LJ70 Build Thread!

Ben

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Thanks guys, I'm really pleased with all my progress. :thumbup:


Unfortunately I don't have any pics of Loanna. :doh::icon-redface:

Regarding the accent..............

I don't think I will ever sounds fully Australian or fully British and will remain trapped in the middle! :crazy:

Aussies think I sounds very British still and Brits can obviously hear the twang I've picked up. :shifty:

I've been here almost 7 years now, time has flown by! :flags-australia:
 

StarCruiser

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I guessing Loanna is a new member of the Ben family having taken 9 months to finally arrive? Guess I’ve missed this somewhere else as I’ve been away from the forum for a while myself on one thing and another.
If I’m right Congrats on the new addition. :thumbup: :clap:

Or have I got this entirely wrong and Loanna is the lady you bought the HiLux from?:crazy:
 

clivehorridge

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I guess Loanna is the smoking hot olive skinned lady that was the deal breaker on the Hilux.... no fool the po grandad (or father, don’t remember which).:lol:
 
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Ben

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Well guys I hope you're sitting down for this tale and apologies it's so long winded..............


I've been dealt a bit of a curve ball. :|

I went to Tasmania for Christmas and had a great week relaxing with my wife's side of the family, it was great! :character-smurfpap:

Got home and for the whole of January I had flu like symptoms, sore throat and felt run down and weak, I even had a couple of days off work sick. :sad-fever:

I went and saw a doctor a couple of times, something I hadn't done in over 7 years (I'd never seen one since emigrating). :doh:

15 days ago I went back to the docs (visit number 3) and got a blood test done.

The very next morning a rather worried pathology doctor called and said get yourself to a hospital immediately, I will call them so they know you're coming but get there as quickly as possible! :wtf:

I thought shit that doesn't sounds good, I must have a virus or some nasty infection, but no worries, I don't feel all that bad! :think:

Got to hospital and after waiting in an emergency department for a while a doctor told me I'd got acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)!

F******g blood cancer! :shock:

The last 14 days have been a constant roller coaster of vertical ups and downs.

But despite this unfortunate diagnosis there is a lot of reasons to be positive! :dance:

-It has been caught and diagnosed very early (I could easily have struggled on for a lot longer, I wasn't exactly dying I just felt run down and weak mainly).

-I have a type normally found in children and rarely seen in adults and in children the cure rate is over 90%.

-My cancer cells have a rare mutation and in patients with this mutation the cure rate increases substantially.

-I'm youngish, fit and otherwise in perfect health, don't smoke, barely drink, healthy weight, no other health issues or allergies.

-I'm in Melbourne where we have some of the best specialist doctors and treatments on the planet. The hospital I'm in has over 25 full time research doctors just working on blood cancer and all of the nurses, doctors and staff caring for me are amazing!

-I have the support of lots of family and friends and it's been overwhelming!
My mother in law dropped everything to came and stay to help Bec with Sam the very day I got admitted!
And my folks flew out from the UK a few days later. Becs friends and work colleagues had a whip around and kindly donated thousands of dollars to help us out and have begun cooking and freezing dinners so that she can continue to mother, work and visit me without having to worry about cooking, they will also be helping out with Sam once my folks fly home.

-I fortunately had income protection insurance so when it kicks in after 60 days off work the mortgage and bills will be covered until I'm 60 (if needed). So I don't have to worry about money.

-And last but not least........ I was fortunate enough to meet all the criteria for a clinical trial taking place in which I'm being given treatment that is usually used to treat leukaemia in children, where by the chemo is administered in smaller doses over a longer period rather than the short heavy doses usually used to treat adults.

They believe this will result in a better outcome as children usually respond much better to this treatment and they don't believe it's not just because of age.

The other part of the treatment is to give me an amazing drug called Blinatumomab, which is currently only licensed in Australia as a drug to be used when all other treatments fail or the disease comes back.
Studies in the US and Europe have shown that using this drug early on in treatment along side the chemo drugs has been shown to yield amazing results.

At $90k a dose it's not cheap and I may need up to 8 doses, but fortunately it is all being donated by the pharmaceutical company for the trial.

It feels amazing to be part of the trial, knowing that what I am doing will help many people in the future, all over the world, going through what I'm going through, especially as I know my own chances of survival wouldn't be anywhere near as high as they are, had it not been for the thousands of trial patients before me, to whom I'm eternally grateful.

The chemo has knocked me around the last few weeks, there is no denying that and the best way I can describe it is like having a permanent bad hangover with a headache and sensitive tummy. But I have many months of treatment ahead of me yet so I will of course fight on!

I'm 100% confident I will beat this and being 100% honest I'm not in the slightest bit worried!
My determination and tenacity is unshakable as there are simply too many positive reasons for me to not believe I will fight and beat this!

I'm going to be in hospital for at least a few months, off work for a year + and the treatment will take up to 2 years.

So as you can imagine it's a bloody big inconvenience as we had pretty much planned the whole year with work on the house/garden, the Toyota's, 4wd trips and even a trip to the UK next Christmas for my sisters wedding, all of which is now of course on hold!

But in amongst all of this something amazing happened...........:happy-cheerleaderk:

In order for Bec to be able to get Christmas off work (which is hard for nurses here) we decided in January to try for another baby. We had one shot at it so it would be born and be old enough to fly before Christmas. Despite feeling dreadful and incredibly weak and not in the mood in the slightest we managed it twice and low and behold 2 days after the cancer diagnosis Bec revealed she was pregnant! :banana-blonde:

The fact that there is a high chance I will be infertile after the chemo and IVF would have been our only option (they got me to freeze some swimmers before the treatment started) and the fact if we hadn't been going to the UK for Christmas meant that we otherwise wouldn't have tried for another baby until much later in the year, by which time it probably wouldn't have been possible naturally, makes it all the more special.

The baby is due in October and we're over the moon! :happy-wavemulticol:

But the morale of this long post is this........


If you work hard all the time and achieve a lot, for gods sake don't take a week off and relax, because that's when you're going to get sick! Don't slow down! Never bloody slow down! :laughing-rolling:

IMG_0907.JPG
 
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warrenpfo

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Ben, I want to say I am sorry to hear the news but from your post, you are not one to accept apologies nor do you want them. So all I can say is I wish you and the family all the strength required and positivity to fight this bloody disease and I know with your determination and attitude you will pull through.

Great news on the addition to the family and keep us informed as things progress, both the good and the bad.

Keep strong
 

Crispin

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Damn Ben. That is rough news. I thought, as a finish to the "suffered a setback" sentence you were going to say "the bobcat broke a track" or something like that!

All the best with it all! Like everything you tackle, you'll come out of this shining!

Great news on the additional family news!
 

Jimbo4x4

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It's been a rollercoaster just messaging you and getting updates through Facebook mate, thanks for the link to this. Amazing news about the new arrival on his/her way! So many reasons to be positive
 

Shaun

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Wow So many ups and downs in such a short space of time.
All the best with your treatment and a big congratulations too.
You’ll be fine going from the vibes I get from your posts, your a positive natured fella, you got this
 

Gary820

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There's easier ways to get out of decorating mate!

Wish you a speedy recovery, its obvious you guys have heaps of support which takes so much stress away.

Congratulations on the pregnancy news :thumbup:
 

clivehorridge

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I haven’t been on the forum for a few days, and then I find this.
I’m stunned Ben, TBH, maybe more by your absolute determination to beat it than the bad news itself.
And another baby on the way? Congratulations both. Keep positive mate and encourage Becs to be the same.
If you weren’t at the top of my admiration list before, you certainly are now.
Best wishes...
:thumbup:
 
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StarCruiser

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“Despite feeling dreadful and incredibly weak and not in the mood in the slightest we managed it ……twice” :lol:

Now there’s the Ben we know and love!! Even knackered with Leukaemia you still managed to get the job done! Twice!

What a rollercoaster indeed! Ben, you are about the most hard working, positive guy I’ve yet to meet. The support you’ve received is testament to the high regard folks hold you in. As you say, you know you’re going to get round this particular rock in the road.

Congratulations on Bec’s news. Every cloud and all that. Just keep your mind busy in hospital. Even if you can’t do physical things, try to keep your mind active.

My money’s on a girl this time. Maybe called Loanna. :)

Good luck Ben. Lynn and I will be thinking of you. If there was anyone I’d put money on to beat this, it would be you.
 
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AndyCook

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I always admire your determination, resourcefulness and sheer will power to get things done and overcome obstacles so know you will fight hard and not give up.
Keep the positive, and eat well, lots of healthy food to help then battle.

And lots look forward to now as well .
 

Firewout

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Hi Ben,
Congrats with the new one on the way.
Sorry to hear about the cancer. I wish you a full recovery.
A friend of mine also had leukaemia and had the full treatment. Of course I don't know if the two of you can be compared, but this happened 30 years ago and apart from a small relaps last year, he's been as healthy as any other ever since.
All the best and keep up the spirit ! Wouter
 

Ben

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Oct 13, 2010
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Thanks guys! :thumbup:

Can you believe it's 3 weeks today since I got admitted and diagnosed, the time has flown by! :wtf:

Having family and friends visit everyday has really helped! :clap:

The last dose of chemo knocked me around a bit for a few days but I've got over that now and even ventured outside for some air for the first time yesterday!

I've got a week of really intensive chemo starting Friday where I have it every second day which isn't going to be great, but then after that they may let me escape and go home for a while before the second phase of treatment starts. :icon-smile:

I had an epiphany yesterday and realised that for the last few years Bec has been right. :shifty:

I'd been so focused on projects and my hobbies that I had been too busy to see what's really the most important thing in our lives and that's spending time together as a family, getting out there having fun and making memories!

She's nagged me a lot in the past to take her away for day trips and weekends away, but often I'd been so focused on a project that I'd side track her and do what I wanted to do. :icon-redface:

I'm just glad I've realised this now and not in 10-20 years time when it's to late! :icon-cool:

So moving forwards I want us to get out at least once a month to go camping together as a family and lots of day trips out exploring too.

We're blessed to live in a state with hundreds of state forests and national parks covering millions of acres of pristine forest, mountains and rivers and that's just in this one state!

Within an hours drive of our house there are 20-30 different state forests where we can go and camp all year around, for free, with the dog, have a fire, next to a beautiful river in the forest surrounded by nature, eating yummy food cooked on the fire with the dogs and kids running around having fun, swimming in the river, being free!

And it wouldn't be an expensive trip away, heck it wouldn't cost more than we'd normally spend on a takeaway on a Saturday night!

So that's what I/we are going to do moving forwards and I'm very excited! :dance:

I'm already busy planning trips for when I'm well enough and we can get out there.

I'm determined to make the most of the year+ I'm going to be off work, if/when my health improves to a point where I'm able to get out there, I want to have some fun and make lots of amazing memories with my family! :flags-australia:
 
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