Thursday, 24 July 2014

Back on track

I had my three-month PET scan a fortnight ago and have been trying hard to not think about the results. Yesterday I went back to to the big house on the hill in Hamilton for the first time since treatment finished. I had to wait nearly an hour before being called in to see Prof. Dr Vitz was there too. He said Your scan was clear. I must have looked like I was about to kiss him because the next thing he said (quickly) was, you didn't know? As if surprised that I was hearing this for the first time.

Prof poked around in my mouth to look down my throat and ran his fingers over my neck and pronounced me to be be just fine. Dr Vitz reminded me that recovery would probably continue for up to a year. But "No, your saliva won't come back. I told you that at the beginning", like, do these people just not listen? Well, we do, but we don't like what we hear and we hope that we will be different and that won't happen to us.

They agreed that my feeding tube could come out and someone went to get Jo who specialises in such jobs. This is probably the only time that a nearly 60 year old hears the words "You have a very taut stomach" and the response is dismay. Jo said, you'll have an oooh aaaah moment and it will be all over. Then she tugged on the tube. I went OOOOOH AAAAAAAAAAH! and she stopped. Before having another tug OOOOH AAAAAAAHHHH ****!!* I went. It's bleeding, she said. Hmmmm, she said. You must have strong stomach muscles, she said.

Damn those yoga classes! So now I have a booking with the gastroscropy unit for it to be removed from the inside. But that's OK - only a few more weeks and I'll be back into the hot pools. Nothing can dampen my spirits now that my prognosis is excellent and I can get my life back on track.

Maybe a holiday first? Somewhere where I can get plenty of soups and smoothies, because there is little else I eat with no saliva.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Winter walk

After days of alternately lashing and drizzling rain it was lovely to have some sun. So nice not to be cooped up indoors at work on a day like this. Here are some photos from my walk, along the Lake Okareka boardwalk. Lake Okareka is only a 10-minute drive from home.

Canadian geese, honking and grazing in the wetlands

Too nice a day not to just stop for a while and enjoy the sun. Beautiful benches for resting along the way.

Lovely rural scene, rich with the smell of the silage these beasts are enjoying.

Home stretch. It is so good to have some energy returning.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Out and about

Jo Hunt has just been appointed manager of the public library at Opotoki. Jo and I would have talked about this library when we worked together in Cairns - I hate to say it, that was at least 20 years ago. I dropped in for a visit last week. Her appointment has been a big item in the local news as you can see here. I'm hoping the challenges of her new job won't keep her from continuing to make a batch of tofu now and again, tofu being one of the things I can actually eat at the moment. And fresh tofu is a joy in itself as I have discovered when she has brought a batch over to Rotorua. Jo blogs about her tofu making over at

The view that hits you when you come over the hill from Whakatane never ceases to delight. All along Ohope Beach and across the sea to the blue hills of East Cape (I have borrowed this photo).

Over lunch at the wonderful Two Fish Cafe, Jo showed me the plans for a major refurbishment of the library building. Major personal development too! I was able to eat almost all of a lovely spinach filo quiche, just like a real person. Not exactly vegan. But at the moment I need to eat what I can without going to extremes.

Afterwards I wandered down the road to the Opotoki Museum. Past the local theatre and Hiona-St Stephen's church...and a pair of kids riding bareback on a shaggy feisty horse.

 The Museum is a 3 storey building with lovely views from the top floor. It is run entirely by volunteers.