Sunday, 1 September 2019

Yes it's over 4 months since I last posted an update...

Just as a reminder, the initial idea of this blog was to...

  • share my experiences of Bowel Cancer with a wider audience,
  • raise awareness of the treatment I am/I was getting,
  • raise awareness of the side effects from Chemotherapy and
  • answer, if I can, any questions you may have.

So, what's happened since my last post?

My Routine now is basically a two week cycle...
Daily I have to deal with my Catheter and Stoma (Weasel and Donald)

  1. Week 1 Chemotherapy
    Week 1:- Chemotherapy Week...
    On the Wednesday of this week (Day 1) Chris and I go to the Marina Dalglish Unit, at Aintree Hospital. to have My PICC Line cleaned and My Bloods taken to ensure everything is OK for Day 2.

    On Thursday it's back to the Marina Dalglish Unit, assuming everything was fine with the bloods, to have my Chemotherapy Treatment (Day 2). Also, every 4 weeks I tend to see Dr O'Hagan  before the treatment takes place.

    Once the treatment has finished, the final part is connected to my PICC Line from a small bottle. The pressure inside the bottle forces the Chemo into my body during Day 3 (Friday) and Day 4 (Saturday) which lasts until lunchtime-ish.

    One of the District Nurses (Based in Maghull) comes and removes the "Empty Bottle", leaving us to take it back to the Marina Dalglish Unit at the start of the next two week cycle.

    Days 5, 6 and 7, generally don't involve any Medical Activities apart from changing the "Catheter Valve" every Sunday (Day 5), but I'll tell you about my "Side-Effects" that kick in during those days, later in the Blog.
  2. Week 2: -  On the Wednesday of this week (Day 1), one of the District Nurses (Based in Maghull) comes and does a general check-up and cleans My PICC Line.

    Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, generally don't involve any Medical Activities apart from changing the "Catheter Valve" as mentioned above (on Day 5)

Then it starts all over again.

The Side Effects Routine of My Chemotherapy, that seems to have established itself...
  1. Mouth sores: - don't take long to appear after treatment but, for me, respond well to bonjela;
  2. Legs & Fingers: - My legs are now far better than they were at the start of my Chemotherapy, the same is true of my fingers...
    At start of Chemotherapy
    My legs (see above) and Fingers (see below) were the reason My Chemotherapy was put on hold; once they had improved one of the chemicals was no longer used and Chemotherapy was underway again!
    Splits on Fingers
    ...and finger tips.
    As far as my fingers were concerned, there was a worry that I would permanently loose feelings in my finger tips. The Change in Chemotherapy seems to have improved this considerably.
    To be fair, in my last Chemotherapy cycle, I've lost nails on two of my fingers on my left hand. Aveeno Cream has been rubbed into them and they are returning...

    Improved nails...

  3. Taste: -  again this varies however, during Week 1 I find my mouth is very sensitive to spices;
  4. Tiredness: - seems to kick in late Monday or on Tuesday in Week 1. by the Thursday and over the following weekend, things improve and tend to be back to normal.
  5. Diarrhoea: - normally kicks in on the Tuesday/Wednesday of Week 1. With Donald (my Stoma) this can be quite a challenge. This Chemotherapy seems to have produced more than usual, but all is quiet now (fingers crossed)
Where are we at now?
Well Chemotherapy Number 14 has been done and the Side-Effects don't seem to be as intrusive this time. 

I've not been as tried in Week 1, and Chris an I have been quite active with our meanders here in Merseyside.

CT Scan Results...
We saw Dr. O'Hagan on Thursday for the results and were "Over the moon" with the feedback!

All three parts of my cancer, the Bowel Tumour, the Lymph Glands and the Liver cancer have continued to reduce is size.

"So the plan is to continue with my Chemotherapy and have another CT Scan in 3 Months."
Let's hope the results will be as good.

End of Injections and back to tablets...
I've also had an appointment with the Haematologist, before I got the CT Scan results, and because my Chemotherapy is going to continue, I'm going back to tablets rather than "Blood-thinning Injections".

I'm not sure which tablets yet.

All up to date...
I hope that has brought you up to date, raised awareness of Bowel Cancer, its treatment etc., and answered any questions you may have had.

If you have any questions that I haven't answered, please contact me and I'll do my best to answer them.

I'll end this by thanking my friends, ex-colleagues and family for all of your support, encouragement and comments.
You won't know how important it's been for me!

Thank You!

No comments:

Post a comment