RESTLESS/Chapter 19

Self ..The End of an Era ..Whale watching ..Self ..Married 50 years!


At the end of February we drove to Adelaide for a CT scan and Blood test. Result will be consulted in Adelaide on 14th March.
I have been taken off the Bladder Scrape list at the Lyell McEwin Hospital. I just don’t trust them to do a safe procedure.

The oncologist told me that the scan and blood test showed no sigh of cancer. So that is good. The radiographer however insisted on a cystoscopy.

After a good night’s rest, I am feeling good this morning.

As I told you some weeks ago that I was clear of cancer, the doctors still had to make doubly sure inside the bladder as it does not always show up on the scan

12th April 2019

At my previous cystoscopy in June 2018 there were some ‘unknown things’ (necrotic tissue) attached to the bladder wall and the then specialist, wanted to scrape my bladder and I refused as it had been done before and the thing I dread is them cutting the wall of the bladder and then I would have to wear a bag.

Instead I went on an extreme diet and cutting out added sugar from coffee and tea, and eating sugary items like jam etc This was on internet advice from a naturopath doctor.

Yesterday’s invasion saw no sign of the ‘unknown things’ (necrotic tissue) and there was only a small calcification bubble on the bladder wall. That is why a biopsy is needed. But I think that my special diet has assisted the disappearance of the ‘unknown things’.

On another note, I do not drink enough water. Years of driving around in the deserts taught me to survive on little water, but that may explain why the calcification in my bladder is there.

So next week I will be seeing a podiatrist here at the Medical Centre, Peterborough and a specialist optometrist in Port Pirie.

The podiatrist said that my feet were OK and she clipped my toenails.
The Specialist Optometrist said that I had Glaucoma and that I now needed to put eye-drops in every night for the rest of my life

One afternoon I had about 300 ml cool-drink Lemon, Lime and Bitters. My bladder reacted so that I had to relieve myself every 20 minutes. This went on until after midnight when it quietened down. The following day it resurfaced again for the morning and then settled down in the afternoon

Sunday 12th May. I slept in my normal 2-hour shifts and the 5am pee hurt. It hurt in the urine duct. I went back to sleep and just before Jude brought me a coffee the next pee felt as if something was moving down the duct. It came out and there was no more pain. I caught it later when I strained my urine through a chux rag and it was whitish and looked like phlegm. I am sure it is the salt bubble we saw there on the wall. I took photos.


I wrote to the Registrar at Lyell McEwin stating that I will not need a biopsy

It seems that my bladder is aggravated by coffee, fizzy drinks and alcohol of course. I still seem to Pee a litre every night even if I have not drunk any liquid since morning smoko. I think this is because I don’t get any exercise to sweat the water out of my body.


28th June 2019

On this day Judith and I celebrated 50 years of Marriage. WOW!

Back Row:      Ross Youdale  Judith Kempen  Annette Moore
Front Row:   Nancy Youdale  Willem Kempen  Roy Moore

Look, all marriages struggle at times but we two weathered the storms and have come out clear after 50 years.

We were married by the newly appointed Registrar in Darwin in Judith’s school friend Annette’s house. Roy, her husband, was a Policeman and a house was provided with the job. So I came up with the idea to celebrate our 50th with them. They now live in Bundaberg, Queensland.
After much soul searching we decided not to tow the van this time, but to stay in Motels along the way there and back. This also gave us the opportunity to go Sandpoint near Bribie Island to catch up with friends we have not see for a while. In Bundaberg we would stay with Ross and Nancy as they have a very level house and enough space but their house lies 50 metres off the Childers/Bundaberg Highway. Roy and Annette’s house was on three levels and impossible for me to move around in with a wheelchair.

We had a good drive there and back, clocked up a little over 5000 km and drove two different routes.. It was great to catch up with our old mates again

August 2019…My bladder continues to produce at least a litre of fluid per night irrespective of drinking lots of liquid or not. My weight seems to hang around the 104 kg mark and I just can’t seem to get below that. This month and I have broken the ice and have had a beer with my lunch and a light wine for dinner. Life should not be too boring.

29th August 2019: My Oncologist and my Radiologist are both very happy that a CT Scan has shown that I am cancer free. All good news.

Winter has been very cold for us and we are talking about heading north again next year.

The end of an era 2019

The Boyz and Bluff Hut

My last 4×4 trip with Ron Moon and Glenn Marshall January 2018. What a good way to end my travels with good mates.


I was struggling to walk by February 2018 and used a Walker to help myself around when I was away from the house

Then on 17th March 2018 I had a Sciatica event, whereby a vertebra in my back crumbled and pinched a nerve. It was as if my legs had been knocked out from under me and I fell down in the passageway. I managed to get myself to my bed and Judith rang to get the ambulance. They drugged me so that I wasn’t feeling any pain and walked me to the ambulance. At the hospital I had to endure a student doctor’s questioning and after I had recovered a bit they sent me home with two pills commonly used for headaches. Unimpressed, I was.

The next morning I was struggling to walk and it was time to go to Adelaide to look for a scooter or an electric wheelchair. On the second day of looking we found an electric wheel-chair, which was suitable, for $3500. It is made by the Gold Motor Company in China and weighs 35kg. We also found a hoist and paid $800 for that but after a short while we stopped using it as Judith found it too difficult to use. Now it sits in the garage gathering dust.

I was still able to walk short distances with my walker and even built an Offroad model for easy access through the garden.

But the nerve kept on with acute pain and I slowly became weaker until I could not stand or walk any longer.

I had a desert trip planned for May 2019 but I pulled the pin and rang all participants on February 1, to tell them that I could not do it anymore and that my 4×4 days were over. They were stunned.

I have been enjoying camping and the wild parts of South Africa, Namibia and Australia since the mid 1960’s. I bought my first 4×4 in 1977 and my enjoyment in camping and exploring and using my 4×4 over rough terrain lasted 42 years.

It was a good innings but it was time to hang up the boots!

I would like to say thanks to many friends who helped me along the way. Friends like Mal Stewart, Glenn Pascoe, Adam Craze, Eric Christoper and Ron Moon. My mate George Griffin who dragged himself along on many trips and with who I have been friends since 1977. I am not sure whether to thank him or not as he caused me grief on many trips LOL Thank you George for being there and perpetuating our 4×4 hobby.

I still have a Nissan Patrol GQ and I drive it up to the Men’s Shed on Wednesdays and more often than not my mate Rex Morris comes to get my wheelchair out the back and helps me in to the shed. Thanks Rex.

Whale Watching 2019

At the the first inkling of warmer weather I started thinking about a trip somewhere. However, being disabled I need help along the way in the form of a person who can do some basic chores like helping out of the driver’s seat into the wheelchair and vice versa and loading and unloading the same wheelchair. There there are jobs of finding food places to eat and so on. This person is my dear wife, best friend and soul mate, Judith.

I saw a story in the Sunday Mail about the whales of the Head of the Bight in the western region of our State, South Australia. Roughly 700 km from home and a full two-day drive from here, maybe three. We tend to dawdle a bit, driving at slower speeds and stopping in towns for fuel or something to eat.

We HAD to stop in Port Augusta for some shopping and then we pushed on to Kimba where we found a berth in the caravan park right on the highway. Trucks running their air brakes all night kept me awake. This of course is the main highway to and from Perth so it never sleeps.

We visited the outside of the Viterra Wheat Silos with a good bit of art covering all four silo bins. This of course is the new craze in country Australia. Silos not i use anymore may have their outside walls painted toe invite tourism to isolated villages and towns in the country.

The next day did not take us too far as we pulled up and stayed at the quiet Smokey Bay caravan park where I caught upon some sleep.

Feeling refreshed the next morning we made it to Ceduna, found a place to park and Judith went shopping, again! The good thing was that we found out that if you bought a heap of vegies and you may have some left over when you return the Fruit Fly Inspectors will give you a card as a leave pass. We got one for 4 days. Then we made for Fowler’s Bay and camped for two nights in the small caravan park they have there. I had decided that it would be better to drive up to the Head of the Bight there and back in 3 hours driving time. And so that is what we did.

Fowlers Bay dunes

We Old People get a discount to enter the whale viewing platforms. 49 whales had been seen from the spotter plane and we were happy to see 20 Mother Whales and calves.

Wheelchair access is good at the ranger Station and we managed to get all the way down the ramp to the lowest platform.

Why is it called the Southern Right Whale:

They get their name because they were the ‘rightwhale to catch: they were slow-swimming, floated when dead, and provided large amounts of valuable products – particularly oil for illumination’ and lubrication. (I lifted this information, displayed in italics, from the internet).


I am not sure who was watching who. The whales were frolicking in the waters below us while we, the tourists, gathered along the boardwalk.

We spent over two hours watching the whales, calves and the dolphins that come to play. The top photo shows a drawing of the size of a whale with Judith standing at the front and the tail of the whale visible in the picture.

Mother Whales and Calves at Head of the Bight


When the time came to leave, we were discussing how we would tackle the long uphill trek up the ramp when a total stranger overheard us talking and offered to push me all the way up as he needed some exercise. And within seconds I was back at the top again.

Jude drove home most of the way. We spend time listening to ABC Outback Radio and the time passes quickly. I wanted to check out some other tracks but they ended in sandy tracks and it was too late in the afternoon to start mucking about with air pressure so we returned to the caravan park.

The next day we made our way to Penong, the village well known for its display of windmills and asked if the road to Cactus Beach was passable for caravans and could we get to the beach and the answer was yes to all questions and off we went as I had wanted to see the place for myself as it was famous for surfing and also Great White sharks. We chatted with some surfies and took some photos. There is only a very small section of ‘beach’ as the surf comes right up to hit a rock wall and therein causing part of the good surfing waves to be had.

Cactus Beach

That night we spent in the Lock Caravan Park and the road was dead quiet. The when took the road back to Kimba for a visit to the Op-Shop to find some treasures and to look at other places of interest in the town. From there I decided to take a gravel ‘backroad’ to Whyalla through Iron Baron and Iron Duchess Mines. Part of this road was very corrugated and it shook a light loose inside the van. We spent the night at a layby off Cuttlefish Road on Point Lowly. I played Ball with Blaise and after some throws it disappeared into the bushes never to be seen again.

Eyre Highway

The following morning, we woke to a heavy dew and a cool breeze off the Spencer Gulf waters.


We made for home. More shopping in Port Augusta and a look at washing machines as our is starting to fail.

The MUX struggled up Horrock’s Pass in 2nd gear and thereafter we cruised through the Beautiful Valley of Wilmington, did another Op-Shop and refuelled at the Farmers Stock Agent at a good diesel price and then we headed home against a slight east wind which warmed the Southern Flinders Valley


It had been a good week away, we spotted the whales, and the van ran well without the Weight Distribution Hitch attached.


September 2019………………Good news!
After Chemotherapy, radiation and my own ‘researched cancer-fighting diet’, I had to pass muster at the Urology Department. A scan earlier in last month showed that I was cancer free, in and around my pelvic system. I still had to have a look inside my bladder as scans can not penetrate the bladder wall.
Today, after a Cystoscopy, I am pleased to declare that I am now totally cancer free. Yay!
I resisted other Specialists who insisted on wanting to scrape my bladder again. I also proved that the near vegan diet that I followed for three months improved the health of my bladder tremendously and stopped the tumor from taking hold again.
Now I have to find a way to sort my back out
October, November, December.
Climate Change is on everyone’s lips. Social media is going nuts. I have a bit of fun on it and my friends worry themselves sick. Judith is busy with Markets and flitting to Orroroo, Yongala, Jamestown and Peterborough. Christmas is looming and all our lights are up in the front garden. Some Low Life came by and stole two of our colour-changing lights behind our fence.
The days are getting warmer but the weather is performing like waves. Then very warm to hot then cool to cold then back to hot again. So I am wearing shorts and some how I am hitting my left knee more often drawing blood. I neglect to wear my knee-guards. I crashed my chair at the end of the garage outside walkway and this time the wheelchair fell on top of me. I wriggled to get myself free and then up-righted it again and was back in the saddle before you knew it.
My left foot is swelling up again and I think it is as a result of the warm weather. My neck damage is also activating itself again and it depend on the angle I have my head at, that the muscles constrict at it feels as if I am being strangled by an invisible being!

Valerie (Cook) and Jeff Rowley stopped over for a couple of nights and it was good to catch up on all their family news and we chewed the fat on a lot of subjects. Ron Moon ( always on the move). dropped in a couple of times for a brew. Ron and Viv re having house extensions done and this might be an escapist ruse…LOL.

We drove the Datto to Adelaide to collect the Brickworx cladding, for Judith’s Studio, jn the garden. Our builder will be cladding it in the new year.
Posted in 4x4 Travel Stories, Restless.