Not just any port in a storm

I spent yesterday back in the company of the wonderful staff at Manly hospital. I’m not being sarcastic either. They’re truly amazing people. From the admissions staff to the nurses to the surgeons…. everyone cares. The Australian media has really got it wrong with all their hospital bashing. And the best part? It’s all free. Medicare is taking care of everything. What kind of incredible country do I live in where all my medical costs are covered by the government?! One of the drugs required for chemotherapy is $5,000 a month by itself!  So if you have an inkling that Australia is not the lucky country anymore, let me tell you now, you couldn’t be more off the mark. Anyone who lives here is truly blessed.

It was a good day to be inside as it was gray and overcast outside… so off we went to get the Port Catheter installed. I headed up with Rach at 11am, got prepped and then just waited. Rach headed off to do some stuff and the nurses told her they would call when I was ready for pick up. Again, in with the cannula, on with the oxygen mask and a guy came and drew an arrow on my chest…. kind of like a “this is where you cut him open” marker, no kidding. Thankfully everyone in the operating room can read map directions ‘cos when I woke up I was sore in the right place.

They really hammered me with the anesthetic. I’ve never been so groggy coming out of an operation before. I was aware that my speech was quite impaired, at least half the speed I usually talk… and my mouth was very dry. It’s quite a trip when you’re trying your hardest to open your eyes and they just won’t respond. By the time I finally opened up it was close to 7pm. My mum was home watching the boys and so Rachel arrived not long after and I was discharged. When we got home Cody was very happy to see me but he had been told Daddy was very sore on his shoulder and to be gentle with him, not to hurt him. Bless his little heart, when I asked him for a cuddle he started forward but then obviously remembered what he’d been told and pulled back. “Nooooo” he said. “I don’t hurt me on my shoulder. You got sore shoulder Dad”. Cody gets his you/me muddled up sometimes but I knew what he meant. I showed him the “hospital stickers”, which is what he calls the bandages etc. He looked at them and said “I like your cool stickers, Dad!”

It’s nice to know that in the middle of all of this there are people that love me… just because. I can’t imagine what it must be like to get this kind of news and have no one to lean on.

I walk around my house and see all of the boys toys, scattered all over the floor, and think to myself… how beautiful.

I see one of Rachel’s “Understanding Chemotherapy” books left on the bed and know the woman I married is educating herself so she can fight beside me.

When Rachel and I were married I promised her in my vows that I would fight for her. I never imagined it would be this kind of fight…. but I will not let her down. I will fight this cancer with every ounce of strength I have… and when I have none left and can walk no further…. I will rest and let my God carry me.

Isaiah 40:31

those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”


~ by Kristian Anderson on October 23, 2009.

7 Responses to “Not just any port in a storm”

  1. Hey Kristian – I’m really glad to be reading about your experiences with this new chapter in your life – you are writing about it so beautifully and eloquently – thank you for putting yourself out there like that and helping us understand what you’re going through. You really sound like you’re handling it better than anyone could – you’ve got exactly the right attitude – fight fight fight! You just need to prove you are better than this and kick it’s ass 🙂

    Not sure when I’ll be back home in Oz, but as soon as I am, would be fab to catch up on all the goss!

    Keep it moving Kristian, and keep up the blog – it’s obviously a wonderful outlet for your thoughts.


  2. Kristian, you are an amazing husband, father & man of God. I so admire you and your courage to fight through this.
    I pray for strength and peace over you and your beautiful family through this journey/ chapter of your life.
    I just started reading your blogs 2day, Brilliant!
    If you ever need a sitter or anything I told Rach 2 call me 🙂 seriously! Pick up that phone lol.
    Love you lots Jaime x

  3. Hi there,

    A friend of mine sent me a link to your blog saying how eerily similar it is to mine… and after reading a few posts, I cant help but agree!!!

    I’m 28, diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the bowel 1 day before my 28th birthday. I have spent the first part of this year on chemo, and about to start again, because it is recurred in some lymph nodes. The diagnosis was 11 months after my wedding, and at this stage, is likely to be terminal.

    Have a read of my blog (which is a mixture of everything really).

    God Bless.

  4. Hi Kristian and Rach, this is Tania (Tal’s Mum). We’re praying for you as are many on our list of friends. It’s been so good to read your blogs and see your faith soaring. God is our only place of refuge and source of strength, and you are hanging onto God in perhaps a deeper way than you ever have. He is truly faithful and dependable. How has your first chemo gone? May the Lord continue to provide ALL you need. Blessings upon you and your family too. Tania and Ian Vail

  5. Hi Kristian, your dad rang me about what you and your family are going thru. Charmaine and I remember the support when we nearly lost her from you and your folks and so many others and it’s time to return the favour. You are a mighty man of God you always have been but there is sometimes a penalty (the enemy hates you more) but we serve an amazing loving God whose Grace and mercy and Love for his children exceeds all else. When it gets tuff be still and hear the voice of the one who loves you and Rach and the boys more than we can understand. God’s Richest Blessing on you and your family my brother and we continue to agree with you in all your prayers. Trevor and Charmaine

  6. I had an amazing experience with the staff/doctors at the Royal Free in London when my father was there. I was stuck in America for the duration of his illness and they sent me daily faxed updates.
    It sounds like you have a good team on your side.

  7. “I will fight this cancer with every ounce of strength I have… and when I have none left and can walk no further…. I will rest and let my God carry me.”

    That kind of love and bravery is so breathtaking to me. My dad did that. He did it for himself, a little, but like you he did it more for us. He fought with everything to stay here for us, even though he was hurt and humiliated by his “weakness”. Please don’t ever feel like you are letting your family down, I know my dad felt that way sometimes, and we were all SO awed by his strength and courage.

    I always wished that I could take his place, even for a week or a day, and fight for him the way he fought for us…

    Praying for strength, and for those times when it seems to desert you, that you would feel God’s arms carrying you in a very real way.

    Much love.

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