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Free at last!

Got the results from the CT scan, and they agreed with the clinical evidence I was presenting, namely I was feeling a lot better, so it was decided that I would receive no more chemotherapy.

Specifically, the CT scan showed that there have been minimal reductions in the size of my enlarged lymph glands, which is what is expected in the latter stages of chemotherapy; that there are no new metastases, which is very good news. Essentially that means that the chemotherapy has done its job, and although one more cycle was originally scheduled, the consultant decided that it would simply be piling on the toxic effects with very little, if any, associated benefit. His advice was therefore to stop the chemotherapy. I was very happy to go along with that.

After finishing my conversation with him, I turned to the palliative care consultant, and we discussed the management of my pain. I had been doing very well with the diclofenac three times per day, taking a little extra oxynorm (a liquid form of the opioid oxycodone) whenever I had any breakthrough pain.  Now that we know how much of that I need, we have decided to replace the liquid with a slow-release tablet form of oxycodone, which should more than replace the liquid form, but should give more lasting pain relief. We also discussed how I should reduce the dose of metoclopramide, an anti-nausea drug, and decided that as we were changing my pain-control regime it would be better to wait for a week while I changed one thing and saw what the effects of that were. But soon, soon, …

A few minutes later I was sitting in the treatment room having the PICC line removed from my arm. I was surprised that it didn’t bleed at all, considering the size of the hole that it left behind. I have a dressing which I should remove after 24 hours, but it isn’t expected that there will be any problems with it.

Finally, after a short wait, I had my MRI scan. This one was of the whole of my spine, rather than just my head, so it took nearly an hour. By the end of that session my back was completely seized up, but a few minutes walking around freed it sufficiently for me to be able to drive home. I’ll be back again next week to discuss the results of the MRI scan with the consultant,  but then I shall have no more appointments for five or six weeks. As the title says: free at last! At least until the tumour starts growing again, which is, I’m afraid, almost inevitable. Still, free for now, and time to look forward to our holiday in June.

{ 9 } Comments

  1. Richard P | 26 May 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Dear Chris,
    We’re both very happy to hear the good news from your scan, and pleased that the palliative care regime is continuing to be refined. (Commendable achievement enduring 1hr of MRI thumping, whiring, clunking & FFTs.)
    All the best,
    R & F

  2. icyjumbo | 26 May 2010 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I must say I didn’t hear any FFTs, although I did notice at least one chirp!

  3. Jayne Alexander | 26 May 2010 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Ah chris i’m so pleased to hear about your freedom. It must feel great. Enjoy your hols xx

  4. icyjumbo | 26 May 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Jayne. I intend to.

  5. Sophie J | 27 May 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Praise the Lord and all that guff. Good chatting to you yesterday, enjoy the old country yakki da (phonetically). See you and Gillian soon
    Love Sophie J
    Recognised Genius (Official)

  6. Sophie J | 27 May 2010 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Also Question Time from Gravesend – what dizzy heights. Only found out a couple of days ago though so not going. Shoud be lively though Alistair Campbell and Piers Morgan booked. Ha ha ha

  7. icyjumbo | 27 May 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed the chat too. I’ve looked around for that hotel/B&B room and haven’t had any luck so far. I’ll keep looking, but I’m not hopeful, I’m afraid.

    As for Question Time, I heard that it was going to Gravesend, and thought of you. Shame you can’t make it. You could ask an interesting question about financing Junior Schools, I think…

  8. Patrick B | 30 May 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Chris, that seems a good boost to summer ‘hols’ – the sense of freedom will, I hope, be very therapeutic and energy-boosting. Anything negative you feel, just blame it on volcanic ash, BP oil rigs or anyone else that seems to be standing still too long! Best wishes, Patrick and Christine

  9. icyjumbo | 30 May 2010 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Patrick, I already feel significant benefits from being off the chemo entirely. For example, today I went for a long — for me — walk in Croome Park and still had enough energy left to go to the Winter Gardens to listen to the band. Amazing! I have high hopes for the rest of the summer.