Sunday, 13 December 2015

An emotional roller-coaster!

The title of this update describes what our lives have become!

I haven't updated the blog lately, partly for that reason but also because Danny and/or I have been trying to keep as many people up to speed as we can by using Facebook or emails.  But I do know that there are many of you who rely on this blog to know what's going on so I decided to write this post today to let those people know.

I'm afraid that I have nothing to tell you about what we've been doing because all we've been doing is trying to keep on top of the regular "chores" of running the house, shopping, cooking, cleaning, chopping wood etc. And none of that is very interesting to read about, never mind write about!

Our lives - and the emotional roller-coaster we're on - have become totally centered on health problems.  So, for those of you who don't already know the situation, here is as brief an update as I can manage......

You may recall that back in October, I had another CT scan which showed that the cancer cells had started to die but that the tumour wasn't shrinking.  The oncologist told me that it could take "several months" to shrink.  Nothing but nothing prepared me for what he told me four weeks later when I went to see him on 18 November.  He said that the drug I had been taking (called Nexavar) was no longer working efficiently and I should stop taking it immediately.  When I asked what was to happen now, he told me there was nothing else they could give me.  It was totally unexpected and it was like a massive slap in the face.  I just dissolved in tears, trying to take this in.

He then said that he would now discuss my case with colleagues in other hospitals to see if they could offer any drugs, currently being trialled - what we call "clinical trials" in the UK.

To cut a long story short(er), a few days later I got a call from Bordeaux hospital with an appointment to see a Professor Blanc there.  It turns out that he is the chief of their gastroenterology department there and he is responsible for drug research for things like liver cancer.  We spent about an hour with him and a doctor from the research department and the upshot was that he wanted a new biopsy and CT scan.  He told us that there are different types of liver cancer and the new biopsy would tell him precisely what type I have.  Even more promising is that he said he had "three or four possible treatments" to choose from, depending on the type of cancer it turns out to be.

This week I had the new biopsy and scan and as I write, I am back in limbo-land, waiting to hear the results and what they will mean for me.  I am doing my best to put the whole thing to one side of my mind but of course, every so often, a stray thought snakes its way into my head!

For those of you interested, this is a link to the hospital's web site and if you look in the list of Médecins on the left hand side, you should be able to find Professor Blanc listed there.

So, that is an update of the facts.  There are positives...In a general way, I feel more confident with the Professor looking after my case.  He told me that my liver is otherwise healthy (primary liver cancer normally occurs in people who have cirrhosis and I haven't) and he seemed to suggest that there would be a drug suitable.  We have to keep our feet on the ground though - any drug I may be given is only in a trial stage and as much as I tell myself that all drugs were trialled at some point in their existence, it is very hard not to wonder about the future.

Now on top of all that, we have another worry!  Danny has had a sore throat for several weeks and despite a bag full of medicines prescribed by our GP, it refuses to go away.  Now the GP has referred him for an ultrasound and to see an Ears, Nose and Throat specialist.  We are waiting to hear when he will see the specialist but he is having the ultrasound on 23 December.  I'm sure I don't need to tell you that we are both feeling rather nervous - even while we try to convince ourselves that it is 'only' a sore throat.

Having now brought you up to date, I shall endeavour to do so more regularly again and I apologise for keeping many of you in the dark.

I'm going to leave you with a picture that one of my friends put together for me.  How she did it, I have no idea but she was inspired to do so when I used the expression "Ah well, onwards and upwards" in a conversation we had.  I think it's fabulous and it always makes me smile to see it!

So from "Super Roz", until next time, à bientôt!


  1. Thanks so much for the update. Fingers crossed that both of you get satisfactory results and treatment. I hope that you will be able to enjoy Christmas and have a healthy 2016. Thoughts are with you both Diane

  2. Get well soon both of you. Have a great Xmas. :-)

    Dave Taylor.

  3. I just read your blog and send you and your DH all the best and positive vibes.

  4. You are both in my thoughts Roz and I so wish that the trial drugs are a massive success and that you can enjoy Christmas and look forward to a new year. Good luck to Danny also with his ENT referral, fingers crossed it is nothing more than a sore throat. Stay strong, you are doing a great job. xxx

  5. Wishing you both positive thoughts for your forthcoming medical tests. Hope all goes well and you have a great Christmas and New Year x

  6. Hope things go well for you both and that you can have the best Christmas possible.

  7. Thank you to everyone for your good wishes xxxx

  8. Thank you to everyone for your good wishes xxxx