Friday 11 December 2009

He said... We said.... And the bottom line is......

The hospital clinic was running more than an hour late yesterday, so they kept us in suspense about the outcome of Steve's test results after a full treatment of Cisplatin and the trial drug, Velcade.  

When we finally saw the consultant, he said
"Do you want to know the bottom line?" 
We said "Yes", nervously.  
He replied "No change - possibly a millimetre smaller here and there, but not what we would call a significant response".

So there you have it.  Five months and six cycles of chemo later, and we're still in the same place.  Bit of an anti-climax, really. All those hospital visits, cannulas inserted, bloods taken, chemo administered, sickness, nausea, tiredness and such like, and Leo is still the same size. Still, he isn't any bigger, so he's not winning the fight.  May be we have the chemo to thank for keeping him in check.  Only time will tell if that's the case.

Steve still has the standard chemo treatment as a fall back option should he need it, and there are likely to be be other drug trials in the future which may be worth exploring. Having chemoembolization in Frankfurt (like Debbie in Plymouth) might be a way forward, whilst taking more natural supplements to boost immunity won't do Steve any harm, and might do some good.  Likewise good diet and exercise.  

We can take comfort from the fact that a normally aggressive cancer is still stable, nearly six months after diagnosis.  And the side effects of chemo are slowly slowly wearing off.  Hallelujah! 

Although it wasn't the outcome we had been hoping for, it was the one we were expecting, rather than the one we were fearing. Steve said, yes, I'm OK - go to Bristol, so that's what I did.  It was great to meet up with my work friends, albeit for a short while! When I returned home today, there was good news: three of our pictures were sold at the Radley College exhibition; the local NHS Trust has bought three more of our prints (two of Steve's and one of mine) for the new West Wing at the John Radcliffe Hospital here in Oxford, and the RHS has shortlisted two of my images in this year's photography competition.  We may have reached stalemate with the tumour, but at least our artwork seems to be enjoying some success at the moment.  

We bought a Christmas tree this evening.  There is a 60th Un-Birthday party to look forward to tomorrow.  I'm now on leave from work for three weeks, so plenty of time to get ready for Christmas, between appointments next week for our swine flu jabs and Steve's return trip to the orthopaedic centre to prove that his carbon fibre replacement finger joint doesn't need oiling!

For a change, I might post some of our artwork next time....Break up the text a bit as they say....

...So don't worry...We're still here, going strong, feeling mainly positive and looking forward to Christmas!

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