Home > Cancer Update > Oncology 19.2

Oncology 19.2

A planning CT was undertaken on the Monday just been. This makes 21 CT scans over the past 4 1/2 years. The purpose of this scan is to help the radiation oncologists to plan for the radiotherapy. It involves aligning me up with lasers, putting tiny ball bearings on my skin so they show up in the scan, and then tattooing a mark on my skin in three places so that they can re-align me the next time I come in for treatment. The idea being that they have external landmarks that give an internal location as to where they target the radiation.

The plan for treatment has also changed a little bit, now they are going to do the radiation over 5 weeks. It is now 45 Gray over 25 fractions; slightly more total radiation, but less per fraction. The reason for this is because there are some other suspicious looking nodes that are near major organs that they want to include in the radiation field, but they want to reduce the damage to those organs as much as possible (namely the duodenum and the stomach).

The official start date is next Wednesday at 2pm. The timing can’t come soon enough, because over the past 5 days I have been progressively getting more significant malignant pain. Initially on the left side of my abdomen and radiating to the back, and now predominantly on the right side, also radiating to the back. The pain has been bad enough that it has kept me off work for a number of days this week while I am trying to get my pain management properly established. I have woken up over the last two mornings with excruciating pain, that is only relieved with oxycodone (an opiate based analgesic). I am now experimenting with combinations of long and short acting oxycodone alongside ibuprofen and paracetamol. Hopefully I’ll be back at work next week with relatively good pain control. The radiotherapy should also hopefully help with this by neutralising the source of it.

This is the first time that the cancer has directly affected my quality of life since my diagnosis. The major effects I have had so far have been indirect, namely the side effects associated with chemotherapy. The reality of my diagnosis has never escaped me, but now somehow feels a little more real. I’m hoping the radiotherapy will be better tolerated than chemotherapy (the consensus from other people who have experienced both say this), and that I will work all the way through the treatment.

This is a critical turning point in my disease that requires critical treatment. Hannah and I are really hoping that the radiotherapy will really give the cancer a good kick and keep it at bay for much longer… at least until January, and hopefully longer than that.

Until next time…

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Categories: Cancer Update
  1. Sharon
    August 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Jared I have been following your posts for some time now and just not posted as I didn’t really know what to say then and I know even less of what to say now. I have followed your blog because of your inner strength I guess and your ability to put it in words. I think you and your wife are very courageous. Much love to you both and of course congratulations on being pregnant.

  2. Carol
    August 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Praying for you, Hannah and baby spirit. Yes, our God is good, and I sure hope that your pain is lessened! Been reading your post for a couple of years – my mom died from cancer …I’ve been rooting for you!

    Carol/Vancouver, Canada

  3. Jess
    August 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Good luck with the new treatment approach, it sounds like it may bring some relief. Let’s hope it does give the cancer a big kick!

    Congratulations on the little one! Such a blessing.

  4. Nicole
    August 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Dear Jared, I too have been following your blog for a wee while now, after our pastor read a small snippet from one of your blogs (posted late last year I think?) in one of his sermons which was incredibly moving. The piece from your blog was about how you were living to glorify God no matter what lay ahead for you. I think our whole church congregation had tears in their eyes and were so encouraged by your faith in Christ and your courage. Thank you so much for sharing your heart wrenching story and for being such an amazing example of how to courageously face death and battle awful terminal illness without complete hopelessness, because of your living hope in Jesus. 1 Peter 1:3-9. God bless you and Hannah and your little baby on the way at this hugely challenging time. I am praying for you guys very much too šŸ™‚

  5. Sarah
    August 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I have been following your blog for sometime and just wanted to wish you the best of luck with your next phase of treatment, you are such an inspiration!

  6. elizabeth
    August 11, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Jared – Just wanting to reiterate the comments above, from someone in Western Australia who hasn’t met you but is hugely inspired by your writing and your outlook. Your blog is such a gift to us, whether we have any first hand experience with /knowledge of cancer or faith or medicine. Thank you! I wish you all the very best getting on top of the pain.

    Sister Chan Khong’s ‘deep relaxation’ (available for a listen on Soundcloud) is lovely if you’re having trouble relaxing / getting to sleep. Another inspiring person.

  7. Dyana Parore-Connell
    August 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Good luck with your new treatment plan and hope it gives you relief and hope. You are so courageous. God bless to you and Hannah. Take care.

  8. Theresa
    August 11, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Roll on Wednesday & like all, praying for you and acutely aware of your change. Here is hoping you can work through treatment that would be awesome for you!!

  9. Maree
    August 12, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Our home-group are praying for you Jared. I hope this treatment will bring you much relief from discomfort and may it also give the cancer a big boot! We will be praying for you and Hannah (and bump), especially on Wed’s this week. We are behind you and we are not giving up – may God give you strength and fill your hearts with love and hope. Big hugs xx

  10. sarah
    August 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Best wishes for the radiotherapy, Jared. Hope it has gone well today. Thinking of you, Hannah, baby and your families.

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