Blog No 172 – Cancer Update.

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Hello everyone, 

Wow it’s been a while, My life seems to be consumed with medical issues and I didn’t want to bore you all with the in and outs.  It’s been over a year since my last PRRT treatment, which was executed in London   Therefore it’s time for a little update. 

I can’t believe I’ve reached yet another birthday in January. Something I certainly didn’t believe I would achieve, following my cancer diagnosis. Life has unquestionably changed dramatically since that very day I was informed that I had a rare cancer. There’s an undeniably truth in the saying, your life can change in an instance. No-one prepares you for the enormous life change that’s about to happen. Notwithstanding this, there’s no better feeling, than to wake up in the morning for another day of life. 

I’ve learned to be exquisite, to challenge, and to do my own research. Everyday is a school day and i continue to deal with ongoing symptoms. I do feel that following my treatment there has been some improvement in my symptoms but others have just escalated. 

Hearing loss, I can hear you say hearing loss, excuse the pun. I’m that 1% who lost my hearing through treatment. I should stress that it’s not complete hearing loss but considerable enough to warrant two hearing aids. I saw an Audiologist about 4 months after completion of treatment as I felt my hearing was deteriorating. My useful skill of listening to two conversations had gone. I got retested a couple of months ago and it was confirmed that my hearing had deteriorated further. According to the Audiologist, the treatment had killed the nerve endings in my ears. I have to say it’s good to be able to hear but I’m now very noise sensitive when I have the hearing aids in.

Flushing has beyond any doubt increased. looking like a strawberry at times can be quiet embarrassing. Let me stop you just there, this not menopause but a cancer symptom. The tumours in your body secrete serotonin causing your body to flush. I can glow with various symptoms and one of them is the feeling of pain. Someone said the other day, my body looks like a bad case of sunburn, he’s right. Furthermore it glows from head to toe and can happen numerous times throughout an hour.

Lumps. After treatment, I developed a lump on my forearm. The lump appeared from nowhere, for this reason my GP and I decided to play a game of watch and see.  Obviously it wasn’t joint related as the lump was in the middle of my forearm, it was under the skin, hard to feel and pain-free. As the lump appeared to continue to grow, the next course of action was an appointment with a Dermatologist for a biopsy. The lump was biopsied and turned out to be benign tumour but was very rare. I appeared to be a woman of rare health issues.

At the time of the biopsy I was asked if I had any other lumps and my reply was no. As the lump was not bothering me, no further action was required at this time.  

Subsequently a couple of months later my GP had to request another biopsy on behalf of my Oncologist in London.  At the time of writing this, there is an additional 3 lumps, we are maybe up to 4 now. I see the Dermatologist mid March.  I believe it to be the same rare benign tumours but I will have to wait and see. Surely there is a reason for these little devils appearing, maybe it’s due to my recent cancer treatment.  

Pain. I have pain in a couple locations both the spine and chest area.  The spine, I have sciatica in both legs down to my toes.  The Spine Specialist was meant to do spine injections a few months ago but I haven’t called him to arrange a treatment day.  He’s clearly chasing me, as I have a telephone consultation in the next couple of weeks.  

I will give you my reasons, I’ve have a lot going on and I’m trying to resolve those issues before going forward with another treatment. Besides, it doesn’t necessarily work, therefore I endured pain to have more pain. I don’t see the point of going again and again for something that doesn’t necessarily work and my GP agrees. This is a discussion I need to have with my Spine Consultant. I will get a second opinion by getting a private scan and have a discussion with my GP to take the appropriate action.

Additional pain is in the tumours in peritoneal membrane near the liver.  This is on another level of the Richter scale.  The Chronic Pain Consultant discussed the injections on the request of Oncology Consultant & my GP.  The approach was injections but when discussing it with the Consultant on my birthday if all days. I would  try the increase in morphine first and if I have issues, we would do the injections into the peritoneal immediately. I did inform her that it’s worth giving it a try but previously I haven’t tolerated too much morphine. I’m able to tolerate my usual morphine when sleeping and top ups of liquid when required, however increasing the tablets cause’s me too many problems to name. How do you find the balance?, it’s either suffering pain and have some normality to my day or for taking the edge of pain and zero quality of life. I had the injections yesterday and I will have my lower pelvic area done in April when the consultant returns after a month leave  

Endocrinologist. I have a lovely Consultant who monitors my thyroid, this is another issue brought on by the cancer. On the positive note my thyroid is managed well under his care. However he didn’t like some of my recent blood results and have requested I do further immediate blood tests, which I’ve done yesterday. Let’s see what happens there.

Other symptoms – You don’t need to hear the in’s  and outs of everything, nevertheless it can be challenging at times 

Novembers Oncology Scans – Suggest that I’m stable but my body is suggesting otherwise. I have tumours in the peritoneal, lower pelvic area, liver and lungs and wherever else the sneaky devils have put their head down. I feel there is even some reoccurrence to previous organs.

Although I’m challenged on a daily basis, I’m on this earth living a life many others don’t. Sometimes we feel things are done due to fate, which are either a lesson or blessing This situation is maybe a lesson it’s definitely not a blessing.

On the good days I’m still making art with recycled postage stamps. Check out my Etsy shop, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter   “Postage Stamp Artistry”  

Love to you all. ❤️

6 thoughts on “Blog No 172 – Cancer Update.

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