At last yesterday was the first eye to eye contact for a consultation with the cancer specialists at Weston Park. The waiting room was full of people of various ages some with wigs or hats covering treatment induced baldness and others looking reasonably healthy, just like me. When you know what to look for you can even see some with their own Bob pouch.
Most were awaiting blood tests (to see if they are well enough for chemo the following day) and the rest awaiting a consultation.
Once in the consultation room the specialist nurse and Doctor explained the histology results noting the small amount of cancer found in one of the 27 lymph nodes and how in my case the benefit of chemotherapy on any residual cancer would outweigh the side effects caused by the drugs used in the treatment. After all the stuff is poison.
The drugs that they were recommending for my type of Colorectal Cancer are Oxaliplatin plus another drug called 5FU. The combination is called FOLFOX6. The Oxaliplatin is taken intravenously over 2 hours and the 5FU can be taken either in tablet form over 2 weeks with 1 week rest or intravenously over 48 hours. All have expected side effects of sickness, tiredness, and a low immunity to infection for which a cold could be life threatening. In addition there maybe tingling in feet and hands which is painful when touching cold objects so it looks like warm beer from now on. The tablets has one side effect that probably will not suit Bob (my illiostomy) like diarrhoea which will burn my peristomal skin and another that causes hands and feet to dry out and crack.
I'm opting for the intravenous option which will take place every 2 weeks for 12 sessions. The down side to this is that I will need a cannula line into a large vein (PICC Line) which will remain in place for the duration
Surprisingly the treatment only decreases the chance of cancer returning by 15% but every little helps. So its next Thursday for my blood test and Friday to start giving the Big C a kicking. I just hope my body can handle the full course.
I've already lost 3 kilos so really need to eat well in the run up to each session.
To add to our woes we have water gushing out of the ground near our boundary fence which is flooding our neighbours garden so I've had to buy a pump so as to pump the water to one of our drains. The additional stress of this minor emergency took its toll on me with a flair of temper as I tried to in vain to stop the leak with anything that I could stuff in the hole. I'm afraid that acting like a man possessed by a mad man not only upset the wife but the neighbours too. We just need for it to stop raining for a couple of days so we can get it fixed.
As you can see this is a picture of our Sue near the leak. If Only!