Home > Blog > Changing Themes with Changing Times

Changing Themes with Changing Times

This blog was originally put together over a year ago now, and when I chose the layout of it, it was a case of picking the best of an average bunch of options. WordPress have subsequently and progressively added a few more over the last year, so I decided to look at changing it. Of course, if I hosted this blog on my own domain, then I there is a bigger selection available, however, I kind of like the low maintenance option of just letting WordPress look after it for me.

I’m also thinking of changing the name. The Boredom Blog is probably a lot less accurate these days now that I’m back doing medicine. Thankfully, boredom is not the greatest challenge of my day to day existence anymore. I was thinking of running with “Chemo and Caffeine”, a reflection of the two drugs with the greatest influence in my life. The suggestion was made by Josie Campbell, so she must take the credit for it. But if you can come up with something different, I’m open to suggestions!

So, this leads me to two things: First, what do you think? is this better, worse, or no different?

And Secondly, Who are you?? Many people come vist my blog and I’d like to know who the regulars are! 🙂 I get comments from a few people, but I know there a many more that pass by silently. Feel free just to stick in a comment letting me know who you are. Feedback helps the soul, and it helps to know if people actually enjoy what they are reading or not.

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  1. Jared
    March 3, 2010 at 11:18 am

    The more I look at this theme… the less I’m convinced…

  2. Bob
    March 3, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Hi Jared,
    I quite like the theme – and do like reading your blog.

    Chemo and Caffeine is a cool name too – go for it.


  3. Lisa Fackler
    March 3, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Hey Jared, like the new look. I read your blog each time it is updated.
    I’m sure you have heard about life coaches before, your blog is like that for me, you have changed my outlook on many things and honestly I am enjoying what I have in life more since you started your blog.
    Thanks so much!

  4. rhys
    March 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    hi, my name is Rhys and I’m a regular follower 😉

    chemo and caffeine is good bro!

  5. Benny
    March 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Jared,
    Im’ in irregular follower

    My suggestion is this: the original theme should stay – boredom blog. it’s the reason this started. I suggest you start a new ‘chapter’ called chemo and caffeine… and later on as you progress out of chemo, you can start a new chapter.

    new colour scheme is good – colours are more contrasting. i like.


  6. Matt
    March 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Matt checking in, I too am a regular follower! Actually preferred the old look to the site… but I like the new name, if you go with that.

  7. Rebecca
    March 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Well i like the old colours they are prettier but I’m a bit girly. the black is quite striking tho and anyways whatever you like is best!

    I haven’t seen you in years but your messages are always thought provoking and i like to keep you and your wife in my thoughts and prayers.

    Chemo and coffee is a catchy name. keep it up

  8. Luke
    March 3, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I don’t do change. Hey you, yes you! Who moved my cheese?

  9. Tarryn
    March 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I’m here!

  10. Jared
    March 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks for the comments guys… 8 people have commented so far, yet 50 people have read it!!… So many silent readers I’d love to hear from.

    • Marz
      March 6, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      Kia ora Jared, I just saw you on Shine t.v tonight, right at a moment when I had a brokenness in me that I had to lay before God. Even tho it is no form of illness i am dealing with,the words you were speaking sunk deep in my heart and ran parallel to whats going on inside of me!When you said “no matter what the brokenness is your going through, even if you have other options to dealing with it, by submitting it to God and receiving his merciful peace, that right there brings instant healing. Thank-you for all that you do, you bring MASSIVE amounts of glory to GOD! Amen!!!

      • Marz
        March 6, 2010 at 10:15 pm

        Apologies, they were not your exact words, along those lines? Thankyou.

    • Francis Alphonse
      March 7, 2010 at 9:19 am

      Hi Jared,

      Saw your sharing on Shine last night.

      I am 48 this year, must say, its been an unremarkable journey, I wrestle with myself all the time to keep the same straight and narrow you mentioned.

      Have a look at Chapter 23 of the Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, I think it suffers a little from English translation, but the meaning is clear in an unvarnished way. If anything, I share that fear !

      Whatever the future holds mate, we can do no better than place our hope and trust in God. In the face of doubt, within or without, remember that Jesus himself was tempted. Hold fast to His promises, that’s all that matters.

      In the Catholic church, today is the feast of Perpetua and Felicity, what an extraordinary story their’s is.

      God bless, have a wonderful Sunday 🙂

  11. Anna S
    March 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Hmmmm, I reckon your photos stand out better in the new format. But otherwise I’m not fussed either way.

    There, I’ve said something!

    Not-So-Silent Anna :o)

  12. Kate
    March 3, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Hi Jared – I read ur blog from the far away hospital wards of Welly.

    I kinda liked the old background but nothing wrong with a change.

    Keep it up 🙂

  13. Helen
    March 3, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Always learn something from your blogs buddy, they make me take time to think… Thanks, Helen (Sarah’s sis)

  14. Kevin L
    March 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm


  15. Jane
    March 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Hi Jarred.
    We have never met but I am a regular reader of your blog and am so encouraged by what you write and the honesty of your writings. I walked a short cancer journey 7 years ago treated by chemo and radiotherapy so can relate to some of your comments.
    I’m with Benny on the name of your blog. Stick with Boredom Blog – with chemo and caffine as a chapter. I am sure you will have other chapters over the years.
    The black and white contrast takes some getting used to – but it wont stop me reading your blogs 🙂
    You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Amanda Luckman
    March 3, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Hey Jared

    I read your blog regularly especially when you post links via facebook. It is so helpful in directing prayers. I am challenged and encouraged by how you are following God through this difficult time.

    I think a reference to the use of caffeine as a drug to survive med school would be part of a relevant chapter title!!

    Hey I’m at Grafton on Monday and Wednesday around 5pm so if you ever need a coffee buddy in those times let me know.



  17. Frances
    March 3, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I probably liked the old style – the black and blue is quite strong. But it’s your thoughts I appreciate, so go with what you like.

  18. Anna B
    March 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I always read your blog when you update it. I find you so inspiring and I am always interested to know how your journey is going:)

  19. Kerry
    March 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    OK I like the new theme, my 50 year old eyes appreciate more contrast and less grey in my life.

  20. Ruth
    March 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I’m with Frances on liking the old format and title. Mainly because the Boredom Blog was the birthing platform for many inspiring messages / thoughts over the past year or so that have and are impacting us. It’s like the title of your book. But of course your call on this. You are the author. My friends and work colleagues are being touched by your journey and writings.

  21. Matt A
    March 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Hey bro.
    Just thought I’d through my 2 cents in, I liked the old layout better, but maybe thats just because I find black on white easier to read.
    Hope psych is treating you well 🙂 CCU is epic.
    You’re a legend

  22. Jared
    March 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Hmmm.. so far it seems that the old layout is winning…

    There are alternatives again. I’m not convinced by this one, so might try something different in a few days time.

    We have 19 comments from 92 page views!.. Thats roughly just over a 1 in 5 comment/hit rate!! I guess we will never know who the mystery 73 others are :-).

  23. Janice Corbett
    March 4, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Hi Jared, I’m a friend of your parents and you may remember me from Baptist College days. You are often in my thoughts and prayers. Maybe it’s my older eyes, but the white text on black is a bit tricky. Although the black sets off your photos magnificently. I appreciate your honest reflections.

  24. Hetty McLennan
    March 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Hi Jared,

    I am a regular reader of your blog. I often think about you and send you good wishes. Its probably time to admit I may have had a small crush on you at High School haha!

    • Jared
      March 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm

      hehehe.. I think I might have known that 🙂 … seems so long ago now!!

  25. Hilleke
    March 4, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Hey Jared,
    Still finding inspiration from your blog. Like the new theme for photos, but the old theme might be a bit easier for reading. And love the new name, although if you do go with it, you should try keep ‘The Boredom Blog’ in there somewhere…subtitle???
    Keep up the good work 🙂

  26. Catherine Pettigrew
    March 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Jared, I’m an occasional viewer, it was easier to find your way on the old format. How are you doing now? If you are getting a bit of downtime and can find enough energy to listen to an audio book I’d like to recommend, “Making the Cut” by Mohamed Khadra. His story may not bear much similarity to surgical training these days but it will certainly help you to understand the older guys who may train and mentor you. Please do keep going with your inspirations, and pass on our love to Hannah.

  27. Simon
    March 4, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Always enjoy your posts J and your development as a photographer is most impressive. I don’t know that the old layout is the answer, but this white on gray is hard on the eyes. These eyes are almost 30! Probably time to book in for that cataract surgery…

  28. Simon
    March 4, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Also – keep the name. Lots of blogs develop beyond their original roots, but I reckon the origin of the name is pretty important.

  29. Margot & Richard
    March 4, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Hey Jared, We are regular visitors to your blog and friends of the Ross’s – you come as part of the package deal. We have met but you probably won’t remember us – Hannah will.

    We cover you all regularly with prayer and enjoy / cry while reading your blogs. Love your writtings and hearing about everything – amazing photos!

    Will read the blog whatever colour:-)

  30. Kush
    March 4, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Jared… You don’t really know me (we have only met once or twice) but Hannah and I were good friends through med school and keeping in touch a little more lately. She pointed me to your blog via Facebook when I didn’t know what was going on for you guys and I’ve been following irregularly since. Anyway, I’m an anaesthetic reg at Auckland now so Hannah knows where to find me if you need anything I can help with. I’m pretty good at pain and nausea management (ie: for chemo) and also if you do any rotations in anaesthesia or O&G on Level 9, let me know if you need a friendly face.

    • Jared
      March 5, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Hey, Hannah has mentioned you a few times. Good to hear from you. I actually do have a question regarding nausea management. I’m currently on ondansetron, domperidone and dexamethasone. I was recently put on Nozinan (antipsychotic) 12.5mg Nocte, which really improved my nausea.

      So, I’m experimenting with dropping the dex dose this round, cos of all the medication I’m on, its the side effects of the dex that I hate the most.

      Any thoughts or recommendations if my nausea doesn’t cope with the decreased dex dose?

      • Kush
        March 9, 2010 at 7:06 am

        Hi, sorry about the delay in reply (and now very long reply!) – I am post exams and on night shifts! As far as the nausea goes, what doses of ondansetron and dex are you using and what is the time course of your symptoms?
        The best way (both pharmacologically and from clinical practice) I know is act at each receptor in the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) and, if required at some peripheral ones such as in the gut.
        1) ondansetron antagonises 5-HT receptors in the CTZ and in the gut
        2) domperidone antagonises dopamine receptors in the CTZ and also has a prokinetic effect (and has largely replaced the use of high-dose metoclopramide)
        3) dexamethasone’s mechanism of action is not well understood and there has been a lot of controversy over the dose required for antiemesis so you may well be able to reduce it, or vary it with your symptoms (eg: high dose IV on day one then tapering PO doses with a better side effect profile)
        4) nozinan and other antipsychotic drugs like haloperidol and droperidol but in sub-antipsychotic doses are on the increase and antagonise dopamine in the CTZ. haloperidol can be particularly useful for hiccups. I like droperidol as an agent as it tends to be less sedating.
        5) that really leave the histamine receptors both in the CTZ and the gut, which are antagonised by cyclizine (some people love it, some hate it) and scopolamine (which is actually often forgotten about but pretty good and comes in a 72hr patch best applied 6-12hrs before the onset of nausea).
        Antacids and proton pump inhibitors can also help some people as reflux symptoms can commonly be mistaken for or combined with nausea.
        Lastly there are also non-pharmacological options, eg: there is some evidence for acupressure points (look up Pericardium 6) and dietary modifications.
        I guess, all in all, I’d suggested looking at varying your dose of dexamethasone and perhaps trying scopolamine patch first and let me know how it goes.

  31. Kush
    March 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    On another note, I’m a keen photographer so enjoy seeing your work.

  32. JD
    March 5, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Hi Jared,
    We’ve never met but I know Hannah – she was leading the youth group whislt she was still in Dunedin. I regularly follow your blog and have found your reflections/insights very inspiring and mature. Your fighting spirit despite the odds is inspiring. You’ve tackled some very big issues well. You and Hannah will continue to be in my prayers. Take care.

    Oh, and on the note of your blog name, I think I quite like the idea suggested by Benny.

  33. March 5, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Jared,

    I’m Jade Wood’s girlfriend, we met once at church. I’ve been following your blogs now for a while and have read every single one. You are an inspiration dude. There is actually a really good book I read recently that I think you should read, its called ‘Mind Power into the 21st Century’ by John Kehoe. Its brilliant and I think you’d enjoy it.


  34. Suzanne
    March 5, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Hey Jared, I’m mostly a silent reader… till now! Some friends here in Colorado work at Automattic which makes WordPress. That’s pretty cool I think. We could always put in a special request for the very best design they can come up with. It’ll still be 50/50 with the viewers I rekon. 🙂 Subjectivity is great like that! Anyway, keep up the excellent blogging and photography. I really appreciate all you share. Thinking of you heaps!

  35. Jared
    March 6, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Thanks for all your comments guys. There are a lot a familiar faces there!! Some more recent that other, and others I have never met! It’s nice to to know people actually want to read what I write!

    After taking all your considerations on board, it would seem that black text on white is a better option, So i’m going to try this newer theme for a few days and see how I like.

    It also seems that people are in favour of keeping the original name, so we’ll go with that. People google the original name to find my site all the time, so I would probably leave them lost with the name change.

  36. Charis
    March 6, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Hi Jared,

    Yup – I too stalk you via your blog 🙂 It looks like you have lots of silent fans you didn’t know about! Liking the new layout and the photos.


  37. Suzanne
    March 6, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Hey Jared, here’s a cool talk about happiness and how we synthesize it. I thought about it after you were asking people which site they preferred. Its tangentially related, and worth watching anyway…


    • Jared
      March 6, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      That was quite interesting… I guess I fall into the synthetic happiness group 🙂

  38. Noeline
    March 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    We are regular readers of your blog – longtime friends of your folks. You may remember us from Foxton Easter camp days ! We have just returned from Wellington with the Reids where we farewelled Claire and Doug (daughter and son in law) to Chang Mai after 5 weeks at home. Fantastic that you can share your faith in this way and provide us with your prayer needs. God Bless both you and Hannah.

    • Jared
      March 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks for your comment, we caught up with Claire in Chiang mai when we were over there. Doug was over in Myanmar the time.

  39. Lisa Greening
    March 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Jared!
    We have never met but I did a paper with your Mum last year at Uni. I’m a nurse at Middlemore and turns out in the Christian Community everyone is linked somehow. I am really close friends with Christine and Al Ronberg…I look forward to your updates and your amazing perspective on life….it challenges my faith and the way I look at life both personally and professionally (when I care for patients).

  40. Amy Shanks
    March 8, 2010 at 10:47 am

    hey jared
    i read your blog…thinking of you guys…your blog has been inspiring to read.
    im bak from afrika now and in the UK again.
    thinking and praying for ya.
    love amy

  41. natalie
    March 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    hey jared,

    Ive been reading all your posts ever since i first heard you speak up the front at north gate(mid last year) and i must say your faith in god and your courage is something i admire, you have changed my life for the better, i’ve also told others about your blog including a client going thro chemo and she will continue reading also, praying for u and hannah everyday

  42. Mark & Cheryl Alcorn
    March 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Hi jared
    We have been reading your blogs now for some time and love to keep up to date with how you are going. We pray for you and Hannah and the family regularly and are truly inspired by your blogs and the quiet depth of your faith.

    Best regards
    Mark & Cheryl

    ps. The “Caffeine & Chemo” suggestion is a good one, but then again so is the present title. C

  43. Sarah Lane
    March 9, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Hey Jared,

    Love catching up with your blog – normally see the links on facebook! Its always great reading what you are up to and your view on things…


    • Sarah Lane
      March 9, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Oops, forgot I was meant to give my opinion (as you can see, I’m a silent reader – probably the only time in my life I’m EVER silent!)… Like the chemo and caffeine idea, but still like the boredom blog – either works I think. Think I agree with the majority that I liked the old format too…

      • Jared
        March 9, 2010 at 10:55 am

        The layout has actually changed a second time since I put this post up :-).. I quite like the current one I think, its a bit less boring and tidier than the previous one.

  44. Sarah
    March 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Hi Jared, I’m a regular reader of your blog. I do like the current layout 🙂
    It’s always good to know how things are going for you – and helps to know what to pray for. I find your photos very inspiring too! I think we’ve met briefly once before – I’m in Dunedin and know your lovely parents-in-law well. What a journey…I wish you well for the second half of the chemo, and hope for some easing in the side effects.
    Will keep reading and praying.
    Blessings to you both.

  45. Georgina
    March 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Jared, this is my first visit to your blog and it is quite an insight for me. Your lovely wife says, everybody knows somebody with cancer. My closest connection is my Dad, a prostate cancer survivor. He was diagnosed early enough to avoid chemo, but suffered other treatments. He’s doing well now. I wish the same for you, and I’ll stop by regularly from now and to check on you 🙂

  46. Gemma
    March 19, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Hey Jared,

    I’m Lester’s wife, and I’ve been reading your blog over his shoulder (and on my own too!) for quite a while now.
    Great to hear your latest scan result, seems like you have quite a fan club on here so there would have been a large collective “Thankyou God!” when we read that one. Here’s hoping and praying all your scans keep coming back with improvements and shrinking nodes.
    I’m a pharmacist so I’m always reading your drug comments carefully – was talking to a patient on Xeloda the other day, and I could finally say I knew someone who lost their fingerprints (i.e you). I always find your feedback on drugs really useful! Oh and I also warned my clexane patients that the injection will really sting after reading your post on that 🙂
    Thanks for your blog Jared, you are an inspiration an encouragement, and a timely reminded to thank our God for the good and the bad in this life.
    REALLY wishing you all the best in your treatment and Journey,

    Gemma Perry

    • Jared
      March 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks for your comment Gemma. My parents were at your wedding, and I have seen photos courtesy of facebook. 🙂 One day when we are down your way we will have to meet sometime and catch up with Lester. Your sister has also messaged me and told me about what she is going through, its never easy being young with diseases of the old.

  47. Necia
    April 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Necia here, from Texas. I found your blog after I did a google search on “hemicolectomy”. My husband had one in November and I was quite fearful of everything around the procedure. His giant mass (13 cm) ended up being benign, but the procedure was not fun.

    Even though I found you because of that, I now read your posts for inspiration. I am a mother of 3 kids, one being autistic. Sometimes I really get into a “poor me” mode and you really make me see that this is all bigger than my day to day pains.

    Thank you for your inspirational writing. I am sending healing thoughts your way. Please keep posting!


  48. Melanie
    October 1, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Hi Jared! my name is Melanie and I’m a displaced Zimbabwean living in Namibia with my family (a husb and 3 small kids!), which we love! I stumbled across your website by accident…long story and prob a few with the same story! I saw Kristian’s video for Rachel (cried my eyes out!) and followed his blog and tweets to you! I am slowly reading thru all your posts and loving them. My very dear cousin passed away from Hodgkins Lymphoma in March at the age of 40, leaving behind a young family and so I can identify and understand in a small way what you are going through. God is being glorified through you, which I guess is what we all want ultimately. Keep fighting the fight and we will do the interceding praying for you.

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