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Archive for February, 2014

20/20’s Third Follow Up and a Media Summary from the Past Few Months

February 23, 2014 8 comments

For those of you haven’t yet seen the 20/20 story that aired on Thursday night, you can do so by clicking on the 20/20 image.

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Hannah and I would like to thank the 20/20 team for their great work over the past few years, their non-intrusive manner, and the way they construct stories that reflect our journey well. We think they did a great job at putting the story together, and we just want to acknowledge all the work they have put into it.

I thought I would also put up a series of links to other media appearances over the past few months so that they are all found in one place.

First was the NZ Herald story that featured on the front page shortly after our Give A Little campaign on October 24th:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11145166

and a subsequent follow up on October 25th:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11145856

The Dominion Post also did a story which appeared on Stuff.co.nz

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9320521/Dad-to-bes-dying-wish

Then there was also The Daily Mail that picked up on the story a few days later (and I might add a very comprehensive and accurate account given that we didn’t speak to them at all).

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2476425/Dying-father-SIXTY-SIX-rounds-chemotherapy-battles-stay-alive-long-hold-unborn-child-months.html

The Give A Little team also wrote a nice summary on their site as this was one of the most successful campaigns that they had ever seen.

http://fundraise.givealittle.co.nz/?p=2635

There was another appearance in the Otago Daily Times in December after a friend of ours (Anna) was able to organise a brand new Audi to be transported from Palmerston North to Dunedin when we were down there for Hannah’s brother’s wedding. We were given the car to drive for the time we were down there. I have to say, the effort involved in organising that was very impressive, and all done without me knowing. I woke up to hear someone was at the door, and Armstrong Prestige were there ready to hand me over the keys, along with a few cameras as well.

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/286174/dream-drive-welcome-surprise

Once Elise was born, we did a follow up story with the NZ Herald as an acknowledgement that their first story was responsible for at least $50 000 dollars of the fundraising that happened back in October. We wanted to let people know how it had made a difference, and that I was able to make the birth of Elise.

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After all of that, we have had a number of approaches from the media that we have decided in large part to decline, as we don’t want publicity for the sake of publicity. We also want to protect Elise, as she is yet able to consent to such exposure, and her privacy is for us to care for.

This post is about consolidating the media links into one easily accessible place, and to acknowledge the work that has been done by the media that has both represented our journey well, and also helped contribute to the money raised that has allowed me to continue with treatment that so far seems to be working.

Until next time…

Upcoming TV appearance on 20/20

February 17, 2014 20 comments

Just a quick note for those who are interested, 20/20 are doing a third follow up on myself, Hannah, and now Elise. The follow up started last year when we announced our pregnancy, and then subsequently caught the events that followed including bad news scans, radiotherapy, and the give-a-little campaign.

The reporter, Emma Keeling, has written a blog post (which is very flattering) about it which can be seen HERE, along with a 30 second excerpt from some of the interviews.

The segment will air on February 20th, 9.30pm on TV2. I will put up the on demand link on the blog after it airs.

All the cool people will be watching…..  🙂

Categories: Interviews and Talks Tags: , ,

80 Rounds of Chemotherapy… (Round 6 FOLFOX and Avastin)

February 8, 2014 1 comment

This most recent round of chemo was the 6th of FOLFOX and Avastin, and was marked by a few significant points. Firstly, it was the 80th round total of chemotherapy that I have had. I remember after 20 rounds of FOLFIRI thinking that there was no way I was going to be able to make it through another 20 rounds. As it turned out I managed to cope with 66 rounds before it was stopped, and it was stopped because of non-response rather than toxicity. So 80 rounds total of all my chemotherapy is quite an achievement, and not something I would recommend as an overall lifestyle to others.

The second point of significance for this round was that this was the first round of chemotherapy as a father. Chemo renders me fairly useless for a few days at the best of times, but usually that has been something that is easy enough to deal with. I can go to bed, sleep it off, and Hannah just feeds me small amounts of easy to digest food for a few days. With Elise now part of the household there are increased responsibilities that are much more challenging to uphold over those few days. We have been fortunate enough to have been inundated with support from friends and family, and literally haven’t had to cook a meal yet since Elise has been born… But there are a few days that parenting for me, meals aside, becomes a next to an impossible task. Days 1 – 3 of chemo basically consists of having to give Hannah all the parenting responsibilities and I sleep through most of it. Days 4 – 5 are when I start to feel better, but its amazing how just a small amount of pacing whilst trying to settle Elise can leave me exhausted pretty quickly. I am a wannabe parent at this time but with little value to add to the process. Come Day 6 onwards, I’m well enough to resume my normal parenting responsibilities.

There are undoubtedly challenges to being a parents at the best of times, but we have the added complication of chemo punctuating our lives every 2 weeks. We always knew that was going to be the case, and I don’t see why it should stop us from doing our very best. It hasn’t stopped me graduating medical school, it hasn’t stopped me working as a doctor for 3 years, and it hasn’t stopped me from living my life. I refuse to let chemo stop me from being the best father that I can be.

Having your daughter fall asleep in your arms, watching her find peace in your embrace, is one of the magical things on this planet. A completely dependent little human relies on us as parents, and us alone to provide for all her needs. She is the cutest little baby in the world (as seen in her parents eyes) and there is real joy in nurturing her through the early stages of the newborn phase of life. There is delight in watching her open her eyes and having her stare back at you.

…And when she does that, I imagine that she is forming memories of me, her father. The rationalist in me knows that isn’t the case, the romantic wishes it is. Its not an easy thing knowing that unless I survive for years yet, she will only ever know her father through photos, writing, and stories.

…I hope she will also know how much I love her.

Until next time…