This blog was supposed to be getting easier, just a few words, music and photos, but such is the nature of cancer, it’s not going to let me. I should’ve kept my mouth shut saying everything seemed to be settling down.
I had thought that pain was under control last time I reported, but it turned out nothing could be further from the truth. I hope we have at last found the main cause of it, but at the time of writing I reserve judgement as to whether we have beaten it. Notice the “we”, there are certainly many trying. I’ve been backwards and forward to The Christie to see the oncologist, the palliative care team at The Christie, Jackie the Macmillan nurse, and the palliative doctor at the local hospice. I can’t say they aren’t trying between them. I’ve been propped up with a mass of pillows in bed, having to try and sleep upright, something I’ve been failing to do until the welcome arrival of diazepam. Painkillers have been at maximum level, and despite all the above, the only thing that seems to be working are steroids. To understand you need to know what’s going on inside. The main tumour (the one wrapped around the portal vein) is now the size of a whole nut, and sitting flat bang in the centre of my chest, just under the ribs. My liver has regenerated on the opposite side it would normally be. The worst side effect of any powerful analgesic is constipation and my bowel seems to have stopped working, and as a result causing pressure upwards on the liver, which in turn is forced upwards into my lung, where another tumour is waiting to cause me pain as it presses into the tissue of my lung. It is this that is causing my pain, and previous inability to sleep. The steroids are very effective in reducing the inflammation on my lung, but it’s finding an acceptable level of steroid, the aim is to find the lowest dose possible, so as to keep the many side effects to a minimum. So far a quick boost has always worked initially, but as soon as the dose is reduced the pain returns. Last week I turned up at clinic and almost immediately they wanted to admit me. So after 48 hours in hospital, another steroid boost, I’m relatively pain free, but have to start to reduce the steroids in a few days. We’ll see what happens then.
As well as all that I’ve been inundated with visitors, most notably Alana a few weeks ago, and Lew and Kirsty last week. Sadly I wasn’t really well enough to participate much in Lew’s visit, but it was still good to seem them, and it’s always a delight to see my darling daughter. I apologise to the others I’ve had to cancel at the last minute due to not being well. At least we got to see the fireworks ! It served as a reminder that Bonfire night marked 12 months since my last liver surgery that started the downward spiral I now find myself on. Oh, and an opportunity for a photo. A couple from the garden also, roses in November are always nice, and a night shot showing my grotto. I’m about to start cleaning up and giving a fresh coat of paint to a couple of garden gnomes, pictures to follow. (uploading problems- photos to follow)
And music. More of a request this time, chosen by Jenny and proudly included by myself in recognition of Jenny, Steve and Tom’s great effort in the BUPA Great Birmingham Run and with gift aid, the £463.75 raised for Beating Bowel Cancer. Thank you so much for all the donations, and kind comments left on the Just Giving page.
Well I suppose that was brief after all, so I leave you to digest.