This week is full on, as the Aussies say. We go to Lincoln to see what the new oncologist might be like and find that he seems calm, knowledgeable, straightforward and prepared to answer questions. This sounds good. One of my complaints is that I have not received a single result of ANY tests I have had done with Virgil since I started seeing him. This includes blood tests, tumour markers, Echocardiogram and CT scan. I have asked at the GP surgery, asked Virgil’s own secretary and also the chemotherapy nurses but they have just drawn a blank. He probably has the reports but hasn’t looked at them yet so no-one else can give me any information. This is thoughtless to say the very least. We agree between us that Dr Chaudhuri will take us on and that we will travel to Lincoln for treatment and to see him every 3 weeks. While I am drawing a deep breath of relief, he goes to see if he can see the results of any of my tests. Swappping to a new oncologist means new dates to see him and different treatment dates and they happen to fall right when I am going to the Penny Brohn Centre with Ms Marsden and Mrs Ure. It would mean I would get an evening and half a day before having to be picked up and brought back home again. I really love going to Penny Brohn but think this might actually be more stressful that just going along with the new dates. Just as we are musing on this, we are asked to go through to see the CT scan. He tells me there is a spot on my liver which is suspicious and I tell him this has come up over the last 2 years which he is pleased about because he didn’t think it warranted further investigation so he will look at the Charing Cross notes. He then whizzes around the chest area and there doesn’t appear to be much there. He says there are just a couple of small spots but that’s it. I ask about the 1cm lesion at the base of my right lung. “No,” he says, “there is barely anything there. I can hardly see it”. I begin to cry with shock and he says “This is good news!” which I knew but was finding it hard to take in. Apparently there are just a couple of small spots throughout both my lungs. My pleural effusion is resolving itself by thickening the lung wall in that place so there is very little fluid there not. All good news. We have found an apparently good oncologist AND had the best news we have had since I was diagnosed all in one day. I decide to ditch the morphine for one night and indulge in a glass of champagne which tastes wonderful. Apart from the offspring, we keep the information to ourselves for a couple of days. It is given moderately to Mr Mason’s parents in case they think I am cured. I don’t feel like shouting it from the rooftops. I feel it has given me probably another year or so which is wonderful but I am cautious in my optimism. It’s good news but that’s all it is for now, and I feel a lucky girl.
On Wednesday I have a really nice woman from Sheffield University come to talk to me about my blog and how I communicate my feelings about terminal illness. We have a really good chat about it which I enjoy immensely. I tell her she’s come on a good week and confide my good news to her which makes her cry. Always a good sign in a researcher, I think. She recorded our whole interview so some poor person has to transcribe it and then it will be analysed in the same way as the blog. She confessed she is reading the whole blog and sometimes laughing out loud at her desk when her fellow researchers might be reading something drier. It’s ultimately about communicating difficult news, I think, although I hope she will correct me if I’m wrong when she gets to this page.
The frustration is that I am trying to have separate pages on this blog. One for pictures of the house, one for Lark’s diary (she is a precocious little thing except in the matter of house training) etc and it’s not really working out. I checked out a few bits of information on different sites which all say it’s so EASY but they lie. If this blog appears odd or unusual, it’s because I am so tired i am actually falling asleep over it which is not good. So, this one is launched with no checking, no nothing. It appears red in tooth and claw. It’s hard to write when you can’t actually see the words properly as they keep moving all over the place. I still hope you enjoy it.