100th day milestone passed.
19 Jul 2011
Last Sunday (July 17th) was my 100th day since my diagnosis of what I was told was inoperable, incurable, Stage IV lung cancer. I have never accepted the gloomy prognosis that went with this and I still do not. As a 'never-smoker' and a relatively fit 54 year-old my view all along has been that the cancer took up residence in my body by mistake. So it just has to leave. I just have to change all the conditions which allowed it to lodge there and defy the body's natural 'killer cells'. Everything that has happened since has boosted my optimism that it will.
My initial resolve was to get through 100 days. Then 100 weeks. And then 100 months. Another 100 years may be asking too much...but reaching the age of 100 might yet become my target.
Reaching a century of days exceeds by far my very modest cricketing achievements. The best I ever managed with the bat was 43 not out for the Education Correspondents v. The Department for Education. And that was only after being dropped more than once, against some rather mixed bowling, and purely down to a Boycott-style of batting where I tried to block every ball rather than attempting to score any runs. Most of the runs that came were down to lucky edges.
I marked the 100th day with a 75 minute cycle ride from Whitstable to Herne Bay and back and a lovely weekend with old friends.
Since my diagnosis I have been in chemotherapy as well as trying many other integrated strategies. The main two tumours shrank slightly after the second chemo and stabilised after the fourth.
On Monday this week I had my 5th chemo and a meeting with my oncologist. His view is that further shrinkage after the next two treatments is unlikely but that continued stabilisation is likely. He says this is a good result so far and no further growth would also be positive. He added that the fact that I am feeling fairly well (apart from the side-effects of the chemo) is also very positive.
The current plan is to have a break from treatment after the 6th chemo, then another CT scan or X-ray, and a follow-up meeting after 6-8 weeks. Chemo will only restart if the cancer flares up. There may be other options too, further down the road. I was very encouraged by this consultation.
I am greatly encouraged that my cough - the only real symptom of the lung cancer - has improved, although not yet disappeared. I will continue with the herbal, diet, homoeopathic and other approaches which certainly seem to be paying-off, particularly in mitigating the effects of the chemotherapy.
I have also just started a course of high dose Liposomal Vitamin C, taken orally. The research on this is limited so far but here's a couple of links, one about research at Johns Hopkins University and the other from the Canadian Medical Association Journal: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070910132848.htm / www.cmaj.ca/content/174/7/937.abstract I should also point out that Cancer Research UK has cast serious doubt on the effectiveness of Vitamin C as an anti-cancer treatment: info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/archive/cancernews/2006-03-29-no-clinical-evidence-for-vitamin-c-cancer-claim-warns-cancer-research-uk
I would like to say that my chemotherapy treatment at the Royal Marsden Unit at Kingston Hospital has been fantastic, particularly yesterday when the nurses were terrific at explaining everything and ensuring I was OK. Thank you.
And thank you again to everyone who has posted encouraging or informative message on this site. My apologies for being unable to reply to you all individually.