Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The CaPros Report

Just back from Medical Oncology. My PSA is down slightly from 57 to 43 which still seems pretty high to me. We are continuing on Abiraterone and half a dozen other things. Now we're adding in some medication for severe back pain the last six days - this is occurring in the right place but it may or may not be cancer-related. If not it will clear up in a few days... Nothing seriously depressing in all that, for which we continue to be grateful.

Afterwards we had a pleasant drive out to the airport for some free car electricity, some shopping, a trip through the Waterview Tunnel and some country driving back to home.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Another "flag" Referendum?

I understand the challenges facing the parliamentarians who have cobbled together enough agreed policies to hold the government coalition together. But I am dismayed that among these compromises is the possibility that we might have a referendum on End of Life Choice. This must be seen as nothing more than a delaying tactic. It will provide no dramatically new information at all.
Of course, polls are never precise predictors of a formal vote, but the last few polls on the issue have received support of up to 75% in favour of some change in the law. The poll running on Stuff this morning is 78% in favour. There's not much doubt about what the majority of NZ voters would like. Indeed, many of them would go much further than the proposed Bill.

Join the poll here.

I am gratified that the House will at least discuss the merits of the Referendum before proceeding. And it's good that the Referendum decision itself can be a conscience vote. Perhaps wisdom may prevail. Members on both sides of the issue will have the memory of $27 million spent on a flag referendum that came to nothing.

Just get on with the David Seymour Bill that is already on the table.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Action in Victoria!

It was exciting to hear recently that the Lower House of the Parliament of Victoria, has passed their Voluntary Assisted Dying by 47 votes to 37. Their bill must be approved by the Upper House so it has some distance to go. But this is a great step forward,  originating from the work of a Committee that was set up about the same as NZ's, a couple of years ago.
It's going to be a slower process in this country but at least the David Seymour Bill is on the Table and must be considered, probably next year. The big question for us will be, will it be referred to the Health Committee that spent so long hearing submissions that were unsuccessful in challenging their obvious prejudices, or can it go to a different Committee this time?
Apparently that's is a possibility. But either way, it looks like another substantial round of submissions lies ahead ... Well, I'm ready!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bits and Pieces

Since Vodafone disinherited my long-standing email address this blogger has been struggling to get on line again...

Meanwhile, we had a great two weeks away with family in Upper Hutt and Blenheim and enjoyed World of Wearable Art in Wellington. Since we got home the TV has blown up and we have let the Forester go and are settling down to life with the five year old Nissan Leaf which is a great pleasure to drive as well as a useful contribution to the environment - and, let's face it, extravagantly cheap to run.

I've had another monthly test result and my PSA is steady at 57 or so and I am having no major side effects with Abiraterone so it seems to be doing what it is supposed to. Off to Med Onc again in a few days... Nothing is forever, but for now, our quality of life is pretty good and I am applying myself to some useful projects - helping one of our residents to get access to an online audience about her remarkable experience with treating Parkinson's Disease... tidying up an inventory of stuff owned (or thought to be owned!) by our Residents' Committee... planning more writing on End of Life Choice - now that a new Parliament is (almost!) in place and David Seymour's Bill will have its first reading next year...

I see my post of 12 September was a bit critical of Simon "Turkey" O'Connor and the report of his earnest but fatally flawed Parliamentary Health Committee. To not make a distinction between suicide and voluntary euthanasia is unbelievable. What a waste of time and effort. I was very gentle compared with what some others are saying about O'Connor - one person even suggested this lack of intellectual integrity presages the end of his parliamentary career. However, it does not necessarily follow that his Committee will be designated to consider the Bill if it passes the first reading. One would hope for a better, fairer hearing next time - even we all have to do make our submissions again.