A knife in the road

4 Mar

The sixth cycle comes to an end. My spots are flaring up again – but they come and go, so hopefully will not be too painful for too long. Two more cycles to go now, next one should be starting this Monday. But it’s not.

Mimi and I took a couple of days out in the country, staying in the Cotswolds. This was a much needed break, one we would of perhaps liked to have lasted a little longer, but we need to save holiday so we might have a trip to Australia this year. This was to get away from it all, but instead acted as a nice place to receive the next change of my treatment plan.

The only reliable thing in cancer treatment is “don’t plan on what you know, as it’s probably going to change by next month”. And here we have quite a big change of direction. The second surgeon I have sent my scans to has recommended surgery. I have not had a proper consultation with him – that is scheduled for the end of next week – but his recommendation for surgery is definite enough that he has proposed I don’t have the chemo on Monday, so that the one drug-free month can start that much sooner.

All I know is he thinks that operation would be quite small, and with that in mind it would be worth going ahead with some surgery now. This tallies with the “conventional wisdom” around secondary cancers; cut them out and apply chemo to ensure everything is caught. And so it’s the path I think I am best taking at this stage, certainly until I have had a chance for a proper consultation to discuss why he thinks surgery is best, compared to the initial descision made by the other liver surgeon.

At the end of the day, with little hard medical fact backing up either approach, I get the feeling the descision between the options presented is being left to me. This is, of course, somewhat absurd – 9 months ago all I knew about cancer was it affected old people and smokers and not 31 year-old males (yes, yes, 32 years old now). And whilst I have learnt a lot since then, it’s still a bad idea for me to be making this decision. I understand the final call is still with me, I’m not completely impotant in this decision making process, but on a choice like this I really need to hear how these options have been reached and how each recommendation is backed.

Fortunaltey, I am seeing my Oncologist tomorrow and the new surgeon next Friday, so plenty of chances to ask questions and get a gauge of confidence on the whole decision. If this surgery goes ahead, I suspect it will most likely happen at the start of April and be based in Basingstoke hospital (yes, yes, I know, bloody miles away). Confirmation of everything coming in a week or two. Until then, I’m just trying to manage these darn spots on my head.

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