Thursday, 21 January 2016

CT Scan Results!

We dropped Ethan at school this morning and then travelled to Papworth for our 10.30am appointment with Paul's Oncologist.

We were called into a room with one of his registrars and a nurse just before our appointment time which was great.

The registrar introduced herself and told us she knew we were there for the results of a recent CT scan and that it was good news!  In fact, on questioning it was great news!

Paul's last CT scan (as you might remember from previous blogs) was back on 7th May 2013.  His current scan was taken on 7th January 2016.  Two years and eight months on and a quote from the Radiology report states 'stable appearances with no evidence of disease progression'.

The registrar even told us that she and our oncologist had actually checked back on Paul's biopsy pathology reports to actually check the results did say Mesothelioma.

She was very happy to have been able to pass on good news.  I'm sure we even saw her eyes well up.

We asked for a copy of the CT report so we have hard evidence that the above is correct.  I'm not entirely sure either of us really and truly expected this result and it may not have yet sunk in.  It is amazing news.

We asked our other questions to the registrar and she was able to answer all our queries.

Claire, our specialist nurse, then came to see us.  We chatted and discussed the results and what they mean.  Paul does still have an incurable cancer and no one can say when this stability could change.

So, we went out for lunch and did a spot of shopping before coming home and collecting Ethan from school.

Our next appointment for a check up is at the end of April.  For now we are free to enjoy our lives again and think about some holidays for 2016!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Pros, Cons and Questions

Tomorrow is result day!  Two weeks ago, Paul had a CT scan (the first in two and a half years) and tomorrow we have an appointment with his oncologist to receive the results.

Today, as his wife, I have one hundred million different questions, pros and cons flying around my head.  Questions for if the Mesothelioma hasn't grown and questions for if it has.

Of course we are both hoping for the best but we have near enough as many questions for if it hasn't grown for if it has!  
We are fully prepared!

Three years on from first diagnosis and I know a lot more about mesothelioma and its treatments and trials (and where to find the information if I don't know) than I did in the very early days when Paul first had treatment.  

At the moment I am feeling fine.  Three years as the wife of a terminal cancer patient has changed my perspective on life.  Today is today, tomorrow is tomorrow.  We can't change the outcome, we'll roll with it!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

And so it begins....Paul's date with the polo mint scanner.....and scanxiety!

Tomorrow we have an appointment at Papworth for Paul to have a CT Scan.  He last had one in May 2013 after he finished his six sessions of chemotherapy.

Since then Paul has just had x-rays on the days of his check-ups and all has been well.  At the last check-up the x-ray was checked back against one from one and two years ago and the oncologist could see no change and in fact not much, if any sign of the mesothelioma.  The oncologist was even heard to remark that did Paul actually have mesothelioma.  He also always listens to Paul's chest and he could find no problems at all.

In the past we have discussed with the oncologist the pro's and con's of x-rays versus CT scans.  We know that x-rays do not give a complete picture but we decided Paul was the best judge as to when he would need to get a complete picture of what was happening inside.  Paul has very little in the way of symptoms from the mesothelioma, fatigue being the biggest problem for him.  Everyone at Papworth has always agreed that Paul would develop more symptoms before the mesothelioma progressed too far.

In November at his check-up Paul mentioned an increase in periods of pain from his chest in the area of his surgery scar.  He therefore decided that he would like to have a CT scan to get the whole picture and since it has been well over 2 years since he last had one, his oncologist agreed.

After tomorrow we will have a wait of 2 weeks to find out the results.  We can only hope that the CT scan will confirm that things are still stable.

If they don't we know we will have a lot of difficult decisions to make.

I think both of us will be more anxious about returning to Papworth on the 21st.

Review of 2015 as we start the New Year!

All in all 2015 has been a brilliant year for us!  Paul had 4 stable results at Papworth, we raised awareness and funds in various ways and for various organisations and we had lots of great family times and holidays.

We started the year on the front of the Cambridge News helping to raise awareness and funds for Mesothelioma with the Meso 100 Winter Walk Campaign.  We are keen to raise awareness of asbestos and mesothelioma so this started the year off nicely.

In June we appeared on the BBC2 Victoria Derbyshire programme on a section about Asbestos in Schools.  We were very pleased with the piece that was aired.  We had a lovely day filming with them with a cameraman, presenter and producer coming to our house.

We also appeared on the patient DVD which the Papworth Mesothelioma Support Group produced.  It is now given out to all new patients at Papworth and at some other hospitals.  Some of the interviews with us have also been used on the Mesothelioma UK's own DVD and on their website.

We made the most of this year with various holidays and days out with our son.  He started school in September so now our holidays will mostly have to be in the school holiday time.

We can only hope that 2016 will be as kind!

Happy New Year xx