Blog No 165 – PRRT & Covid 19

What a year, with covid-19, I don’t think anyone is ever going to forget 2020 in a hurry. Did you achieve something positive through lockdown? I did, I hung up some pictures, sorted out my photo albums and filled them with lovely memories. If we hadn’t gone into lockdown those empty photo albums would still be there, looking empty.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones this year, as my cancer treatment continued in London throughout lockdown etc. The hospital had experienced numerous cases of covid-19 patients and precautions were put into place for the safety of staff and patients. I was required to have a covid-19 test locally prior to travelling to London. A negative result was vital in order for treatment to continue. I would like to thank all those individuals who were involved with my treatment at the Royal Free Hospital, London. Thank you so much.

My mother had a tough year after being diagnosed with a secondary cancer. Her cancer treatment continued locally throughout lockdown/covid 19 with a few hospital stays. We both had finished our treatments within 2 days of each other. She is doing much better now but she’s not still 100% as yet. She’s a tough cookie. X

PRRT treatment – everyone has a different experience but we all have similar symptoms. The treatment procedure is not that bad, the only symptom you may experience during treatment, is nausea. The medical team will give you anti nausea meds prior to treatment. They can also control the flow of treatment so you don’t experience nausea. The more treatments I had, the worse post treatment symptoms got for me. What’s funny is, I can’t face pasta since the last treatment. The thought of pasta in any form still makes me gag. I’m not sure I will ever tolerate spaghetti bolognese again.

I’m so relieved that we have finished treatment for now. We are 9 weeks post treatment and my bloods are still not to normal levels. They won’t exactly be perfect due to the cancer, nevertheless they still need some improvement. My Oncologist is keeping an eye on them for me, I’m in good hands. My hair has thinned a lot since treatment but it will grow back I’m sure. During my treatment my hearing was affected and it’s certainly not a known side effect. Yet it can’t be dismissed either. I’m also experiencing dizziness but we don’t know, if there’s a connection to the hearing or if it something else that is going on. I’m starting to get terrible migraines again so I’m monitoring that for the Neurologist. That’s the problem with an illness, it can lead to other problems.

My daily quality of life, I would consider has definitely improved. At the end of the day there is no cure for my cancer, therefore I wanted a quality life whilst I was living, that’s not too much to ask

The latest results following results following my recent CT & MRI scans was that I am stable. Stable means no new growth of cancer in other areas. This is a little questionable for me, because I only found out that I have tumours on my lungs whilst going through treatment. In my eyes that new growth but in their eyes it’s tumours over a certain dimension. I’ve obtained all of my records as I don’t like being kept in the dark. This latest scan gave me the dimensions of the new tumours in the lungs so I can monitor the growth. Even though I’m consider as stable surely the lungs is a new site of cancer, I have cancer in the peritoneal, pelvic area and liver and a couple of other questionable areas. My Oncologist is going to send me for cancer (Ga68) scan in April. This may give me a true reflection of what is really going on, although my scans don’t always reveal everything. I personally don’t think it will be long before I have another op on my bowel. You heard here first lol.

My ultimate goal with treatment was to improve my daily quality of life and I do feel we achieved this. I’m so grateful for my new found freedom in lockdown lol. Thank you to my friends & family who have always supported me through my treatment.

Just one more thing, I was giving support to another patient going through the same treatment. I will call her SC, she was a wonderful lady and I had found another loyal friend experiencing this same cancer. I have a few more cancer friends and ladies, you know who you all are. X SC was suffering from a lot of pain and I personally don’t feel she was getting the support she needed. Clearly there was more going on, therefore I was devastated to learn from her husband that she had passed away. I do believe that I’m still here because I do my diligence and I’m very persistent. I would say to any patient of any illness, go with your gut, and fight for you health. Rest in peace SC you will certainly be missed by me. X

Weekly Blog No 65 – Complacent

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I think we have all been complacent sometime in our life’s, whether its in relationships, work environment or daily routines. Personally I think I’m guilty of all of the above in one way or another.

Today I realised that I have become complacent again but this time with my health. I had got so comfortable with my cancer and didn’t appreciate the impact that it could change at some point. Let me explain, I’m very aware that my cancer can cause reoccurring tumours and I’ve had 3 ops to prove that. Furthermore I know my liver still has tumours and maybe some others elsewhere waiting to be spotted by the Gallium 68 Pet Scan. However in the last few weeks I have been getting swollen lymph nodes in my neck and the first course of action would be a scan. Its been a persistent problem for approximately 4 weeks. As I am due for a week of scans and tests at the beginning of March in London, it seems very sensible to wait.

On Monday, I returned to my Family Physician (Dr I), who I will say is lovely and I have fell on my feet again with my Primary Care Doctor. I thought I would never achieve the relationship I had with my Family Physician (Dr K) in Canada. Dr I, suggested that as I had to wait a few weeks for my scans that I should see an ENT Specialist. This was a sensible move as I have no sign of fever or infection. Today I was on the phone with Mr Zebrakat when the land line rang and it was Dr I. Never in a million years did I think it was my Dr, but she called to advise me that the Specialist felt that as it was likely to be cancer, I should be seen by my Oncology Specialist. I called my Oncology Team and I’m going to wait for my scans, however in the meantime, I have to go and see my Dr again and maybe have another type of scan.

Now anyone who knows me, knows I don’t waste time on worry, its wasted energy. Yet today I realise that I could have a secondary cancer. This is were I had become very complacent, never in the slightest had I or I will say I, would have ever considered the possibility of getting a secondary cancer.  What’s stupid about that statement is, that I know of people who have a secondary cancer. Did I think I was invisible.

Surely cancer should be enough to be on guard all the time. This is a lesson to everyone you can’t be complacent were your health or cancer is concerned. I will keep you all updated and continue to pass my time attempting to paint when I have the energy.