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Life in Limbo

Thank you, Haidee, for another beautifully written blog. Writing has always been a struggle for me which is why I never churned out many papers each year and preferred to do more applied research. This has led to the formation of several start-up tech companies which I am now having to withdraw from. Our boys, Kerry and Cameron, have just been to a major conference in Singapore which was a huge success and it gives me great joy to know that my years of effort have come to something which the boys have been able to take to the next level.


Hannah and Charles’s wedding was a fantastic day. To survive, I maxed out on paracetamol, ibuprofen with some codeine thrown in but there’s always a price to pay, so the next evening I was in bed feeling rather miserable and I haven’t really recovered since. There have been many times where I just wanted to let go of this world to escape the pain and discomfort and the feeling of being useless. Thankfully, I have great support from Christine and my family who are the most important thing to me right now.


The pain appears to be getting worse to the point where we spent last weekend in hospital with a suspected bowel blockage. A CT scan showed that there is some inflammation around the end of the small intestine likely due to the cancer spreading which is causing a partial blockage. I have come to realise and accept that my life is hanging on a thread and it is probably likely I will not see Christmas. The thread is the hope we have for the new immunotherapy drug that was started last week and I guess over the next six to twelve weeks we will know with more certainty what is going to happen.  


I have gone from someone who used to only take vitamin C tablets to someone depending now on a whole tray of drugs, each with their own side effects that require more drugs to manage those. To manage my pain, I am now taking Sevredol, which is an opioid. This means I have crossed a line as going down the opioid path is associated with palliative care. I know this is all doom and gloom but that is the reality of my situation.


The above was written by Robin yesterday morning. Later in the day, and before having a chance to finish it, he deteriorated again with increased pain, nausea, discomfort and vomiting, and was re-admitted to hospital early evening. After further scans and tests, it has been determined that he has an obstruction in his small intestine. At this stage, the plan seems to be to have this operated on tomorrow afternoon. They will attempt to remove the section of the bowel that is blocked and as much of the primary tumour as possible, and then hopefully be able to re-join the bowel sections together again. This will be attempted by keyhole surgery first. It comes with risks but we are thankful the surgeon is willing to give this a go and that they have not given up. We’ve been told the surgeon is experienced in this type of surgery and highly skilled.


In the meantime, Robin is quite uncomfortable due to pain, another sleepless night and the extra discomfort of an NG tube. We would value your prayers; for the surgeon, oncologist and rest of the medical team as they make a plan, for relief from pain, for sleep, and for the peace of God to be with us as we walk this path. Thank you all for your ongoing support and love.


Robin and Christine

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Home at Last

Another brief update to let you know that Robin is home from his two and a half weeks in hospital. The recovery process was initially very slow, resulting in the extended stay. Once the bowels finally

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