Month 4, Day 1 – Correction

Aside

Link to The Age article below faulty so this was it or type in the long one below
2nd shot,

I cannot trust a broken process

I am 100 per cent behind you, Dr Syme. I have terminal oesophageal cancer and am making the most of my time – possibly another six months – surrounded by family, friends, a great set of doctors and a palliative care team. My instruction to all is I don’t want pain, I don’t want to be in a hospital and I don’t want to live longer than necessary when the time comes. Who would argue? But this is where our legislators ignore us. How do I ensure my wishes and needs will be met? I can stockpile barbiturates and overdose (not a good role model as a father of a 22-year-old son or to the wider community); search for a Dr Syme; or trust a broken process. Let us all unite behind Dr Syme to drive fundamental change.

Peter Short, Camberwell

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/courageous-act-brought-peace-to-dying-man-20140428-37e21.html#ixzz30LDEC4sA

Month 4, Day 1: My beginning as a Dying with Dignity Activist

Interesting. I did get into the Age comments follow the link

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/-37e21.htm

You will probably need to write it down and key it in.

In addition I have decided to see how I may be able to light a fire under this issue so am going through what I expect will be a never ending process to speak to The Prime Minister. If anyone can assist with ideas on how to build this issue into a very public debate I would be appreciative.

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Submitted on Thursday, 1 May 2014 – 11:13am

Title: Mr
First name: Peter
Family name: Short
Email address: pgs-28@hotmail.com
Your address: Camberwell, Melbourne, VIC, 3124
Subject: Assisted Suicide for Terminally ill people, myself included
Comment:

Hi,
I have worked until Feb and paid millions of $ in taxes but never had a say
outside of voting. You can see my profile on linked in if interested as
background. I have had Oesophageal Cancer and went through the process of
fixing that. Unfortunately it returned 5 years and 4 months later, Feb this
year and I now am at the end of month 3, in a 3 to 9 month terminal
diagnosis.

Point of this note is I was impressed by the article written by Dr Syme in
this weeks Melbourne Age and I responded in the age comments the following
day. I have no ax to grind but I do believe stongly in peoples right to
choose under the correct circumstances and as I am heading down a track that
may well be difficult I am more incensed than every about the lack of
political will to act. We are in the 21st century lets behave in that manner.
There is of course the budget impact of saving hospital beds, drugs and
treatments when people have better options. I understand as Prime Minister
you are very busy but after a life time of adding significant value to this
country I feel I have earnt the right to meet face to face for 10 minutes to
gain your view on how best to light a fire under this issue. I am a very
reasonable and professional man, just want to seek guidance and coaching from
the boss so to speak one on one.
As well as Facebook and linked in where you can check my bonafides I have a
blog http://www.pgs28.blog.com
I hope this is one of those times I don’t become a victim of hand pass and
delegation ending in a polite letter.
Feel free to ring 0418 862 180 or respond via email pgs-28@hotmail.com
As it is heads up to a meeting request I will mail as well.
Look forward to meeting
Peter Short.

Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 9/10 Life Enjoyment 10/10

Month 3, Day 28: Thinking about Activism on Dying with Dignity

Exactly 3 mths since confirmation

Today I read an article in the Melbourne Age amazingly about a Dr Syme and an oesophageal sufferer who lived in Point Lonsdale. He gave him a drug so he could die as he wished and is now standing up to the legal system, interesting article if one is interested in rights of dying people. I have strong views and think at the right time assisted suicide is a practical thing for all involved, the patient, their carers, their friends and the government/medical system cost. Interestingly as I have a bit of time I have written my first letter to the comments section of the age so we will see what happens.

What do you think the right answer is? Maybe we should become a voice for change.

Pain 0/10 Mental health 10/10 Physical Health 9/10 Life Enjoyment 10/10

Month 3, Day 26: Anzac Weekend at Crown

What does one do over Anzac Day if its the last one. Well we went to Crown and booked in Friday mid afternoon saw a movie, had a great dinner at the Atlantic, Caviar as an entree as I had not done that before then a bit of Blackjack. Always a good night when you win enough to pay for the room. To finish off Devil Killer Sake at Nobu for a nightcap.

This is a good time to talk about that Movie, i.e. Bucket list. I think it has done the world a disservice as now everyone goes to what is on your bucket list and it makes people think they should have one and they should also keep adding to it. This can be difficult for people I think because all sorts of circumstances will in reality prevent most people from living out their dreams like Morgan and his mate did.

For the record I don’t have a list as I have had my fill in terms of many places, faces and things done. I also hate the cold and am not going near any mountain tops. As with the Cavier last night I will probably find a few more experiences along the way just to keep life normal. Interesting at the movies there was also an advert for an upcoming movie with a girl who is dying on a time line, eerily familiar as she was wearing a breathing nose tube. Should be one to see!

Pain 0/10  Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 9/10 Life enjoyment meter 10/10

Month 3, Day 24: Palliative Pain

I was reflecting on the palliative care visit and thought you may be interested in the pain story. I asked why do people talk about pain and dying so frequently as I want one of those passed away with everyone and the dog around and happy stories. Response is that pain is reasonably easy to manage if done as you go with ongoing help.They even have drugs that can make you think you are breathing ok when you are not, one for me for sure. Anyway there is so much association of pain and cancer because of history, movies and most importantly a lot of people do not have access to proper care be it due to not having health insurance, beliefs or general circumstance  and yes some of them endure a lot. Bottom line is there can be a lot of bad outcomes but  in Australia there shouldn’t be…….get insurance!

Month 3, Day 23: A Palliative visit

Have put out lots of texts to bring the blog into view. Feedback good and will rely on people power to spread its address from here.

Still all good on the health front, had a Pallative Care visit today. These are interesting people. As a terminal patient under care of Cabrini you get introduced to the Palliative care team. They are there 24/7 to address issues , liaise with doctors and basically manage the best quality of life during the trip and a pain free process and exit. So far I have had 3 or 4 visits. The first was all about assessing surroundings, understanding services and getting a drug pack for emergencies, exciting! Since then it is really just a drop in and chat about how I feel, eating ,pain (i don’t have any) oxygen level in blood, I was 98 today ,100 is normal and over 90 fine. It is an interesting process in terms of making friends and getting comfortable with them and them with the 3 dogs! They also have provided me with a writer so I am having regular sessions writing the story of my life, will go into that another time, the process not the story!

On life in general it is still just terribly exciting, I had a call from a software company based in Holland  today who want me to fly to Singapore for some initial meetings about consulting to them in Australia. Amazingly they had done all the homework on me but missed the reason I stopped working. Anyway always looking for an angle I agreed to meet with them as they are going to come to OZ and we will see what it is all about. Will be interesting to see what develops as the phone was pretty quiet when I said the one thing you need to know is I have terminal cancer.

I think I will start a sign off process that gives you a feel for my condition.

Pain 0 /10

Mental health 10/10

Physical health 9/10

Life enjoyment meter 10/10

Month 3, Day 22: General story to catch people up

Shorty still hear and still feeling pretty good,

Thought I would do a catch up.

Since the clock started ticking a lot has happened. First the decision to do chemo, easy one as if it was too hard I would stop and if it helped I would keep doing it. Result is it has helped slow up the lung coughing etc and I think gave me a few months back. Good plan. Process is one hospital trip and bags of chemo mthly and chemo pills 14 days on 7 off. Tiredness is manageable and the odd arvo sleep very enjoyable.

I then had to sort family stuff, cars, bank accounts, wills etc etc. All done and dusted and that makes me feel very good. Then exit old life i.e. retire. I went out with a bang and the celebrations and general over the top stuff done by very many people was unbelievable. Also very exciting for Eliz and Mitch.

Then I was manic around time and needing to have a plan. As a result March was the do stuff month. I went to lots of states and cities with 2 mates and we had a ball gambling at most of the countries casinos wining and dining and having a lot of very interesting discussions. That trip ended with a highlight dinner at Nobu with wires and Mitch. That done we then had a great family trip down to Jills B&B in Phillip Island. Lots of family fun, some Grange and a relaxed togetherness. Then a fantastic trip to Lizard Island with just Eliz and Mitch. Lots of fun, sun, exotic location, helicopters, big boats and fish, turtles afrgottos etc etc. That pretty much blew the month though on the way I picked up a small consulting role under my terms to keep me commercially astute while I am still interested. Early April has been a bit about the consulting, catching uup with lots of people over coffees, dinner and drop overs and then of course easter. Just got back today but we spent easter at Point Lonsdale and said farewell to the Lonnie house. Great time with the Roberts and Men plus kids. Crays/ prawns and general excess. Also great to have the dogs down the beach and watch miss maybe for the last time race through the sand dunes.

So might leave it there, not sure how I get this site out but I am counting on you to please pass it on to all and sundry. Comments welcome