Monday 16th January, 2012

The Big Day - Part 2 - Fantastic Outcome

Finally, the day arrived when I would find out what the future had in hold for me; I would get the results of the CT scan that took place on 11th January.

I can honestly say that I was not excessively worried about the outcome. I got a good night's sleep. In fact I slept "like a baby" from midnight to after 7am. (And I don't mean that I kept waking up screaming, needing food and cleaning up!). I am sure that my Christian faith and all of the people praying for me had a great to do with that.

Rather like when I waited for my A-Level examination results, a long time ago, I was moderately confident that the outcome would be positive, but I knew that a different result which did not give me the future I wanted was a distinct possibility.

Physically, when I got up, I was very stiff and my lower digestive tract was still uncomfortable. A hot shower did a lot of relieve the stiffness and a flow of wind did a lot to relieve the internal pressure. I still had the feeling that this discomfort was a result of the treatment, rather than the original lymphoma.

I sat at my computer all morning, doing some work. Our plan was to go to the hospital a little earlier than my appointment (in the hope of being seen early) and to start with lunch at Costa in the hospital.

Sitting in the waiting room, I have to admit that I was feeling pretty nervous. Time seemed to be passing very slowly. Probably in anticipation of the appointment, the small of my back on both sides was pretty uncomfortable. I was now ready to get the appointment over with. Sue was very worried that the appointment would be inconclusive and we wouldn't find out what we were expecting.

My weight today was 13st 12lb (194 pounds), which is not much different to a month ago. For me that was about 2st lower than my stable weight before the lymphoma took hold. Keeping at this weight is a good target. Over the course of the last year I have gone from XL to M and back to L.

My appointment was late, so we had a tense time. Sue read quite a lot of her book but had no recollection of what she read.

The result of my scan was better than we dared hope and indeed consultant said that the outcome was much better than they expected when the treatment started.

The growth on my bowel was GONE.
The growth on my pelvis was GONE and there was a significant amount of bone regrowth.
There was still a mass near my liver, but it could well just be scar tissue. They didn't seem concerned and just planned to monitor it.

Some comparisons:

16th August 2011 25th August 2011 16th January 2012
Entered hospital in a wheelchair Walking with crutches Walking almost normally
Extremely anaemic, not eating properly   Only very slightly anaemic. Back to enjoying food.
Sleeping very poorly. Lots of pain, night sweats.   Sleeping well.
Diagnosed with multiple inoperable cancers Re-diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. Treatable, but advanced and extremely aggressive. Two out of three masses have gone completely, the other is significantly reduced in size.
Virtually no long-term prognosis A cure is possible and in fact statistics for 5 year survival on my side Every expectation of seeing my grandchildren grow up

This transformation is amazing, truly miraculous. Thanks be to God.

I still had a lot of discomfort from my digestive system. The scan showed that I was seriously constipated, so rather than reduce medication, I should increase it. Stopping morphine would help, so that is something I decided to do, with immediate effect.

With no morning morphine, I would be OK to drive, providing that I am confident in my ability to perform an emergency stop.

Confirmation. We would be going to San Francisco and Hawaii. The outcome was truly miraculous, an answer to prayer.

In the evening I had a Hampshire County ASA Management Meeting. A strong gust of wind between the car and the building left my digestive system feeling relatively comfortable.

Through the evening, I was amazed at the number of e-mails I received, just on the basis of just updating the summary on my web site.

What a day!