on Thu 12 Mar 2009 09:59 GMT | Permanent Link
Blood Cancer markers down
Saw the consultant on Tuesday and he came into the consulting room quite excited (as much as consultants get excited) saying "good news" and waving a piece of paper. He put the paper in front of me and asked me to look at it so I could share his excitement. There were just some numbers on the sheet so I asked him to explain and he told me I was looking at the numbers of cancer markers in my blood which showed a reduction of 5-10% over the various measurements since my last treatment on 6th Feb.
Up until then they had been showing a slow increase but to reduce by this amount is quite significant. It indicates that the cancer has probably stopped spreading and that the growth of the tumours have at least been arrested and they may even have shrunk. We won't know for definite until I have my next scan which will be approx a couple of weeks after the 4th course of treatment which is on 31st March.
I then went and sat in the comfortable treatment room chair for 4 hours while I was pumped full of the chemo drugs. During this time, I was served with tea, coffee and lunch and managed to watch a film on their portable DVD. The whole 4 hour period is actually quite pleasant.
The last 3 weeks
The last 3 weeks have followed the same pattern as the previous 3 weeks. I.e. I have 4/5 really good days immediately following treatment and while I am on the steroids. This is followed by 5/6 really grotty days as my blood count drops and I just feel totally lethargic both physically and mentally when just getting dressed is a huge effort. I then come out of that low period and feel OK until it is time for the next dose. The other thing that I have suffered from is trapped wind. This has been very uncomfortable and is a great relief for me when it shifts - the same relief may not be shared by those around me when it does shift
I still get very tired and apologise to the avid watchers of my website that updates are not made as soon after matches than they were in the past. This is because I am usually in bed by 9:30pm.
We've managed some trips away as well during the last few weeks while I was in the period following the "down" time. We went to Devon for a few days to visit our sister-in-law and her family. She runs a small holding and breeds goats. She has 27 goats, 4 geese, loads of chickens and 7 cats. You can imagine this kept us involved while we were there.
Following that we had a Kempster family gathering in Stratford on Avon when all 21 members (4 generations - I am the 2nd generation not the 1st for those that were wondering ) of my immediate family turned up to celebrate Christmas. We have decided that as we do not manage to get together at Christmas, being spread far and wide around the UK, we would have a gathering in February. This is instead of buying each other Christmas presents but of course a night and a meal in a hotel is a lot more expensive than buying presents. However, it is good to get to see everyone.
We then had 5 days in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. The scenery was magnificent, particularly as it was seen in all sorts of weather e.g. snow, sleet, hail, rain, cloud and sunshine. The snow on the mountains looking out of our hotel room window was particularly good. This was a super break with 6 great friends and we really enjoyed it. We will certainly be planning similar trips to fit in with my "up" times.
The next course of treatment will be on 31st March and will be the last in this set of 4. After that I have the CT scan to see what has changed and then the docs will decide what happens after that. The consultant seemed to be expecting that I would have a further 12 weeks (4 lots) of IV chemo. However, we will wait and see what the scan shows.
I will report again on, or shortly after, my treatment on 31st March.