In this post, we will depart temporarily from our sailing and travelling news, to report on the whirlwind of activities in selling our family home and downsizing to a smaller townhouse, since arriving back in Sydney. Also, I report on the treatment for my prostate cancer diagnoses, while all this was happening. After six years of carefree sailing around the world, this post may serve as therapy, to get my head around this new reality. In the previous post I mentioned how, a MRI scan in Newcastle confirmed cancer in my prostate and how, immediately after arriving back in Sydney we set about selling our house in Allambie Heights and putting further sailing plans on hold for the time being.
On the 25th March, after viewing enough townhouses and apartments to last us a lifetime, our offer of $1,550,000 was accepted for unit 17 at 153 Garden Street, Warriewood. We had viewed more than 50 properties in two months before finding this gem, which suited us perfectly – a two bedroom, one bathroom, one garage townhouse, all on one level.
It seemed like Christmas when, while having a celebratory lunch at the Harbord Diggers Club, I had a call from NSW Maritime to tell me they had a mooring available for Esprit at Refuge Cove near RMYC. The annual rental of $1072 is a lot less than the $605 monthly rental we pay at RMYC. All our old Madison Way friends joined us for a celebratory dinner on Friday evening the 25th March, with much champagne, wine and food for all.
On the 30th March 2022, I checked into North Shore Private Hospital to have gold fiducial markers inserted into my prostate, in preparation radiation therapy. This was followed by a visit to the department of Nuclear Medicine at Royal North Shore Hospital for a Positron Emission Tomography Scan (PET), where I was given a radioactive injection so that the PET scanner could diagnose and locate the cancers in the prostate and possibly, the lymph glands.
Finally, on the 11th April, I had a MRI scan and an CT planning scan at Nuclear Medicine for planning and draw up a radiation schedule for my treatment. For this purpose I was given three pinhead tattoos on my hips and lower abdomen, to ensure accurate positioning during radiation. Being the first in our family to get tattoos, I am now ready for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle! The facilities at the private and adjoining public hospital, were ultra modern and the staff service was exceptional, with very little waiting times for appointments or tests.
During April, Annie’s brother Joe and his partner Mary came to visit us from New Zealand. Mary’s sister Annie lives near us and we enjoyed some fantastic walks and catching up during their visit. We had a fortuitous spell of sunshine and good weather during this time.
I had volunteered to participate in the Optimal Prostate Fractional Study at the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre. This study is to compare the outcomes of prostate radiation through the standard 20 treatments over four weeks, with 5 treatments in larger doses, over a two week period. This new technology has acceptable side effects and promising effectiveness, compared to the 20 treatment programme. As much as I wanted to be on the shorter programme, the randomized selection allocated me to the 20 treatment programme, which will commence on the 10th May 2022.
On the 28th April 2022, I clicked over to 75 years on this mortal coil, a milestone that wasn’t vaguely contemplated during my youth. It also marked 35 years since Annie persuaded me to leave bachelorhood behind and get married – and what a journey that has been!
Our neighbours in Madison Way decided to give us a farewell party before we moved 14 km to the North. Most of the early settlers in the ‘hood, 21 years ago, attended a lunch at Ross and Heather Allan’s house on the 30th April. It was great to catch up with everyone and hear about their kids – some were babes in arms back then. We reminisced about the great Christmas and street parties we had, progressive dinners and other milestones, such as late night aerobics in Paul’s spa bath! This is a great community and we will stay in touch – 14 km is but a hop, skip and jump away.
On that note, we end this post – we will report on our new mini abode nearer the Pittwater and Esprit, in due course.
Cheers for now.