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A Curiosity

January 26, 2018

Couldn’t get our speedy act together this morning so we catch the rush hour/school run traffic all the way to Mount Vernon.

My oncologist comes into the hospital meeting room with a young doctor in tow. She’s not introduced, but we smile our hello to her. We give Mark the story of the last three weeks. He’s concerned about the lack of advice and support we have had from the hospital, and asks Amanda to note down a time-line for him. He also asks if we have an assigned Macmillan nurse for home. No. He’ll sort that out.

I ask him if the oral chemo I’m on works alone. Not really, he says, it only works in conjunction with intravenous chemo. He acknowledges that he has hit me hard with the treatment this time.

Manda bravely asks the What If question – what if we stop taking everything – how long have I got? He says ‘I don’t know. You’re a unique case. You should be dead by now. I might parade you round the wards!’ As compliments go, that’s the first he’s ever given us. He’s actually smiling. I think we all are. Between us, we are doing something right – his horrible drugs, our diet and my ridiculous cycling habit. This is by far the longest meeting we’ve ever had with him. He seems calm and unhurried, we sense a change in how we are regarded. I may have become A Curiosity.

I ask about the scans and the implications of not seeing clearly into the stomach. He says it’s very rare that the primary kills you, it’s the secondries. So being able to see how my liver is doing is the key thing, and that is clearly shown on the CT scan.

We ask about other treatments and drug trials. He says that there is a drug that is available, he says he’ll have to come up with a cunning plan, and he’ll think about that. I may have to man-up and accept more intravenous treatment in due course. In the meantime he’ll arrange the next CT scan, and I’m ok to stay off chemo for a month, when we’ll meet again to review.

This truly is an emotional roller-coaster. Although I feel buoyant, Manda feels drained. The month off will give us a chance to regroup, hopefully to smooth out the emotional ups and downs, and as the days get a little longer and warmer I’ll be out on the bike. The diet continues, but I have allowed myself a chocolate biscuit. Whoop! whoop!

 

Here are some images from our walk this afternoon. We had the best of the day.

 

 

6 Comments
Yasmin
17:06 January 30, 2018

Long may you remain a curiosity!

Fiona
12:40 January 30, 2018

Lovely photos, Steve, it is a lovely time of year when every now and then the sun comes out, you get those beautiful shafts of sunlight and a hint of warmth and you think, yes, spring is in the air! Why, I wonder, don't they always introduce young doctors when they come into the room? Could you imagine a business situation when you entered a meeting with a new colleague, and didn't introduce them? Should be part of basic medical training! Keep positive and enjoy those chocolate biscuits. Much love to you all, Fiona xx

Paul
15:01 January 27, 2018

Nice pictures Steve. I like the one with the tree in the centre and your silhouette. I also take that kind of shots when I’m going for a walk. I kinda think of them like selfies. Im sending you regards and big hugs from sunny Spain. Stay strong. Paul

Nick Havas
18:33 January 26, 2018

I always found you a bit of a curiosity:) Really happy that you will get a month off. Fancy a bike ride? Xx

Mandy
18:03 January 26, 2018

I’m sad that you haven’t been supported more. You can call Macmillan any time between 9am and 8pm on tel:0808 808 00 00. they are fab. Huge hugs to you all x

    Mandy
    18:04 January 26, 2018

    Oh and it’s not just a support number for you, but for Amanda too xx

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