This has been a week of scans, doctor’s visits and clarity at last. The detail will come later. First the headline announcement. Bruce Wylie is eating himself … or rather Bruce Wylie’s cancer is eating him. But since the cancer is me, that’s a moot point. The cancer grows at the expense of my normal functions, diverting resources. This is of course, the reason for my progressive weight loss and once fat is used up, the muscles are next.
Thank God for good GPs. Mine is helpful, considerate and knows when I need to have time with her just to regain perspective. I am pretty clear now about the near future in a way I wasn’t a week ago. I can counteract some things with drugs or other treatments eg sickness and anaemia. And I will do so. Weight and strength loss are here to stay and will get gradually worse. I can only counteract that by eating as much as I can :-) and getting in extra help around home and garden to take that demand of Gina and me. I must do so. I will continue with chemo, hoping it has kicked in now after 3 months and will continue to bear down on new and existing metastases. I will be on it for at least the rest of this year provided nothing untoward happens. I want what that can give me, 9 extra months of life.
The scan result was nevertheless a shock. The reports always compare with the last scan, looking for changes. This one covered both 3 months not on chemo and 3 months on chemo. It showed extensive progress of my cancer. That is, more metastases in old sites, as well as new sites including the liver. It also showed growth of pre-existing metastases. Hopefully most of this will have happened before the chemo kicked in, in the last 3 months. The next scan, in another 3 months, will show whether the advance has been stopped.
I am optimistic about that and will pursue the chemo for as long as I can. And I am realistic about the medium term. My prognosis before my first operation in late January 2014 was 3 years survival. This is after all, secondary cancer 17 years following the primary. I am 18 months into that 3 years and allowing for the respite chemo can give, the overall survival seems about right, excluding unexpected major events. So I am around for a while longer, with no plans to check out soon.