Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Oh Crap! Bad News!

Well, I went in to see the consultant today. I was pretty anxious, as I've been noticing dodgy little symptoms, similar to what I had at first diagnosis. Shortly after going in he told me that the news wasn't good and that the scan showed that the tumour had been growing again. The bastard! Why can't it just die!
Anyway, this means it's plan B (sadly there are no plans C or D, so plan B better work!). This involves going into hospital (where I'm heading shortly), where I'll get a line put in (a tube in a vein) (which I'd been hoping to avoid). Then there will be a 3 day chemo infusion. This regimen is called RICE. My last one was CHOP-R. Then it's 3 weeks off, then back for another RICEing, then 3 weeks off. Then there is a scan. If the tumour has shrunk, it is on to step 2. If it hasn't then...oops, sorry, we're out of ideas. Bye. Don't like the sound of that much, so lets assume it works. Next is a loads of injects to get the body producing extra stem cells which can then be collected. In to hospital then for 4 days of hardcore chemo. This one will blast away my poor immune system and bone marrow that would regenerate it. Hopefully it will also nuke any remaining tumour. Then the previously collected cells are returned and they magically recreate a brand new shiny immune system. Hoorah. Apparently the success rate isn't amazing but it's not rubbish either, but I need to talk to the big man total specialist dude to get those details. So, the boring journey continues. Not sure when I can post again, as hospital beckons.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Not happy :(

I'm back to work, but not feeling that good. My stomach has still been giving me grief and I've been getting this weird double vision type thing going on after I wake up (continuing until it kind of sorts itself out).

I thought I'd be pretty chilled regarding my first scan, but little things keep happening that are freaking me out a bit. Yesterday my right arm seemed to be swelling up a bit. This was what happened on my left arm and was caused by the blood clot. I neither want another clot or for the swelling to be due to growing lymphoma. No sir!
Its a bit tender and it seems to be a bit swollen around the forearm only. I'll keep an eye on it.

My previous upbeat (at least I think it was pretty upbeat) mood is starting to fade. I'm getting fed up now and just want to feel well. Hit a bit of a low.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Stupid Stomach

It's been a number of weeks since my last treatment but rather than feeling better I've been feeling rubbish. As of today, I feel a bit more energised (read that as: don't just want to sleep (not that there is anything wrong with sleep)).
My stomach has been the biggest offender. Not that it is that big or weirdly shaped or anything (at least I didn't think it was. I feel the need to check it now, due to pure paranoia!). After my anti-biotics were completed, it started hurting quite badly pretty much constantly and my energy dropped right down. Now, a few days later, it seems to be starting to settle.

I've got my CT scan on monday, a blood test on wednesday and will be seeing my consultant for the results on friday. I'm hoping it is smaller than last time but understand that it is not expected to be all gone (dead tissue and scar tissue left behind) due to the type of tumour it is.
If all goes well, a couple of weeks after I will get a PET scan, which will determine if anything left behind is still active (bad) or dead and buried (yay, die tumour scum, die!)

Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Last Treatment

Yay! Yay! and thrice, yay! My final treatment (a non chemo one at that) was on Friday just gone, so I have finished my primary treatment. Lordy, it's been a long old slog. Now it's scanxiety time. I've got a CT scan on August 18th. They expect, due to the type of cancer I've had, that there will be tissue remaining, i.e. scar tissue, etc. So as long as it hasn't got any bigger, this scan won't be too exciting. Then, a few weeks later I'll be lined up for a PET scan. This scan is a bit more interesting. You drink a drink containing a form of glucose with a radioactive fluorine isotope attached. Sound fun? Basically any living cells, especially naughty cancer ones, will eat the glucose and so drawing in the isotope. What does this mean? Well, it is a way to check whether the blob that remains of the tumour is alive (bad news) or dead (yay! champagne for all!). So the PET scan is the kiddie that I'm waiting for, as it will tell me whether I'm done and normality can start to return or whether it's time for the next batch of treatment (noooo!).

Right now though, I've got a couple of infections and feel absolutely knackered, despite having 11 hours sleep! Apparently I have an e.coli infection and a suspected CDIF infection. Sounds a laugh. I'm got a new load of anti-biotics to take. One has the aftertaste of a chalk coated rabbit turd (not that I've tasted that many chalk coated rabbit turds, but it's what I'd imagine they'd taste like). Worst of all though and this increases my belief that there is a world conspiracy to stop me drinking any beer, is that there is a big warning on the anti-biotic bottle to "NOT DRINK ANY ALCOHOL". Boo! Another 10 days of no beer. So near and yet so far!