Monday, 2 April 2007

Here we go again...

Once again a routine blood test in February showed elevated AFP levels, which continued to increase with further tests. A PET/CT scan confirmed a 6mm tumour in my left upper lung with a further suspicion of a tumour in my left hip-bone.

With the options for further treatment limited I was referred from my oncologist to the specialist team at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton. Options included High Dose Chemotherpary (HDC) with stem cell rescue and probably surgery, with the RMH to assess my suitability. The hip area would require separate radiotherapy at some point, likely after the chemo.

The HDC option was confirmed at the Royal Marsden, who advised that they would if possible wish to repeat the HDC cycle twice. The HDC itself would likely be pre-empted by two cycles of normal chemo, in order assess the chemo-response of the tumour. The option of surgery either before or after HDC was also to be reviewed.

HDC involves intense levels of chemo given over four days. The effect is that it wipes out your blood cells and bone marrow, so by re-injecting you with your own stem cells it is hoped that it will help your body recover quicker. HDC leaves you at risk from infections as your immune system is reduced. With the stem cell rescue you could be in hospital for 4-6 weeks depending on how your body responds.

Look like my summer is going to be buggered again!