Monday 22 June 2009
The weekend is over. Both our children and Steve's mum now know the diagnosis.
Steve's mum (who's in her 80s) said that she would "go" before him, mesothelioma or not. Our son was at pains to point out that we shouldn't take too much notice of life expectancy statistics - too many variables with a disease like mesothelioma to be be reliable. Our daughter was more subdued and we had more hugs than usual. But apart from that, it's been a "normal" weekend - meals, shopping, a walk, some housework and gardening. Life really does go on.
Today is a bit different, however. It will be the first trip back to hospital post-diagnosis. This morning Steve is due to meet his radiotherapy doctor to discuss zapping the "ports" where the chest drain and camera were inserted with high intensity radio waves. Apparently this minimizes the risk of cancer spreading to that area.
This afternoon, we are due to meet the oncologist to discuss prognosis and treatment. We are both feeling very apprehensive about this, Steve in particular. But we have a list of questions and things we want to talk about, and are going armed with information about treatments which others in Steve's position have found beneficial. Many thanks Debbie, for telling us about chemoembolization and the Park Attwood Clinic, and to Sarah for telling us about the mesothelioma centre of excellence at Leicester Uni.
When we have a better idea of what stage the cancer has reached and the treatment plan proposed , we'll tell others what's happened - hopefully with some positive news about how the tumor can be slowed down/managed, along with the bad news.
Steve has called his tumor Leo. It's a way of externalizing the uninvited guest in his body, whilst acknowledging that it is there and will have to be dealt with. Leo - you'd better behave yourself.....