Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Waiting, news, action and more waiting

After my last post, we were waiting on tenterhooks for what seemed like forever to hear whether Steve could have a stent inserted to keep his airway open and when the course of radiotherapy would take place.  

In the end, the waiting got too much for Steve and he contacted the hospital for news.  When it came, it was a mix of good news and not-so-good news.  

The bad news is that the restriction on his windpipe caused by tumour growth is too deep to insert a stent which we were banking on to keep the airway open to his lower left lung. The good news is that radiotherapy to shrink the tumour causing the airway restriction has now been arranged. The planning session was this morning and the treatment sessions will start next week.  

The radiotherapy people confirmed that there should not be a problem if Steve takes steroids during treatment, so we are hoping to get a prescription sorted out sooner rather than later.  Steroids should help stimulate his appetite which is very poor at the moment, so that he can take on board more calories, stem the weight loss and have a bit more energy.

Steve was also given some tips on how to cut through the phlegm which he has problems coughing up - gut-rotting coca cola helps, it seems!  Also salt water or aspirin gargles should help if his throat gets painful as a result of treatment.  Plus the usual advice on keeping up the calorie intake - full fat milk and yoghurt, creamy butter, protein drinks, Danish pastries and donuts, nuts, soups with cream if swallowing solid food is difficult.  The Nutribullet will be working overtime, I think....

So....After this morning's action, we are now back to waiting. Waiting for the first radiotherapy session....Waiting for the Blue Badge to be renewed....Waiting to hear whether he will get Attendance Allowance....Waiting for progress on probate on his mum's will....

In the meantime, life goes on albeit at a much slower pace. Although we missed the Mesothelioma Patient and Carer Day, we did manage to meet up with Sue, a friend from our student days, who treated us for lunch (soup as it happens) at Worton Organic Garden - not so far away from us, but not somewhere we had heard about or visited before.  Thank you Sue - lovely to meet up with you again!

I am in the process of finishing my work commitments. Our son is visiting to see if he can help us progress the last few outstanding garden projects. Steve is talking about designing this year's Christmas card (we didn't send them last year as he was very poorly and told he only had a small number of months to live).  We have a photography day booked soon at the local Hawk Conservatory (hopefully the birds will fly to us, rather than Steve have to walk to them)....There are occasional references to wheelchair hire, but Steve isn't quite ready for that yet.  

When his energy levels improve, we hope to see more friends. But he's not feeling very sociable at the moment (who wants to talk about disease progression, after all?) so the emphasis is on taking it easy for the time being.  

So....Easy does it.

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