Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back at work. The post cancer post!

Well four and a half months has passed since I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  It has been a wild and woolly ride.  First there was a nuclear scan, two ultrasounds, a biopsy, untold blood tests and not one, but two horrible endoscopes where a tiny little camera was put up my nose and down my throat.  I had 5 admissions to  hospital, 3 surgeries and have walked away with a choice scar across my throat and a much smaller one on my back.  I seem to have lost a few weeks, achieved little most of the time and am living proof that daytime televisions should be banned across the globe!!!   Now I am back to work and loving it!   My energy levels are still very low as the drug prescribed to replace my now defunct thyroid don't appear to be working at this stage.  I struggle with concentration and reading a good book is just a sad old memory these days!!  That will change.  The big question is when!?!?!  Against this low energy issue I have been pushing myself by being out in the garden this weekend mowing and planting and generally working up a sweat.  Photographically I haven't done anything really outstanding, but I have nutted our a new series of shots I would like to take.   They are all still in my head, but they will make it to the sensor sometime soon.

One thing I have achieved is I have sent to my little printer man in France 56 images for the 2013 spiral bound diaries.  I don't recall how I lucked across this french printer man, but I'm so glad I did.  He does small print runs.  I only ordered 8 this year.  How it works is I send the images and a template of what I want to a bloke I know in London, he then sends them on to the printer man in France and weeks later beautiful diaries turn up at my door, each having one of my images on each page.  I could probably sent them direct to France, but my high school french is limited to "there is the window"and "shut your mouth",  neither is very helpful in negotiating a print run!!!   I make these little gems every year and, this will sound very arrogant, I give them away as gifts!   Initially I struggled with  giving my images as gifts, but I have since given diaries, calendars and framed works...... and they have all been warmly received.  Mind you it is doubtful someone would tell you if they thought your gift to them was naff!!!   I hope they are enjoyed.

I won't bore you, showing you all 56 shots now, but here are a few I have sent my french printer man.   Oh, and if you are one of the lucky people who will receive a diary..... I hope this doesn't spoil your surprise!!

I guess the only downside is that these little gems aren't printed in Australia.  I simply have not been able to find a printer that can make equivalent quality diaries at a reasonable price.  Sad but true!  I do have my calendars and cards printed in OZ.  I use Redbubble for that and they do create awesome work.  You can find me on Redbubble as nammo.  This link might (or might not) work....

Monday, September 3, 2012

I am NOT an organ donor

Yep, you read right, I am NOT an organ donor. Nor am I a blood donor.  But before you write me off as a completely selfish loser you might want to understand why.  I WAS a donor, I registered on my licence the very first time donors were being recorded.   Sadly now my blood and guts just aren't good enough because I have cancer.   My blood and organs are no longer viable to transplant into someone else.  Donor recipients are not generally in excellent health, but they will be sicker with my festy cancerous bits in them!!!  My particular cancer, Papillary Carcinoma (Hurthle Cell Variant), means the cancer cells move through my body via my bloodstream not just my lymphatic system so they are useless to even the sickest person awaiting a transplant.  And trust me, the people awaiting a transplant aren't having a great life.  

Cancer affects thousands of people. The USA National Cancer Institute estimates 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will get cancer. There is no reason to question that these statistics are much different in Australia.  Thus the pool from which donors can come is getting smaller and smaller.   The whole point of this blog is to hopefully encourage just one person who is not currently registered to take my place on the donor lists.  Heaps of people have offered to help me while I have been sick and I have been really lucky to have needed so little assistance, but I do now. I need someone to come forward and fill my spot on the Organ Donor Register.

About 20% of people waiting for a heart, lung or liver transplant never get one. They simply die before an organ becomes available.   That's just not good enough is it.   So if you are not already registered now is the time to put your hand up,  register online or telephone Medicare,  update your licence to show you are a donor and make sure your family know your wishes.

So now you know why I'm not a donor.  What's your reason?

Here are some happy blood red themed pics to thank you for reading this far.