©Jenny Harrod 2019

The results are in...

So, it has been 8 weeks since my last Chemotherapy session and 2 weeks since my CT scan and I had my outpatients appointment to hear the results from my Oncologist.

Basically the news is good and 'Horace' (renamed as I don't want it to be confused with he who should never have been elected!), has continued to shrink due to the Chemotherapy. 

The concern I had that there was some spread to the base of my left lung was unfounded as there is no evidence of any lesions or fluid around my lungs or heart. 

Phew, now that was a relief, especially after my experiences of trying to get hold of a GP using the 111 System on Sunday, them promising me a call back within 2 hours of my original call at 3 pm, then them calling me at about 4.30 to say they were very busy and I would be called back ASAP. At 8.30 I was exhausted and went to bed, taking the landline with me so I could answer it when they did eventually ring. However, by 10 pm I was struggling to keep my eyes open so I rang 111 again and arranged to cancel the ring back which they said they had done - I put the phone back in the charger in the living room. I anticipated contacting my GP on Monday morning knowing that they would have had a notification that I had contacted the system. But in the morning there was a message on my ansaphone from the 111 GP who called at 11.30 pm (by then I was asleep!).

I think next time I will go to 111 Online instead!

I had obviously underestimated the possibility of getting a GP appointment either online (their DIY online consultation system which I hoped to use was not active), or by phone. I rang and got through to the waiting list but then got cut off again. After 45 minutes I admitted defeat and decided to go down there in person. I asked for a GP to call me back rather than trying to get in to see one and the receptionist said Yes, my own GP would ring me sometime that (Mon) afternoon.

Later, I had a call from the surgery to say my GP didn't actually work on Mondays but he would ring me on Tuesday Morning! Argh, so there I was with what felt like the beginnings of a chest infection and a wheeze from the base of my left lung. I took a dose of Benelyn, and eventually managed to clear my chest through coughing and heavy throat clearing, but it did leave me exhausted.

So, Tuesday morning, predictably my chest didn't feel too bad but I still had a slight wheeze (it gets worse as the day goes on), I dragged my carcass out of bed earlier than normal and was up and about when the GP called at 11.30 HOORAY! Anyway, after a discussion a joint decision was made, that rather than antibiotics which I am always loathe to take, an inhaler may be better. True to his word he prescribed a Salmol inhaler to use when I am wheezy. Fingers crossed that this will help.

Today (Wednesday)

Today, outpatients. Another saga. For reasons best known to themselves, the management of St Mary's have decided to shift everything around, making all services at the front (South) of the hospital to be for urgent care and diagnostic scans, and outpatients to be moved to the rear North Hospital. Unfortunately, this proved to be disasterous when it came to finding somewhere to park today. Every space in every car park (and the hidden disabled ones) was taken except for one disabled space in the main front entrance car park which we had to take. Unfortunately this meant we had to walk right through the hospital to get to the new Outpatients department. The walk itself with MS was bad enough, but with an excrutiating corn on my right little toe crippling me with every step I was in agony. Unfortunately, with it being January, Sandals are not the ideal footwear so I had to wear boots - and every single pair causes pressure on my toe. I do see the podiatrist regularly as part of my diabetes care, but within a few days of them removing it, the damned corn keeps coming back (even though most of the time I am barefoot). I suppose I will have to ring them again tomorrow.

Scan result (Conclusion)

Compared to the scan I had in August...

"Overall decrease in size and density of previously demonstrated necrotic liver lesion.

Appearances are suggestive of a partial response." 

(When first diagnosed it measured approx' 10cm x 9.5cm x 9.5cm now Horace is 9cm x 7cm x 6.5cm)

The Oncologist has requested another scan and outpatients appointment for 3 months time. He has instructed us that he wants me to be in the best physical and mental state I can be, whether this means he intends to subject me to another course of Chemo or not I don't know but I will do my best. 

He believes the fact I feel worse now than I did during the Chemo is due to the MS rather than a delayed reaction to the treatments. 

So, back to the swimming, when I can squeeze myself into a costume again - I just hope my Mr Potato Head look doesn't scare other swimmers too much!



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