FRANCES-ANNE SOLOMON ||| Filmmaker | Writer | Producer | Chemo update
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Chemo update

Dear friends

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,
FA