Today I went with my wife and son to visit my oncologist, Dr. Mark Beresford.
Our priority was to discuss his take on my recent scan which led Dr. Mason, who I saw while in hospital, to talk of my life expectancy now being a matter of months. This he was able to confirm, as we expected.
It’s a bit like ‘whack a mole’ this lark – you deal with one thing and another pops up. The bottom line is that we now have signs that cancer in existing areas (lungs and hip) are advancing and that there are cancer cells in new areas (bowel lining, abdominal wall and the renal bed where the kidney came out).
I can’t go back on to any chemotherapy for at least two weeks while I recover from my hip operation (where I am pleased with the progress in my mobility). Even if I do restart chemo, the purpose would be to buy a little time – not a lot. After all, as Dr. Beresford said, the course of Sutent I was on does not seem to have had any impact on my tumours which seem to be quite aggressive. So there is a question about whether another course would be worth it. I certainly did not like being on the Sutent last time as the side effects are unpleasant and affect daily life. Dr. Beresford talked about trying Axitinib which is “better tolerated” but is no magic bullet either and also has its downsides.
Our decision as a family is to avoid interventions which disrupt quality of life and just buy a little time. So, although we will see Beresford again in a few weeks, I will probably decline the Axtinib unless I am feeling fighting fit and able to take it on.
In the meantime I am being hooked up with the district nurses and Dorothy House, the local hospice, who do a lot of outreach so that when we need more support it will be there for us. Though the stairlift is a bit of a monster it’s great fun to go up and down on it and I enjoy the freedom of the house which it gives me.
There is no big planned event coming up now to trigger the next post but we’ll put something up in a week or so to let you know progress. As ever, thanks for the support and love.