Monday, 27 June 2011

Welcome to the wonderful world of Chemotherapy....

Please note this is a diary of LAST year, to help those who may need support, encouragement and a friendly person on the other end of the line, to help them through it. I am still here as I write this and hopeful for the future, more on this when we catch up with me.... (smile)

June 18th 2010
The journey to Lincoln County Hospital was tense, after the bombshell of my chance of survival yesterday (with the surgeon) I am still a bit in shock, but at least now we are doing something about it. There is hope, even if not much at this point.

My goodness finding a place to park was tough, but we got there in the end.  Into the Ingham Suit and gave details to reception, she got my file folder out ready ( I noticed it has grown a lot since the first thin volume was handed to the Dr, all those weeks ago). After a wait it was into see Dr Stokes, she went over my notes and explained the treatment I was being offered, which is called ECX. I had some general questions and then raised the possibility of having a second opinion on my cancer and treatment.  Boy it was tough to ask for this, I felt as if I was questioning their judgement. But after discussing it with other cancer professionals they assured me it was fine to ask for this, after all it was my life and I needed to know I was getting the best treatment to give me a chance to survive.  So if you want a second opinion then ask for it, the Dr's do not mind.

I was lucky in having a very good friend who helped arrange for my case to be reviewed by Professor David Cunningham Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Royal Marsden in London.  I put the request through my GP, as this is the route to go and after all my records were sent to his secretary (from Lincoln County Hospital) he reviewed my notes and replied to my Dr entirely concurring with the diagnosis and the chemotherapy regime, followed by surgery.  This did have the effect of making me feel I was getting the best treatment possible and removed any doubts I had.

I had to sign another Patient/Parental Agreement to the Administration of Chemotherapy. This was for preoperative chemotherapy ECX, Its purpose being "to downsize the tumour and reduce the risk of recurrence" I am all for that!!.
At this point you also get all sorts of leaflets and pamphlets to explain this and that, some with nice diagrams showing before and after, all very interesting.  I had already been on the Internet viewing everything there was to see about my cancer, from case reports, statistics (this can frighten you big time) to abstracts in medical journals. I had also looked up all the Dr's I was involved with, boy some of them are published all over the place, and again very interesting stuff.
So, you get a book, red on the outside called 'Your chemotherapy record' and you have to read it carefully and carry it with you at all times during your treatment.  I was now ready, treatment to start with an all-day session in the Ingham Ward on 7th July.
Well this is enough for this post, hope it's helpful, more later
Keep smiling; keep positive, you can beat this.... I know (so far at least - smile)

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