Sunday 16 September 2012

a thank you, an apology and a correction

Firstly, thank you.  Thank you , thank you, thank you to everyone for their love, good wishes and support since the last blog.  It feels like we've been swept along by a tidal wave of support and positivity.  We really do appreciate it!

Secondly, an apology.  I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that Steve's condition has taken a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse.  It hasn't.  He still feels good and, to all intents and purpose, is asymptomatic - no pain or breathlessness in the normal course of events.  There is no discernible difference between how he felt physically before the news of the scan results on 13 September and how he feels now. He is dealing with the psychological impact of the news, which he describes as feeling "more vulnerable" since the medical team recommended having more chemo.  However, that's not surprising, regardless of much you have prepared yourself for such an event.

We are also trying to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally for the side effects of chemotherapy, once it begins.  However, that's a few weeks off yet and we are using the interim period quite literally to put our house in order, and well as hoping to make the most of opportunities for being sociable over the next few weeks - more of those activities in a future blog!

Thirdly - a correction.  Steve has just pointed out to me that he will shortly be starting "first line" chemo, not second line treatment which is what I have called it when spreading the news.  Thinking he must be wrong (after all, he had one chemo regime back in 2009) I did what many of us do these days and googled it.  He's right!  (surprise, surprise :-)

First line chemotherapy is chemo that has, through research and clinical trials, been determined to have the best probability of treating a given cancer.  In the case of chemotherapy for mesothelioma, that's pemetrexed (Alimta) in combination with a platinum-based drug, such as cisplatin, or carboplatin.  This is the regime that Steve will start in a few weeks time.  It seems that drug trials don't count as "first line" chemo, even if that's the first treatment you receive.  So....Steve will start FIRST LINE chemo sometime in October, and I am now only only older, but just a little bit wiser!

We are now in the rather surreal position of getting ready for further treatment whilst Steve still feels good. I confess, it's a bit scary - we know that treatment will inevitably impact on our lives over the next five months or so, but to what extent remains to be seen.  However, the upside of the decision is that after a reprieve of almost three years, Steve feels it's the right time to take action to combat the disease and put Leo back in his place.  We are up for the fight!

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