Today I had an appointment with my consultant where I found out about how well my chemotherapy treatment had gone and what was going on inside my body by finding out the results of the PET scan I had a couple of weeks ago.
It is good news! The doctors say that my scan revealed no living cancer cells in my body. I still have a small mass of scar tissue of dead cells (approximately 7cm x 3cm) where the massive tumour in my abdomen used to be, but it has drastically reduced in size and they are dead and no longer active. I am now in complete remission! Praise God!
However, I am still 'in treatment '. Now begins a two year course of treatment to prolong the extent of the remission, as I have been told that at present modern medicine can not completely kill the type of cancer I have got, so they do expect it to return at some point - although I believe in a God of miracles so continue to trust in my complete healing.
I now need to go back to the hospital once every 2 months to have a 2 hour drip of Retoximab. This formed part of my chemotherapy cocktail, but I don't think it counts as chemo on its own. I may still be susceptible to a low white blood cell count, but should not feel as I'll or as wiped out as I did when having chemotherapy.
My daily self-administered injection into the stomach to thin my blood on order to reduce the risk of blood clots can now stop. Hurray!
My stent is scheduled to be removed on Thursday 10th November in the day surgery unit. So I should be in and out within a couple of hours. This is good as recently I have had the odd twinge in the location of my stent, so it is probably time it came out.
My hair is also making a comeback! My head hair is fairly normal. I haven't noticed any 'chemo curl' that a lot of other patients have talked to me about. I now have quite a few more grey hairs (but not as many as my wife was expecting apparently!). I must say it is strange having quite a lot of patches of stubble in various locations all over my body!
My scan also revealed something unexpected. They found a small 'nodule' on one of my lungs. It did not 'light up' in the scan so they do not think it is cancerous but I will be booked in for further scans in the near future so they can monitor it.
As far as returning to work is concerned I am all set for a phased return in mid-January as the doctors want to see how I respond to my first Retoximab treatment first. However at present I am allowed to go in for 'Keep in Touch' days so I can keep up to date with inset training and go to a meeting or two just so I can begin to dip my toes back into the waters.
Thank you so much to everyone for all your messages of support, prayers and good wishes whether it be in the blog comments, on Facebook, via text and phone calls or in person! Your support and encouragement has really meant so much to my family and I.
My journey continues but the path is getting easier and wider. I can now see further into the distance. There are places ahead where I can stop, sit and appreciate the view and the company. One thing I can count on is that I know Jesus will continue to be with me every step of the way.