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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Day 3 of IV chemo - the final day for the month. I am very glad that there are only 3 days of sitting in a hospital chair per month, even if I feel more uncomfortable for a week after that's finished.

I think the Avastin treatment has so far had at least a psychological effect even though it is very early days. So far I don't think there are adverse physiological effects but realistically they are more likely to appear later. No, it's just that feeling that you have taken some real control, however limited, over your destiny, and that provides strength to tackle the frustrations and indignities of dependency.

I have been totally independent since the age of 16, leaving the family farm to go to Teachers' College in Brisbane, 500 km from home. It is not easy to come to terms with the dependency you may have last experienced as a small child. If your GBM affects your motor skills, as mine does, then you will have to accept it. It takes time, but in our case, quick adaptability to changed circumstances is vital. It's also vital for the sake of those who share in caring for us. Try to see it from their point of view as well. It’s not easy for them. In fact, in some ways it definitely is harder, day to day.

If the effects of Avastin are positive for me, then one huge benefit should flow. Restricting the tumour growth and the brain inflammation should do two things
  • Cut down the number of debilitating seizures and
  • Allow me to retain at least two precious things I have: my rationality and my left arm and hand function, allowing me to communicate with the world in a meaningful way.

Let's see how that progresses.


  1. Another try to upload a comment, Denis.
    Given that you still have a "brain", despite the best attempts of the devil, I am hoping that other people in your position will come onboard, or onblog, to talk about the psychological adaptation to changing circumstances so necessary for navigating this incredibly journey.

    As Jack Kornfield said, "In the big changes in life, the only currency we have is what our spiritual practice has brought us. They don't take VISA or Mastercard." Or something to that effect.

    Here goes. Let's see if this works.


  2. It works, Joan - thanks! When I make this more public, perhaps we'll get interesting discussion on this theme. Kornfield is probably pretty right, but it does seem they are prepared to take a credit card when it comes to some high-priced treatments! Still, I think the latter is useless without the right mental approach.


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