Monday, June 7, 2010

Digesting further treatment plans

Ally and I had a 90 minute meeting with the consultant at 11:30am. Ally'd done some reading and had a list of questions handy.
We still have the option of visiting Alderhay but we have Dr Pizer's advice and none of us feel the need to meet up with him. So we're digesting the suggested treatment regime. First thing is to check that there are no tumour spore cells mobile in his spinal fluid. This will require a 'lumbar puncture'. It is hoped that this can be arranged within a week or so. Under the same general anaesthetic he could then get a Mic-key button, instead of george, and the portacath could be replaced by a Hickman line. The latter would mean that he'd need less needles, come the treatment. Assuming the lumbar puncture comes back clear, the treatment would last about six months. It would involve two or three cycles of 'normal chemo', and injections to stimulate stem-cell production, in order to harvest stem cells. The actual harvesting would be done in Bristol (as they have a licence for that). All that is in preparation for a burst of 'high-dose' chemo. This is intended to knock out any fast-dividing tumour cells, but this hits good cells too. Although he'd have had his own stem-cells back, he would be very vulnerable to infection for 3-4 weeks. So he would have to be in isolation in hospital for that time. Once he'd recovered from that, there would be a short course of focussed radiotherapy, perhaps 2-3 weeks.
It would be fair to say that he's not best pleased with all of this. It's taking a bit of digesting for all of us. The main thing is that this still gives us a further chance of cure, and, in any case, it'll give whatever tumour is there a right going over.
Right now Pads is taking his agression out on the characters of his new Lego Indiana Jones DS game, declaring things about 'the war on tumour has begun'. His pain from the surgery is pretty low level now: just paracetamol.

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