About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Monday, 21 October 2013

Information overload

So today was chemo information day. 

Chemotherapy is a bit like pain killers. It's not one size fits all. Different cancers require different chemotherapy drug combinations and regimes.

For bowel cancer as a primary cancer there are 2 different regimes. The oxaliplatin and capceitabine that I had last time or oxaliplatin and 5FU. As you might remember the oxaliplatin completely wiped me out and I only managed 4 cycles before the peripheral neuropathy became unbearable.

I have left today's meeting feeling much more positive about the chemotherapy I will be receiving this time as the side effects all seem much more manageable.

I am going to be having irinotecan which is an infusion which will be given through my PICC line and then a 48 hour infusion of 5FU which will be deliverd through a small pump. There is also a third drug that I may be able to have called Avastin. Avastin is a monoclonal antibody and attaches to the tumour and targets specific proteins. Whether I can have this or not depends on the histology (make up) of my tumour. There is no point having it if I don't have the correct type of tumour.

One of the most well known side effects of chemotherapy is hair loss. This is something I didn't experience last time as this was not a side effect of proxy oxi & capceitabine. This is a side effect of irinotecan.

So, what am I going to do about that? I don't care about loosing my hair, I can rock a hat or a headscarf, and ultimately I want the cancer gone and loosing my hair is a tiny sacrifice too make. 

But I have 3 young children who would be scared if mummy's hair suddenly started to fall out so like everything else I have told them.

So far they know that mummy has baddies back in her tummy and they can't cut them out, but mummy is going to have special medicine to shrivel them up like fruit that we leave too long in the fruit bowl. 

Today I told them that the special medicine is going to make mummy's hair fall out, so to make sure that it likes nice when it falls out Auntie Jo is going to cut mummy's hair short like Isaac's. Imogen didn't say anything but I think she is scared by mummy loosing her hair. Isaac thinks it will be cool!!

So keep your eyes peeled for the all new look Ruth, coming soon to a screen near you.