I am under pressure today to get something written. Yesterday was hectic and immensely enjoyable and didn’t end until the early hours of this morning. Was it a celebration? Well I suppose in a way it was, in light of recent events, yesterday was a positive step.
First up at the Christie was a talk with the nutritionist. Not exactly happy with my loss of weight, I was instructed to increase the number of energy drinks I consume. On arrival at the hospital, the screens were telling me my consultants clinic was running 30 minutes behind schedule, but thankfully, as soon as I had finished with the nutritionist, I was called for my appointment. I could not have wished for better news in the circumstances. The cancer has not spread, apart from a few small lesions on my lungs, that strangely they are not in the least concerned about. The 3D images from my scans have given a clearer picture of the tumour and where it is located, and although it is still of significant size, the risk of it blocking my colon is less than first anticipated when the endoscopy was carried out. This means I can at least begin to eat some solid foods. I have a list of foods I can and cannot eat, not exactly appetising, but an improvement on what I have been having for the last few weeks. The plan now is for three months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to try to reduce the size of the tumour. After which I will go through the whole scanning process again to measure things up. Providing the chemo and radiotherapy is successful, surgery will follow to remove the tumour. There is a possibility that further rounds of radio/chemo may be required, so it looks like at least the next 9 months will be taken up fighting this bloody thing. Rebecca is my appointed specialist nurse, and even within 24 hours, she has been working hard on my behalf to make sure I get all the information and help I will need. I’ve already spoken to her twice on the telephone this morning and it’s not even 10 o’clock. It’s reassuring to know that someone is there should I need her. It seems strange to be celebrating a diagnosis of cancer and the prospect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but both Lew and I agree, in the circumstances, it’s the best result I could have hoped for.
An hour sitting in Piccadilly Gardens while I make all the phone calls to those people that needed to know, and the rest of the day is ours ! First on the agenda was finding Lew a pair of sunglasses. It is not cool for Lewis not to look cool. A look round Selfridges and Harvey Nichols soon brought it home to Lew that he could not afford the £300 pair of Raybans he wanted, settling eventually for a £15 pair from Officers Club. Coolness is restored. Lunch followed at Nando’s. Probably a bit ambitious considering it was my first meal for 3 weeks, but I managed a few mouthfuls of chicken (no skin and chewed well) and a handful of fries and I was full, leaving Lew to demolish the remainder of a whole chicken. A refreshing cool drink sitting in the sunshine outside Sinclair’s Oyster bar followed, before heading to The Printworks to see The Inbetweeners. My phone had been going non stop before the cinema, so powering back up on exiting resulted in a whole new batch of voice mails and messages from friends and family.
Much later, and back home, we walked to a local pub. I knew they usually had live music on Thursdays, so was pleased to hear the sound of guitars as we approached the pub. Purely by chance, I knew one half of the duo performing. We had met a few years ago after a gig, and was pleased to be able to have a chat with him again. Lew was, as expected, talking to the bassist, and we both agreed, it was a pretty damn good way to bring the day to a close.
Another period of waiting now, to hear from the consultant clinical oncologist, and consultant medical oncologist, as to when my chemo and radiotherapy will begin. I’ll try and be a bit more patient and understanding during the waiting period this time. The Christie is always packed with patients and outpatients waiting for treatment or appointments, so it puts into perspective my own illness. No more so than when seeing the number of obviously desperately sick children as they make their way to the specialist children’s cancer unit. It serves as a reminder that I am lucky to be so well.