The Problem with Miracle Cancer Cures

Having just started my fifth antibody based medication, this one to try and get on top of my auto-immune colitis, I’m acutely aware of the various tensions, conflicts and ethical dilemmas raised in this article. My melanoma, while not completely gone, has been well controlled by the immunotherapy I received. The main story for me in recent years has been managing the side-effects of the immunotherapy as well as the multiude of medical appointments, blood-tests, scans and so on. But it has taken me from seriously considering palliative care having been given a median survival of 3-4 months, to being back at work part-time some 5 years later. Fortunately, as I am part of clincial trial, combined with Medicare and private health insurance, my out of pocket costs have been manageable. But as these expensive interventions become mainstream, and cancer is increasingly converted from a death sentence into a chronic disease, there will be serious challenges ahead for the health budget, of both governments and individuals.

Opinion | The Problem With Miracle Cancer Cures

Opinion | The Problem With Miracle Cancer Cures

If immunotherapy worked most of the time, this would be an unambiguously happy story. But it doesn’t.

Source: www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/opinion/sunday/problem-miracle-cancer-cures.html

Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of My Diving Accident

 

Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of My Diving Accident

Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of My Diving Accident

Joni Eareckson Tada reflects on the 50th anniversary of the diving accident that made her a quadriplegic and the faithfulness of the Lord through it all.

Source: www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/reflections-on-50th-anniversary-of-my-diving-accident/

 

ANZCA Primary Exam Tutorials & Resources

I occasionally give some tutorials to anaesthetic trainees sitting the ANZCA Primary Exam. I thought it would be worth collecting some of the resources I use into one location so that I can provide a link for pre-reading, revision etc, but also in case anyone else outside my hospital network might find them useful. I may well add additional content and links to post over time, so it may be worth checking in again at some point.

Click here to go straight to the tutorial resources.

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As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God | The Times

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God

Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it’s Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump…

Source: www.thetimes.co.uk/article/as-an-atheist-i-truly-believe-africa-needs-god-3xj9bm80h8m

Petition to extend the opt-out period for MyHealthRecord

Chances are, if you are reading this blog post, then you have heard about the governments plan to change MyHealthRecord from “opt-in” to “opt-out”. But it’s increasingly apparent that there are many who haven’t, including some who haven’t heard about MyHealthRecord full stop. This is a problem.
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“MHR-as-Imagined” vs “MHR-as-Done”

A little while back I wrote a post on my early experiences with MyHealthRecord (MHR), discussed its strengths and weaknesses, and made some suggestions for improvement. At that point, it was still opt-in, but on July 16th a three month phase in period started whereby people can opt-out, before an MHR is created automatically for them. In the lead up to that date, and in the time since, MHR has been the subject of some robust discussion on both mainstream and social media. While the concept itself has been generally well received, there is significant controversy and debate over numerous aspects of the system, the legislation underlying it, as well as the government’s handling of the roll-out. Continue reading ““MHR-as-Imagined” vs “MHR-as-Done””

The Big Conversation

The Big Conversation | Atheist and Christian debates

The Big Conversation | Atheist and Christian debates

The Big Conversation is a video series from the Unbelievable? radio show featuring theological debates with world-class thinkers across the Christian and atheist community – Discussing faith, science and what it means to be human. Source: www.thebigconversation.show

In recent years, I’ve been listening to the Unbelievable? podcast hosted by Justin Brierley a lot. While it’s hosted by a Christian radio station, it’s quite unique in that it usually involves a dialogue or debate between a Christian and a non-Christian. This diversity in guests, has come to be reflected in the diversity of it’s listeners. Despite’s Justin not hiding his own Christian beliefs, he moderates the discussions very well, and is very good at summarising the opposing views of the guests, and playing devils advocate when needed.

It’s been going for over 10 years now, and has gone from strength to strength, not only in popularity, but also in the quality of production, and the calibre of the guests. But in recent months, Justin has really taken it up a notch with “The Big Conversation” series. Now, as well as audio, there is a video recording of the discussions available on a revamped Youtube channel. The first few have been great, and I look forward to the rest of the series after the UK summer!

Progress Notes-Chronological

As discussed here, I was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in late 2013. It has been a wild ride since, and I thought it would be good to document the many steps in my journey. I’m hoping this will be a useful record not just for myself, but my family and friends, as well as those that might be facing a similar journey themselves. This document will evolve over time, both as I go back through the last few years and find things to add, but also as my story continues to unfold.

To see my medical history organised by system, see this post here.

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Valvular Insufficiency

Take a look at the image below and see if you can spot the differences between these two IV giving sets:

Maybe the packaging will help?

How did you go? There are actually a few differences between them, but there is one in particular that I am interested in, and you should be too. Can you guess which one it is? Yes, that little white bit circled in red is what’s called a “one-way”, “back check” or just “check” valve. As the name suggests it ensures fluid in the line can only move one-way i.e. from the IV fluid bag and into the patient. This valve is there so that if you are running a secondary infusion it will flow into the patient, rather than back up the primary line and into the fluid bag. A visual representation of what this valve does can be seen in this video:

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