Monday, June 20, 2011
Redundant people fight cancer?
We drove to the hospital this afternoon for my 2.45 PM appointment with my oncologist, Dr Nick Pavlakis. He has a formidable reputation in his field. As mentioned here, one of the most heart-warming stories about his involvement in brain tumour research and treatment comes from 2003, but it's timeless.
I'm very lucky to have my treatment supervised by him. He visits Armidale from Sydney regularly and takes on patients like me, even though the demands on his time and patience are relentless.
We rang from home to check on how his appointments were going. One of the advantages of a small town is that the hospital is less than five minutes away. We can park in the street (no parking meters!) and walk 30 metres straight into the waiting room. I shudder to think of those long drives through traffic with Tracey, Alice or Sylvia in Melbourne. There, it took longer to find a parking spot when we finally got there and walk to the Peter Mac Cancer Institute than to leave this room and be on time for the appointment here in Armidale.
The receptionist tells us things are going pretty much to schedule, so at 2.40 PM we get in the car, and there we are, right on time.
As we’re waiting, I saw a poster and wondered why it was there. The website URL hit me first, and it seemed to be one to help people who became redundant and lost their jobs.
I suppose there’s no reason why people like that shouldn’t have a helpful website, but the picture above the web address was confusing. It was a black and white photo of various people standing around, except that one guy has bright red undershorts on.
Then I read the message (finally!) and looked again at the URL, and the penny dropped. <www.redundies.com.au> This isn’t about people made redundant (nicknamed ‘redundies’) at all. Of course! Red Undies. But you already guessed that in much shorter time than it took me to figure it out.
Don’t bother going to the www.redundies.com.au website because it is now ‘parked’, probably till 2012. The idea is that if you bought a pair of red undies from Lowes during a week last month, profits were donated to the Continence Foundation of Australia.
I have to confess I wasn’t aware of the campaign, nor even of the existence of the benefitting organisation. As usual, it’s usually not on our radar if we aren’t personally affected in some ways. Incontinence is something jokes are made about, but it usually remains in the realm of aged people’s problems.
It’s not. For those suffering from kidney problems, including kidney cancer, it can become an issue, and that’s why the poster was in the Oncology waiting room. I feel glad I’m not suffering from anything that puts me in that category, but there are many who do, and it’s not funny at all. But it’s so taboo that the poster was right to use the clever slogan, ‘It’s Time for Some Decent Exposure’. I wish for its sake that it had more.
So, that was how I spent the waiting time, and this posting was supposed to be about our discussions with Nick Pavlakis.
I’ll write about that now. If you’d have told me this morning I would be writing about continence (which puts a positive spin on viewing the condition), I’d have been extremely surprised, but that’s what I get for reading posters in doctors’ surgeries.... As mentioned, it’s worth going here to read about it.
And, now I’ll start writing about what I was going to, but there are times when other people’s issues become much more important than those of an individual.