26 March 2008

Tired of being tired

Though I have no proof, I think that the last treatment has been more effective that the previous one. Also the bump on my head is itching like crazy and appears to be getting smaller. The pain in my ribs has also decreased. None of this has been tested medically as I have to wait another 2 weeks before getting my blood tested. All in all am a lot less worried than I was around Christmas. People tell me I am looking a lot better and I have to agree.
I just wish I wasn't as tired as I am now. I could sleep all day...and there is much that needs to be seen to. Maybe I need to have my hormone levels tuned again. We will see to that pretty soon.

25 March 2008

To flush and be flushed

Winter has set in as Spring has commenced. Rather than watching the Dutch flowers bloom, this Easter has been one, covered in snow. You haven't heard much of me this past week because of the severe pains I had due to my new physical therapy treatment. A new therapist needs to figure out how much each patient can endure. This means that he had to search my limit. Searching a limit sometimes means that you have to cross the line before you know where the limit is and this is exactly what happened just before Kiara's Easter holidays. The pain was so severe that I needed about 2 hours in the morning to get up and running. But despite that, I still managed to go to Zevenaar to my parent's home for Easter, and Monday we had a brunch at home with Marc and his son. I wanted to fix the brunch myself so I banned everyone from the livingroom until everything was done. It is increadible how much it helps when people just let you be while you figure out how you are going to do something. Marc seems to be a master at that and instictively knows when to jump in. He did so after brunch and cleaned up after us.
Last week a new toilet was placed upstairs so I don't have to keep walking up and down the stairs at night. The system is a Sanibroyeur, basically a blender that reduces your faeces to chocolate milkshake, thus making it possible to connect the toilet to a regular drain rather than a normal toilet drain. Two days of the previous week, my house was taken over by the builders who used the drain of the washing machine to attach the broyeur to. I was rather chuffed with my new loo and felt an animalistic urge to mark off my new territory (I needn't say more). I used the toilet quite frequently.

While Marc was cleaning up after the Easter brunch, he walked outside to toss some garbage in the container. As he moved away, a wave of 'water' missed him by a fraction. The wave came from a pipe that protruded from my bathroom wall. It emptied out into the garden. For a day we believed that the previous owner of my house, a crazy DIY freak, had constructed a short cut expulsion for the washing machine. Such Third World scenes would not have been greatly appreciated. I decided to try my luck and call the construction company. This morning they came by and were able to tell me that it was a ventilation pipe that was not able to handle the new floods of water. They closed the system and left behind a happy me. Somehow these situations really seem to drain me. I slept the whole afternoon, as Kiara played with her friends. At the end of the day a new trip to the physical therapist has left me anxious about how the next couple of days will be. I have been ordered to lie down 3 to 4 times a day for 20 minutes. I don't really mind orders like that!

'Shit on the Chinese Wall'
by Who flung poo

12 March 2008

Prognosis yields life

So, where have I been the last couple of days? I suppose I have been living. A trip to Dr. Lips has been very positive, as I got the results of my total body scan and the scintigraph (scans the iodine uptake). The iodine uptake was excellent. I was able to feel it. It had been so annoying when the radiologist had not allowed me to see my scan last week. These people have no idea how much uncertainty they cause. For her, it was obviously not a pretty sight. For me the result was great, as there were no suprises to be found. Next time I shall negotiate before I have the scan. I have verified and Lips thinks it's a load of "bull" to not allow me to see my scans.
The total body scan I made earlier, was also a relief. There was nothing there that I did not expect. All in all, up to my treatment everything was OK.
The Thyroglobulin reading was high. This time the result was 16600. I had expected an increase as the level increase is closely related to the amount of Thyrax (my medication) in my bloodsystem. This time I stopped taking my medication 4 weeks in advance, rather than 3 weeks. The value of my blood test can therefore not be compared to the last one. The next question is...is my prognosis clear yet? Though Lips ensured me that there will come a time when my treatment will no longer work, he has compared my case to one of his other patient's case, a man that is still using the iodine treatment after 13,5 years. This has led him to assume that given the current status, and given the current knowledge in this field, I should have at least another 10 years. (There are also 2 new types of treatment available to me if the Iodine should stop working). Though many people will say that 10 years is not much...it is a huge gift to me. I signifies that I will be able to lead Kiara into adulthood. It is 10 years opposed to dying last year.
A time to celebrate, and live. Knowing that I have 10 odd years gives me the freedom to be ambitious again, and to go back to work without any reservations.
And 10 years is short enough, to once in a while be a little selfish. Don't you agree?

05 March 2008

Cancer causes commotion

A week and a half has gone by since my last treatment, more or less in retreat. I managed to catch yet another flu last week and have taken to eating green magma to enhance my general health. The treatment has some side effects like pain in the areas where the tumors are situated, disturbed intestines, pain and swelling in the joints, and depression. All of which make you very touchy. This in combination with a new fase in my process was pretty strenuous. My sister Adrienne also visited from France with her husband Jacques and my sister, Jacqueline helped me out with a paint job in Kiara's room. All this was very hectic, as I had a house full of people, and a huge mess too. This all resulted in general apathy on my part, so I concentrated on all the calls I had to make this week. There is so much more I need to get done, but procrastination has become my middle name as I try to wind down the pace at which I have been doing things for almost a year, already. The doctor in charge of my reintegration at work was right when he told me to not work more than 4 hours a week yet. I noticed this this week when the flu had bogged me down so much that I decided not to go to the office. Next week there will be plenty of time to go for it again.
In the meantime I phoned my physical therapist to make an appointment to continue my battle against orthopedic obstruction. Much to my suprise there had been some havoc about my case the past couple of months. I had 3 simple questions: 1) How come they did not think that scans were necessary last year, 2) How come they did not revert me to my GP when I talked about the nightly sweating. 3) Why did my physical therapist not call me back when she heard I had cancer.
These were apparantly difficult questions to answer. Especially if I wanted to talk with them with my friend Tineke there who is also a physical therapist. I gave them cause to believe that I assumed malpractice. I thought I had been clear about that matter, but the commotion led to an internal investigation, including calls with my GP. I couldn't believe it, and found myself consoling the therapist instead of the other way around. Now why did this bug me. After getting satisfactory answers to my questions, 3/4 of a year ahead I asked for a new appointment. My therapist wanted to pass me on to her colleague. I did not know why as she has been an excellent therapist for the passed 5 years, or so. She promised to call me back, only to tell me that they didn't dare handle my case any more...she did not feel as if she could be objective anymore. I heard the stress and pain in her voice, and agreed that in that case it would be best if I moved on. I can't help thinking that we live in a rather feable community....or is it me that has become alot tougher?
Tomorrow I am going to Lips to hear the first news about the scans. I am feeling pretty confident about the results even though I think that there has been some spreading of the cancer. All in all I expect a decrease in the total amount of cells. More on this subject later this week.