Monday, 22 March 2010


For what feels like the first time since this all started, today we've had some good news.

Mam had a CT scan before her first chemo to act as a 'baseline', so the oncologist could use it as a reference point as her treatment progressed.

Recently, after her third session of chemo, she had another scan, to see if the treatment was helping. And today she went back to see the oncologist for the results.

She's been in better health lately - no sickness and less exhaustion after the last lot of chemo, which was a huge relief to her; also her appetite has been coming back in leaps and bounds. Not only was she not sick after the last chemo, but she kept eating healthy portions and is almost back to pre-illness size meals!

My older sister was optimistic, but I've tried not to get 'too far ahead of myself' in case it was just coincidence.

But the news today was good; after a 40 minute wait to see the oncologist, and another 10 minutes while her scan results were faxed over, it turns out the cancerous 'nodules' have all shrunk in response to the chemo, and mam's oncologist pronounced himself very pleased with her progress.

The surgeon will meet with his team next Monday and decide whether to operate immediately and remove as much cancer as she can, or if she should have more chemo before that happens. They also want to remove the one remaining ovary - so whatever happens, when this op goes ahead it won't be insignificant and she'll need looking after when she's discharged.

But just for a change it's such a relief not to get that bad news 'kick in the teeth', and mam agreed that the horrible side effects of the chemo - all the sickness and exhaustion - have been worth it to get this far.

Please God let it all stay positive!!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Onwards and upwards

Mam had her third session of chemo just over a week ago. Normally she has chemo on a Wednesday, is fine on Thursday and Friday, but spends most of the Saturday and Sunday being violently ill. Mam mentioned it to her consultant who said she should try taking two of her anti sickness pills at a time, rather than just one - and it seems to have done the trick...she wasn't sick at all this time. Still physically exhausted, yes, but not sick - and she said she can cope with that. And on top of this, she's still eating well!

It's lovely to phone to talk to her and she still sounds relatively perky, rather than sounding completely done-for. She had a blood transfusion on the same day as her chemo this time - which sounds dramatic but apparently isn't - it's just because her routine blood tests showed she was slightly anaemic, which can happen when you have chemo.

And the day after 'chemo 3' she'd felt so well she'd gone for a walk with dad; not a hike or anything, just round to the local shops and back so no more than about 2/3 of a mile - but a massive step, considering she literally hadn't even been past the front gate since last October, unless it was to go to hospital. She'd enjoyed it and said she wanted to walk up to the community centre the following day, but the weather scuppered that.

So things feel relatively positive right now.

The next stage is a CT scan on Wednesday 10th March, to compare with the one they did before chemo started in January, to see if the chemo is killing off the cancer or not. So while we're all hoping for some positive news, I'm kind of preparing myself for bad news. Ever since this all started, it feels like good news has always been followed by bad, so it wouldn't be the first time. If the cancer HAS started to shrink, the next stage will be an op to remove as much of it as they can.

Fingers crossed.