Archive for March, 2010

Traffic @ Dusk – Collabor:8

March 30, 2010 2 comments
I recently walked over the Symonds Street bridge on the way to Auckland Hospital and thought to myself that I needed to come back and photograph it… 2 weeks later, I finally got around to doing that. The photo was taken around 7.30 with a neutral density filter to kick out an extra stop of light. It took a few shots to capture some decent traffic, but unfortunately, no one really seemed to be heading south, they were all heading north. Anyway, here is the final result.

Shutter 15s, F/13 ISO 100, Focal length: 18mm on 18-55mm EFS lens

Posted via email from Collabor:8 Project

Categories: Photography Tags: , ,

Chemo 7.0

March 23, 2010 6 comments

Another round of chemo comes and goes.

… and with it goes the resounding slap of reality into my face, followed by the ritualistic pretending that everything is okay between rounds.

This round was much of a muchness. Chemo begins to blur after a time, and as much as all usual culprits of nausea and tiredness play their routine roll, perhaps the biggest challenge is the emotional aspect of it all.

I’m sick of being hit with a bomb every two weeks.

I’m sick of having my pseudonormal life come crashing back to the ground, only to remind me of my mere mortality, and that in this life…. I will never have the life I wanted. Over time, the endless mocking that cancer does to the soul begins to take its toll. The physical side effects, whilst very much apparent, begin to fade in comparison to the mental battle that dealing with cancer requires.

So, I soldier on, and head into round 8 in ten days time. Unfortunately, my ‘half time’ update in the last update was a little incorrect. It turns out that I’m half way through my clinical trial (of 12 rounds).. but chemo for me is an endless journey of ups and downs. My chemotherapy will keep going until the cancer either stops responding, or the toxicity is too much for my body to handle. Either outcome is about as cherry as a slap in the face.

However, the moment I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself, I am quickly reminded how sweet I have it. I only have to look at the patients I see every day in the hospital to realise that yes, cancer sucks, but life could potentially suck so much more, and as cruel as a blow that it seems to me, many more people in this country are dealt with much worse.

May we all temper our reality against the reality of others, and realise how good our lives really are.

Till, next round…..

Categories: Cancer Update Tags: ,

Pig on a Spit – Collabor:8

March 22, 2010 1 comment
On saturday, Mosaic, our community of fellowship, decided to have a HUGE garage sale. Which we did. We also decided to put a pig on a spit and basically put on a HUGE feed after the garage sale to whoever wanted to come so we could get to know who was living locally in the community. It gave us the opportunity to meet new people, and just to see who it is that we obliviously drive past all the time when we don’t connect to our neighbourhood.

This is a photo of Blue getting ready to carve up the pig. I think it caught the moment well. We had a really good turnout with heaps of food. You can see more photos of the event here :

Shutter: 1/60, F/2.2, ISO 1600, lens: 50mm f1.8.

Posted via email from Collabor:8 Project

Categories: Photography Tags: , ,

NZone Interview

March 18, 2010 5 comments

I was interviewed earlier in the year for a TV programme called NZone on Shine TV. I realise that most people either don’t have access to watching it on sky (channel 111), and those that do have sky, probably don’t know shine exists. 🙂

So for those of you that missed its screening two weeks ago, here it is in all its glory, in two parts.

Warning: High level of faith based content follows 🙂


Part 1

Part 2

Oncology Update 4.0

March 14, 2010 7 comments

So, the results from my last scan are in!…

Basically, the scan, which was only about 5 weeks after the previous one, showed that existing nodes are getting smaller, and the one node that was getting bigger in the previous scan is now static. So that is a whole heap of improvement with only 2 rounds of chemo inbetween scans. Of course, I’m still only half way thru chemo, ideally we would like to see them all shrinking, and with them gone by the time chemo has finished.

Each scan is apparently your average 1 years worth of background radiation, and I have had about 6 or 7 of them in the last 14 months. I get scanned every  6 weeks (or every three rounds) because of the drug trial I’m on, so all this information (and radiation) is a lot more than the average chemo patient gets.

Again, the radiologist concluded that it is ‘stable disease’. That is a heap better than progressing disease, and less good than regressing disease.

Till next time…

Butterflies – Collabor:8

March 14, 2010 Leave a comment
Where I live, there isn’t much wildlife or insect life in existence. Its the tradeoff you get for living in an industrialised, urbanised part of the city. This photo was taken at my parents house, they get Monarch Butterflies there all the time at this time of the year, so I couldn’t help but photograph one as it settled on a bottle brush tree.
Shutter: 1/160, F/11, ISO 200, Focal Length 250mm with 55-250mm EFS lens.

Posted via email from Collabor:8 Project

Categories: Photography Tags: ,

Chemo 6.0 (half time)

March 9, 2010 3 comments

The latest round of chemotherapy has been a bit of a mixed bag. The friday immediately after the infusion was pretty bad. The usual culprits played their parts, but it was the nausea that killed me the most. Saturday and Sunday were dominated more by fatigue than nausea, but nausea still played its role in there somewhere.

This round saw me dropping back the dexamethasone, and moving my nozinan to half a tablet each evening. The dex drives me up the wall with its side effects, and the nozinan is probably the biggest culprit with fatigue. I have had much less hungry episodes with the reduced dex dose, as well as sleeping better at night. I didnt take the nozinan on the Sunday evening, which has meant today (monday) has seen a lot more energy that I expected!.. I think i’m starting to get the hang of all this medication juggling!!

…although I will be having words with the oncologist about my friday nausea…

In a nut shell, that was chemo round 6. That makes me half way through all 12 rounds. But.. I can’t really call it the downhill stretch when the net result tends to be cumulative, the worst is unfortunately yet to come.

Also, my hair is seriously thin now. I’m trying to work out whether I should style it to cover up its thinness, or just shave it all off.

All this chemo every two weeks makes me really feel like I need a holiday….

Till next time!…

Categories: Cancer Update Tags: ,