8 May 2022
It’s been a relatively hectic couple of weeks, and I’d been getting around to updating my blog, but well, I’ve been too busy enjoying myself.
We recently had a meetup of four generations of the Garber clan, from baby Miller (10 months) to Great Grams at four-score and and bit more 😉
Also, if I wasn’t feeling ill enough – I had the urge to go see a match at Old Trafford and my beloved team of mis-fits – Manchester United.
Brother Mike managed to get 3 tickets, so me, he and my lad Alex had a splendid boys-day (and night) of beers, burgers, footy and then more beers!
And this is because a couple of weeks ago I received my latest CT scan results, which like the curate’s egg, is partly okay and the other bit not so.
The good bit is Tom, Dick and Harry are just about still behaving themselves, in that since they had that good zapping with radiotherapy back in December – they’re still not yet back to their pre-treatment sizes.
The not so good is because the scan report states ‘there are multiple tiny nodules in the left lung which are suspicious’. Typical understatement – really meaning that it’s looking like the beginnings of spread to my other lung.
So that also meant re-discussing my treatment plans and a big decision that went with it.
In my last blog post, I was trying to choose between entering a trial program with some shiny new drugs to test on me (and others), or immunotherapy under the care of Dr Wozzer at my local oncology unit in Cheltenham.
But now, considering what appears to be the onset of further spread, chemotherapy will be the first-line drugs treatment. This in itself isn’t straightforward for me, because the ‘go-to’ treatment would have been Cisplatin, but there were (and still are) concerns that my kidneys would be damaged by that treatment.
So, quite fittingly for Wozzer– I’m having a cocktail of two chemo drugs: Carboplatin, which is less toxic than Cisplatin, hopefully with reduced side-effects and Fluorouracil (5-FU), which I think is going to do most of the heavy lifting in attacking the cancer cells.
If we remember back to a previous post when I touched on how cancer cells uncontrollably divide and create serious problems in the body, well, chemotherapy disrupts this cell-division and generally shrinks tumours or at least slows down their development.
Unfortunately, chemo drugs in general can’t just target cancerous cells. Other fast-dividing cells in the body, such as hair follicle cells (leading to hair thinning or loss), cells that line our stomach and bowels; (leading to sickness and diarrhoea); or blood cells (leading to tiredness and bleeding from almost anywhere) are also attacked by chemotherapy – so this is what causes the well-known side-effects that we see or hear about.
Of course, there’s a long, long list of side-effects and it appears that every single patient reacts differently. But it seems for my case that the three listed are the main ones to watch.
How they get the chemo drugs into me and for how long I’ll be on chemo? Well, that’s a longish answer and worthy of its own blog post.
Which is my way of saying I’ll do my best to write that up in a day or so! Until then, I’ll keep on with the beerotherapy 😊