Tuesday 16 February 2010

Eight months on.......

It's now eight months since Steve was diagnosed with mesothelioma.  We were home from London in time to celebrate that he is still here, alive and kicking, by tossing a few pancakes in the time-honoured tradition (i.e. messily!)

If you read the blog regularly, you will know that in the last 6-8 weeks, Steve has been troubled by numbness and tingling in his hands and feet - a side effect of the chemotherapy.  It had reached the point where it was starting to affect his driving - when his feet were very numb, he couldn't feel the pedals properly.  On a few occasions, he had ended up covering both the brake and the accelerator when coming to a halt - not dangerous when in neutral, but very noisy with the engine racing, and enough to startle people nearby (not to mention passengers!)  

The good news is that he drove me to London yesterday and home again today without a problem, in spite of the congestion caused by bridge closures in Hammersmith and Chelsea which meant lots of stopping and starting. Indeed, by this evening, the numbness in his left foot was hardly noticeable. Let's hope it stays that way!  

As the last of my hearing sessions is now over, I'll be based at home again.  Tomorrow will be a sorting out day.  Time to unpack the document boxes, put papers in order, catch up with what's been going on "at the office" in my absence and catch up on all the admin.  Then there's the washing, home e-mails to read/respond to, some family matters to sort out - it's amazing how it has built up in just two and a half weeks. 

Time too to start listing all the things we want to discuss with the consultant at Steve's next hospital appointment and give him a bit of a grilling about future treatment options. Back in December when Steve had his last review, six cycles of chemo had left us too exhausted to think about/explore what happens next.  However, afterwards - with no further treatment pencilled in - it felt horribly like we had been cast adrift. 

Next time we are determined to find out more about Steve's options - pros and cons - so that he can make an informed choice about when/whether to take the standard NHS treatment - more Cisplatin but with permatrexed (Alimta); look for another drug trial; find out more about surgery; talk about chemoembolization with Prof Vogl in Frankfurt and other less well known treatments which we have learnt about online. Having that knowledge will help Steve feel that he has some degree of control over the management of his condition, rather than drifting.  A much more positive attitude/frame of mind :-)


  1. An inspiring blog. I have had chemoembolization with Prof. Vogl and after fourntreatments have been told my meso is now stable, where it was growing when I first went to see him. It is definately well worth considering, I know of several people it has helped.
    I too write a blog which gives some information on the Professors treatment.

    Good luck to you both.

  2. Many thanks for getting in touch Veronica - it's so good to hear that your meso is stable...LONG may that be so!

    I'll be following progress on your blog :-)