Monday, 29 October 2007

The morning after the weekend before...

Well I crossed my fingers but should have crossed toes as well. The CT scan showed the tumour in my right lung unchanged and my tumour marker has started to increase. The upshot is the high-dose chemo has not had the desired effect.  The view is that my cancer has become chemo resistant so they see no benefit in going through high-dose chemo and its own associated risk again - it's back to the surgery route as a last option.

I'm due to have a PET scan in the next two weeks in order to check there is nothing else to worry about and then I expect they will get on with surgery pretty quickly - same operation as I had in June but on my right-side. At least I'll have matching scars - it'll look like its where my angel wings have been clippped.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


Back to my favourite place today - The Royal Marsden for post-transplant check-up and a CT scan. The blood-test showed my blood has recovered remarkably and its essentially back to normal following the high-dose chemotherapy, which means they can schedule me in for the second lot - 2 weeks today! Thats dependent upon the results of the CT scan and tumour markers, which I'll receive on Friday. It's a strange thing hoping that they'll let me have another hit of high-dose chemo and another transplant - but its infinitely more preferable to them deciding its not worthwhile. High-dose here I come...fingers crossed!!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

He's coming home...!!!

Well, a bit of a surprise. The doc came to see me this morning, confirmed my blood counts had risen again and then he casually mentioned I can go home today!! They must need the bed or something!

Have felt much better over the past couple of days. The Urology consultant came to see me yesterday - he was surprised to see me looking so well - it's not normal. He'll arrange tumour marker and CT scan tests over the next couple of weeks before assessing the next step.

Here's a pic of my humble abode. I gave myself a no.2 trim yesterday as my hair started coming out in clumps. Not a problem if I missed a bit with the clippers - I simply pulled out the offending hair and voila!

I can't say I'll be sad to leave but the room has been fine, the nurses have been great, the foods been OK(ish) and the chemo bearable. I'll take that!

Gonna feel a bit funny being back at home. Michelle has a stinking cold so I guess I'l be in the spare room tonight - not that I have the energy for anything else!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Back in the land of the living....

...well, just anyway. Past week has been a blur of sickness, diaorrhea (can anyone spell it?) and excruciating stomach pains as the chemo side effects took hold. As well as my mobile giving up he ghost a week ago (apologies to those messages I havent responded to) I've been too unwell to even sit at the PC. I was basically in the position whereby of I didn't eat, didn't drink and didn't move I was OK'ish. Didn't eat for 4 days, been on IV fluids to keep me hydrated as I couldn't be bothered to drink. And I've had reminders that "I should have had the nasal tube put back in" every day from the nurses - well I've been sick every other day so what would have been the point.? Just started to eat a few cornflakes over past couple of days and feeling much better. My blood count is at its low point and my hair is now falling out in clumps, but I feel I'm on the up (a bit like the Toon!). The only trouble with eating is that I am back exposed to the vagueries of hospital food, which is enough to make you lose your appetite even if you are fully healthy!

There's light.....and it's not a train coming.....I hope!!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Gets up my nose!

Well it was rather uncomfortable to say the least. Sticking a bloody great big yellow tube up my left nostril with the intention of then threading it down the back of your throat and down into my stomach. And all so that they can drip-feed me if they need. "Give me some decent food and I'll eat it!", I say!. After two attempts on my left nostril and my eyes already streaming they give up and go for my right nostril! A push or four, pain, watering eyes, a few gulps and its down, "Ooh, just a bit further", push, swallow, and its in. It's not nice, believe me. An x-ray confirms its not far enough down, so a few more pushes and its taped into place, looping attractively from my nostril to behind my ear.

The next morning after no sleep due to worrying whether I'm going to dislodge my nasal umbilical cord I'm turfed out of bed for a shower. Feeling fine one minute, then a little queasy the next. Being sick while having a nasal feed tube is not a good idea. It takes me a few seconds to realise why I have one end of a long tube hanging out of my mouth and the other out of my nose.....not a pretty sight! I've seen this trick on TV...nasal floss! It isn't nice and of course it means I'm gonna have to go throught insertion process all over again!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Transplant Day!

The 'big' day arrived as somewhat of an anticlimax. The perception of a transplant sounds rather grand but in fact involves one nurse wheeling in a Dusty-bin type contraption in which my frozen stem cells (which were a lovely salmon pink colour) are stored, a defrosting bath in which the stem cell bags are then immersed at 40 degrees , before they are transferred to about a dozen large syringes, whence they are pushed up my PICC line by another nurse with a bionic thumb!

One side effect is the smell of sweetcorn, due to the preservative used to store the cells. Apparently it will emminate from within me for the next few days - not good when you're already feeling nauseous!

Due to have a nasal feed tube inserted tomorrow so they can feed me a liquid diet (Guinness, Tennants Super?) while I am asleep.

Monday, 1 October 2007

I'm not here!!

Hope no-one was planning on visiting today! I'm not here (or there). I've been allowed out on bail for 24 hours. Finished the 4 days chemo on Saturday night and seeing as though it hasnt hit me yet, they've allowed me home for 24 hours. Due back Monday afternoon in time for my stem cell transplant on Tuesday.

Haven't been too bad after the chemo. Bit tired on Friday, but even managed to do some work on Thursday. Energy levels gradually falling, taste dissappearing, stomach whirring but could be worse - no doubt it will be!