Today I am greatly shocked and saddened to hear that Max Bromson has died at a time of his own choosing but according to reports his family and friends have had their phones and laptops confiscated while there is an investigation into whether they assisted his suicide. I spent time with Max in Canberra recently as we were supporting Senator Richard Di Natale tabling the Dying with Dignity Bill. He was a gentle man in a wheelchair with a family member lovingly pushing. He was simply in great pain at the end stages of a very long and difficult journey but still working to get the most from every day and minute. All he wanted was to help make his point in Canberra to support the opportunity for others to not be in his position. By speaking up it appears he has now had the worst outcome he could have imagined, trauma for his family. I know from talking to him he had lived a full and good life but saw the need at the right time to have a great end. I hope he got that wish at least. I really do ask you to all consider just how bad this is for his family and how you can stand up and help change the laws so this cannot happen. Rightfully get angry and act via petitions, submissions and any other contact leverage you feel of value. Also, characterise the absurdity of Dr Rodney Syme, who has admitted to assisting Steve Guest in his death 5 years ago and the Victorian Police have not blinked an eyelid. It seems the suffering and everyday mum and dads and families are more attractive police targets. I will still decide when, how and where I will die be that naturally or by my own hand but this current action raises the stakes!
I know I am getting very tied up in Dying with Dignity and maybe not enough of the human side in my story. Let me share yesterday, simply spectacular. At hospital for 8.30 chemo and ran like a dream, after all this time discovered hot pack covering tubes stops arm freezing and aching and for the first time used my right arm for chemo. Mental thing.
Then home, lunch and snooze with dog and at 4.30 off to RMIT with my camera crew and old best friend who has established Dying with Dignity as part of a masters marketing subject, brief is to increase public awareness and get the petition to 1 million. Dr Rodney Syme also accompanied me and I think my marketing squadron are going to do great things, to you girls and guys thanks and you know where to get me. This is a tertiary world first on this subject and hand claps to RMIT moving boldly on an important social issue.
I then did an interview with a lovely Queensland radio commentator, Rebecca Levingston on 612 ABC Brisbane. It is below and about 25 min but I think quite important to listen to as it gave the best coverage to date, and I loved the ending.
This morning I called into the openline on 774 ABC Melbourne and spoke with Sally Warhaft as Jon Faine was sick. A good quick one just talking about submissions and timings, very helpful and blog has spiked. We are over 17000 on the way to 1 million!
We also have the documentary going with about 10K in seed money and most probably 10K to follow, so it has started in earnest. This morning I received a delightful note from an 85 year old Americian who said his health was 10/10 and life enjoyment was 11/10 and he would like to contribute to the film, how great is that. The details for anyone interested are above in a drop down box documentary. We have a teaser film soon to go out and we will begin serious crowd funding and looking at high net worth individuals and philanthropic groups. Don’t need to wait if anyone is one, or knows one who wants to help, a quick 10k-15K here or there would make enormous difference at this stage.
I have also had a lot of questions about our Dying with Dignity symbolic his or hers sterling silver adjustable ring, and the designer is getting close to giving you the chance to get one. I love mine, never off my finger and generates lots of questions.Will be a great price and she will donate from each ring to the Documentary, everyone wins.
On a personal note people keep saying I am incredibly brave. I think not. Lying in bed last night I characterised it to myself a bit like the movie Top Gun. Ice Man was all logic, all win and incredible skill but low EQ, Goose was the ultimate wingman, fun, protective, stable, reliable and not thinking to far ahead low IQ, Maverick was a blend and guess who got the goal across the line. So it is not about being brave it is about a blend of a life time of trying out the shoes of those 3 and ending as Maverick, I do however have my own blend called Shorty.
Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 7.9/10 Life Enjoyment 11/10
Back from a fantastic weekend at the Barossa Valley and 3 dozen of reds on the way! The response from the Weekend Today interview on Channel 9 yesterday was amazing, 6056 blog visitors and 600 more signatures on the petition. Elizabeth was tremendous in supporting our TV adventure in the middle of the weekend away but I will leave a great wife blog for later. I have just so much to look forward to and really believe we will change the legislation.
Today, The Age in Melbourne and by default Fairfax came out strongly in their editorial supporting a change to the laws. If only this is the start of other great organisations standing up. Click here to read the editorial.
On a similar topic the CEO of ANZ in New Zealand, a friend, today contacted me to say his organisation are supporting Daffodil Day in New Zealand and he was wearing his Daffodil in
honour of me. Very special and even more so when he tells 9000 team members!
Pain 0/10 Physical Health 7.9/10 Mental Health 10/10 Life Enjoyment 11/10
In the Barossa Valley for a 4-day weekend with Elizabeth and we got tracked down by Channel 9 for an interview on Weekend Today this morning.
Click here to watch the interview.
Early start and a freezing cold morning but we saw a spectacular sunrise.
Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 7.9/10 Life Enjoyment 10/10
I have had a few strong responses to the interview but that is life. The key point as I discussed with Senator Richard Di Natale this morning is the need to get consider debate and suggestion on the current bill. Are the safeguards appropriate, is it a workable act ? Then we can move to the discussion around should it be enacted or not rather than quibble over the wording.
Interview with Gary Adshead on 6PR Perth from this morning
Outside this my life remains interesting, full and bizzare. Eliz and I are going to the Barossa Valley on Friday through Monday then back for hospital chemo Tuesday. We have become astute in balancing activity around the cycle of chemo i.e. week 1 stuffed, i.e. next week, week 2 tired needing naps, week 3 OK and week 4 this one can put in a full day.
Having visited the oncologist today was also exciting. We had a long chat around Dying, the ethics and the future issues the world faces. He had an interesting lens especially around the history to palliative care and development of chemo through to the fact that moving forward it is Cancer and Alzheimer diseases that will plague us. What this leads to in terms of legislation like Dying with Dignity and patient instructions and how those are managed is a real current issue. The inevitable ? of how long do I have came up and the answer is how long is a piece of string? Will get another scan in August to see what the enemy inside is staging.
Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 7.9/10 Life Enjoyment 10/10
Hi, these are both 10 minute listens around Dying with Dignity legislation so if interested enjoy. Fantastic to see Senator Nova Peris take to the airwaves and show such strong support to the Dying with Dignity bill put up by Senator Richard Di Natale and co sponsored by Alannah MacTiernan MP. The submission process is now up on the government website, more on that next time. Please get involved.
Interview with Julia Christensen on 105.7 ABC Darwin yesterday morning.
Senator Nova Peris interview with Julia Christensen on 105.7 ABC Darwin from this morning.
Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 8.9/10 Life Enjoyment 10/10