It would seem I’m starting to update my rounds of chemo in triplets at the moment. Both reflective of available time in my life, and that of the somewhat repetitive nature of the routine.
There is no doubt symptoms progress slowly in a deteriorating fashion, with a periodic blip for the worse, and the occasional for the better. Round 62 in particular was quite bad. It was characterised by close to 12 hours of incessant hiccuping over the saturday off and on. Hiccuping is often a manifestation of nausea and it can also be reflective of irritation to the diaphragm. For me, they tend to persist for hours at a time before I am able to get relief from them. Relief is usually found by being horizontal for an hour or two, often resulting in a restless sleep that ensues after the exhaustion of repetitive paroxysmal diaphragm contractions.
It then seems weird, for no obvious rhyme or reason, that round 63 was actually an improvement over 62. I’m not sure I would describe it as a ‘good’ round, but relative to the previous one, it was certainly a step in the right direction.
In other news, I have now moved from the upper GI surgical team at Auckland Hospital to the Colorectal surgical team. This is obviously quite literally dealing with patients who have the same diagnosis as myself. I generally as a rule do not divulge such information to the patient, at the end of the day, my job is to be there to provide them care in their circumstance, not to regale them of tales of my own journey. I do love scrubbing in and assisting on surgeries that I have personally have had though. Rummaging around in someones abdomen, knowing that someone once did it to me in order to give me longer years, seems to really give you appreciation for the difference that can be made in someones life, even if it hasn’t been an outright cure.
On the horizon ahead are further rounds of chemotherapy, a CT scan, and maybe having to deal with the fact that my CEA, a tumour marker in the blood used to monitor biochemical cancer activity, is starting to rise. The CT will shed a little light on this, but it might make for an interesting next few months with regard to treatment options and possible interventions. I, of course, will keep you all updated as information comes to hand. In the mean time, we keep trucking along.
Until next time…
I’m not usually one to tell people where to put their money (although I will always endorse the ‘Buy Jared an Audi before he dies’ cause that seems to have fallen on deaf ears), but I have a friend who is going to cycle in the Conquer Cancer bike ride in November, and this actually IS a good place to put your money.
The money raised goes towards the NZ Cancer Society and cancer research in New Zealand. There are many charities and causes around in life that are worthy of attention, money, and time, but this one is obviously particularly close to home. The ride consists of 200 kilometres and Brianna Alford, a nurse who I work with is looking to fundraise as much as possible for it. When she was initially talking to me she was worried about raising the necessary minimum $2500 dollars to compete in it…. the 200km bit was the least of her worries. So I want to endorse her effort and her inverse-to-normal logic worries about riding in this race!
Henceforth I would like to advise all readers of this blog to give to this worthy cause. You donate by clicking HERE and help people like me conquer cancer*.
*Disclaimer: I probably will not actually conquer cancer, but you might should you be diagnosed further down the track and benefit from such research. 🙂