Thursday, 22 November 2012

Good news on my scan results

I received the results of my latest scans today. I'm pleased to be able to write that the scan of my brain showed no abnormalities and that the scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis shows that the cancer there is stable. This is a good result. Trabectedin, the chemotherapy that I am being treated with, does not usually produce shrinkage of the tumours - stable disease is a success with this drug. My oncologist seemed pleased with how things are going and the plan now is that I will have three more cycles of treatment before being scanned again.
As I've noted before Trabectedin is a very expensive treatment, each dose costs several thousand pounds. One of the key reasons why this drug is available on the NHS is that the Spanish company that market it, Pharma Mar, have agreed to pay for the drug for any patients receiving more than five cycles of treatment. I've had seven cycles so Pharma Mar is now paying for the drug related part of my treatment costs. Drug companies sometimes get criticised for the costs associated with their products however, as Pharma Mar has shown with Trabectedin, they are sometimes able to put in place schemes that enable patients to access drugs that would otherwise not be available. Well done Pharma Mar and well done to the NHS for securing a good deal!  
Here's a recent photo that I took of a view over Bath. This shot was taken from the National Trust land that is adjacent to Widcombe Hill and shows the view looking to the north west over the Recreation Ground to the slopes of Lansdown Hill. St. Stephen's church tower is visible in the top right of the image with Camden Crescent just below it.
My fund raising efforts continue to go well with over £1,300 raised so far. Thanks again for everyone's support and generosity in making this possible. Anyone wishing to contribute can find out more on my website:

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Hitting the target

I've got some good news to report regarding the fundraising that I've been doing. I originally set myself a target of raising £1000 for Cancer Research UK, I'm really pleased to say that I've now hit that target thanks to the generosity of family, friends and colleagues. The total stood at £1002 as at 7th November.
My sincere thanks to all who have contributed - £2000 is the next target!

I had my most recent chemotherapy back on the 30th/31st October. The side effects took a slightly different course this time around, I've had much more fatigue than in previous cycles though I'm pleased to say I'm feeling a lot livelier again today. 
I've now completed seven cycles of treatment using Trabectedin. I had a CT scan today to check on how my tumours are responding. In addition to scanning my abdomen and chest, the oncologist also had them scan my head. I was beginning to think that the docs had forgotten the mysterious brain problems that I had right back at the start of my illness but clearly I was wrong. The doctors were never able to work out what had caused the brain issues though they thought that these must be related to my cancer. I should get the results from today's scan at my next oncology appointment on 22nd November. 
I don't seem to have done a very good job this year in terms of autumnal photography. Here's one from a recent trip to the National Trust's Stourhead, it was too early for the best of the colour but the scenic walk around the lake is beautiful at any time of the year.

This fine red deer stag was keeping a very close eye on his ladies; this shot was taken early on a frosty October morning at Ashton Court in Bristol.