Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Back in the game!

Phoebe in her new slippers
Well thankfully little Phoebes Gastro bug finally passed on Saturday and by Sunday she was running around like her usual self again. This meant that on Monday I went back to work! Hooray back to work after a week off and it was a great day too. I was off site at a Builders Expo demonstrating some of our new products, heaps of fun as I seldom get a chance to talk to the end user.
Today (Tuesday) I had the day off again to attend Jasmine's second to last treatment! She is coping so well, I'm very proud of how she has managed herself over the past 5 weeks. She still doesn't need any extra medication and is helping around the house probably more than she needs too. So after completing her appointment we headed to the mall for a treat to celebrate the end of her Radiation. I have never been to so many shoe shops in the space of an hour ever! But we made it and my lovely wife left for home in a smart new pair of boots very very happy.
So with Jasmines treatment almost finished I can put a little more time and effort back into work, I know that my boss will be very happy and I'm still ever grateful for the support he has given me. I still have to balance childcare and support Jaz as she recovers the Radiation after effects, this makes me a little nervous but Im sure as always together we will get through it.

To finish I wanted to mention my Canterbury family and friends. A cold snap has hit the South Island and winter has finally arrived. A lot of Cantabrians don't have functioning log fires or completely weather tight homes and are really feeling the cold weather. Up here we struggle to get below 9 degrees and often wear shorts on weekend outings so I really feel for them as their temperatures plummet below zero. Last night on the national news they reported about a  firewood merchant out there donating dry firewood to people in need. Such a wonderful selfless thing to do and I'm sure there are many more people out there helping each other that we will never hear about.
The mighty Canterbury Crusaders take on the Stormers this weekend for a place in the Super Rugby final. The team is loved by nearly everyone in the region and I really hope they can go all they way giving everyone in Christchurch something to celebrate.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

My first pair of Levis

As I mentioned in my last post we have been surrounded by sickness. Phoebes Gastro Bug seems to be as stubborn as a Crusaders pack hot on attack and poor old Jaz is just worn out from the day to day drag of radiation therapy. So I thought it was time for a little humour!

Similar to my jeans but my shoes were a little different!
Back in 1990 (ish) I think I was 15 or 16 I had always wanted a pair of Levis Acid Washed Jeans. I worked hard and saved up for my first pair by mowing lawns and baby sitting etc. They were about $100 and you have no idea how proud I was when I first bought them. I wore them everywhere with pride. Anyway the battery on my Honda XL100 motorbike (which Mum hated with a passion) had gone flat and needed replacing so one day Dad suggested we take a drive into Christchurch and do some shopping. Naturally I put on my favourite pair of jeans and we made the 80 min drive into the big smoke.
The day went pretty well. All the usual stuff Mum dragged us through Northlands Mall, the visiting of relatives and then it was my turn. The motorbike shop. I still remember to this day what the shop looked like I just cant remember what it was called. After purchasing the battery we headed off home. Back then Mum and Dad owned a Mk 3 Cortina Ghia. It was an awesome car that we all loved very much. One of my weaknesses is my ability to sit still. I constantly have to fiddle and pick at things. My grandmother used to say to me "those hands of yours will get you into trouble one day!" well today I was about to prove her right!
I had decided to take a closer look at the battery managing to tip it up the wrong way so that battery acid ran all over my lap and on to the seat soaking into the groin and back area of my beloved jeans. Thank goodness the Cortina had beige vinyl seats. Fearing the worst I promptly put the battery away and said nothing to Mum and Dad.One of the features of the vinyl seats is that nothing soaks into them not even battery acid!

Faces removed to prevent any legal action!
That night Mum had decided to go to Housie (bingo) at the local Cheviot Pub. Being the supportive teenaged son I was, I decided to join her and a few of the local ladies, we made our way down to our local. I know this is an extremely sad thing for a teenage boy to do but it was yet another opportunity to wear my jeans. The night started off with a hiss and a roar, the numbers rolled off the callers tongue like an auctioneer on sale day.  And as you can see by the picture everyone loved my jeans! After about an hour of solid bingo the caller decided it was time for a break. By then I had probably consumed 2 liters of Raspberry and coke and had made the dash to the toilet. I remember standing at the urinal thinking that it was unusually cold but did not realise that the entire seat of my Acid washed jeans had dissolved untill one of the ladies made comment as I reentered the bar.
The bloody battery acid had totally dissolved the back side area of my jeans!! Thankfully my undies had not been harmed and I was saved from even more embarrassment.After receiving my quota of teasing and taunts one of the ladies kindly lent me her cardigan to rap around my waist. Bingo continued and finally after what seemed an age the evening ended with everyone leaving happy after a great nights entertainment. I was distraught not only from the embarrassment but at the loss of my favourite jeans.My father also panicked and immediately pushed past me to check his car seat returning a moment later boasting "not even battery acid can destroy that car!"

Mum tried to fix my jeans but they were never the same. She managed to find another pair of jeans of totally different colour and attempted to patch them. I never wore them again deciding to move on to more traditional blue jeans costing significantly less! To this day I have never purchased another pair of Levi jeans.

By the way I topped up the bike battery with normal tap water and she worked like a charm!

Have a great Saturday


Thursday, 23 June 2011

Another week off...

What a week this week has been. Little Phoebe started vomiting Monday morning and has since been diagnosed with a Gastro bug. Another week off work for me as I stay at home and look after her while Jaz continues with her last days of treatment.

I have to confess I was pretty gutted and not entirely happy about having to take more time off work. In the past 6 months I've been away more than at work. For those that don't know me I have to confess I'm a very anxious person. A born worry wart! So the thought of taking another week off did not appeal at all.
So after my initial grizzle, worry and sulk I now realize that I have an opportunity to spend some quality one on one time with little Phoebe.
Today she seems a lot better and while Jaz has been away at Radiation P and I spent some time reading Hairy Macleary and her favourite Green Eggs and Ham followed by Dora the Explorer Movie and some plain Popcorn.

Pretty soon Ill be back at work traveling all over the country again missing them all like crazy.

On the work front 2 weeks ago I unfortunately was involved in a car accident in my company car.  Jaz Molly and I were heading to the hospital for Jasmines treatment when a car stopped suddenly on the bridge. It was raining very heavily and I tried to stop, but the 4 cars behind me didn't stop as quickly as my beloved SV6 Holden Wagon. The result was a written off car and 2 people including myself in hospital with whiplash.
Great car but the airbags failed - scarey
 It was a very scarey situation. My boss came as quickly as he could and took Jaz and Molly to the hospital for her treatment and I sat with the police and explained what happened. While talking to her I made comment that my neck hurt and I was having trouble swallowing. Well before you could say 111 a paramedic  had me strapped to a bed and we were on our way to hospital in an ambulance!!! What followed was an experience to say the least. 4 and a half hours in A&E, I had xrays on my back and neck which were painless but then I said to the Dr that it hurt to pee. Now you all know that I can be a little anxious :) so now that I think about it I was wound up like a spring and it makes sense that I might have some discomfort. But the very thorough Dr with fingers that felt like coke cans decided to complete an internal examination! Crikey I almost went through the roof. And all they could say to me was "keep your head still"!!! You try and keep your head still when someone does that to you!

Thankfully my xray revealed that my injury was muscular and I was sent home with pain relief and an experience that I do not wish to repeat. What followed was a $150 fine and a written off car. My first ever accident. One of my southern friends joked that I was on my way to becoming a real Aucklander now that Ive had an accident on the bridge!!!

Always remember to wear your seatbelt!


Monday, 20 June 2011

Giving Thanks

Well its been one of those years! We are half way through but I feel that we have probably been through enough to last us a decade! I don't want to complain because that really gets you nowhere! Instead Id like to take this opportunity to give thanks to my employer Irwin tools and the Cancer Society Auckland.

There's no doubt that Jasmines tumour has changed our lives. With it has come fear, anxiety, depression and sadness but we have also become closer. Its hard to explain but the bond between us as a couple and as a family unit is stronger.

As soon as Irwin Tools  heard of Jasmines illness the support started. Paid leave, meals, fund raising and morale support. Ive tried so hard to give them more but in some situations Ive had to step away from my role and let someone else take over. That's been pretty difficult as I love my job and especially like to give it 100%.
With only 6 treatments to go my hours have started to increase but we seem to have struck a run of bad luck. Last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Molly suffered from a Urinary Tract infection 2 more days off and then only last night little Phoebe started vomiting and has continued through out the day! I felt awful phoning into work but it wasn't a problem and was told to do what I have to do. Family first!
So as you can see I have a great employer and am very lucky.

I also wanted to give thanks to the Cancer Society Auckland.  Made up of a few paid professionals and a lot of fantastic volunteers these guys have really made a difference to our experience. Volunteers have precooked dinners to lighten the load in the evenings, both Jaz and I have received free counseling helping us deal with the fear of the unknown and volunteer drivers take Jaz into treatment at their own expense 3 of the 5 days a week 100km round trip. They even have people making coffee and tea in the chemo and radiation treatment rooms. Just a wonderful bunch of giving people.

So next time you need some hand tools or drill bits please consider the Irwin tools brand, great product that wont let you down and please please don't forget daffodil day this August the 26th

Have a great day