Saturday, February 2, 2013

Heath Update - Bounce

Three weeks ago I was very very sick and given 3 days to live. Memory wise I've lost quite a few days and at times been really out of it. I didn't eat food for about a week.

After a few days at the hospice we've been blessed and the situation turned around and stabilised and I restarted eating. They are very uncommitted on giving "your time", it's a very individual thing but three different doctors have given pretty dire predictions of the current lung situation. Although not for a few weeks.

We had two half days at home and realised with all the oxygen bottles, special beds, other equipment, pain pumps and of course the high chance of a medical emergency to manage; that if we shifted home we would effectively turning our home into a hospital and that Kat would be a 24X7 nurse. No Fun, so we are staying put and are committed to the hospice for the duration.

My left lung is gone. 3 weeks ago the centre of my right lung was clogged effectively closing off the bottom of the right lung from functioning. So during the bad period I was relying on a small part at that top of my right lung plus oxygen through a nose tube.

The revival has been put down to the clogged part in the middle of the right lung freeing up.

Yet unfortunately this cancer of mine is aggressive and rapid growing and will ultimately take hold of that free space. But not yet!!!! And in the words of Louis Armstrong there is "Still lots of living to do" This hospice is a very very cool place and very much a place to live and not to die.

My favourite activity is just having quality time (talking and activities) with Kat and the Kids, plus QT and farewells with close Whanau and friends. What I have loved during the last couple of weeks is mostly my head and thinking has been very clear. I discover your brain and most other things don't work so good when short of oxygen.

I have been doing some reading and talking with the lovely and caring palliative support team here, on the process of dying. I had already been pretty good but this has removed any fears that I had. Think about how miraculous a baby is at birth and how it instinctively knows how to be born... Your body is equally imprinted on how to die. Kat gave me the best analogy and said... it's like an old antique clock and your lungs are like a central cog with everything else interconnected. As the central spring winds down so do all the associated cogs (stomach, heart, brain etc) and over a couple of days the body will progressively shut down.

My trial run 3 weeks back gave me a feel what it would be like, and basically I was just sleepy and out of it. I was not at all anxious or stressed - the human body is an amazing creation. Here at the hospice they are far more skilled at using medication to eliminate any uncomfortable feelings (pain, fear etc). I will be very comfortable, plus surrounded by loved ones holding hands and singing a few tunes.

Kat and I had a walk (me on mobility scooter with oxygen bottle) to and through Chingford Park which was just amazing. We had a fun time, photos of our adventure to follow.
Photo below is me kicking back in my room today, I was pretty tired after yesterday's activities and will soon be off to sleep, which is becoming more and more a regular part of my afternoon routine.

Someone arrived with a Palmy Mutton Pie so I've got a higher priority.


  1. You sound so good Gary that it makes this so surreal. It's so comforting for us that you seem so calm which I personally think is amazing. Thinking of you everyday. Miree, Reef, Bella, Alex and Nick xx

  2. Gary, you're so inspiring. I'm so glad I found your blog. It helps me through so much. Your kids all sound like wonderful young adults (not much younger than me!) and it's wonderful that you've been able to guide them and be there for them growing up and now you can see the results and what sort of an affect you've had on their lives. You are all dealing with this amazingly. A wonderful, loving and caring family is the best medication there is and I hope you all enjoy this time together and feel happy aboutl how lucky you all are to have each other.

  3. You really made me laugh at the end there Gaz ;)


  4. 'Peace is seeing a sunrise or sunset and knowing who to thank.' LOve to you both Mum

  5. Good on you Gary, thanks for sharing your family & life stories and updates with us. I am licking my lips thinking about a mutton pie. Thinking of you. Mark Green

  6. Hi I found the blog again, nice to catch up on the past few months. Thinking that you should be the person to figure out a way to take the technology with you and blog us from the other side! It is so rare to have insight from people near the end of life I think most of us still think we'll go on forever and if we don't talk about it it won't happen. So nice to get the positive side and as for you leaving your children and family I don't think there are many fathers/husbands on the planet who will have been there more for their family, healthy or not. Sarah Twiss


Thanks for your comments Gaz