Disappointing scan results
31 Jul 2012
I try to keep this blog positive so I'm sorry to be bringing disappointing news. I saw my oncologist on Monday and received the results of the bone scan and the latest CT scan - my first for 6 months. They showed that the cancer has deteriorated and - the biggest shock - has now got into my bones at one point in the spinal cord.
The deterioration explains why I was finding it such hard work to breathe on the hills when cycling in last week's bike ride. Because of that I wasn't so surprised that the tumours had spread, but I really was not expecting the movement into the bone. The good news is that it's not yet extensive.
I knew it was bad news from the moment I saw my oncologist, whose expression gave it away. But he broke the news as well as anyone could, getting straight into it without preliminaries and then giving me a clear explanation of what it all means.
I'm still reeling from this and will take some time to think about the many options I was offered for the next phase of treatment. These range from sticking purely with the complementary approach, but upping the intensity of the diet, supplements and enzyme treatment, through to chemotherapy or going on a Phase 1 (experimental) drug trial. Somewhere in the middle is the option of going on the drug Tarceva, which can sometimes stabilise lung cancers. I need a few days to absorb the news and to make decisions.
Meanwhile, at least I was able to get to the Olympic Park to watch Team GB beat Argentina 4-1 in the hockey yesterday, which helped take my mind off things. The atmosphere in the park was terrific and the large number of volunteers really contributed with their warm greetings and friendly banter. The transport system was working well and there weren't too many empty seats in the hockey stadium (although those that were unfilled were, as usual, the best seats).
We walked the long way in from West Ham to the Greenway Gate and it couldn't have been easier, although by the time I had also walked to the the hockey arena, which is at the very far end of the park, I was shattered. Even going up a short flight of stairs now leaves me breathless.
I've been helped dealing with this news by an excellent book that I'vejust started reading. The Cancer Survivor's Bible was written by Jonathan Chamberlain after an 18 year journey that started the day his wife was diagnosed with cancer. It's full of really helpful, unbiased factual information and is just the book I would have wanted to find when I was first diagnosed. I'll have more to say about it later but I will now add it to list of my essential cancer reading, which is:
- The Cancer Survivor's Bible by Jonathan Chamberlain
- Anti-Cancer, A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber
- Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani
- Cancer Concerns by Xandria Williams.
- It's Not About The Bike by Lance Armstrong.
and best article (on statistics):
The Median Isn't the Message by Stephen Jay Gould.