First update on the Heffalump

Those of you who have decided this is not too boring to follow, either here on the blog or on fb itself, will know for sure that there have been tests done over the past couple of days.


Personally, I think the novelty is wearing off a bit with having to go here there and everywhere for all these different jabs,prods and pulls and shoves. They are definitely required and necessary (both words must be used here lol), to ensure this bloody Heffalump is going to get his comeuppance in the near future. The staff and doctors as I have said and will continue to say, are excellent and know their jobs inside and out, so no complaints there.

doctor with mask

When I first arrived here and spoke to the handsome Daniel, ENT Specialist, he was straight with me as to what it was likely to be, and of course he was right. The scans and blood tests agreed Heffy was a Lymphoma B Cell, rather aggressive and currently feeling pretty pleased with his progress and comfortable digs in my throat.

To say I was scared shitless is to put it mildly on first hearing this. I was a bit of a sook with Daniel, who assured me I should cry as much as I wanted to. But what is the point in blubbering all the time? Heffy is not going to show any sympathy and retreat. To be honest I haven’t had a good bawl even yet. I get teary when I talk to Tim, my wonderful, caring and devastated husband. I get teary talking to my grandson Steven who is being our rock right now. I have been teary a couple of times with one or two nurses, especially Craig, who is a surfer dude from Hervey Bay, with dreadlocks, but he has his Bachelors in Nursing and somewhere along the line he picked up the bedside manners of old as well. He is a gem. I’m so pleased he moved to Brisbane to work on the same weekend I was flown down from the bay. Perhaps my angels sent him – who knows? I will take it if it’s on offer.

Monday was scheduled for a PET scan. Didn’t really know the full gist of this scan till I looked it up online so I could understand it better. We grizzle about the net ruining our lives and taking over our spare time etc, but by golly I reckon it is a million times better than any heavy, dusty encyclopedia we had to study from years ago. I wonder how many still have those old fogeys on their book shelves? I got rid of ours in about 2005 I think.

doctor and needle

The Registrar of Radiology, was the sweetest young girl you could wish to meet. Pretty in a nerdy kind of way, delightful to chat with and so super confident, friendly, caring and pleasant. My fears were washed away in the first few minutes of meeting her after my whiz of a ride on a trolley through hallways and doors and lifts at a million miles an hour. The ceilings here by the way could do with either a good clean or fresh paint. There are pieces of artwork on the walls donated by former patients. Some have bling in the scene like the one I was parked next to for ages this morning. A city scene of Sydney and one of the high-rise buildings in the painting was done in pretty blue blingy beads. The Harbour Bridge should have been outlined in bright yellow bling too in my opinion. You can’t have too much bling…..ever!

The ceilings could be done with nice fresh paint and maybe a little mural here and there of clouds and blue sky. The ride on those trolleys would be so much more interesting then. It’s just a thought and no doubt will never be done, but if ever I was Minister of Health I would have this looked into as a possibility.

But I digress.

Fallon explained the procedure step by step and the worst parts really were the initial stab of the needle for the local (not much really, I’ve had worse from those pearl ended pins while sewing), and the clicking noise of another big syringe thing that would draw up the tissue bits for testing. Fallon showed me the samples and honestly if they got the results from those minuscule bits, they are pretty darned good these days compared to when I was in the nursing game. We won’t even go there though.


Results take a while of course and they are still waiting for the total result, but as stated above, it’s what the lovely Daniel suspected in the beginning. It’s just the size and location/s we need to confirm now. Then to get on with the treatment.

Next visit to my bedside was from the Registrar of Hematology, to explain the results so far and procedures in the next few days. A course of steroids has been started in an attempt to shrink that fat Heffy – it’s time he lost some weight and stopped taking up so much darned room in my neck and shoulder. Plain rude if you ask me.

It’s like getting on a plane in economy and after making yourself nice and comfy in your seat by the window, along comes a fat whalloppy piggy man who snorts and coughs and sighs as he heaves his body into the tiny seat. He wipes his sweaty brow,  smiles at you from under his bushy eyebrows, and politeness taught as a child is the only thing stopping you from screaming and running away. But wait, you can’t run. You can’t get past that fat heaving body!!


Again, I digress.

Over the next couple of days I will have umpteen tablets to swallow…..a joke really as I find it difficult to swallow a Panadol capsule at the best of times and now with my throat constricted somewhat by Heffy, it’s like watching an old re-run of I Love Lucy.

As well as steroids, they will be taking more blood for tests every few hours. So far they took 20 viles of blood for testing then returned in next to no time for a few more. Since then every time I hear a trolley I know damned well it’s not going to be a tea/coffee trolley…it will be a sweet girl pathologist who wants more blood. Thank goodness I am not scared of needles.

It’s all so full on I tend to forget the days, and what has been done on each day, hence this boring diary of the goings on. Renae told me what Heffy was getting up to and just how we can deal with the imp and get him packing his little bag and moving out.

guy bag

Next test was the bone marrow test which would tell them more of what type of treatments would be best. Chemo at the moment is the first choice once the steroids have done their trick. My stay here, or rather in the Hematology area when they eventually move me there, is going to be for a while yet. Onwards and upwards. More about the marrow test in the next little episode as I’m sure I have bored you all rigid by now, and baffled you with bullshit details. Please forgive me.

Anyway it’s almost time for lights out for we inmates.

Currently I am hooked up to a saline drip to keep my kidneys from doing the wrong thing, which makes going to the loo, getting my laptop out, walking about to say hello to the lovely Amber (young car crash victim who was moved from the original ward we shared to a private room- she’s lucky to be alive Bless her). Positive vibes for her would be appreciated too as she has a long road ahead of her poor darling.

I asked about a photo of Daniel and his team of hunks, just for the eye candy of it all, but it would have to be cleared by the Media Department first….have we all become so materialistic and vindictive that even a little pic of good looking guys cannot be shared? It seems so.

Until tomorrow or the next day, goodnight, stay safe and keep smiling. Big hugs to all.

best friends.jpg




16 thoughts on “First update on the Heffalump

  1. Jan Brigden May 20, 2016 at 12:20 pm Reply

    Bless you, Jo! I’m reading each snippet and thinking, Wow, that’s a lot of blood tests & procedures, BUT, your attitude and ability to see the humour and keep positive is inspiring. I’m so pleased the team of doctors/consultants. etc, around you sound fantastic. It’s so important to have that communication and support, isn’t it? In saying all this, I hope I don’t sound as if I’m trivializing the seriousness of it all, Jo; I fully understand it when you say you were shit scared. Blimey, Jo, you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t! Looking forward to viewing that pic of Daniel 😉 and to hearing your next update. Sending you much love & hugs. Stay positive xx

    • joskehan May 21, 2016 at 8:24 am Reply

      Oh Jan your comments are so valued. You are an excellent and passionate writer yourself so to read your thoughts on mine being worth following along with was heart lifting. I know there are going to be good and bad times…lots of bad times that prove to be the test whether I can stay brave or crumble. I crumbled today, and will write about that in the next blog post because other results haven’t happened yet, and it was a day off tests etc apart from gathering more blood samples today.
      The pic of Daniel is going to be difficult as apparently there are rules here as to why they can’t have their photos flashed across the net…litagy gone mad. A heartfelt thank you Jan. xxx

  2. Alexandria Gregory May 20, 2016 at 12:21 pm Reply

    Beautiful chapter Dear Jo xxx

    • joskehan May 21, 2016 at 8:13 am Reply

      Just tell me when and if it gets boring so I can spice it up a bit, lol. xxxx

  3. Jan Goodyear May 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm Reply

    A wonderful, touching, funny account Jo, with an equally wonderful attitude. You kick that Heffalump right out of the universe, so far that he will never come back uninvited again. Lots of love and gentle hugs xx Jan Goodyear

    • joskehan May 21, 2016 at 8:12 am Reply

      Thank you Jan….bigger reply to your posts further up but you know what I mean anyway. xxxx

  4. Liz Seymour May 20, 2016 at 12:49 pm Reply

    So well written Jo, and in a lovely way.
    It’s good to see some one with some good ol’ fashioned back bone and spirit, and yet still admit they want to sit and howl at the inequity of it all.
    I shall follow along on your journey, as you receive some of these less than pleasant treatments, and conquer the Heffalump and then onward until you are back home painting those fence pickets.

    PS. you need to re read that and make a slight edit 😛
    A little something to do tomorrow

    • joskehan May 21, 2016 at 8:11 am Reply

      Hahahah Liz, I like your post just as it is…no edits required. There will be no wishy washy stuff in this blog…all straight down the line and honest and if it helps one or two going through the same kind of ordeal, I will be a happy woman indeed. The one thing that really pisses me off right now is that I am so bloody vain at times – I look at myself in the mirror and think ‘What happened to your face and hair? It’s not you and it’s bloody awful!’ Lol. Puffy eyes, toad neck, red cheeks (flushed from the IV thing I have for fluids to keep my kidneys intact) and just in general looking old, fat and horrid, lol. xxxx

  5. Jan Goodyear May 20, 2016 at 12:59 pm Reply

    A wonderful read Jo, full of humour, very touching and full of determination, just how it should be. Loads and loads of tests, but each one a step in the right direction. Just take each day as it comes. Lots of love and gentle hugs. Jan xx

    • joskehan May 21, 2016 at 8:07 am Reply

      Knowing you have already endured something similar Jan, I do appreciate your advice and support. No doubt there will a few lows and I’m trying to get myself prepared for them. So happy to have you on my side. xxx

  6. Carol Matthews May 20, 2016 at 4:45 pm Reply

    Brilliant Jo, keep it up my lovely girl, we will just marmalise that pesky Heffy with words and bugger off vibes! Stay strong, stay safe xxx

    • joskehan May 21, 2016 at 8:06 am Reply

      I will Carol thank you. I think I’ve got Heffy pondering already as to his welcome. Luv and hugs. xx

  7. Gerri Bowen May 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm Reply

    I enjoyed your blog Jo, and appreciate your humor as you describe what you’re going though. It does help. Having a good cry can help too, a little more private than screaming out as loudly as you can, and I do understand about being scared shit less. It sounds as if you’re surrounded by good and positive people, and I do hope they allow you to have Daniel’s photo near. My very best to you, Jo.

    • joskehan May 21, 2016 at 8:05 am Reply

      Gerri, it’s so mood lifting to just look at these beautiful looking young healthy people knowing that they have studied and surpassed all expectancies and are now going to pass that knowledge and skill on to me so that I can beat this thing. There is a good percentage rate of success, so I am very hopeful. I am grateful for your support. Hugs my friend. xx

  8. Niamh Keany Pattison May 21, 2016 at 1:51 am Reply

    Keep fighting the little bastard….eject him…he is an uninvited guest….and no welcome….xxxx

  9. joskehan May 21, 2016 at 8:02 am Reply

    Abso-bloody-lutely Niamh. That is my plan! Thanks for being here for me. Hugs. xx

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