Saturday, January 26, 2013


IT was almost two years ago that my mum was diagnosed with lung cancer. It almost feels like yesterday. Shortly after she was diagnosed, we went to the lunar new year celebrations in Footscray. Tết as it is known in Vietnamese, is a major celebration in Vietnamese culture and I knew it meant a lot to my mum. We went to the festivals and I knew that it was a special moment. Each year as Tết passes, I try and spend as much time as I can with mum. The reality is I don't know if she will make it to the next one. Last weekend, I had the privilege of spending another Tet celebration in Footscray. We went around sunset and enjoyed the sights, sounds, and most enjoyably, the food. It was here that I took the photo below. Mum thinks it makes her look old/unwell. I love the picture.

Last thursday, Mum went in for a regular CT scan. She has been having them each 6 weeks as part of her trial. On Friday morning, doctors told her that the tumour had grown by 30% and that the trial medication she was on is no longer effective. There is no more conventional treatment for her cancer. There are no more phase 3 trials. Everything from here on is experimental. This concept terrifies me. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Simple Question

Out of the blue and on le old facebook, I saw that a friend of mine, Corey, whom I had previously worked with on Summer Coda was producing a short film. I jumped on board the opportunity to be an extra and sneak in a couple of cheeky film stills. The set, the lovely 'The Wilde' cafe on Gertrude St, Fitzroy. It's been a while since I've been on a set. It was lots of fun! 

The ubiquitous slate shot.

Director Andrew Perry and runs lines with actor Sam Rankin

Kent Williams, hard at work. 
Sam Rankin from the split. 

Finally, an actual still. 

Pretty Sunset

Last Sunday's sunset from my uncle's place, Ascot Vale. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Magic Hour

The light was really nice the other day. We were hoping between Rooftop and Cabinet for a friends birthday. I ended up leaving my friends and getting lost in the light.

Little Bourke

Little Collins

Cnr Little Collins/Swanston St
Bourke St

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Side Effect

Mum has been taking a trial drug over the past three months. Conventional chemo now no longer has any positive effects, and the only thing we are putting real hope in is this phase 3 trial medication. Phase 3 is the final phase of testing before the drug is marketed and is basically where the kinks get ironed out and dosages etc. are established. 
At first, it was pretty nerve racking. There was a 50/50 chance that she would not get the real medication at all and end up on a placebo, but shortly after taking the meds, the side effects kicked in. Acne, uti, and swollen fingernails where the trade off for an effective drug. Her airway cleared, her coughing minimised, and she had much more energy. Unfortunately, the side effects grew worse. Soon, she couldn't open drawers, and had to wear gloves to do basic things. The side effects grew unmanageable and soon she found herself taking a break from the meds. The symptoms subsided, and after a week, she resumed the meds on a lower dosage.
That was about a month ago (maybe a little under). Her symptoms flared up again, and soon, even driving a car started making her fingernails bleed. Again, we found ourselves on a break from the meds. Over new years, doctors monitored her closely, and gave her some steroid cream for her fingers and doxycycline for her acne (an antibiotic and effective anti-malarial). She started again on meds two days ago. Yesterday, I noticed her breathing heavily and coughing lightly - something which leaves me with a heavy heart. Today, she walked 4 kms and seems to be full of energy.

Mum talking to her doctor at the Footscray General.

Footscray General - one of the most underfunded hospitals in Aust. 

Clinic, Footscray General. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

5.31AM 01/01/2013 Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy


Ash P

5.31 AM
15 000 people flocked to the historic Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy to enjoy their New Years Eve celebrations. There was a dance party, lots of drugs and lots of alcohol. A good night was had by all. We left at 5.30 am. I was amazed at how much rubbish was left behind. People came by and started cleaning up the next day and apparently found lots of left over baggies.