Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sarcoma Again

I might as well post this here as a few people stumble across this blog now and again. Sarcoma is now back in my life again and this time the prognosis is not so good.




Sunday, June 08, 2008

Winding Up this blog for now

I've decided to wind up this long neglected blog, at least for now (I might change my mind later on). I still live on Macleay Island...for how much longer I do not know, as sarcoma cancer looks like it has re-occured and spread.

Life is generally quite here and nothing much to blog about anyway. The only events of note with direct affect on myself relate to the availability of medical care and the new ferry timetable which reduced the frequency of ferries from the island to the mainland. Given that I am and have been a cancer victim and may have to seek urgent, but non emergency, medical treatment on the mainland, at any instant, the new timetable adds approximately half an hour on to the time it can take to get to my general practitioner at Cleveland. On at least two occasions in the past year GP's have promptly sent me off to PAH emergency, in one instance in an ambulance. Also there appears to be reduced ferry capacity, as I have witnessed many people not being allowed on full ferries on many occasions since mid January. Cutting down on the number of ferries scheduled instead of increasing the frequency of ferries seems questionable. People have to be able to travel to work. Hopefully at some future date, ferry services to the Bay Islands will be integrated into Queensland Transport's Translink system and be regulated by QT.

The Bay Islands Journal does a great job on covering island issues. Also I'm over committed with multiple blogs. I will continue to blog on my cancer journey in my blog devoted to that. My special interest flight simulation/ 3d graphics blogs will continue and I'll start a new general interest catchall blog on my Live Spaces blog... http://robbybruce.spaces.live.com/

The probable re-occurrence of sarcoma as advised by the PAH doctors, along with pain (the mass is in a sensitive place...) has slowed my activities down somewhat. I've only just recovered from all the radio therapy which brought much pain and fatigue, and pain from last year's surgery will possibly take about 2 years to recover from according to the doctors. Without these hobbies I wouldn't have survived.

Anway see you at http://robbybruce.spaces.live.com/ Hopefully I'll get around to writing something there lol ;)



Wednesday, January 09, 2008

French Toast

I must confess to a strong liking for French Toast. It's not something I eat very often. Eggs went off my diet when I was diagnosed with diabetes a number of years ago. However a couple of years ago cardiologists and dietitians decided that eating eggs was beneficial to cholesterol levels after all, as eggs contain much omega-3.

It's something I haven't eaten very much in recent years. I have very fond memories of the French Toast made by my late mother.

I did half heartedly attempt to cook French Toast on a couple of occasions last winter, as a form of second course, during my evening meal. Fueled by drinking two or three scotches and the accompanying increase in appetite I dutifully whipped up a couple of eggs, plonked them in a baking pan along with a few slices of bread, (and a few frozen chips....must have been the scotch LoL), sprinkled with a mixture of seasoning and herbs, and placed in the oven. The result was a mess, but very tasty, nonetheless. Even the chips were tasty. Though I don't exactly recommend adding potatoes to French Toast LOL. (Why was I drinking scotch during winter?.... well medical reasons, actually, but that's another story - I'm an infrequent drinker in latter years). I must say the experience of watching Life on Mars was all the more enjoyable, while eating this. (Little indulgences such as this made the Big C in winter, much more tolerable).

Over the Christmas/New Year holiday period I managed to catch up with my sister and her husband and we had a coffee in the Coffee Club over at Cleveland. I decided to order French Toast to eat with it. They, of course, served it with Maple syrup. The sweetness of the syrup totally destroyed the taste IMHO. Looking at recipes, on-line for French Toast today, nearly all of them feature Maple syrup. Who's responsible for destroying the taste of such a nice meal? Is it an American thing? I prefer it with seasoning and maybe a touch of black pepper.

Anyway for lunch today I decided to have French Toast prepared according to an on-line recipe, minus the Maple syrup, of course. It was still a mess. Perhaps too much milk I would say? But it tasted great and that's the whole point of cooking food. Though I now have to clean the mess out the pan. Perhaps next time it will look as nice as it tastes? Unfortunately no pics to show as my camera battery is flat.

When looking at failed culinary experiments and messes on one's plate, I am frequently reminded of TV chefs (who get it right... well most of the time anyway). Gordon Ramsay most likely would proffer an expletive, were he to witness one of my efforts.

BTW on the subject of Gordon Ramsay I had a glance at his website and a wiki article today and was surprised to read that he was actually Scottish and from Johnstone of all places (where I'm originally from... well almost.... actually on the cusp of Johnstone & Elderslie). At first glance, reading the Wiki article, Gordon's life is a tale of remarkable success. From nothing to £67m is truly amazing.

I don't know if I'll waste any eggs tomorrow.... perhaps a collapsing omlette? ;) I do enjoy my food though, all the same. (One just has to look at me.... LOL)

Until the next time...



PS: This is my first post for 2008.... a belated Happy New Year to those that stumble by!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Music Video of the day: Organissimo 'Bleeker'

How about a nice bit of B3 Groove? Organissimo play 'Bleeker'. Absolutely cool!!


Also another video from the same source, also featuring Jim Alfredson on keyboards - Root Doctor & 'Walking Out on You'


Enjoy - Rob

Friday, June 22, 2007

New Blog - Rob's Cancer Journey

I have created a new blog relating to a recently diagnosed liposarcoma in my thigh. I will still post here from time to time on topics of interest.



Saturday, June 02, 2007

The leg

I apologise to anyone who has stumbled across this blog from time to time & revisited the blog in the vain hope of updated enlightenment. It has not been updated in a while.

I have been busy with virtual aircraft creation which has been documented in my other blogs, The Wing Fell Off & the Biff Diaries. I have also recently started a new job which has kept me away from my computer.

I had hoped to revive this blog with something more positive than health issues.

If you glance down this page or check the blog archives you will notice that I am diabetic and have had past problems with UTI & pyelonephritis. Some of the problems mentioned in that article have continued & some have returned..... plus a whole lot more.

Petechiae persisted in large numbers, I guess peaking last summer, and have recently started to clear & ease up from my feet. I took that as in indication that whatever had been causing them was in the process of clearing from my body. UTI symptoms have come & gone. Lymph adenopathy has persisted in a variable manner, for some reason affecting the right side of my body from beneath my ear to the back of my knee. I have been generally feeling well during this period.

Unfortunately commuting to work by public transport drew another health issue to the attention of myself and to the medical profession. Sitting on buses & ferries I experienced pain, stiffness & swelling behind my right knee & in the lower thigh. There had been a bit of swelling & soreness there for quite some time. This had intermittently occured for a number of years and had been attributed to whatever was causing lymph adenopathy. (A haematologist placed this variable condition in the context of a pyelonephritis which had possibly turned septic & been complicated.) Most GP's from 2003 did not worry about the adenopathy. Thus I had been ignoring the little bit of pain & swelling thinking it was minor adenopathy.

After arriving home from work with a somewhat bloated right leg I decided to visit a GP. When checking me out he noticed a large mass on the right thigh. I was promptly sent for an ultra scan which revealed a large mass approximately 10cm in size, though I was told it was too large to scan accurately. The doctor made a hospital outpatients appointment for an MRI scan.

In the interim the leg was still swelling badly, probably aggravated by commuting, walking and sitting at a desk all day, and was absolutely huge when I arrived home from work in the evening. I visited a GP again and this time my blood vessels were scanned which revealed some compression caused by the mass but also, more seriously, a thrombosis which the doctor thought may have been a DVT. Next thing I was in the back of an ambulance and off to hospital.

Anyway to cut a long story short, the thrombosis transpired to be superficial rather than DVT. I am being treated with a blood thinning agent, Clexane, while awaiting surgery (a biopsy). The whole situation is not good. I am hoping it is benign. Different people have told me different things. The sonographer who carried out the ultrascan told me that it did not look like cancer as it is separate from the muscles and that cancer usually grows into the muscles and causes muscle wastage. However she also said you cannot really tell from an ultrascan. It needs a MRI + Biopsy to tell for certain. The orthopaedic doctor I saw yesterday said it was most likely malignant due to it's size & speed of development. However these doctors are assuming that because it came to my attention recently it developed recently. The thigh has been visibly enlarged since 2002, that was confirmed by former GP. In 2001 that GP examined my legs telling me "..... there would have to be a hell of a lot of bacteria to cause all this, your joints would have to be infected to cause all this, ..... and you'd have to have sceptecemia for that to happen." (He had originally told me my joints were affected by a post viral condition which was causing bacterial toxins to be released into the bloodstream). He suspected a small tumour somewhere as the most likely cause of my problems or some other cancer such leukemia or lymphoma trying to happen but taking time to show consistently in blood tests.

Anyway a biopsy will tell for sure..... hopefully.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Some Blues

I recently discovered the allures of the YouTube video site - here's a sample playlist of some blues videos.


Rob (15 May 07)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Neglected Blog

I have been very busy since mid November on my Bristol F2b project for Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3. The base version is almost complete and will be released this weekend.

Hopefully I will have more time for this somewhat neglected blog and more frequent posting may resume.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

flickr - David Lindley

David LindleyOriginally uploaded by Art Guy1.

I have now set up an account at flickr and will blog the occasional pic from there.

This photo is from my archives and was taken in concert at Brisbane's Festival Hall c.1980

Friday, November 11, 2005

In a Different Light......... Pic of the day

Friday's image of the day, the same flower as yesterday at the same time.... totally different light.

On the CD now.......

Joe Beard's 'For Real'. Excellent blues somewhat low key at times. Perfect for this time of day .... post breakfast, as I start to warm up at the computer. CD features an excellent line up of Duke Robillard and friends.

I haven't heard much on Joe for the last few years and a Google search reveals what I already know. Anyone know what Joe's been doing lately?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Images Of The Day

I originally intended to start an image of the day post to get back into the swing of things and get creative with my photography. However I could not decide which was best hence I decided to upload 3 images. All were taken this morning around my yard. The weather was overcast for most of the day, hence a flat diffusive light.

Busy Times Ahead

I have some busy times ahead. In addition to uploading a few images here, I will be working on a couple of personal web sites. The image shown here is an oldie but goodie that I came across while sifting through some old scanned pictures.

I will also be working on my Bristol Fighter F2B project to complete it for the Over Flanders Fields [OFF] project.

Bird Of Prey

Another couple of pics to share with you of a bird of prey which I have yet to correctly identify. It is possibly a Small Eagle [an actual species] or a member of the kite family. If anyone stumbles across this blog and can help identify, it would be gratefully appreciated.

I spotted this fellow perched in the nearby tree while sitting here at my computer a few months ago. The second shot was taken as the bird swooped down to check out some left over cat food which I had thrown out for some of the other birds.

Edit: 12 June 2006 - The bird is a Whistling Kite. They are in abundance here and probably nest across the road.

Some Backyard Pics - Macleay Island.

Not quite my back yard but the view of adjacent bushland from my verandah.

A Bush Curlew - reasonably tame and certainly know how to make a bit of noise now and again.

Pale Headed Rosella

Young Magpie

Another Pale Headed Rosella - taken from this study

I just thought I would share a few nature pics with you. These have all been taken this year around my residence on Macleay Island. Some of them have been taken from this room. I tend to keep my camera alongside my computer desk.

Scott Allen - Vivid Pix Photography.

Came across an interesting link I would like to share with you. Check out Scott Allan's excellent galleries at Vivid Pix photography. From nature to the blues it's all there. Recommended :)

[Image © Scott Allen - Linked in accordance with Vivid Pix' website guidlines.]

Season Finale tonight .... 24

Tonight is the season finale in Australia for '24'. If you've been following, don't forget to watch..... Ch 7, 8:30PM. Nearly forgot myself.

The blues and then some.

Interesting new blog 'the blues and the some'. Worth a look.... and .... read. :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Self Portrait

I've just been playing around with photoshop. This is a highly modified self portrait. The original was taken in 2001.

Monday, November 07, 2005

21C Shakespeare

Having already brought the Canterbury Tales into the 21st Century, the BBC are now doing the same with Shakespeare. Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, The Taming of The Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream are being retold in a modern day setting.

As with the Canterbury Tales this series appears to have an interesting cast line-up. Keeley Hawes, Bill Patterson and Billie Piper who featured in the Canterbury Tales series return for the Shakespeare Series. Sarah Parish, Sharon Small, Shirley Henderson and James McEvoy are among many familiar faces featured in the series. [See the websites for more].

I enjoyed the Canterbury Tales series, especially The Man Of Law's Tale. Hopefully we'll see Shakespeare Retold, in Australia next year.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Kong Is King.... PPD Update

For those who don't yet know, writer/director Peter Jackson's [Lord of the Rings] current project is King Kong.

Peter has provided fascinating insight into the making of this movie via the Production Diaries and now currently the Post Production Diaries on the Kong Is King web site. The Production diaries are no longer available on the site, however the post production diaries are ongoing with just six weeks to go before the movie's release.

This week's post production diary is the second of a two part feature on sound mixing.

Highly recommended viewing!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Rain.... Rain..... and Rosellas

Well a wee bit anyway. We really need a lot [of rain].

I was considering using the title f*@&ing rain as the rain initially threatend to interrupt my walking schedule. It's not very heavy anyway and it turned out to be actually quite refreshing walking in the light rain. Greens are greener and everything smells fresh.

The birds love it and there are parrots everywhere today.... sulphur crested cockatoos, galahs, pale headed rosellas and rainbow lorikeets. I'll have to start taking my camera with me on my walks.

I think I must have tempted providence. In the past every time I have decided to feed the rosellas it has rained shortly afterwards, turning the seed in their bowl into mush. It has been dry for weeks apart from a few storms. Yesterday afternoon I again put some seed down for the rosellas, the first time in months..... yup ..... you guessed it ..... rain.

I'll see if I can rustle up some pics of Macleay Island's birds and show them on the blog.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Walking Program

As part of my get fit process I've commenced a new exercise program.

Until recently I've been walking approximately 40 minutes a day but in 10 minute blocks. The plan has changed to at least one 40 minute hard walk and hopefully a few 10 minute walks in between. I hope to add a second 30 minute walk too.

Given that I frequently work 10 hours a day, or more, on my projects I can at least allow an hour plus to stay fit.

Hopefully this blog will help keep me honest.

We'll see :)

Spring Carnival Continues - Oaks Day

The Melbourne Cup may be over for another year, however the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival continues today with the Oaks.

For those in Australia the meeting will be telecast live by the Seven Network.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A new blog .... my passions ;)

I have started a new, and more focussed blog 'The Wing Fell Off', on 3D graphics. digital art, flight simulation, digital entertainment, avaiation and military history.

Diabetes and Infection

Further to yesterday’s mention of the 24 hour pee it ended up being a 21 hour pee collection. I ran out of room in the bottle at 6:00 AM. The collection was due to end at 8:50AM and the medical practice didn’t have any more bottles to collect any more pee from my, by then, bursting bladder. The nurse said it wouldn’t matter. Hopefully this is the case.

If they come up with a positive I’ll ask for another test before going further. I pray that all is well with my kidneys.

I have a history of pyelonephritis and recurring difficult to treat UTI’s, along with sepsis [usually caused by e.coli] and was again recently treated for a UTI. I think this is a more likely cause of any kidney problems than diabetes, as my glucose levels have been reasonably well controlled, especially compared to my siblings who have had a lot of trouble controlling theirs.

I guess the reason I am wary about UTI’s is that I was nearly killed by one a few years ago with 41°+ C temperatures, together with welt like indurations on my legs and yellow serum oozing through the skin. I was told by me then GP that my leucocytes [white cells] were some 80x higher than normal and that my blood was full of puss. It took many months for my legs to recover. For almost 2 years after that illness my former GP was most insistent that I have access to antibiotics at all times.

I have recently had a re-occurrence of petechiae rashes on my lower legs and feet and to a lesser extent in my arms. These arrived with a low grade temperature [after an absence of temperatures for 18+months] and temporary lymph node flare-ups in various parts of my body. These were symptoms that occurred along with the UTI’s and other illnesses [infected spine] a few years ago. This re-occurance was somewhat disappointing after a long period of apparently good health. My thoughts of a few weeks ago were ‘uh-oh’ here we go again. My current doctor does not seem to be worried about them anyway.

To add to the list of recent afflictions I also have a difficult to treat ear infection [which has thankfully eased considerably], which also appeared to have spread to the face. In the past these have been caused by pseudomonas, a bacteria that seems to have an affinity for diabetics [yup another past illness with approx 41°C temps]. More to be wary about :-). Ah….. the perils of being diabetic.

I feel good anyway and hopefully the doctor is correct.

My own prescription…. Ease up on the work [my passions LOL] and do a bit more walking. That will stop me from becoming run down and keep the opportunistic bugs away.

Enough for health matters…. Back to more interesting topics.

Footnote: The tests were ok & blood glucose appears to be well controlled.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A little bit pee'd

No nothing to do with horse racing. Unfortunately I happen to be diabetic and of course this means the occasional encounter with medical profession [under great suffrance].

Today I have to undergo a 24 urine test, in other words pee in a bottle for 24 hours instead of down the loo. I've had to hang a sign on the toilet door to remind me to pee in the bottle otherwise I'd have to redo the test. The bottle has to be kept in the fridge too.... between the water jug and the fruit juice. Hopefully I won't absent mindedly have a drink from the wrong bottle.

The reason for all this is to make sure I don't have any kidney problems. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

What's a bottle of fruit juice doing in a diabetic's fridge you might ask? Well my current medication makes me go hypoglycemic in the afternoons occasionally, and fruit juice seems the quickest way to get sugar into my system. Also some medical professionals encourage one to take fruit and fruit juice. I have been given fruit and fruit juice in all my hospital admissions whilst being on a supposed diabetic diet. A plate of strawberries at bedtime gives one excellent glucose levels the following morning. There are a few medical dragons out there who don't adhere to such liberal practices.

Just remember Rob the pee is the bottle in the middle..................

The Diva Won

Makybe Diva won the Melbourne Cup, a phenomenal win and history was made. I’ll leave all the superlatives to the conventional media. I don’t think we’ll see another horse like Makybe Diva for the rest of this century.

I won a few dollars, of course, but should have won a few more…. No luck with the multiples or places. Well another three races today to see if I can make my fortune.

Stop Press on the Cup

Melbourne Cup – Stop Press - The punt

Yep I did put a couple of dollars on the Diva. I also have an each way on Strasbourg, a nice low weight, and trainer Bart Cummings has a good record in the race plus a few multiples and a couple of place bets.

I wish myself and the horses good luck :)

Melbourne Cup and all That

For those who don’t know, today is Melbourne Cup day, the day that a whole nation stops to watch a horse race. It is even a public holiday in Victoria. Of course if you live in Australia you could not avoid knowing. If you live outside of Australia this a big event folks!

Today is the day that all the once a year punters come out and have a flutter on the cup and of course all the office sweep stakes. TAB’s are not the place to be on Melbourne Cup day… very hectic places indeed. On the first Tuesday in November TAB’s are full of an assortment of little old ladies, office workers and housewives who don’t have a clue to fill out a betting ticket who inevitably severely jam the ticket machines in the TABS, frustrating TAB employees and other punters who fail to get a bet on due to the jams. [TAB’s for those outside Australia, are a form of betting shop. Once upon a time these were state run but are now largely private companies.]

I used to be a regular punter and occasional racegoer, and must confess to having an air of superiority come Cup day when it came to once a year punters. However this year I join their ranks. I haven’t followed horse racing for a long while and would not have a clue as to who will win. I know very little about most of the field.

Makybe Diva, a 7 year old mare, is certainly the favourite to win and is very much the popular people’s choice. She is aiming for her third Melbourne Cup win, which would be a tremendous feat in itself. She’s the only horse to win two Melbourne Cups and a Cox Plate [Australia’s premier Group 1 weight for age race]. The last 7 year old mare to win the Melbourne Cup was Acrasia in 1904 who only carried 47kg. Makybe Diva is carrying 58kg, today and her weight last year of 55.5kg was a record winning weight for a mare in the Melbourne. Today is very hot too. If the Diva does carry it off it will be a tremendous history making win. If not she will have had a good go anyway and the records she has set to date have been phenomenal. ‘Go the Diva!!’

Will I back her? Well maybe…. Come on Rob leave the blog alone for a while….

A beginning

Well here I go…. The world of blogging here I come.

What will I write about? Well just about anything that takes my fancy at any given time. Most will be spontaneous, some will be frivolous [maybe all ;)] and maybe some posts that will be important.

I hope to steer clear of politics… though that will be difficult. There are things in this world that are important to me. I’ll possibly get onto my soapbox now and again, though hopefully not too frequently.

I live in an interesting and reasonably peaceful part of the world, Queensland, Australia. South East Queensland is the fastest growing region in Australia and we have a state premier who calls himself a media tart…. Not a bad bloke really. [Politicians are politicians… just remember. ;)]

I currently live on a [well to me anyway…] a beautiful, tranquil little island, Macleay Island in Moreton Bay. As the crow flies it’s not far from Brisbane, though it is quite a change from suburbia and very much a rural setting. To say it is quiet is an understatement and perhaps not for everyone, but I certainly like it here. If one likes wildlife, especially birds then this is the place to be. I do miss live music gigs though.

I describe myself as quietly creative in my profile. What do I create? I have a broad range of interests but these days my interests are largely focused on 3D graphics, and within that focus, currently on aviation and flight simulation. This is a very demanding and exacting field and involves much research. This activity entails more than just moving polygons around and creating textures. I won’t bore the readers of this blog with 3D graphics however. 3D graphics, computer games, and flight simulation require a blog to themselves. I have heard it said that discussing 3D graphics and especially 3D terminology is one of the quickest ways to empty a crowded room and I guess that is true to an extent.

Digital painting and image manipulation has been a strong interest for the last 19 years or so. I was an early adopter of the Amiga computer, owning and using a number of Amigas between 1986 and 1996… but alas Commodore went belly up and that was end of the Amiga as a mainstream computer. Some of my digital paintings and renderings were featured in the art gallery sections of Australian Commodore and Amiga magazines in the early 1990’s and I was a runner up in at a World of Commodore/Amiga art competition in Sydney in the early 1990’s. I will allow myself to make mention of 2D computer artwork, occasionally in this blog. I have a lot of catching up to do in that area.

One of these days I hope to return to more conventional media such as acrylics or oils. We’ll see.

Other creative interests include photography. This has been a strong, if not consuming interest since the age of 12. I have recently entered the world of digital photography. My film equipment was retired after a disastrous and expensive camera failure at an air show last year. I’m way out of practice with photography and I’m going to challenge myself to get serious again.

Music is important to me and I have dabbled in guitar in the past, though I rarely pick one up these days….. perhaps another challenge? I am more of a listener these days. Musical topics will appear from time to time.

I better not forget psychology either. While psychology is not currently a consuming interest it has been in the past. I was perticularly interested in personality and motivation and also the psychology of perception. There may be undertones of these interests in my blogs from time to time.

Well that’s me…. let’s start the blogging.