20 April, 2009

A good mate is sick

I drove a support vehicle for the local cycling club on Sunday. It was a 120km road race from Townsville to Charters Towers with just under 50 riders. I ended up doing the support alone as Dee was taking one of our dogs to the Vets. Stanley is one of two dogs in the house- a fox terrier, and an absolute charmer.

Always quick to greet us at the end of a day- no matter how rotten work may have been- he makes us forget all of the bad things we may have had to endure. His only request, "throw the ball for me. Endlessly, if you don't mind." Oh, and his very vocal demands to be fed just as we're trying to prepare our evening meal.

Early yesterday morning he was very uncomfortable and making a lot of groaning sounds. Dee decided to stay home and keep an eye on him. His condition quickly deteriorated and Dee rang a good friend to take her and Stanley to the Vet.

The early prognosis was not good- his liver had failed and he was in considerable pain. Dee left him with the vet and came home to await the news. Last night was a wretched time- both of us absolutely miserable with grief. This morning we were at the vets as soon as they opened for what could well be a last visit with our mate. He was quite bright-eyed and very happy to see us and even though he was on a drip with pain killing medication, we could still see he was in discomfort although certainly not as pronounced as yesterday.

Around 10:30 this morning the senior vet called- they had received the results of further blood tests. There was definitely indication of damage to the liver but whether it was infection, injury or tumour could not be determined. We have agreed to a soft tissue ultrasound to see if a determination of the damage (extent and type) can be made.

The vet advised that the liver has a large capacity for regeneration so we're hoping that it's the lesser of the evils. If not, we will not prolong his suffering but we live in hope.

I hope I have better news to write of next time.

Update 20/04/09 17:00

The news from the vet was unfortunately very bad. Stanley had multiple tumours in his liver and severe thickening of the stomach wall which was indicative of the location of the primary tumour. At 4:45pm today, Stanley passed away peacefully with Dee and I at his side.

Good-bye Mate. I hope you get to chase tennis balls forever.

Cheers- ride safe

05 April, 2009


I didn't make it to the race this morning. After being off work sick on Thursday and Friday and then helping our son get settled into his new digs yesterday and then a bit of a dinner with some of our cycling friends- I just didn't have it in me. I do feel considerably better than last week but Dee reckoned I still sounded pretty bad. At least the sneezing and phlegmy feeling-head have stopped. 

I was awake in plenty of time but that would be mainly because I only slept about 2 hours all night. I made an error in judgement when I accepted the offer of a coffee from a friend yesterday afternoon. Don't get me wrong- I drink coffee, absolutely love a good cup- when I was working in the offshore, it would be nothing to have 10 or 12 cups per day.

Now my system says, "Yes you can have a coffee or two or three even. But don't try to have one after 1:00 in the afternoon- at least if you want to be able to sleep!!" So when the ristretto was offered at around 4:30, the alarm sounded but no one responded.

I even said to Viv, Al the Barrista's wife, " I probably shouldn't do this. I won't get to sleep." Truer words have not oft been spoken. I remember looking at my watch and seeing 01:30 and thinking "it doesn't look good for racing." Then I looked again at 04:00 and thought "enough is enough. I'll get up and let Dee have some peace and quiet instead of a caffeine-addled thrasher in the bed beside her."

It did allow me to have a good early start on the yard chores- lots of palm fronds and bloom stems (inflorescences if anyone really wants to know) carted away and chopped into the garden rubbish bag. Garden beds edged, weeds pulled, lawn mowed and watering of the garden is taking place as I write/blog.

Dee and I may be offline for a few days as we get our internet service straightened out. Our son had been providing the net service- sort of as rent. Now that we want to switch it back to our name, we have to wait until the current service (his) is disconnected before we can do anything.

"C'est la vie, c'est la guerre!"

Cheers- ride safe

02 April, 2009


Well I'm glad I got my flu shot last week- I'd hate to think how sick I'd have been without it. I know it's not fair to compare apples and oranges- I had a flu shot and I now have a lovely head cold. My nose alternates between feeling like it has been packed full of Crisco shortening and being the "source" for Nickolodeon slime. Those source moments are usually announced by a strong tickle at the back of my throat and nose and then a wonkin' great sneeze.

If I'm fortunate enough to get a kleenex in situ before the sneeze it's not so bad- if I don't and have to use my hand- well, you get the picture I think. This could seriously cramp my race plans for Sunday- or it really could work to my advantage. If I sneeze and hack a few times before the race as everyone is warming up, then I can jump to the front real quickly, nobody will dare get close to me for fear of a "spray".
Or they might jump from the start hoping to get clear so they don't have to ride in my slip"pery" stream as it were.

Oh and the results from last week's race were not as favourable as I had thought (and Dee concurred). I ended up with 11th but I'm still not certain just how that worked. Perhaps someone can explain this from a commissaire's point of view.  

We started the race with 15 riders. After about 7 laps I was dropped from the lead group but stayed ahead of the chasing group. The lead group did lap me on the second last lap but the chasing group must have been lapped as well because none of them overtook me from the point I was dropped.

Now, there were 6 riders in the lead group and 5 riders in the following group- two riders have withdrawn due to a mechanical failure of one bloke's handlebars and poor conditioning I think would best categorise the other- myself and another rider who I have lapped. I was never caught by the following group of 5 but yet I ended up finishing below 4 of them.  "HELP!!"

Anyway, such is the lot of the weekend racer.

Cheers, ride safe