Month 10, Day 17: Doctors, Chemo, Scans & Dexamethazone

Great, into hospital for chemo at 9 and out at 10.30. All went well as always. Home for a while drank 1.5 ltr of water and back for CT scan at 1.15. All went well again and results tomorrow. The nurse says I am quite unusual in liking the warm numb and wet pants feeling the  CT contrast injection gives you. Surely not I just love it? Well then Dexamethazone, this stuff goes in with the chemo and then I take pills for a few days after. Amazing stuff. It just revs you up and off you go. I am going to have to ask why not have a bit of this every day, maybe a terminal privilege. I spoke to Ray a guy in similar circumstances to me the other day. He said he finds himself gardening at 3am in the morning. I tend to offset it with a sleeping pill, but gardening is an option I will consider.

Nothing of significance on the DWD pollie front today but things will bubble up again I am sure.

Have now got a cache of sustagen, a vitamin mix and a flushing laxative. The first to keep up the food levels around reduced eating volume, the second can’t hurt and the laxative is needed after chemo. Also I am starting to take a bit more morphine to stop coughing, and morphine creates constipation, something one needs to balance. Cant just sit on the log so to speak. I have been using Coloxyl which is fine but Movicol, get it “move your colon” is a bit more radical. So I have choice, a good thing.

If anyone can help build the petition numbers it would be appreciated, I let up a bit in the crowd funding era.

Pain/0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 5.9/10 Life Enjoyment 10/10

Month 10, Day 16: Colonisation on other worlds

A few days off. Had a funny day yesterday, batteries were on empty. A luxury to spend most of day in bed but also scary as it feels a bit like giving in. Anyway got up today keen to stay active and hence the heading I went and saw Interstellar. Amazing, best treatment of what the future may look like with a few leaps but the underlying logic was sensible even if the Physics are a way off.

Please click here to read Friday’s article Part 5 – Into the darkness on The Age website. This wraps up The Age’s feature on The Right to Die – also marks the end of the poll. Great outcome 65% in favour.

In The Age today there was an interesting article, the opposition leader has stated he will do something about amending the Medical Treatment Act if elected. This by no means gets to the Dying with Dignity goal but is a crack at the state level worth opening.

I had a great meeting with Senator Richard Di Natale on Friday. An update on where we all are and he is quite pleased at the Senate review committee outcomes. There is a long way to go but I can feel success in my marrow, I just need every one who believes to be noisy.

Big week next week with Chemo and a CT scan Monday and then meeting a media mega star on Tuesday who may be able to help the cause. Wed/Thursday a bit of in town with people stuff and Friday a witness at a court case for 4 or so hours. Dont ask!  Once I am through that the only commitment I have really is to the the Family, the cause and the doco!

Does anyone one have ?

Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 5.9/10 Life Enjoyment 10/10

Month 10, Day 13: Vic Opposition Health Minister drops in and much more

Gavin Jennings the Victorian Opposition Health minister came to visit Elizabeth and myself today after I sent him a note 2 weeks ago regarding Dying with Dignity and possible ways forward. He came because he was aware of the snub Denis Napthine gave me on radio re he would meet me after the election. Gavin honestly felt compelled to respond and show he respected what I was about and wanted me to know that. He came alone there was no political spruking/cameras agenda. Just a genuine guy. We had a great chat for an hour or so, he told me it was OK for me to be evangelical on the issue and he shared his strong feelings around our mutual agenda. He did of course point out he was a part of a big party structure which at present does not have Dying with Dignity as a part of its agenda. We both agreed it should and the sooner the better.I suggested he and the team pick up a Wesfarmers/Coles trait and be BOLD. I conclude Gavin Jennings is a very impressive individual and if you are reading this Gavin give yourself a big tick for humility and humanity. Your visit left Elizabeth and myself glowing to know people like you are in politics, another Richard Di Natale and Fiona Patten.

Mitchell today finished his last exam to complete his degree. There is a lot riding on it as he has lined up a graduate program role with Australia’s best large FMCG retailer to start in February. A fail would be no job. He is very confident of a good outcome, phew!

The Age continues its fantastic coverage of the different angles and stories around Dying With Dignity, again todays was powerful. Please click here to read today’s article Part 4 – A question of trust on The Age website.

Also please ensure you cast your vote on The Age poll by following this link regarding the right for terminally ill to die with dignity, its a few seconds and clicks and very important the poll gets to reflect the facts that 80% of Australians support this – please share with friends and family.

Finally I went to the oncologist yesterday and saw my palliative care team today. All good and I am going to do a CT scan Monday after chemo to check out where the lumps and bumps are growing. Will be interesting as I have reached the need to eat only really small slippery stuff. my Oncologist said we are really in uncharted territory as very few people with my cancer get to 5 years and have it return, usually it is in the first 2 years. So on boldly we go where few have gone before…………

Finally, Jeremy my film producer had a chat with Dick Smith today and he has become a financial supporter for the documentary, and he has offered to take me helicopter flying round Sydney, pretty exciting from such a famous Aussie.

Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 6/10 Life Enjoyment 11/10

Month 10, Day 12: Make your vote count in The Age poll – HELP!

Help, as you are aware The Age is running a news poll as part of its campaign. 3 days to go and it has the no vote well ahead. This means there is some concerted efforts by the anti Right To Die with Dignity groups as it just does no represent reality.

Please follow this link now and vote on your view, it is 2 clicks, and tell your friends.

The Age coverage today is tremendous, link below. I met Paul and he is a very articulate man as you can tell from his story. It is a unique way of talking about Dying with Dignity. Please click here to read today’s article Part 3 – Debate on The Age website.

Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 6/10 Life Enjoyment (very low if this poll goes down)

Month 10, Day 11: The Exchange with Margaret Tighe from Right To Life & Me

Fun day. Did a TV piece for airing in Feburary on The Exchange on Foxtel. The topic was the Right To Life and it was 2 presenters and myself and the president of Right To Life which was all about abortion prevention 30 years ago. It was a fun session and I hope I live to see it. Highlights how the old rollouts on these topics are out of date, uninformed and basically pathetic!

Day 2 of the amazing coverage of the Right To Die in The Age. Please click here to read today’s article Part 2 – Choosing an end to life on The Age website.

The Senate Committee recommendations which are so positive and so important are also worth a read. Take a look here.

I do wonder at how I have become so involved in all of this but it is heaps of fun and makes work look boring. Maybe I should have been a politician?

Pain 0/10 Physical Health 6/10 Mental Health 10/10 Life Enjoyment 11/10

Month 10, Day 10: Dying with Dignity is having its Berlin Wall moment, thanks to the Senate Committee and The Age


Throughout this week, The Right To Die will feature in The Age and I will be posting links to them on the blog if you are unable to obtain a copy of the paper. Please click here to read today’s article Part 1 – Righting a travesty for the terminally ill on The Age website and click here to see my interview with cousin Michael Short.

The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has today tabled its final report into an exposure draft of federal dying with dignity legislation and all members have recommended a conscience vote. Please click here to read the report.

Please use this to build momentum in gaining people to sign the petition. Never before has Australia been in a position this advanced and public in finally getting the laws to reflect what the population has demanded for so long. Now is the time to stop saying “yes but this has always been in the occasional news but the political lobbies will prevent it.” This has led to massive apathy and lack of confidence in ourselves.

From today Dying with Dignity should have a new meaning for everyone and that is we demand and will see that the DiNatale  bill is  formed into law by taking individual action.Our law makers and Tony Abbott must respond to our needs. I am still waiting to meet our PM. Don’t let this go!

Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 6/10 Life Enjoyment 10/10

Month 10, Day 8: Dying with Dignity AGM & Medal

FullSizeRenderToday was the AGM for Dying with Dignity Victoria. It was very interesting at various levels. Firstly I was given the honour of receiving the annual award for distinguished contribution to DWDV. The Rodney Syme medal. It is very special at a number of levels. To all those there that I met and chatted to thanks for the feedback and encouragement, it really is meaningful.

The AGM also bought out the political issues that can arise in small organisations. It was frustrating to see some peripheral players more about in my mind their own self aggrandisement try to butt in on and use the DWDV organisation for their own ends. Needless to say, made great theatre and they were appropriately dispatched with.

While in the meeting I thought about the amazing people doing their level best, to change the law for everyone. DWD organisations around the country need help. They need members, like any club and they need voluntary assistance across a range of skills and they need money i.e. donations and of course bequests. They also need generational interest and input. This is not an old peoples issue. With that in mind I encourage you to think about at least going on the web and finding the Dying with Dignity organisation in your state and becoming a member. This will help give great insights, keep you in touch and you never know you may just get passionate about it all and find ways not even thought about to help. Seriously, get involved and you will not regret it.

I have been pretty busy with this today, interviewed a Zen Buddhist yesterday for the docko and I am off to adelaide for an overnight and to test my travel skills tomorrow, to meet a very influential member of Christians in support of Euthanasia.

No blog tomorrow but heads up a big week coming, buy a Melbourne Age Monday and for the rest of the week. Also I think the Senate report is released early in the week, very very exciting, fingers crossed for the bill.

Pain 0/10 Mental Health 10/10 Physical Health 6.5/10 Life Enjoyment 10/10