Sharp Blue: Always waiting


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On Tuesday this week, we saw my dad’s oncologist again for a progress meeeting three months after his radiosurgery (this is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down to write an update). The news seems good:

  • The tumour in his brain has swelled up to 8mm across (from 5mm across), but the oedema around it has vanished. At first this sounded alarming, but apparently it’s exactly what’s expected within a few months of radiosurgery. When he has his next cranial MRI in another three months, the tumour should be gone.
  • The radioisotope bone scan showed nothing in his painful ankle. This means the pain is probably due to soft tissue inflammation, possibly as a side effect of the interferon.
  • The radioisotope scan also showed no uptake in his upper leg or back, which means that the tumours there are inactive (or, with a little luck, entirely gone).

We’re still waiting on the results of the whole body CT scan (which looks for cancerous regions in soft tissues). He had the scan on Tuesday so we should get the results next week. Then we’ll probably learn whether the swollen lymph nodes in his lung are cancerous. We should also get the blood test results at about the same time, and perhaps learn whether the interferon is working.

Unfortunately, despite all this possibly good news, he’s still feeling terrible. I think the oncologist was a bit surprised by how bad he looks. It was a real struggle for him to go to the hospital for the CT and appointment, and that was the only time he’s been out of bed for longer than an hour or so in about two weeks. He hasn’t eaten a proper meal in about that long either, and has vomited up most of what he has eaten. His weight had increased so much that last week we had to go out to get him larger trousers to wear to go to the hospital, and now he’s lost so much that he can’t keep them up. It seems this might be a combination of interferon side effects and the viral infection of the respiratory system that’s going around. In any case, we were told to skip two interferon injections to let him recover his strength a bit and he’s also now on the antiemetic domperidone.

With this disease it seems that whenever you start recovering from one thing you’re hit by something else. And that you never know how bad things are.

*hugs you*

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