Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mensem intolerabilis...

Mensem intolerabilis (Latin)
a terrible month

There have been a few times when I haven't blogged regularly, I didn't think anything of particular interest had happened, so I didn't post.  But then I thought about how therapeutic writing can be for me  and if it's therapeutic for me to write then it must be doing you immeasurable good to read   so I made myself a promise to post more regularly than once a month, I was thinking at least weekly would be good - a weekly round up so to speak.  I had also made plans to really buckle down in this round, and give it my all.  I was chomping at the bit to get started...

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.  They often go awry.

Well, go awry they did, in the most awful way.

At the end of September I did a FFS post in which I touched on my FIL's health problems.

They began last November when he was airlifted from Dorrigo to RNS Hospital in critical condition from a septic gall bladder.  As a result it was discovered that he had Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS (a pre-leukaemic condition), and Multiple Myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells).  There was nothing to be done for the Multiple Myeloma, and the MDS was untreatable until it progressed to full blown Leukaemia.  Having lost a brother to cancer only a few years ago, FIL made it abundantly clear to everyone that he wished to forgo any chemo & radiation treatments after seeing what his brother went through.

Part of having MDS is being anaemic, which is ironic seeing as how all of his kids have Haemochromatosis which they got from him,  and requiring regular blood transfusions, which for him was fortnightly.  It also meant regular blood tests for cross matching, copies of which were sent to his specialist 'blood dude' in Coffs Harbour.

It was after one of those routine tests that the blood dude rang and said he wanted to see FIL straight away.  Or sooner.

We went straight up, took FIL to see the blood dude, where he was told that the MDS had progressed and he now had Leukaemia.  The type that he had developed, we were told, has a very rapid progression, and as FIL had made it clear there was to be no medical intervention, the end would come quickly.  He was given 2 - 3 weeks.

That was on a Monday.

We went home the next day to attend to a few matters that had to be done in person, and left again on the Thursday morning.

That morning, an hour after we left home, my dear FIL passed away peacefully at home, just as he wanted, only 3 days after his diagnosis.

Peter Lynton Ellis  1934 - 2013

People came from everywhere to pay their respects to this quiet man, the church was packed - standing room only!

The house was packed to the rafters - 17 people (14 adults & 3 kids) sleeping on every available surface at one point, and I'd never seen so many dirty dishes and wet towels in my life!

As at all family gatherings, there were tears and laughter, there was conflict and there was harmony, we reminisced and stories were told.  Like the one about MIL setting her cap at FIL back in the day, and sending her 6 year old cousin out in the snow, across the paddocks to tell future FIL to come over and see her!  Classic!!  We all cracked up, but she says she can't remember doing it... likely story.

Then, as quickly as they had all descended upon the farm, they were gone... the sudden quiet was overwhelmingly deafening...


  1. So sorry for your loss. Sounds like a very well liked and respected man.

  2. Thanks Donna, he was loved and respected by the entire district. He had a wicked sense of humour, and never let anything bother him. Hubby is just the same...

  3. I love the photo of your FIL- look at the cheeky twinkle in his eyes! I'm sure you'll have fabulous memories to carry you all through. It is always so sad however, whenever someone we love is gone..very sorry for your loss.

  4. Oh Annie, I'm so so sorry for yours and your husband's loss. Cancer is such a tragedy and it is so indiscriminate as to who it strikes down. Take comfort in the fact he went peacefully, just as he wanted. My thoughts are with you. Keep talking about him, keep his spirits alive. Then the quiet won't be so overwhelmingly deafening my friend.