Monday, 20 October 2008

Scan Day - When Your World Can Change

I had the heavily awaited scan today.  I got to the place, was given a big old nasty drink to drink and sat waiting a bit.  The waiting room was pretty full and they were an amusing chatty bunch (total surprise, but a nice one!).  So the wait was pretty short.  They all got called and I was left with a very fat man, a man in a wheelchair and a couple of middle years, where the wife was frequently belching and issuing orders to her husband in her Scottish drawl.  Amused me.

I was called in, had to put on one of the hospital gowns, you know, the ones where your arse hangs out the back.  Lovely.
They put me on the scanner and zing, zong, it's job done.  The table you are on gets slid inside and pull out again a couple of times.  A voice tells you when to breathe and when to hold your breath and it takes about 5 minutes.
My lift arrives (good old ma-in-law) and we set off and I get a call from the nurse who manages my notes etc and my alarm bells ring.  She says can I come back in for my results at 3.30, rather than just have them on the phone as they shouldn't really do that.  Now, the only other time I have been called in for results was when it was bad news.  I pushed it out of my mind, got home, had a brief snooze and got dropped back.  As I sounded a bit worried my wife joined me (we have been very confident that this scan would be good).
No sooner had I sat down than my consultant said, "I'm afraid it's bad news.  Very bad".
Whoopee!  I thought.  I bet the bloody tumour has not responded and is the same as before.
"I'm sorry to say that the tumour has grown considerably through this last chemo cycle".  
This really shook me.  I was so certain it was shrinking but no, the bastard was getting bigger, much bigger.  It had grown in a new direction and wasn't pressing on anything and so not causing symptoms.  But there was more.  He pointed on the scan a teeny tiny new node, inside my lung.  The cheeky bastard!
So my world changed.  Not more high strength chemo lined up.  The plan to try and cure me is canned and the plan now is to try and manage it (and keep me alive!).  He said there are still some options left but they are not far from having to say, "there's nothing more we can do".  I guess at that point it becomes terminal.  I hate that word.  
Anyway, next treatment will be Friday as an outpatient using some new drugs I haven't encountered before, in the hope of getting a shrinking response.  
Quite a lot of news and even though I am calm, I know there is an emotion storm on the way.
The questions are building up, e.g. will I get to see my kids grow up.  Hmmm, not the best news, but we'll see what we can do with it.  Got to keep fighting this thing, despite it being a good player.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Bruvinlaw
Words are very hollow I know, but where there's a will there's a way and you certainly have shown the will!! I will be praying constantly for you and that the new drug on Friday will be effective.
Love and every blessing
Peter <><

Sandra said...

The little bugger is a good player then.
So are you. The toughest - and most creative player - I've met.
Yup. My money is on you.

Lots of love,
San x x

Dave said...

Hello mate,

That's crap news, dude. Keep fighting the little bugger ! :-)

Dave

Anonymous said...

Hi Mate,

There's always something new and improved on the way. Next week the cure could be there. Just hang in there.

Paul

Adam said...

Alright big dude, not the greatest news you've ever had I can imagine. Not entirely sure what to say so i'll let sickipedia do it for me...


An elderly English gentleman of 83 arrived in Paris by plane.

At the French immigration desk, the man took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry-on bag.

"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the Immigration officer asked, sarcastically.

The elderly gentleman admitted he had been to France previously.

"Then you should know well enough to have your passport ready."

The English gentleman says, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

"Impossible. All Englishmen have to show their passports on arrival in France !"

The elderly gentleman gave the French Immigration Officer a long hard look.

Then he quietly explained.

"Well, the last time I was here, I came ashore on Sword Beach on D- Day in June 1944, and I couldn't find any fucking Frenchmen to show it to"


Hope you beat the little bugger mate, keep your spirits up. Will be thinking about you and the family.

Adam

Anonymous said...

Rich,

I'm really sorry to hear your latest news but I still believe you will find the inner strength you need to fight on and conquer all.

Alison x

Jaime said...

Sorry to hear it wasn't the news you were expecting or wanting.

Whilst there are more drugs out there, there's still hope so keep fighting with your positive attitude because you WILL find the ones that squash this bugger.

Jaime x

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich

I know it must be a very tough for you but keep fighting. We are all thinking of you.

I also wondwered if you might mention the drug ofatumumab to your doctor. Its a similar drug to Rituximab but works slightly differently and is currently in clinical trials. I am not sure if there are any trials open that would take you but it may be possible to get the drug on a compassionate use basis. If we can help in anyway at all please let me know.

Rich P

Anonymous said...

Here is the study

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00622388?term=ofatumumab&rank=8&show_locs=Y#locn

The link includes a list of study centres and contacts/telephone numbers

Rich P

Mark said...

Hi Rich,

I can't imagine what you're going through now, but just wanted to let you know we're still thinking of you. Keep fighting it!

Mark

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Racoon,
It sucks!! It so sucks!!
But you will get through this as will your lady Seal.
Good things are just around the corner. Sorry I didn't get to see you yesterday, stupid cold!! Hopefully make it over to the head next week so can give you some love Kanga style then.
Got everything crossed for you and my mantra is tumour beating tastic.
Make sure you and Sammie lean on all the people around you (drummed this into lady last night) that's what we're here for.
Mum sends her love and my nan is praying for you. Also Tinker sends a little purr.
Love as always,

Kangaroo xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich reading your blog and the comments Its all been said .
your in our thoughts and you are showing so much strength to even talk about your adventure .Inside you must be gutted !
it doesn t matter that he's a good player , he ain t seen anything yet .We all know you will throw him a curve ball . ( to coin a corny american sports phrase )
Love Bert and Chrissie

Damnyoureyes said...

Dude

I know things seem tough and you deserve a break more than anyone, hang in there, they'll find you the right drugs for that f@@ker.

We're all rooting for you.....not rooting you as that would be wrong and dirty....
wire bush and detox anyone?
...have they tried that?
Love to all

Jo said...

Rich,
I can't quite believe it. I'm so angry that you are having to go through all this crap. I am constantly amazed by your fantastic fighting spirit and positive attitude. I am in awe of that fact that even with this total nightmare situation you still keep your wonderful Wildman sense of humour! I know it makes no sense at all and I can't comprehend why God doesn't appear to be stopping this cancer in its tracks yet when we are all praying so hard for you. It's hard to say this as I know we don't share the same beliefs but please, please Richard ask him to cure you. Miracles do happen, please cry out to him and ask HIM for one. I love you so much. You are always in my thoughts. I miss you more than you know. Keep fighting.
Love and prayers,
Jo xxx
PS Please pass on my love to Sam, Becs and Little (or maybe not so little!) Harry xxx

Anonymous said...

Hey Wildman

Theres no way this thing is going to beat you, you've pissed all over it so far, and I dont see why that should change. Its running scared. Keep it up mate, we're all thinking of you.

Gibbo

Jo said...

Hey Rich,
Which email can I use to send you a personal message? I've got something I want to send you but it's a word document.
Will you text me the best email address to use?
Love u
Jo x

Jo said...

Hey Rich,
Which email can I use to send you a personal message? I've got something I want to send you but it's a word document.
Will you text me the best email address to use?
Love u
Jo x

Pete said...

Rich,

Bugger. Keep fighting it dude. My thoughts are with you.

Pete

Peter Fletcher said...

Morning Bruvinlaw
Just to let you know you were in my thoughts and prayers as soon as I woke this morning and will be for the rest of the day.
Please confirm your personal email address, I sent one to your Innocents address yesterday in error!
Love and every blessing.
Peter <><

Emilia said...

Hey RIch,

What a bugger. Hang in there, keep fighting. Thinking of you,

With love,
Emilia

The Finisher said...

Dude - sometimes the drugs really do work. I carried out extensive research into the matter during an ill-spent youth.

Unlike Rich P, I can't recommend any that you might find useful. These days I prefer a nice cup of tea and some chocolate Hobnobs.

I would recommend dipping the Hobnob until it's half submerged in the tea (you'll need a decent sized mug for this), leave it soaking for about five seconds, this renders the Hobnob melt in the mouth perfect.

I'm not sure clinical trials have been carried out, but from personal experience, I can say they're very moreish.

I know you're not going to give up squire, it's just not your style!

Jacko

Jane said...

Hi beautiful baby brother
You are so amazing and we are so so proud of you. You must be feeling crap and yet you 'shine' for everyone. Definitely Wildman blood! Thank God for you and for his gift of humour to you. Soak up all the love you are receiving from others and I pray that God will overwhelm you with His Love and Healing Power right NOW!! Get ready to receive a big big blast of it! Love and more Love to you, from your middle sis, Jane x

Anonymous said...

Morning Ricardo
Hope you had a good nights sleep. We're off to Wydale this morning to help lead a Cursillo weekend. It brings back fond memories of you battling with the septic tank, entertaining the guests in your tutu and gaining a certificate for the most loved temporary member of staff! Will be a whole crowd praying for you this weekend, especially Friday.
With you in thought and prayer.
Cheers and prayers
Peter <><

Jo said...

Morning Rich,
I hear Aunty C is flying over today. That'll be cool. I'm praying for a miracle healing for you Rich. We are all thinking of you and wish we could be there. I was wondering if there was any specific you wanted for your birthday? Are there any dvds, books or music that I could order online and get delivered to you for tuesday? Let me know if you think of any. BTW Have you seen StepBrothers or Tropic Thunder yet? We got some "knock off Nigel" copies in Turkey but they're pretty poor quality! Take care Rich. Today could be the day for your miracle! I won't stop praying for one. Love you,
Jo x
PS Say hi to Sam for me and I hope the bairns are well.

Anonymous said...

Don't give up Richard. Take the advice of your family and friends and research every option available to you - you will be amazed how many drugs are in development that can help you and Wexham Park is only one treatment option. My Dad, who is suffering from cancer, has changed his treatment centre when he needed to and what one specialist tells you won't work, is fully endorsed by another and works - keep fighting and don't give up hope - I'm giving you some of mine to help you along!

Anne
xx

Anonymous said...

Don't give up Richard. Take the advice of your family and friends and research every option available to you - you will be amazed how many drugs are in development that can help you and Wexham Park is only one treatment option. My Dad, who is suffering from cancer, has changed his treatment centre when he needed to and what one specialist tells you won't work, is fully endorsed by another and works - keep fighting and don't give up hope - I'm giving you some of mine to help you along!

Anne
xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich,

You are one of the coolest, cleverst and most unique individuals I have ever known. If anyone deserves to win this fight you do dude. I dunno if you believe in miracles, but i do, I have seen a few crazy things in my time, so I'm believing for a miracle for you.

Anyway hang in there fellah.

Always there for you

Paul E (chicken man)

Row said...

Wildman, am thinking of you, and sending you lots of NLP positive thoughts. If words were fighters, yours would win this battle outright. Take care, Row x

jojo said...

Hey Rich.

What a shocker. Can't quite believe it. Thinking of you a lot & sending you loads of hugs/cups of tea.

JoJo
xxxxx

Chemo-Man said...

Richard,

I started following your blog because I realized we had a lot in common – fighting the same Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma bastard at almost the same time and using humor and blogging to make fun of it. (Ok, I admit it; my humor has a little to be desired.) After my first bout with chemo and psychological battle with cancer, I felt pretty proud of myself keeping mostly a positive attitude through the whole thing. People called me inspirational. But Man, what I have done is nothing compared to what you have done. Your battle has been far fiercer, yet you have kept your humor and positive attitude. I would like to think that if I have to go down the same road, I will be able to keep up my spirit like you have done. You are truly inspirational.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t want to family or friends to grieve around me or give me advice. I knew how I was going to deal with it and I didn’t want to waste time feeling bad. It was time to party and have fun. But there seems to always be some family members or friends that just have to ruin the party and turn into something miserable. Well, not everyone is fortunate to have a positive attitude and us posis just have to deal with the negis.

One thought that I live by and gives me hope is that there are no certainties in life. Sometimes uncertainties can be difficult to deal with. For example, two different medical teams don’t agree on what type of Lymphoma I have. One team says it the type that can be cured, the other team says it’s the type that cannot be cured, only managed. It sure would be nice to know what bastard I’m dealing with. Furthermore, the doctors cannot tell me what to expect in the future, only probabilities. But there is a flip side to this too. Because of uncertainty we always have hope that circumstances will turn up good. Sometimes the odds are really stacked against us, but there is always that little bit of chance for something good. There is always a reason for hope. The wonderful thing about uncertainty is that doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe in, it is there for you. No matter what the doctors tell you, keep the hope Richard.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rich, your attitude is amazing and you deserve to beat this crap. Hang in there & fight it all the way.

Love Trish x

Anonymous said...

hello Rich,happy to ear you,you're strong posisitive wich is the way you'll beat it.Never, never goes dawn.. I can tell you, keep your mind figthing and that's the way,your body will follow x When there's a will there is a way .You'll get that crap xxx you'll do it mate. just hang it there x send you some of my energy to help you,body x Don't give it up and fight !Don't forget that we must have some nice pints togheter soon ....

Stéphane x