Topic: Update from Ron Smith
Hello everyone. I have been fairly quiet over the last few months but now have a new situation to report. I was persuaded by doctors at the oncology centre that it may not be in my best interests to start chemo at the start of the year as I was not showing any symptoms and it could actually prove to be detrimental. My last CT scan, in April, indicated that the tumours had become larger and for the first time, I was told there may be "something" on my lung. Apart from that, however, I was still symptom free, with nothing unusual coming back with my blood tests.
Over the summer I have noticed changes, ending with my GP confirming that a small lump I could feel in my neck being an enlarged lymph node. I had also found I was starting to feel a bit bloated and seedy if I ate too much or sat about too long. The worst time was at the beginning of this week when, in a rare time of weakness, I had a fish supper. (Kris, if you are reading this you will know what a Scottish fish supper is like - delicious but a killer, especially when served with lashings of salt, vinegar and sauce!). It took me more than a day to get over it. What has made things worse is that the summer in Britain, particularly in Scotland, has been dreadful, making it very difficult to get out for walks or spend time in the garden. So I am definately not as fit as I was earlier in the year.
Anyway, I have now decided to start chemo and on Tuesday next I am due to have my first treatment. I will be having Gemcitabine on its own, 7 weeks on and 1 week off. I am a bit nervous about it since my trial with Xeloda only lasted 3 days and brought on my angina. I have been told Gemcitabine is different and should not have the same outcome. But I am worried that it will lay me low and will be the start of a quick deterioration. But there appears to be no obvious alternatives. Radiation, RFA, cyberknife, theraspheres, or anything of that ilk has been ruled out as unsuitable due to the number and positions of my tumours. I am told that if the Gemcitabine does not work I will have access to clinical trials. Well, I'll just have to wait and see how it all pans out.