Wednesday 18 June 2014

Half Time Match Analysis

"Well Brian, football's a funny old game of two halves, both teams are giving it 110% out there and if that had gone into the net it would have been a goal"

So enough with the football, here's my chemo half-time report. They give you a scan after six sessions to see if it's working and I was pretty sure that something was working as I'm feeling much better than I did before the treatment started. And indeed something is, the liver metastices have shrunk by over 50%, the biggest ones are now 17 and 13 mm respectively so that's good. Not good enough for resection mind you but then the oncologist did say the chances were "very remote" they could ever operate on the liver.

So that's the good news. The not so great news is the cancer in the bowel is unchanged, which means at least it isn't getting bigger but it isn't getting smaller either. Also the couldn't find the stent which means, assuming I don't have a tumor that can dissolve metal, that it's come loose and is now probably somewhere in my septic tank at home.  Fortunately as the colon tumour isn't growing it's no big deal and they can always replace it if it becomes necessary.

I'm convinced what's done for the liver mets is the SIRT procedure and I'm now even more pleased that I lucked out by getting onto the treatment arm of the trial. However we don't actually know if that's the case so the reccomendation is to carry on with the rest of the chemo and so here I am, back in chair 10 at the day unit being infused by nasty chemicals.

It's making my nose go funny.

Monday 2 June 2014


One of the not so nice things about chemotherapy is that it never quite goes away. They give you a break of a few days between sessions but it's not quite long enough for the nasties to clear out of your body. So what happens is the side effects of treatment get worse the further in you go.

Last session, number five of twelve, was where my body decided it had quite enough platinum* and decided that it wanted rid of it and no amount of anti-emetics was going to stop it honking up until it was all gone. Unfortunately that doesn't really work with IV medication but my body doesn't know that. The other fun side effect which I've mentioned before is the peripheral neuropathy, the main part of which is hypersensitivity to cold. This used to just last a couple of days but it's now sticking around for the whole cycle.

So it's a bit of a balancing act the oncologist has; give you enough medicine to work against the cancer but not enough so the treatment makes you feel worse than the disease.

He's tweaked the drugs down by 20% in today's clinic session. I'll know by the end of the week if that worked or if I need to redecorate the bathroom.

*one of the drugs they give you, oxaliplatin, has platinum in it