Tuesday 9th June
And so it comes round again, a two hundred and fifty mile round trip to the hospital where I signed up to GlaxoSmithKline’s Combi-Ad drugs trial for the adjuvant treatment of malignant melanoma in stage 3 patients.
My primary tumour was on the fourth toe of my left foot. The Alien Blob. Unfortunately the cancer cells spread to the lymph nodes at the top of my leg, so I had those removed too. My treatment has been immunotherapy, combining Dabrafenib and Trametinib. I’m now on two years of three-monthly check-ups.
Month 18 has me visiting two hospitals and five different departments.
Dermatology first ~ “Ooh, I don’t like the look of that mole on your arm, it’s better off, in a pot. We’ll make an appointment to remove it.” Eeeewwww.
Women’s health next, for a cervical smear test ~ “Up you get, ankles in the stirrups, relax”. Eeeewwww.
Trials nurse for blood and obs ~ four vials sucked out of the vein in my right arm, and blood pressure much too high. Eeeewwww.
Medical imaging follows, for a CT scan. Cannula inserted into vein in left arm, radioactive contrast goes down the tube: breathe in, hold your breath, breathe normally. Three times. Eeeewwww.
Lastly to the oncologist for an all-over physical exam ~ “Oh yes, month 18 requires a rectal exam too.” Eeeewwww.
But still, despite all the tests, I’m glad that I am being so well monitored. I just have to wait a couple of weeks for the results.
I just wish my son’s treatment had worked for him. I am reminded of his chemotherapy whilst speaking with my trials nurse ~ we are in the day case ward, where people are hooked up to various cytotoxic mixtures being delivered into their system, using the same machines and pumps as the ones we had become used to with him.
We visit the cemetery on the way home, to talk with him. And I just keep asking myself, why I am still here, yet he is not. Why couldn’t he have been saved? Especially when we were told everything was progressing well. That’s just what I can’t get over. So unexpected and heartbreaking.
Love you so very much xxxxx