5th to 11th November 2011
Today is a special day when we remember the soldiers who lost their lives to make our Country the place it is today. At 11 am on 11th November 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years continuous warfare. The allied armies had driven the German invaders back, having inflicted heavy defeats upon them over the preceding four months. In November the Germans called for an armistice (suspension of fighting) in order to secure a peace settlement. They accepted the allied terms of unconditional surrender.
The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month attained a special significance in the post-war years. The moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front became universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the war. This first modern world conflict had brought about the mobilisation of over 70 million people and left between 9 and 13 million dead, perhaps as many as one-third of them with no known grave. The allied nations chose this day and time for the commemoration of their war dead.
This week for me was one that was filled with doctors appointments and blood tests. It all began on Monday with an appointment with my Endocrinologist. He found out that my growth hormone request was still pending and it would be another six to eight weeks before it is all approved and I can begin daily injections of the growth hormone which will assist me to grow a little, I have not grown for well over a year now and people of my age are usually going through quite a growth spurt. Even with the growth hormones I will never reach the height that I would have been before my tumour. I was also told that I am going to experience problems with my spine from the extremely high doses of radiation that I had to have, there is already a curvature and it is likely to worsen. The thyroid is one of the bodies organs that respond poorly to radiation, my thyroid function has been dropping over my last blood tests and will continue to drop and cause problems. Often when people have had really high doses of radiation there is a high chance of them developing thyroid cancer. So the Endocrinologist decided to send me for more blood tests to see what is happening. He is also organising a bone density test for me as that is another thing that can be affected by the radiation. I will be seeing him again in February for my regular monitoring however he will see when as soon as the growth hormones are approved.
On Tuesday I had an appointment with the Oncologist from Sydney. With not being on the study any longer I am only been monitored six monthly rather than three monthly. My high ferretin levels where mentioned and he told me that they were extremely high because of the many blood transfusions I had to have whilst on chemotherapy, it is been monitored as if it does not drop through natural ways like puberty, which will not occur for a long time, or may not at all because of my treatment and tumour then I will have to have medication for it. He was amazed that I was competing in throwing events and thought that showed true determination. With a tumour like mine there is a really high risk of recurrent disease, the team are amazed that I have not had a recurrence as yet as they had expected it to happen. Some people go five years without a recurrence but then it returns more aggressive than before. I still have the residual tumour which we do not know what it may do in the future but I feel like my positive attitude and determination to try to beat this disease is helping. I will be having another MRI in February on both my brain and spine and then going to Sydney after that for more appointments. He is trying to organise an appointment with a neurologist doing a Canberra Clinic in the New Year also.
I had physiotherapy on Wednesday, it was my second last appointment before Rhiannon leaves, she worked on my shoulders, neck, calves and right heel which is giving me a few problems because of the spur. I have an appointment with her again on 22nd November and that is the day she leaves. I will miss her so much, she has been my very special guardian angel and has been such an important part of my rehabilitation and ability to be positive.
On Thursday I was supposed to be competing in discus, javelin and shot put in the ACT Schools Championships but the weather had other ideas, the rain had been pouring down out of angry, grey skies the night before and then that morning large drops of rain continued to pelt down, forming large puddles on the ground. The Championships were postponed, they are now going to be on Tuesday next week and the forecast for that day is sunny and twenty nine degrees.
I had a blood test today to test my thyroid function, insulin, growth hormones and a full blood count as well, I now watch my blood tests, it is rather interesting to see the fine butterfly needle enter my skin and go into my vein which is so used to been poked and then the thin blood flows down the fine tube and into the vial. the needle does not even seem to sting anymore when it goes in. Today after I had my blood test my vein continued to bleed for a little while afterwards so we had to apply extra pressure to it. That used to happen when I was having my chemotherapy and my platelets were low but they should not be that low now.
Finally I have completed all the assignments that I needed to finish, my last one was one on Kenya for World Studies. Next week we have several tests and the week after we have moderating tests to work out what level classes we should be in the following year.
At Interclub last Friday night I was throwing javelin and shot put. I was so thrilled to throw a personal best in javelin, my previous result had been 4.81m and I threw 6.06m. Then in shot put I was only three centimeters off my personal best so I was also happy with that. There is no Interclub this week but there is one the following Friday and the program will be discus and shot put. Nalani also threw a personal best in javelin and she was also able to run two laps of the track and did not limp at all. Jarrett again had to be a spectator but his foot has now healed so he will be able to jog on the weekend and then gradually return to full training and then racing.
My Nana and Pop's dog, Chifley is recovering well from his second surgery, poor him having to have two lots of surgery in three weeks, I think he is a very brave dog. It must be hard for animals, they can not talk and tell their owners how they are feeling and it would be so difficult for them to understand that they need to stay still.
For anyone that is going through a difficult journey, always believe that there is a rainbow out there for you that will bring you hope, healing and happiness.