Tuesday 9 September 2014

Close, but no cigar

Well the results are in and, to be fair, they're good. Another 50% reduction on the big liver mets and the primary tumour in the sigmoid has also shrunk. However given the number and spread of all the liver mets getting it clear enough to allow the liver resection was always a very long shot and so it has proved. They've shrunk a lot but there's just too many of them still to be able to remove enough liver to give clear margins and leave enough liver to cope with the vast quantities of alcohol* needed to fuel a dragon.

So the bad news is that I'm still palliative rather than curable but the good news is that with the amout of shrinkage they've probably bought me a fair amount of time before I get unwell again, hopefully somewhere towards the upper estimate of how long I have left. It's still there and it'll come back but with any luck that shouldn't be for a while and we have options when it does.

I'm back in two months for a ride in the donut of doom and we'll take a look then.

* A small glass of port and lemon at bedtime

Wednesday 3 September 2014


I've always been quite good at tests and exams, in fact I don't think I've ever actually failed one or had to do a retake. All the way through O and A levels at school, my univerity degree, pilot's licence Navigation and Flight Tests (although I do recall giving ATC at Lydd a minor heart attack by turning left instead of right - I'd put my socks on the wrng feet that day) and I even managed to get my driving licence on the first go.

But you can always revise for tests, read the books, study the set text and student notes, practice with old exam papers, give yourself the best chance at passing.

Last Monday evening I had probably the most important test of my life, the one that says if the chemotherapy I've been having for the last six months has worked. It's a pretty simple test, someone sticks a tube in your arm and you get shoved through a CT scanner a few times. All you need to do is hold your breath for a few seconds when the computerised voice tells you to.  It's not a test you can revise for, there's no book to read, and every test is different. All you can do is lie there and let it happen in the knowledge that if you fail this test there's no exam body you can appeal to and you can't do a resit. If you pass you get to move onto the "curative" pathway, fail and you stay in the "palliative" stream which is the cancer equivalent of being held back a year, forever.

My paper gets marked tomorrow and I get the results on Monday.

I have booked the Daily Mail photographer so we can get a picture of me leaping in the air. I've not failed an exam yet and I don't intend to start now.