Friday, 24 February 2012

Scan results

The scan shows new growths in both lungs: H has compared it with the planning scans for the radiotherapy she had on the existing lung legion: the new growths seem to be present there but smaller.  It's a plausible hypothesis that they've grown because of the break from chemotherapy, and will stop growing, or at least slow down a lot, now that she's back on it.  They'll be another scan in three weeks to find out.

There's some progression of the T12 lesion also: presumably that's responsible for the sacro-iliac pain, though it's not obvious from the scan that it would be.  At least there's no new growth to be seen causing the pain.  Which doesn't make it any less painful.

This is bad but not disastrous: H and her consultant discussed radiotherapy to the T12 lesion and decided against, fearing that the spinal cord there has already had all the radiation it can stand.  That means they think she'll be alive in six months for it to make a difference. I've told the consultant that the Olympics will be cancelled if H is unable to carry the torch.

H signed a form in support of an application for treatment with pazopanib, which is what she'll move on to if the next scan shows further progression.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Good news, bad news

We had a good holiday - H got out on the slopes every day.  She's lost some strength, but she makes up for it with enviable technique.

Her general health has improved a lot with the break from chemotherapy, but she's been getting worsening pain in and around her left sacroiliac joint.  It seems probable that there's a new growth causing it, but we don't know where exactly - the pain seems to be neuropathic.  She restarted chemotherapy yesterday, and will have a scan later today.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Time for a break

After nine months of chemotherapy with barely a pause, H is having a break for a couple of weeks.  She needs it, the stuff is poison and she was suffering, from weakness, fatigue, and a worsening skin reaction - she opted for the most conservative treatment for her lung lesion, radiotherapy, because she felt too ill for anything more.  She's perked up considerably already.

Tomorrow we're off to the alps for a week's skiing: H hasn't committed herself to getting out on the slopes, but she hasn't ruled it out either.

It was just after our last skiing holiday that the cancer was diagnosed, so we're coming up to a year (but half-term is a bit earlier this year).  When we get back, it will be more paclitaxel.

Talking to I&S

Two weeks or so ago H and I agreed that we shouldn't put it off any longer.  H didn't feel up to it, so I lay on the bed with I&S and told them that the doctors can't stop the cancer growing, and that eventually it will be too much for H to live with and she will die.  They took it very well - I don't think they were surprised.  I asked them if they had any questions and S asked if there would be a funeral - yes, and if we would have a new mummy - I don't know, but I will look after them whatever happens.  Then H joined us and we had a hug.

I told the "pastoral care" teachers at their schools what I'd told I&S.  S talked about it to her friends, and the school decided they should make the information official, so they sent a letter to parents - they let us edit it first - and the form teacher and the pastoral care teacher spoke to the class.  S was ok with all this, "so long as everyone doesn't crowd around me".

They both seem to have decided that the thing to do is to be extra good and helpful.  I told I that I'd talked to his pastoral care teacher in case he was upset, and he said no, he was all right.  Then he won the county under-9 chess championship at the weekend.

The children are brilliant.

I wish this wasn't happening.