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Radiation 25/25

The radiation has finished.

This post is in actual fact not a fair reflection of when the radiation did finish however. It actually finished two weeks ago, but the business of not working has interfered with getting around to post an update.

Overall, radiation struck me a lot harder than I anticipated. There was some nausea that was tolerable, but the main symptom that really took its toll was an indescribable fatigue. I have now been off work for six weeks. Initially that time off work was like an unexpected holiday, albeit one filled with the irrational excess of slumber required for sub-normal function, but as the days accumulated, it has a become a tedious monotony of fatigue, sleep, and boredom. Having enough energy to be bored, but not enough to sate that boredom is a subtle but effective form of mental torture. I am well and truly ready for a change back to how it used to be. It has only been in the last 4 or 5 days that I have been able to get up in the morning and feel like I can actually make something of the day that goes beyond TV and sleep.

At this stage, I’m not quite up to going back to work, but I anticipate that I will be able to get back to work next week (starting Oct 14). I am really looking forward to be able to get back to doing something I enjoy, and which in itself is energising.

In the next couple of weeks, I will also have a repeat CT to establish the effectiveness of the radiation, and how naughty the liver lesion has been in the absence of chemotherapy. The pencilled in plan is to start chemotherapy again on labour weekend, this time a combination of 5-FU and Oxaliplatin (FOLFOX), but this will be confirmed closer to the time and will depend somewhat on what the CT shows. The management of the liver lesion at this stage has yet to be established, but I suspect that a lot of that will depend on how responsive the retroperitoneal lesions were to the radiation, what the CT shows, and whether or not a further period of stability will need to be established on the altered chemotherapy regime.

For those whom may not have heard yet, as an adjunct to the baby news. Hannah is now (almost) 25 weeks along, and we are having a baby girl. Pink items have already started to become thematically appropriate, and the yet-to-be baby room has now advanced from a box room to just a room (with a nice new stroller in it)…. Its a work in progress.

Until next time…

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  1. Ctz
    October 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    So great about a baby girl:). I continue to pray for you – for healing and strength for your first week back at work. Love hearing the updates!

    Carol/Vancouver, Canada

  2. emma
    October 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Hey Jared..was wondering why no post and thinking you must not be feeling so good.
    Crossing my fingers that there is no evolution of the lesion and that the FOLFOX keeps the situation stable. Congrats on the baby girl – take care – Emma/Copenhagen, former SI New Zealand

  3. October 6, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Praying for you

  4. Tori
    October 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    My husband completed 17 rounds of FOLFOX before they had to stop the oxaliplatin because of peripheral neuropathy, I’m thinking that as a Dr you won’t be wanting any of that! They’ve now dropped the Oxaliplatin and he is on 5-FU and has had 3 rounds of that. His first radiation oncology appointment is on Tuesday in Waikato (We’re in Tauranga, they are in the process of building a radiation unit here though). He’s possibly only going to have one palliative radiation treatment to try reduce the pain in his back from the spine mets.

    Praying that your CT shows stable disease again! Stable is good, we’ve been stable for 11 months, since first diagnosis on November 6, 2012.

    Yay for pink 🙂

  5. Dyana Parore-Connell
    October 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Jared. Hope and pray that the CT scan shows a good result for you and that the radiation treatment improved your situation. Great about #baby girl# something fantastic/exciting for you and Hannah to look forward to. Being bored sucks so pleased to know you are returning to work soon. Take care.

  6. Maree
    October 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Jared and Hannah, so awesome to hear you are expecting a wee baby girl! This is wonderful news 🙂
    Thank you for the update as our home-group have been praying for you and will continue to do so. We are praying your scan result will be a favourable one and that your pain control will improve as a result of the treatment. We are praying for Hannah and baby too. Good to hear you will be returning to work soon it sucks being bored.

    Love to you all,
    Maree xxx

  7. October 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Lovely to hear about your baby girl. I do feel for you having to go back on Oxaliplatin again, especially if you do have peripheral neuropathy. But hopefully you won’t suffer from so much nausea with this combination.

    As a doctor you might be interested in one of my experiences. When I was about to start my chemo, a friend, who is a GP in France but works mainly with cancer patients, asked what medication I would be on. A couple of weeks later a lovely large scarf arrived in the mail. It was a nice surprise, but, because it was December, I put it away to wear the following winter.

    I’d been warned that the Oxaliplatin might cause me to be sensitive to metal, cold food and drink for a day or two at the beginning of each cycle, but I hadn’t realised just how strongly i would react to it. I had my first infusion a week after the parcel arrived, and understood then why Fleur had sent me a warm scarf during a NZ summer. It was a very thoughtful, much-appreciated and useful gift.

  8. October 16, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I should add that I received a weekly email from Fleur during my 6 months of chemo and for another 6 months afterwards – asking how I was feeling and wishing me well (often with an attached photo of her garden or similar). I still receive an email every few weeks. She is a very kind and caring doctor.
    From what I’ve heard you are too – I hope all goes well with your treatment and that you will be able to practise for a long time to come.

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