Deadlines, schmedlines

In May 2018 I was told I had bladder cancer, and as it had spread to numerous other parts of my body, specifically lymph glands, liver and lungs it was terminal and I had two to three years to live. Here’s where things are almost three years later…

So you've had a cancer diagnosis…

It is an immense shock when you get a cancer diagnosis. I know this very well. Your world is turned upside down, you’re suddenly facing one or more alarming medical processes and procedures, and you will probably feel helpless and hopeless.

Uncharted Territory

I just had another oncology meeting after my latest CT scan. I always like meeting my oncologist; he grins wider and shakes my hand harder each time. What he said to me today was that we’re in “uncharted territory.” He had originally expected by now to be setting up my next level of cancer treatment…

Peripheral neuropathy and tinnitus

Chemotherapy is nasty stuff. Okay, it’s useful nasty stuff, but boy, is it nasty! It works by hammering every part of your body, and it’s the fastest-growing cells (which include cancer cells) that suffer the most. The side effects of chemo while you’re going through it are widely known: hair loss, nausea and loss of…

Three-month CT scan report

I saw my consultant again today to discuss the findings of my ‘three-months-after-chemo’ CT scan. It’s another good result. His words? “This shows a sustained complete response,” building on the ‘complete response’ report from the CT scan three months previously. 

Immuno-compromised

Chemotherapy is evil stuff. It’s a necessary evil, as the saying goes, but whatever kind you’re given it is, at heart, a poison. It works by flooding one’s system and hammering on everything you’ve got, cancer cells and good cells alike. Cancer cells are fast growing (which is the basis of what makes them a…

Post-chemo verdict

26 September “You’ve had a complete response.” I was hoping to hear these words when I saw my oncology consultant. Really hoping. I was diagnosed in May, I finished my last chemotherapy session on September 14th and had my ‘end of chemo’ CT scan on the 20th. So I sat down to hear the news,…

Sepsis!

24 September September 14th was my last chemotherapy session. I’ve been doing this since May, and it’s been a long haul. This is an update post.

Chemo: finished

Yesterday I finished my last session of chemotherapy. If I had more energy I’d cheer! 😀 It’s been a weird time; very dark predictions to begin with back in Spring, then dramatically, in fact unprecedentedly, good ‘half-time’ scan results in Summer: the various places it was (bladder plus lymph glands and a couple of different…

Cisplatin, gemcitabine

My chemotherapy runs as a set of six three-week cycles. Day 1 is spent in the oncology out-patients ward, hooked up to an IV drip from around 9AM to near 6PM. This starts with anti-sickness drugs and some steroids, then some saline through the IV, and then some big chemo guns: gemcitabine and cisplatin. Finally,…