Be careful what you wish for…

…you just might get it.

It’s been a pretty overwhelming week.

I got a phone call on Tuesday morning, about 8am, from a man I have had the pleasure of coming to know over the past few months. He’s been so supportive of me and my attempts to get our government to list Erbitux on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. He told me he didn’t want to get my hopes up but he’d heard a rumour that today might bring the good news we’d been waiting for.

Sure enough, at 9am he called me back. The federal government had committed $200 million dollars to subsidise Erbitux and a number of other drugs for the thousands of Australians in desperate need of them.

Complete about face.

As of September 1st, 2011, Erbitux will cost $35.50 a week instead of $2,000 a week.

The cynics and the critics might say all they hear is wasted money, but I hear hope. I hear the collective sigh of relief from 2,000 Australians who could not afford Erbitux, who could not afford to fight for their lives. People just. like. me. Giving it all they’ve got and then some.

It was all over the news, how that guy that had cancer that made that video that was on Oprah who had been campaigning to get his drug on the PBS had…. won. And there were photo’s and interviews and front pages and lots of smiles…. and some tears, too.

But you need to know that while it may have been my face on the TV and in the newspapers, it wasn’t just because of me that all this happened. There are people that would probably not think twice about seeking recognition for the role they played, and that’s exactly why they deserve it.

That man I told you about earlier? Chris Reason, Channel 7 journalist. From the beginning, took my voice and made it louder. I trust him. He listened.

The Sunrise program on 7, The Today Show on 9, Mornings with Kerry Anne Kennerley, 6pm with George Negus, Alan Jones at Radio 2GB… the man whose tongue can start fires, Jason Morrison, Radio 2UE, the crew at Hope 103.2fm, The Manly Daily, The Sydney Morning Herald, and of course, my mates on the Grill Team at Triple M…. the people that started this wild ride by passing my request on to Hugh Jackman.

Carolyn Coulton, who guided me through the minefield with grace and outstanding professionalism…. and Russel Crowe…. for words whispered in my ear late one night before Christmas. When Maximus speaks… you listen.

Oprah… who, by taking the time to care about us, gave me a platform to stand on whereby I could be taken seriously by the decision makers of our nation.

And… all of you… who support me here with letters of kindness and encouragement. Not a day goes by that I don’t look up and see the outstretched arm of a stranger, lifting me out of the mud with the kindest of words, the most compassionate of hearts. All of you who added your own voice to mine…. thank you.

And to Heaven…. to my God…. who has brought me here for such a time as this for reasons I cannot possibly begin to understand…. be it unto me according to your will.

I know what it means to say those words… and I am not afraid.

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~ by Kristian Anderson on June 24, 2011.

45 Responses to “Be careful what you wish for…”

  1. When I heard the announcement of Erbitux being added to the PBS, I shed a tear and said to myself ‘Well done Kristian’. Why good people have to fight for sensible decisions to be made, I will never understand. But you did it and you should be SO proud of your efforts. Incredibly well done!!

  2. Im one of the thousands of people shouting ‘yaaaaaaaay’ because now I have another drug to add to my bag of tricks, and a little more hope for the future!!! Thanks Kristian and everyone who lobbied on behalf of bowel cancer patients around Australia. Yiiiiiipppppeeeee!

  3. Praise God

  4. Found out that morning in the Oncologists office that my husband needs Erbitux and so started to figure out where we were going to find the money. Then about 30 minutes later in the Chemo Clinic we heard big cheers from the Nurses station – it was on the PBS! Thank you for your fight! Thank you to everyone who fought!

  5. Awesome news! God Bless!

  6. The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it!! Such wonderful news!

  7. I’m glad to read hope in your ‘voice’ again. Congratulations on this success. 🙂 I wish you strength and happiness, and am sending healing thoughts.

  8. You never cease to bring tears to my eyes, Kristian.

    Well done, indeed.

    Continued blessings and peace to you!

  9. Kristian, I hear such a strength in your voice that I have not heard in your postings in so long. It is so wonderful that it brings tears to my eyes. Such wonderful news! You a truly a hero. You fight for those that cannot.

    Be well,

    Meghan

  10. GOD is soooo good!! And…He’s right on time! Praying over you complete healing…strength…wisdom…and comfort. The tone of your post was amazing. NEVER give up HOPE!!!! You are blessing so many with your strength, courage and faith. =)

  11. Thank you Kristian for your fight. You touch my heart, although I am half way across the world ! I wish you peace and serenity. Lotsa love to you beautiful wife and lovely boys.

    Stephanie, Canada

  12. that’s amazing! praise God!

  13. There are no coincidences…

    There is no coincidence that your hard-fought struggle has paid off. There is no coincidence that you have come into contact with so many who have been able (been willing, been thrilled to, been drawn to) assist you in your journey.

    Today, I learned of you, your beautiful video to your wife on her birthday, your family, your strength, your hope and your struggle. I am so glad that in learning of you today and finding your blog that you received such wonderful news.

    I will continue to follow your blog and your journey. I pray that it will become less difficult and always stay filled with love, support and hope.

    Be lifted by the prayers that come your way.

  14. So very thrilled to hear this news!

  15. Wow, just wow. Praise to the Lord oh my soul. Let the heavens shout for joy. Great is our God. This is the best news, and again I repeat, you are one of my heroes, and also all the unsung heroes in the background working away for others such as yourself. Just brilliant

  16. Praise God for all of you to enable this to happen….

  17. I saw you a Oprah rerun yesterday and can not quit thinking about you and your beautiful family. I prayed for you last night and will continue to pray for you until Gods will is done. You will be cured. I do not know you but you are my brother in Christ and You will be cured. God Bless!

  18. God loves you so much Kristian…
    … as do we all.
    God’s blessings on you and your family…

  19. Well done Kristian. I just found your blog this week. I have been so touched by your story since seeing you and your beautiful wife on Oprah this year. You are an inspiration to us all.

  20. Bravo Kristian

  21. Wonderful news mate – well done on your part in it and for flying the flag!

  22. Praise God from whom all blessing flow……and yes, there is a song in your heart again. Thank you God for that.
    -the grandma from North Carolina with non hodgkins lymphoma

  23. I was so delighted when I picked up the Manly Daily and saw you on the front page with the great news. Well done for the part you played in getting this result.

  24. That is wonderful news. Thoughts and prayers are always with you and your family.

  25. so happy for you and all who are fighting the fight…peace on you, brother– good job!!!

  26. Kristian, I saw you on the original run of Oprah and on the rerun. I lost my aunt to pancreatic cancer in between. You touched my life the first time and brought tears to my eyes. The second time was more than i could handle. The thought that your two little boys might lose you, was too much. Please dont lose your will to fight! Cancer is the most horrific disease, it robs us of people who have made incredible imprints on our lives. Congratulations on your victory. You have made one of those incredible imprints on my life. Thank you!

  27. Congratulations Kristian ! This is a big victory for the cancer patients in Australia !
    Now probably the only place in the Western world where Erbitux and Vectibix ARE NOT funded by the gouvernment is QUEBEC , province of Canada ! What a shame and what cynicism from the gouverment in power ! On the yearly Commission that has to review the funding of these two drugs there is no Oncologist to be consulted ! Go figure !
    Congratulations and good luck along the journey !

  28. Strength and love from New York. Thinking of you today.

  29. I don’t know what is better news…that you will now have the drug you so desperately needed, or that you seem to have found peace, 🙂
    I am very happy for both!

  30. I agree w/ Meghan that the strength I hear in your voice is so wonderful and so empowering! Congratulations to you and to everyone that will benefit from the better access to Erbitux. Continued prayers and best wishes from the US!

  31. What fantastic news and thanks Kristian for all your efforts fighting for the right to survive.

  32. “According to his will … I know what it means to say those words… and I am not afraid.” … this is a testament of your strength and faith. Wow. I saw you on Oprah last week, a rerun, and was profoundly effected by the two of you. I will continue to follow your blog, and I added you on twitter {leanne_tweets}. I will pray for you every day. Blessings and much love from Canada, a stage 4 cancer surviver, Leanne.

  33. What amazing amazing amazing news! Congrats for all of your hard work along with everyone else!

    Your blog is so inspriring and I am hooked! My dad has a similar type of cancer and has gone through most of what you have. insane.
    i love the way you write and love the emotion that comes through.

    sending your family prayers and support!

    Brandi
    engagedtobengaged.blogspot.com

  34. Finally the Govt listens to the voice or reason! But today when my husband went in for his fortnightly chemo and erbitux, he was told he could no longer have Avastin as welll as Erbitux, because the government will only allow him one or the other as they are both too expensive.
    Give in one hand and take from the other.
    Jenny

  35. Praise God! That is wonderful news Kristian. I am continuing to pray for you and your family. May the days get easier for you, your wife and beautiful boys. What an inspiration you are and beautiful example of what God can do with our lives when we give ourselves over to Him.

  36. More things are sought by prayer, than this world ever dreams.

  37. Wow. Outstanding result not only for those battling cancer now but also for those who may need it in the future. Well done all!

  38. Praise God! So good to hear in your voice that you’re stronger too…don’t give up the fight! Everything happens for a reason and you have been placed on this earth for a special reason. God bless. 🙂

  39. That is simply fabulous news! I know that this uplifting news will help keep your optimism high and your fight in mind. My love to you and your family.

    – cara in canada

  40. I have spent the past 6.5 hours reading your journal from the beginning. I shed tears throughout your struggles and triumphs and the overall hardships of battling cancer. Congratulations on your victory with PBS. Please know that my and my boyfriend’s prayers are with you and your family all the way from Tucson, Arizona.

  41. Hi Kristian.. I read your story today in “That’s Life” and naturally followed the lead to your blog..

    You are inspirational!

    Congratulations on your success with Erbitux! I know that there have been some wonderful and amazing people who have fought with you and for you to get this on the PBS. But you also need to be thanked because everthing that you have done, right from your beautiful birthday message to Rachel has led to this moment.
    You brought this need to the attention of these wonderful people and gave it a face.

    So well done on this achievement..

    Best regards,

    Mary-Jo

  42. Great News!!! Well done on all your hard work. Hope your doing well

  43. i blogged about your blog today! Hope you are doing well!

    brandi

  44. has anyone heard from Kristian, have not seen a post in a while

  45. Was wondering the same thing Michael…..

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