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We bought a house!

In my previous post about my cancer diagnosis, I said that I hoped to make a life insurance claim to help set-up the family for when I’m no longer around.  As difficult as these circumstances are, I’m very pleased that my life insurance has been paid out and we’ve bought a house.  We wrote about this on the family blog site, but it’s too exciting not to write about here on my personal site as well. 

new home

Our new home has five big bedrooms (so we now have a “spare” bedroom), a fire place, triple garage all on a good size block of land with a decent back yard.  After renting for 14 years, it’s finally good to have a place to call our own. 

We spent a week moving into our new home, mostly done with Mandy’s car, my work ute and a small trailer.  We only had to hire removalists for half a day to take the big stuff.  I vlogged a lot of the move with my phone and put together the below YouTube video to remember the occasion.  Once we’ve settled in, I’ll also record a house tour video and will add that below as well.

Good and Bad news

So this post is a mix of both good and bad news in relation to my Pancreatic Cancer; 

Bad News:  The cancer has returned.  Even though we thought the surgery, followed by chemotherapy, had beaten the cancer, my regular check-ups showed that it had returned.  So to combat the reoccurrence the oncology doctors have put me onto a different course of chemotherapy.

Good News:  My body is reacting really well to the new chemotherapy.  I do get nausea and vomiting the night after treatment, and I have lost my hair, but there are no other side affects.  The tumour has reduced in size and the cancer markers in my blood test have returned to a normal level, so doctors have said I can have a break from treatment for a couple of months.  I’m also feeling pretty good, I certainly don’t feel like I have a life threatening diagnosis.

Bad News:  Even though I’ve been reacting well to treatment, doctors want me to be aware of the reality of the situation: my cancer is terminal.  It is likely that I have less than 12 month to live.  My intention is to prove the doctors wrong.

12 months to live

Good News:  The terminal 12 month life expectancy diagnosis means I should be able to make a claim on my life insurance, which will allow me to set the family up in a good home and debt and worry free after I have gone. 

 I have continued to record YouTube updates about my cancer journey, it helps me get my head around everything that is going on.  Check out my latest cancer update video below.  

My Last Cancer Update (hopefully)

My most recent posts on this blog have been about my health and battle with pancreatic cancer.  Thankfully the growth was discovered early enough for doctors to be able to totally remove the tumour.  Six months of chemotherapy has hopefully reduced the risk of reoccurrence.  I’m back at work full time, in a new role that I’m enjoying and family life is pretty much back to normal (well as normal as it can be during a pandemic).  The only remnant of my cancer journey is tingling pins and needles in my feet (a side effect of the chemo), so hopefully it stays that way.

As you may have seen in my previous posts, I’ve made a series of videos on YouTube about my cancer journey.  My latest video is hopefully my final cancer update, check it out below… 

Christmas Photos 2019

Family Christmas morning photo 2019

2019 Christmas Morning Family Photo

Just a quick look (above) at our annual family photo in front of the Christmas tree.  We always post our traditional Christmas pic on the family blog, and I try to then re-post here on my personal blog.

This year, I can honestly say this is the worst I have ever looked.  I don’t care that Christmas Day was my second-last day of Chemotherapy, so half my hair had fallen out and I was about 15kg down on my normal weight.  The point is that I look a bajillion years old.  The other issue I have with this photos, is that I didn’t have time for the usual Lightroom processing, just an Instagram filter. 

Next year has to be better, but in the mean time check out the better looking members of the family, with some more Christmas morning photos below.

Family Christmas morning photo 2019
Family Christmas morning photo 2019
Family Christmas morning photo 2019

Cancer and Chemotherapy

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

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

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 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

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?

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