Friday, 4 December 2009

The Hammer Falls again......

So once again we were waiting......
This time for the date for the CT scan. We decided that we wanted to do this at Basingstoke so that images wouldnt get lost being transferred from Bristol. Also the scanner at Basingstoke was apparently better and the analysis of the results would be better.
It was still late summer so I decided to take a two week holiday with the family and try to get back to as normal as possible. We took the kids to Wookey Hole,Stourhead,The American Museum,The Bristol Harbour Festival and The International Balloon Fiesta. We also stayed with my aunt in wales for a few days and did a couple of days out there. It was a great time and for a while we did almost forget what was going on...well nearly.
The date for the scan came through, it was the 15th October '09 at 10:15. This time as it was only a scan Tracey and I drove up on our own. A few days before I had fallen and managed to break the scaphiod bone in my right wrist! The Fracture clinic at Frenchay wanted to plaster me up but decided the drive to Basingstoke was more important so I was given a support for a few days and was then plastered up! As had become the norm the visit also meant that blood tests were going to be done so a trip to the bloods clinic was first. only two tubes this time checking the tumor markers.
Then it was back to the CT scanner. I changed into the hospital gown and had a cannula fitted so the liquid could be administered when I was in the scanner. I found myself stood looking at my reflection in a window, hospital gown on, plaster on one arm where the bloods had been taken,cannula in the other and my wrist in a support waiting to be plastered. What a sorry sight!
I had drunk the special liquid over the last hour that helps produce the scanner pictures and was now dying for a pee! The nurse showed me into the room and led me down on the bed. Pictures of birds adourned the ceiling. I was passed through the scanner and then again the cannula conected. Lying still I heard the familier instructions...." breathe in....breathe out....breathe in....and hold......"
The scan was soon over and I was dressed.We had been turned around in double quick time and had a quick bite to eat and were then soon on our way back down the M4.
The following day I went to Frenchay on my way home and my wrist was plastered.

We waited about two weeks or so for the results and then I got the call whilst I was in work.
The results were not great. Any hope that the liquid might have been absorbed were dashed. There had been a slight increase and one of the tumor markers was up.
Its what I expected and had built myself up mentally for but I couldnt help clinging into the slim chance that the body could have re-absorbed the liquid. I was down again, this meant the operation was definately on.The hammer had struck yet again.
I was the only manager in the office that day, ideally I could have done with the day off as it was hard to concentrate on what I was doing and my mind was elsewhere. however I needed to be there to keep things running and in hindsight it probably wasnt a bad thing. We didnt sleep well for a few days, it started to become a pattern. A few days before an appointment and then afterwards neither Tracey or I would sleep well. You became tired and that only made things worse and more depressing. Then after a day or two things would start to return to normal and you would catch up on sleep and feel better again.
So that was that, the op was definately going to be on. We now awaited another appointment with Tom Cecil and Sue Alves to go through the results in more detail and find out when the operation was likely to be done.

During these few weeks Tracey started to do what we said we wouldnt and trwled the internet for information. We had been warned against it as alot of grim reading was out there, but we also found some gems. We are also pretty level headed. There is some real bad stories about life expectancies and re-occurances of the desiese but also some encouraging stuff. Every person is different, each case is different, some of the data on the internet is now old and out of date.
During this time we read some great blogs from other survivors and also our best find was the Pseudomyxoma Forum at the Christie hospital in Manchester. The welcome we had here was great! A real family atmosphere of people who have been treated, are undergoing or are awaiting treatment at both the Christie and Basingstoke.

In the weeks that followed we also started making preparations at work for the time I was out of the business. Katy my assistant was leaving mid Jan on maternaty leave and I had a feeling that would pretty much co-incide with my departure. So job adverts went up for two roles in my department, one for maternaty cover for Katy and the other a 6 month fixed term contract to cover me whilst I was away from the business. I would interview for both roles.

Finally the letter came through with a date for the next meeting. On Wednesday 2nd December we would meet both Tom Cecil and Sue Alves again to go through things and agree a date for the operation. Again my parents would come with both Tracey and I to hear what had to be said themselves.

As the time drew closer Tracey became more depressed. We knew what was going to be said it was just simply hearing it. My youngest daughter Chloe had a school concert down at the Colston Hall the same evening singing christmas carols. A once in a lifetime opportunity and we were going to miss it as we had a late appointment in Basingstoke and would not be back in time. Yet another thing that this Cancer had taken from me.
As the day drew neared again sleep became an issue. Id been pretty busy at work trying to get my board report done on time, interviewing for both Katy and my jobs and again starting rate negotiations with our carriers. I could really have done with a good nights sleep but just simply couldnt drop off and to top it all now had a mild cold haning around. I was struggling...

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