Lots of things really – I’ve gone from feeling really under the weather in Weeks 1 and 2 this cycle, to feeling not too bad in Week 3. The main downside is that I’m in quite a lot of pain, but I think that is easier to deal with than the general chemo-rankness. So I’ve been able to take advantage of Week 3! This has included seeing friends, going out for lunches, some shopping, a few trips to the cinema (we are up to 25 films since getting our Unlimited cards), and even a bit of baking with the help of some very willing sous chefs. Most excitingly of all, my boyfriend and I were lucky enough to go to Wimbledon on the opening day (when it wasn’t quite so crazily hot!). We had the most perfect seats on Court 1 and enjoyed a smorgasbord of fantastic tennis. Ace!
I had a routine CT scan in Week 2, expecting the results the following week in my regular appointment before my next chemo session. This scan would show how well the chemo was working and therefore determine the plan for my continued treatment. If chemo was working well, we would continue with that for several more sessions to shrink the tumour as much as possible before zapping it with the harsher radiotherapy. If not, I would move to radiotherapy sooner, but would still have another chemo session while they prepared it all.
However, my pre-Wimbledon hat shopping was rudely interrupted the day after the scan with a request to go into the Royal Marsden Sutton immediately to see my oncologist. Obviously this was not going to be good news, and indeed it wasn’t. Unfortunately the chemotherapy has not worked, and what was 6×9 cm is now 9×9 cm, so I appreciate the doctors’ concern that time is of the essence. Worried that my Wimbledon trip was under threat (priorities!), I was reassured to find out that after attending a radiotherapy planning session the following day, they needed some time to determine the best treatment and get everything ready, so I would have a week’s break before starting. Phew!
My new treatment plan is now radiotherapy every weekday for the next 5-6 weeks, with weekly chemotherapy sessions (though a different drug to my previous cocktail – Cisplatin this time). The chemo in this scenario isn’t for the same purpose as before. Apparently it makes the radiotherapy more effective, as opposed to being a treatment in itself – hence ‘chemoradiotherapy’. It’s a good thing that we like the Royal Marsden so much, as we are going to be seeing a lot more of it this summer! The radiotherapy sessions are very short – only about 15 minutes for the procedure itself. The weekly chemo will be much longer though, as the Cisplatin needs to be given with lots of fluids, so I’m told that will be upwards of 6 hours. Lucky that we have lots of programmes stored up on the iPad…
Other than the above, nothing really – it was just a catchier title (and I like the film). Perhaps you can make do with this photo of Ida looking like she only has one eye.