Five Months Pt 2

These photos were taken between August and October 2011…and I cry…I can’t help it.

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Our first week back in Cooktown. Kieth & Sal from the Sovereign Resort put us up for a week.

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Just before She shaved My head 🙂

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Two of our dear friends showed us the North end track into Walker Bay beach. For those of you used to urban beaches, this spot is 4wd only, you rarely see anyone else, and the beach itself is 30 metres away from this naturally grassy spot. Thickets of beach shrubs & sheoaks break up the breeze. A beautiful place.

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Tinas Nom Nom Paw-Paw (papaya). Beautiful sweet & juicy, tree ripened. You haven’t tasted pawpaw until you’ve eaten it this fresh.

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Being a tourist.

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My baby never was comfortable in front of a camera. She tolerated my requests on rare occasions. I should have kept taking photos of Her, but it was one thing that seriously annoyed her. We didn’t do things that annoyed each other. We could feel each others emotions so acutely that it felt normal being inside each others heads.

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“Don’t take photo of my fat belly.”
“I’m not! I’m taking a picture of Floyd.”
“Sure :)”.

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Tinas foot & Floyd.

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These two photos were taken on the eighth of September 2011. We went back to see Trevathan falls, because last time, there was so much water coming down those falls that we couldn’t get anywhere near them. Imagine at least five metres of water over Tina’s head and roaring through this little gorge.

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That afternoon, back at the camp. On the site of an old tin mine.

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Back home in Cooktown a day later. Going blonde. She found this wig in the ‘lair’. No, She did not wear it outside :).

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“See? They opened my head up from here, right through to here!”
A series of photos Tina wanted for herself, because She couldn’t see Her kick-arse scar :).

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14 September 2011. Snoozing after a short walk. Her energy levels weren’t huge anymore. Well compared to ‘before’. Tina preferred to watch the dogs & us, and the eagles & the beach.
I remember when Tina was leaving Rocky for Cooktown around February 2011. She told me, “I’m going to soak up my children (and her granddaughter-they were all ‘Her’ children).” I would see her staring at them individually, looking at them from every angle. Burning their images into  Her mind.

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27th of September 2011. The side effects of the anti-brain swelling medication was an extreme increase in appetite. Tina went from 58kg in early August, to about 75kg in this pic. I think Her friends up here at some stage thought She must have been getting better. After all, people generally think of cancer as a wasting disease. We generally associate cancer with images of pale, bald, underweight chemotherapy recipients, not fast weight gain.
Brain cancer is insidiously sneaky. This photo was taken not long before Her second series of seizures. It is also the last photo I have of Her on my phone.

I also keep these two close. One was taken some time ago. The other, my daughter took not long after Tina recovered post op.

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I love you my Phoenix. Fly baby.

Five Months

Before we go on … The ‘Cure For Life’ foundation is an organisation that is devoted to finding a cure for brain cancer/tumors. I haven’t looked yet, but their site is
http://cureforlife.org.au
I’ll be having a good look and may offer input about a combinination of Soursop, Paw-Paw and cannabis oil. All three plants’ fruits have been shown to have ‘Cancer killing’ properties in lab and animal testing. Put quite simply, different compounds in all three plants induce death in cancerous cells, without damaging healthy cells. When will human trials be approved? We are talking about three relatively easy to procure or grow, plants. Two are completely legal in every way. Why aren’t clinical trials being conducted now?
Julia Gillard. You could make change. But I seriously doubt you’ll *ever* read this post. You’re a very busy person.
OK. Enough frustraton.

*This was the original post, before I added the above*
It has been Five months now since my Baby flew with the eagles. I thought I’d put some pics up here today (which was Wednesday). They’ve been up before. Some of them at least. Maybe some of you might like them. Eight months of photos of my sweetheart. We really didn’t like having our photos taken, so consider these rarities. Photos taken between March and October 2011.

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On the 13 March 2012 at the Barron River rest stop, just East of Mareeba. This was when Jimmy blew a gasket & Phil came to our rescue. He helped us out with some cash & we got Jimmy running again. We spent a week here if I recall correctly.

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On the 21st of March, we got down to the Little Annan crossing for a look. Tina made a cairn in honour of the kids. She left many of these in random places.

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22nd of March, on Grassy Hill Cooktown. She was so happy to be here. She beamed. Couldn’t get the smile off Her face.

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In April, Tina got her first ‘commissioned’ art job. Painting the croc at Pam’s Place in Cooktown. Croc gets decorated for special days, a trend Tina started with Easter, then Mothers Day (with Marys sewing skills assisting).
On Australia Day 2012, Scott and Ahdee from Pams Place decorating Croc with flags and stuff.

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Walking on Finch Bay beach. Looking for pretty things 🙂

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Remember the ‘Planking’ controversy? We staged our own little protest. This was Tinas effort. Pretty brave to plank a Croc.

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At ‘The Top Pub’ on the 27th of May 2011. With a bunch of the banana workers, & Mary our Estonian pseudo-daughter, with Tina at the end of the table.

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On the same night with Thomas Lakefield. He was the third person we met in Cooktown. A gentleman.

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The next day we headed for Cedar Bay. Tina was checking the depth of Gap Creek, plus checking for big rocks. The clear water was very deceptive. That rock base was rough.

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On the way out of Cedar Bay, we took a photo of this old boat wreck.

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30th of June 2011. At our home, with Andre, ‘Legend of the North’. This is the last photo on my phone of Tina before our world collapsed.

And then…our Sister Kathy, & the kids, have a heap of photos of Tina in Townsville. This phone had mysteriously died while we were there. Here are some photos of photos.

In a lot of these, Tina was mucking around with Her kids. You need to realise that these were taken about a week after the operation. The first ones were taken about three days after the op. Tina recovered amazingly well, even surprising the surgeons.

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With me

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With lil sister Tracy

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Tina, Her brother Paul, Tracy, and Her big sister Kathy.

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Tina and Her youngest daughter, Loren.

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Her big brother Mark, with Loren and Lillian, my youngest.

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Kathy and Tina after they shaved their heads.

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Tina and her photo window. She had the most loving, bright bedspace in the hospital.

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Tina and Her Boy, Alex.

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Playing ‘Face-Off’ in the lift.

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This was Her, “I’m brain damaged’ look to scare hospital visitors 🙂 .

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It’s sideways, but this is a little more ‘normal’.

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Tina & I. “More photos? Aaaw but…”

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Tina & Loren again.

I don’t have any pics of Sarah or Vicki, or Ella with Tina 😦

I think that’s enough photos for one post. I’ll pop some more up in another post sometime. From when we came back to Cooktown.

I hope you get a smile from some of these photos.

A Change of Venue

Hi gang
First up, it’s been just over 12 months since Tina and I left Rockhampton. We left, if I recall correctly, on the 2nd of March 2011. We had big ideas on what we were going to do with the rest of our lives when we started our journey. Go back to the start of this blog & you’ll get an idea of what we had planned.
As most of you know, things didn’t happen the way we thought they would. In fact the past 12 months have felt like a lifetime. A lifetime of joy, and a lifetime of heart wrenching sorrow. It has also been just over four months since I lost my best friend to cancer.

I’ve made a decision about The Green Bus. I’m going to leave this blog as it is for now. No more new posts for a while. This was Tina’s baby. She had planned for it to be a showcase of what every day people were doing around Australia in terms of self-sufficiency & renewable energy. It was never really meant to be what it has become, a record of loss & sorrow, and random travelogues from me. So for now (things may change in the future), The Green Bus shall be parked up like Jimmy the four wheel drive.
I am starting something new, called ‘InVivamus’. In Vivamus is latin for, ‘The Gypsy’. I may at times cross-post, or I may even export some posts from here to there. The Green Bus will stay though. It is Hers & and I still need to go back and read those early posts of Tina’s.
She was a woman with strong views about the sustainability of this planet, & besides her art, this is one of those things that shows what a beautiful soul She was.

You won’t find anything on http://invivamus.wordpress.com just yet. I’ll let you know here and on Twitter & Facebook when it’s ready. I’m a really experienced procrastinator, so don’t expect anything for a few days.

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7 Days

Today we said farewell for now to our Phoenix. It was a short service in the chapel at the funeral directors office. No drawn out affair. She didn’t want that.
We were expecting maybe 20 people. But we kind of underestimated. Everyone managed to squeeze in to the tiny chapel in William Street.
All 80 odd family and close friends. There were many more who could not attend for reasons of distance etc.
Afterwards our dear nephew & niece, Macca and Tara, along with Taras brother and her mum, hosted a wake for everyone. I’m pretty sure all had a good time. The kids that were old enough to drink have certainly had fun 😉
I left early and mellowed with some music and few Coopers Sparkling Ales. The kids rolled in around midnight.
1am. Time for another beer. Might be a long night.

Goodbye My Friend

At 11:15 this morning, Thursday 20 October, the lady who filled my days with love and joy passed away.
Tina slipped away quietly, surrounded by her children, family and dear friends.
I have tried to contact as many family members as possible before posting this. If I missed you, please ring me.

Be free my Phoenix. You know I will always love you. You are in my heart and soul.

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Tinas Prognosis

As most of you know, we admitted Tina into Rockhampton hospital this afternoon.

I want to first apologise to the majority of you who I haven’t personally contacted with updates when I should. I know a phone call is easy. But when you have to attempt to make about 15 calls,which translates to repeating myself that many times, I don’t have the emotional strength to do it. I can only explain the imminent death of my true love so many times.

This is the raw truth.
Tina underwent a CT scan this afternoon. The doctor has explained that the tumor is once again very large. He has increased the anti swelling steroids to help ease her pain. This is all we can do. Further ‘debulking’ surgery may buy more time, but will more than likely kill her or worse.
Tina is semi-comatose and barely responsive. She has a catheter for fluids out and an iv drip for fluids in. In human terms, Tina knows we are with her when she is ‘awake’. She can squeeze my hand but she can’t open her eyes or talk. I know she knows what’s happening.  Often she is asleep though. Unstressed in a happy place.
Oh I fucken hate this so so much.
In respect for my best friend and rock, please don’t pray for her. Just give her your love and wish her well in her future journeys when the time comes.

I know that sounds bad, but I am trying to deal with this somehow. I’ll head to the hospital in the morning and let you all know how she is.

I hate reality’s roundhouse kicks.

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