Friday, 24 March 2017
Since I last posted I'm afraid the grot has continued. The other-half valiantly tried to rally my spirits with his latest gift, but as you can imagine, needing a commode (daffs or no daffs) is a bit of a downer.
The commode, still in intermittent use, was a very necessary addition to the decor here at Discombobulated Towers when I experienced faecal impaction. If you don't know what that is then you are blessed. I'd describe it as super constipation with sodding great lumps on. If you are weird, and want more details, then click here. Suffice it to say, it made me feel horrendous and have even more loss of dignity at the hands of (lovely and very helpful) call out doctors. I ended up spending two weeks bed bound, sleeping on towels and smelling like a cess pit. Through all this the other-half has been a trooper. He is now known at the Groom of the Stool.
Thankfully a week ago I started feeling better and am now able, with help, oxygen, masses of time and trusty steroids, to get up dressed and downstairs most days. But there has been a noticeable deterioration in my already shaky health from a few weeks ago.
This was hammered home to me when I went to see the oncologist at Shrewsbury last week. I feared strugglinng to get to the appointment but with my trusty wheelchair and portable oxygen it wasn't as bad as I thought. Which is more than I can say for the appointment. The oncologist was more serious and sad than I've ever seen her. She told me that I was very poorly and that I cannot have further chemo as this would shorten my life rather than prolong it. She did, however, start me on a hormonal treatment called Anastrozole. I haven't had much luck with hormonals in the past, but I'm hardly going to turn down a booze up in the last chance saloon. The oncologist asked repeatedly if there was anything else I wanted to know. I think she expected me to ask how long I had left to live. I told her that I didn't want an expiry date. Some people want an estimate (and that's all it can be) and some don't. I don't think it would be helpful for me. I've done my end of life plan (about what sort of care/intervention I want) and have regular contact with my wonderful Palliative Care Doctor based at the hospice. So other than that it's one day at a time.
Arriving at this whole turn of events is a bit of a mystery to me. My last ten scans have shown no change in my cancer and yet now both my local hospital and the Christie seem to think it's been growing but not detected by scans (they've scrapped the previous idea of chemo-induced pneumonitis when my breathing didn't improve after coming off the trial). I have asked for another scan, although the oncologist wasn't keen due to the effort it involves for me, I haven't got a date for that yet. Scans not showing anything? So many too? But I've been assured that they've been checked by several radiologists so I'm flummoxed. Still the bottom line is my breathing isn't great, I'm on oxygen a lot of the time so obviously all is not well, no arguing with that. I've just got to hold out hope that the anastrozole works magic.
So, grim news really. But my day-to-day life is quite pleasant. I'm being looked after brilliantly by family. I'm watching a lot of Time Team (a very good thing in my book), playing online scrabble and drinking copious amounts of tea. In other words I'm being treated like Lady Muck which, given my latest run in with the constipation demons, is quite a fitting name.