03 Feb Chemo update
Just to let you know how it is going….
I have been on chemo-therapy for 7 months, since beginning of July.
At the time, the tumor in my gut had grown to the point that it was aiming to choke my alimentary canal again. It also had a potentially fatal grip on the veins coming down from my heart.
The oral chemo drug — Tamoxiphen — was not working.
After a fun week back at St Mike’s with all my old friends – Drs Kortan, Grantcherov et al, where the sign hanging on my bed read NIL BY MOUTH – no food or drink for the entire week.
I started on intravenous Methotrexate and Vinblastine, weekly, three weeks on, one week off.
By the end of September the tumor had shrunk by a third, to the delight of my oncologist.
“Rarely has anyone reacted like this to my protocol!’ he said.
I congratulated him. He indicated that the accomplishment was mine. I blushed and said “Thank you”.
He suggested taking me off chemo at the 6 month mark if shrinkage continued at the same pace….
|Chemo ward – the guy on the left is being given an unpleasant diagnosis. On the right another lady catches up with reading.|
As time went on I found the treatment harder to handle. At the beginning it was exhausting, now it wipes me out. I have a range of annoying side-effects. The worst being unable to finish thoughts, or complete actions without the mind blanking. That and being sick all the time cuts down on what I can do …. like make films. Which face it, is trench warfare. You have to be in top shape, mentally and physically.
Last week I had my second scan. My onc anticipating miracles set up a special screening so we could look at the pictures together. Disappointingly, no matter how we interpreted them, no miracle seemed evident. The tumor is still there.
I waited for the radiologists report and got that today. No surprises: the tumor continues to shrink, now with complications caused by the shrinkage. Chemo will continue. Give thanks for Life Ongoing.
Love you all,