Monday, December 30, 2013

World Child Cancer- the Financial Times Seasonal Appeal

World Child Cancer (WCC) has been chosen as the Financial Times charity for their Seasonal Appeal.

Please consider supporting World Child Cancer this holiday season as the Financial Times will match all donations for the next few weeks.

Check out this video which explains the work of WCC.

I am working with WCC in Bangladesh, providing teaching and expertise about treating children with cancer, specifically treating their pain and providing palliative care.

This excellent article explains the challenges and suffering faced by children in developing countries with cancer:  I've post the beginning below, the rest is found at the link below.

Cancer patients suffer from poor access to palliative care

From her office at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Lorna Renner took a call this month from the parents of a child she had diagnosed with untreatable cancer. They had returned to a clinic nearer home for the last few weeks of her life.

“I could hear the child crying in pain on the phone on the ward because they had not got any painkillers there,” she said on the phone from Ghana. “I had given them some morphine at discharge, but the other hospital had run out of supplies.”

Given the limited number of hospital beds, there is a push for children with cancer to return either to local clinics or to their families. But a shortage of drugs and expertise could mean they face a double tragedy: not only do they have no chance of a cure but they will also die in pain.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


These photos are from my trip to Cambodia with Dan's family this Christmas.

We started with a trip to a remote fishing village.  From there we went trekking for 2 days in the jungles of the Cardamom Mountains.

We returned to Phnom Penh to meet Dan's family.  On Christmas day we all took a Cambodian cooking class together where we learned to make a local specialty-fish amok.  It is very similar to yellow fish curry.

Then we headed to Siem Reap to visit the temples of Angkor Wat.

Boating into the eco-tourism village of Chi Phat.

Eating leechees on the boat.

Sleeping on the boat.

Swimming at the rapids in the village.

An early morning boat ride to start our hiking trip.

Typical home on the river.

Dan has fallen asleep…again.

Pitcher plants on our trek.
Hiking in the Cardamom Mountains, really just hills.
Touring the market with our cooking class.
Joyce working hard at our Cambodian cooking class.

Making curry paste by pounding spices and lemongrass. 

Making banana leaf bowls to hold our curry while it's cooking.
All the bowls in the steamer where they'll be cooked.
Eating our cooking-a traditional Cambodian fish amok-delicious!


Christmas day at the Pavilion in Phnom Penh

In a tuk-tuk...

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Family photo on our bike trip.

Lots of overgrown trees at the temples.

Travelling in a tuk-tuk

Temple with lots of trees

Just after sunrise.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Home Update

I finally finished unpacking all of our boxes today.  Our sea shipment arrived 2 weeks ago.  There are not many closets or shelves in the apartment.  I put a couple of pictures on the walls, so it's starting to feel like home.  It turns out that hammering nails into concrete walls tends to cause large chunks of concrete to fall off, not really the expected consequence...

Finding space for everything in the kitchen was very difficult.  There are almost no shelves in the cupboards.

Making Christmas cookies!

Rearranged the living room to make it more inviting.  Now if only there was a way to make it less beige... 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Children's Cancer Conference at BSMMU

Last week I participated in a children's cancer conference at BSMMU.  It was a big success with several doctors and nurses from both London, England and Vancouver coming to speak and provide training.  Heather Cruden, the Canadian High Commissioner (Ambassador) was chief guest which helped to raise the profile of the event.  There were 450 paediatricians in attendance!

At the NTV studio, getting interviewed for "Lifesource" program!

Heather giving a speech.

Heather meeting some children who have completed their cancer therapy.

Visiting the ward with Heather.

During the opening ceremony; lots of speeches…not that exciting 

Final Thailand Post

Orchids everywhere!

Delicious chicken from this street vendor!

Secluded beach in the national park

perfect waves and sky

Some type of fruit?

At a 'floating market'

Roses at the flower market

More orchids.

Bird of paradise flowers.

More roses

On a night bike tour of Bangkok.  Slightly terrifying due to the crazy traffic, but also really interesting.