Thursday, 6 June 2013

Assessment Day

Steve's last few hospital assessment appointments have been at lunchtime.  By that time of day, all the parking spaces have been taken and there is usually a long wait in the clinic to see the doctor.  

Today was different.  A 9 am appointment in the clinic, preceded by an X-ray, so a relatively early start for us this morning....

Lots of parking spaces; no one waiting in X-ray; called into the clinic before we had the opportunity to sit down to read an out of date magazine!  Not long to wait for the doctor in the consulting room.  Dr T has a new registrar who we met for the first time today (an indication of how long we have been coming to this clinic...registrars come and go and Steve is still here.....)

This doctor had clearly read Steve's notes, knew he'd been on the Velcade drug trial back in 2009 and had finished second line chemo with Alimta and carboplatin earlier this year, although he seemed to think it was in January rather than February which made me wonder whether he was fully up to speed, or whether the notes from Steve's last assessment on 7 March had reached the file......  

After the usual preliminaries, he cut to the chase pretty quickly and it's good news!  The X-ray showed no sign of any disease progression, so condition stable.  Everything fine on the physical examination.  Steve has put on weight since the last time it was recorded...helped by all that Italian food and wine, I suspect!

He then asked what scan regime Steve was on - the first time we have been asked this question.  So we told him that unlike other meso patients elsewhere in the country, Steve didn't have regular scans.  That only happened during chemo (to assess whether there was a response to treatment) or when the X-ray indicated disease progression.  He seemed a little surprised by the answer and said he thought it would be a good idea to have a regular scan - perhaps once every six months (if I recall correctly).  

He also remarked that Steve was unusual given his good condition nearly four years since diagnosis and was pleased that there had been no re-occurrence of fluid build up in the lung lining following the pleurodesis operation in 2009.  

Assuming Dr T the consultant agrees to the scan, the registrar would arrange for Steve to have one before his next appointment in three months time.  

So - here we are - looking forward to summer and making plans for the next three months.  Raise a glass with us this evening to celebrate!