Hi everyone and Happy New year to you. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas too. If you don’t celebrate, then Happy Holidays to you.
It’s a time of people making new years resolutions and my blog title pays homage to the New Year, new me cliché.
Kerry, Me and Rupert had a very chilled out Christmas and New Years. Large amounts of cheese were consumed. Very relaxed but I did pick up a cold. Anyone that knows me won’t be surprised. I seem to always get sick at Christmas.
However, if you recall my blog a couple of weeks ago, just before Christmas I traveled to Manchester to the Christie hospital to see a new oncologist Prof. Mark Saunders, he had discussed a different course of treatment with me:-
- 28 session chemo-radiotherapy sessions. (Totaling 5 weeks and 3 days. Weekends off)
- I would be taking a pill form of the Irinotecan chemotherapy I had in pump form for 3 months.
Sadly, due to finances, it just didn’t make sense for me to have the treatment in Manchester, it would have meant travelling daily to Manchester, renting a place in Manchester or staying with friends and having the treatment.
As I say, we couldn’t make that work so instead Mark suggested that he refer me to another private oncologist he worked with closely in Newcastle. A Dr. Ian Pedley. However, I understood right from the off that there would be a delay and well, it was very quiet over the holidays and I received nothing in the way of a phone call or letter.
That was… Until yesterday.
I had a missed call when I was putting the trash out, Lisa from Northern Centre for Cancer Care, called and left the message:-
“Could I give her a call to arrange some appointments?”
Great, Progress! I thought, so I give her a call and she’s booked me in for:-
- MRI Scan on 14th January
- CT Scan on 15th January
- Treatment to begin 29th January
“Did I have any questions?”
Well, unfortunately Lisa, Yes… Yes I do. Could you tell me what this is about?
She was taken aback a bit by this (Can’t say I blame her) and I then explained that the only thing I knew what I had received a call from Ahmed Hashme’s secretary attempting to re-book me in for an appointment I supposedly missed. I checked the paperwork I keep in a massive blue file (My Cancer file) and I had received no written request. I even double checked with Kerry to see if I had agreed to having another appointment with Dr Hashme. She couldn’t remember agreeing to that either.
(It’s not that I had fallen out with Dr Hashme. Far from it, it was only the surgery team at Gateshead that I had felt have let me down and no longer wanted to pursue treatment with them.)
Lisa, explained it was either Ian Pedley or Ahmed Hashme that had requested the scans, the treatment was Radiotherapy and had I not received any paperwork?
No Lisa, No I hadn’t…
She then explained she would call their secretaries and get one of them to call me right away. However, for safety’s sake, lets keep the bookings or I could end up waiting longer. I reluctantly agreed as what she was saying did make sense.
Kerry had a booked hair appointment in Newcastle. We got ready and left for that. As you can imagine to my surprise, I get an incoming phone call from a mobile number I didn’t recognise, I answer it, and low and behold, a very apologetic Dr Ian Pedley introduced himself. Explained that I had an appointment to see him Today at 18:00 at the Nuffield in Jesmond. It was 16:30 at the time. I explained I would potentially struggle to make the appointment. I was dressed like a bum and I would do my damnedest to get there for 18:00.
Kerry’s stylist explained that we were all of about 10 minutes away and we wouldn’t have an issue. A quick google later and a bite to eat and we entered the Labyrinth that is the Nuffield in Jesmond.
God…. Damn!!! That place is huge and is just turns and corridors! We make it up to the place, sign in. Sign my life away. Hand over my private health care information and wait to see Ian.
We weren’t there longer than 10 minutes waiting and Ian calls my name… My Sunday name. I hate that everyone stares…
I think we spent about 20 minutes discussing the treatment with Paul. He explained that he wasn’t sure of what the mix up was, I should have received a phone call from his secretary to book me in for the meeting, I should have received a letter too. However it was a bit last minute.
If I am honest, I couldn’t care less. I was seeing progress. So the good news is that Ian is also recommending the same treatment that Mark Saunders of the Christie recommended. I feel that Ian went into much more detail that Mark did. He explained how the treatment works. The risks and side effects, right down to the fact I am going to need to have some marking tattoos applied to me to help me get setup for the treatment each day.
I scoffed as I had managed to last 42 years without finally getting a tattoo. Who knew that you just need a little cancer to get some tattoos.
He did explain that although the chemotherapy I would be receiving would be the same, it’s no where near the strength I had previously had, I won’t lose my hair again or shouldn’t suffer anywhere near the issues I had previously done. I could work if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be a risk to my colleagues nor they be a risk to me, short of them being sick and giving me an infection.
So, I feel like there is progress.
I want to speak to work about the potential of me returning. I wanted to speak timescales.
Treatment starts last week of January, it will take 5 weeks, so therefore to the 1st week of March. I will then have to have a re-scan another week or so of wait. 2nd-3rd week of March. Then another couple of weeks of wait for the operation/resection, that would be 1st week April. Then I would need about a month recovery time at worst.
All told, I could be cancer free in the colorectal area by May.
I also discussed with Ian the lung metastases and he explained I could react favourably the chemo further but we would talk about treatments such as Sabre when we get there. It just seems so far away.
Progress…. Progress I says!
That’s all for now, it was a long and boring one but I needed to get a lot out.
If you have any questions, reply to the threat or on the facebook post.