Fourth time round Chemo has been physically easier to manage. I think this is because we knew what to expect, there wasn’t any new symptoms and the Steroids helped massively (if I had only had them after each chemo for 7-10 days!)! I still suffered with the usual nausea, bad taste, ringing in the ears, tiredness, breathlessness and Alison winding me at all hours in the night, but because we knew what to expect it seemed ‘okay’ the fourth time round. I also believe the fact that I knew it was the last one, psychologically gave me a boost! The fact that I haven’t lost any hair throughout so I look like ‘Daddy’ is a real benefit especially for the kids.
Emotionally though it has been a tough few weeks for us both. I think that after 6 months of constant treatment (biopsy, lung removal, 4 chemo sessions) the body and mind needs a break. Also, this last treatment was at the start of the Easter holidays when we would normally have had been out and about with the kids enjoying time as a family. However, it is a massive relief knowing that for now I’m hopefully on a break from treatment, hospital appointments, drugs, needles, repeating my date of birth 1001 times etc and we can start to get back to some sort of normality. I can’t wait to be able to spend proper time with Ali & the kids, family and friends and have the energy to do activities with them. I just need to remember to pace myself. Recovery is not a sprint but a marathon!
My Oncologist (Dr Paul Taylor) advised that I will have a CT-scan in June and a follow up appointment on 6th July. They will assess whether the mesothelioma has disappeared for now and not re-grown – the very thought of this appointment though makes my stomach churn! Dr Taylor said that I need to let my body recover and to start to build the fitness levels back up. I would like at this stage to give a special thanks to Dr Taylor, Lorraine (Meso Specialist Nurse), Lesley & the team of nurses in Cecilia Ward, Wythenshawe hospital, whom have all looked after Ali and I so well during the Chemo treatment. They do fantastic work day in day out, have made the process as best as possible and are always there when you call them. Thank you very much.
Further next steps, is also an appointment with my surgeon (Mr Waller) on the 10th May in Leicester following my lung removal, so we will see what he advises. I also have had quite excruciating pain in my leg at times, but my physio is looking after me well and I have a MRI scan booked in early May but hopefully just to rule anything else out.
It is a huge relief that currently treatment is over, but now we need to prepare and manage the fact that we will need to go for tests every 3/6 months and then wait for results. Mentally preparing for this is the next challenge, but I feel fortunate to be able to have this break and that I will be having regular check ups, so if anything is wrong they will be able to identify it.
I feel very honoured that friends and family are fundraising on my behalf to help in the challenge and research against Mesothelioma & cancer. Whilst we appreciate there are so many very deserving charities, thank you so much for those of you whom have already kindly donated and if you haven’t, but are able to kindly donate, please see the attached 2 links for:
Joel Staley (Running London Marathon) for British Lung Foundation with funds going directly to Mesothelioma research
Roshan Daryanani (Climbing 6476m up Mera Peak in Nepal) for Macmillan Cancer – whom is currently as I type doing this amazing climb!
There are a further 3 events in July, for British Lung Foundation, Christies and Mesothelioma UK, so watch this space….
Thank you so very much for all your continued support, prayers, childcare, tasty meals, chemo buddies, friends re-arranging work etc to visit us, ironing help, car lifts, lovely messages, support to our family too it all means so very much to us both. We are very honoured to be surrounded by amazing family and friends.
Lots of love
Dave & Ali xx