Thursday, 13 September 2012

Medical news

I gave the chemo update and said how I was feeling but didn't give you all the other medical news, which was verging on good (i.e not worse - currently, good in my world).

Pet Scan Results

These completely concur with the CT scans. The cancer is in my colon, liver and lungs but hasn't spread anywhere else. Having spent the week confidently telling people that cancer was in my neck glands (based on a minor twinge), self-diagnosing a brain tumour (based on forgetting something after several glasses of wine and a lovely BBQ with the in-laws, and and I had a headache) and believing it had spread to my bones (sore back) I was a tad relieved - not to mention embarrassed. These are the symptoms of age and excess not cancer. In mitigation, having never been a hypochondriac and ignored all dodgy symptoms I now have stage IV cancer so funnily enough I'm trying to listen to
myself these day, albeit through an amplifier of fear. 

Cancer type news

There are broadly speaking two types of cancer gene (of relevance to us colon cancer people), the wild one and the other KRAS type (just a weird mutant). In colon cancer, people 60% of people have the wild-type and the rest have the mutant gene cancer.

The wild-type has been shown to respond well (especially for people with secondary cancers) to a drug called cetuximab (the one that gives you spots).

Well the good news is that I have the wild-type of cancer. I was hardly going to have the 'sit in the corner and carefully write a process planning document' type of cancer, but I am very grateful to fall the right side of the numbers and be able to get cetuximab. It will probably give me a rash (acne) and I have a low dose of antibiotics to take daily to avoid this. It also adds 2 hours to the Chemotherapy Experience (they are an awful prog-rock band). However it does have proven results in limiting cancer spread and growth. I start this tomorrow.

I also scrupulously followed the advice of 'Anticancer' and forced down dark chocolate and red wine last night. I expect I may need to work harder on the whole deprivation aspect of this regime...

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