Life After – January 2020

How does that work?
In with one thing and out with another…

I go into hospital with a suspected heart condition and leave a week later with Stage IV SCLC having had no prior symptoms at all – with a life expectancy of three to six months if left untreated…I suspect hitting a brick wall in excess of 100MPH (I know…old school) would be less life changing.

You know…the first thing that went through my head when I was told, was FUCK I won’t be able to work, how am I going to pay the mortgage, how am I going to look after Sandy, this is not what she signed up for, I was supposed to look after her through our twilight years – This is Bullshit!

Then it was a matter of coming to terms with the diagnosis and subsequent prognosis. I guess I am pretty weird in the way I think given I didn’t go through the “OMG I’m going to die, It’s not fair, why me, etc, etc”. 

Don’t get me wrong the initial shock was just that – intial shock, after all no one wants to hear words like inopperable, incurable, three to six months, blah, blah, blah…I just thought
fuck me! it is what it is and it will be what it will be”.

Yes! I smoked (Cigarettes, Pipe, Cigars – but not whoopee weed surprisingly enough) on and off for most of my life, however, during my apprenticeship as a mechanic (Tech Area and Koolymilka workshops at Woomera SA) I was exposed to a lot of asbestos dust from clutch and brake work, pipe lagging, etc and due to my work over the years in the resource sector I have been exposed to Asbestos, Nickel, Gold, Uranium, Copper, Lead, Coal and no doubt many other airborne contaminants.

Did that exposure contibute to exacerbating the probabilty of succumbing to Lung Cancer?…probably, but who knows!
But as I say – it is what it is, there is no point winging about it, it is just a matter of getting on with life (or what’s left of it) by having the appropriate treatments and maintaining a positive outlook. 

Which is what I am doing and Sandy (my brick – she keeps me grounded) is right there with me supporting and looking after me.
My concern is that I can’t look after her moving forward, after getting back together and re-marrying after 30 years apart, neither of us signed up for this. I love her so much and feel so sad that she has to go through this, she deserves more than this fucked-up outcome.

I have to give a shout-out to the nurses in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) in the Flinders Private Hospital as they were fabulous, they looked after me exceptionally well and insisted I stayed in their care in the CCU Ward for the duration of my stay (contrary to being told to move me out as other heart patients came in for immediate triage and treatment) they were very respectful and showed genuine concern for my wellbeing.

What a great team, I wrote them a giant thank you card as I figured that they probably don’t get thanked that often…and they certainly deserve it in my book.

Sandy and I stopped by the CCU Ward and gave it to them on day one of my Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy treatment.

Atmospheric Contaminates and Tobacco Smoke Exposure
Sandy – My Brick (Love of my life)
Thank you to the Nurses (Coronary Care Unit)

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