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Best Laid Plans...

Once again, it's been awhile since my last post and on Sunday we should be heading off to Düsseldorf for the 2022 Caravan Salon.

I say should be, because for Mrs iMotorhome and me the 2020s continue their appalling record of disappointment and disruption.

Early in July, Mrs iM went to see about a muscle strain in her side that wasn’t repairing. A CAT scan revealed a large abdominal mass that a biopsy indicated as cancer, and in short order she ‘boarded the train’ at Chris Obrien’s Lifehouse (COBLH) – a specialist cancer hospital attached to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney – and it departed the station at high speed.

A flurry of appointments followed, including a PET scan that confirmed the mass to be a rapidly growing malignant tumour.

Chris O’Brien pioneered the concept of treatment by an integrated team of cancer specialists, before tragically succumbing to brain cancer in 2009. As Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said at the time, “Chris' vision was for an integrated cancer treatment centre so that patients would no longer have to navigate their way through all the different elements of dealing with their illness alone.”

It has been and is a lifesaving godsend…

After initial surgery was aborted due to a tumour-induced anaesthetic reaction that nearly caused a stroke, the second attempt succeeded and the tumour was removed. Unfortunately, so was quite a bit more.

As I write, it is one week since the operation and Mrs iM is on the slow and difficult road to recovery. She will remain in hospital for at least another week and we are still awaiting the results of pathology, plus a follow-up PET scan to determine what, if any, ongoing treatment is required.

I find it impossible to adequately express my thanks to the surgical team that navigated the eight hour operation, which included calling in a third specialist surgeon to deal with an unexpected situation. Ditto the astonishing compassion and care of the largely-Irish nursing staff in Intensive Care (and now on the ward). There are no words…

Going forward, this is a life changing event and we are still coming to terms with what has happened and its ramifications. Of course, all travel plans are cancelled, including any thoughts of tours, as the priority is simply recovery.

It's frightening how, as the Americans say, life can turn on a dime. For the moment we are taking things one day at a time and that will be the pace for some time to come. If all goes well, Mrs iM should reach her best level of ‘new normal’ in about six months, but life will never be the same.

That’s it for now. Until next time, hold your loved ones close and look after your friends – ours have been truly remarkable. And don’t take today or tomorrow for granted.

Finally, if you’ve got an ache or pain that’s not going away, please get it checked out. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed…

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