us to say how high…when they say jump!

We’re on the road again :)
Life’s good and hope is limitless
Cal xx

You can find more information on Sarcoma Cancer by following this link: sarcoma.

PS: Have you joined our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/storyofus4/? If you are on facebook it is a great way to connect and share :) 

Friday, 20 November 2015

20 Nov 15: Radiation Consult

Regina Tse is a petite woman with straight dark hair. She wears large, dark framed glasses that balance effortlessly on her tiny nose. They give a modern edge to her conservative, professional look. She was instantly likeable and incredibly friendly; in consultation she leaves you in no doubt that she knows exactly what she is talking about, which is great because she is the latest doctor to join Brendan’s incredible medical team.

Regina is a Radiation Oncologist and will treat the tumour in Brendan’s lung that isn’t playing nice. Radiation like chemotherapy has a very broad range of treatment options and is tailored specifically to the person presenting and their disease. Like chemotherapy, radiation is readily available throughout the country. Fortunately for Brendan – for the rare form of sarcoma he has, Regina has the expertise to provide him with the specific treatment he needs, and is only four hours away.

Regina has worked with Viv (Bren’s oncologist) before; on other patients - with great results. Having Brendan’s entire team within easy communication of each other, through Lifehouse, is an added bonus and ensures that all treatment logistics are worked out fairly quickly. So here we go again…this treatment should be complete within a 2 week period of starting and will start sometime in December (dates to be confirmed). 


December! Yep, it’s almost here and we are going to be busier than a one legged man in an arse kicking competition – again, (the one legged man quote is not mine…but is appropriate :) )…please forgive us if our communication is limited, slow or zero over this period. Having said that, I’m gathering everyone else is going to be pretty busy too. Wow this year is almost over…where did that one go?

I know one thing for sure... in our house we will all be jumping for joy to see the New Year in!

Even at it's busiest - Life is good and hope is limitless :)
Cal xx

You can find more information on Sarcoma Cancer by following this link: sarcoma.

PS: Have you joined our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/storyofus4/? If you are on facebook it is a great way to connect and share :) 

Monday, 16 November 2015

16 Nov 15 ... let the fun begin


Me & The PT
Cloud nine is a great place to be! It's really comfy here; I'm hoping we can hangout for a long, long time.
Today we got to get back to a bit of normality. Other than some Radiation coming up and another trip to Sydney on Thursday for the consult for that, we have a few months of treatment at home before the next review. The sigh of relief this brings is enormous.

This morning just felt like a normal day... which is an amazing feeling, granted it is a new kind of normal, especially for Brendan, but to have some space to breathe...I can't find the words to explain how good that feels.

So; this morning the kids had left for school and we were doing the after breakfast clean up, when my husband looked at me with concern. Which was odd; because the whole weekend had been mushy, you know...lots of goofy smiling at each other, followed by plenty of kissing. Sorry, grossing out the younger generation...but us 40/50 somethings, still kiss :)
I was a little wary. And then he said, "Do you want to start training again?" 
Shit!!! The PT was back, and there was nowhere to hide. 

Now I knew we had our lives back! I of course said, yes!" Even if I'm not sure that I meant it in that moment... but it was time. So yes it is, and today I did my first lot of training with my husband since his diagnosis. All went well until I pulled a muscle in my groin...I know! Bloody walking lunges bought me undone. Holy crap I've got some work to do, lucky I had a great PT to help me keep going! I’ve said it before; if he can train me…he can train anyone.

Stay tuned for the training challenges, progress and maybe the odd fight ahead (apparently I can be a bit of a sooky lala) ...I have a feeling there will be plenty to write about! 

Wish me Luck - and I have to say... it will be nice to feel physically strong again!

See! Life is good and hope is limitless :)
Cal xx

You can find more information on Sarcoma Cancer by following this link: sarcoma.

PS: Have you joined our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/storyofus4/? If you are on facebook it is a great way to connect and share :) 

Saturday, 14 November 2015

14 Nov 15 : The results are in … for those about to Rock – Get up and Dance!

yep..that is a bunch of people behind Brendan sitting
through an AC/DC concert by choice??
Well that was one huge week! Stay with me, this may be a long post :)

Most important news first! We are just back from Sydney and Bren and I are really happy with his Oncology Review results from yesterday. The first thing Viv said on seeing Bren was, "I can see you've been taking the medication." Side effect! My husbands hair has come back white grey. All hair; head, face, arms and legs. Amazing. The last type of chemo sent it jet black! It's crazy stuff! 

The results are: There is nothing new showing up; this means there is no evidence of disease progression in the last two months. The relief at hearing this is indescribable; suffice to say there were tears of joy. Viv (oncologist) had to remind us that there was still a ways to go, we know that, but to hear there had been no progression felt like we were being told he’d been cured. He hasn’t, but hope is limitless and we were just given plenty of  hope.

All of the tumours presenting in bone; (left femur, right clavicle and a rib on the left side)  along with 2 of the lung tumours; look to be a bit smaller…. Halleluiah, thank you for all of the prayers, positive thoughts … love and support that we have been showered with! There really is strength in numbers. And thank you to my husband for being the strongest, hottest man in the world! 

The third lung tumour has grown a little larger (there’s one in every family that just won't play the game!!) but Viv thinks some radiation may deal with it...so they are looking into that now.


Chemo treatment can continue at home...yay!! Radiation will be at Lifehouse, can be done over a 3 to 4 day period, and Bren doesn't have to stay in hospital - as far as we know at this stage. So; at least we'll have a few nights in Sydney together.  A mini radiation getaway! Friday the 13th was our very lucky day. We’re excited.

The week prior to a review is fraught with anxiety, you’re pretty much waiting to see where your life is going. We have been to many, with mixed results – thankfully this time around we had a hell of a distraction to take our minds off what was coming up! 

The Saturday night before the review was all about AC/DC! Yes! We were there at ANZ Stadium…Brendan had purchased tickets earlier in the year during one of his many chemo infusions at Lifehouse. It had been a long time coming and was finally here.

We had settled into the Pullman as guests of wonderful friends, were treated like royalty and enjoyed Oysters, sushi and cocktails at the executive bar on the 16th floor, prior to the concert. We purchased the required AC/DC merchandise before entering the stadium, and somewhere along the way I lost my phone…bugger!

The only thing left to do now was Rock. And the four of us were ready and raring to go! These guys never disappoint. We know, we have all seen them before, and after the year we’d had we were about to enjoy the best damn birthday presents we’d ever got!  

There was a rumbling in the crowd, the excitement grew, the lights dimmed and to thunderous applause the boys exploded on stage with Rock or Bust. It was electric! Simultaneously the four of us were on our feet, it was like Angus had grabbed us by the shoulders and pulled us out of our seats as soon as his fingers hit his guitar strings.

And then it happened…a small blimp on what was an exceptional night. I’m going to swear here so please forgive me. Yes! A security guard came over and asked my one legged, f@ck off cancer, dancing man to sit down... along with me and the kids and another guy having a go and a good time. Apparently the people behind us couldn’t see and were complaining, as they all watched the best live concert you could hope to see - through their ipods and iphones!! We didn’t know the whole stadium wasn’t on their feet. For f@ck sake, it’s an ACDC concert! (Mind you through ; none of the whingers had any trouble walking to and from the bar at the top of the stairs – maybe they’d never seen a man dance one a prosthetic leg before; and didn’t like being shown up! )

Brendan has seen AC/DC live five times, I have been four times, and this was the kids second time. the boys in the band are getting on in age…who knows if we'll ever get the chance to see them live again…and we were told we would have to watch from our seats. Un f@cking believable!! But as you can see from this post it didn’t stop us from rocking out with the band for the entire gig. You can’t keep a good man down, and mine wasn’t going to let a bunch of whingers stop him from having the night he deserved.

If I had the opportunity to say something to those who complained it would be this… “if you are ever lucky enough to find yourself at another AC/DC concert, please have a bit of thought for those that are actually there to enjoy it. Just sayin!

For those about to Rock…for f@ck Sake….get up and dance! Life is what you make it!

Cal xx
Life is good, hope is limitless.

You can find more information on Sarcoma Cancer by following this link: sarcoma.

PS: Have you joined our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/storyofus4/? If you are on facebook it is a great way to connect and share :)