I had a letter from my oncologist. But first, it’s been quite a while since my last post, so a recap is probably in order. Cue wavy lines and flashback VFX…
In May 2018 after numerous scans, endoscopies and biopsies I was told I had bladder cancer. As it had spread to numerous other parts of my body, specifically lymph glands, liver and lungs I was told it was terminal and I had two to three years to live. I was immediately given aggressive chemotherapy treatments to try and slow the cancer’s spread. Without that my prognosis would have been much worse, but it was specifically a palliative treatment. That means it was done to relieve symptoms and slow progression but it was not considered to be at all curative. In fact one of the first things my consultant told me back in 2018 was “we cannot cure you.” I appreciated the directness, although my wife was in shock.
My cancer was defined after numerous scans, endoscopies and biopsies as “G3T2 TCC of the bladder” with distant metastases in my lymph glands, liver and lungs. Very much a ‘not good’ scenario. The codes aren’t exactly self-explanatory, so here’s a brief breakdown of what they actually mean…
G3 is the cancer’s grading, and unfortunately that’s the top end of the three-stage scale. T2 is how locally invasive the cancer is. That’s actually stage two of a four-stage scale, but it’s the first stage of active invasion past the lining of the bladder. Finally, TCC is short for Transitional Cell Carcinoma, a common but aggressive form of cancer that is likely to spread rapidly and is life-threatening.
If caught when it’s superficial and confined it can be removed and the prognosis is very good. But if it gets to G3 and T2 stages and has metastasized to multiple other organs that’s inoperable and, yep, terminal.
Okay, still here? That’s the flashback ended. So… as I was saying, last week I got a letter from my oncologist consultant, a duplicate of the one sent to my GP. It’s the top-line report on the results of my most recent CT scan, so it’s quite brief. It outlines how I’m doing and… well, here are a couple of highlights:
“He has absolutely no symptoms of recurrent disease.”
Yep, zero symptoms. That’s great, although I knew that. The next bit is the really important one:
“He has had an extraordinary extended run of remaining in complete radiological remission after chemotherapy. His latest scans are also entirely clear.”
Yes, he actually set the words ‘in complete’ in bold in the official medical report.
This is very nearly three years from when I was told I would not survive for more than two or three years, the three-year mark being the outside one. And I’m not just surviving, I’m thriving. About a month ago I chatted with my consultant on the phone and he said I was a miracle. That’s not something you hear often from an experienced medical specialist.
To me it is increasingly obvious that my own efforts have played and are playing a significant part in my officially miraculous and extraordinary recovery. Chemotherapy was an extremely important treatment that set the cancer back, as planned. But the cannabis oil that I started taking from the moment of the final diagnosis onwards has done as my research indicated and continued the fight. The cancer WAS embedded in and growing through my bladder and had appeared in multiple other organs. It is now not detectable – ‘No Evidence of Disease.’
This is astounding. It’s also utterly wonderful! Okay, I realise all these things could change. We all have to go eventually, and no treatment is 100%. But I’m going to celebrate big time when I reach my predicted life deadline (literally my dead line) in around six weeks time. This is one deadline I’m happy to miss.
I know my consultant has to base his diagnoses and treatments on established and orthodox treatments so I won’t push him on this, but I’m very happy that he is fully aware of what I’m doing and reads this blog. One day if things keep going well perhaps my case could be studied, because if there’s any basis for medical understanding from my case it could save lives.