There’s not been a diary entry for a good while, what wth all the other stuff we’ve been doing, so now seemed an opportune time to catch up on things.
Two years since metastatic spread was diagnosed!
24/10/15 — This date marked two years since we had the world-shaking news that my eye melanoma had spread to my liver. It’s one of those milestones by which cancer survivors live
Well, you ask, what have I been up to for these two years? The answer is that I’ve been supporting the hospital car park industry (which makes up nearly half of the UK’s GDP) — I can count nearly forty visits in 2015 alone.
Quarterly scans and 3-weekly infusions of a promising immunotherapy drug called Pembrolizumab mean a significant treatment regime. Throw in visits for blood tests and cancer psychology (an indispensible service offered by the QE) plus a second small liver operation this summer and all its attendant pre- and post- care have made the QE hospital like a second home. Never was this more apparent than when I walked in one day and two random medics approached me on first name terms to chat as I sidled along for a routine appointment — still not sure who they were.
What is my health like now?
Hmmmm…Good question that. It seems that the drugs I’m taking, whilst promising as an anti-cancer drug, may be having some unwanted side effects. My latest blood results showed reduced cortisol and I’ve since had subsequent tests hinting at an endocrine problem; possibly the pituitary gland or thyroid. The upshot is that I’m on steroids for a period whilst this is investigated further. This shouldn’t stop me having the immunotherapy drugs although may involve taking steroids for the long term if any damage is permanent. We’re currently waiting on more tests…
Aside from this — and it isn’t something I’ve actually noticed as symptoms anyway — I’m feeling well and am going about my daily routines as usual: Spending time with Gen & Ted, working full-time, playing football & chess and doing things as normal. There’s always the high risk of the cancer coming back once it’s already spread of course and it’s at the back of our minds at all times. The next scan results will be with us towards the end of November, and waiting for them will be just as scary as it was the first time.