Got the results of Wednesday’s scan today. It was both good and bad.
Good news is that it wasn’t Dr. Nick giving me the results!
OK, so there was more good news than that. Now feeling a little bit more at ease with my consultant giving the results, he explained that the infected lymph nodes have reduced in size considerably which means they can continue with the full course of the planned treatment. The outlook is also a little more positive in that this increases the chances of the lymphoma being completely cured, which is the outcome I need because if this treatment does not completely cure the lymphoma, there are no other treatment options left and it will be incurable. Anyway, he was very pleased with progress so far as when I started the R-DHAP regime no one had any idea if it was going to work or not. So it’s a relief in itself knowing the lymphoma is reacting to the treatment.
However, I have also asked what will happen if the treatment does not work, and the answer to this shocked even me a little. But some of my close family did not want to know these details at the moment and as they read this blog I’m not going to go into details.
I’ll be back in hospital on Monday to start my third chemo of this regime. They will also be removing some stem cells to be used after the fourth chemo which is a lot stronger than the first three. The fourth chemo is more intense than the first three but I’ll explain that when I am due to begin it.
And now the bad news. There is a nodule/mass in my right kidney that has grown since my last scan and is now causing concern. At the moment they have only learned this from the scan report, but have not actually seen the images yet, which have now been requested. This nodule may be cancerous, however urology will need to get involved to investigate this further. I’m never surprised these days when new problems and complications rear their ugly heads. I really didn’t have much reaction or thoughts when I was told this. I just asked what would be done about it. But come on, this is really extracting the urine now. Give me a bloody break.
It’s a bit of a pain in that my doctors don’t want to have the final session of chemo delayed too long due to tests being done. Urology may decide to just leave it until I have completed the chemo and see what effect that has on it. Or they may want to do some biopsy’s before or after the chemo is completed. It really depends what the images show. If it does turn out to be cancerous they would likely opt to just remove the kidney. This is fine with me, what’s another missing organ? I already live with no spleen or gallbladder and with someone else’s liver. I’ll cope with one kidney just fine. They should remove a lung as well and be done with it. I think I would then be living with the minimum number of organs to keep the body going. But getting a bit ahead of myself here, don’t even know what this nodule is yet.
Ultimately the slog continues. I have been undergoing chemotherapy for nine months now. Before that I started to really suffer side effects from the enlarged spleen in January 2010, eventually having it removed in August. So I have been ‘seriously ill’, if you like, for 1 year and 7 months now. And the general problem that lead to diagnoses of Lymphoma began on my honeymoon in November 2008. Believe me, this has become pretty hard and tedious work. There is probably another 10 weeks or so before I complete the treatment and if everything has gone well (I think it’s important for me to remember that just because there has been a good response, it in no way guarantees a cure) and I am cured, I’m looking at 6 months or so before I even begin to feel significantly better. What a load of crap.