Monthly Archives: August 2019

What a Week

It’s been a bit of an exciting week this week. I was rushed to hospital on Friday morning because I kept getting dizzy. I luckily left hospital on the Saturday afternoon. The doctor wanted me to stay longer, but if they can’t do anything and can only give me medication, I thought I might as well be at home. With strict instructions of what to do and kids being told what signs to look for to take me back to hospital I went off home

While I was in hospital the deadly Tanya caught up with me and gave me a turban for my head, to protect me.

The turban is made by the volunteers at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Tanya from the Indigenous unit is getting them made in the Red, Black and Yellow.

We have so many reasons for covering our head, not just hair loss from medical reasons, some of us have to have our head covered until all signs of scaring are gone from out heads. We have to protect our head from the spirits who might cause us problems, this is also a mental health issue in some areas.

Oh and as for me, well I have to wait the results of blood tests and have some more scans.

Supporting our Carers

Today I attended the Menzies “Supporting Our Carers” Roundtable survey. It was a good chat about what our Carers need and what we looked for in a carer and what we expected and hoped for from them.

Some of us had one carer or we had a variety of carers from our families. One group was people like myself who have had or have cancer

My daughter was in another group to talk about being a carer. She gave an insight into being a kid who had to grow up quick to be able to take care of mum. She still is caring for mum as she is my eyes when we go out. I have some issues with vision and she is my guide and tells me what I can’t see.

The group talked about how we found that it was immediate family who fell into the carer role, because they had no other choice. There were some differences in how much to tell the carer. We don’t want to worry our family so it’s often a need to know basis, especially if its a parent or children who is the main carer. We try to stand strong so we are not a burden on the carer. This can at times help us get through, but other times, it doesn’t allow us to let someone else carry the load.

When dealing with cancer the carer should be able to distance themselves to be able to talk to the doctors if the patient unable, this is something that we find is difficult when we are using family as carers, we don’t want them to be in a situation that will cause them stressThe simple questions opened up to lots of discussions about how we accept help from family. Some of the group had not been told by hospital what help they were eligible for, this is a common problem. We don’t know the questions to ask and nobody tells us. If your carer is white or has lighter skin they will be told more and helped more than if they are not.It can be hard on the carer when they find out that they are needed long after the initial diagnosis and treatment. The effects of cancer can linger for years, also the treatment can leave the body in a bad state that takes months or years to recover from.

We looked at a brochure and discussed how this could help with patients to give information on their journey through the health system. Cancer is a scary ride and no one really tells the full story of it. Most spoke of the hidden costs of cancer and how their is now warning of this and how this can cause as much stress as the diagnosis. Treatments can have a damaging effect on the body.

Being involved with studies like this are easy and they help with our mob in the long run.

Cancer carers needed for study

I urge you to get involved with this study. Research helps to find out where there are gaps in services.

We as Indigenous people know there are so many gaps that affect our survival of cancer

Things That We Learn

It’s wonderful the things we learn as we grow older, especially the things that we learn from doing the wrong thing.

I was recently told off by my dentist for using a medium toothbrush, apparently as we get older we should change our toothbrush. I used to use a hard, but chemotherapy and illness changed that. Apparently I will be using a baby brush in a couple of years if I still have teeth. I am currently having the old fractures checked and repaired. Teeth cop it hard with illness and suffer badly if you have had chemo or been on steroid medication.

After surgery and I had my hair all cut off I am finding that shampooing my hair each day is causing me troubles. I used to have lovely thick hair, now I have thin hair and a huge bald patch. My new regime is wash it one day, next day put oil on it, either coconut or olive oil. On the fourth day after washing I can wash again. My hair is so thin and I think I will have bald patches soon.

I wonder what I would look like with a comb over?

I have only one mutant fingernail at the moment. Not many people realise that you can get tinea on your fingernails. I get it after I bump my fingers and feet. I bruise easy and if my finger tips are bumped hard eneough I get tinea under that nail. All it takes is the bump, that dislodges the nail a bit, which allows the fungal infection to get under. Use Tea Tree oil or eucalyptus oil. Little bit on the top of the nail, where it looks white and keep applying as the nail grows, as it get near the top, you can put a drop of two under the nail.

Cradle cap, is not just for babies. It can come as your hair is growing back, just treat it the same way you treat it for a baby, use baby oil on the head.

Cracks in the corner of the mouth are common and thrush in the mouth. Cracks in the corner can be treated by applying honey on the cracks it only takes a couple of days for it to heal. Honey also works for mouth thrush. I have known a few patients to use a topical tinea cream in their mouth, but putting some on a swab and wiping it around the mouth, waiting about ten minutes then rinsing.

I often have baby oil and use it too. Oils are great for giving moisture to the skin. After you have cleaned yourself in the shower and before you leave the shower, put a bit of oil on your washer or keep one just for this use. Then while in the shower wipe your whole body with it and its a great moisturiser. If I use a cream it’s always plain sorbelene cream and put on my body while it’s still wet. After this dry off as usual.