Getting back on the bike, round 4 and its aftermath

I thought it about time to get another blog out.

Well, what actually happened was I sat at my computer to play a video game or two and then I got sidetracked. Then I looked at Facebook for the first time in a couple of weeks and then thought better of it and thought I ought blog.

So today I am Chemo + 8 days from my round 4 of 6 and I am feeling surprisingly well. I don’t have much to report. I have been okay to watch TV and I have been doing so in abundance. However, I feel okay for once. I understand it may not last forever, but I’ll take it when I can.

As a reminder, I am still on a reduced dose of my Folfox and Avastin concoction. It was decided on treatment 2 that I was being utterly battered by this new treatment and that perhaps a little lighter dose would be best.
However, I had to be given a break because my chemo port started to malfunction a bit.
It has always been a bit of a bugger to provide bloods (which it doesn’t have to do so for me to use it) but more importantly, it would not take fluids and for me to be able to receive chemotherapy at home, I need to have a port of some type.

I had to go in to hospital and visit a radiology consultant to fix it for me and has informed me it should be fine now.
Dr Pedley says he’s the top guy in the North for Ports and what he knows his stuff.
He gave me a little info on my port informing me that it was installed with a very long line (longer than he would have used) and this could attribute towards it being a pain to provide bloods, however as he’s flushed out ports that are 2-5 years old before, I shouldn’t worry about it. It was a little touch and go on whether he could fix it but once working it was fine.

I wanted to know from him what had caused the issue because although I was secretly happy to have my little holiday off treatment, I also want to get my treatment completed and… well finished. He and I discussed the issues I had had and it’s upkeep. I had discussed issues with having my insurance company ‘Okay’ the port flushing costs. Issues with the difference between the two care providers I have used on my cancer journey so far.
That’s Lloyds homecare and Healthcare at home healthcare, now they are companies at the end of the day. They are run as such and whilst they provide a similar service they are still companies.

Whilst Lloyds say it is fine for a port to be flushed out every 4-6 weeks and does not need to be locked off with an anticoagulant Heparin.
Healthcare at home (my current provider) require a port to be flushed every 4 weeks and it must be locked off with Heparin.
The consultant was surprised to hear about their take on this but at the end of the day, he can only give them the advice, if someone in a boardroom says that saline solution is fine to lock off a port, what else can he do?

We all know this is going to be a money thing deep down. I am not saying that one healthcare provider is better than the other, they both have their pros and cons but I really feel that *IF* my port malfunction could have been avoided, then it should have. Right?

I really only needed 1 week off because of the port malfunctioning, however, the way it played out was further to my ‘advantage’ because Dr Pedley (My oncologist) had requested some scans for me and on the day before one of the scans, I was due to be connected to a chemo pump. You cannot go into a scanner with a needle sticking out of your chest.


So, that was the reason for my second week of ‘Yaycation’ I’ve been asked by friends and family what I did during the break, I will tell you that not a lot really. Obviously we are all still in lockdown etc but also I am still very weak from chemotherapy. I did a lot of recovery. I was able to sleep, eat foods I wanted to, and Kerry drove me to the beach where I was able to walk Rupert for the first time in ages. I think I slept for something like 10-12 hours when I got home. Proper crashed out.

I love the beach at Cresswell in Northumberland. We got to the carpark and it looked like everyone had gotten the same idea, but it was okay. Once we got onto the beach we had all the space in the world. We even got to let Rupert off lead at one point. I’ve got some photos of him playing in the sea with Kerry.

Recharge my batteries I guess.

Anyhoo, I digress, I’ve have the results back from both the CT scan and from the the MRI scan on my brain now.
Good news on both parts:-

That the MRI of the head showed nothing of concern, so the headaches I am experiencing are more than likely just side effects of the chemotherapy. Though not the greatest news to hear in the world. At least it’s not… well… That! I still get pain in my eyes or should I say behind my eyes when I look in certain directions. I still get dizzy when I lean over in certain ways. The headaches are still behind one eye. However, although these are all warning signs of something more ominous. We can say for now it’s not that!

The CT of my chest and waist showed nothing new to see. To quote the report “Conclusion: There has been no significant change in the size or number of the multiple cavitating pulmonary metastases compared with the previous imaging. No new significant finding is identified. The appearances are consistent with static disease.

So all in all it’s good news. The cavitating part of the metastatic cancers has been described to me as good news as the way these mets die off is from the inside out. That’s been my understanding anyways, but from what Dr Pedley has said, it seems to be all working right now so lets press on. The next steps are going to be a PET scan and that should be within the next 2-4 weeks. I am just waiting for a phone call from the Freeman hospital for that.
We will then know which of the mets in my lungs are actually alive or dead. Then it’s going to be referral time again where we shall see if I need to be on chemo for longer or whether I would be a candidate for Cyberknife treatment.

So wrapping up for now, my two week holiday was nice, everything seems to be sliding back into order. The soft tissue pain and bleeding is back already which I hadn’t missed but so far other than the typical side effects like neuropathy and general weakness, I seem to be doing okay.
I really don’t look at this like I am on round 4 of 6 right now, it’s actually feels more like I am back to round 1 again. I am going to assume that it’ll be worse next week when chemotherapy starts again and then the following fortnight etc and on and on. However, if it has to be this way then it has to be this way.

I’m going to relax myself into the next two chemo treatments, take them as they come. See how I get on.

I’m sure I’ll blog again when I have the PET scan results.

Take it easy,


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