After the unwelcome news that three months of chemotherapy had failed to shrink the tumour in my pancreas, and then being referred to a hospice for a follow-up call to discuss palliative care, perhaps understandably my mood went down faster than a broken lift. That was when Jas made the spur-of-the-moment decision to whisk me off for four days at the Versace Palazzo on Australia’s Gold Coast. Oh, he knows me well!! I even coped with having only a day or two to shop for suitable attire. But that wasn’t all. Working on the principal the weather would be hot and sunny and that no one would know me anyway, I decided to leave my hats and scarves at home and embrace the minimalist hair look. Our lovely suite, the gorgeous food, fabulous spa treatments and late night liqueurs in the bar listening to the piano player made it the perfect break and a wonderful - and much needed - pick-me-up.
But that wasn’t the crazy week. No, it was last week. Back at the hospital on Monday for an appointment with Haematology (to ensure I was still giving myself daily injections of blood thinners to minimalise the chance of unwanted clotting) the doctor was surprised at how well I looked. And who wouldn’t after the above long weekend? The following day I had a meeting with Radiation Oncology to discuss whether or not that treatment might be an option, and once again my overall appearance was commented on with the result that it was decided to move ahead at full speed. That meant back to the hospital the following day for a CAT sim and tattoos to ensure the beam is precisely lined up for each of the twenty seven blasts. Yes, real tattoos! I had this idea they’d mark the positions on my skin with a biro, but no! It was a needle and ink. Not that you’d notice the dots as they’re tiny. Then, forty-eight hours later I was back there again, this time for a CAT scan. Lastly, there’s an MRI scan in two days’ time, and then with all that information they should know exactly where to point the high energy waves and where not to, given the close proximity of a few important organs – like my lungs and heart. Fingers crossed!
And the really good news? Friday’s scan showed that while the tumour has continued to grow, the rate was nowhere near as fast as before. In fact, since the last scan five weeks ago it was really only a tad larger and a measly one millimetre at one point. So what has bought about this slowing down? Could it be the medicinal cannabis oil? Or the turmeric? Or the copious amounts of broccoli I’m eating? Or does it have anything to do with getting my old self back after stopping chemo?
Either way, I’m celebrating!