The latest scan results are as follows:
Stable disease, no change to the lymph nodes.
It has now been over a year since my prognosis was revised from a 40% survival over 5 years to the more terminal one I now live with. In that time, I have completed 19 rounds of chemotherapy, with the 20th starting Friday, and the cancer has not increased in size over that time at all.
By the Grace of God, long may it continue.
From now on the scans are going to come at less frequent intervals, which I will certainly not be complaining about, probably every 5-6 rounds rather than every 3. It will be nice to no longer have to drink that metallic tasting iodine contrast and to no longer glow when I turn out the lights.
Till next time…
This is my 6 min 53 seconds of of live TV. Quite a fascinating experience actually, from arrival, to getting made up, and then sitting in the studio for the live cross.
I have to say, when I watched this I cringed, so I’ll leave the rest of the watching up to you guys. 🙂
Till next time..
As I reflect back over the last 19 rounds of chemo, I think it is ironic that it is not cancer that has impacted my life, but chemotherapy. In fact, apart from the bowel obstruction that I had almost two years ago, the actual cancer has otherwise been a background player in terms of day to day impact. Chemotherapy on the other had, is slowly wearing my body down. The fact that I currently hold my oncologist’s record for the particular regime of chemo at 19 rounds, is a testament to how much a body (when it is young) can take.
… but it is taking it’s toll on me.
I have much less hair that I once used to have, and it is constantly shedding. I have put on weight, at an all time high, largely due to the side-effects of the medication to treat the nausea. I have aged, I look considerable older now that I did a year ago. My skin has dried out and is peeling in many places. The diarrhoea is almost continuous between rounds of chemotherapy. I am at an all time fitness trough, trying to stay fit, alongside chemotherapy and medical school is close to impossible (and with all fairness, I wasn’t that good at it to start with). And finally, there are cognitive effects which slow my mind, and can be frustrating.
If it wasn’t for chemotherapy, my life would be normal.
Except that if it wasn’t for chemotherapy, my life would probably be over.
Its a painful, but necessary tradeoff.
Therefore, round 19 is done and dusted, and round 20 is next. That which destroys me is also that which keeps me alive.
Till next time….
This shot was all about playing around with exposure times and depth of field. The results seems to make the lavender dance into the distance. It reminds me of the small hints of the changing seasons in between the rainy cold snaps.
Shutter 1/800, F/2.2, ISO 100, 50mm.
I have had the opportunity for a follow up interview on Radio Rhema this week. The interview took place on Wednesday, but aired this morning. The discussion was mainly along the lines of catching up where things are at, looking at why I have chosen to finish my medical studies, the effects chemotherapy has on me, and also just commenting on the responses that I often get when people hear my news.
I think it’s worth having a listen to.. but then I’m probably biased :-).
Over the past two months I have been extremely privileged to travel around the country and speak at Promise Keepers events. For those of you who don’t know what Promise Keepers is, it is basically a men’s based movement that seeks to provide inspiration and change in the live’s of men. It not only spiritually engages with them, but also helps to provide practical advice on how to look after their marriage, and how to be effective role models in the live’s of their kids. The latter part being particularly important today when there are such a huge number of absent fathers.
I was invited to speak at Dunedin and Tauranga in their 3rd session, as well as the youth section in Dunedin, Christchurch, Tauranga and Auckland. After the main session in Dunedin, the invitation was extended to speak in the main event at Christchurch and Auckland as well, but in a slightly different capacity.
The Auckland event was the final big shindig, with over 2500 people in attendence, and was located at the TelstraClear arena down in Manukau. It was really great to be able to contribute in such a way that will hopefully change lives.
With the events all over, I can start to share some videos from them, this one, and the one from Auckland when it becomes available. For those of you who do not share my faith, I will warn you that these videos have very high faith based content in them, but that should not exclude the underlying messages I was trying to communicate. 🙂
So, without further adieu, Promise Keepers Dunedin…….