Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Next Steps

The next steps depend on what the genetic testing shows as the treatment options are quite different depending on whether I have a certain genetic mutation or not. Exactly what the options are, and where they can be done are all still uncertain. However, here are some certainties.
1. I have been in contact with some of the very best people in the world about this, and will contact some more. Money issues aside, I know I can be seen at Mayo immediately and they have a very effective program. I would have to stay there for an extended period of time, as they would treat me 3 weeks out of every 4 (for how many months I do now know). The Oxford group appear to be in direct contact with the lab over my test results as they seem to know at least as much as I do about its status.
2. The Sydney Melanoma clinic is extremely good. That may well be a treatment location option for me.
3. There have been some very recent extremely significant breakthroughs in the treatment of this disease. The genetic testing I am getting done has only been conducted by Labtests once before in this country – an indication of how new this all is.
4. I have yet to speak with an Auckland oncologist about this. Hopefully this will happen very quickly once the test result is known. That said, the Head and Neck surgeon has been in discussion with a couple of oncologists and they are up to speed on my case.

People have often described me as a pessimist. I would look at something to be done and immediately identify the issues and problems that would likely interfere with the success of whatever was being attempted (and then focus on how to overcomes these things). I never considered that to be pessimistic – I always considered myself to be a realist. With that in mind, here is what I want to say. Having done some reading and communicated with some of the best around, there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that I will get better. I don’t think I have ever been more certain of anything in my life than I am on this. I can see me completely well again taking part completely in life pain and symptom free. I don’t yet know the path that I have to take to get there, but I know there are a few of them available to me. I have no time for doubters, I have no room for pessimism.

To all of you that have rung me, visited me and sent me emails, I am deeply grateful – more than I can possibly say. I am so deeply indebted to those of you that have started, and contributed to, the trust fund to help defray some of the costs of my upcoming treatment. The only way I can repay you is to not fail you, and failing people has never been in my makeup.

I know some of you are praying for me – that is a first. I know some of you have shed a tear or two. There are others cheering me on – something that has only happened occasionally for me during some of my sporting endeavours. To you all, I say I will take your prayers, your tears, your cheers and anything else you want to send my way.

A number of you have sent me emails and many have found it difficult, some probably impossible, to know what to say. To you wonderful email writers, thank you. Even if I did not get around to replying individually, they all meant a lot to me – please keep them coming. To those who have not known what to say, you don’t have to say anything except a simple hello. I have had so many wonderful emails with so many wonderful stories, offers of help and encouragement. One line in one of the emails said
“Fight the Beast”. I plan to do that very soon!


At 29 June 2011 at 14:19 , Blogger Rita said...

Remember what you always say "how hard can it be!" ;)...

God Bless :).

At 29 June 2011 at 23:13 , Blogger MU said...

Best wishes to you Dr. Pullan. I admire your courage and determination with this ordeal and have no doubt that you will come out the other end a stronger person. Our best wishes are with you always!

Mohit Bajaj
BME Graduate (2008)

At 30 June 2011 at 02:32 , Blogger Margot Gerritsen said...

Wonderful blog, blondie

At 30 June 2011 at 13:08 , Blogger Kim said...

The engsci team are with you all the way Andrew. We want you back here and being your usual cheeky self

At 25 July 2011 at 04:04 , Blogger Autumn said...

Hi Andrew,

Been a while since I last saw you (I left the ABI in 2004), but I've always admired you as a fellow fitness enthusiast. I have no doubt that your champion attitude will see you through this ordeal, and I'll be one of the many cheering you on.

All my best to you and your family,


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