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Chemo Continues

It’s been a while since my last post and I want to keep those that are interested up to speed. I’m due to start my 3rd cycle of chemo next week and I’m currently feeling really good, although there have been some dark days. One of the things about my situation is the majority of people only see me when I am well enough to venture out the house so people only see the good days. The chemo I am on at the moment is a mixture of 2 drugs. I take Temozolomide tablets in the morning and then a drip called Irinotecan later in the day, which only takes half an hour if they get their shit together at the hospital. And that’s each day for 5 days. A few times I have waited all day in the hospital chair but I won’t bore you with those exciting stories.Continue Reading

Round 2

So to keep you all updated, I didn’t get very far. Two weeks ago I went back full of confidence to get the results of my first scan. This was a scenario I had played over in my head a lot but it felt strange being there. My shoulder is all clear but unfortunately it has returned in my lungs. The oncologist explained it wasn’t good it had returned after 11 months of strong chemo, and that the chance of healing it is 5-10%. I cannot even begin to describe how devastating this news felt and I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it till now, even now it feels strange. Not figures anyone wants or should ever have to hear. I was there with my mum and I felt so bad she had to hear this. We were both waiting to wake up from a very bad dream for days after. Then this Friday I went back to hospital to sign a consent form, for starting chemo on Monday. However they also used this opportunity to tell me they re-looked at my scans and have decided it has also spread to my pancreas and possibly my liver also. A lot of shit news to process but I’d like to think I will be in that top 10%. I’ve never finished outside of a top 10% for anything in my life!

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A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins With a Single Step

It’s been a while since I wrote my last post, apologies to anyone that has been waiting in eager anticipation to hear me moan some more. I have been really busy and loving my freedom from the constant cycle of chemo I lived life by last year. I was very surprised and disappointed how down I felt after my last treatment. I was hoping I would be feeling fresh and full of energy a few weeks after finishing but the physical and mental effects of chemo dragged on well into the New Year. The psychological battle is definitely not over once treatment finishes and there is a stark difference between relief and happiness. Continue Reading

Chemo done….bring on 2016!!

After 11 months (14 rounds) of chemotherapy, about 60 days spent in hospital, 6 weeks of radiotherapy, approximately 5800 miles driven to hospitals, 3 months of antibiotics and anti-sickness drugs, 47 Hickman line flushes, a major operation, 4 blood transfusions, 20 blood samples, countless injections, scans and horrific side effects it’s all finally over. It’s been the hardest year of my life by a long shot and a real test of character to say the least. I’m not one to wish away time but 2015 can fuck off. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is a bit of a cliché, but couldn’t be more correct in this case.Continue Reading

Reverse Humeral Replacement

As I have already mentioned in my last post I had the operation at the very end of September, once I had completed 5 out of 8 VAC chemotherapies. It was time for operation ‘make me Iron Man’, AKA a ‘reverse humeral replacement’ for all the medical types. The aim was to remove the diseased bone (humerous) and surrounding tissue and replace it with a new titanium prosthesis. This was a huge mile stone in my treatment and I had mixed feelings about it. I was so glad and relieved to be moving forward and finally getting the bastard that started all of this out my body. Nevertheless I was losing a part of my body. And possibly the ability to do a lot of the things I was good at, the things I love and I felt gave me my identity like rugby, Olympic lifting and some of my best dance moves. Would I ever be able to lift my future children onto my shoulders, get something heavy down off of a shelf, swim or do a straight arm bolt right handed ever again? I did everything I could to stay positive and looked at the sports and other things I could do, but I still couldn’t help but be frustrated about the ability I was losing. It would be strange if it didn’t affect me after being so able and active my whole life. Still, being alive and healthy is far more important!Continue Reading

VAC Chemotherapy

This will take a lot less time to talk about as I’ve covered most of it in my previous posts about VIDE. I will include the chemo process and all the side effects in one post, which we are both happy about! As I have previosuly mentioned, after the 4.5 months of the horrible VIDE chemo I started 6 weeks of radiotherapy alongside 6 months, or 8 rounds of VAC chemo (Vincristine, Actinomycin D, Cyclophosphamide). This was termed the ‘maintenance’ chemo and it would be clearing up any little nasties floating around inside me.Continue Reading

What is Radiotherapy like?

I have been quiet for a while as I had my penultimate chemo last week (almost there!!) and wasn’t feeling well enough to stare at a computer screen till now. I wanted to take this opportunity to apologise for the lack of decent photographs I have. Like I mentioned in my first post, I haven’t even wanted to look in the mirror so taking pics and documenting this was the last thing I wanted to do.

So, after the VIDE chemo I was due to start a different type of chemo called VAC (I will talk about that in my next post) alongside 6 weeks of radiotherapy. Radiotherapy would be Monday to Friday and take anywhere between 30mins-2hours depending on the waiting time, although the scan itself only took 10 minutes.Continue Reading

What Are The Side Effects of VIDE Chemotherapy? My Ass-assination

There are so many unpleasant side effects that I have given them their own post. Absolutely nothing was fun about them but we heal and I can now look back at them with some humour as I don’t want to put you guys through another depressing post! But at the same time I want to be informative as it might help someone. Every individual is different and gets affected in different ways so it’s very personal. The side effects would always peak together when I was at my weakest 7-12 days after chemo. The week after chemo is like having the worst hangover in the world that never ends, with that depressing come down constantly but no good memories from the night before to go with it, and the thought of cancer on your mind. It’s no party. The week after that is the ‘low week’ where blood cells are reduced and then you start to recover overnight just in time for more chemo, hooray!Continue Reading

What is VIDE Chemotherapy?

Unfortunately this section doesn’t involve any funny stories so be warned. I’ve tried to block most of it from my memory as it was such a crappy experience but thought it might be informative and hopefully help someone. I’m going to talk about the daily routine of hospital life while having chemo and a few of the things I encountered. I will cover the side effects in a later post.Continue Reading

To Do List Before Chemotherapy: 1. Bank Sperm

So we were a week or two into January and my chemo was due to start at the beginning of February, I needed to square a few things away. Work have been amazing and nothing but supportive but there was some admin to do and lots of forms to fill out. I would be off work for the year because treatment was so intense. I started to prepare myself physically and mentally for the turmoil that was coming my way. I’ve always eaten extremely well but started to do research on what could help fight cancer. I would do anything that might help, and I mean anything!! I eat more turmeric than most Indian restaurants use a year, broccoli, cauliflower, green tea, tomatoes, leafy greens and as much other fruit and veg as possible. The majority of all this was in my diet anyway so I didn’t have to change it. My sister sent me some tea called Jamaican Guinea Hen Weed. It looks and sounds like something dodgy and tastes like muddy pond water, but I was chucking the stuff down me as it was supposed to have cancer fighting properties and even benefit the chemotherapy.Continue Reading

Blog by Julian Quick