I HAD A LYMPHOMA/34. DECISION DAY.
DECISION DAY AND A TURN UP FOR THE BOOK.
Thursday March 17 at 16.15 hrs has been emblazoned on my mind for over a month, as the date and time when I had to confront Dr Cervi, with my decision on whether to go for High Dose Chemo and Stem Cell Transplant Treatment or not. Readers who have followed this voyage will be aware of how this had come to pass and the torment that making such a decision had put on me and also my family members.
In Hub 33,I Indicated that I was no nearer making a final decision than at the start despite copious research and consultations with others. In fact, as I eventually told Dr Cervi direct, my indecision was final! However let me recount the detail of the appointment in order, so to speak.
We had our usual 45 minute wait as Clinic overan, but eventually saw the main man in a Consulting Room. This in itself was a blessing as anxiety had gripped my poor wife, to the extent of stomach cramps plaguing her. I was asked how I felt since our last meeting and responded by stating that my general health seemed good but I had some side issues. I then gave the Doctor my list of retained side effects, typed on two pages to identify, Neuropathy Eyes suffering from stickiness type infection, Nasal secretions, Mucus on lungs, Dry Mouth at night, and the continued feelings of settling in the abdominal area following the operation last July.. The Doctor confirmed most of these were in fact remnants of CHOP and that they would eventually subside, as was thought by ourselves. It was good to get that information confirmed and that nothing raised any concerns.
Then came the $64,000 question and my response of indecision followed by presentation of my queries and my patient preferred agenda. It was after this that Dr Chervi delivered his big surprise. My Echocardiogram had revealed a lessening of efficiency in dispelling blood from the chambers to circulate the body on the right side. Apparently on my initial test before Chemo, the figure on the scale utilised was 55. This time it was 35, probably as a result of the Chemo I was told, and that whilst this is of no consequence to me in normal activity, the figure usually wanted for High Dose guidelines is 50. Thus, there is an underlying medical consideration to pause before further action on High Dose is to be contemplated by me. The results will go to Prof Linch for his consideration and if he vetoes it thew matter ends there..
FURTHER TO THAT DOCTOR CERVI THEN AGREED THAT, MY INDECISION BEING FINAL, HE WOULD MAKE,, OR AT LEAST OFFER, AN ALERNATIVE IF HIGH DOSE WHERE STILL AN OPTION.
Doctor Chevi offered the following, a compromise on both the above and my patient"s preferred action. He would agree one more PET/CT Scan only, to be taken asap. If the results show no return of cancerous activity then that will draw a line to treatment but if there were to be any I would agree. now to undergo High Dose with no further debate if Prof Linch were of a mind to proceed.It was an unequivocal and non negotiable offer but to my mind, the happiest result that I could have wished for under the circumstances and to which I was pleased to confirm my acceptance with reasonable alacrity.
Thus, a real turn up for the book as an outside factor took away the ultimate responsibility from me but transpired to produce a solution very close to the one I had hoped for. All through my deliberations a small voice had been telling me that whilst the proposed treatment was undeniably good, the timing for me may not be. Now I have more time for my body to outlive the remaining side effects of the CHOP etc. and if needed be in good, or at least better physiological and psychological shape if treatment is deemed to be a necessity in April. My PMA is now in full speed ahead to tell me that I will not need to endure it, but should it prove necessary, then I will be up for it. For now, with no injections etc to be faced, I look forward to taking up normal life again, unfettered, at least for a time.
Logistically I have the usual blood test for the PET Scan to get done asap and will contact my Senior Nurses at the Hospital Team, Avril and Rachael, to push on the paperwork for that. I also have to contact Brian and Shirley ,my "Buddies" from the Lymphoma Society to advise them on where I now stand , as I had promised I would. On Monday, I will advise Nurse Celia at UCH of the same, so Prof Linch has early notice and after that it is a case of waiting for Scan No 4 and then the findings.
A feeling of tidying up loose ends comes to mind but it may be too early yet to hope that that is where we are at. More exercise and a feeling of greater freedom will undoubtedly play a part in the next period, as well as reflections on the whole experience which to date, has consumed my, and my precious wife"s thinking for all of 8 whole months. For her especially, I hope we may now approach a more relaxed and less worrisome time. She has certainly deserved it. For me, a sense of relief in some ways but still a small voice whispering to me to be cautious is already making a mark. Thus, more to come later, of that I am sure.