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Chemo 28.0

Well, this chemo round was a little different than previous rounds. On Friday night, after my infusion, I awoke, at around 1.30 am to find that my slow infusion had become disconnected from my  port. All manner of drama then ensued, with changing of the sheets, stoping the infusion, showering, and properly disconnecting it. Basically, chemo is pretty noxious stuff, and if any of it spills, it gets treated not to dissimilarly as a chemical spill gets treated. Once all of that was sorted, my port then required a heparin lock to stop it from clotting up. I figured this could wait until sometime in the morning after going back to sleep, but Hannah, being diligent checked in with the oncology ward who insisted that at 2 am in the morning, I needed to come into the hospital and get my port heparin locked. Being a good semi-compliant patient, that is what we did.

So what all of this meant is that I had only about a quarter of the slow 46hr infusion of 5-fu. The net result was a slightly (but not as much as I might have thought) improved recovery time from chemo. It still had all the usual features of nausea, diarrhoea, and fatigue, but just a little quicker to resolve.

The next round is in 3 weeks time, 1 week longer than my usual fortnightly cycle, and then after that its back to my fortnightly routine.

Only 2 to go till 30… and I’m starting to get sick of it. Till next time….


Categories: Cancer Update
  1. Maree
    March 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Hi Jared,

    Crumbs you didn’t need that! Sorry to hear about your last treatment what a fiasco.
    Hope the next round goes more smoothly. Thinking of you both. Blessings, Maree

  2. Lester Vivian
    April 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Jared,
    My name is Lester. I am married and have 3 wonderful children aged 8, 10 and 12).
    I just came across your story today (01.04.2011) in the Promise Keepers magazine.
    Jared, I really feel for you and your family. My family and I have also been on a similar journey to yours (diagnosed with malignant melanoma on lower lip in 2000 and then again in one of my lymph glands (under left side of jaw) in 2006.
    I have been reading some of your blogs and agree with much of what you say about the complexity of causes for cancer. Since being diagnosed and having (with God’s help and guidance) come through my two bouts of cancer, I have also been researching the whole topic of cancer over the last ten years. With God’s help, my family and I are alive and well today.
    During our journey, I believe that God led us to an understanding of what cancer really is and what is necessary for one to do to truly heal from the condition.

    I know the medical establishment’s formal position regarding cancer (“no-one knows what cancer is, how or why it starts, or how to cure it.” – to quote one of the medical professors that was trying to help me initially). My thoughts at the time of being told this by a professor of oncology were, “So why am I here listening to you trying to tell me what I can best do to heal from cancer?”. I know the medical establishment’s methods of trying to “manage” cancer and the statistical chances of survival that “this” approach to dealing with cancer inevitably leads to. I also know that there are many wonderful doctors within that medical establishment and I don’t want to sound disrespectful to you or other doctors who at times do some truly amazing things to help people heal. However, when it comes to cancer, and in light of what you stated in one of your recent blogs, (“Life is a multifactorial journey, and it too deserves more attention than the oversimplification reductionism offers. Let us be open to the possibilities around us rather than beyond the box we like to place things in. Let us open our mind and heart to the infinite possibilities and strength that God can offer us. Let us take life on in it’s fullest, regardless of our circumstance and stop letting our mindset limit us to mediocrity.”),…. I believe you really need to be looking outside the “normal medical box of thinking” with regard to cancer if you want to get on top of it.
    Can I encourage you to put into practise what you yourself have said. I word this strongly, yet as lovingly as I can Jared. I can only imagine the difficulty you might have in trying to step outside the worldview box of school medicine to consider something else, after having spent the last 10 years of your life within that box studying and having finally and courageously qualified. It is hard enough for those of us who have only grown up “around” that box to move away from it. I know what it is to step outside that box, when you’ve got a tumour hanging down under your jaw, your wife and family are beside themselves with worry and you’ve got the established medical professionals of the day confusingly telling you that they don’t know what cancer is, how it starts or how to cure it and yet at the same time screaming at you and telling you that you are insane and a dead man if you walk out of their “box”. Believe me, I’ve been there, had those things said to me and know all about that. However, (and although at other times having been glad to have those in that box to call upon and help me with regard to other injuries/sicknesses), in the case of having cancer, I’m so glad that with God’s help I was able to step outside of that “box”.
    I don’t claim any brilliance of my own, hold anything against those within the established medical profession, or take any credit for what I believe God has done in my life with regard to understanding and dealing with cancer. I don’t want to go on any longer, but if you are interested in talking more, please email me on lkskvivian@slingshot.co.nz.
    Kindest regards,

  3. Jared
    April 7, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Lester,

    Thanks for your comment. I would like to comment on a few things myself. Firstly, the medical profession does not have a ‘formal position’ on cancer. Furthermore, the statement that you make that ‘no-one knows what cancer is, how or why it starts, or how to cure it’ couldn’t be further from the truth. Cancer is very well understood, from genetic alterations, to molecular interactions of proteins and their variants, their influence on cell cycle regulation and genomic expression. The literature on cancer is vast, and we understand it pretty well. Having said that, as will all medicine, there is an enormous amount to learn further, as we are constantly discovering further complexity in this illness. The doctor that gave you that initial statement was unfortunately woefully wrong in the state of play where cancer knowledge and treatment is at.

    Secondly, I’m not sure which ‘box’ and mindset you think I am in, but I am as open minded as they come. I am well aware of what my diagnosis entails, I’m aware of the research around it, and understand it in a medical, cultural, and spiritual context with regard to myself, my family, and my faith. I can tell you that on a regular basis, people die of cancer. Statistics around mortality exist for a reason, because everyday cancer is killing thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people. The population data is indisputable. However, population data, by its very nature cannot be applied to the individual as there are many variables at work that influence the progression of disease. Population data is mostly used to help determine efficacy of treatment, and whether or not it is worth the expense.

    When you ask me to think outside of the normal box of thinking, what exactly are you asking me to think? I’m a little unclear on this. There is a lot of ‘unconventional’ thinking around, particularly on the internet with regard to cancer and it’s treatment. A lot of it has no real evidence for its efficacy, is purely conjecture, and in some cases, out right lies. I would caution you with what you might choose to believe.

    Having said all of that, it is awesome to see that you are still alive and kicking after an 11 year diagnosis of cancer. Especially with melanoma, as it is a particularly malignant cancer, with a very high mortality rate, and one which medicine has yet to establish any real treatment for. I hope and pray God continues to bless you and provide for you, and thank your for your comments. I hope I haven’t come across as too disagreeable. :-).


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