The Declining Years

Seeing as I have bared my soul via these pages I might as well start on the Final Chapter.

So I have attained the relatively young (by old age standards, some would say) age, of 74 years.

I need to write all of this down before I forget

OK. So I have Bladder Cancer and the final report has not been handed down yet. Going to Adelaide in the first week of July. Would rather be somewhere in the tropics

I have Spinal Stenosis so diagnosed in 2009. This is where the lower vertebra in my back are crumbling and pinching the nerves that operate my legs. Walking these days is by aid of walking stick or four-wheeled walker. More devices to help my mobility are in the planning stages.

I have damage to my Spinal Cord in my Neck. I had a fall at a mates house in Alice Springs in 2013. The MRI shows the damage. This has resulted in my dragging my left leg as I walk and frequently falling when I lose my balance. I have seen a Neurologist and his opinion is that attempting an operation might aggravate the issue

A result of my frequent falls has made my left shoulder and upper arm very painful when I lie down. I have not had it seen to as yet

I have a Fungal infection growing in my groin area which causes the area to be very wet and itchy. No less than  9 Doctors have prescribed cures all to no avail. It is a tropical disease which I picked up somewhere in Cape York

And my real worry is that I and Judith are both becoming very forgetful. Both our Mothers had different forms of Dementia and we children were put though torrid times in the late 90’s and then again in the first and second decades of the new millennium. Is Dementia hereditary?

I am starting to forget place names. I would be telling a tale about somewhere in our travels and then promptly forget the place name. I would be talking about a friend or an acquaintance and forget who they are. I need to do more research. We have both put Powers of Attorney in place and our wills are made as well.

So we push on with having a busy time table, reading books and doing social media to keep our brains working. I will go and get some professional assistance soon.

I weighed myself this morning 1st day of July 2017. I clicked up on 127.7 kilograms. I can recall at the age of four or five being force-fed by my parents and Uncle and Aunt. I was skinny, underweight and would not eat. They had to coerce me to eat for the dogs or the cats or the sheep on the farm. Someone said “Whatever is going to happen to this child?”

The specialists agree, although they cannot say 100% for sure, that my Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatment has been successful mainly due to the fact that I have not been affected by the treatment and that I am looking well. Have a sun tan and have gained weight.

The process now is going to take another 9 months of scans. It takes that long for the body to recover from the treatment to make doubly sure that the cancer is gone
So we are having a wine and snacks as a celebration tonite in the motel room while it is bucketing down outside

Tomorrow I have a scan and then we can go home. I will only know the results of this scan when I see the Oncologist on 3rd August

6th July. Dr Kari Sims took swabs of the fungus I have in my groin area. I must try to keep it dry. Dunno. Will wait for results before embarking on a antibiotic cure

7th July. A miserably cold day. Temp hovering around 10C. I get tweaks of pain in my back. My Dr offered to up the painkillers yesterday but I declined. Did a salt damp on the groin area and used hair dryer to dry it out. Trimmed my beard.

A week down the road and I feel good in the mornings but not so good in the evenings. We have a sunny corner outside under the garage walkway and when the sun is out it is a good spot between 10am and midday. After that the land cools down again and I can feel it in my bones. Still have not heard back from my Doctor. Will make contact Monday

I finally caught up with my doctor and the result of the scrape drew a blank. There was no bacterial infection. It is a Fungus. Getting rid of it is something else.

3rd August and Dr Patel is very happy to announce that I am now Cancer Free. Great joy this is. My positive attitude pulled me through

In the mean time my right hip has started to give way. There is so much pain that I cannot walk on it. The pain is also in my right lower side of my back. I can get around the pain if I hang on to my walker or wheel chair and walk sideways like a crab. Still, I have to keep going. I am leading cross country drive through the north Simpson Desert in a few weeks from today 22nd July. I have found that sleeping in my car with the seat back as far as it can go when tilted, is good for me. This time around I have had to revise the way I pack the Nissan as I need extra fuel in jerry-cans and so sleeping in the car will not be suitable and so I bought myself a tent swag yesterday to sleep in. Will have to unpack it to see how it works today.

I have added Ditropan 5mg to my pill box as prescribed by the Urology Specialist at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide. This is to stop pre-runs of urine when I feel i need to pass some. It says that the dose is half a tablet at night but it is too hard cracking the small pill so I will revert to one whole one every second day

Struggling around the house and yard. It hurts to walk. Seeing my Doctor next week on another matter. Will ask for a pill reconstitution to see if we can target the right areas.
Dr prescribed another 50mg of Tramadol morning and night time.

The Ditropan dried my throat and mouth out and I was advised to ditch it. So I did. Walking with great difficulty

13th August: We took off heading north for an adventure in the Simpson Desert. That night I had an asthma attack that made me sit up so hard in my swag/tent that I broke a zipper. I asked my mate, Ben, who was travelling with me to take me to Leigh Creek Hospital and we woke the District Nurse at 2.30am. She was not amused but gave me some nebulisers and pills to combat the asthma. Back at camp in the morning I decided to go home to my own environment and ended up in hospital for 4 days. When I was let out I still had a wheeze  and a growl of phlegm sitting there in my chest. By the end of the week the asthma dissipated.

22 August: I am happy to say that I have not had pain for a few days now and I think that the extra Tramadol is helping. My movement is more fluid when I walk and I am more stable although I had a couple of small falls the past days. The asthma is gone but I am still chesty. When I was in hospital I slept in a new electric bed which was able to fold so that I could get maximum comfort when in bed. Sitting and sleeping in an upright position seems to help a lot. So I now have 7 pillows behind me so that I can sit up and two pillows under the crook of my knees so that I can get maximum comfort. It seems to work.

My Fungus seems to have dried up for the time being. I am using salted water padded down and then dried by hairdryer

I can’t put it down to anything specific but overall I am feeling good despite the insidious cold weather. Normally we are somewhere in the tropics at this time of the year but due to Drs appointments, this year, we are house bound.

 

 

 

To be continued as things happen

 

Posted in Life Stories.