arpie

Been A Bit Quiet For A While

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Hi all

Now that we are home again, after 3 weeks in Sydney, I feel happier about letting you, my fishing buddies, know the reason why I have been a bit quiet on the fishing & reports front over the last month or so.

Unfortunately, about 8 weeks ago, Keith was initially diagnosed with an ulcer, but an endoscopy showed stomach cancer and following more tests & laparoscopy showing that surgery was required urgently, he was in hospital having major abdominal surgery just over 2 weeks ago. He was in intensive care for 3 days, then up on the Gastro ward at North Shore Private Hospital. He basically had 11 days of no food at all & as you can imagine, was hanging out for real food. My main task now, is to have him eating 'value added' meals & drinks, 8 times a day, as his stomach is only tiny now, after having most of it removed. Gastrectomy is the surgery they used to do on morbidly obese patients in an effort for them to lose weight.

Keith was already skinny, so even skinnier now! It is just over 2 weeks since surgery & so far, everything is going to plan - he has amazed the nurses & surgeons with his quick recovery but now just has to take it easy & 'make haste slowly' for the rest of the recovery (not easy for a fitness freak like him) but it was his fitness that has given him the top recovery rate. He is quite philosophical about it all, really, happy that he won the 2 World Championships in Sept last year .... and just the day before we left to go down to Sydney for the surgery, he was given a Life Membership to Forster Triathlon Club - only 3 had previously been given out. In 9 months or so, he should be able to eat a "3/4 sized" meal of what ever he wants, but just now, it is lots of small, soft, non spicey stuff. As he goes 'off' some flavours more than others, if anyone has any interesting 'softer' recipes, I'd love to try them!

Currently, he is really doing well (tho no weight put on yet, having arrived home last Fri) and we go back to Sydney July 20th for another round of appointments to see whether he needs chemo or not. If he does, we should be able to have it done at Port Macquarie, as they have an excellent, fairly new facility up there, and not as far to drive as to Sydney. I'll make sure I take my rod along & possibly my yak!

From months back, I had arranged a busy weekend of fishing from the Sat - Mon, including the Lure Tutorial on the Sunday .... and poor Stewy didn't know what hit him when he rang all excited about it the week before & I said I may not be able to attend & then just blubbed Bigtime! Thanks for your chat on that day, Stewy.

Many thanks also to my many buddies who were 'in the know' for your terrific support - it really did help keep me sane & even laughing at times and will do so into the future. Especially to those of you who have shared your own experience after recovering from cancer with me, I thank you for this, and for your positive encouragement.

So, I hope to hit the water again when the weather clears up a bit and start catching fish for the table, this time, not for release, as we've been told to eat it at least 2-3 times a week now! Good excuse to get out, anyway! Cold & wet yesterday & today tho!

Just a note to yourselves & your partners - if in any way, your personal habits change for longer than a week or two, for Gods Sake, get checked out by a Doctor - DON'T PUT IT OFF FOR MONTHS!!

Cheers for now - hope to see you on the water some time!!

Roberta

Edited by Roberta

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That was no good to hear. :(

I hope he recovers quick and well. :) And hope you get out fishing again and crack a massive pb. :1fishing1:

Cheers

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Roberta, thats shocking news, but heres to a full recovery for Keith. we will all be thinking of you guys and hope that the results are good when you head back to the big smoke on the 20th.

Cheers

Cath

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Hi Roberta and Keith, all the best for a quick recovery Keith, now your home and with Roberta's care you will be out and about soon. Lyn and Geoff.

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Thanks Roberta for all the emails and phone convos.

Donna and I were so worried for Keith and yourself.

There are miracles in this life and you have now received one yahoo.gif

Get well Keith and keep that woman of yours on her toes tease.gif

Cheers Stewy and Donna

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Many thanks for the best wishes, Guys - who knows, Stewy - yep - miracles DO happen, as you well know!

And what with Keith now needing a more 'sedate' sport, maybe I can get him out fishing!!! So long as he doesn't beat me!!

Just gotta get some more meat onto him!!

CHeers

Roberta

Edited by Roberta

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all my love & support Roberta - let Cath & I know if we can do ANYTHING for you. I will be up in Forster next week for work - PM or call me if you need a hand with anything

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Thanks for sharing your story Roberta,

Keith - you are on the mend and with your positive attitude and fittness you will be back to doing what you do best.

Roberta - hope you can get out and enjoy abit of time on the water.

Twin 1.

Marcel

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Sorry to hear that Roberta - All the best for quick and complete recovery for Keith

Cheers

Blood Knot

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Hi Roberta I'd like to give Keith best wishes for a quick and full recovery on behalf of myself and Shirley and I sincerely hope that Keith gets back to doing what he loves best i.e. taking part in marathons and that nothing of this nature ever troubles Keith and yourself at any time in the future......

Cheers

jewgaffer :1fishing1:

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Hi Roberta,

Great news that the first few hurdles have been crossed on the long road... just need to make sure Keith doesn't decide to try sneaking out for a run when your back is turned until he's up to it.

I've got a great and incredibly easy recipe for creamy rice pudding... fantastic comfort food, delicious on a cold day, and guaranteed to be packed full of calories!! :biggrin2:

Cheers, T

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Thanks for the best wishes guys - Byron - I'll be tying his legs together to PREVENT him from going out wasting calories on exercise of any kind over the next month or two. Gaining weight again is the No 1 priority just now! Pretty sure he won't be doing marathons any time soon if at all!

Tony - I'd love your rice pudding recipe! Keith used to eat the tinned one all the time, with peaches, but home made is always best, specially if EASY! YUM YUM I can taste it already!!!

he keeps suggesting we 'go for a walk' so luckily the weather has been crap the last few days, sort of!!

Cheers

Roberta

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Sorry to hear about Keith. Hopefully he will be back running around soon. All my best wishes and good luke for the future.

Rich

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Hi Roberta.

Thanks for keeping us in the loop on Keith.

As you know our thoughts & prayers are with you both. We have all fingers & toes crossed for the Path results.

He's a tough cookie. We know he'll be fine. :thumbup:

About time you got some Blackies isn't it?! :biggrin2:

Cheers,

Grant.

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.....About time you got some Blackies isn't it?! ....

Can't wait, Grant!! Fish is on the menu - 2 or 3 times a week! He's asking for smoked Blackfish Pie already! But it's raining!!!! :mad3::thumbdown::1badmood:

Soon ...... sooon!!

Thanks mate - Keith was SO buoyed by your call! :thumbup:

Roberta

Thanks Rich

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Hi all

Now that we are home again, after 3 weeks in Sydney, I feel happier about letting you, my fishing buddies, know the reason why I have been a bit quiet on the fishing & reports front over the last month or so.

Unfortunately, about 8 weeks ago, Keith was initially diagnosed with an ulcer, but an endoscopy showed stomach cancer and following more tests & laparoscopy showing that surgery was required urgently, he was in hospital having major abdominal surgery just over 2 weeks ago. He was in intensive care for 3 days, then up on the Gastro ward at North Shore Private Hospital. He basically had 11 days of no food at all & as you can imagine, was hanging out for real food. My main task now, is to have him eating 'value added' meals & drinks, 8 times a day, as his stomach is only tiny now, after having most of it removed. Gastrectomy is the surgery they used to do on morbidly obese patients in an effort for them to lose weight.

Keith was already skinny, so even skinnier now! It is just over 2 weeks since surgery & so far, everything is going to plan - he has amazed the nurses & surgeons with his quick recovery but now just has to take it easy & 'make haste slowly' for the rest of the recovery (not easy for a fitness freak like him) but it was his fitness that has given him the top recovery rate. He is quite philosophical about it all, really, happy that he won the 2 World Championships in Sept last year .... and just the day before we left to go down to Sydney for the surgery, he was given a Life Membership to Forster Triathlon Club - only 3 had previously been given out. In 9 months or so, he should be able to eat a "3/4 sized" meal of what ever he wants, but just now, it is lots of small, soft, non spicey stuff. As he goes 'off' some flavours more than others, if anyone has any interesting 'softer' recipes, I'd love to try them!

Currently, he is really doing well (tho no weight put on yet, having arrived home last Fri) and we go back to Sydney July 20th for another round of appointments to see whether he needs chemo or not. If he does, we should be able to have it done at Port Macquarie, as they have an excellent, fairly new facility up there, and not as far to drive as to Sydney. I'll make sure I take my rod along & possibly my yak!

From months back, I had arranged a busy weekend of fishing from the Sat - Mon, including the Lure Tutorial on the Sunday .... and poor Stewy didn't know what hit him when he rang all excited about it the week before & I said I may not be able to attend & then just blubbed Bigtime! Thanks for your chat on that day, Stewy.

Many thanks also to my many buddies who were 'in the know' for your terrific support - it really did help keep me sane & even laughing at times and will do so into the future. Especially to those of you who have shared your own experience after recovering from cancer with me, I thank you for this, and for your positive encouragement.

So, I hope to hit the water again when the weather clears up a bit and start catching fish for the table, this time, not for release, as we've been told to eat it at least 2-3 times a week now! Good excuse to get out, anyway! Cold & wet yesterday & today tho!

Just a note to yourselves & your partners - if in any way, your personal habits change for longer than a week or two, for Gods Sake, get checked out by a Doctor - DON'T PUT IT OFF FOR MONTHS!!

Cheers for now - hope to see you on the water some time!!

Roberta

i had 1 foot in grave, other on banana skin,good as gold now, chin up

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hi roberta its good to hear that keith is making a steady recovery, please send him our best wishes from rosetta and myself and I really hope this is the end of this horrible ordeal and life gets better for the both of you from here.

thank god he is such a fitness freak as it probably saved his life!

pete.

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Hi Roberta,

I send my regards to the both of you and hope Keith is back on his feet and your back in your Yak in short time!!

He is also lucky to have someone like you looking after him :thumbup:

Regards,

Nathan

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Hi Roberta,

sorry to hear of Keith's illnes, but so glad he is on the mend.

Maybe a good idea to stay away from smoked fish..

God bless both of you and I pray that Keith's recovery is prompt and complete.

Kindest regards

Chris

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Many thanks guys - he is doing really well & put on a couple of KG already - just needs about another 5kg to fill the flesh out a bit more.

We go for little walks on the breakwall every other day, so Keith can soak up the sun & I can maybe drop a line (not that I caught anything last time!) Currently he fancies Steak & Kidney pies from the local bakery, so I got 5 today - ready for any request! John from over the road brought us some lovely boned Garfish (boned out & flat, ready for crumbing.) They were lovely. Also some trag fillets (very yummy!)

Whilst he is not allowed to train, Keith is getting back into his art and is developing a very nice 'cartoon' style of pastel drawing. Quite cute. He is also doing a fair bit of reading too.

Good to hear of your miraculous recovery, Wallacewt!! Well done!

Cheerio for now

Roberta & Keith

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Funny - he hasn't mentioned steak & Kidney pies for a while now!! I still have some in the fridge, I think!

Our trip to Sydney last week was a good one - our surgeon, Dr Leibman was extremely pleased with Keith's progress, one month after surgery, even allowing him to jog a little from now on ..... no 10km runs tho! We met with chemo and radiation experts who gave us the pros & cons of both treatments, and given the excellent surgery results, it was decided that radiation was not required at this point, so only chemo will be given over the next 3 month period. This will hopefully hit any rogue cells on the head & give us a trouble free future. A mix of injection & tablets will be administered at Port Macquarie (just over an hour away from Forster) so much easier to reach than Sydney & less hassles too. The Base Hospital at Port also has a Rotary Lodge for accommodation. Friends have offered us accommodation with them there, but during the treatment, Keith may be feeling quite unwell, so best to have our own space, I think.

Yesterday, we drove to Port Macquarie to meet with Dr Begbie, the chemo guru up there - and we go up again next Monday to start the treatment and will stay overnight, to see what we need to bring the next time. Being fairly fit still, we hope that Keith will not have any extreme reactions to the chemo and will be drinking heaps of water, to flush the toxins out of his system as fast as he can. He is most likely, however, to have a new hairstyle after the treatment has finished, as loss of hair is a common byproduct! Maybe it will come back curly?

Many thanks to our friends who have been thru, or currently going thru cancer treatment, for your insights into chemo & why it will be of benefit to Keith. As they say, short term pain - for long term gain. Everyone has basically said to 'Just Do It'! It has helped put Keith's mind at ease, even tho he is not happy at the thought of the treatment, he acknowledges it's long term benefits.

So, I'll sign off for now - and we'll start planning the next 9-12 weeks of treatment - catching plenty of fish is on my list, if I am to keep up a constant supply of Smoked Fish Pie. :biggrin2:

As Keith will not be competing in Ironman in Busselton WA in Dec, we've kept the flights & assuming all is well, will go over to Perth and the south coast to visit our friends instead! Much more relaxing & fun, I can tell you than doing the Ironman! :wacko:

Cheerio for now

Roberta

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Funny - he hasn't mentioned steak & Kidney pies for a while now!! I still have some in the fridge, I think!

Our trip to Sydney last week was a good one - our surgeon, Dr Leibman was extremely pleased with Keith's progress, one month after surgery, even allowing him to jog a little from now on ..... no 10km runs tho! We met with chemo and radiation experts who gave us the pros & cons of both treatments, and given the excellent surgery results, it was decided that radiation was not required at this point, so only chemo will be given over the next 3 month period. This will hopefully hit any rogue cells on the head & give us a trouble free future. A mix of injection & tablets will be administered at Port Macquarie (just over an hour away from Forster) so much easier to reach than Sydney & less hassles too. The Base Hospital at Port also has a Rotary Lodge for accommodation. Friends have offered us accommodation with them there, but during the treatment, Keith may be feeling quite unwell, so best to have our own space, I think.

Yesterday, we drove to Port Macquarie to meet with Dr Begbie, the chemo guru up there - and we go up again next Monday to start the treatment and will stay overnight, to see what we need to bring the next time. Being fairly fit still, we hope that Keith will not have any extreme reactions to the chemo and will be drinking heaps of water, to flush the toxins out of his system as fast as he can. He is most likely, however, to have a new hairstyle after the treatment has finished, as loss of hair is a common byproduct! Maybe it will come back curly?

Many thanks to our friends who have been thru, or currently going thru cancer treatment, for your insights into chemo & why it will be of benefit to Keith. As they say, short term pain - for long term gain. Everyone has basically said to 'Just Do It'! It has helped put Keith's mind at ease, even tho he is not happy at the thought of the treatment, he acknowledges it's long term benefits.

So, I'll sign off for now - and we'll start planning the next 9-12 weeks of treatment - catching plenty of fish is on my list, if I am to keep up a constant supply of Smoked Fish Pie. :biggrin2:

As Keith will not be competing in Ironman in Busselton WA in Dec, we've kept the flights & assuming all is well, will go over to Perth and the south coast to visit our friends instead! Much more relaxing & fun, I can tell you than doing the Ironman! :wacko:

Cheerio for now

Roberta

Good news Roberta,

Keith will come along great with you sticking by his side.

Hope both of you get to enjoy a fish over the next few months.

Marcel :thumbup:

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:1yikes::1yikes::1yikes:

omg... ive been offline alot last couple mths and check in with iphone and must of missed this...

roberta so glad to hear Keith is doing well and if anyone can beat the big "C" than he can...

our prayers and thoughts are with you both and as others have said short term pain long term gain..

steve,jaime & the boys.

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Thanks Steve & Marcel. Look forward to catching up with you next time you come up to see the Outlaws, Steve! :D

Many thanks for your support, guys, - it really does make a difference!

Well, it is a week tomorrow from Keith's first chemo session up at Port Macquarie. He is very tired at this point so sleeps 2 or 3 times a day, plus still sleeps all night, which is good. The exhaustion is a standard side effect of the chemo. He has gone off lots of food & doesn't even like the taste of water any more, so I tempt him with Takeaways, like KFC CHicken Twisters & fries & mixed berry Krushie (VERY nice, ifyou haven't tried them and he ate the LOT yesterday at lunch - I didn't even get a sip!) & we even had Pizza last night too, to try & put some weight back onto him, as he had dropped weight back to 51kg. Even the dietician said to not worry about fat & cholesterol issues - it is more important to maintain or increase weight at this point in time! So, no more walking every afternoon & morning (let alone jogging, which he was also doing!) til he is up around the 55kg mark!!! He is taking the anti nausea tabs already (from about Day 3) so it didn't even get a toe hold! Hopefully that will prevent it starting at all. We'll be trying Chinese tonight, as our niece & her family are dropping in on the way to Sydney tomorrow!

We stayed at the lodge there in the Port Base hospital grounds & they are terrific. Very comfy with everything we need. Just a 200m walk to the clinic - which we actually DROVE last Tues, as it was such a grotty day, weather wise! The rain was almost torrential & horizontal, the winds were THAT strong! The medical staff at the Cancer Clinic are brilliant, too. Very professional, yet often quite funny in dealing with what is a very unfamiliar routine for us.

So, taking one day at a time & doing what just has to be done. Now, I must go & fillet those fish!!!

Cheerio

Roberta

We head back to Port on the Election weekend for the next session on the Monday. May go up on the Sat & take the yak, to have a fish on the Sunday??

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Hi all

A quick update over the last month or so ...... on the whole, Keith is going 'OK'. He has good & bad days (more good than bad, luckily), and is still pretty positive about the whole thing, tho he's gone off his chemo tablets now - one thing that he HAS to take! He has a bit of a sleep some days. Still goes off his food now & then - so I just go & buy some KFC or Chinese take away as I dont want his weight to go down. He is still about 53kg, which is a bit light, even for him. Almost all of his hair has fallen out now - that started about 10 days ago! But I am told it could come back CURLY!! I am thinking of getting one of those funny hats that has hair sticking out of the bottom of it!! I saw a Rasta cap in South Africa a few years back, with dreadlocks that looked a hoot on him ...... should have bought it then!

post-2231-128295675251_thumb.jpg

He had his 2nd lot of chemo last monday up at Port & once again, it poured with rain with gale force winds! Twice in a row now!! Looks like we bring the bad weather with us. He is back into his art & even retouching old pics he did years ago! We made a weekend of it, going up on the Saturday, staying in the Rotary lodge there. Terrific accommodation. On Sun, I had a paddle with some of my yakking friends from Port & managed to snaffle a few small flatties, but only tiddler bream!

Today, I'm cooking up vege soup (that he loves for lunch) and smoking 4 blackies & 2 bream - to make my famous smoked fish pies (makes about 5 pies that I freeze.) Yum! Time consuming, but well worth it. (Also means I don't have to cook for those other meals! ) :thumbup: Just get it out of the freezer & do some veges!!

I set him up with a golf ball on a string the other day & had him hitting golf balls in the front yard, without having to walk miles to retrieve them! Brilliant setup made by Spaulding - if you hit the ball absolutely correctly, it lands back at your feet ..... if you hook or slice, it will go left or right, instead of straight forward .... and you need a few steps to retrieve it ...... if you REALLY duff it, you have to walk to the end of the line to retrieve it .... all of about 10m! You just have to make sure you set it up right tho :wacko: ...... put the ball on the ground where you intend teeing off from ........ walk away with the string & secure it to the ground about 5m away ...... so that when you hit it, the ball goes away from you & should land back at your feet! Unfortunately, some years back, I forgot how to set it up & just secured it in the ground & whacked it!! Needless to say, I was bloody lucky that I didn't wear the ball between the eyes, as it came to a sudden halt, mid air & came straight back to me & past me, missing my head by a few cms!! :1yikes::tease: Lesson learnt!! I think that happened to a few other people too, as they took them off the market not long after they appeared!! It's a good way to get some upper body exercise! :biggrin2: Golf is on our list to 'get back into' when Keith is better again! To this end, I bought a set of graphite clubs the other week ..... for a bargain $100 all up!! 3 woods & 8 irons!! :yahoo::thumbup: Much softer on the wrists when you hit the ground with them!! :wacko: Way less jarring!!

Keith is getting back into his art now, too, touching up a few pieces that he did many years ago & delighting in making amusing artistic drawings of our friends & their hobbies! Very clever & colourful! Good to see he is enjoying his art again.

Okie dokie - time to get cooking!!

Cheers for now

Roberta

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