Cancer and Chemotherapy

The last couple of posts, here on my personal blog, have been about my health issues and diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer.  Since then I’ve spent eight weeks in hospital at Monash Clayton following the “Whipples Procedure” surgery, which removed the head of my pancreas, Gall Bladder and part of my intestine.  The operation its self was a success, but subsequent complications and infection kept me in hospital longer than originally expected.  Even after I was eventually allowed to go home, I was re-admitted twice more following further complications.

Not only has cancer been tough on my health, this time has been really tough on my family and finances (I haven’t worked since March).  Thankfully we’ve received a lot of support from friends and family, and our employers have been very understanding and supportive.  I’m really glad I signed up for Income Protection insurance some time ago, I don’t know how we’d be surviving right now otherwise!

Since leaving hospital I’ve been doing regular physio/rehab to rebuild my health, strength and fitness.  I’ve also began a six month chemotherapy course, where I attend Monash Moorabbin hospital fortnightly for twelve sessions.  Even though my surgeons believe they were able to remove all of the cancer from my pancreas, the chemotherapy should minimise the risk of any stray cancer cells causing a problem in the future.  Unfortunately the chemo comes with some side affects, but so far they haven’t been as bad as we were told they could be.

Cancer Video Updates

Rather going into detail about everything here, I’ll refer you to a series of YouTube videos I’ve been making to keep friends and family updated on my cancer journey.  At the time of writing, my Cancer Playlist has five videos.  That number will increase as I publish further updates.

You can view my cancer and chemotherapy videos at this YouTube link…
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMW46fXcTq_JmrNOKlnAHTTpeR4gopXqf 

Cancer Surgery

I explained in my previous blog post that I was in hospital with what is more than likely a cancerous growth on the head of my pancreas.  Tomorrow I’m having major surgery to remove the tumour, which will also mean loosing the head of my pancreas, gall bladder, part of the bile duct and part of my bowel.  Yep, it’s pretty full on!

I’m thankful I was allowed to come home for a week, after 10 days of hospital tests, before going back in tomorrow morning.  This morning I recorded a video for YouTube and Facebook to explain to friends and family what’s been going on, and to thank all those special people who have offered their best wishes and support.

Check out the video below.  I will post updated when I can.

Thanks.

I’m in hospital

As I write this, from beside my hospital bed, I’ve spent the last eight days in two different hospitals.  All of that time has been the investigation phase, as the doctors try and work out what’s going on.

It started two weeks ago, just feeling sick.  I thought I had eaten too much, but the feeling didn’t go away.  Then I noticed my urine had become very dark, and it was hurting to pee.  My GP had some blood tests done, when we went in for the test results the she said my liver function was off the chart and I should go straight to hospital.

The early diagnosis was gallstones, but an ultrasound ruled that out.  Then a CT scan found a growth on my pancreas, that was compressing my bile duct.  The lack of bile flowing through was the reason for my symptoms.  An MRI scan has since established a very high chance the growth is cancerous.  Tomorrow they are putting an ultrasonic camera down my throat for a definitive look.

If tomorrow confirms what the doctors suspect, then major surgery awaits.

Simon Yeo, waiting in hospital

Waiting in hospital

This blog post isn’t seeking sympathy (I’m getting lots of support from family, friends and work colleagues).  Rather this, and subsequent posts, are more like a personal diary to keep track of the timeline, and a record (in my own words) of whats happening.

Bushfires

A couple of weeks ago, you probably heard about the bushfires here in Victoria.  The big fire in the Bunyip State Park was pretty close, with plenty of smoke being blown across our house in Pakenham.  However, it was even closer to our family in Garfield and Drouin, who where told to evacuate.  We had a full house that weekend, as we accommodated an extra 4 adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats.

Thankfully our family was ok and didn’t suffer any property loss, except for ash covering everything when they returned.  Unfortunately some people weren’t so lucky, there were lots of properties and livestock lost to the fire.

Over in Churchill, my parents were affected by smoke from the nearby Yinnar South bushfire.  Churchill was on a “watch and act” alert, meaning they had to be ready to evacuate, but thankfully that wasn’t necessary.

I made a short video for my YouTube channel to show the smoke coming over our house, as I played ball with one of the evacuated dogs.  I also recommend another video from a YouTuber based in Warragul.  Hayden Pederson showed how fierce the fires were, and the devastation of a friend of his who lost everything.

A big shout out to everyone at the CFA, and other emergency services, who did an awesome job fighting the fires and keeping us safe.

Australia Day, should we change the date?

There’s been lots of heated discussion around the date we celebrate Australia Day.  I’ve committed to posting a daily video to YouTube for 30 days, so I thought I’d make my January 26 video all about Australia Day.  I talk about alternative dates to celebrate our great nation and give you my thoughts.

Check out the video below…

If the embedded video doesn’t load, click here… https://youtu.be/CFD5I3QzImE 

30 Day Video Challenge

I’m going to be very busy for the next 30 days.  I’ve decided to partake in a 30 day video challenge, issued by YouTuber Scott McKenna.  That means I’ve committed to upload a video to YouTube everyday for the next 30 days, even while working 12 hour plus days at my regular full time job.

The first video is already online, check it out below – or visit my YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/user/smjbk

As I upload more videos in the 30 Day Challenge, they’ll appear in this YouTube PlayList
Feel free to “LIKE” and “SUBSCRIBE”!

10 Years on Twitter

So I received a notification from Twitter this morning, that’s nothing unusual, except that this one said “It’s your Twitter anniversary…

What?!  Apparently it’s ten years since I signed up to Twitter.  If you’d asked me yesterday, I would have said that the social media giant wasn’t even around ten years ago.  Some research this morning has enlightened me, Twitter was launched in July 2006.  I signed up two and a half years later.

As a relatively early adopter, I was able to secure my real name as my Twitter handle @SimonYeo.  Good luck to anyone trying to get their real name as a username today!

I’m only an occasional user of Twitter these days.  Below are some of my earliest tweets from 2009.

If the embedded tweets aren’t loading in your browser, click HERE for a screenshot (opens a new tab).

2018 filmed on my iPhone

I was looking for a video project last weekend, and rather than going out and filming video, I decided to use footage I already had.  I thought it would be a great idea to grab every video clip on my iPhone filmed during 2018, add some copyright free music, and edit it all together into a short YouTube video.  So that’s exactly what I did, and it was actually pretty easy – there was no story to tell, just random clips thrown together to some music.

When I watched the video back though, I realised it needed an introduction, to explain why these non related clips were put together.  To continue the phone theme, I decided to film the intro on my phone too, which actually took longer than editing the main video.  I ended up filming in the doorway of my garage to get reasonable lighting (for the front facing camera) and to get away from household noise (TV, games, kids playing).

So here it is, 2018 as seen through the lens of my iPhone 8.  I like it because every clip is a memory for me to look back on, but hopefully it’s short enough to not bore everyone else.

Christmas Morning Family Photo

SMJBK Yeo Family Photo Christmas Morning 2018

Christmas Morning Family Photo 

Even though our eldest son, Josh, is almost 19, he’s still with us and able to continue our tradition of a family photo on Christmas morning.  We started taking our family group photo in-front of the Christmas tree in 2010, when our youngest, Karla, was still an infant.  Back then, the boys were frustrated with the process (“hurry up Dad, we want to open the presents”), but now everyone knows we have to get dressed and take the family photo before any gifts are exchanged.  

I’ve even started filming the process.  As you can see in the Behind-The-Scenes video I made this year, we actually have a lot of fun posing in front of the tree, and getting our family photo just right.

Once the photo is taken, and the presents have been opened, I try to get the RAW picture edited and onto social media as soon as possible.  This year we were running a little late for a Christmas breakfast, so rather than importing the RAW file onto the computer and processing through Lightroom, I wirelessly brought the photos across to my phone and opened Instagram, applied a filter and uploaded to Insta and Facebook straight away.  I thought I would have had to re-edit the photo in Lightroom when we got home last night, but the Instagram photo turned out so well I didn’t need to do anything else.  Instagram re-saves a high resolution copy of the photo, with the filter applied, that I’ve since been able to also publish on Flickr and this blog.  The filters and performance of Instagram have certainly improved a lot over the past few years.

I’m not sure if Josh will still be living with us in 12 months time, so this may have been our last ever Christmas morning photo with all five of us together… and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

You might also be interested in this earlier blog post – simonyeo.id.au/2016-christmas-family-photos