This is a very brief update to let you know the current state of play.
Back pain is now partially under control thanks to a heady dose of 2 types of morphine, diazepam and paracetamol; manna from pharmaceutical heaven!
I had a visit from the doctors this morning who reiterated the positive results of the new chemo regime and we had a very good discussion about when my back will be operated on vs when the next round of chemo starts.
Looks like round 4 of chemo first, then the back operation. (pins, rods, cement…sounds more like a something they’ll be calling a bricky in for) There was also chit chat around using radio therapy on my 4th vertibrae which is the mashed one. As that is the problem child they can, the theory goes, isolate it and give it a good kicking.
The plan was to start chemo next week (w/c 25th Sept) but I asked, given that every day that passes more skeletal damage will be occurring, why we could not start this week? The answer was to give me a break but I’d rather get going; the sooner I start the sooner I finish and less long term damage can occur.
So, we start round 4 of treatment tomorrow. (Tuesday 19th Sept) (ironically, the day after IronMan ’16 when I got pneumonia which in hindsight, was the first overt sign of myeloma to be identified by the medics but not linked to cancer) It wont be fun but then a lifetime of dodgy bones wouldn’t be either. So at 04:41 on Wednesday 20th September I’m awake again penning my thoughts as sleep is not forth coming.
I also have another incredibly positive piece of news to share. The doctors did another paraprotein test yesterday before starting this round of therapy and have noted a further drop in paraprotein numbers from 42 to 33; thats before any new chemicals have been introduced so it is definitely working.
The new regime continues to kick the sh1t out of the cancer which is outstanding.
This gives me a lot of hope as the stem cell transplant looms large on the horizon. I’m not doing cart wheels just yet (can you imagine what that would do to my back?!) but the indications are good that we are getting the disease under control.
Yes, the side effects of pained back, aggressive cough and hungover feeling are still prevalent, but if that’s what it takes to get this in check so be it. At least I am in a state of health whereby I can be hit with the powerful drugs that other, less able individuals cannot.
Most importantly of all however, I’ll leave you with a quote from Ranulph Fiennes whose book “Fear” very much crystallises my belief in the power of the mind in being a key tool in overcoming the challenges life throws at you. A balance of a strong mind, body and medicine all complement one another to find a path to healthy future.
“Entire books have been written about about ways of fighting fear, but my five decades of breaking world records through taking risks have convinced me that, with due respect to devotees of yoga, breathing and powerful drugs, successful control of your own mind gives you the best chance of winning the battle and even achieving the most enviable of states…being a happy human being.”