Wednesday 30 November 2011

a day London and our first Christmas card

As we have been working hard on home-front, yesterday we treated ourselves to a day out in London on the back of our first ever meeting with a financial advisor.  The time has come to get our "family affairs" as well as our house in order - it's many years since we wrote our wills, much has happened since and a review is long overdue.

Business sorted, we headed off for the National Portrait Gallery to see the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Exhibition.  Neither of us take many people pictures, but the work on show has inspired both of us to have a go and maybe submit work next year.  If there is anyone out there who would like to volunteer as a model, just get in touch. The more interesting your face, the better!

A day out in London is always very tiring, but we made time to check e-mails before going to bed as we have been following the progress of Mavis, one on the Facebook "Meso Warriors," who has been on a drug trial since her tumours started growing again aggressively.  Sadly, Mavis found out yesterday that the drug trial hasn't stopped disease progression, so she's off the trial.  However, the good news is that she has been offered second-line chemo with pemetrexed (Alimta) which has proved to be beneficial when the cancer returns after first line treatment.  Stay positive, Mavis.  You've done it before.  You can do it again!

Having gone to sleep thinking about Mavis last night, what should arrive today?  Our first Christmas card from - you guessed it - Mavis and her husband Ray.  They put us to shame.  We haven't printed our cards yet, let alone started writing them.  Time to make some progress on that front!

Before posting today's blog, I've been waiting to hear the results of Debbie Brewer's scan, which have just gone public. There is slight growth in Debbie's right lung, but otherwise her condition is stable, which is good news with such a potentially aggressive cancer.  Debbie has been offered Alimta to keep Theo the Meso under control, but doesn't have to make a decision until February.  She's asked the Meso Warriors what they think.  On balance, the response so far has been positive.  

Steve considers Alimta as his fall back option, should his disease flare up at a time when there are no suitable drug trials on offer.  However, we were encouraged recently by a report in the local media on the success of a technique being pioneered at our local Cancer Centre. "Microwave tissue ablation" involves heating the tumour from the inside with microwaves, which kill cancerous tissue.  So far it has been used successfully to deal with liver, kidney and bone cancer as well as lung tumours.  May be it will work with mesothelioma?  We'll ask about it at Steve's next assessment in a few weeks time.  Watch this space!

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