6 comments on “The Patient’s Story, part 7

  1. Oh, my! Did I laugh at your reference to your higher “scrap value”!

    That’s quite a course of treatment. On the other hand, as I understand it, the side effects are less than with chemotherapy. At one point in her life, Mom was suspected of having a “something” at the base of her brain. It never materialized into anything, but the neurosurgeon said that if it did develop, they would use such targeted treatment – a “gamma knife” if you will, to kill only the bad cells.

    It really is amazing what can be done these days. And it’s so good that Jennie can help you out – the getting to and fro can be as much of a trial as the treatment itself – or so I think.

    On an entirely other note – I did tweet about a bit of real excitement in my life. One of my blog posts has been added to the reading list for a history course at Cleveland State University in Ohio. Not only that, the other recommended readings included John McPhee’s Control of Nature, about the Mississippi River. Just seeing my work mentioned in the same paragraph as his pretty much means I could die happy right now! Well, metaphorically speaking, anyway. Anyhow, you can see the tweet and check out the link.

    I do hope things keep going well for you – so far, so good, it seems!

  2. Congratulations on having your blog post added to that reading list. How wonderful. Mind you, I have long been of the opinion that your blog should be essential reading for all English and literature students – the excellence of your writing is a brilliant example to us all.
    As I understand it, chemotherapy is used for some types of cancer but the correct dosage is better understood now than some years ago when it acquired a rather alarming reputation.
    Prostate cancer is one of the cancers now treated by more advanced methods still including very carefully targeted radiotherapy. So far my side effects have been minimal – maybe it’s just an example of “no sense, no feeling”!
    Yes, it is great that Jennie can take me to and from hospitals when necessary. Happily, I can do the same for her now that I have a car again and though I have been advised against driving a few times recently because of the nature of the treatment, I should be able to drive myself to and from all the remaining appointments. It was a shrewd decision to get a car again, for several reasons.
    Now I have remembered a further detail that should be added to the above post, so I will do that right away.
    Thanks for your good wishes. It is indeed so far, so good.

  3. Please excuse the levity but I found myself humming “Goldfinger” whilst reading your piece. I am fascinated and with a reason now – I was diagnosed with a tumour on my left kidney on 3rd january and am now waiting to visit an operating theatre in Southampton for its removal etc. According to the CT scan I have no secondaries and neither is my lymphatic system affected. This has rather taken the attention away from my prostate and I shall soldier on with Finasturide for the forseeable future. I am uncertain about post operative treatments. The surgeon felt that not much would be required but you never know. Friends in the US tell me how lucky we are to have the NHS and I have to say that I can only agree. Your treatment and hopefully mine shows just how much “bang” we are getting for the “buck” that we have contributed all our working lives. I hope that it all goes well for you and that they are able to zap those pesky cells.

  4. Hello Steve, it’s good to hear from you. I love the reference to “Goldfinger”. I didn’t think of that one but I did wonder whether they would send me home in a Securicor van! We have to see the funny side of things otherwise it would all become pretty dreary.
    I am sorry to hear about your kidney tumour but it must be a big relief to know that there are no secondaries etc. It should be straightforward and I hope that the surgery will happen soon.
    Apparently, my prostate cancer is such that I am on some sort of borderline. If it was slightly worse, I would need to continue the hormone injections (at 28-day intervals, possibly changing to three-monthly later) for three years. However, they could be discontinued as soon as April, just after the radiotherapy in March. Needless to say I would rather have a little more of any treatment than was strictly necessary, than not enough.
    You are quite right about the NHS and I am really pleased to see in the news this morning that nursing and medical unions are looking a bit more determined to oppose the Government’s proposed meddling. Such opposition, from the people who should know what they are talking about, is decades overdue and must prevail now if the NHS as we have known it is to survive at all.
    Good Luck with your treatment and I expect (and look forward to) a progress report before long.

  5. I couldn’t help but notice the disclaimer about your flushes and pregnant women. That made me chuckle as much as the scrap value comment.


  6. Well, Jo, there is more. I forgot to mention the perpetual hunger. Whether this has anything to do with the treatment I do not know. Side effects vary from person to person and may not occur at all. The radiotherapy is said to cause one to gain weight for example – but I am weeks away from that therapy yet.
    However, although we eat as well as ever, I do seem to get very hungry these days, often well over an hour before the next meal is due. To my surprise my family doctor advised snacks between meals, which I always thought was dead wrong if one wanted to lose weight, as I do. However, this can work provided that they are “good” snacks ie. low Gi (glycaemic index) and low calorie foods.
    I have been trying to lose weight for about six months and am making some progress. But I have developed a food fad, which I blame on the hormone injections. Scotch eggs! Love ’em. But consumption must be severely limited because they are not low Gi and also account for too many calories.
    I still think I should get a new set of bathroom scales. The present ones just don’t tell me what I want to know!

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